parameters. This completely changes the situation, and makes the deployment of Java software
different from all other software.
The Desktop Front
Depending on your perspective, the battle for allowing Java on the PC desktop can be thought
of as a WWII scene where allies try to conquer a position by bravely parachuting light infantry.
From another vantage point, the Windows OS can be viewed as the last paradise to be guarded
against clumsy Java weapons and fanatic marketers. Indeed, Sun has tried hard to gain some
ground on the desktop. Technological attempts included first Java applets, and then the Plug-in,
followed by JIT technology or Hotspot. The latest attempt, the Java Native Launching Protocol
(JNLP), will be the subject of Part III of this topic.
Java executables on the desktop (such as PCs, Macs, and Linux machines) suffer from a seri-
ous deficiency. In order to be run, they need to download an installation of a bulky piece of
software that weighs in at around 5 megabytes. Of course, there are alternative solutions, like
taking advantage of your Web browser's JVM or using JREs pre-installed on some OSes, but
these usually turn out to be closer to compromises than proper solutions. This is a severe hur-
dle. Even worse, the size of the J2SE JRE has been constantly increasing (see Figure 1.3).
Fortunately, J2SE size seems to be stabilizing.
J2SE JRE 1.2.2
J2SE JRE 1.3
F IGURE 1.3
The size of the JRE for desktop platforms has been constantly increasing.