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A.2. Class Downloads

Another issue when using applets is the number and size of the support classes that a client needs to run the applet. In the case of the WhiteboardApplet described earlier, in addition to its own class file, the applet needs to download the following support classes:

  • MsgWhiteboardUser

  • Collaborator

  • MessageCollaborator

  • MessageHandler

  • Message

In the version of the JDK we used to compile these classes into Java bytecodes, the total size of the class files, including the WhiteboardApplet, is a little less than 20Kb. This is downloadable in around 7 seconds on a 28.8 Kbit/s modem--not bad at all. If the support classes for our applet are extensive, we have the option of providing them on the web server compressed in a .jar file or a .zip file, whichever one we think most of the client browsers will support.

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