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Applet issues in the near future

 
Bill Pearce
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Hi all,
So our product development team (marketing to you and me) has determined that a new phase of our web application should be served up as an applet. Because that's what the customers want. Right.
I am wondering about applet development given Microsoft's failure to include a JVM with XP. I wanted to outline the possible pitfalls and customer experience for our marketing people, but the research is tedious. Hoping to get some bottom line answers here. As I understand it:
New installs of XP (including those shipped on new PC's) will not have a JVM installed when they start up. The user can istall one on his own, and in fact will be promted to do so when first attempting to run an applet. Then they wait for the 5MB download.
Users upgrading from Windows NT or Windows 2000 will have their JVM (if present) carried over to the upgraded OS.
has anyone done any testing of your applets already under XP? If you have applets used by customers, are you supporting XP? Any issues?
I also saw (but can't find again) something about similar issues with Netscape 6+ users. Can anyone provide any details about this?
Any advice (other than not to use applets for Internet customers) is appreciated.
Bill
 
Tim Holloway
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Sun is supposed to be working on this issue - keep an eye on the http://java.sun.com website to follow the continuing story. I think the latest is that they may be supplying CDs and/or encouraging hardware vendors to preload the Java runtimes on new computers.
In some ways, this may be the best thing that ever happened to Java, since for the first time a modern (Swing-enabled) runtime can become the standard.
I don't know about Netscape. Part of the reason they lost the browser wars was that they didn't offer anything compelling than IE - like a more up-to-date Java. Then again, anyone who fields a program that crashes frequently for a platform as fragile as Windows is pretty much getting what they deserve.
 
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