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The plug-in must support more browsers for applets to succeed

1 reply [Last post]
Joined: 2003-08-24

I know it sounds counter-intuitive to waste resources porting the plug-in to platforms that only have a 5% market share but I think this should be your not-so-long-term goal. I agree that the FireFox/InternetExplorer plug-in need to be *solid* before even considering this.

You need to realize that the primary reason that AJAX is the hottest technology around town is that it works across all browsers while delivering decent UI. Developers will think twice before migrating from AJAX to Applets if they hear that the plug-in only supports two browsers (regardless of the market-share that entails).

I think you could reasonably begin this effort with minimal work on Sun's part simply by open-sourcing the plug-in and encouraging the community to help you port it to their favorite browser. Browser zealots just love that sort of thing :)

Just my 2 cents.

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Joined: 2003-06-16

These are good points, though as you've mentioned we must defer any such work for the time being as we still have a lot of work to do on the new Java Plug-In for our core targeted browsers. (At the current time, most of the work is going into shared code common to the various browsers, but there is a lot of new functionality in the new plug-in which we are still ironing out.)

The plan is that the new plug-in will be open-sourced at some point in the not-too-distant future, so your community-driven approach is a definite possibility.

Another thing to mention is that the Firefox version of the new plug-in is based on the NPAPI and NPRuntime standards, so in theory, any web browser supporting recent versions of these standards should be able to run the new Java Plug-In with no modifications.