Discussion in 'Web Design and Development' started by stevento, Dec 4, 2008.

  1. stevento macrumors 6502


    Dec 10, 2006
    Los Angeles
    I am doing a sort of class project and I need to know some stuff about Java applets.
    I know how to create and embed them, but i have a couple of questions

    1. what is the point of using them when we have flash?
    2. when/why were they introduced?
    3. who uses them? where on the web can i find modern, professional or commercial use of an applet?
  2. angelwatt Moderator emeritus


    Aug 16, 2005
    Kind of sounds like you're wanting us to help with your homework. Those questions seem pretty obvious to me.
  3. toddburch macrumors 6502a

    Dec 4, 2006
    Katy, Texas
    We (A.K.A. "me") don't have flash. That's because the license fee is still in my pocket and not in Adobe's pocket.
  4. X1Lightning macrumors 6502


    Feb 19, 2007
  5. SrWebDeveloper macrumors 68000


    Dec 7, 2007
    Alexandria, VA, USA
    All the replies so far made me laugh!

    I don't think the OP was cheating in their schoolwork. I took their comment to mean they've kept up with recent trends and know a little about the real internet, and not the TEXTBOOK version. The truth is, web applets and alot of other proprietary software requiring plugin downloads has diminished in favor on the Net. And that's the right way to say it - "diminished in favor" because applets have not technically been deprecated the W3C. With Flash being supported by 97% of the browsers, and 50% of those being the latest version, the dominance of Flash for extended GUI and the rich web experience is not and should not be surpising to anyone.

    But in school, applets use Java, a powerful, excellent and common language that is well supported across nearly all major computer and browser platforms. It also demonstrates the basic concepts of coding, compiling and web publishing which is still beneficial to know even if most frameworks and languages are interpreted via CGI, web server modules or "just in time" automated compilation. In some cases it's a matter of outdated textbooks, sure, but also it's a simple case of simplicity in action.

    Java is now open source (Sun did this a few years back) and that means schools can save money on licenses since Flash isn't free (ask Adobe), not even to schools with volume discounts.

    Flash is also considered proprietary, in that it is it's own patented and self contained framework. It's the antithesis of the open source philosophy as you use a special IDE to create, test, compile and publish. But if you start out with Java, and do it manually (running javac on the server via command line interface, create the HTML yourself, FTP the applet stuff, get the paths right, etc.) then you now have the intellectual skills and "under the hood" knowledge which will only help you with other languages, frameworks and so forth. It helps teach you to be a better developer and to learn the basic pitfalls using a deceptively powerful Java core.

    Well, that's the positive spin on it. Sit there and learn, that's my advice, then take a great Flash course and go make the real money. But be sure to add both to your resume' and your brain.

    Now if they start to teach you COBOL, or ask you do punch holes in cards, or start adding scotch tape to microfiche --- then your school might be the trouble and not you!


  6. lucidmedia macrumors 6502a

    Oct 13, 2008
    Wellington, New Zealand
    Absolutely true. But those who code in AS can create SWF files without paying a licensing fee. You pay Adobe for their interfaces (like using flash's timeline), but they have released compilers so that any developer can use open-source tools to generate "flash" content.

    Also, Adobe Flex is free to all students and employees of educational institutions.

    this is good advice. Many of my students use Processing (an extension of Java designed for visual thinkers) in their research and learning, then take that knowledge and apply it to learning actionscript 3. There is just not an economic model yet to create java-based rich web experiences, while there is a ton of demand for good AS coders....

    p.s. If you are looking for a site with lots of amazing applets, look no further than the Processing website's exhibition section:
  7. stevento thread starter macrumors 6502


    Dec 10, 2006
    Los Angeles
    well, usually i'd google to find the answers to these questions. but this is just as effective.
  8. Cromulent macrumors 603


    Oct 2, 2006
    The Land of Hope and Glory
    Applets seem to of been replaced in favour of Java Server Pages, Enterprise Java Beans and other Java web application technology. Still, applets were introduced in 1995 / 1996.

    IRC chat rooms on web pages are often implemented by a an applet. Stock brokers sometimes use applets as well. Games are another example that work well in applets. There are lots of uses for them.

    Java is a great language if you want to make the big bucks. Banks often require knowledge in it if you want to work for them making financial software.

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