A method for combining Java applets
Original Publication Date: 1999-Oct-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Jun-20
Disclosed is a technique to combine pre-existing Java applets into a single applet in order to reduce network traffic and delays caused by the transfer of separate Java applets. The resulting applet will not suffer from potential problems associated with using the back and forward buttons on the browser. Such a scheme might be of benefit to application-like wizards, which might strive to maintain a sequence in which a user sees and interacts with panels. In this case the back and forward buttons of the browser should not be available to escape the desired sequence of panels. The resulting applet can also share resources in a more efficient manner, removing the need for inter-applet communication. The resulting applet does not need to be heavily modified in order to fit in, and it can use its own layout managers. In order to combine the applets, it is necessary to merge the code, renaming the methods using some derivative of the required applet methods names, e.g. start() becomes a1start(), a2start(). It is also necessary to rename global variables and local methods in order to avoid naming collisions. A simple variable is used to keep track of which (what is now a) sub-applet is in control. Within the start() method, the variable is checked, and the appropriate sub-applet’s method, e.g. a1start() is invoked. Certain control mechanisms, such as buttons, can be used to direct the applet to change views between sub-applets, since the combined applet’s event handler detects the button press and uses it as a directive for changing the control variable switching to another layout manager and re-laying out the switched-to sub-applet’s components. The browser’s back and forward buttons still work but cannot be used in switching between the sub-applets, since only the shared buttons control this.