All Java projects on this site are built using the free Eclipse IDE. Although it isn’t required to run the examples, it will certainly make your life easier.
Most Java projects also use the Maven Dependency Management system. There are several reasons that I use Maven in the examples.
- I like Maven. It makes it easy to set up your dependencies in a GUI way.
- I don’t have to distribute all the JAR files for a project. Since Maven can download your dependencies from the internet, I only have to distribute the Java files. This saves a lot of bandwidth.
- Maven is widely used and understood by developers. (OK, maybe not all that well understood sometimes :) The Maven Integration for Eclipse is a good one and works well with the site examples.
Finally, I personally use Tomcat 5.5 as my servlet engine along with the Sysdeo Tomcat integration for Eclipse. Why Sysdeo, even though it is not actively being developed? Sysdeo is the only system that I know of that is both 1) free, and 2) allows hot swapping of Java class files without Tomcat restart (as long as you don’t change an interface). It can be a bit of a pain to get the devloader setup for the plug-in, but once you do, the ability to hot swap will save you a ton of time and heartache.
See Setting up the Sysdeo Tomcat Plug-in post for detailed information on how to set it up in Eclipse.
The examples should run equally well under the standard Eclipse Web Tools Platform(WTP) though, you just won’t be able to hot swap Java classes.