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vTAS is a Three Axis Spectrometer simulator written in Java. It is aimed at making easier the understanding of the behavior of the instrument and its limits. It supports both the classical TAS geometry and that of the multiplexer FLATCONE (ILL). vIMPS and vUFO are part of the vTAS suite but address other multiplexed TAS geometries.

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JAVA - Apple tricks

YES, you can run the vTAS suite on a Mac even if you have installed Mountain Lion (OS X 10.8), Mavericks (10.9) or higher.

YES, you can launch an application of the vTAS suite from a web page even with Safari 6 or higher (note that FireFox or Chrome are much more permissive so far).

However, due to Apple's paranoiac security rules for JAVA, this implies some configuration efforts !

OS X 10.9 or higher - enabling JAVA

For safety reasons Apple made launching JAVA application a non-straightforward task.

First, you must allow third party applications:

Then, since the vTAS suite is not yet signed with a certificate from a known Certification Authority (CA) you must go one step further:

Finally, at launch time, OS X will prompt a last disclaimer, a quite ugly and fightening dialog but, please, be courageous and go ahead !

Safari 6 or higher

Safari 6 or higher: Locating the JNLP file

Launching vTAS, vIMPS or vUFO through a web page (automatic Java WebStart) implies the download of a "xxxx.JNPL" file which authenticate the application before it can be downloaded and then launched.

To lower the risk of malware infection, Safari now downloads Java WebStart application files to a hidden temporary folder and does not open them automatically.

The right way to launch a WebStart application is the following:

  1. SafariPreferencesGeneralRemove download list items: Manually or When Safari Quits
  2. go to the application's page (vTAS, vIMPS or vUFO)
  3. click the Downloads button at the right end of the Safari toolbar (see image)
  4. then double-click the icon of the JNLP file you just downloaded.
  5. If you want to save the file for later use, click the magnifying-glass icon to reveal it in the Finder, and then move it. Otherwise it will be deleted at the next login.

Then, when you want to launch the application again you no longer need to go to the web page:

  • either double-click the JNLP file you just moved to a safe place
  • or take advantage of the alias that was automatically created on your desktop at the first launch. A good idea si to move that alias to your Application folder.