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findinsite-cd - Platforms/Browser/Java VM Compatibility


Windows
Mac
Linux
Internationalisation
CD formats
Before buying a findinsite-cd license, please check carefully for any problems running findinsite-cd using Internet Explorer under Windows XP SP2, Windows Vista, Windows 7 (and equivalent). These versions of Windows have a serious effect on locally-served active content. It is your responsibility to confirm that your use of findinsite-cd does not run into problems with these systems.] Full details

The FindinSite-CD runtime is designed to be platform independent so it should run on any computer with a browser that supports Java.  However system capabilities do vary, so some FindinSite-CD features do not work in some browsers.  We strive hard to work around any problems that we find.  Keeping up with new versions of browsers etc is quite a job, so let us know if you find any problems.

The FindinSite-CD development kit and the FindinSite-CD-Wizard set up tool are Windows-only applications.  However the development kit also contains the Findex indexing tool; this is a Java application that should run on any Java enabled computer.

If your CD is being used on non-Windows computers, please read the CD format section below.  FindinSite-CD copes well with internationalisation issues but it is worth checking that typical users can see your content.

Special compatibilty problems:

  • FindinSite-CD is affected by security changes in Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2), Windows Vista, Windows 7 or equivalent - see here for details.
  • Getting an "Out of memory" problem - see here for details.

Compatibility summary

  • Users must have Java installed for their browser.
  • The standard FindinSite-CD window runs well on most systems.
  • The HTML results technique works in most recent Windows browsers but does NOT work in most Mac browsers.
  • Field searching works in most recent Windows browsers but does NOT work in most Mac browsers.
  • Word highlighting of search text in web pages only works in some Windows browsers.
  • The FindinSite-CD runtime for Windows Internet Explorer is Authenticode signed so that you can verify that it was produced by PHDCC.

  • Summary: if any of your users are likely to use non-Windows computers, do not use the HTML Results, JavaScript interface or Field searching features.

Background

The FindinSite-CD runtime is a Java applet.  It uses Java code that should run even in old browsers, eg Internet Explorer 3.

A browser must be Java-enabled, ie include a Java Virtual Machine (commonly abbreviated to a Java VM).  Some old browsers came with a built-in Java VM.  Some new browsers provide a Java VM download or installation option.  For other browsers you need to find a Java VM plug-in to install.  See our online Guide to getting a Java VM.  Windows Internet Explorer users of FindinSite-CD can ask us for our copy of Microsoft's Java VM.

The standard FindinSite-CD window is displayed inside a browser page. All results are displayed within this window. Do not use percentages to specify the size of the FindinSite-CD window - some browsers do not support this feature well.

The word highlighting feature of FindinSite-CD requires the browser to support the web page Document Object Model.  Windows Internet Explorer has supported this since version 4.  Other browsers now also support DOM - see lower down this page for details of which browsers support FindinSite-CD word highlighting.

The HTML Results and JavaScript interface FindinSite-CD features rely on the browser supporting communication between Java and JavaScript.  This does work on most recent Windows browsers but does not work on most Mac browsers.

Field searching also uses Java to JavaScript communication. This does work on most recent Windows browsers but does not work on most Mac browsers.

The compatibility problem

The problem for users of FindinSite-CD is that there are several main browsers. Although there is just one predominant Java VM, the Sun Java VM, new versions of this keep appearing. Add to the mix, different computer platforms and operating system versions. The end result is that FindinSite-CD may not run in an identical way for each user.

FindinSite-CD has been checked by us or our clients in quite a few systems.  We tend to concentrate on Windows because this is the predominant user system.  Please let us know what works and - importantly - what does not.


Windows

Java VMs

Guide to getting a Java VM.

The main Java VM is the Sun Java Plug-in.  This Java VM is used by all the main browsers.

Internet Explorer can also run the obsolete Microsoft VM but this is not recommended at all.  (Users of FindinSite-CD can download our copy of the Microsoft VM - see here for details.)

Internet Explorer

Windows Internet Explorer (IE) is our prinary test platform because most people use it.  Therefore most features should work with most browser versions.

Use the Sun Java VM in Internet Explorer.

Internet Explorer can also run the obsolete Microsoft VM but this is not recommended at all.  (Users of FindinSite-CD can download our copy of the Microsoft VM - see here for details.)

Firefox, Chrome, Netscape etc

Word highlighting is disabled because the Firefox popup blocker and Chrome stop the actions required for highlighting on local disks/CDs.

N7/N7.1: HTML Results, the JavaScript interface and field searches do work. N7 may delay for a while when any of these features are first used (ie when Java-JavaScript communication starts).

Word highlighting works in N6.1, but only when FindinSite-CD shows the results in a new window; it does not work using the popup window or within a frameset. The page does not jump to the first occurence of a search word - however the address has been changed, so if you press Enter it will jump.

Word highlighting does not work in N7.0 and N7.1 because of this bug document.addEventListener fails on load and unload.

N6.1 uses its Sun VM 1.4.0_01 plugin, not the installed VM.

Opera

FindinSite-CD does not currently run in Opera 7.54 from CD or local file.

FindinSite-CD will run online and word highlighting works provided "MSIE6.0" emulation is selected. HTML Results and the JavaScript interface work but field searches do not.

Tested: 11/Sep/03, Opera 7.11, Sun Java VM 1.4.1_03.
Tested: 24/Sep/03, Opera 7.20, Sun Java VM 1.4.1_03.
Tested: 25/Jan/05, Opera 7.54, Sun Java VM 1.4.2_05.


