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  Why BlueJ? (Extra-Materials)

Why BlueJ?

BlueJ Integrated Development EnvironmentClick for the installer (pick the integrated installer)
  1. Easy to install and easy to use.
  2. BlueJ is as light-weighted as Notepad for text editing.
  3. Java files created by BlueJ can all be edited by notepad.
  4. You may copy or compress (zip) the java files from BlueJ and copy them to any location or put them on the web-site for download just like text file. No special import/export required.
  5. BlueJ files can go to Eclipse, Netbeans, IntelliJ and many other IDE tools. But not the other way around. You cannot copy the Eclipse (or Netbeans, or IntelliJ) files to any other IDE without much struggling.
  6. You can just copy to source code files (from Eclipse or any other tools) to a BlueJ project directory and continue to work without any trouble.
  7. BlueJ has less overheads. It runs faster.
  8. BlueJ has Class Diagram views.
  9. BlueJ has object execution environment.
  10. BlueJ can link the library much faster.

    Note: It is good for beginner and unit development. For larger scale projects and industrial use, Eclipse, Netbeans, and IntelliJ (Android Studio) are suggested. These tools will also be used in this and many other courses.

BlueJ, Eclipse, NetBeans, and IntelliJ are different IDE tools for Java.

IntelliJ is a paid tool (even though it has a community edition). The tool is tailor-made for Java. Netbeans is also of that purpose.

Eclipse is developed by IBM and well connected with many tools and can be used for many different languages. (Even though, you need to install Java version first).

These tools are bulky and not convenient for educational purpose.

All of these tools are good for product development but they are over-killing for educational use.

BlueJ is a all-in-one Java IDE which is very light-weighted IDE tool for Java Programming. It has the following advantages:

(1) As light-weighted as Notepad.

(2) The file structure is the same as normal directory and text files. You can just copy, paste, zip and unzip like text files. The operation is the most straight-forward. You may also copy all of the .java files to Eclipse, Netbeans, or IntelliJ and just refresh the project (or package and work.)

The only overhead is the package file which is very small. (not even feeling its existence.

(3) Good UML class diagram view:

(4) Special Icon for the Unit Test Units, Applet, Interface, Abstract Class and other special classes (which is not available by other IDE tools):

(5) Quick and better generation tool for Java Doc page generation.

With this tool, you may edit the doc page and the code back and forth. It is very much more convenient than other tools.

(5) Same compiler but faster. Because the IDE overhead is smaller.

(6) Colorful code view which allows student to know about the program structure better.

(7) To port BlueJ .java files to other file systems for other IDEs. You just need to copy back and forth. Not much headaches.

(8) Installation Bundle with Java JDK without setting $Path system variable.

(9) Free

Because it is so light-weighted like Notepad and it can generate doc page faster (just a key to toggle), it is a much more convenient tool than other IDE (at Unit Development level) (not integration) and good for student.


(1) Not fully compatible with newest JUnit4 (Suite Test and Parameterized Test)

(2) Not fully compatible with Screen Builder and other API.

I personally judge that this tool has more advantage than disadvantage to be used for Java Programming classes. That is why we use this tool for our courses. In fact, it is not very painful to put them back to Eclipse, Netbeans and IntelliJ.

Even for industrial use, it can also save development time and document (javadoc) generation time. Since it can toggle in coding mode and documentation mode views.

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External Resources [Links]:

BlueJ Web Site

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