Java is the semi-new Web-enabled programming language that got it's start being the brains for kitchen appliances (that's no joke). The really cool thing about Java is that it can be executed on the client-side of the Web communications link instead of on the server. This is opposite of standard CGI. We doubt that little tidbit of information gets you excited, but if you are a Web programmer that one-liner may require you to change your shorts.

Sun Microsystems, Inc. developed Java as a platform-independent client-executable have-your-cake-and-eat-it-too programming language. Any browser that supports Java on any platform can access Java resources. And you ask what are Java resources? Well, they can be just about anything, such as audio, video, animation, interactive applications, multi-media, and more.

Java is a programming language based on C, thus you need to be a programmer to do mush with Java. But you can find a handful of good programming environments that simplify the applet creation process, such as Symantec's Visual CafÈ and Microsoft's J++, but you still need to be a programmer at heart to get any real use out of these.

If Java sounds just like a cafÈ latte, then you need to get more information straight from the coffee makers themselves — Java Soft (a division of Sun Microsystems) at:

To see some great examples of Java in action, go visit the Gamelan Java Directory:

We discuss Java a bit more in-depth in the companion book MORE HTML For Dummies, 2nd Edition. If you are interested in using Java in your Web sites, go get yourself a copy of MORE to learn how.

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