Local storage for faster Java

Go Ahead Software will ship the next version of its so-called Internet accelerator software, which downloads Web pages to a user's local cache.

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Go Ahead Software this month will ship the next version of Got It, its so-called Internet accelerator software that downloads Web pages, images, and executable code, stores it in a user's local cache, and then updates it when the content changes.

Got It 3.0 will add the ability to download and cache Java applets the first time they run on a PC. Subsequent visits to a Java-enabled Web site will be faster because the Java code will already be stored locally, according to Got It president Michael O'Brien.

One of the main complaints about Java on the Web is the time applets take to download. Earlier this year, Sun Microsystems bought Animorphic Systems and its Java acceleration technology to speed up the Java Virtual Machine. Go Ahead has taken a much different approach.

The software uses intelligent agent software, also known as "bots" or "crawlers," to compare cached material with live Web content. If the content has changed, Got It will automatically download and store the new version.

Got It runs as a separate application but works in conjunction with Navigator 2.0 or later and Internet Explorer 3.0 or later. The user can configure Got It's minimum and maximum cache size, but a "good working size" is 20 to 30 MB, O'Brien said.

To stay within the alloted cache size, Got It winnows out the least-visited content from the cache. Frequently visited sites and their elements will remain in storage.

Got It 3.0 stores Java applets as well as ActiveX controls locally but doesn't run the code. The security protection is left up to the browser, O'Brien added.

"Got It will bring [the code] down, hand it to the browser, and then the browser will block it" if the code constitutes a security violation, he said.

The new software is now available in beta. It requires Windows 95 or NT and a Pentium-class PC with at least 16MB of RAM and takes up to 3MB of RAM. Prices are $19.95 for a downloaded copy and $29.95 for the CD-ROM version.