Java applets a dose of caffeine later this year with the help of development
tools vendor Borland International
Netscape announced today that it has licensed the Borland AppAccelerator,
a program that will be embedded into the Navigator browser and is promised
to accelerate the
performance of applets by five to ten times, according to Netscape.
The AppAccelerator is an example of next-generation Java
just-in-time compilers. While Java applets today are interpreted by the Java
Virtual Machine, just-in-time compilers translate the Java applet code on
the fly into native machine language. Native machine language code runs much
faster, but because the applets are compiled only as the user downloads them,
Java will still preserve its machine independence, one of its main virtues
as a programming language.
Just-in-time compilers are emerging from Sun Microsystems, Symantec, and Microsoft.
Netscape picked Borland's software over the others, including the company's
close partner Sun, because it was
available first, according to a Netscape spokeswoman. "We couldn't wait any
longer for competitive reasons," the spokeswoman said.
Initially, the high-performance Java software will be available only on
Windows 95 and NT editions of Navigator. Netscape has not set a release date
or version number for the browser with AppAccelerator.