Articles > Why use Flash applets instead of Java applets?

Why use Flash applets instead of Java applets?

Java applets have been the dominating force on the web designer community for a long time. However, now we can see that this is changing. Most of the functions that Java had can now be replaced with Dynamic HTML and Flash. These technologies are inferior to Java, you can't make the fantastic effects that you can make in Java with DHTML and Flash. Look for example at some of Anfy Team's own effects. However, thanks to Macromedia, Flash is more compatible with all operating systems. DHTML is supported in Internet Explorer, which roughly dominates the web market. Also, these are technologies that are easier to create than Java. We have seen, for instance, that Flash is dominating the ad market.

It has been a permanent scourge to Java, that it hasn't been fully compatible with all systems, and thus alienating the web designer community. This is not only because of Sun Microsystem's neglection of Java applets and blind focus on server-side Java, but also on the famous Java feud between Sun and Microsoft.

The pros and cons of using Flash Applets

The pros of using Flash applets are

  • You can be sure of total compatibility with Windows, Macintosh and Unix browsers. This is not always true for Java. Bugs have been scourging on every platform.
  • It starts much faster than Java (in Internet Explorer, the flash effect is the first thing you see on the web page, during the initialization phase). On Netscape, Java applets could take a very long time to initialize, depending on how they are programmed.
  • The company behind Flash, Macromedia, has made a serious effort to support their users and to spread around the Flash plugin. Sun Microsystems, neglects the Java applet users and has not made any serious effort to make Java fully compatible. That is, until now that Java applets have been included in their crusade against Microsoft.
  • Microsoft has a more friendly orientation towards Flash. The Flash 5.0 plugin will even be distributed with Windows XP. Microsoft is trying to isolate Java by different actions, such as not including their own Java Virtual Machine in Windows XP, a very serious blow to the Java applet developer community.

The cons of using Flash applets are :

  • It will take a long time before Flash will be able to be as powerful as Java applets. You can make virtually any kind of effect with Java applets, since the image processing capabilities are so immense. You have very limited image processing power in Flash.
  • It is also impossible to load images, sounds and texts on the fly, without remaking the whole Flash file. This means that you have to generate the Flash effect with Macromedia Flash, or to use a customization service such as Advanced Effect Maker.
  • Although Flash has total compability, not all users have the Flash plugin. However, this is changing rapidly, according to Mediametrix, 98.3% of all Internet users have the Flash plugin installed in their system. This is even higher than Java availability.




Anibal Wainstein




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