public final class BrowserLauncher extends Object
Yes, this is platform-specific code, and yes, it may rely on classes on certain platforms that are not part of the standard JDK. What we're trying to do, though, is to take something that's frequently desirable but inherently platform-specific -- opening a default browser -- and allow programmers (you, for example) to do so without worrying about dropping into native code or doing anything else similarly evil.
Anyway, this code is completely in Java and will run on all JDK 1.1-compliant systems without modification or a need for additional libraries. All classes that are required on certain platforms to allow this to run are dynamically loaded at runtime via reflection and, if not found, will not cause this to do anything other than returning an error when opening the browser.
There are certain system requirements for this class, as it's running through Runtime.exec(), which is Java's way of making a native system call. Currently, this requires that a Macintosh have a Finder which supports the GURL event, which is true for Mac OS 8.0 and 8.1 systems that have the Internet Scripting AppleScript dictionary installed in the Scripting Additions folder in the Extensions folder (which is installed by default as far as I know under Mac OS 8.0 and 8.1), and for all Mac OS 8.5 and later systems. On Windows, it only runs under Win32 systems (Windows 95, 98, and NT 4.0, as well as later versions of all). On other systems, this drops back from the inherently platform-sensitive concept of a default browser and simply attempts to launch Firefox via a shell command.
This code is Copyright 1999-2001 by Eric Albert (email@example.com) and may be redistributed or modified in any form without restrictions as long as the portion of this comment from this paragraph through the end of the comment is not removed. The author requests that he be notified of any application, applet, or other binary that makes use of this code, but that's more out of curiosity than anything and is not required. This software includes no warranty. The author is not responsible for any loss of data or functionality or any adverse or unexpected effects of using this software.
Steven Spencer, JavaWorld magazine (Java Tip 66)
Thanks also to Ron B. Yeh, Eric Shapiro, Ben Engber, Paul Teitlebaum, Andrea Cantatore, Larry Barowski, Trevor Bedzek, Frank Miedrich, and Ron Rabakukk
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