Ascii (ASCII)

This applet allows the user to display an animation of ASCII text. I must give some credit here: this applet was inspired after I saw another ASCII-animation applet on the Web. While my program functions quite differently, I still must direct you to Simon Jansen's STAR WARS ASCII-animation; it is truly an amazing demonstration of determination, boredom, and artistry (and it makes my little animation example look like nothing).

Mouse clicking in the applet will (un)PAUSE the animation.


The applet may be downloaded for free by clicking on the TAR-file link below (read the FAQ if you're not sure what to do with a TAR file). The FAQ also has step by step instructions on how to embed an applet into your own webpage.


Once unTARed, you should find the following classes (plus a '.jar' file if you want to use the archive= attribute in the <applet> tag):


Below are descriptions of all the parameters you may use to customize the applets to your webpages. Be sure to enclose any parameters that contain white space in double-quotation marks. Most parameters have default values in case you do not specify your own values, but the first two parameters (AUTHOR and COPYRIGHT) are necessary. If you are not sure how to incorporate an applet into a webpage (with its parameter names and values), looks at the source of this webpage and the applet embedded for an example, or read the FAQ page.

  • AUTHOR: This parameter must appear exactly as follows:
    <param name=AUTHOR value="Eric Harshbarger,">

  • COPYRIGHT: This parameter must appear exactly as follows:
    <param name=COPYRIGHT value="Ascii applet, Copyright 1999, Eric Harshbarger">

  • BGCOLOR: This parameter indicates the background color of the applet. Consult the FAQ page if you are unsure what format to use for the parameter's value.

  • FGCOLOR: This parameter indicates the foreground color of the applet. Consult the FAQ page if you are unsure what format to use for the parameter's value.

  • FONTNAME: This value indicates the fontface used by the applet. Java1.0.2 has the following values from which to choose (must be spelled exactly): TimesRoman, Dialog, Courier, Helvetica, DialogInput, Symbol.

  • FONTSIZE: This value indicates the size of the font used by the applet.

  • FONTSTYLE: This value indicates the style of the font used by the applet. The value should be one of the following: plain, bold, italic, bolditalic.

  • ASCII.FILE: This points to the ASCII file that defines all of the frames of animation. A file consists of the ASCII art of each frame separated but lines that begin with the FRAME.SEPARATOR string. The ASCII.FILE used for the above animation is available. Since the applet 'streams' the frame information in realtime, here are some hints as to how to minimize the ASCII.FILE size:

  • SPEED: This is the initial millisecond pause between each frame. It may be changed between frames at the FRAME.SEPARATOR. Note that since this applet 'streams' the information across, if the modem connection is slow, or the frames are large, it may take longer than SPEED time to download the next frame. In that case the applet will render the frames as quickly as possible. SPEED is a minimum time between frames.

  • FRAME.SEPARATOR: This parameter defines the string that should appear at the front of separator lines in the ASCII.FILE. The default is the word 'FRAME'. In addition to separating frames, you may use this line to change the SPEED. For example to change the speed of the next frame to 250 milliseconds:
    first frame here
    FRAME speed=250    <----- Separating line here
    second frame here
    Technically, you could also change the foreground and background colors using fgcolor=#,#,# or bgcolor=#,#,#; but true ASCII animators might scoff at the use of color changes in an animation...

  • LOOP: If 'true' (the default), the animation will start over when the end is reached.

    The Applet Depot and all associated applets, text, scripts, and images, Copyright © 1998-2002 by Eric Harshbarger unless otherwise noted. 'Java' is a registered trademark of Sun Microsystems Incorporated.