Solaris Java Plug-in User's Guide

Chapter 1 Overview — What is Java Plug-in?

The JavaTM Plug-in component (hereafter “Java Plug-in”) extends the functionality of a web browser, allowing applets to be run under Sun's Java 2 runtime environment rather than the Java runtime environment that comes with the web browser. Java Plug-in is part of the Java 2 Runtime Environment (JRE) and is installed with it when the JRE is installed on a computer. It works with both Microsoft Internet Explorer and NetscapeTM web browsers.

This functionality can be acheived in two different ways:

  1. By using the conventional APPLET tag in a web page.

  2. By replacing the APPLET tag with the OBJECT tag for Internet Explorer; by replacing the APPLET tag with the EMBED tag for Netscape 4; by replacing the APPLET tag with the OBJECT tag or EMBED tag for Netscape 6. Note, however, that the OBJECT and EMBED tags must conform to a special format as described in the next chapter.

OBJECT and EMBED tags in web pages may be manually updated, but to facilitate updating web pages to this new format, an HTML Converter is provided. It is described in the section called Chapter 4, Using the HTML Converter to Convert Applet Tags for Java Plug-in.

While the above constitutes the heart of Java Plug-in, there are many other related topics that you may want to understand. For instance, you may want to know how proxy configuration works in Java Plug-in, you may want to know what protocols Java Plug-in supports, or you may want to know about cookie support and caching. Such topics are included in this book.

This book also contains information on Netscape 6.1 and the Open Java Interface (OJI) and an FAQ.

The material in this book is taken from the Java Plug-in Developer Guide, which is part of the Java 2 Platform, Standard Edition, v1.4 documentation set. The full Java Plug-in Developer Guide is available online at In addition to the information provided in this book, the online Java Plug-in Developer Guide contains additional chapters dealing with Deployment Schemes, Security, Debugging Support, and Advanced Topics.