[unrev-II] JavaOne Notes: Java WebStart

From: Eric Armstrong (eric.armstrong@eng.sun.com)
Date: Mon Jun 12 2000 - 16:52:20 PDT

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    Java WebStart is coming with 1.4. Here's a link to a descriptive
    article, followed by a series of highlights taken from it.

    --browser not needed to run the apps. Can
      be installed as icons on the desktop
    --application-server management package
      for client apps.
    --a client-side helper, like real-audio
    --replaces applets, overcomes security
      restrictions without dropping security
    --designed for intranets, where the security
      issue is moot. (can also sign applets, but
      the process is fraught with difficulty, and
      the mechanisms are browser-dependent.
    --avoids the incompatible JVM/browser JVM
      not up to date issues
    --application-caching, incremental updates,
      and quick-start capability (start with
      one jar file, load others on demand)

    How it works:
    --works on MIME type application/jnlp and
      file extension .jnlp.
    --install WebStart once, it runs any Java
      app packaged as a jnlp
      --how to restrict to YOUR apps?
    --.jnlp file points to the jar file and
      describes the security permissions that
      are required to run it
    --installing WebStart also installs a JVM

    I'm not *sure* this is useful for us. For an intranet,
    it's great, because there are no security concerns to worry
    about. But for general use, putting WebStart on your system
    would seem to give free rein to any Java app that gets loaded.
    On the other hand, using the existing certificate mechanism
    might surmount that problem. The result would be an
    interesting (and efficient) way to put serious application
    capability on the client side. (For a possibly even
    more interesting mechanism, see the Pluglet API Netscape
    put together that allows browser plugins written in Java.)

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