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how to write a main program and keep attaching helper programs as plugins

I would like to write a presentation toolkit.
I want it to be a main program and several sub programs..
A version of the applet will consist of the main program
and one or more of these helper applications.
The main program will set a uniform format for the presentation usually a slide show and will take in the names of the helper (plugins) programs.
The helper applications will be text zoomers..image rotators..pixel based messaging and imaging.
Can anyone tell me how to go about writing a main program..
to which I can keep adding new effects (plugins) over time????


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netsdt
Asked:
netsdt
1 Solution
 
russgoldCommented:
If you are writing an application (as opposed to an applet), you can use techniques such as those found in the example BeanBox to discover new classes added to a directory.  By loading those classes, you can test them to see if they conform to a predefined interface which will allow you to use them.

Applets are a bit more limited, in that they can only use classes from their predefined classpath; however, you can always get a class not linked into your applet if you know its full name:

Class newClass = Class. forName( "newPackage.newClass" );

You can then test the class for interfaces, etc.

Once you instantiate an object of this class using a default constructor:

Object myObject = newClass. newInstance();

you can use it in your program as though you actually had "linked" it in.
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netsdtAuthor Commented:
Hey Russgold,
Thanks for the prompt reply.
It is you guys who are running this site.Kudos!!!

Now, back to our problem, yes, i wish i could have made it an
application but I can't. I was thinking of using packages...
I could add new packages over time.Your idea sounds nice..
but i'm simply not that experienced..I wish I had an example
from somewhere..

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