Monday, March 10, 2008

Smooth transition from C# to Java SE


In free time I'm playing with Robocode. At the start my idea was to migrate it somehow to .NET and run away from Java as soon as possible. I use IKVM to wrap Robocode. I learned that Java GUI, which is AWT in this case, could not be translated to WinForms by current version of IKVM. Current Robocode is monolithic application, where UI is in same jar module as the core. I was looking for some IDE which will help me with Java and to introduce/refactor UI interfaces and split of UI from core. Currently I'm buried much deeper in Java part of Robocode, but that will be another story.

Update 17.2.2010: Robocode for .NET took different direction, but it's here.

IntelliJ IDEA

Because I'm mostly C# guy, I wanted to use some IDE which will behave similarly like VS. IntelliJ IDEA won the race, because I heavily use their ReSharper for C# in Visual Studio, luckily in the original IDEA key-binding mode. JetBrains were also so kind that donated open-source license to Robocode project. I needed to do only two things to feel at home in IDEA:
1) Install TabSwitch plug-in
2) In File/settings/keymap choose VS, make copy, in tree seek for TabSwitch plugin and set Ctrl-Tab key for SwitchBetweenTwoTabs.


is compiler, which translates Java bytecode to .NET IL. In other words you take .jar and compile it with IKVMc to get .NET assembly. Java SDK is also compiled this way so your .jar is running on top of Java framework, but natively on .NET runtime. There is small IKVM runtime for Java framework, similar as runtimes for different platforms. You could event turn on debug flag and you will be able to debug Java code inside VS, pretty cool.

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