HTick10 and VTick10  applet documentation
version 1.00 release (08 June 1998)
Copyright © the Java Hermit 1998/9

Contents

Conditions of use
HTick and VTick are free for both private and commercial use, however they must not be sold or offered for download without the author's consent. The author retains copyright and accepts no responsibility for any loss, damage or other consequence alleged to be a result of use. Please acknowledge use by arranging a link from your web pages to the Hermit's site, HTML code examples...

  <A HREF="http://www.celticedge.com/hermit/index.html">
  VTick applet by the Hermit</A>
or use the ticker.gif file included in the download zip...

  <A HREF="http://www.celticedge.com/hermit/index.html">
  <IMG SRC="ticker.gif" WIDTH=88 HEIGHT=31></A>

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Version History
version 1.00 release 08 June 1998

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Applet Overview
HTick and VTick are simple ticker (message scrolling) applets designed for simplicity and small code size. Htick scrolls messages horizontally, VTick scrolls vertically.

The applets are configurable via parameters (listed below).

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Class files
Class files contain compiled code. HTick and VTick each use two...
  HTick:  HTick10.class (4.3k - main), HTick10a.class (1.8k)
  VTick:  VTick10.class (4.4k - main), VTick10a.class (2.4k)
The class files marked (...main) are those that must be specified in the APPLET tag. For an applet to work both class files must be present. Remember class files names are Case Sensitive and are binary files that must be FTP'd in binary mode.

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The APPLET Tag
In your HTML code the applet tag should look like this (VTick assumed)...
  <APPLET CODE="VTick10.class" WIDTH=xxx HEIGHT=xxx>
    (PARAM tags go here)
  </APPLET>
where CODE= specifies the name of the applet's main class file, WIDTH= and HEIGHT= specify the required applet size in screen pixels. Remember class file names are Case Sensitive and note the use of quotation marks to avoid accidental case changes.

Usually class files are stored in the same directory that contains the HTML file containing the APPLET code (called the documentbase directory). Class files can be located elsewhere by using the CODEBASE tag modifier.

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Applet Parameters
Parameters specify how an applet behaves. They are inserted in the HTML code at the point (PARAM tags go here) in the APPLET tag example above.

Note that PARAM NAME= entries are not case sensistive but VALUE= entries may be and, where quotation marks are shown in the included examples they should be retained to avoid accidental case changes (usually path or filename info).

Most PARAMs have a preset default value. If an applet instance can use the default the related parameter can be omitted from the HTML code.

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  BORDERWIDTH parameter
Example:  <PARAM NAME=BORDERWIDTH VALUE=x>
Default value: 1

Where x is a decimal number between 0 and 8, represesenting the pixel thickness of the applet border. Set to zero for no border.

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 BORDERSTYLE parameter
Example:  <PARAM NAME=BORDERSTYLE VALUE=x>
Default value: 1 (solid)

Where x is a decimal number between 1 and 4:
1 = solid, 2 = 3D raised, 3 = 3D sunk, 4 = 3D frame.

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 BORDERCOLOR parameter
Example:  <PARAM NAME=BORDERCOLOR VALUE=x>
Default value: #CCCCCC (silver gray)

Where x is the required color of the applet border. May be a decimal or hexadecimal color number.

NOTE 1:
3D borders only work correctly with certain colors, try to use 'browser safe' medium bright colors. Colors are futher discussed in the parameter color values section.

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  BACKCOLOR parameter
Example:  <PARAM NAME=BACKCOLOR VALUE=x>
Default value: #000000 (black)

Where x is the required color of the applet background. May be a decimal or hexadecimal color number.

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  TEXTCOLOR parameter
Example:  <PARAM NAME=TEXTCOLOR VALUE=x>
Default value: #FFFFFF (white)

Where x is the required color of the captions text. May be a decimal or hexadecimal color number.

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  TEXTFONT parameter
Example:  <PARAM NAME=TEXTFONT VALUE="xxx,y,z">
Default value: "Helvetica,0,12"

Where xxx is the captions text font facename, y is the font style, z is the font size in points. Comma "," delimiters (without leading or trailing spaces) separate facename, style and size.

Available styles are 0 = plain, 1 = bold, 2 = italic, 3 = bold italic.

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 SCROLLSPEED parameter
Example:  <PARAM NAME=SCROLLSPEED VALUE=x>
Default value: 25 (HTick), 15 (VTick)

Where x is a decimal number representing the scrolling speed in milliseconds. Ranges between approximately 10 and 30 usually produce the smoothest results.

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 FRAMESPEED parameter  (VTick only)
Example:  <PARAM NAME=FRAMESPEED VALUE=x>
Default value: 2000

Where x is a decimal number representing the frame speed in milliseconds (the amount of time captions remain stationary between scrolls).

NOTE 1:  Only VTick uses this parameter.

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 CAPTIONSPACE parameter  (HTick only)
Example:  <PARAM NAME=CAPTIONSPACE VALUE=x>
Default value: 10

Where x is a decimal number representing the number of spaces to insert between adjacent captions.

NOTE 1:  Only HTick uses this parameter.

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 CAPTION parameter
Example:  <PARAM NAME=CAPTION? VALUE="xxx">
Default value: None - captions must be specified.

where "xxx" is any text string. Replace the ? with a number starting with 1. For example, if there are three captions specify 3 separate PARAM tags named CAPTION1, CAPTION2 and CAPTION3.

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Parameter Color Values
Color values can be decimal or hexadecimal. Decimal values require no prefix, hex values can be prefixed with '0x' or '#'. You can't use color string constants such as "Red".

To ensure colors display as accurately as possible always use colors from the 'safe browser palette'. In hexadecimal notation safe colors are built from combinations of 00, 33, 66, 99, CC and FF. For example, #3366CC is a 'safe' color but #3366DD is not.

hexadecimal colors are arranged #RRGGBB. For example in color #3366CC value 33 is the RED component, 66 is the GREEN component and CC is the BLUE component.

  • Spectroscope, an excellent FREE utility program for selecting safe colors (Windows 95/NT), is available from http://www.headoffice.co.uk.

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  • HTML code examples
    VTick and HTick applet tag code examples are presented in ticker_code.txt.

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    If you have Problems...
    Make sure JAVA is ENABLED in your browser. Remember local testing of applets in some browsers may not work. Netscape can take some time (minutes) to initialise it's Java virtual machine when displaying local pages. Most HTML WYSIWYG editors won't run Java applets in their internal browsers. Always invoke your test page from a browser bookmark (this makes the browser think it is reading from a URL).

    It's always essential to final test over a live Internet connection (use a test page nobody else can view before you release it on the general public).

    Problems are nearly always caused by spelling mistakes, invalid directory information or case sensitivity problems.

    When FTP-ing to your site ensure class files are sent in binary mode, and check your FTP program is not set to convert all filenames to lowercase (class file names are case sensitive).

    Please read this documentation carefully before contacting the Hermit for technical assistance. If requesting help include as much information as possible (description of problem, browser and OS details, testing online or offline?). Include a copy of your HTML (please do not mail graphics files) and, if available, a URL to the page on which the problem occurs.

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    ©The Java Hermit 1998
    E-mail:
    hermit@celticedge.com
    Homepage: http://www.celticedge.com/hermit/