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Applet in e-mail??

 
Dannii Black
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Hi,
I'm not sure how to explain my problem easily, so I'll just start at the very beginning.
I had been asked to write an applet which is sent with an e-mail and opens automatically when the receiver opens the e-mail. Now, because of the risks of viruses etc, this cannot happen. But I need to get it doing something as close as possible to this.
An example I was shown was where a user can connect to a website that, on the first visit, asked the user to download a load of applets.
But now when this same user goes to the website, a little java symbol pops up beside the clock on the desktop to tell the user that he/she is running one of the downloaded applets. Nothing needs to be downloaded as all the required applets are already installed on his pc.
The person who needs this applet reckons they can write the HTML, send the e-mail in HTML form with the HTML they've wrote. And with my applet attached.
This will then prompt the receiver to download the applet (through the e-mail) and then the next time the receiver gets this e-mail, there'll be no need to download the applet, it'll just appear for him/her.
Also, changes to the content of the applet can be made on both sides. And I am still being pushed to make all this happen through the e-mail rather than directing the receiver to a website each time.
Does this make sense to anyone? Anyone willing to help? Pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeease???
 
Tim Holloway
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This is for certain one of those things that can only be done if you have total control over both sides of the connection.
Up until 6 months ago, I was using Pine to read my email with. Pine is a "DOS"-style (non-GUI) program and it's actually quite popular. However, it absolutely cannot display HTML email nor run applets. End of story. And, if you're curious about why such an antique-looking program is so popular, it's because it's fast, lightweight, and immune to viruses.
You also won't get very far emailing this kind of stuff to people using Lotus Notes, which is a mainstay of many large businesses. I always hated getting HTML email before Corporate America laid me off. It looks terrible under Notes.
In fact, the about only place where HTML email works is for email programs that are integrated with web browsers such as IE/Outlook and Netscape(Mozilla). So even embedding an applet in email is very much limited. If you could do so, you might get a boost from the browser's cache system, but YMMV.
Beyond that, I'm lost. It sounds like one of those things that are done with a lot less trouble by doing it some simpler way, but I don't know enough about the problem.
Except that it sounds like someone in a position of authority "knows" how it should be done. For which I can only extend my sympathy.
 
Dannii Black
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Hi,
Thanks for that. Almost everyone I asked has said that it's not possible, but when I repeat it all I get asked is "how come I can use it here on this website, why can't I just have the sane thing in my e-mail, etc, etc"
I don't think its absolutely necessary to get it up and running, so hopefully the idea will wear off sooner rather than later.
Thanks again for the info
 
Tim Holloway
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Well, a crude analogy would be:
You can send pictures through the mail. Why can't I watch "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" on a postcard?
Email actually requires 3 different programs. 1 to send the mail, one to route, receive and store tha mail (sometimes more than one, if those functions are broken out) and finally one to display (and usually to create) the mail.
Only the MUA (email composition and reader) program of those three is even remotely interactive. ANd even then, there's no real-time connection back to the other parts of the system. Email is a batch process and the only reason that sometimes it might look otherwise is because some MUAs, such as Microsoft Outlook, embed web browser functions into the mail display. However they are web functions and the interactions you do with them are going through a web server and not through the email server.
A lot of people think that Outlook is synonymous with email. Fortunately that's not so, considering what a horrible security risk it is. I flatly refuse to use it even though its user interfaces are excellent.
 
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