Monday, November 27, 2017

Note on using the interactive Java applications in this blog

Java issues

In the years since I started this blog, security issues regarding Java applets and Java Webstart have led to severe restrictions on their use.  That means it might be difficult to get these applications running in your browser.  If you encounter difficulties here are some ideas for work-arounds:

  1. I recommend using the Mozilla Firefox browsers.  Chrome doesn't like applets at all.
  2. Instead of trying to activate the links in the blog directly, copy the linked file onto your computer and attempt to run it there directly.
  3. On a Mac, you cannot double-click on the downloaded jnlp (webstart) files to run them; instead you have to use the right-click context menu and select "Open with... -> Java webstart" menu item.  Otherwise it complains that they are from an "unknown developer" and refuses to run them.
  4. You may need to add the site "" into the Exception Site List on the Java Control Panel.  This is accessible on a Mac on the System Preferences Panel.
Good luck.  I'll gratefully post any more specific directions you may have discovered for your configuration.

Webstart Directions

Once you do manage to get the webstarts working, you still may have to initialize them properly.  Each has a property file which controls how the initialization takes place, but this file cannot properly be opened by the webstart process, hence here are the manual instructions for getting the app properly configured:
  1. Select the menu item "Window->Left Slot" (only if it's not already selected).  This brings up the application-specific control panel, without which the application is quite crippled.
  2. Deselect the menu item "Window->Right Slot" (only if it's already selected).  This navigation panel is generally not needed for the casual user and takes up valuable real estate.
  3. Select the menu item "Camera->Zoom tool".  Now you can zoom in and out of the 3D window using by scrolling with the mouse (or the equivalent motion on a touch pad, etc.).

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