Starting up TOPCAT may just be a case of typing "
clicking on an appropriate icon and watching the
Control Window pop up.
If that is the case, and it's running happily for you,
you can probably ignore this section.
What follows is a description of how to start the program up,
and various command line arguments and configuration options which can't be
changed from within the program.
Some examples are given in Section 10.5.
Actually obtaining the program is not covered here; please see
the TOPCAT web page
There are various ways of starting up TOPCAT depending on how (and whether) it has been installed on your system; some of these are described below.
There may be some sort of short-cut icon on your desktop which
starts up the program - in this case just clicking on it will probably work.
Failing that you may be able to locate the
jar file (probably named
and click on that. These files would be located in the
java/lib/topcat/ directory in a standard Starjava installation.
Note that when you start by clicking on something
you may not have the option of entering
any of the command line options described below -
to use these options, which you may need to do for serious use of
the program, you will have to run the program from the command line.
Alternatively you will have to invoke the program from the command line.
On Unix-like operating systems, you can use the
If you have the full starjava installation, this is probably in
the starjava/java/bin directory. If you have one of the
standalone jar files (topcat-full.jar or topcat-lite.jar), it should
be in the same directory as it/them. If it's not there,
you can unpack it from the jar file itself, using a command like
unzip topcat-lite.jar topcat.
If that directory (and java) is on your path then you can write:
topcat [java-args] [topcat-args]In this case any arguments which start
-Xare assumed to be arguments to the java command, any arguments which start
-Jare stripped of the
-Jand then passed as arguments to the java command, a
-classpathpath defines a class path to be used in addition to the TOPCAT classes, and any remaining arguments are used by TOPCAT.
If you're not running Unix then to start from the
command line you will have to use the
java command itself.
The most straightforward way of doing this will look like:
java [java-args] -jar path/to/topcat.jar [topcat-args](or the same for
topcat-full.jaretc). However NOTE: using java's
-jarflag ignores any other class path information, such as the CLASSPATH environment variable or java's
-classpathflag - see Section 10.2.1.
Note that Java Web Start can also be used to invoke the program without requiring any prior download/installation - sorry, this isn't documented properly here yet.
The meaning of the optional
sequences are described in
Section 10.1 and
Section 10.2 below respectively.