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Is swing worth the trouble?

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[answer to Tina Park's posting, the thread is kinda broklen because the board doesn't seem to like my object/embed pseudo code. sorry]
I've been developing a nice chat applet using swing - and using swing classes really is simple. there are a lot of classes, so you can almost do anything with it. it is also well documented and you'll find a lot of resources for help these days.
but then I came to the point to make the whole thing public and that's where I'm probably going to throw it all away. plain browsers are not able to load swing applets, because their built-in JVM ain't good enough. SUN has released a plugin which is supposed to make jdk 1.2, 1.3 and even 1.4 applets - including swing applets - executable on plain browsers.
you'll need SUN's "html converter" to change your [applet] tag to [object] or [embed] so that the plugin will be used instead of the browsers JVM.
after twitching around with the plugin for a couple of days, I must admit that it isn't worth the try. the browsers are supposed to download the plugin automatically in case it isn't installed yet - they don't: sometimes the install code breaks with windows exceptions, sometimes it just gives up in the middle of nowhere. the second drawback is that plugin-loaded applets are supposed to work like normally loaded applets - they don't: exceptions, strange behaviors and lock-ups is what you get.
the third and worst drawback is the incompatible scripting support: SUN just did not care to support Netscape properly. IE works most of the time (read: MOST of the time), but what used to work with "normal" applets before is suddenly a IE-only feature. Thank you very much, SUN.
so the end of all is - what would you expect - a conclusion that recommends NOT to develop swing-applets for a wider number of people. if you plan on using applets for the www - say for everyone on the net - stick to plain applets and let SUN talk about swing and plugins to themselfes until they drop. it just isn't worth the time.
if you plan on "releasing" the applet inhouse and you can make sure that the *real* JRE (including *real* swing-classes, not plugin) is installed on every machine - then you are free to go. I'm sure this is the only way to go in case you really need to use swing-classes.
a last word about netscape 6: I haven't tested swing-applets with netscape 6 as much as with other browsers, but you know, I don't really care about netscape 6 - it has a new sandbox technique (as if there is not enough crap), it is buggy as hell, it does NOT work any better with swing-applets then other browsers and it is slow as hell. who really bothers using Netscape 6?
It really IS a pitty that IE5+ is the only useful browser today.
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Thanks for the honest appraisal. I tried opening my applet in IE 5.0, but when I do the browser complains I need the plugin. BUT I HAVE ALREADY INSTALLED THE PLUGIN! Faced with the prospect of having my students hate me, I think I will just stick with AWT.
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