Flash -vs- Applets

Shane Hathaway shane at hathawaymix.org
Thu Nov 16 01:13:35 MST 2006

Bryan Sant wrote:
> On 11/15/06, Ross Werner <rosswerner at gmail.com> wrote:
>> I just loaded a page (in Firefox) with a relatively simple Java 
>> applet--it
>> pegged my CPU at 100% for several minutes, froze the browser, and still
>> failed to successfully load the applet. I had to killall firefox-bin.
>> That's why I hate Java applets. An applet should *not* cause my 
>> browser to
>> crash, even if it's a malicious applet, first of all (which this wasn't).
>> Second, they should download quickly and open quickly. Preferably with
>> some sort of notification of how far along they are, like most Flash 
>> does.
> Could you send the URL of that applet?

Even on a 2 GHz machine, every time I encounter a Java applet, the 
browser freezes for 5 seconds while it loads the JVM.  A browser crash 
often follows within minutes.  This problem is obviously not inherent to 
Java, but it is a symptom of poor integration.

If I were designing the browser/applet connection, I would:

* run a JVM in a separate process for each web site that uses an applet, 
so the browser can simply kill runaway applets;

* never block the browser from repainting, no matter the quality of the 
JVM or applet;

* allow applets to manipulate the DOM just like Javascript can; and

* cache jar files aggressively in the browser.

It's not too late for such a redesign.  If it happens, people will no 
longer notice they're running Java, and Java applets will become much 
more acceptable.


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