Java’s primary contribution to the Web, however, has been in
the form of Java applets, self-contained
mini-executable programs. These programs, named with the
.class suffix, can be placed right on the web
page, like a graphic.
Applets are ideal for web distribution for the following reasons:
They are platform-independent.
They download completely and run on the client-side, so there is no continued burden on the server.
Applet files are generally quite compact and download quickly.
They don’t require a proprietary plug-in to be installed. All the major browsers are now Java-enabled, which means chances are good that users will be able to view the applet.
Of course, every utopian technology has its darker side, and unfortunately, in the real world, browsers can be temperamental in the way they handle Java applets. Browsers are notorious for crashing in the presence of a computation-hungry applet. In general, it takses browsers a long time to initialize Java, which tends to chase users away. There was a great buzz amongst web developers when Java applets first hit the scene, but ...