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Build an open source IDE with jEdit

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The option pane classes that set different groups of command-line arguments extend the jEdit AbstractOptionPane class. These classes include: JDocDirectoryOptionPane, JDocFlagOptionPane, JDocFormatOptionPane, JDocGeneralOptionPane, JDocPathOptionPane, and JDocVisibilityOptionPane.

The DisplayPane class is a helper class used by all option pane classes to build the main pane and tool-tip area.

Javadoc command execution

Three classes execute the javadoc command: JDocShell, JDocTask, and JDoc. The JDocPlugin class uses the Runtime.exec() method to run the native javadoc executable. Discerning how to use this method is not intuitively obvious from the Java documentation. I used Michael J. Daconta's article "When Runtime.exec() Won't" (JavaWorld, December 2000) and the JCompiler plug-in's source code to guide me.

JDocShell extends the Console plug-in's Shell class and provides an object that encapsulates the command execution threads. JDocTask extends the Thread class and provides the command's main execution thread. JDoc executes the native javadoc command using the Runtime.exec() method, runs threads to collect the command's standard output and standard error output, and writes javadoc output to the console.

While I developed the JDocPlugin, the jEdit Plugin API simplified the interface to jEdit and allowed me to concentrate on the application logic: collecting and storing the values for the javadoc command-line arguments, and executing the javadoc command.

Why pay for an IDE?

Plug-ins transform the jEdit programmer's text editor into a powerful IDE that can be used for an XP software development approach. The jEdit Plugin API allows integration of free tools like CVS, Ant, and JUnit, and development of custom applications to meet new requirements.

jEdit demonstrates the vitality of the open source model. A community numbering more than 4,000 users supports its rapid development. The software is sophisticated and reliable. So, why pay for proprietary development software when you can achieve the same result with free software?

Robert Swarr is a Java consultant with more than 20 years of programming experience and a contributor to the jEdit open source project. For the last five years he has specialized in server-side Java consulting on projects using BEA WebLogic and IBM WebSphere. He has worked as a software support specialist in major computer and software vendor corporations, and as a programmer in user organizations. He has taught Java as an adjunct professor at Connecticut State University. He holds a MS in computer science from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and is a Sun Certified Developer for the Java 2 Platform. He operates his own consulting practice AgoraLogos in Connecticut.

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