> Ken, I don't really understand the method that folks would
utilize to get
> updates for their JRClient software were we to give it to them.
Good question. The short answer is that you don't misunderstand anything: we don't do this currently. That is why I said "supposed" in the original mail.
Having said that, the way it would work would be to download the client using a browser like Internet Explorer. It should be as easy for a user as clicking on an icon in the case that we put the results and the client on the Internet. Mike has offered to do this on our web page for demonstration purposes if not for the real thing. Of course, the results would have to be uploaded to an Internet service provider in this case. Rob Chen has advocated that we do this ourselves with our own web server, and charge a fee for the service. It could be done with any ISP willing to set up the web page though.
Assuming it is a closed system (not on the internet) then a RAS
(remote access service) would need to be set up on the GEMS server to allow
people to dial in, and those remote machines in turn would need to be set up to
dial in to the server. Neither of these tasks is rocket science given some
documentation, but it still requires a much support as getting an internet
account. Support staff would have to be trained in setting up RAS on the
server and Dial Up Networking on the clients, and troubleshooting associated
problems. This is similar to how it used to work with VTS monitor results
system, only back then the questions were: "Is your parity and baud
rate correct?" "Is getty running the server port?"
"What terminal emulator program are you running?" "Is it in
VT100 mode?" Etc etc ad nausium.
I have hesitated so far to give the go-ahead on JResultClient outside a LAN for a couple of reasons. First, the Java App has really only been tested on Internet Explorer 4, and it would take some effort to ensure it runs cleanly on other browsers like Netscape Navigator, whatever Macs run, etc.
Second, the client itself is not quite up to the "consumer app" level of stability. It is one thing to have Mike or Tari setting up the result client, while it is quite another to have the Mayor's secretary doing it. There will be an additional support cost associated with answering questions from these users.
Neither of these issues are particularly hard to overcome though. I think JResultClient is overdue for some user-friendliness improvements. We are currently working on other priorities of course, but feel free to submit specific RCRs or bug reports that would help JResultClient get up to speed in this respect.