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Please note: This page is not being updated. Most GUI browsers currently (17-Oct-2001) in use support at least Java 1.1 so this is no longer a serious issue. In addition, many browser manufacturers have replaced their proprietary Java virtual machines with the Sun plug-in which supports the latest Java version. However, the long download time for the plug-in the first time a browser encounters an applet is still a problem for users with slow phone lines. This situation could be improved if more manufactures would include the plug-in as part of the standard browser installation.

Browser Support

You will need a browser that supports Java 1.1 to view our demos and examples. For users of Netscape and Microsoft browsers, that generally means you will need version 4.x or higher with the Java option installed and enabled. However, support varies across systems. If your browser does not support Java, you will see a gray square or blank area where the application should appear.

This is a list of browsers that support Java 1.1. Please let us know if you are aware of others.


  • Microsoft's Internet Explorer 4.01, latest is 6.0
  • Netscape's Communicator 4.06, latest is 7.0
  • Opera Software's Opera 3.5 with Sun's Plug-in, latest is 6.05
  • Sun Microsystem's HotJava Browser 1.1.5, latest is 3.0
  • Microsoft's Internet Explorer 4.0

Microsoft has a table that shows each Internet Explorer version, platform, and the JDK that it supports. Netscape has a similar table for Communicator 4.06.

Some browsers do not completely support all of the features found in JDK 1.1 and, for various reasons, they probably never will. Sun has developed a Java Plug-in which includes a JVM that is installed beside (does not replace) the JVM that was installed with your browser.  You can modify your HTML so that the Plug-in JVM is invoked to render an applet rather than the browser's own JVM.  However, many web site visitors, especially those with slow communications lines, are often not willing to wait for the rather large plug-in to load.

Sites that deploy their applications on a local area network (intranet) and can control the software on both the web server and client may want to consider Java Web Start

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