Re: Java vs. Plugins (was RE: The Final Word On HTML (fwd))

Robert P Cunningham (bob@lava.net)
Thu, 26 Sep 96 09:52 WET


Message-Id: <m0v6MTl-000ALZC@malasada.lava.net>
Date: Thu, 26 Sep 96 09:52 WET
From: bob@lava.net (Robert P Cunningham)
To: megazone@livingston.com, walter@natural-innovations.com, www-html@w3.org
Subject: Re: Java vs. Plugins (was RE: The Final Word On HTML (fwd))


>I have often wondered what criteria developers use when deciding whether to
>implement as a plugin or as a Java applet. Are there specific things one can
>do in a plugin which cannot be done in a Java applet?

Plug-in advantages vs. Java

	Plug-ins can be faster (they can use native compiled code)

	Plug-ins can do more.  They can use the full resources of
	the client computer and its network connection.  They're not
	restricted to the Java "sandbox".

	Plug-in code is more difficult to steal.  Reverse-engineering,
	even after disassembling, is usually non-trivial.

Plug-in disadvantages vs. Java

	Plug-ins are platform-specific (because they can use native
	compiled code).

	Plug-ins can introduce security problems (because they're
	not restricted to the Java "sandbox").  [Which, besides
	potentially creating problems for the user, might create
	a legal liability for the provider.]

	Navigator plug-ins (vs. ActiveX controls) are
	not certifiable [though this may change in Navigator 4.0
	and/or Explorer 4.0].

	Plug-in downloading is not automatic.  [This, too, could
	to change in the future.]

	Navigator plug-ins (even when used in Explorer) are awkward
	enough to install (and have a reputation for this), and
	many naive users will avoid them simply for this reason.

	Plug-ins (including ActiveX controls) are very awkward to
	un-install, and many experienced users will avoid them simply
	for this reason.