Firing Up Eclipse For The First Time
If you're like me, you've gotten to this point in the tutorial and have already fired up Eclipse for the first time, so I won't try to pretend that you didn't. I have to start somewhere, though, so humor me and pretend that you waited until now to start it.
When you open it for the first time, Eclipse askes you what folder you want to use as a workspace. It tries to pick a folder for you. If you like the one it picks, let it pick that one. If not, use the other controls to browse to the folder of your choice and choose the workspace folder. Feel free to check the box that tells it to stop asking you the folder it should use.
When you dismiss the Workspace Dialog, Eclipse tries to be helpful and show you a help screen. Use the Tab key to check it out. While you tab through controls, you will run into some tool bar controls. These are part of the environment that helps you write Java programs.
The Workspace is more than a folder on your computer. It's an Eclipse component that keeps track of the files you use on your computer to do any kind of project, not just Java, and communicates to all the other resources in Eclipse where the files and other items are that you are using.
The thing that displays any of the controls in Eclipse, no matter what environment you are using at the time, is called the workbench. One of the things the workbench displays is the Java environment. Another is the work space. If you were using Eclipse on a different operating system, the workbench would display controls native to that operating system.
Next time, we get down to business and do a traditional Hello world program as an Eclipse Java project and get into talking about some of the features of the Java Tools Plugin.