Welcome to the second JDistro newsletter!
#002 ---- 1st of December 2004 ---- http://www.jdistro.com/
1. JDistro interviewed!
4. What's happening?
5. Tips and Tricks
1. JDistro interviewed on the web!
O'Reilly has interviewed the JDistro team for their website
ONJava.com. The interview, attended for Java developpers, can be read
Do you want to review this newsletter before publishing? Do you
want to translate it in other languages? We would welcome your help.
3. What's happening?
In the JDistro code front, the release 0.32 has some significant
changes, but we'll focus on one of the most important: Bytecode
replacement now use ASM . What does that means?
You may probably know that the standard Java classes do not support
running multiple applications in the same JVM. For example, an
application calls System.exit() to quit, resulting in effectively
closing the JVM and all other applications that could run with it.
In order to prevent it, JDistro dynamically changes all the calls
to java.lang.System to calls to com.jdistro.WSys by modifying the
bytecode of the loaded application.
The change was made by scanning and replacing the text in the
bytecode directly, this is fast but leads to some compatibility
problems. For example, jEdit needed a patch to run in JDistro.
We know use ASM that is a more high level bytecode manipulation
library. We can now make very precise modifications, solving this kind
of problems. jEdit is now fully compliant and the classloader issue
is history. Moreover, you can trust Guillaume to find other use for
this powerfull library.
4. Tips and Tricks
** Installing a new Entity
As JDistro can run java webstart, applets, java applications and
midlets, it uses the more general concept of Entity, instead of
applications in other desktops. Installing new entities in JDistro
will create the corresponding icons. Then you can run it again in just
one click !
To do this, open the JDistro menu (the pear at the left or top of
the panel), then choose "Install an Entity". A dialog box appears
where you have two choices:
Either you select an application in the online catalog, by selecting
the "catalog:" checkbox and choosing it in the list next to it.
Or you can fill the URL textfield. This field can contains the url
of the html page containing the applet you want to run (for example
 for a nice menu applet) or the url to a .jnlp file ( for a
language learning tool).
You can install any Java application residing in your hard drive
too. Simply browse your application installation directory using the
folder icon at the right of the textfield, and JDistro will browse all
subdirectories and automatically generate the classpath and icons for
If your application was installed by Install Anywhere, you must
just select the .lax file residing in it's installation directory, and
JDistro will read it to generate the entity.
Then a message will be displayed, the icon will be created and put
on the desktop, in the panel or in the menu (you can later hide some
of them by editing the entity). Double-click on the icon to start your
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