Java applets can add a dash of color to your web page, but boy are they a
pain to configure. Well, this tool makes it simple to create and install them, even for
the average user. AppletFX is basically a bundle of cool applet plug-ins, packaged with a
configuration "engine" that does all the coding.
AppletFX FE is the freeware bundle of 20 applets that include text effects, titles, menus, messages boxes, scrollers, sounds, and special effects. (It's a scaled-down demo for the commercial CE version, which carries 60 applets.) The applet images and effects are nice, and come with default settings so you can preview what each does. And of course, with their configurability, you can achieve looks ranging from tasteful to tacky.
The Visual Applet Configurator provides a three-paned, explorer-style user interface, that presents your available applets in a clickable tree. First, just open a new HTML file under Files, and pick an applet from the tree. ( You're basically inserting into the document, so remember to place the cursor anywhere within the Body tags -- or the program will remind you to!) Next, a configuration dialog specific to the applet comes up to guide you through the whole building process. Select the colors, fonts, add your text, and choose other applicable options. Click the Test button to preview in your browser, and tweak as often as you like. It's pretty fun.
When you're satisfied with the applet you've tested, just save your new HTML file. The program generates all the applet code, which is viewable in the main window. It also creates two companion files that make it run, the *.class file and the *.VAC file. These three files must stay in the same directory when you upload, or the applet won't run. (For this reason, you need to set your applet parameters while working in the Configurator, since if you try to directly edit the code saved in the HTML file, you wreck the linkage to the two instruction files.)
There's also an integrated upload/download function that allows automatic transfer of data files used by the applets, either to your web site or drive location. If you've paid your hard-earned cash for the CE version, there's a built-in security system to prevent your site visitors from copying your commercial applets for their own use. The online Help truly makes this program simple to use, so mainly you're up to you own sense of good taste.... The CE commercial version is not downloadable, but the freeware FE version gives you a good preview of how it works. The difference is in the number of supplied applets. Support is available to registered users, and new commercial applets are continually being developed.
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