For those people who used to hate Applet and think that it is slow, help is on the way in the form of “Consumer JRE”. Underlying this amazing runtime is the QuickStarter feature which greatly reduce the startup time for applet to run.
The following article explains how the QuickStarter works and how to test this feature to confirm its effectiveness.
it explains that
“When JQS is fully enabled, there will be a new Windows Service running called “Java Quick Starter”. In TaskManager, the new JQS service is running as “jqs.exe”. JQS improves initial startup time for applets and applications by reducing the disk I/O required. This is achieved by periodically prefetching some of the most heavily used Java Runtime Environment files into memory (occupying no more than 20Mb of RAM). Later, when Java is launched, much less disk I/O is required which makes startup much snappier and noticeably faster.”
This is a effective idea and I now understand why the applet launch so much faster. Even Windows Vista use variant of same idea in its ReadyBoost technology for flash thumbdrive.
Sure many will lament that who ‘ready care about applet where there are better technologies like Flash, Silverlight”.
My answer will be that there are many to like about applet.
Firstly, there is little to dispute that Java development environment like Intellij, NetBean, Eclipse is state of art and that it greatly simplify building application as development become more complex. Its debugging facility is its class of its own.
Though many will critically claim that there are much better language and framework like Ruby, Python, PHP, ROR etc to begin with to reduce complexities, there always a ‘law of diminishing return’. Some technologies will make ‘the simpler much simpler, the harder much harder (or rather tedious)’. Though, my experience found that Java make the ‘simpler harder/tedious, the harder simpler’. Still, it depends on one’s skill, familiarity and experience in particular language and framework to determine how much of those ‘diminish return’ is true. The mileage varies from one person to another.
Still the most important thing is how much fun rather than pain you get to develop something of your own calling. Programming is a ‘intellect activity’ and is really about managing complexities.
Secondly, there are many well-supported Java open source libraries which can be used in applet which include barcode , reporting, charting libraries etc.
Indeed, Java isn’t going to go away overnight and neither is any current popular technology. As long as someone is able to use the technology to solve his need, those technology will still be as relevant today as tomorrow. Think Cobol. Think how ROR has propelled the popularity of Ruby into stardom.