Re: Refocusing on HTML

Greg A. Smith (
Tue, 03 Sep 1996 16:33:03 -0600

Message-ID: <>
Date: Tue, 03 Sep 1996 16:33:03 -0600
From: "Greg A. Smith" <>
To: Paul Prescod <>
CC: Lee Daniel Crocker <>,
Subject: Re: Refocusing on HTML

Paul Prescod wrote:
> At 11:26 AM 9/3/96 -0600, Greg A. Smith wrote:
> >Java is one of the alternatives.  But as soon as we leave the well
> >understood, easy-to-implement world of HTML forms and CGIs, our
> >development costs, time schedule, uncertainty and risk all take
> >a big jump. Managers are not eager to enter the unexplored territory
> >of bleeding edge Java development.
> Most likely this component already exists as a Java applet. You probably
> just have to buy or download it. Why don't you ask around in an html
> authoring newsgroup or a Java development newsgroup. Implementing a
> multicolumn listbox isn't brain surgery. It must have been done already.
But a Java component isn't an HTML FORM element.  In order to
be used with the HTML FORM methodology, in which the selected
OPTION row is communicated back to the application via a NAME=VALUE
pair in the query string, the element must be integrated into the
existing technology.  I could easily write a Java widget to display
data in this way, but communicating it back to the application when the
user clicks the SUBMIT button as part of a query string comprised 
of the other FORM elements on the  page is a more daunting task 
(brain surgery is safe and well understood by comparison) than most 
IS Managers are willing to gamble on.

That is the reason why the WWW is pratically devoid of this type
of application even though it is probably the most common type of
application developed at the corporate level.

Gregory A. Smith