Java Web Start is an excellent package that lets you run Java programs as applications on your computer without having to manually install each program that you wish to run. These programs do not run as part of the web browser, so they are not susceptible to browser crashes and you don't even need the browser running to start the applications.
If you do not have Java Web Start installed, you can accomplish this in two different ways.
Note: If you are on Windows 2000 or a derivative that has user directory permissions, you will need to either install Java Web Start in a directory that all users have permission to write to (which isn't the best situation) or you will need to modify your own configuration after installing Web Start. (See below)
The “theme” used on Windows with Java 1.5 seems to use a solid white background on the buttons, which might make public project names hard to read on the Control Panel tabs.
Note: If, for some reason, don't have a default browser set you might have problems running the Java Web Start application manager. It might pop up a splash screen and then disappear without actually running the application manager. Set a browser and you should be OK. This behavior can also happen if you upgrade from Java 1.4 to 1.5. If Java Web Start quits working after an upgrade you might need to delete the java preferences directories in your User folder. Contact us if this is happening.
Note for those using Mozilla on Unix type platforms: Early versions of Mozilla didn't pick up the .mailcap and .mime.types file changes that the install process performed when Java Web Start installs. You might need to manually add it by going to 'Edit | Preferences | Navigator | Helper Applications' and adding a New Type with information:
Description of Type: Java Web Start
File Extension : jnlp
MIME type : application/x-java-jnlp-file
Application To Use : /path/to/javaws
(You can get the /path/to/javaws by looking in your .mailcap file in your home directory. The install process should have put it there) If you are on Windows XP Pro, 2000, or NT and you try to launch the Control Panel and you get an error, you can click on 'Details' and look at the actual exception that it is giving.
If any of these exceptions seem like an application bug in either the ShaRP or ImageRover application please submit a bug report by following the Bug Reporting directions. We appreciate those who take the time to report these bugs and improve these applications.
Until recently java web start was not available for 64 bit machines and had to be run as a 32-bit application on a 64-bit machine. Now it's different. Below are instructions on running 64-bit java webstart.
This tutorial was written specifically for Java 1.6.0_12, but should work fine on future revisions.
Installing Java for 64-bit Begin by downloading Java from Sun. Download Here (http://download.java.net/jdk6/) (Linux x64 self-extracting JRE file) or paste this command into the terminal: wget -c 'http://www.java.net/download/jdk6/6u12/promoted/b02/binaries/jre-6u12-ea-bin-b02-linux-amd64-08_dec_2008.bin' Next, we'll create an install directory in /opt (as this is probably the best place for development applications). cd /opt sudo mkdir java cd java Let's copy the installer file to the java directory. sudo cp ~/jre-6u12-ea-bin-b02-linux-amd64-08_dec_2008.bin /opt/java/ Finally, let's execute the installer sudo bash jre-6u12-ea-bin-b02-linux-amd64-08_dec_2008.bin For good measure, let's register this as the default Java provider. sudo update-alternatives --install "/usr/bin/java" "java" "/opt/java/jre1.6.0_12/bin/java" 1 sudo update-alternatives --set java /opt/java/jre1.6.0_12/bin/java Installing Firefox plugin First, lets remove the gcj web plugin: sudo apt-get remove icedtea-gcjwebplugin If it comes up with "not found" or the like, ignore it and continue. Since we have it all setup, all we need to do is install the Firefox plugin. This can be done in one simple command (change according to version). mkdir ~/.mozilla/plugins ln -s /opt/java/jre1.6.0_12/lib/amd64/libnpjp2.so ~/.mozilla/plugins/ You can test the plugin by restarting your browser and going to http://www.javatester.org/version.html and checking for the pink box and line of text.
From time to time, it might be useful to view the Java standard-out text console. ShaRP and ImageRover applications often send debugging information there as can other Web Start programs that you might want to run. In its default configuration, you won't ever see the Java console. To enable it, you need to go into the Java Web Start application manager (On Windows you probably have an application called 'Java Web Start' in your Start menu, and on unix it is probably an application called 'javaws' that might or might not be in your path. On Mac OS X, the Java Web Start application will probably be in /Applications/Utilities/Java).
In the application manager, you can go to Edit | Preferences and navigate to the Advanced tab where you can enable the Java console. You have the option of having it pop open every time you that you run an application (Show Java Console), or you can have it automatically log the output to a file (Log Output). Personally, I would recommend just having it log the output to a file. That way you don't have an extra window everytime you run an application, but you can still look at the output if you wish to do so. Just choose a log file name that is somewhere that you can remember it. Some programs can output a lot of text to the console, so you might want to check the size of the log file on occasion and periodically delete log files that do not contain important information.