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RealApplets.com :\ Help \ Customizing_the_applet

You can customize most applets to fit your needs and desires better. First you 'll need to download and extract the applet in a working directory, take a look at installing on how to do that.

You can only customize features of the applet, on features the applet was designed to be customizable on. Simply said: if it isn't included as a parameter in the examples it is not adjustable. Take a look at the documentation on the webpages with the applet to see what you can change and what you can not. You can always make a suggestion to us to include some additional parameters in the next update of the applet.

The easiest way to learn to configure an applets is by looking at the examples that are included.

Open the webpage of the example that bests fits your desire in a text editor (for example Notepad). Scroll to the APPLET part and its parameters. Anything between <!-- and --> is extra information and it can be deleted completely.

1. Size and other APPLET attributes

An applet heading can look like this:
<APPLET CODE="AppletName.class" ARCHIVE="AppletName.jar" CODEBASE="." WIDTH=100 HEIGHT=70>

Never change the CODE or ARCHIVE attribute. If the ARCHIVE attribute is included, that means that all *.class files are compressed into one single *.jar file for faster loading.

With the WIDTH and HEIGHT attribute you can change the size of the applet, however if the applet does not support this, it will not work properly. Most non-game applets will adjust themselves to almost any size. In some cases height needs to be relative to the width. Take a look in the documentation to find out what is possible.

2. Parameters

A parameter looks like this:
<PARAM NAME=ParameterName VALUE="data">

The applet retrieves the data and uses it to know how the applet must look like or behave. Most parameters are necessary and without them the applet will not work. Adding parameters that aren't described by the applet documentation will never be used by the applet.

With every update of an applet, the parameters usually change. Make sure you use the correct set of parameters with each version of the applet. There is no difference between the unregistered and registered version's set of parameters.

We are trying to put a standard of parameter names in our applets. This is a list of parameters that might be included:

  • RegistrationKey: If you register an applet you get a registration key to fill in this applet.
  • Color: Defines a color of something in RGB format (000000 - FFFFFF). For example: BackgroundColor.
  • FontStyle: Defines the style of the font of something. Most standard fonts are supported.
  • FontSize: Defines the size of the font of something. We advice a minimum value of 10.
  • URL: Defines an absolute or relative URL to link to.
  • TargetFrame: Defines the frame in which to open a certain link.
  • File: Defines the name of a data, picture or sound file to process and use.
  • Yes or No parameters: parameters that disable or enable a function based on the parameter. Yes or True (case-insensitive) will enable the function, anything else will disable it.

3. Data files (*.txt)

Data files contain data loaded by the applet, for example: a list of messages to display. Every data file is in the directory or a subdirectory of the applet directory (if there are any data files at all). You can change the *.txt files with a text editor (for example Notepad), but you'll need to make sure you don't break the rules of the data files organization. Most likely those rules are very simple, such as "separate all your messages by a newline character". Sometimes you will need to follow a tag-like protocol, as in NewsPro and QuizMaster. Take a look at the documentation of the applet to know how they are organized.

4. Pictures (*.jpg, *.jpeg and *.gif)

If you are allowed to change the pictures of the applet (only when you have registered the applet), you can change the pictures with a photo editor, such as Paint, Paint Shop Pro, Photo Shop, ...

In the applet code itself, there is not a single picture included. The applet must always load them in first. The bigger the pictures are, the longer the loading time takes. Every picture is in the directory or a subdirectory of the applet directory (if there are any picture files at all). If you change them, try to make the size of the pictures in pixels the same size as they are shown in the applet. Otherwise the pictures might not fit or they might be stretched, which means quality loss. Jpg and (transparent) gif pictures are supported, but animated gif most likely not.

5. Sounds (*.au)

We advice not to edit the sound files, because only certain properties are supported. Of course you can still try it with a good sound editor (when registered).

6. Testing and troubleshooting

After you customized the applet, you need to test it before uploading it into your website. Open the webpage containing the applet with your browser to take a look at the result. Misconfiguration that causes the applet not to work as expected is not uncommon. You might also want to tweak the configuration of the applet so it fits your desires more.

After each time you adjusted the configuration of the applet, the old version still might be cached inside the browser. This could cause you to keep trying to solve the same problem, while it is already solved. Close your browser completely (every window) and start it again to delete your cache memory. Pressing control-F5 in Internet Explorer and control-r in Netscape usually helps too.

If the applet does not work, open the Java Console for a description of the problem. You can open the Java Console in Internet Explorer 5.5 with: view - Java Console.

This is a list of common Java Console error messages and how to solve them:

  • java.lang.ClassNotFoundException: Make sure the applet class or jar file is located in the directory that CODEBASE points or in the same directory as the webpage containing the applet.
  • java.lang.NullPointerException at java/applet/Applet.getImage (...): Make sure the picture files are in the directory that CODEBASE points or in the same directory as the webpage containing the applet and the names of the files match.
  • Color parameter outside of expected range: Make sure the Color parameters have correct values.
  • java.lang.NullPointerException: Check your parameters again.
  • Thread.suspend() was called. Deadlock might result: This is not an error. A few of our older applets sometimes report this.

File names are case-sensitive!

If some pictures aren't show, make sure the picture files are in the directory that CODEBASE points or in the same directory as the webpage containing the applet and the names of the files match.

7. Bug report and support

If you think you have found a bug in an applet, download the latest version to make sure it isn't already solved. If it isn't, notify us by filling in the contact us form and we will try to solve the bug as soon as possible.

Customers can contact us with any problem in the support section or by sending an email to the programmer (privilege). If you're not a customer and you have read the entire help section and you still don't know how to solve the problem, contact us with the contact us form.