Bombproof: guidelines for applets

Centre for Computational Geography
University of Leeds

This page lists the requirements that should to be met for applets on the applets download page.

The applets should be in a single jar file containing a proper directory heirarchy starting and classes should be in an appropriate package. Sourcecode should not be given. This ensures our web address remains in the APPLET archive field. To compile such a jar, use the jar command from the root of the package directories. The jar file should not contain unnecessary files from other packages, except where dependency tracing is difficult. A documented copy of the original code should also be left in the directory but unlinked, just in case you spontaneously combust.

A working example with data the users can download and replicate should be given.

User-friendly instructions should be given for the applets with a set of example data. Each PARAM tag should be examined, and the tags split into those that are essential and those which provide additional functionality. Java docs should not be given - the pages are for web developers, not programmers.

A version number should be given in the title field of the introductory page. The appropriate META tags should be filled in (keywords, description) and a contact point/author given. In addition there needs to be a brief discription of the groups that can use the applet, costs and licensing contacts.

The code must be bug free, work without contact from the developer and without additional coding. PARAMs should be checked for type and reasonableness, default behavours should be given for all PARAMs in the event of misuse: for essential PARAMs this can be a user-friendly warning in the console, all additional PARAMs must have defaults if missed. The code should aim to minimise user waiting - loading up images and controls rapidly and dealing with the more complex setting up as the user first admires the applet and reads information. Ideally early uploaded files should be displayed to the user as soon as possible, rather than waiting for all files to come across the network. The code must work on all reasonable java VMs (Netscape/IE 4.5+) or details of the plugin and limitations given explicitly.

Ideally the applet should be lightweight, fast loading, attractive, easily adapted to different webpage styles, and easy for the user to understand without instruction.

For further information on getting applets into the list, contact the Andy Evans.

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