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Installing WebbotLib Studio

There are two different ways to install WebbotLib Studio:

  • My Downloader utility
  • JNLP - also known as Java Web Start or JWS for short
Read the relevant sections below - and once you get to see a window prompting you to 'Set a Workspace' then the softfware is installed and running and you should refer to the following page.

In the past I have given 'early adopters' a link to download a one off installation. I'm not doing this any more. Mainly because months later neither you, nor I, know what version you are using - and I am not fixing issues in old release versions. By using the Downloader or JNLP then I know you are on the latest release.

Installing via Downloader

The Downloader was written by me to try to overcome some of the 'technical issues' introduced by JNLP (see the drawbacks listed in the 'Installing via JNLP' section below) most of which are totally out of your and my control.

For the 'techie' reader then it uses plain old HTTP to fetch the JNLP file, parses it, and uses HTTP to fetch any other referenced files. Since HTTP is what web browsers use then it should by pass most security checks - unless your IT Dept has decided to block my web site! Having fetched any new, or out of date, files then it executes them locally via the 'Run' button.

If you decide to use Downloader then just make sure that you always use it to run the program - as it will make sure you are running the latest version.

Note that there were some alpha releases of WebbotLib Studio and so any 'old hands' need to make sure that it is picking up the latest code. To do this:

  • Run the Downloader
  • Click on the line 'WebbotLib Studio' 
  • Click the 'Properties...' button
  • Make sure the 'Remote URL' field is set to 'http://webbot.org.uk/WebbotStudio/WebbotLibStudio.jnlp'

 

Installing via JNLP

There are benefits to using the JNLP installation:

  • A single clickable link is used to upload, install and run WebbotLib Studio
  • The same link can be used to run WebbotLib Studio again and, if you are online, then if a newer version exists it will automatically be downloaded and used.


But there are also drawbacks:

  • Since you will be wanting to read/write your Projects, Board designs etc, to your computer then WebbotLib Studio needs to run with a high level of permissions to your local machine.
  • Understandably this is seen as a security risk - eg would you be happy to download any piece of software from the web that can read, write, delete files on your hard drive without you being prompted? Hopefully not!
  • Given that your computer is going to check these things then it can either: flattly refuse to run the program,  throw up a dialog box showing the risks tolet you decide, or just go ahead and run it. Which of these options it chooses to do will depend on your Java security settings and also, probably, the web browser/version you are using, the version of Java you are using and, perhaps, your operating system. With all of these combinations then it's difficult to give exact installation instructions for every computer set up.
  • If you are using a machine provided by your employer then you may not be allowed to make some of the changes I suggest - as your IT Dept won't let you. Equally, if you are at your office, then their firewall set up may add further issues. Nothing I can do about their policies!
  • As Oracle try to plug more and more security loopholes then newer versions of Java introduce more hoops to jump through to make JNLP work. To the extent tha, in the future, it may become almost possible to use. Don't blame me, or Oracle, just blame the idiots thatwant to use the internet for doing bad things.

The JNLP installation of WebbotLib Studio uses what is called a 'self signed certificate'. In summary: this means that I can vouch that the software you are about to install was written by me and hasn't been modified by anyone else. However: the internet Gods don't know anything about me and my association with this web site. In an ideal world I would use a 'trusted certificate' - and go through their checks that I am who I say I am - but given that this costs on-going money then I  don't want to incur this cost. Would prefer to spend it on new sensors/devices/features!! Hence I am an 'untrusted authority' to the internet Gods.

Step 1

Try clicking on this link and let's see what happens! If everything installs and runs (ie you are asked to 'Set a Workspace' then you are 'good to go'. Go to Step 4.

Step 2

You may be presented with a window saying things like 'Application Blocked by Secury Settings' and/or 'Your security settings have blocked a self-signed application from running'. But the key thing is that your only option is to click the OK button and cancel the process.

Here is an example from Windows XP:-

 JNLP Blocked

To try to fix thiss we need to make some changes in the Java Security configuration.

In Windows  'Control Panel' click on the 'Java' option. This will display a dialog- click on the 'Security' tab and it should look something like this:-

 Java Security panel

Your current security level is probably 'High' or 'Very High'.

Edit the Exception Site List and add 'http://webbot.org.uk' to say that you trust things from my site - if you are happy to do so. NB if your PC is managed by your IT Dept then you may not be able to do this - in which case you are stuck and cannot use JNLP!

Go back to Step 1 and try the link again.  If your security level is 'Very High' and it still gets blocked then try selecting 'High' instead - if you are allowed to do so.

Step 3

You should now be seeing a dialog that asks if you want to run the application - warning that it may be a security risk.

Here is a Windows 8.1 example:

Java Security prompt

If you're happy then go ahead and tick the 'I accept....' and then click Run.

Step 4

You should now find a desktop short cut to allow you to run WebbotLib Studio again. Note that if you ever clear your internet cache / temporary files then this short cut may become invalid. In which case click on the link in Step 1 above to download a fresh copy.