Chapter 1: Introduction
||1-4: Building Electric from Source Code
1-4-2: Source Code in the JAR Files
Two Electric downloads are available from the Free Software Foundation (GNU): with and without source code.
Therefore it is possible to build Electric from the source code in the download.
Note, however, that this is not the preferred way to access the source code because it does not
include the various dependencies.
The preferred way to access the source code is to use Subversions and to access the code on java.net
(see the next three sections for more).
To extract the source code from the ".jar" file, place it in its own directory,
change to that directory, and run the following command:
jar xf electric-version.jar
(Windows users may want to install "cygwin," from www.cygwin.com,
in order to more easily run "jar" and other commands.)
The "jar" command will create a number of files and folders on your disk:
- com is a folder with all of the source code.
- org and scala are folders with additional source code that isn't needed when rebuilding.
- META-INF is a support folder used when running the ".jar" file and can be deleted.
- ChangeLog.txt is a detailed list of changes to Electric.
- COPYING.txt is the GNU copyright document that applies to your use of Electric.
- README.txt is a file of notes about Electric.
The next step is to get a version of Java that can build source code.
Although a "JRE" (Java Runtime Environment) is sufficient for running Electric,
it is not able to build the source code.
For that, you must have a "JDK" (Java Development Kit).
In addition, you may want to use an IDE (Integrated Development Environment) such as
NetBeans (at www.netbeans.org) or
Eclipse (at www.eclipse.org).
Using the Command Line
"Ant" is a scripting system for building Java programs,
and Electric comes with an Ant script called "build.xml".
Once the source code is extracted, you can rebuild Electric simply by typing "ant".
Before you do that, there are some considerations:
- If you are not on a Macintosh, you must obtain the Apple Java Extensions
from developer.apple.com/samplecode/AppleJavaExtensions and place it
in the directory (next to the "build.xml" file).
- The build script only builds what is on your disk.
If you want to include the Static Free Software extensions, you must
download it and extract it before building.
- The build script does not include the parts of Electric that are coded in Scala (insignificant).
- The build script does not build the Bean Shell or Jython.
Running under Eclipse
Here are some notes about building Electric under Eclipse:
- Setup Workspace. The Workspace is a point in the file system where all source code can be found.
You can use the directory where you extracted the Electric source code, or any point above that.
- Create Project. The Project defines a single program that is being built.
Use File / New / Project and choose "Java Project from Existing Ant Buildfile".
Choose the "build.xml" file in the folder where the files were extracted.
Give the project a name, for example, "Electric."
- Configure Libraries. The "Libraries" tab of the Eclipse project settings lets you add other packages that may be relevant to the build.
There are no required libraries, but many optional ones
(see Section 1-5 on plug-ins).
Use the "Add External JARs" button to add any extra libraries.
- Handle Macintosh variations.
If you are building on a Macintosh, no changes are needed.
If you are not building on a Macintosh, you must decide whether or not you want the code that you produce to
also run on a Macintosh.
If you do not care about being able to run on a Macintosh, remove the source code module
"com.sun.electric.tool.user.MacOSXInterface.java" (which probably has a red "X" next to it indicating that there
are errors in the file).
If you want the final code to be able to run on all platforms,
download the stub package "AppleJavaExtensions.jar" from
and add this as an external JAR file.
- Run Electric. Use the Run... command (under the Run menu)
to create a run configuration.
Under the "Main" tab of the run-configuration dialog,
give the configuration a name (for example, "Electric"),
set the Project to match the one that you have created,
and set the "Main class" to be "com.sun.electric.Launcher".
Under the "Arguments" section of the dialog,
it is a good idea to increase Electric's memory size by entering "-mx1000m" under "VM arguments".