As of version 3.0, Netscape has many problems handling Java applets.In no particular order they are:

  • Netscape can only run applets that are compiled with the Java 1.0 beta compilers through the Java 1.0.2 compiler. It cannot handle .class files compiled for the various alpha versions of Java or Java 1.1. As a general rule, make sure you're using Sun's javac 1.0.2 to compile all applets you distribute. (Microsoft and Natural Intelligence's compilers have non-trivial bugs of their own.)
  • Not all versions of Netscape support Java. Notably the Windows 3.1 version does not, though a beta version that does has recently become available.
  • Netscape will not import any user-defined packages from the local CLASSPATH.
  • Netscape does not flush classes when you reload a page. If you need to reload a changed applet, for instance if you made a change to the applet source code and regenerated the .class file, there are a number of things you can try. On some platforms holding down the shift key and pressing the reload button will get Netscape to reload the .class file. You can also try manually clearing both the memory and disk caches, in order to reload an applet. Turning Java off and then on again in the Options/Security Preferences menu may also do the trick. If none of these work, you'll simply have to quit and relaunch Netscape.
  • Netscape calls your init() method many times more than the applet viewer will. In particular Netscape calls init() anytime your reload, resize or otherwise restart your applet. I am not sure whether or not this is a bug, but it does indicate that you should try to keep your init() methods as small and quick as possible. Similarly it may call destroy() when the applet viewer would only call stop().
  • Netscape won't run any applet that calls Object.clone().
  • Netscape can't print applets.

Posted in: Java

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