While the full intricacies of web publishing fall beyond the scope of this Reference Center, if you’ve created a web page before, using JavaSketchpad should be relatively straightforward. (If you’ve not yet started web publishing, consider purchasing a book on the subject or searching the web itself for more information. There are thousands of sites devoted to becoming a web author.) Before getting started with JavaSketchpad, you should be familiar with these terms.
•HTML file: This is a document that describes the fundamental appearance of a web page and is written in HTML, the internal language of the web.
•Web directory: This is a storage area on your computer, or a computer you have access to, that contains HTML files that describe web pages, as well as image files and other components that appear within a web page or set of web pages that visitors can see in their browsers.
Because your browser can open local files as well as URLs, a folder on your own hard disk can serve as a web directory for JavaSketchpad testing purposes, even if it’s not accessible to the general public via the Internet.
•Applet: This is a special computer program that resides in a web directory and that provides extended functionality to the web pages (HTML files) stored on that site. Applets are different from browser “plug-ins.” Visitors have to install plug-ins to their browsers themselves, before they can access sites requiring plug-ins. In other words, plug-ins reside in the visitor’s computer. Applets, on the other hand, reside in the same web directory as the HTML files that require them, so visitors don’t need to worry about installing applets or reconfiguring their browsers to support them. Instead, applets are like HTML files: a visitor’s browser accesses them from your web directory as needed to display your applet-enhanced web pages; the visitor doesn’t have to worry about what happens “behind the scenes.”
Putting this all together, JavaSketchpad is an applet that you can place in your web directory so that your HTML files present dynamic, interactive Sketchpad illustrations to your visitors.