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SDK 1.4.2: does the required JRE/Plugin undermine the use of applets?

 
Marc Pr�pper
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I have overcome the problems of running applets under SDK 1.4.2 by installing the required plugin. Now everything runs fine again, but I am left with one crucial question. For me it's no problem to download those 30+Mb, but how can I expect people visiting my webpage to do the same? It's more likely that this barrier will stop people visiting the page.
I think the problem is limited tot those having Microsoft OS's, but that's quite a lot of them out there!
I am thinking of uninstalling and downgrading to an older SDK version, but that seems a short-term solution, or is not?
Is there a good alternative? The one Microsoft recommends (tranferring to C#,J#) clearly is not because then the situation is reversed: only Window's users can visit the page.
I read a lot of questions in the forums regarding the plugin, but not regarding the use of applets. Do I miss a crucial reason why applets are not less attractive under SDK1.4.2 than before?
I would be happy if you would share your thoughts. Thanks, Marc
 
Ernest Friedman-Hill
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I believe the plugin alone is smaller than 30MB. I'm not sure precisely of the size, but it's not that big. 30MB is roughly the size of the whole SDK.
But in any event: this is one of the many, many reasons why applets just aren't a great idea on the Internet. They make a lot more sense on an intranet where you control the client platforms.
 
Marc Pr�pper
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Do you know a faq or link that would give a bit more info on those other 'many, many' reasons? I see your point on intranet vs. internet.
What would be an alternative to using an applet for an application that is meant to be used on a web page, that gets input parameters from the user, runs a model and outputs model outcomes to the web page? Would javascript in combination with HTML form controls be able do this trick for more difficult models (that you would typically want to write in a Java applet, aargh)? I would be grateful if you could give me some hints.
I used to write my standalone programs in C++ and quite disliked the need to use visual C++ to add some GUI's (users liked it better, though). Now both GUI's and Internet applications seemed so naturally incorporated in Java, especially in applets, that the problems arising from these large plugins and beware those other reasons are quite a disappoinment. Can we turn the tide here?
Marc
 
Ernest Friedman-Hill
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Most Java apps are server-side apps, with only HTML on the desktop. They thus work with any browser. All the complicated stuff is done on the server machine. The technologies you want to look into are JSP and Servlets; there are forums devoted to these topics right here on JavaRanch (look up at the top of the main page of the Saloon.)
 
Marc Pr�pper
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Thanks,
Marc
 
Marilyn de Queiroz
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How many people download "flash" or "real player" or ... the first time they run into a need? How is downloading the java plug-in any different from this?
 
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