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Special Effects and Game Development in Java(TM) - Installation of the development system

by Anibal Wainstein

1.0 Installation of the development system

To be able to do programming in Java you must have a development system installed in your computer. There are many but the most used are Microsoft's and Sun's.

1.0.1 How to install Sun Microsystem's JDK

Start by downloading the Java Development Kit (JDK) from the Javasoft site. See to that everything you need is downloaded except for the API source-code. Run the installation. Later in chapter 2 I will review how to compile and execute applets.

1.0.2 How to install Microsoft Java SDK

SDK is short for Software Development Kit. When you download the package from Microsoft's site you must not forget to download the latest Java Virtual Machine and install it, or else parts of the SDK may not work. Install the SDK and the Java VM by running the exe-files and following the instructions.

1.1 How does a program work?

The programming languages often have a less complicated logic than the one used in the computer's micro processor. They help you to handle program development with greater ease. Inside the processor a "language" called machine code is used. Those who read this course will never see machine code. It is a very complicated language to learn and today one does not have much use of it. Like all other so called high-level languages, Java is converted to machine code just before executing. Either through an interpreter or through a machine code compilator. Java is special in comparison to other languages. A program written in Java is first converted to bytecode which is then translated by the interpreter. The interpreter may in turn convert the byte code to pure machine code (that the processor can understand and run without any further interference by the interpreter) or translate it piece by piece and call a machine code function for each byte code. The first mentioned interpreter runs Java code a great deal faster and is called JIT-compiler (Just In Time compiler). Programs are always executed in sequence. That is, the lines in the program code will be executed from the top down to the bottom (unless you happen to give the program jumping instructions).

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