Release Notes

h3270 version 1.3.3 improves the keyboard handling again. The change in the previous release, where we attached keyboard handlers to individual input fields, has shown not to be sufficient for many people. You could no longer input anything on screens with no input fields.

In version 1.3.3, keyboard handlers are again global, on a per-page basis. To support multiple sessions within the same browser (or on the same portal page), keyboard handlers are now installed dynamically. When the mouse moves into a terminal window, a global, page-scoped keyboard handler is installed for that window. You can also force installation of a keyboard handler by clicking somewhere within the terminal window.

We hope this method proves practical for everybody, please let us know if not. Another change in this release is improved error reporting in case of unknown (mis-spelled) or unreachable hosts.

h3270 version 1.3.2 adds the ability to have multiple h3270 sessions open at the same time, from the same browser. This works both in the servlet version and the portlet version.

In order to support this, the keyboard handling model had to be changed. Key handlers are no longer attached to the entire page, but to each of the input fields on a screen individually. One consequence is that you can only submit a screen back to the host if the cursor is currently in one of that screen's input fields. If the screen has no input fields at all, the only way to submit it would be to enable and use the HTML keypad.

If people are having trouble with this, please let us know and we can try and work out a different solution.

h3270 version 1.3.1 adds support for some extended attributes (colors and highlighting).

h3270 version 1.3 introduces the following changes:

  • There is now a JSR-168 Portlet available. To use it, you must build h3270 with the portlet API jar file available. You can then package h3270 into a war file as usual, and install it in any JSR-168 portlet container. Further details on this process are given in the installation guide. One restriction of the portlet is that you can only have a single instance of it on a page right now. This is because the keyboard handling code is not yet adapted to the portal model, where multiple portlets on a page might be interested in key events. We are working to resolve this.
  • In the new contrib directory, you can find code that we used to run h3270 as an IView in the SAP portal server. It is not yet adapted to the current version of h3270, but may be useful as a starting point for some people. We are working to improve this code and expect to provide full IView support in a future release.
  • The default location where h3270 tries to find the s3270 binary has been changed to /usr/local/bin. We no longer use the bin directory in the web application, because it is really wrong to put a platform-specific binary in that place.
  • The structure of the configuration file h3270-config.xml has changed slightly. Please see the copy of the file in the current release for details.
  • Several small bugs and layout issues have been fixed.

h3270 version 1.2.3 fixes a few layout issues and includes updated documentation. You can now restrict h3270 so that users can only connect to a single host with it. To do this, set the new target-host parameter in webapp/WEB-INF/h3270-config.xml.

h3270 version 1.2.2 properly ignores extended attributes (which we don't support yet). Several other bugs have been fixed, the build process has been streamlined, and the documentation has been updated.

h3270 version 1.2.1 fixes a bug which made it impossible to use h3270 under some tomcat versions.

h3270 version 1.2 is a maintenance release that contains the following new features:

  • A new configuration mechanism. The definition of color schemes, fonts, etc. has been moved to a XML configuration file (see webapp/WEB-INF/h3270-config.xml).
  • The User Preferences (colorscheme, font, etc.) are now stored in a client-side cookie.
  • It's possible to customize the appearance of h3270. Uncomment the property style (see h3270-config.xml) for an example.
  • h3270 now uses commons-logging as logging toolkit.
Apart from these Changes some minor bugs were fixed.

h3270 version 1.2-pre1 is a pre-release of the upcoming version 1.2.

The most important change is that the character-based emulation mode now supports colors and multi-line input fields. The color model is implied by the basic field attributes: There can be a different color for protected/unprotected, and normal/intensified/hidden fields, leading to six different combinations. There is a new Preference dialog that allows you to choose between different color schemes. At the moment, we have defined four of them (White Background (default), Dark Background, Amber, and Black and White). You could also define your own color schemes, but that has to be done in the code for now (see org.h3270.render.Configuration).

Since the data model inside h3270 changed quite a bit for these new features, we're making it available as a pre-release first, to give people of chance of checking it out and report any problems back to us.

Apart from these changes, a few important bugs were fixed. The most critical one of those was a problem under Internet Explorer, which would send two identical requests in a row when ENTER was pressed. Depending on the timing of the connection, this could cause h3270 to throw an IllegalArgumentException. This has now been fixed.

h3270 version 1.1 is a maintenance release that contains the following new features:

  • All PC function keys are now passed to h3270 (some of them used to be intercepted by the browser or operating system).
  • Support for hidden, unmodifiable fields has been added.
  • The standard z/OS login screen can now be handled by h3270 (it contains a multiline field which we couldn't deal with before). There is no full support for multiline fields yet, but we plan that for the next release.

h3270 version 1.0 is the first public release of the program. It has already been tested in real-world settings, and we consider it to be of production quality. In particular:

  • The simple, character-based layout (see screenshots) works out of the box and has proven sufficient to operate several actual mainframe applications.
  • The regex-based rendering engine can be used to turn host screens into interfaces that look and feel like real web applications.
We consider this only the beginning, though. Improvements planned for future releases include:
  • Add Portlet frontends so that h3270 can be used within a portal server such as Jetspeed.
  • Enhancements in the rendering engine. One idea is to develop algorithms that can detect tabular structures within host screens and render them in a change-tolerant way (which means that changes in the underlying screens, such as adding a new field or changing a field label, are immediately reflected in the HTML version). Another enhancement is to add mechanisms for drop-down lists, context-sensitive help, and link-based navigation.
  • Full support for colors and other text attributes in the simple, character-based display mode.