LED Sign 3.1
Rated Top 1% Web Applet by JARS

Updated: August 11, 1996
If you were using a Java-enabled browser, you would see an animated scrolling text sign that looks like this:

Self-test and demonstration Page


If you don't read anything else, read the section This is a packaged applet.

About LED Sign V3.1

In Spring 1996, Darrick Browne, the original author of LED Sign, announced that he would no longer support the applet. I had given Darrick some code snippets and suggestions, for which he credited me in the sources (thanks, Darrick!). Since I make active use of LED Sign at my site, I decided to take the code and run with it. This is my first release of LED Sign. If you are interested in what I have done since version 2.7, see Changes since V2.7.

Support Notice

My time is devoted primarily to the O'Reilly WebSite Web Server. I get an enormous amount of email, and I read a dozen or so usenet newsgroups and mailing lists. Bottom line is that I cannot provide technical support for this package. I hope you can understand. Darrick has provided a reasonably complete set of documentation files, to which I have added to make them represent V3.1. Like Darrick, I will delete any email I receive asking for technical support. If you have questions about how to set up an applet, check the java site at http://www.javasoft.com/. If you have other problems, I would suggest checking the usenet newsgroups comp.lang.java.*.

I will continue to improve LED Sign so if you have any bug reports or suggestions, please let me know.



This applet was designed to be "user friendly". Everything you see the sign displaying is run entirely by a script. LED Sign will provide errors and warnings in the Java console of your browser to help make the setup easier and quicker.
More on the Script Feature.
Here is the Demo script that the sign above is running.


The LED applet also has a large amount of flexibility. The size, size of border, color of border, size of the LED's, and even the font that the sign uses are all configurable. The size and border parameters can be easily set in the applet "command line" in the HTML. The font is specified by a data file that contains the shape for each letter. The font data file can have as many or few characters as needed. If a character is used in the message but is not in the font data file, then it will be substituted by a space.

More on fonts .
More on configurability .

Examples of LED Sign

Here are some sites that use LED Sign on their pages.

Download LED Sign V3.1

PLEASE! Read the insallation document INSTALL.txt. This is a packaged applet, something you probably haven't yet seen. Installing it requires you to make some decisions about where you are going to store globally named classes and packages.
Download the ZIP file LEDSign31.zip, or the
Unix tar/gz file LEDSign31.tar.gz

If you are running Win95/NT you might need WinZip95 6.0a to unzip and untar the archive. WinZip will retain the long filenames which are needed for the applet to work.

The LED Sign V3.1 distribution comes with all source code, pre-compiled binaries, Symantec Cafe' project files, example scripts, fonts, and the HTML documentation you see here.

This is a packaged applet

This is probably the first applet you have seen that is packaged using a globally unique package name (per the Sun recommendations). The name of the package is com.dc3.applet.LEDSign. This may drive you crazy at first. Get used to it. If Java keeps growing in use and the vision is realized, it will be important that applet and utility class names don't clash.

When you unarchived/unzipped this, it created a directory hierarchy of com/dc3/applet/ledsign/. This correponds to the package name of this applet, com.dc3.applet.LEDSign. The CODEBASE parameter in your APPLET tags must specify the URL of the root directory that contains the com directory! This is analogous to the CLASSPATH used when developing (it should also contain this root).

I know this is going to be a pain, but don't shoot the messenger (me). This is the way things are going to be soon anyway. If others follow the Sun recommendations for class packaging, you'll end up with a unified directory hierarchy for classes from anywhere.

If you want some more details, see the INSTALL.TXT document that comes with this kit.

Using the ZIP container

This package contains an uncompressed ZIP file whch contains all of the LED Sign classes, in their proper directory path hierarchy for the package name. As of Netscape 3.0b7, you can specify the archive="<URL path>" parameter in the <APPLET> tag. This causes the browser to read the ZIP file and get its classes from there. This permits the applet classes to be loaded much faster.

LED Font V1.1

Check out this cool program by W. Scott Dillman. LED Font will turn any of your windows TrueType fonts into new LED Sign fonts. So now you can use Arial, Times, Courier, etc., on LED Sign! It's super easy! If you use LED Font and like it. Please drop Scott Dillman a line and thank him for the great job he did. He deserves it! Also, stop over and check out Scott's Homepage.

YES! I have Windows 3.1/95/NT and I want to download LED Font V1.1!


Check the LEDSign FAQ.

Self-Test and Demonstration

I have included a fairly thorough self-test and demonstration page. Try it out!

Known bugs

Changes since V2.7

The original LED Sign Java applet is written and Copyright 1995 by Darrick Brown
Changes to this applet are written by and Copyright 1996 by Robert B. Denny