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Java is doomed on the Web
Copyright © 1998 to Bruce Simpson, syndication rights available
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6 Apr 1998

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Java is doomed on the Web - oh yes it is!

How can this be so? Java is the language that everyone's raving about and some sites such as MoneyScope are relying very heavily on Java to deliver their services.

The simple answer is that Java is doomed on the Web because there aren't any mainstream browsers that support it properly any longer.

That's right - Microsoft have had to remove the Java trademark from their products because it's not fully conformant and Netscape 5.0 currently ships in source form with absolutely no Java at all.

Netscape's own most recent update to Navigator and Communicator (version 4.05) fails to fully implement the latest version (1.1) of Java - even though they've had a separate downloadable 1.1 patch available for months now. Why they didn't integrate that patch into the update released last week nobody seems to know.

Netscape users do have the option of using Sun's own Java plug-in, but that negates one of Java's largest benefits as a Web tool - the elimination of plugins.

I'm afraid to say that the future for Java on the Web is currently very bleak. To make matters worse, Microsoft are going their own way with their Windows-specific J++ and there's no guarantee that it will retain any real backwards compatibility with Sun's own "official" Java.

It's a sad fact that Java's catch-cry of "Write Once, Run Anywhere" has already failed Net surfers - before we even got past version 1.02.

Once again, it seems the Net outpaces those companies that seek to dominate it.

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