labs / tiddlers / content / reference / Software / _Reference_Software_Software Used in

Many of you will already have the following software already installed as a result of taking INFO201. There is no need to reinstall anything if this is the case.

We will be using the following software in {{$:/ou/parameters/Paper Code}}:

  • Java JDK 17. Mac users should use OpenJDK. Windows users should use Adoptium Temurin.

    <> Don't install JDK 18 or newer. JDK 17 is the latest LTS (long term support) release, and is pretty much guaranteed to work with any recent versions of other software. JDK 18 is too new, and you will likely have problems with other software if you install this version (or a newer version).
  • Apache NetBeans 12.6 or newer. NetBeans 14 was recently released --- if you are installing from scratch then you might as well install the latest version.

  • Visual Studio Code (plus certain plugins --- see below for the plugin details)

  • Git version control system.

  • A capable text editor that can easily be used as the Git editor (e.g. TextMate on macOS). Notepad is OK on Windows. We just needs something that can quickly edit text without getting in the way or corrupting the text (TextEdit on Mac will screw up your files).

Package Managers

We recommend that you use a package manager for installing software. Windows users can use Chocolatey, and Mac users can use Homebrew,

There are some screencasts on Blackboard that show you how to install and use a package manager.


To install via Chocolately on Windows (watch the screencast on Blackboard if you don't know what Chocolately is):

choco install temurin17
choco install apache-netbeans.portable
choco install vscode
choco install git

NetBeans has trouble finding the JDK by default, so watch the screencast to see how to fix this problem.

Stoplight Studio is currently not available via Chocolately, so Windows users can manually download the installer from:


To install via Homebrew on macOS (watch the screencast on Blackboard if you don't know what Homebrew is):

brew install openjdk@17
brew install netbeans
brew install visual-studio-code
brew install git
brew install textmate


Note that this applies to your own computers only --- the Information Science Linux Desktop in labs OBS 3.26, OBS 3.27, and North CAL already have all of the required software installed.

Use the built-in package manager. Depending on what distribution you are using, most of the above software should be available. Mark can help with this if you get stuck. Make sure that you install JDK 17 rather than something newer.

VS Code Plugins

You will need to install and configure a couple of additional plugins for Visual Studio Code. Start by running VS Code, then click the Extensions button at left (three squares with one removed). You can then search for and install the following plugins:

  • Markdown All in One (by Yu Zhang)

  • PlantUML (by Jebbs)

We also need to make a couple of configuration changes to the two VS Code plugins to make them work effectively. Open the settings from the main menu (Windows/Linux: <

Preferences > Settings">>, Mac: < Preferences > Settings">>). Use the search box in the settings window to find and update the following settings as itemised below (if the settings for a newly installed plugin don't appear, restart VS Code):

  • So that the preview window for the Markdown plugin appears automatically (since it is tricky to find the menu item to do this):

    Search for markdown.extension.preview.autoShowPreviewToSide.

    Check the box.

  • The PlantUML plugin will default to using your own computer for drawing the diagrams. While this should work out of the box, you will find that it can take a while to spin up the GraphVis component that performs the layout, and the Java Virtual Machine that runs PlantUML. Therefore, we suggest that you configure the plugin to use a remote server to draw the diagrams. In VS Code:

    • Search for plantuml.render. Change the setting from Local to PlantUMLServer.

    • Search for plantuml.server, and add the following value:

      Note that this is a server that we control. You can also use the "official" PlantUML server if you wish. The URL for that server is listed in the setting description.