BoardSpace needs Java!

Although Java applets are extinct,  Java applications are alive and well, and Java Web Start is the standard technology to launch java applications from browsers.  You still need to install java, and grant permission for java web start to download and run the boardspace application.  Also note, that if you prefer to use a tablet instead of  a PC, this page is irrelevant to you.  You should go to the app store and download the app.

Java is pre-installed on many computers, in which case you don't need to do anything.  If not installed yet, go to and install it, or
if you're not sure the status of java on your computer, also has a  Troubleshooting page  .
using java web start icon When you click on the link from your browser, you should see a window like this:
java web start open Or depending on how your browser is configured to handle downloads, something less obvious,
for example Chrome pops up this notice at the bottom-left of the current window.
chrome download

Or you might see nothing at all, and you need to look at the browser's downloads, however
is appropriate for your browser.
browser download
Click right on the downloaded file, select "open with" and choose java web start launcher.

If java web start doesn't start anything

open with menuGetting java web start to run depends on a file name association between ".jnlp" files and java web start.  It's possible for this association to be broken, in which case instead of launching java web start, the .jnlp file will be downloaded and opened with some other program,typically a text editor.  

In this case, you need to re-establish the linkage.   First locatate the downloaded file, probably in your downloads directory.  Click right and select "open with".  Look for "Java web start" in the choice list.   If it's not there, select "choose another app" and  navigate to "javaws" in the programs directory.

The main theme is you need to download the small ".jnlp" file, then launch it using java web start.  That will normally lead to a security warning
like this:  Hint; you have to approve of the application running.

java web start security
If you check the "do not show this again" box, you won't see it again.

A word about security and trust

Any time you run any program on your computer, you have to trust the party that supplied the program. Programs can potentially steal, delete, or mess up all your data, hijack your machine, and otherwise make your online life a mess.  There's nothing special about Java programs.  There's nothing new about this.  Any cute game, or useful utility, or essential business program you've ever installed should have same warning attached, including the browser you're running right now.  On PCs, security was tacked on and is very imperfect.

So don't panic.

The situation on tablets and phones is a little better, because individual programs run in a more strictly controlled environment.

After the security prompt, and some splash screens, you should finally get to a screen like this, which is the actual application running:
java web start login screen
If you do see this, you're in good shape, the application is running and has successfully contacted the site.  You can go ahead and
log in as a guest, or register an account and log in as yourself.

After you log in, you should see a screen that looks something like this:


Not Good

normal lobby
Good!  You're logged in and ready to play.
There are two not-good alternatives.  One is that you see a message box like this:
server not running
This message is from the site, and probably is accurate.  
Don't panic, It doesn't happen very often.

The other bad outcome is to see a lobby window like the one at the left,
but it remains gray and dead, and eventuall displays a "server down"
message like this:
lobby down
In this case, most likely the server is fine, but there is a networking problem somewhere between your machine and the server.  See the section on Firewalls below.

Firewalls, Routers, Ports and Proxies, Lost Connections

If you get some kind of "can't connect" message in the lobby chat area:  Java must be able to open an outgoing tcp connection on port 2255.  Most firewalls and routers are configured allow this; but some institutions (work, school) and some personal firewall products (blackice, zone alarm) may block this port.  If the lobby window comes up, but can't connect to the server, look for problems with port 2255.  The lobby will also fail to connect if it was loaded from some place other than, which could be a side effect of some browser proxy setups. 

If you get the message rcv 221 errConnection error then you have successfully connected to the server, but your connection has been rejected.  The most likely cause of this is that you accidentally connected to the server without going through the login procedure, or the login process took a really long time.

If you lose connection in mid-game: don't panic, you can reconnect and rejoin the game.  Normally this is completely automatic, but if you are forced to start over and log in again, you can resume a game that was in process. This can happen for a variety of reasons, most of which are impossible to predict or control.  Watch the little spinner clock spinner located next to your clock (and your opponents clock).  The little arrow should change position at least every 10 seconds or so, and if it has not changed position recently, the color starts fading from green to red.  After 2 minutes of no activity a timeout will occur and you can try to reconnect.

Slow  connections: Once the application is downloaded, the bandwidth required to maintain the lobby and a game is very modest, and any type of internet connection should work fine.   One problem we have seen a few times is that firewalls such as Zone Alarm interfere with the flow of data to the server without completely blocking it. We don't know why, but disabling Zone Alarm fixes the problem.  A test for this condition is to switch the type of a game room, say from "Game Room" to "Unranked Room".  The changeover should happen very fast, within a second.  If there is more that a very brief lag, look for this kind of networking problem.

On Windows

On windows machines, if java is installed there ought to be a java control panel.  If java web start seems to be non-starting,
that's the place to look.  Information about java web start programs is found under "temporary internet files".  
java control panel

On Very Old Windows:

Boardspace still runs, even on dinosaurs such as Windows-XP, it's only a matter of finding a correspondingly
old version of Java.    The "old old" version of Java I recommend is jre-8u20-windows-i586.exe

On Macintosh

Macs have a security setting that prevents "downloaded programs" from running, which you have to turn off to install the boardspace
mac apple menu
mac security prompt

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