VISITview Lesson Creation Instructions


Creating a lesson for students to download and use

This page has been replaced by the on-line tutorial. Please go there for details about creating lessons...

(Please note: in a couple of places you are instructed to edit text files; please use an editor that preserves the "end-of-line" characters of the original file -- such as notepad  in Windows.)
  1. First create a directory on your machine; this will hold the entire contents of the lesson.  (Note: if this lesson will be taught remotely (that is, some or all of the students will use Netscape/IE to participate), then be sure this directory is accessible by the Web server on your machine!)

  3. In that directory, get and unzip the "" file from this site. This will give you:
  4. Put all your images for the lesson in the same directory you just unzipped into

  6. Rename the viewmaster_template.html template file into a different filename (with a .html extension).  For example:

  7.       rename viewmaster_template.html master.html
  8. Edit the master.html file to reflect your files; click here for for a further explanation of the HTML.  Here is a checklist:
  9. Copy the master.html file into a file named student.html (or whatever filenames you want).  Then edit the student.html file and replace the:
    1.      <PARAM name="Master" value="true">
           <PARAM name="Student" value="true">

      If all your students have good Internet connectivity, you can run this lesson using the remote mode.  In this case, you need only complete steps 1-5, and make sure that the directory into which you put all the files is accessible from the Web.  In this case, just tell your students to point their Web browser to the HTML file you just created for them.

      Otherwise, some or all of your students will have to use local mode and need to get a snap-shot of your directory (with all the image files) put together in a way that's convenient for them to download put onto their own machine (step 6 and beyond...).

  10. Rename the visit_template.bat file to something else (like visit.bat, for example) and then edit the file to reflect the name of the HTML file and the server you chose for the students to connect to.   E.g.,

            .\bin\jre -cp .\ VisitFrame student.html
  12. Rename and Edit the visitlocal_template.bat file to reflect the name of the HTML file for the master .  This file may be used by someone who wants to run through the lesson on their own computer without wanting to involve anyone else.  You will notice that it starts its own VISITview server in order to accomplish this.

  14. Test your stuff -- on a Windows machine, just type:

  15.            visit <enter>
    and, after closing that session, test the stand-alone mode by typing:
               visitlocal <enter>
  16. ZIP everything up into a single file.  Since you must also include the bin\ and lib\ subdirectories in order to bundle the JRE, you must use the recurse directories option in either the command-line version of zip or the recurse folders option in WinZip.  If you're using WinZip, do not "Save Extra Folder Info".



    If you're using WinZip and have a "make exe" in the Action pull-down, then you can just make an exe file that they can just run instead of having to unzip manually.  If you do make an EXE file, then be sure to set the default directory to unzip into to either your intended directory or (better) to .\ so the files will be unzipped into the directory where the EXE file was placed.

  18. Post the .zip (or .exe) file in a place on you machine where folks can get at it using their browser.

  20. Then send a message to the students that contains Installation Instructions similar to what you find here. You may just want to copy this page and change the titles and directory and file names.
You've just created a snap-shot of your lesson files.  These will be used by students with poor Internet connectivity. In this case, they will not use their Web browsers to participate in the session, but instead must use the Java Runtime Environment to run an application that emulates what their browser does with the VISITview applet (but without the security restrictions).

In addition, since all the files will reside on their machine, they may run the lesson independently if desired, using the alternate batch file, visitlocal.bat.

If your students need to install the Java Runtime Environment, they can look here for instructions.  Only those who have to use local mode (and thus cannot just use their Web browser to participate in a session), have to have the JRE on their machines.

If you have any questions, please send email to


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