The JavaPLT group is pleased to announce that DrJava recently passed the milestone of one million downloads since its inception as a SourceForge open source project in 2002. The DrJava developers want to thank all the users of DrJava for making the project so successful.
DrJava is a lightweight integrated development environment (IDE) for writing Java programs. It is designed primarily for students, providing an intuitive interface and the ability to interactively evaluate Java code in an “Interactions Pane”. It also includes powerful features for more advanced users including the DrJava developers. DrJava is freely distributed under the BSD License, and it is still under active development by the JavaPLT group at Rice University.
The development of DrJava began in 2001, lead by Professor Robert “Corky” Cartwright of the Computer Science department, with the first release being made available in Spring 2002. From the beginning, the DrJava source code emphasized the use of Java generics, novel at the time. Early in the evolution of DrJava, support for Java generics was added to the Interactions Pane. After the addition of a project facility in 2004 and improved support for large projects beginning in 2006, DrJava experienced a sharp increase in popularity.
DrJava is a cross-platform application available for Windows, Mac OS and Linux. DrJava supports several different Java compilers, including Oracle/Sun’s JDK, OpenJDK, the Eclipse Java Compiler, as well as research compilers such as NextGen and Java Mint. In 2005, DrJava introduced support for a hierarchy of Java language levels, a pedagogic framework that helps beginners learn Java by partitioning the language into levels of increasing syntactic complexity.
Since the inception of the DrJava project, over 60 students have contributed to DrJava in Professor Cartwright’s class on Production Programming or as part of independent study projects. DrJava is now being used at institutions across the globe, including the University of Pennsylvania, Cornell University, Georgia Tech, University of California-San Diego, University of Washington, Université de Nice Sophia-Antipolis, National Unversity Singapore and Rice University. DrJava has also been used as teaching tool in books by Pearson Education and Wiley Higher Education.
DrJava is available for download for free at http://drjava.org/