Open Source Software Solutions

JDDM - Drop Down Menu


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JDDM (Drop Down Menu) is a free Open Source drop down java menu applet, a comprehensive solution for website navigation.
JDDM is browser-independent and highly-configurable, it could be easily customized to fit your website needs and to achieve an unlimited variety of menu appearances and behaviors.
JDDM let you generate vertical and horizontal menus with unlimited number of nested pop-up submenus, various color schemes, buttons, fonts, icons and sounds (see examples).
This new version includes keyboard shortcut support and customizables buttons distances and internal padding for each border.
JDDM - buttons structure
buttons structure


With this powerful tool you will be quickly adding a great menu navigation aid to web sites, help systems, documentation, intranets and much more. Advanced yet both Easy and Quick to implement. No knowledge of java programming is required everything is easily adjusted with simple html parameters.

Main Features

  • browser-independent, works fine with any browser that support at least Java 1.1
  • supports an unlimited number of nested pop-up submenus
  • menu items data and structure can be loaded from an external text file
  • submenus can overlap all HTML content, java applets, form elements, flash animations, frames and even jump outside the browser window
  • could be displayed either vertically or horizontally
  • customizables charset encoding for each menu item, supports international character sets (require appropriate OS/browsers)
  • ability to call various URL schemas (http, ftp, mailto, javascript, ...)
  • supports javascript
  • supports target frames
  • customizables font face, font size and font style for each main item and sub-menu items
  • customizables shadow effect for each main item text
  • customizables background and text colors for each main item and for each state (normal, mouse-over and mouse-click)
  • customizables background images for each main item and for each state (normal, mouse-over and mouse-click)
  • customizables image icon for each main item and for each state (normal, mouse-over and mouse-click)
  • customizables text and icon position inside each main item
  • customizables status bar description message for each main item
  • customizables sounds for each main item and for each action state (mouse-over and mouse-click)
  • customizables submenu arrows images and position for each main item and for each state (normal, mouse-over and mouse-click)
  • customizables submenu relative position
  • customizables 3D button bevel and pushed effect for each main item
  • customizables buttons distances and internal padding for each border
  • ability to enable and disable items
  • supports keyboard shortcuts

JDDM vs. generic DHTML menu

JDDM has been developed using JavaTM technology just to avoid some general DHTML limitations:
  • DHTML menus generally do not render above some form elements, frames, flash animations, and can't go over the browser window. This last is a big limitation if you have a large number of nested menu elements.
  • DHTML menus are normally bigger in size and the loading time is not faster than JDDM.
  • DHTML menus contain browser-specific code that must be updated for any new browser release. JDDM instead is future-proof because it's coded in standard Java 1.1, it's real OS Independent and cross-browser.
  • DHTML menus generally produce markup-language specific code (e.g.: HTML) so it can't be easily adapted to other markup-languages (e.g.: XHTML). This may render very hard the task to build a WAI compatible web pages (see: http://www.w3.org/TR/WAI-WEBCONTENT/).
  • DHTML menus generally may code text elements only using the page character set. JDDM may code independently each menu element using different charset, so you could set more international languages on the same menu.
  • DHTML menus generally do not support sound effects. JDDM support mouse-over and mouse-click sounds for each main menu element.
  • DHTML menus generally can't load menu data from an external flat text file. JDDM may load menu elements data from an external text file where elements are separated by newline character (\n) and element-specific data are separated by tabulation character (\t).

For more information consult Setup and Examples.

Source Code and Documentation



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