What the Do-While Is ZeptoN? Part II: Getting Started... What You Need

10 Jun 2024

Now that you are stoked and enthusiastic about ZeptoN 🤩 knowing what the do-while ZeptoN is [Gilrea 2024], the time is now to get started with ZeptoN with what you need for the how. This is simplicity, as there are two things you need to get started:

  1. Java environment - ZeptoN is written in Java, and transcompiles to Java bytecode that runs on a Java Virtual Machine (JVM). Hence, you need the Java Development Kit to trancompile or transpile and run your ZeptoN code.

  2. ZeptoN - ZeptoN is transpiled, thus, you need the ZeptoN transcompiler ZepT, or Zeptor, the ZEPton code editor. Both tools, the transpiler or code editor, are needed to write, transpile, run, debug, and rewrite ZeptoN source code ad infinitum.

The three intended platforms for getting started with ZeptoN are: Linux, MacOS, and Windows. Other platforms are a big unknown, and thus, not covered or explained, so caveat emptor and quod, quod, fiat.

Part 1: What You Need...Some Java

The first thing you need to get started is some Java, the Java Developer's Kit (JDK). At the time of writing this, Java has reached Java 22 or JDK version 22. You can find out more about Java history elsewhere, but each version of Java is a release starting with JDK 1 back in the mid-1990s, until now at JDK 22, or Java 22.

What you need is a favorite OpenJavaDevelopmentKit, the JDK that is described with "OpenJDK (OpenJavaDevelopmentKit) is a free and open-source implementation of the Java Platform..." [Wikip 2024] The JDK is free and open-source, so it only requires you to download and install it to your computer platform.

Important Caveat about Getting Java

An important caveat is to install the JDK, not the Java Runtime Environment (JRE). The JRE is the JVM that runs bytecode but does not include some libraries and packages required to transcompile ZeptoN into bytecode for the JVM. Thus, download the JDK (or more specifically, the OpenJDK) and NOT the JRE. The OpenJDK you download will include the libraries and packages, along with a JRE.

Which OpenJDK is Which?

Which OpenJDK is Which?

There are many vendors that are providers of an OpenJDK. An Internet search can find them. The important requirement is that the OpenJDK be version 11 or greater. Java is awesome in that later JDKs are backward compatible with the previous version. Thus, choose an OpenJDK release 11 or greater, for example, I have used OpenJDK release 17.

Many vendors have multiple versions of an OpenJDK that you can download for your platform. The author personally uses Zulu OpenJDK 17 for MacOS to use with ZeptoN. You can download it here... https://www.azul.com/downloads/?package=jdk#zulu (but caveat emptor!) yet, you can use your favorite, chosen OpenJDK.

Choosing Azul OpenJDK 11 for MacOS

Once you download your favorite, choose OpenJDK 11 or greater, and install it on your system platform. The author’s platform is a MacBook Pro 80x86 16” laptop.

Verify You've Got OpenJDK

If all goes well for the installation of the OpenJDK, all you need now to do is to verify that the installation is successful. This is simple enough to do.

Simply open a console or terminal on your platform, and then type the following:

javac --version

Checking Javac version in installed JDK in Hyper Terminal

This is invoking or running the Java compiler "javac" and passing the parameter for the version of the Java compiler. The Java Compiler javac tool responds with the version of the release of the Java compiler:

javac 11.0.23

This confirms Java runs thus it’s available, and the version checks the version of the OpenJDK installed, and it must be greater than or equal to release 11. The release version is 17.0.11 so greater than the requirement minimum of 11.

If you have made it this far, congratulations! You now have the OpenJDK installed and running on your system. 🥳 You are halfway there to having ZeptoN up and running on your system.

Part 2: ZeptoN to It for Doing It

With the Java environment and runtime installed and running, the second requirement is to install either the ZeptoN transcompiler or Zeptor the ZeptoN code editor. Zeptor also contains the ZeptoN ZepT transcompiler built into the code editor. Since further articles will be discussing, explaining, and illustrating ZeptoN source code, the focus is on downloading, installing, and running Zeptor. Zeptor to it! 😜

Gimme Zeptor Or Else...No Zept To It!

Gimme Zeptor Or Else…No Zept To It!

First, we must download Zeptor in order to install Zeptor on our system. 🤪 Zeptor is free and open-source and available on GitHub in a repository for download.

GitHub Repository with Zeptor

Download Zeptor as the file "Zeptor.jdk11.jar" in the directory "assets" from the GitHub repository at the link: https://github.com/wgilreath/Zeptor.

GitHub Repository with Zeptor in Assets Directory

Once Zeptor is downloaded, create a Zeptor home directory where the Zeptor app will live on your computer system. Next, copy Zeptor to the home directory as "Zeptor.jar" to keep the file name simple but accurate.

Installing Zeptor after Downloading from the GitHub Repository

Check that Zeptor has the correct operating system permissions to be read, executed, and run on your computer system--this depends on the platform and operating system.

Part 3: Verifying Ready to Start with ZeptoN

Now that Zeptor has been downloaded and installed in a home directory, we need to verify that Zeptor will run without any problems. Open a console or terminal window, and then run Zeptor with the command:

java -jar Zeptor.jar

Zeptor Startup with Release and Version

Zeptor should start running as a visual application, with the start screen a blank background, and the version, release, copyright, and license dialog in the center of the computer screen. This verifies that Zeptor runs, but on-file verification is needed--that Zeptor can transpile ZeptoN source code, and then run the transpiled code as JVM bytecode.

Your First ZeptoN Program

In the Zeptor "File" menu, click the menu item "New" to create a simple ZeptoN program that prints "Hello, World!!!" (check literal) to the console screen.

Zeptor New Program Option to Create New ZeptoN Program

Zeptor automatically or auto-magically creates the ubiquitous “Hello, World!!!” program in ZeptoN.

Zeptor Automagically Creates "Hello, World!!!" ZeptoN Program

After creating the simple ZeptoN program automatically, save it.

Zeptor Saving After Creating a New "Hello, World!!!" ZeptoN Program

Now, in the "Build" menu, click the menu item "Make," and then wait.

Zeptor Building with Make the ZeptoN Program

After a second or two, a compiler dialog will appear with an indication of success of compiling the ZeptoN source code into Java bytecode. Other information is given, such as the OpenJDK release and version, and the total time. The important thing is that the transcompilation process is successful.

Zeptor Successfully Compiling a ZeptoN Program

ZeptoN Start to It

Finally, execute or run the simple ZeptoN program. In the "Build" menu, click the menu item "Start," which will run the ZeptoN program in the Zeptor console.

Zeptor Choosing to Start or Execute ZeptoN Program

Once the ZeptoN program runs, press a key to close, and exit the Zeptor console.

Zeptor Running in Zeptor Console Window the ZeptoN Program

Now, Zeptor is installed, executes, and works -- the verification and validation are complete. Blimey!

Congratulations, Felicitations, and Whoopee!

Congratulations and celebrations are in order! 🥳 You have a working ZeptoN development system with the Java environment, runtime, and the Zeptor code editor. Huzzah!

Congratulations, Bravo, and well done on Successfully Getting, Installing, and Running Zeptor

Now that we have a working ZeptoN code editor and runtime on your system, we can learn by doing how to code with ZeptoN in continuing articles in the future. How to do it? ZeptoN to it! 😎