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Developing a plug in system  RSS feed

David McCombs
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I have this project for a class of mine, where I need to develop a plug in system for it. This is for a independent studies masters course not an assignment.

The purpose of the program is to try and fill the gaps between networking books and network simulators for beginning students. The simulators I have used, create a network based on certain parameters and spit out statistics after it has been run. What happens during the simulation is almost always a black box.

That has its uses, but is not that useful to beginning computer science networking students. My program will hopefully open that black box so the students can see how the protocols work and interact. An example is run an ARP simulator(either on a real network(via Jpcap), or a simulated one). The ARP simulator should be a plug in.

Ideally, the undergrad student should be able to write his/her own plug in and run it in my program. Therefore it needs to be very simple.

What I am thinking of is creating GUI/networking/Jpcap wrappers that the plug in writer will use, and then using convention over configuration, be able to load these plug-ins at runtime just by scanning what is in the plug in folder. By having a set convention, I am hoping that the plug-ins will be very simple to write.

Does this sound like I am on the right path? I haven't found very much useful information online, and any relevant links or pointers are greatly appreciated.
It is sorta covered in the JavaRanch Style Guide.
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