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IntroductionOne of the frustrations about writing Java desktop applications is the setup needed to launch the Java Virtual Machine. This is often implemented using some platform-dependent launch scripts, which their only role is to find a suitable JRE and launch it with some options.This is not optimal, since this defeats the cross-platform nature of Java.Enter Appstart, the universal cross-platform Java application launcher.What is Appstart ?Appstart is a cross-platform application launcher (is written in Java itself), that relieves you from writing another shell/batch script to launch a Java desktop application. All you have to do is: put the appstart.jar in your application dir. You can rename it to your likings, such as run.jar, start.jar, your_app_name.jar setup the appstart.properties file, specifying the main class to launch and other VM options (see AppstartProperties) then put all your jars and classes in the subfolder "lib". Voila! You can now double-click the appstart.jar and your application is started, without hideous DOS windows, class-path headhaches or fears of the dreaded OutOfMemoryException.Even more: do you want to show a splash screen for your application ? Then place a splash.img file (can be jpeg, png or gif format) and you will automatically have a splash screen that is loaded at JRE startup (this feature leverages the -splash option of JavaSE 6).To develop Appstart i took inspiration from the Java Web Start technology, but this project is much simpler and oriented towards standard desktop applications.Features Easy set-up and configuration, uses a small start.jar file and a appstart.properties file. No fighting with class-path or current directory issues. Each application resides in its own folder in disk. Absolutely cross-platform No dependencies, only a Java Runtime Environment is needed Do not write and run .bat or .sh scripts anymore. All you ned to do is a double click on start.jar ! Specify system properties and VM heap space for the application in the appstart.properties file. No more hard-coded configuration or OutOfMemoryException ! Support for JavaSE 6 splash screen Open source, licensed with the MIT license
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