Installing MASON on Eclipse

It's a snap.

  1. If you are running Windows or UNIX (but not Mac OS X, which has it already), install Java3D on your system. See the MASON website for pointers on where to get Java3D.

  2. Go to the MASON website and download the latest MASON distribution (mason.tar.gz or and the libraries package (libraries.tar.gz or

  3. Unpack these two packages into their respective mason and libraries directories. Place them in a directory somewhere. Let's call that directory netbeans:

  4. Fire up Eclipse. Choose New, then Project... (on the Mac, it's under the File menu), and select a Java Project as shown here:

  5. Click Next >. Call the project MASON. Choose Create project from existing source. Click the Browse... button and choose the project folder to be the directory which houses the mason and libraries folders (I called it the "eclipse" folder):

  6. Click Finish. Your window should now look like this:

  7. Click on the disclosure button (on the Mac, it's the little gray triangle) to expand the MASON hierarchy:

  8. Right-click (on the Mac, control-click) on the MASON (all caps) item, popping up the following menu:

  9. Choose Run As repeatedly, which pops up this menu:

  10. Choose 2 Java Application. Eclipse will then spend a while looking up all the examples of application entry points in MASON (that is, classes with public static void main(String[] args) in them). Eventually you'll be given the following list:

  11. Choose Console and press OK. This will actually run MASON's "new-application" window, which is a good starting point for MASON applications:

  12. You're up and running. But let's make this an automatic process and also set it up so that when we run the "new-application" window, it has a lot of Java memory. Click Quit on MASON's "new-application" window. Then choose Run... from Eclipse's menu. On the Mac, you can find Run... under the Run menu:

  13. This pops up Eclipse's Run Configuration window. Choose Console, then choose the Arguments tab. Inside the VM Arguments text field, type:


    This gives MASON 300 megabytes of heap space (rather than the more typical 40 megabytes or so) when you fire it up via Console's "new-application" window. It makes the 3D MASON applications a bit more happy. Here's the window:

    Press Apply, and then Close (not Run). We're not running quite yet.

  14. Now we're ready to go. Here's the main window again:

  15. Click on the icon. It will immediately run the Console's "new-application window", and you're ready to roll!