Shell Namespace Extensions and Java

I am writing an application in Java which has to work on any platform ("any" = Windows, Mac OS X, Linux). The application uses custom objects which appear on the user's desktop, some of which have to be drop targets. I don't expect to be able to write this part of the application in Java on any of the platforms I target... I think I need platform-specific code to handle this, and I am happy with that.

On Windows, the solution appears to be writing a shell namespace extension. Assuming this is correct, how do I go about doing it?

Am I correct in saying that the solution would be to implement the shell namespace extension in C#, C++ or whatever, using publicly available tools; and to access that shell namespace extension from the Java program using a Java/COM bridge? Is there an easier way?

I am not familiar with development tools under Windows: is there a way of developing the shell namespace extension without acquiring a commercial IDE just for that purpose?

Regards
Stephen Winnall
winnallAsked:
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jkrConnect With a Mentor Commented:
I'd suggest to start out at http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/en-us/shellcc/platform/shell/programmersguide/shell_adv/namespaceextension/namespace.asp ("Creating a Shell Namespace Extension"). You will find a working example at http://support.microsoft.com/kb/178665 ("HOWTO: RegView.exe Contains Shell Namespace Extension Example")

>>Am I correct in saying that the solution would be to implement the shell namespace extension in C#,
>>C++ or whatever, using publicly available tools; and to access that shell namespace extension from
>>the Java program using a Java/COM bridge? Is there an easier way?

Actually anything that is not "native" Win32 is "out" (no C#, no Java, e.g. C/C++ or maybe Delphi will work). A Java/COM bridge will certainly work, but depending on what data you need to communicate, other IPC methods mught do also.
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