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Create an Android Development Environment


Getting Eclipse

The next step is getting the Eclipse IDE (see Figure 4). Many versions and preconfigured packages exist but the current baseline version is Indigo.

Installing Eclipse is easy. It comes as a ZIP file (in this case, eclipse-java-indigo-win32.zip), and at the highest level of that ZIP file is a folder called “eclipse.” Extract the folder to the location of your choice. Much the same way that I install all my Java versions into the same location, I also install my Eclipse versions into the same folder, in this case C:\Eclipse. I also use a naming convention that identifies what that version of Eclipse is going to be used for; in this case, I’ll call the folder “E37 Droid.” So now, if you were to see my folder structure, you’d see this:

C:
+- Java
|   +- jdk16se32
+- Eclipse
    +- E37 Droid

Let me be clear: first I copied the folder “Eclipse” from the ZIP file to my existing folder “C:\Eclipse.” I then renamed the newly copied folder to “E37 Droid.” Don’t get the two different eclipse folders confused. If you see a folder called “configuration” directly under your folder Eclipse, then you haven’t followed my installation procedure. Once you’ve installed it, go into the E37 Droid folder and run the eclipse.exe executable. You’ll see the screen in Figure 5.

Figure 6 asks you to select a workspace. The workspace is where you’ll be doing your development. Think of it as basically the place where you store your source code, although it’s a little more complicated than that. In general, I have one workspace per client, and I also create separate workspace for a new research project such as this one. I use this as one more opportunity to make things a little simpler. The default folder depends on the operating system, but it’s usually something nested a few levels deep. For example, it might be C:/Users/You/workspace for You on Windows 7. I prefer to have all my workspaces under a very high-level folder. All my workspaces are under C:\WS. Then I segregate them by the primary version of the tool used to create them, so for example, all my Eclipse 3.7 workspaces will be in a folder called E37. That way, if I upgrade to another version of the tool, I can create a new folder, say E42, and then copy my workspace from E37 to E42. I will only use the Eclipse 4.2 on workspaces in the E42 folder. Then if it turns out that the new version somehow corrupts my workspace, I still have the old E37 version available. Anyway, as you can see in Figure 6, I choose the name C:\WS\E37\DroidTest1 for my workspace. Now my directory structure looks like this:

C:
+- Java
|   +- jdk16se32
+- Eclipse
|   +- E37 Droid
+- WS
    +- E37
        +- DroidTest1

Nice and simple. At this point the Welcome window will come up for Eclipse, but you can ignore it. Just close the workbench, because we still have one more piece to get.

Joe Pluta is the founder and chief architect of Pluta Brothers Design Inc. Joe can be reached at joepluta@plutabrothers.com.


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