Mac OS

Word highlighting does not work in any Mac system and so is not used.

Older Macs might not recognise CDs created on Windows computers - see below.

Safari

OS X: Safari 2.0.4 for OS X 10.4 Tiger: WORKS OK (Tested 2/Dec/07)

Java VMs

OS 9: the only Java VM is the Mac Runtime for Java (MRJ).

OS X: Apple supplies the Sun Java VM, version 1.3.1 and version Java 1.4.1. The Sun VM "J2SE 5.0 release 1" is available for download. Please use Software Update to update your VM, eg to get to "Java 1.4.1 Update 1".

OS X: Firefox 1.0.6 and Netscape 7.1/7.2 use the Sun Java VM 1.3.1.  Java 1.3.1 has a bug that may stop FindinSite-CD loading from its runtime library file, and then stop FindinSite-CD loading any search database files.  The bug appears if there is a space character in the path to a file.  A space may come from the CD description or from a folder/directory name.  So, if you expect to have any Mac OS X N7.1/7.2 or Firefox users, then do not put spaces in these places.

Firefox

OS X: 10.2.8 Firefox 1.0.6, FindinSite-CD largely runs OK using the Sun Java VM 1.3.1; however see the above note in the "Java VMs" section.  The HTML Results and the JavaScript interface do not work.
  • The vertical scroll bar in the FindinSite-CD results does not work most of the time. If you scroll the browser window, then the FindinSite-CD scroll bar starts to work. Or use the up and down arrow keys to scroll through the results list.

Tested 9/Aug/05.

Netscape

OS 9: N6 and N7, FindinSite-CD runs OK.  In N7, HTML Results works, but the JavaScript interface does not. If typing a character results in two characters appearing, then click in another application and back to FindinSite-CD; upgrading to OS 9.2.1 should fix this problem. In N7, field searching works.

OS X: N7.1, FindinSite-CD largely runs OK using the Sun Java VM 1.3.1; however see the above note in the "Java VMs" section.

  • The vertical scroll bar in the FindinSite-CD results does not work most of the time. If you scroll the browser window, then the FindinSite-CD scroll bar starts to work. Or use the up and down arrow keys to scroll through the results list.
  • N7 also seems to crash at times when running FindinSite-CD.

Tested 9/Aug/05.
26/Jan/05 update: N7.2 simple testing OK - scroll problem still exists.
26/Jan/05 update: May be a long startup delay if licence file does exist

Internet Explorer

OS 9: IE5.1, FindinSite-CD runs OK.  However the HTML Results and the JavaScript interface do not work. It has been reported that the FindinSite-CD does not display at all if the FindinSite-CD window is not wholly within the browser window; ensure that FindinSite-CD is entirely within the browser window and reload.

In OS X IE5.2, FindinSite-CD runs OK.  However the HTML Results and the JavaScript interface do not work.  Apparently Microsoft will no longer be supporting Mac IE.

26/Jan/05 update: IE5.2.2 simple testing OK - scroll problem exists, as per Netscape
26/Jan/05 update: May be a long startup delay if licence file does exist

Opera

Opera 6.03 for Mac OS 8.6-10.2: does not run.

Linux

These tests were run in Red Hat Linux 9 (Kernel 2.4.22 with Joliet extensions installed).

All tests were run using the Sun VM 1.4.2_01.

Mozilla

Using Mozilla 1.2.1, all main FindinSite-CD features worked; word highlighting is not supported.

The FindinSite-CD keyboard interface did not work correctly when trying to move through the results list.

On the test system, non-Western characters did not display in ordinary web pages or in the FindinSite-CD window. However appropriate character support had not been installed.

Opera

All FindinSite-CD features worked in Opera 7.22, including word highlighting when Opera was set for IE compatibility. However the browser crashes if you return back to a FindinSite-CD search page.

International issues

In general, if someone is using FindinSite-CD in a browser to search for text in their "own" language then FindinSite-CD should work as expected.  The FindinSite-CD runtime has a user interface for several languages - see here for more details.

All the FindinSite-CD programs (including FindinSite-CD-Wizard) are designed to work with languages from all round the world.  The software does this by working internally with the Unicode standard for representing characters.

The FindinSite-CD runtime is designed to display characters and accept input in any language.  Whether it works depends on the system you are running.  Some western systems may not display Asian characters correctly.

The indexing tools FindinSite-CD-Wizard and Findex recognise many web page character sets and Unicode characters in Office documents.  The support for non-Western languages in PDF files is not so good.

If you edit your search database in FindinSite-CD-Wizard, then some characters may not appear on screen correctly if you are running a version of Windows that does not support the characters.

The International Character support page has full details of all these issues.


CD format issues

Some computer systems have problems reading CDs created on a Windows computer.  The Windows Joliet file system for CDs stores long filenames.  However some non-Windows computers only understand short filenames, so a long filename such index.html would appear as INDEX~1.HTM.  So be very careful about the filenames that you use on CDs.  See our HTML CDs article for full details.

On a Mac, the Joliet file system is recognised in OS X 10.2.6 or later. Earlier versions of the OS do not recognise the Joliet file system.  However, users of OS 9 can install a shareware Joliet File System Extension.

The FindinSite-CD runtime is stored in library files with names that are recognised on systems that only recognise short filenames (fiscd.cab and fiscd.zip).  Make sure that your search database files have short names. If the FindinSite-CD runtime library files cannot be read, then a browser looks for the individual FindinSite-CD runtime files.  These have long filenames such as fisCD.class which some browsers have difficulty reading.

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Last modified: 24 November 2009

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