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Notes on Java

The goal, here, is to be able to run stand-alone programs written in Java.

A good first step is to check whether your computer is already set up. To do so, bring up a command prompt and type the command java -version. It should produce something like this.

java version "1.3.1_01"
Java(TM) 2 Runtime Environment, Standard Edition
(build 1.3.1_01)
Java HotSpot(TM) Client VM
(build 1.3.1_01, mixed mode)

If it doesn't, the next step depends on your operating system.

  • If you're running Windows or Linux, you can download an installer from Sun's web site, as I'll explain in a moment.
  • If you're running Macintosh OS X, you ought to be set up already.
  • If not, or if you're running some other operating system, I can't help you. You will have to investigate for yourself.

Now, what about Sun's web site? Well, it's very confusing if you aren't familiar with all the jargon, so here's a link


and here are some hints to help you navigate.

  • The first thing you want to do, of course, is look for the download section.
  • There are various editions of Java, but the Standard Edition (SE) has everything you'll ever need, and more, unless you decide to start maintaining corporate web sites or writing programs for cell phones.
  • You'll need to decide whether you want the Java Development Kit (JDK) or the Java Runtime Environment (JRE). The JRE is smaller, and lets you run Java programs. The JDK is larger, and lets you not only run Java programs but also make new ones and do other useful things, like create and manipulate jar files.

The exact version of Java shouldn't matter. I've tested the game on versions 1.3 through (1.)6, and the code is simple enough that I expect it'll work with future versions too. It even ought to run on 1.2, as far as I know if not, the original version of the game definitely does.