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Java: Useful Tools for Programming – Part I

Here are some useful programming tools I used frequently


As quoted from the website, Checkstyle is a development tool to help programmers write Java code that adheres to a coding standard. It automates the process of checking Java code to spare humans of this boring (but important) task. This makes it ideal for projects that want to enforce a coding standard.

Checkstyle is highly configurable and can be made to support almost any coding standard. An example configuration file is supplied supporting the Sun Code Conventions. As well, other sample configuration files are supplied for other well known conventions.

It has plugins for most of the popular IDE, e.g. Eclipse, IntelliJ, NetBeans, and JBuilder.

One good Eclipse plugin is available at



FindBugs is a program which uses static analysis to look for bugs in Java code. It has a Eclipse plugin also.



As quoted from the website, PMD scans Java source code and looks for potential problems like:

  • Possible bugs – empty try/catch/finally/switch statements
  • Dead code – unused local variables, parameters and private methods
  • Suboptimal code – wasteful String/StringBuffer usage
  • Overcomplicated expressions – unnecessary if statements, for loops that could be while loops
  • Duplicate code – copied/pasted code means copied/pasted bugs

It has plugins for IDEs like Eclipse, JBuilder, JDeveloper, NetBeans.



BlueJ is an integrated Java environment specifically designed for introductory teaching. BlueJ was developed at a University specifically for the purpose of teaching object orientation with Java.

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