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Getting help

If you follow the instructions below (as best you can) and are having problems running the code, please ask a question in the discussion boards

Getting Started

The programs distributed from this site are all in Java. This means that they will run on any computer with the Java Runtime Environment. Before you can run any of these programs, you will first need to install Java. These programs have all been verified to work under Java 1.4, but may also work under Java 1.2 and later. You will need to have either the Java Runtime Environment installed, or have the Software Development Kit installed. Your computer may have come with that software preinstalled. You can download Java here; select the "SDK" if you want to be able to write java code or modify the application you're downloading. Otherwise, just get the "JRE".

Once you have verified that Java is installed on your computer, you can download an application from this site, which will be a file named "something.jar". The ".jar" means that this is a Java ARchive, which is a number of files that have been bundled into a single file. You do not need to go through any installation processes in order to use the code---you simply run java on the jar file: "java -jar something.jar". This assumes that you have downloaded this file into a directory on your hard drive and that you are using a shell (or a command prompt, if you use Windows) to issue commands from that directory. Double-clicking the code (Windows/Mac) will probably not work, because you cannot give arguments with a mouse click. If none of this makes sense to you, consider using the web version of the code. It's the same code, but you don't need to download anything to run it. If this does make sense to you but you're aggravated by the hassle of running command-line code, please consider converting the application to a Swing GUI and making it available to others through this site.

Every application supports a "-help" option to explain its command-line syntax. For example, "java -jar something.jar -help" would give a few lines describing what options it needs and what it does.

Also included in the Jar file are all the Javadocs and Java source code files. These won't be useful to you unless you want to extend, modify, or poke around the code. However, you should feel free to do so; you will need to have the Java SDK installed. Note that not all of the files are present to deploy the servlet version on your own website. Please let us know if you need to do that.

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