A major shortcoming in the leading Internet browsers is preventing users from running Internet-based Java applications, it emerged last week.
Developers using Sun Microsystems' JDK 1.1 have found that their Java applications do not run on either Microsoft's Internet Explorer or Netscape's Navigator - even the latest versions.
Mike Piff, a Java applications programmer at the University of Sheffield, said some of his JDK 1.1 applications fail to run correctly in the latest versions of Internet Explorer and Netscape Navigator.
"I have done quite a bit of Java programming over the past six months," said Piff. "When I run my applications in the Sun's applet viewer browser included in the JDK, chances are they work. However if I run (the same applets) in Internet Explorer 4.0 beta 2 or Netscape Navigator 220.127.116.11, they bomb."
The problem appears to stem from Microsoft and Netscape not supporting the JDK 1.1 adequately in their browsers. John Zukowski, author of the Java AWT Reference, published by O'Reilly Associates, said he discusses the issue in his technical manual.
Netscape acknowledged the problem but said it has now issued a developer patch on its web site for both Navigator 4.x and its Communicator suite.
However, Zukowski said the patch was complicated to install and believes users would still encounter problems. "I installed the patch for Netscape Communicator 4.02 and it does run Java 1.1 code fine. But I would not expect the average user to do this," he said.
Mike Pryke-Smith, Internet tools product manager at Microsoft, was unable to confirm whether the IE 4.0 beta supported JDK 1.1 but said the final release due later this month.
Sam Sethi, marketing manager at Netscape, said the company would be releasing an end-user patch for Communicator in the fourth quarter of 1997.
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