Open Source and Physlets
Science Applets are based on the STools.jar package.
hyslets—“Physics applets”—are small, flexible Java applets written at Davidson College that can be used for science education. Many other Physics-related Java applets are being produced around the world—some of them very useful for education—and it would be helpful to the educational software developer community if we could all pool our development efforts. In order for this collaboration to be successful, a common set of standards would, of course, have to emerge. We are attempting to develop and collect a library of Java classes that that can serve as such a standard. The tool that we have collected are in an archive that we refer to as Science Tools for Java Programmers, STools.jar.
Please see the acknowledgements page for authorship credit of various Java classes.
On of the most useful components of STools is a Java package, edu.davidson.tools, that provides for inter-applet communication that can be controlled using a scripting language in the client-side browser. There are usually one or more data-source objects that implement the SDataSource interface and one or more data-listener objects that implement the SDataListener interface. These objects are often in different applets. For example, an applet containing a data-source will run a simulation governed by a clock and exports properties of the simulation. These properties are then selectively imported by an applet containing a data-listener and then displayed as graphs, tables, histograms, bar graphs, and animations.
We are now distributing our tools library as a Java Archive file, STools.jar, to beta testers to enable them to write applets that use the technology that we have developed at Davidson College. Two projects with which we are collaborating are CoLoS and Clark University.
Programmers wishing to write Science Applets should study the STools documentation from this site. This documentation was generated using the Sun javadoc utility and contains a complete listing of the method and instance variables that have public and package visibility.
Definition of Terms: