Taking Advantage of Client-Side Class Files and Fonts

Presently all class files, pk font files, and dvi files must be downloaded to the client machine. We want to avoid this. The class files are the real problem. pk font files aren't that big, and most documents don't use very many. (One example I was shown, however, uses over a hundred.)
  1. It appears that Netscape will load classes from its local classpath even when the <applet> tag specifies a classpath, if the classes exist locally. To take advantage of this, modify the installation instructions to encourage users to add the IDVI classes to their standard Netscape classpath.

    It may also be worthwhile to make a minimal distribution, which can be downloaded from the idvi home page, of just the display classes.

  2. Accessing local files is much trickier, but necessary if we want to use local pk font files. The trouble is that local classes cannot access local files if the classes were loaded as part of an applet which had a codebase= tag (as far as I can tell). If it works at all, it will be through the use of a file: url; the Netscape implementation of the Java class library simply doesn't include an implementation for the File class (very wise). To make this work, it may be necessary to standardize on a path name, such as file:/usr/local/lib/IDVI/pk, which on most machines becomes a link to the real pk font directory.