July 18, 2001
8:11 AM   Subscribe

Take that, web-standards maniacs! "After Windows XP is launched in October, users will be directed to download a plug-in from Microsoft's Web site (www.microsoft.com) to make Java-based programs work. Without this step, 'any Web page that contains Java applications will not run -- it will be a dead page'" Put that in your "this page viewable in v5.0 browsers or later" crackpipe and smoke it. (Shamelessly swiped from that Other Site...)
posted by jfuller (21 comments total)
A gun. A clock tower. A neutron bomb. Something. ANYTHING. To make them JUST FUCKING STOP.
posted by solistrato at 8:24 AM on July 18, 2001

what do java applets have to do with web standards anyway? i can see how it's fun to try and get people all riled up with an inflammatory message, but I think you're picking the wrong target here.

netscape 6 doesn't come with a java VM either, you'll notice.
posted by chrisege at 8:29 AM on July 18, 2001

What, like the Java pages I use in IE5.1preview for Mac? Blank or missing items? Yep, nothing new.

Personal opinion: Java's use on the web, in commercial and personal applications, is impractical. Pointless, almost. The best thing I've seen Java do is host webcams - and it does that well - but it's nothing that can't be done with HTML in many cases. Remember those early Java webapps? Fancy buttons, animated graphics? You can do that with JavaScript and HTML. Surprise.

Now. That's not to say that there aren't practical uses for Java apps on Windows, OS X, or any other platform. But I really don't see this as any type of blow to the web standards. The reaction would be different if, say, Flash support was removed.
posted by hijinx at 8:32 AM on July 18, 2001

What on earth does installing a Java plugin have to do with 'Web Standards'?
posted by metaxa at 8:47 AM on July 18, 2001

Yawn. Does anyone even care about Java in the browser any more?
posted by dandot at 8:49 AM on July 18, 2001

I think you may be confusing Java and Javascript. XP will not include the Java interpreter for executing applications (and thus applets) written in Sun Microsystem's Java programming lanquage. Java has nothing to do with W3C standards. Javascript, on the other hand, has nothing to do with Java - it is a scripting lanquage for use in dealing with the DOM (which is a W3C standard). As far as I can tell, Microsoft is not removing the ability to parse javascript from any future version of IE.
posted by dchase at 9:22 AM on July 18, 2001

I haven't seen a Java applet in a web browser that couldn't have been done better as a standalone application. The only java applet I can remember ever using is the Bejeweled game, which only needs to be an applet so that MSN can force you to see their ads.

Java as a cross-platform client side development environment ended several years ago...

posted by Mars Saxman at 10:02 AM on July 18, 2001

This change won't mean much. Most people are using Flash instead of Java applets for interactive programs and animations.

However, it's a shame that Microsoft would turn off the virtual machine that's already included in MSIE, reducing the functionality of its browser simply to punish a rival.

Even if applets disappeared overnight, Java servlets and Java Server Pages are thriving. I'm converting static web sites using JSP and servlets, and it's incredibly useful, powerful, and fast.
posted by rcade at 10:09 AM on July 18, 2001

yeah, what everyone said... to hell with java (please don't hurt me Sun.).

that other site

posted by lotsofno at 10:09 AM on July 18, 2001

Java as a cross-platform client side development environment ended several years ago...

People think that because of a few high-profile failures such as the Navigator Java version, but Java's being used all over the place -- especially to provide thin clients that run as part of a browser so they don't require any installation. The current PC Magazine described several different business applications with Java front ends for e-mail server administration, wireless PDA file-serving, and other business applications.
posted by rcade at 10:17 AM on July 18, 2001

Full Disclosure: rcade peddles Java books

What's in it for me - Do I have to load a plugin to use dialpad.com from IE now?
posted by dand at 11:52 AM on July 18, 2001

This is the best news I've heard come out of Redmond in a long, long time.

I've always hated coming across pages with Java on them.
posted by Witold at 12:03 PM on July 18, 2001

Hey! Heard the latest? Microsoft will not be bundling the Windows media Player in XP! Believe that?
OK, how about Real Player or any other non Microsoft media player won't install properly on XP? Sounds more plausible, eh?
The real kicker is that the XP operating system is based on the BSD monolithic kernel, and we all know how Microsoft feels about those evil coders who don't code for profit, don't we?

That other web site....hmmm...where on earth could that be? Holland Michigan perhaps?
posted by nofundy at 12:22 PM on July 18, 2001

without java applets, i won't be able to play chess on yahoo.com right out of the box! SCREW YOU, M$
posted by moz at 12:26 PM on July 18, 2001

It sounds like MS want to treat Java applets just like any other third-party plug-in addition to a web page. Maybe it is because they don't own the technology and therefore want to try to marginalise it, but I suspect this move is at least in part for more pragmatic reasons - it will significantly reduce the download time, and the installed and runtime footprint of IE. The Java virtual machine is a bit of a monster download. I'd guess this will knock about 6 - 7 MB off IE.

And there really don't seem to be all that many pages that employ Java applets these days. If particular sites and their users need Java, its certainly no more of a chore to install than any other plug-in.

So, this is probably a sensible move. Certainly nothing to do with web-standards, anyhow.
posted by normy at 11:08 PM on July 18, 2001

The only mainstream sites that I've seen that still use Java applets are for banks, where they want to have an additional level of security that they feel is not possible with an HTML / JavaScript solution.
posted by kerplunk at 6:26 AM on July 19, 2001

Then you haven't gone to many games sites lately. (I'm assuming that games.yahoo.com, for example, counts as "mainstream.")
posted by rodii at 6:40 AM on July 19, 2001

Please correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't one of the results of Sun's lawsuit making MS pull of all "Java Compatible" and removing Java from all their products within 7 years from the decision?

This is what they are doing.

Also, I don't think rcade's Java-book pushing makes his arguments any less valid - it's still being used, just not for things like marquees.
posted by cCranium at 9:33 AM on July 19, 2001

"The real kicker is that the XP operating system is based on the BSD monolithic kernel"

You must be kidding...

The XP kernel is an evolution of the NT kernel, a decidedly NON BSD like kernel. This is why the anti-ms crowd loses credability.

I am pretty happy MS pulled shipping a JVM with it. They are still making it available for free - they just aren't 'bundling' it.

Isn't that what the govt spend a few billion dollars trying to force?
posted by soulhuntre at 1:39 PM on July 19, 2001

So ZDNet.com reports that "Microsoft pulls back on Java support". I still think the Yahoo version of the story is much more appropriate....."Microsoft: The Tonya Harding of technology".
posted by 120degrees at 1:48 PM on July 19, 2001

There is much more to this than chat applets.

See: Java is Essential to the Software Ecosystem by Clay Shirky. See also: Call to Action for the OEMs (about Windows XP support for Java or lack thereof).

posted by artlung at 7:48 PM on July 19, 2001

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