Chapter 2. Getting Started

Table of Contents

Setting up Your Accounts
Java PLT Group at Rice
Installing Essential Software
Sun Java Development Kit
Subversion Client
Apache Ant
Command-Line Environment Settings
Accessing and Modifying the Source Code
Downloading the Sources
Building the Sources
Modifying the Sources
Submitting Your Changes

This section provides a step-by-step tutorial for new DrJava developers on setting up a build environment and making modifications to the code base. It discusses much of the material only lightly, presenting just the essential information required to get everything working properly. Links are interspersed to more comprehensive treatment elsewhere.

Setting up Your Accounts


The DrJava project is hosted by We take advantage of SourceForge's source control, Web space, bug tracking, and mailing list features. Regardless of whether you will be committing code or not, we recommend registering for a SourceForge user account to provide a point of contact in the Tracker forums. If you will be a member of the DrJava development team, the project administrators will add your account to the project to allow you to commit code and respond to bugs and feature requests.

  • If you don't already have a SourceForge user account, go to and click on "Create Account"; follow the directions until your account is set up and you can log in to the site.

  • Visit the DrJava project page. The "Tracker" and "Code" sections (you made need to click on "More" first) are particularly relevant. You should also follow the "Mailing Lists" link and consider subscribing to one of the mailing lists. drjava-hackers is a high-traffic list containing all initial bug and feature request posts; drjava-users is generally limited to messages announcing new development and stable application releases.

  • If you are a member of the Rice DrJava development team, ask a project administrator to add you as a project member.

Java PLT Group at Rice

For Rice students wishing to work with the DrJava developer team, you should also do the following:

  • Get a Computer Science Department Unix account, if you don't already have one. This account is distinct from the Owlnet account given to all undergraduates, and will allow you to login and develop in the PLT computer lab. You can pick up an application from the department secretaries; have it signed by Corky Cartwright.

  • Subscribe to the drjava mailing list. You can do so here: This list is the main electronic forum for communication among the team members (like a course discussion board). Feel free to post your ideas or ask for help here.