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Chapter 11. Java Explorer

Partial Table-of-Contents

  • 11.1 About Java Explorer
  • 11.2 Creating Web Pages
  • Technical Notes
  • Generated Files
  • Generated Makefile
  • Java Explorer Macros
  • 11.3 Interacting with Images
  • 11.4 The Java Explorer Server
  • Running the Server
  • Scripts for Controlling the Server
  • Configuration Files
  • Configuration Notes
  • 11.5 Limitations/Bugs
  • 11.6 Java Interfaces

  • 11.1 About Java Explorer

    Java Explorer is an network based server and a set of Java applets that allow Data Explorer networks to run from within a web browser. In an authoring step, the visualization expert selects to add the required Java Explorer modules; thus, activating the option to then generate an appropriate html page and applet code that corresponds to the network's user interface Control Panels and Images. Once the Java Explorer modules are added, the network can be executed from either the standard DX user interface or a web browser via the Java Explorer server, eliminating dual-source problems. The Image macro when running in the Java Explorer environment outputs image formatted files for the web server to send. Results of a visualization can be sent as Images (single or multiple), or geometry (as VRML), determined by the visualization programmer or the end-user's settings. Direct user interactions (e.g. rotate, pick, etc.) are implemented by the client or the server depending upon the presentation mode.

    In order to view a network with a web browser, the network is first converted to a web page, installed into the Java Explorer server's specified web page directory and then the server must be started. If Java Explorer is to be used to allow users via the Internet to run specified visualizations, then a web server must also be running and set up in conjunction with Java Explorer.

    If Java Explorer is to produce images to send to a web browser, it is required that ImageMagick be included within the DX framework.

    11.2 Creating Web Pages

    Once a visualization is ready to be shared via Java Explorer, the network must be converted to a web page. The following steps show how to perform this transformation:

    Figure 95. Java Explorer Tools Options

    1. Load network - Start by loading the appropriate network into the Visual Programming Environment.
    2. Choose Add Tools - Once loaded, choose the Java->Add Tools option of the Edit menu of the VPE menu bar. This will add a page to the network named "java tools" and set up the control panels and Image modules to work with the Java applets.
    3. Save the visual program - The visual program can still be used as before within the DX user interface. No need to save a second copy.
    4. Choose Save As Web Page - Once the network is saved, the Java->Save As Web Page option from the Edit menu is made available. This will save a minimum of four new files within the same directory as the network.
    5. Compile the Java files - Of the files created, one is and another is myprog.make, where myprog is the name of your network. The .java file must be compiled to create a .jar file that can be used with the Java Explorer server. Data Explorer helps by providing a make file. make is a command line utility to compile programs. Invoke the make file by issuing the following command:
      make -f myprog.make
    6. Install the Java files - The files must be put into the Java Explorer server's specified web page directory. Again the make file helps since it has some notion of where these files should be stored. To install using the make file, issue the following command:
      make -f myprog.make install

    Technical Notes

    Generated Files

    Data Explorer will write the following files:

    Generated Makefile

    myprog.make contains values which you can change using you favorite text editor, such as where files should be installed if you do not want them installed into the default location or where files are installed if DX is not installed in its default directory. Some of the relevant variables are:

    Java Explorer Macros

    In order for Java Explorer to work, several macros were created to extend the Image Module. The macros are listed below:

    11.3 Interacting with Images

    Java Explorer provides interaction modes similar to those within Data Explorer: Rotate, Pan, Zoom, and Pick. A new interaction mode available in Java Explorer is called Orbit mode. Orbit mode produces an applet with a group of images that allows the users to feel as if they can minimally rotate the object quickly.

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