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Netscape buys Java tool vendor

Netscape moved today to promote the creation of Java applets by acquiring Netcode, a small Menlo Park, California-based provider of Java tools.

Netscape moved today to promote the creation of Java applets by acquiring Netcode, a small Menlo Park, California-based provider of Java tools.

Netscape will acquire 100 percent of Netcode in a stock transaction. The companies have not disclosed the financial terms of the agreement. Netcode currently employs seven people.

Netcode makes a visual interface builder for the Java programming language called Netcode Components and an object toolkit called Netcode Constructor. Netscape plans to market the two tools to developers who will create a larger library of Java applets that run on Netscape Navigator 2.0 browsers. Netscape added Java support to the Windows version of the browser earlier this year. A Macintosh version of Navigator 2.0 that also runs Java applets just hit beta testing last week.

Netcode Components is a collection of reusable, extensible Java objects that will give developers the building blocks for constructing applet interfaces. Developers can then use Netcode Constructor to tie together these and other Java objects into full-blown applets.

The acquisition comes as Netscape this week opens its first developers conference, taking place in San Francisco this week, at which it plans to outline its product plans for its client, server, and tools lines.