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[java] Java Applet + loading data?

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I'm currently working on a game that's running as Java applet. Right now, I don't use any graphics yet, but in the future, the game has to load a bunch of bitmaps and definition files. I don't like the idea of shoving these into the JAR, because updating the graphics/definition files would mean re-creating the JAR file. The guy for who I'm building this misses the knowledge to do this, and writing a document for it means that I'm constantly supporting him because he doesn't know how to do it. So, I was thinking: Can I use a zip file, and download that from within the applet, open it, load the images, etc.? Toolmaker

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In a java applet you can load any external resource with a url, Including resources packed within .jar or .zip files.

in the URL instantiation you can specify the location.

Resource in a Jar file:
jar:http://<mydomain>/<myarchive>.jar!/images/myimage.gif

Resource in a Zip file:
jar:http://<mydomain>/<myarchive>.zip!/images/mgimage.gif

So basically the only thing that changed between the two is whether the arhive ends with .jar or .zip because their basically the same file types only a jar file can contain the META-INF folder which java uses to execute jar files.

To load an external image using is just create the URL object like so:

URL externalImage = new URL(jar:http://<mydomain>/<myarchive>.zip!/images/mgimage.gif);

Then use that as the arguement to an ImageIcon or however you want to load the image.

Example:
Image background = (new ImageIcon( new URL("jar:http://fairmi73.tripod.com/PunchOut/Test/PunchOut.zip!/stage.gif") ) ).getImage();

Hope that helps!

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