Field Bird: A lightweight Java IDE

Let’s face it – not everyone is cut out to be a programmer. You have to have a logical mind, and be capable of understanding the syntax and constraints of a computer language. But programming doesn’t have to be drudgery either. For instance, Java developers can simplify programming tasks by turning to Field Bird, a collection of lightweight tools for developing Java and J2EE programs. It can help anyone from the inexperienced Java user who needs help getting started to the more experienced Java hacker who wants point-and-click access to the Java commands and a text editor.

Field Bird has nothing like the scope of Java interactive development environments (IDE) like Eclipse or NetBeans. Instead, its lightweight IDEs for Java and J2EE provide a simple, non-intimidating user interface that doesn’t require a lot of time to learn. A lightweight text editor completes the toolkit. Developer John Biskeborn says he began building the tools when he couldn’t find any other truly simple Java IDE that clearly indicated what it was doing.

Biskeborn has been working on the Java tools off and on for eight years. The most recent version was released last week. And where does the name Field Bird come from? “When I was a kid, I would see a special kind of bird in fields. It had a nice song and seemed to like people. Not knowing what it was, I called it a field bird. I later found out it was a meadowlark. It truly is outstanding in its field. I hope in some way this software is too.”

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