Cellsprings Help: Web Edition Specifics


Cellsprings/Web is written to the JDK 1.1 spec. As such, it requires that your browser have a JDK 1.1 compatible runtime installed. Such runtimes shipped with Netscape 4.06 and later (except Mac versions), MSIE 4 and later, and Apple's MRJ of reasonably recent vintage. Unfortunately, however, even if you have a nominally compatible browser, the Java client-side situation is such that I can't assure the applet will function properly without specific testing under the target environment. Since I haven't yet had much opportunity for such testing, robust compatibility should be viewed as a work-in-progress. If you encounter problems, you're encouraged to return later after "beta-testing" - or better yet, send me a bug report. Also, feel free to try Cellsprings' Java 1.0 compatible predecessor WebsideCA, but be aware that its development was frozen some time ago and thus it is comparatively limited in features and content.

File Saving and Use

Cellsprings/Web supports saving CA-related files to the server. The two main potential uses for this somewhat experimental feature are (1) to save rules and seeds for re-use in the applet and (2) to create animations and still-graphics for use elsewhere - on webpages or what have you.

In making use of this feature it is important to realize that when you save a file it does not go directly to the public directories, but rather to special upload directories. There will be a lag time of minutes to several hours - or on rare occasions days - before files are moved to the public directories. The easiest way to view the current contents of the directories is to select the View | Browse User Files menu option within the applet, which launches a browser window for the purpose. Once files have "gone public" they are of course available to visitors for downloading using their browsers and, in the case of rules and seeds, opening into the applet for running via the File menu.

I can make no guarantees as to how long any files you save will stay on my site, but if they are of value to the applet as data or of graphical interest in themselves they may very well be left there indefinitely. Still, it would be wise to promptly use your browser to download a copy of anything you want to keep. That goes double for animated GIFs, owing to their potential size in the face of my site's limited disk quota, and their export-only nature with respect to the applet.

Finally, be aware that the applet imposes an 128K GIF recording limit, so as to avoid network infelicities and to economize on server disk space. If you go with smaller universes and cellsizes you'll find you can squeeze a lot of frames into that limit, but if that isn't satisfactory you're encouraged to download the desktop version of Cellsprings, which imposes no such limits.

Copyright © 1998-2000 J. M. G. Elliott.