What is Java?

Java is a technology that allows small programs, known as “applets,” to be embedded in web pages. For instance, a web page using Java could contain an interactive weather map, a live display of subway trains, or a video game, without the need for the web server to do all of the work. Unlike normal software such as .EXE files, these “applets” can not access or delete your personal files unless they ask for and are given express permission to do so. As of this writing, Java is no longer included as standard equipment in Microsoft Internet Explorer, and unlike most other browsers, Internet Explorer does not make it convenient for the user to install the Java plug-in. Unfortunately, this means that most users will be unable to access your Java applets unless they install optional software manually. However, if you choose to use Java on your site, you can invite your users to download the Java plug-in from Sun’s web site, using the “Get It Now” button on that site. As an alternative, see the Flash entry.