Java 7 - good old times comes back
As Java 1.1 was out, Java was very fast. It started fast and I think it runs also fast (for Applets).
Later there came additional the JFC-classes external to it, but it was still fast.
The best performance under Windows have had Microsofts jview I think.
Java 1.2 was already slower. And that goes on, until Java 1.4.
Java 1.5 gives me the feeling, that it is a little bit faster. But Java 1.6 was then _very_ slow.
For example http://www.knuddels.de/
At first, it needs a lot of time, after the applet starts. And then, when the three textfields are there, it needs a lot of time, after the Applet accepts what I have typed. I type my nickname and at first it do nothing. But that it writes it slowly in there. The same with changing the textfield and input the password and so on.
I think, that is the reason, why there are a lot of people who say, that Java is slow and Flash fast.
But then I have download and installed the latest JDK 7 https://jdk7.dev.java.net/ from the 24.04.2008, and it runs fast.
I have only tested Knuddels.de and some Java-Applet-Games. But they are not slow, They are fast like all other things in the browser.
And the start of the applet is also fast. That remebers me too the good old Java 1.1 days. But now it is so fast with Swing and a lot of other things.