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Applet Navigation Menus

 
Daniel Acuff
Greenhorn
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Once before I considered Java Applets for Navigation menus and passed. On a new website I am designing I once again considered using a Java applet for Top or leftside navigation.
I am concerned about the Load time and the unsightly look of the box loading. What do you think? I do not have access to Java Server Pages as I host on an ASP oriented server. But I still want to learn Java and I figure a menu navigation is a good way to start learning it. I really have no real strong compelling reason to learn Java other than the challenge of it.
I am concerned about how long it will take me to learn Java. I have a good IDE (VS6 J++) if I need it, I also downloaded the most recent SDK from SUN. I got a couple books from the library today, including Java for dummies, so I hope that will help.
If possible can someone show me some Java code on how I would START coding a top nav menu like the one at RealApplets.com called CascadeMenu http://www.realapplets.com/appletpage.asp?dir=cascademenu&page=example1
Boy for $30 it sure makes me want to just buy that one and forget about learning Java, but I know scripting and databasing, I should be able to PROGRAM too!!!
Any help MUCH appreciated.
 
Tim Holloway
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If I understand correctly, you're looking for some sort of dynamic navigation objects for web pages like drop-down menus or sidebars that expand/contract subtopics.
Although I know of sites that use Java for that purpose. these days you can generally get the same effects with less pain (and more portability) using JavaScript and CSS.
In the current muddled state of the Internet world, client-side Java is sort of a last resort. It's best suited for complex input, interactive graphics, and other things that would be difficult or impossible with JavaScript and other "universal" client-side resources.
You don't have to depend on your ASP to play with server-side Java, though! Get a copy of Tomcat. It's the open-source JSP and Servlet server from the Apache organization at http://jakarta.apache.org/tomcat - Version 4 is probably the simplest to setup and use.
Just download it and set it up on your local machine. I do recommend at you have at least 600MHz worth of CPU, though. Java can be very hungry. I have servers running Tomcat at 200MHz, but you can tell when a page is being recompiled.
 
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