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Applet - program or application

Lukas Stephienn
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Joined: Dec 23, 2005
Posts: 60
Hello

Does applet is program or application?
Some definitions says it's program (Bruce Eckel), some - application (Sun's J2EE 1.4 tutorial).
Maybe it's no difference, but in my work, boss forced me to correct definition of applet from application to program.

I read that application is a standalone program, but difference between these two concepts is fuzzy.
Thanks in advance.


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Ulf Dittmer
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Joined: Mar 22, 2005
Posts: 41633
    
  55
The difference between a program and an application is whatever you want it to, as there is no general definition for either.

In the Java desktop space it is customary to call something an "application" if it is a standalone double-clickable program. In that particular sense an applet would be not be an application.


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Ryan McGuire
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Joined: Feb 18, 2005
Posts: 1007
    
    3
Originally posted by Lucius Stephienn:
Hello

Does applet is program or application?
Some definitions says it's program (Bruce Eckel), some - application (Sun's J2EE 1.4 tutorial).
Maybe it's no difference, but in my work, boss forced me to correct definition of applet from application to program.

I read that application is a standalone program, but difference between these two concepts is fuzzy.
Thanks in advance.


I know I've seen a set of definitions that matches your boss's somewhere, but I can't remember where. By that set of definitions, applets and applications are mutually exclusive subsets of programs. The difference is that applets require separate environment (such as a browser of applet viewer) in which to run.

Of course, that difference is a bit artificial. Java applications need the separate environment of the JVM in which to run. At an even lower level, IE and the standalone JVM both need an operating system (Windows, Linux, etc.) envoironment in which to run. But running applets in Internet Explorer or whathaveyou is a non-trivial usability and distribution difference that management and marketing types (a.k.a. suits) can latch onto.
Ilja Preuss
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Joined: Jul 11, 2001
Posts: 14112
Google for "define:application" for a lot of interesting definitions.

A common theme is that an application

- is designed to fill the specific needs of a user (in contrast to system software such as a part of an operating system), and

- is self contained, and

- can be a program, or *a group of* programs

So I'd say that an applet *could be* an application, or it could be *part of* an application (for example if it is part of a bigger web application).


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subject: Applet - program or application