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Alice - App Central Portal for JNLP


Kick Start Alice Now download link

What is Alice?

Alice is Vamp's App Central portal that helps you find apps on the web from dispersed sources and allows you to browse app catalogs in a unified format.

Alice supports RSS channels for app listings and loads JNLP app descriptors referenced in RSS channels and displays their content such as vendor, title, version, homepage or files in a unified format to give a quick overview and an in-depth understanding of the app before committing to a lenghty download using Web Start.

First Impression - Alice In Action

Alice dressed up in Kunststoff L&F showing Vamp's app channel.

first impression

Roll Your Own App Channel

Alice uses standard RSS 0.91 channels. The only difference is that you point to JNLP startup files in the link element instead of pointing to HTML pages. Example:

<?xml version="1.0"?>
<rss version="0.91">

 <channel>
   <title>Venus Application Publisher</title>
   <link>http://www.vamphq.com</link>
   <description>
      All the tools to deliver rich, cross-plattform, zero-admin
      desktop apps built on open standards today
   </description>

  <item>
    <title>Alice - App Central for JNLP Beta 1</title>
    <link>http://www.jenomics.de/vamp/alice.jnlp</link>
    <description>Find the Best Apps On The Web</description>
  </item>

  <item>
    <title>Pam - Package Manager for Web Start Beta 1</title>
    <link>http://www.jenomics.de/vamp/pam.jnlp</link>
    <description>Create and Share Your Own CD App Collections</description>
  </item>

  <item>
    <title>Vamp - Venus Application Publisher for JNLP Beta 4</title>
    <link>http://www.jenomics.de/vamp/venus.jnlp</link>
    <description>Package, Sign and Publish Your App</description>
  </item>

  <item>
    <title>Clare - Cache Explorer for Web Start Beta 2</title>
    <link>http://www.jenomics.de/vamp/clare.jnlp</link>
    <description>Web Start's Cache Revealed</description>
  </item>

  <item>
    <title>Vanessa - Multi-Schema Validator for JNLP Beta 1</title>
    <link>http://www.jenomics.de/vamp/vanessa.jnlp</link>
    <description>DTD, XML Schema, Relax</description>
  </item>

  <item>
    <title>Hazel - JNLP to HTML converter Beta 1</title>
    <link>http://www.jenomics.de/vamp/hazel.jnlp</link>
    <description>Create Your Own App Catalog</description>
  </item>

  </channel>
</rss>

And that's how the channel looks like after massaged by Alice:

Alice Channel Example

For more information about RSS channels check out the links below:

Your Channel Here - Channel Guide

I will post all app channels here. Send your RSS channel link to gerald@vamphq.com and I will add it here along with proper credit.

Limitations

Alice currently supports only RSS 0.91. Alice currently displays only the main JNLP startup file and doesn't load extensions on which the app depends recursively. Alice currently has no built-in caching and therefore, doesn't allow offline browsing. Alice currently doesn't support bookmarks and you, therfore, have to type in the web address manually. However, you can set the startup home app channel according to your taste using the alice.home-app-url property.


All the tools to deliver rich, cross-plattform, zero-admin desktop apps built on open standards today
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Send your comments, suggestions or praise to webmistress@vamphq.com Copyright © 2001, 2002 Gerald Bauer