Java Web Start

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Avatar (SF) Ali Bou... 2 post(s)

I’m wondering why you do not use Java Web Start to deploy JBidwatcher ? You would have the same rights than an ormal Java app, but updates will be done automatically as well as shortcuts handling (at least for windows).

Installation will be also more automatic from the user point of view.

Avatar Morgan Schweers Administrator 1,204 post(s)

The basic answer is that when I first tried JNLP as a solution, it was in its infancy, and really, REALLY not ready for real use. It was seriously flawed, and not just because you couldn’t load .JPG files out of a self-signed jar using the resource apis, although that was a deal-breaker at the time.

One other notable problem I had with Java Web Start is that it used to (I haven’t tried it recently) scream, "DON’T RUN THIS PROGRAM!’ for self-signed .jars, which I could only make go away by paying $250/year for a code signing certificate. I found this annoying and off-putting, and can’t imagine how my less technical users would feel.

Recently I received a very good collection of patches and such for deploying a JNLP version of JBidwatcher, but the primary problem is that I need my own server. It’s hard (and may be impossible) to do off of the standard Sourceforge server.

Even if it were possible on the server-side, the download system right now tracks my downloads for me. Since JNLP needs direct access to the .jar file, I would lose any statistics on how many people are downloading it. (Sourceforge does not keep per-site logs.)

All this is not THAT relevant; in truth, I think I need to move to self-hosting of the website and a few other things anyway, because it’s just time for that. Single-click downloading is a must, and Sourceforge just doesn’t offer it, and I understand why. I’ll keep using the CVS, the discussion areas, the bug tracking, etc., but I’ll probably move the web site and downloads to my own site, at which point offering a Web Start version makes more sense.

There’s the basic thoughts behind my lack of use of Web Start right now.

The upshot is that the set of changes for putting a web-start enabled version up were really nicely done, and I’m looking forward to putting it up…but it needs to be self-hosted, before I can do that.

— Morgan Schweers, CyberFOX!

p.s. The real problem with JBidwatcher’s updating is not the ‘on launch’ update check, it’s more then ’It’s been running for 20 days, and a critical new version is out…’ update check, which Web Start doesn’t deal with. Thankfully, when I discarded Web Start in the early days, I instead implemented the update process JBidwatcher has now.

Avatar (SF) Ali Bou... 2 post(s)

I agree with you on lot’s of points. I use myself Web Start to deploy some client application to lot’s of internet users, and yes the “Don’t install this app” panel is a must kill (it’s been replaced by something less frightening in the actual 1.6 Beta). And there are some other shortcomings in WebStart apps.
But definitely using the Auto Update, Install and shortcuts creation is great for many users just because they don’t.have to do something else than click on the web button ‘yes I want to use this app’.

So far so good, as I’m not frigthen by running a jar it’s not a big deal for me :)