java development environments (ide's)I have found the best development environment for all my Java programming is to use the standard Sun Java SDK (version 1.2 or newer) and a good programming editor (not notepad!). The editor I currently use is 'The Crimson Editor', which is full featured, and free.
If you simply must use an integraged development environment, Borland's JBuilder, version 4 or 5 is good - BUT - do not use the "visual builder" (or whatever it's called) to build ANY Gui. It generates tons of "crap" code that will make your life miserable - trust me!
Also recommended - Eclipse, NetBeans, Together, VisualAge, VisualJ (not Microsoft), Kawa, Forte. Some are free (go to sun.java.com for a list), but some cost quite a bit. Here are some links:
http://www.togethersoft.com/ (now owned by Borland)
NOT RECOMMENDED AT ALL:
VisualJ (Microsoft) - it is out of date and won't be upgraded.
Borland JBuilder 3 "university edition" (comes on the CD with many Java books). Old and very out-of-date. You will regret any time spent trying to use this version. Version 4 or 5 are much better.