Oct 21

What the rebirth of Java Applets could mean

Gears, Google, Java, JavaScript, Tech with tags: 6 Comments »

I just posted about the Sun announcement on Java Applets 2.0 (even if the PR folk kept telling us it was an “update” not an “announcement”).

The web community tends to poo poo the applet. We scoff at the startup time. We complain at the cross browser issues that went against the point. We moan at the speed. We groan at the image mouseover examples.

However, if we get off of our high horse for a minute and think about what a world where Java in the browser was actually decent, we get an interesting picture.

If the plugin could be in control of the cross browser / platform issues, then it could allow us to write rich components that work on all. We could build and register a really nice file upload component for example that takes over type=”file” to do a lot more. We could use JNLP (or something else) to register the modules, and when we get winners, could even standardize them.

If we then think about SQLite databases in the browser. We could actually use Hibernate to work with it. The JavaScript / Java bridge is already decent, and could get even easier / better.

If the Java Plugin is done well, it could become a platform to build on. This is a big if though, and there is the spectre of Java 1.x in IE looming out there. Is there a way to get around that though?

// beginning of the plugin simply does
if ie and freaking old Java 1.x
run the installer

As I think about this, Gears and Java could actually do some interesting work together.