Skip to content
If you dig out old graves, be very afraid of what you'll encounter.
Branch: master
Clone or download
Fetching latest commit…
Cannot retrieve the latest commit at this time.
Type Name Latest commit message Commit time
Failed to load latest commit information.

Grave Digging with JavaScript


This is a small demonstration repository for my application for a talk at This repository is about showing off a long forgotten technology available using the JavaPlugin: Live Connect.

Live Connect allows Java Script communicate with Java Applets and reverse.

This doesn't sound interesting until you add code signatures into the mix...

Digging a nearly two decades old technology out of its grave can be dangerous as there will be Zombies!

The final state of this little project will use an invisible signed Java Applet to expose the full node.js-Filesystem-API to your browser: Access any file of the client machine directly from JavaScript using the nice node.js-API!


For the applet to get access to the local filesystem, you will need to sign the Applet. For additional effect, I'm signing this using a valid code signing certificate of my company, which, apparently, I can't hand you out.

That means that you will have to create your own Java keystore with both a private and a public key.

Then copy to, enter the correct data (keystore-name, key alias and password).

Then run ant.


Run demo/index.html over any webserver and enjoy.


The idea behind my talk, aside of producing the initial effect of showing the crowd my /etc/passwd using a browser displaying a public website is to explain how this age-old technology works and how to use it for good.

Remember: The applet has to be signed, so malicious use can be directly attributed to the author.

This is just to explain how 1x1 pixel sized applets, positioned somewhere around -999,-999 can provide a tremendous use for people having to access any kind of local hardware.

This even goes beyond what is in the Java JRE: I'm going to demonstrate how you access a serial port to read a barcode-scanner, or how to use JNA to call any native OS function.

Java UI sucks. HTML UI looks cool. Let's combine the power of full native hardware access with the abilities of JavaScript to build really, really cool stuff.


All of the stuff here is © 2011 by Philip Hofstetter, but it's licensed under the MIT license. I will write some documentation and highlight the caveats regardless of whether the talk will be accepted or not, but for now, this has to suffice.

You can’t perform that action at this time.