There are two worlds of Mac OS X: the Unix side and the GUI side. On
the one hand, there is the Unix side that has you popping open a
Terminal window and typing
ls. The typical
Mac OS X user doesn’t spend much time in that world,
mainly because the more public side of Mac OS X is the bright, shiny
Aqua interface. Fortunately, you can run many Java programs by
double-clicking on an icon or navigating to a web page.
There are many Java programs that fall into this category. The first
type involves desktop applications written in Java, but installed and
run just like any other native Mac OS X application. The second type
is a Java applet, which typically runs within a web browser. When you
open a web page that contains an applet, Java code is downloaded to
your machine and run inside a restricted part of your disk called a
sandbox. The sandbox approach is dependent on
browsers to support Java from within. A third approach is a hybrid
Java Web Start (JWS). In this case you
download a small piece of code in the browser, and a helper
application takes over, allowing you to run the application
independent from the browser. You can even choose to transform a JWS
application into a standalone, double-clickable application.
In each case, Java code is executing on your machine using your instance of the Java Virtual Machine (JVM). There are other times you may be depending on Java code without knowing it. As you access web sites and use ...