Interface ImageBundle

All Known Subinterfaces:
DisclosurePanelImages, DisclosurePanelImagesRTL, HorizontalSplitPanelImages, MenuBar.MenuBarImages, TreeImages, VerticalSplitPanelImages

@Deprecated public interface ImageBundle
replaced by ClientBundle and ImageResource
A tag interface that is used in the generation of image bundles. An image bundle is a composition of multiple images into a single large image, along with an interface for accessing a specific image's prototype from within the composition. Obtain an image bundle instance by calling GWT.create(T), where T is an interface that directly or indirectly extends ImageBundle.

To create and use an image bundle, extend the ImageBundle interface, and add a method declaration for each image that is to be part of the bundle. Each method must take no parameters and must have a return type of AbstractImagePrototype. The image name can optionally be specified using the ImageBundle.Resource annotation. (Note that the gwt.resource javadoc metadata tag supporting in GWT 1.4 has been superceded by the Resource annotation.) Valid image name extensions are png, gif, or jpg. If the image name contains '/' characters, it is assumed to be the name of a resource on the classpath, formatted as would be expected by ClassLoader.getResource(String). Otherwise, the image must be located in the same package as the user-defined image bundle.

The easiest way to create an image bundle is to omit the ImageBundle.Resource annotation, and name the method the same as the image name, excluding the extension. When the image name is inferred in this manner, the image name's extension is assumed to be either png, gif, or jpg, and the image location must be in the same package as the user-defined image bundle. In the event that there are multiple image files that have the same name with different extensions, the order of extension precedence is png, gif, jpg.


 public interface MyImageBundle extends ImageBundle {

    * Notice that the Resource annotation is not present, 
    * so the method name itself is assumed to match the associated 
    * image filename.
    * One of btn_submit_icon.png, btn_submit_icon.gif, or 
    * btn_submit_icon.jpg must be located in the same package 
    * as MyImageBundle.
   public AbstractImagePrototype btn_submit_icon();

   // No doc comment is required if you want the default 
   // name-matching behavior.
   public AbstractImagePrototype cancelButtonIcon();

An image bundle that uses the Resource annotation to specify image names might look something like this:

 public interface MyImageBundle extends ImageBundle {

    * The resource annotation contains no '/' characters, so 
    * btn_submit_icon.gif must be located in the same 
    * package as MyImageBundle.
   public AbstractImagePrototype submitButtonIcon();

    * btn_cancel_icon.png must be located in the package 
    * com.mycompany.myapp.icons (which must be on the classpath).
   public AbstractImagePrototype cancelButtonIcon();

Here is how MyImageBundle might be used in an application:


  // Create a new instance of MyImageBundle using GWT.create.
  // This only needs to be done once - a reference to myImageBundle can
  // be kept for use by other parts of the application.
  MyImageBundle myImageBundle = GWT.create(MyImageBundle.class);

  // Retrieve the image prototypes from myImageBundle.
  AbstractImagePrototype submitButtonImgPrototype = myImageBundle.btn_submit_icon();
  AbstractImagePrototype cancelButtonImgPrototype = myImageBundle.cancelButtonIcon();

  // Add the images that are created based on the prototypes to the panel.


Security Warning: Image Bundle's use of the javax.image.imageio Classes

Certain versions of the JVM are susceptible to a vulnerability in the javax.image.imageio classes, which are generally used to parse images. These classes are used by image bundle's implementation to combine all of the images into a single composite image.

It is possible that the vulnerability could be exploited by using a specially crafted image as part of an image bundle. To prevent this type of attack from occurring, use a version of the JVM that includes a fix for this vulnerability. See the following link for more information:

Alternatively, if the images to be used in the bundle are trusted, then it is not necessary to upgrade the JVM.

Caching Recommendations for Image Bundle Files

Since the filename for the image bundle's composite image is based on a hash of the file's contents, the server can tell the browser to cache the file permanently.

To make all image bundle files permanently cacheable, set up a rule in your web server to emit the Expires response header for any files ending with ".cache.*". Such a rule would automatically match generated image bundle filenames (e.g. 320ADF600D31858000C612E939F0AD1A.cache.png). The HTTP/1.1 specification recommends specifying date of approximately one year in the future for the Expires header to indicate that the resource is permanently cacheable.

Using Security Constraints to Protect Image Bundle Files

When a web application has a security constraint set for the composite image, web application servers may change the image's HTTP response headers so that web browsers will not cache it. For example, Tomcat and Glassfish set the HTTP response headers Pragma: No-cache, Cache-Control: None, and Expires: Thu, 1 Jan 1970 00:00:00 (or some other date in the past).

This can lead to performance problems when using image bundles, because the large composite image will be re-requested unnecessarily. In addition, clear.cache.gif, which is a blank image used by the image bundle implementation, will be re-requested as well. While some browsers will only re-request these images for each page load, others will re-request them for each image on the page that is part of an image bundle.

There are several ways to work around this issue:
  1. Modify the servlet which serves png and gif files so that it explicitly sets the Pragma, Cache-Control, and Expires headers. The Pragma and Cache-Control headers should be removed. The Expires header should be set according to the caching recommendations mentioned in the previous section.
  2. If using Tomcat, use the disableProxyCaching property in your web application configuration file to prevent the Pragma, Cache-Control, and Expires headers from being changed by the server. Refer to your web application server's documentation for more information.
  3. Exclude the image bundle's composite image from the web application's security constraint.
  4. If there is sensitive data in any of the images in the image bundle, exclude that image from the bundle and include it in the web application's security constraint. Then, rebuild the image bundle, and exclude the updated bundle's composite image from the security constraint.

Image Bundles and the HTTPS Protocol

There is an issue with displaying image bundle images in Internet Explorer when:
  • The image bundle's composite image is requested using the HTTPS protocol, and
  • The web application has a security constraint set for the composite image
This issue is known to occur with the web application servers Tomcat and Glassfish.

The native format for the composite image is png, and versions of Internet Explorer prior to 7 cannot render png transparerency. To get around this problem, we make use of a plugin built into the operating system.

Internet Explorer specifies that files which require a plugin for viewing must be cached by the browser. That way, the plugin can read the cached file from the disk. Whenever the composite image is protected by a security constraint, the web application server sets caching headers on the response to prevent the browser from caching the image (see the previous section for details).

When using the HTTP protocol, Internet Explorer will disregard the Pragma: No-cache and Cache-Control: None headers, and will cache the image. However, When using the HTTPS protocol, Internet Explorer will enforce these headers, and will not cache the image. Since the composite image is not stored on disk, the plugin is unable to render it, and all of the images in the application which rely on the composite image will not be displayed.

To work around this issue, follow the recommendations outlined in the previous section.

For More Information

See the GWT Developer Guide for an introduction to image bundles.
See Also:
  • Nested Class Summary

    Nested Classes
    Modifier and Type
    static @interface 
    Explicitly specifies a file name or path to the image resource to be associated with a method in an ImageBundle.