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Suggestion for Update N: a splash screen

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qu0ll
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Joined: 2006-12-09
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One of the things that annoys me and also detracts from the user experience with Java applets is that while the JVM is starting there is absolutley no indication that anything is happening in the browser. The progress bar in the status bar freezes, the cursor freezes and the entire browser fails to respond. I am not talking about what happens when the orange Java logo and its animation appear - that's great - it's what happens *before* that I am referring to. I realise that the time before the orange logo appears is getting shorter with Update N but I would still like to see *something* that indicates that Java is loading before that.

How about a small splash screen (or even some simple text) that says something like "Java loading..." in the center of the applet or on the status bar? That would be a huge improvement that's easy to implement!

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-Q
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qu0ll
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Joined: 2006-12-09
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Roger, do you think something could be done about this in JSE 6 Update N or do you think it will have to wait for JSE 7.0 (hopefully not)?

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-Q
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jasuha1
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Joined: 2007-12-27
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No that is not a good thing and not business oriented. It is as same as Microsoft tried to display "Warning ActiveX object" dialog on each applet being loaded against Eolas patent which was shelved thankfully.

Best option is to put a static image to the applet area before the initialization of JVM starts. The initial delay is because the animated loader marker is also java based. Therefore the JVM must be initialized before showing the applet loading indicator. Again best option is to put a static image before the JVM is initialized.

jayv
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Joined: 2007-08-14
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In case of applets:

What we need is to optionally define an image (or animated image or SVG or whatever) that completely replaces the Sun Java loading animation.

The logo is much better than before, but we need to look at what the competition is doing. Flash doesn't advertise that it's loading, and frankly all what the Java applet does is advertise how slowly it is.

What's important is that Flash doesn't get in the way of the user or developer, neither does JavaScript. This allows for better integration in the website, a definite dealbreaker for many companies. And look how many companies are adopting flash and javascript in favor of Java...I'm not claiming that it's the only issue standing in the way of it's adoption, but certainly a major issue.

We need to get the Java Applet plugin on the same level. No intrusive SUN branding is essential for it's success. Flash didn't need it, Java would be better off without it. Don't we have to inform the users that something is happening? Yes! But leave that up to the developer to decide how, don't shove that animation up our throats.

I can't imagine JavaFX taking off with that logo still in place, we need something that looks as good as Flash, loads as fast as Flash, and integrates as well as Flash.

@SUN: I think you guys can at least get 2 out of 3... now it's up to you guys! Final chance to get it right!

PS: Interesting talk on Java Applets (JavaPosse episode 156): http://www.javaposse.com/index.php?post_id=291572

qu0ll
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Joined: 2006-12-09
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jayv,

My original comment relates to what happens *before* the orange Sun Java loading animation kicks in. I have no problem with the current loading animation displaying either "Sun" or "Java" as it gives recognition to the brand but *before* that is visible something must be displayed to indicate that the JVM is loading or the user will be confused as to why their browser has frozen with nothing happening. On one of my machines it can take 20 seconds for the logo to appear (it's a Windows Server 2003 machine). While the delay in itself is not good, it can at least be made more bearable and informative if some visual indicator is shown. This cannot be something configurable in the applet itself as the JVM has not loaded at this point.

An animated Ajax-style cursor and/or text on the status bar would suffice.

--
And loving it,

-Q
_________________________________________________
Qu0llSixFour@gmail.com
(Replace the "SixFour" with numbers to email me)

jayv
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I understood what you meant qu0ll, but since what I want it to do includes both the loading of the JVM and the loading of the applet itself I found it reasonable to suggest it in this topic.

Java 6 has an option to show a splashscreen from a JAR during JVM startup. The same technique could be used for applets.

As far as the branding goes, listen to the JavaPosse talk I referred to. I think many people would share the same opinion. Adobe / Macromedia never advertised Flash during movie play, yet every (web)developer knows it's Flash. The end-user doesn't care about what technology is starting, they don't know about it and frankly don't care they just want to USE the website. If other developers want to know about that cool new technology in their browsers they'll eventually find out what it is if it's worth it.

So to me it's not about recognition to the brand, having many more applets would IMHO be much more appreciated by the applet dev team than the fact that now everyone knows about applets but ditches them for reasons like this one.

qu0ll
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I have listened to that JavaPosse discussion and found it very interesting, with lots of nice issues mentioned. You are probably right on the branding point but as I said I don't really mind either way whether "Java" is displayed. Yes, best if it wasn't.

Now, what is this splash screen going to look like? Duke? No text? Animated?

--
And loving it,

-Q
_________________________________________________
Qu0llSixFour@gmail.com
(Replace the "SixFour" with numbers to email me)

jayv
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I don't ask much, just that it'll be configurable. At least an image (with support for animated GIF or similar, by for example a bunch of images defined in for example the manifest file with an attributed framerate.

What should it look like by default? I'd say something similar to the applet animation now (it's good enough), but still on the same subject I think users should be encouraged to override it so it blends in with the hosting webpage. And keep this default animation/splashscreen for backwards compatibility with pre 6uN applets.

qu0ll
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As I said, I have no problems with the current animation so it could be used (by default only) as long as it kicks in before the JVM has started.

Being able to configure the image(s) would be great and would certainly fit better with my project's applet usage than the default animation.

--
And loving it,

-Q
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(Replace the "SixFour" with numbers to email me)

linuxhippy
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Joined: 2004-01-07
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It would be great if the new plugin could display a static image while it is loading the JVM out-of-process, and replace this image as soon as the Java-driven animation is ready to show.

I guess it would not be a lot of work?

lg Clemens

jonathanc
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Joined: 2007-12-04
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I think that something minimal such as an AJAX-style loading indicator would be the best choice here rather than displaying Java loading or a splash screen.

(http://www.napyfab.com/ajax-indicators/)

qu0ll
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Joined: 2006-12-09
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That's a great collection of indicators. Yes, anything like that would be fine - just something *moving* that gives the user some idea that something is actually happening. At the moment the browser just freezes including animation of the system cursor.

--
And loving it,

-Q
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(Replace the "SixFour" with numbers to email me)

rogyeu
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Joined: 2006-07-30
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Hi qu0ll,

Thanks for your comment. I have submitted an RFE for your suggestion. CR 6633005.

You can monitor this bug on the Java Bug Database at
http://bugs.sun.com/bugdatabase/view_bug.do?bug_id=6633005.

It may take a day or two before your bug shows up in this external database.

Thanks,
Roger Y.

qu0ll
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Joined: 2006-12-09
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Thanks Roger. On one of my machines it can take 15 seconds before the orange logo appears so that's a lot of time when the user gets absolutely no response. A splash or animated text would be really nice.

--
And loving it,

-Q
_________________________________________________
Qu0llSixFour@gmail.com
(Replace the "SixFour" with numbers to email me)