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Should I study applets ?

 
Shubham Semwal
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Hi,
I want to know if use of applets is outdated in java. Is there any new functionality/classes that serves the same purpose in a better way ? Should i study applets ?
 
Paul Clapham
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Yes, applets are outdated.

JNLP is a technology which serves a similar purpose -- it allows a user to locally run a Java application which comes from a server -- but it is not widely used.

No, you shouldn't study applets unless there is something external, like a course curriculum, which requires you to do so. If it's your choice, then choose to spend your time elsewhere.
 
Shubham Semwal
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Thanks. Since JNLP is not widely used what do we use to replace applets now ?
 
Paul Clapham
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Depends what you wanted the applet to do. A lot of people used applets for mundane things like displaying views from web cams, things which can be done more simply with a bit of JavaScript, for example. So if you're looking for a rule which says "Applets should be replaced by X", there isn't any such rule.

But since you haven't studied applets and aren't going to, then the question doesn't arise for you. When you're looking for a solution to some problem, you won't be considering applets for it and you'll find a solution elsewhere.
 
Shubham Semwal
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Thanks. I got it.
 
Quazi Irfan
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Paul Clapham wrote:
JNLP is a technology which serves a similar purpose -- it allows a user to locally run a Java application which comes from a server -- but it is not widely used.


Why JNLP isn't widely used? It looks nifty.
 
Stephan van Hulst
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I think mostly because JNLP applications don't run in the browser so they don't really integrate well in web applications, and they have limited permissions so it's usually more convenient to just release a Java desktop application using a traditional installer or download.
 
Quazi Irfan
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Stephan van Hulst wrote:they have limited permissions...


Can you tell me more about the limitation? What limitation jnlp applications have?
 
Bear Bibeault
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If you are looking for applications that execute within the browser, start looking into modern JavaScript.
 
Quazi Irfan
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No I am looking for desktop based application, and jnlp looks like a viable options, but I was curious to know the limitations of it's approach.
 
Paul Clapham
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I'm not aware of any limitations, and I've written JNLP applications and I have one on my machine (produced by somebody not connected to me) which I use from time to time. So we'll have to wait for Stephan to post back.

Like applets, if you want to distribute a JNLP application which does anything insecure (like accessing files on your machine or connecting to other servers and so on) then you have to sign it with a certificate from a known certificate issuing authority (i.e. not self-signing). And even then, the client must accept that certificate before the application will run. So there are several hurdles to be cleared before you can distribute it.
 
Stephan van Hulst
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Paul Clapham wrote:I'm not aware of any limitations, and I've written JNLP applications and I have one on my machine (produced by somebody not connected to me) which I use from time to time. So we'll have to wait for Stephan to post back.

I hadn't realized that the limitations I had in mind could be resolved by using certificates. In that case, I don't have a satisfactory answer to why JNLP is not used a lot. I think maybe it's linked to the use of Java for desktop applications in general?
 
Tim Moores
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I think if JNLP had been around when applets and desktop Java were hot items, Java might indeed have fared better on the desktop. But it came years later, when all the JVM security issues had already given that a bad reputation.
 
Paul Clapham
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Another possible reason is this: when JNLP was originally released, there were numerous glitches and problems which you had to circumnavigate to make a JNLP application work on a client's computer. There were a couple of web pages which you could track down which described various ugly workarounds you could try. So that wasn't a positive thing.

And like Stephan said, Java never got much traction in the desktop application area.

So people weren't writing Java desktop applications, and when they did they were more likely to be deployed in in-house environments where the techies could walk down the hall and deal with infelicities in installing those applications.
 
Quazi Irfan
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Thanks for the clarification.
 
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