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Tip of the Day
Language: Java
Expertise: Beginner
Jul 23, 1998

Displaying Help from an Application

It's tempting to use an HTML file to provide help for a Java application, but how do you know which browser is installed on the run time platform and where it is located? On a Windows system you don't need to know, because the .htm or .html file extension should be associated with the browser, and the "start" command can make the connection for you:
 
boolean win = System.getProperty("os.name")
           .toLowerCase().startsWith("win");
if (win) {
    Runtime runt = Runtime.getRuntime();
    try {
        runt.exec("start YourHelp.html");
    }
    catch (Exception ex) {}
}
If a copy of the browser is already active, it will be re-used. Unfortunately this technique does not work on a Unix platform.
Tom Yarker
 
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