The Trouble with Applets

When I set out to translate a multimedia document to HTML for the Web, two of the goals I had in mind were to comply with HTML specifications, and to produce a product that would work on a reasonable variety of browsers. These days, that means Microsoft's Internet Explorer, Netscape Navigator, Apple's Safari, and probably Mozilla and Firefox. I decided to include Opera, the browser I use normally. Unfortunately, it's impossible to meet both those goals. It seems that each browser requires its own special HTML incantation to display Java applets or other plugin-based media. Most of these methods aren't included in, say, the HTML 4.01 Transitional specification.

Obviously, browser vendors need to get their ducks in a row and support the standard, which I think is adequate to do the job. Until then, Web designers will have to produce atrocities like the following, and violate the HTML standard.

    classid = "clsid:8AD9C840-044E-11D1-B3E9-00805F499D93"
    codebase = ",4,0,0"
    WIDTH = 520 HEIGHT = 260 >
    <PARAM NAME = CODE VALUE = hetorrance.HeTorranceApplet.class >
    <PARAM NAME = "codetype" VALUE = "application/java-archive" >
    <PARAM NAME = "type" VALUE = "application/x-java-applet;jpi-version=1.4">
    <PARAM NAME = "scriptable" VALUE = "false">
    <PARAM NAME = "archive" VALUE = "./hetorrance.jar" >
    <param name = "figure_number" VALUE = "LAMBERTIAN" >
        <!-- This tag works with Navigator 7.2, Safari 1.2.3, and FireFox 1.0PR as of 2004.10.22 westin -->
            type = "application/x-java-applet"
            CODE = hetorrance.HeTorranceApplet
            WIDTH = 520
            HEIGHT = 260
	    scriptable = false
	    archive = "hetorrance.jar"
            pluginspage = ""
            figure_number = LAMBERTIAN >
              alt="Your browser understands the &lt;EMBED&gt; tag but isn't running the applet, for some reason."
	      Your browser is completely ignoring the &lt;EMBED&gt; tag!

Converted to HTML by Stephen H. Westin <>
Last modified: Mon Sep 5 22:11:35 EDT 2011
Valid HTML 4.01!