1.   I'm confused! What is Java?

Java is [1] the name of a programming language (the Java language), [2] a compiler (the Java compiler) and [3] a virtual machine (the "Java Virtual Machine" or JVM) that runs compiled Java programs on your computer. Java is not dependent on any particular operating system (e.g. Windows or Mac), which means you can run Java software on any computer with a JVM! Check out the Wikipedia article about Java if you'd like to learn more.

2.   Do I need to install Java before I can use JLink?

Yes, unless it's already installed on your system. The "Java Virtual Machine" (JVM) version 6 is required for JLink to run. Luckily there are JVMs for most operating systems (Windows, Macintosh, Linux and Unix). The newer versions of Mac (OSX), Windows and Linux are often shipped with Java pre-installed.

3.   How do I check whether Java is installed?

Apple Mac icon   Macintosh users

Open the terminal program and type at the prompt:

java -version
You should get something along the lines of:
java version "1.6.0_03"
Java(TM) SE Runtime Environment

Don't worry if you don't have exactly these numbers. java 6, 1.6, 1.6.0 etc are all the same type of Java. The naming of Java versions can be confusing but as long as there's a 6 in it somewhere you will be okay.

Microsoft Vista icon   Windows users

Open the Start menu. Click on "Run" and type into the Run text box:

A black DOS prompt window should appear. At the prompt type:
java -version

If you see a 6 in the version number, you're in business!

Tux icon   Linux users

Open bash and type:

java -version
You should get something like:
java version "1.6.0_03"
Java(TM) SE Runtime Environment

If the numbering is not exact but there's a 6 in the version number, you should be okay.

4.   Help! Java 6 is not installed on my computer.

Apple Mac icon Microsoft Vista icon    Macintosh and Windows users

Visit the Java website. Click "free Java download". Windows installers have the file extension .exe. Download and install the Java software.

Tux icon   Linux users

If you don't have the right version, or your attempt to check Java returned the following:

java: command not found

... you'll have to install Java yourself.

Linux distributions with a package management system

These include Fedora, SuSE, Mandriva and Ubuntu. Search in your respective distro for


These packages will install the JVM and the Firefox plugin for viewing Java applets.

Linux distributions without a package management system

Visit the Java website. Click "free Java download".
Download the RPM file or self-extracting package and use these detailed instructions (written for Linux beginners) to install Java on your system.

5.   How do I install JLink?

When JLink is ready for end users, it will not need installing (hooray). With Java installed, you will simply run an exe file (Windows, JLink_Authoring_Tool.exe), double click a jar file (Macintosh, JLink_Authoring_Tool.jar), or run the program from bash in linux (by typing "java -jar JLink_Authoring_Tool.jar").

6.   How do I create a flow chart in JLink?

At the present time, JLink is not ready for creating flow charts. The final software will allow users to create flow charts with several methods:

  • Use the graphical authoring tool (easy).
  • Hook directly into the library of JLink itself and write a Java application that makes flowcharts (harder, requires knowledge of Java language).
  • Script the library to make them for you with one of Javascript, Python, Ruby, Groovy, Perl, LOLCODE or the (to be constructed) JLink system language (harder, requires knowledge of a programming language).

7.   Can I print my flow chart?

Printing is not possible at the present time (the software is still being developed), but it will be implemented eventually. Our initial goal is to enable PDF and PNG export of flow charts. The PDF and PNG files could easily be printed with other software. Printing will (further down the track) become an option from within the authoring tool.

8.   Can I export a flow chart to PDF or another format?

That feature is not implemented yet. When it is, you will be able to export a flow chart from within the authoring tool. Those who are more programming savvy may export a chart with Java or a scripting language, using JLink libraries.

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End-User Documentation

Navigate to the Download section.

Need more help?

If your query is not addressed by the FAQ/documentation, you can email the developer.