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Applets bring more flash to Shockwave

Macromedia has unveiled a set of applets to help designers give their Web pages a jolt of Java and Shockwave.

On the eve of Internet World in San Jose, California, Macromedia has unveiled a set of applets to help designers give their Web pages a jolt of Java and Shockwave.

The company today posted six PowerApplets--small programs that add multimedia elements to Web pages without requiring programming--to its Web site. Three of the applets, Icons, SlideShow, and Animator, provide designers with graphical, animated screen elements such as bullets, navigation buttons, and other icons that can be embedded in Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) pages and viewed from any browser that has Macromedia's Shockwave plug-in for displaying interactive movies.

The other three applet--Banners, Bullets, and Charts--are based on the same idea of prepackaging basic animations for Web pages but are written in with Sun Microsystems' Java. According to Macromedia, this initial set of six PowerApplets are only the beginning of a long line of animation add-ons.

"We'll be extending the PowerApplet range so we'll have more small pieces of functionality with a multimedia spin," said Joe Dunn, vice president of product management at Macromedia. "This is intended to get our customers comfortable developing with Java."

The first set of six will be available for free downloading for the next 60 days, but then the company will start selling the PowerApplets on a subscription basis.

Macromedia also today began shipping the general version of its Backstage HTML editing tool.

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