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Architecture decision: RMI or socket programming

Jes Sie
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This is probably my first post to this sub section of JavaRanch.
I just want to quickily ask about some design issues on RMI & Socket programming.
You see, my team recently developed an application which runs as an applet on the frontend. One of the fundamental duty of this applet is to do chat with the public users. You can tell that socket client/server is probably the standard approach. However, my CTO made a second approach by revamping it into running via RMI. It works! but each IE browser has to install a RMI patch.....and I'm sure browser can be a real pain unless we stick back to old fashion socket programming. Then again, socket programming needs a strong set of protocols and that itself too is a pain.
Any comments/suggestion would be welcome.

Thank you.
- Simon See
-after office hours-
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