Jar Ajar 0.5.0 released

Jar Ajar takes on a new role as program launcher in addition to its past duties as self-extractor and installer of Java programs. The goal is for one downloadable file to serve as an installer, launcher, and program shortcut.

After downloading a single file packaged by Jar Ajar, users can double-click the file to install and launch the program. When they double-click the file again, it automatically determines where the program was installed and launches it again, no matter where the original file has been moved.

How is this done? Installation information is saved in the Java user preferences tree as a platform-independent way to access previous installations and launch their programs. When the Jar Ajar packaged file is run again, a dialog informs the user about the installation and asks whether to launch the program. The preferences mechanism used to store installation data paves the way for separate installations to interact with each other, such as application plugins finding their application home, all without touching system registries. Learn more about the installer+launcher here.

Back in the release of Jar Ajar 0.3.0, we made the promise, "Future work also seeks to allow for extractions from the command-line, purely through text." Now you can use the "--prefix[=installdir]" command-line option to extract files automatically, where you can optionally specify the directory in which to install the program.


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