Java Tools Opportunity

Last edited August 21, 2000. Perhaps this page is due for an update? EclipseIde and IntellijIdea seem to have somewhat improved the Java development tools situation. (I'm not a big IDE user, so I'll leave such an update to those who are. Just saw this on RandomPages and wanted to make a note to bring this page back into the WikiNow. DeleteWhenCooked.)
My current project is using VisualCafe, but only because we are deploying EJBs to WebLogic, and VC's debugger will talk to WebLogic in interesting and useful ways. Otherwise, we wouldn't touch it, as VC sucks bowling balls through firehoses.

In fact, if there were a reasonable third party source level debugger available that understood how to talk to java_g remotely, we'd use that and vi and make. Since our front end is web-based, all that visual composition stuff in VC is just overhead, and the "automatic" EJB deployment requires a lot of manual intervention, but we need the debugger.

Most (I've not seen them all) of the IDE's listed above are deeply shit along one axis or another, whatever debugger is buried way down inside them is the most useful part, so there's a really big opening here for a tools shop to produce a "gdb" (with a nice gui) for Java.

Look on IBM's Alphaworks Site ( We give one away called JIKES (JikesCompiler) that might work. Also, there's the IBM "Distributed Debugger" that ships with VisualAge (and this is truly perverse) that would probably integrate just fine and dandy with WebLogic and VisualCafe. --KyleBrown

For the latest GnuDebugger? "gdb" see

Tried MetaMataDebug??

Perhaps TogetherJava is morphing into this BeAllOrEndAll? tool.

Oh, how I agree with this. Debugger support for Java is one of the few things I dislike about working with the language. How I would love to see a good, standalone Java debugger that could do remote debugging. A command-line debugger like gdb would be fine. Actually, coupled with a platform-independent version of DDD (, it would be ideal.

KyleBrown mentions the Jikes debugger. I held out hopes for JD at one point, but apparently it is not being developed anymore. Kyle, do you know why? --GlennVanderburg

Take a look at Bugseeker2. it leaves no wish unfilled, remote debugging via sockets or shared memory (JPDA) expression evaluation, simultaneous multi-process debugging, data tips, and object monitor viewers etc. Apart from that its proof that its possible to make swing apps that give native app a run for there money. The company is (its not GPL, but this in one of the few tools that i would pay for out of my own pocket)

I just became aware of JSwat ( the other day. I haven't really run it thorugh its paces, so I can't comment on how good it is, but it is GPL'd, so you can easily contribute.

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