Java is the semi-new Web-enabled programming language that got its start by being the brains for kitchen appliances (thats no joke). Java is cool because programs written in it can be executed on the client-side of the Web communications link instead of on the server -- the opposite setup 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. Java resources can be just about anything, such as audio, video, animation, interactive applications, multimedia, and more.
Java is a programming language based on C; thus you need to be a programmer to do much with Java. But you can find a handful of good programming environments that simplify the applet creation process, such as Symantec Visual Café and Microsoft J++, but you still need to be a programmer at heart to get any real use out of these.
If Java sounds just like your kind of café latte, then you need to get more information straight from the coffee makers themselves -- JavaSoft (a division of Sun Microsystems) at java.sun.com.
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. If you are interested in using Java in your Web sites, go get yourself a copy of MORE to discover how.
E-mail: HTML For Dummies
Webmaster: Natanya Pitts, LANWrights
Revised -- January 16, 1998