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10.3. Running Applets

A Java applet is a Java program that has a graphical interface, but not a full application interface with a menu bar, Dock icon, and so on. Instead, it runs within a "wrapper" application. Most of the world's Java applets live embedded in web pages, and most web browsers can act as their wrappers. You can also use Mac OS X's Applet Launcher application to run applets that exist on your local machine.

10.3.1. Applets in a Web Browser

Most modern web browsers (including Microsoft's Internet Explorer, the browser that ships with Mac OS X) feature Java applet support. If you load a web page containing an applet,[1] your browser renders it within a rectangle right on the page, just as it does with images (or other embedded media, such as QuickTime movies or Flash animations). See Figure 10-1. This rectangle serves as the applet's entire interface; using it involves clicking or typing into it, as appropriate.

[1] Applets can appear in web pages through the <embed>, <object>, or <applet> HTML tags.


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