This week's book giveaway is in the OCAJP 8 forum. We're giving away four copies of OCA Java SE 8 Programmer I Study Guide and have Edward Finegan & Robert Liguori on-line! See this thread for details.
Both NetBeans and Eclipse offer a mechanism to update "plug-ins" or "modules" from the web.
This concept has intrigued me, and I would like to implement something similar in my own programs. I'm thinking of something that would read a text file on a webserver to check for updates to my program or its plug-ins.
However, I've never done anything like this, and I'm not even sure what classes I would start to look at. I gues my first questions would be:
 Is there a "standard" way to implement this type of functionality?  How do I access a text file that resides at a URL, such as a web address?  How do I download a JAR from the web and execute its main method from within a running Java application?
The soul is dyed the color of its thoughts. Think only on those things that are in line with your principles and can bear the light of day. The content of your character is your choice. Day by day, what you do is who you become. Your integrity is your destiny - it is the light that guides your way. - Heraclitus