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Other Tools

The tools discussed in this chapter are exemplars of a more general trend. Surrounding the Java language, there is an increasingly diverse and rich set of tools for the development of software. Open source communities, either sponsored by a company (or set of companies) or coming out of academia, do much of the development for this ecology of software tools. The quality can be variable, but is generally quite good. Support happens via email or in public forums, which makes some companies nervous, but which in my experience is far superior to the kinds of paid-for support that you get with more standard commercial offerings.

There is a particular theme to the tools we have looked at in this chapter, having to do with the software cycle of writing code, testing that code, and eliminating bugs in the code. There are additional tools that go further into this cycle. For example, Checkstyle[52] is a tool that will automate the checking of stylistic features in your code, and is a great way of enforcing a particular style guide. How many automated checks you want to include in your development process is up to you and the rest of your team, as is the set of checks that you want to have flagged by these tools (all of them are configurable and customizable).


  

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