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javAPRS Security


Security is a major topic of conversation within the Java Community. Obviously the automatic downloading of untrusted programs has the potential for abuse. Java was designed to prevent a downloaded applet from doing any damage to your computer. The principle limitations are that an applet cannot access the file system in any way, and it can only contact the server from which it was run. Unfortunately, this limits the cool stuff you can do with Java. For example, there are several sites on the net that provide dynamic maps, it would be great to use these as a map source with javAPRS, but the security manager prevents this. It also means you can't connect to two different live servers and display the data in a browser.

The JDK allows this security to be turned off, however so far the browsers do not. As you are writing your page, keep this in mind. All the data must reside in a single network server if you want it to be viewable in a browser. You can run the applet locally with the Open File... command, but again, all data must then be on the local file system, and you must use local references to the data files.

javAPRS is now distributed as a signed applet. This allows access to off-site network ports and web sites. This allows javAPRS to be hosted on a web server completely separate from the APRS Internet network and maps can now be retrieved directly from Tiger and Mapblast. A list of available servers is at APRS Servers.


APRS is a registered trademark of APRS Software and Bob Bruninga, WB4APR.
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