Macromedia Flash allows for a web page to include advanced animation and interactive
features. Most modern browsers will provide the option to install the free Flash
Player when a page that requires Flash is encountered for the first time.
Alternatively, it can be downloaded
and installed manually.
About Java Applets
allow fully interactive applications and demos
written in the
Java Programming Language
to run inside your web
Most popular web browsers, such as
Microsoft Internet Explorer
(version 3 and above) and
(up to version 4)
have built-in support for early versions of
Java. This is sufficient for viewing most existing applets and
should work without requiring any software to be installed, though you
may find that some applets do not run properly on very old browsers
as they come with poorer support for Java.
About the Java Plug-in
Sun Java Plug-in
allows browsers to display applets which have been authored to use
modern Java features not compatible with
the older versions of Java included with popular browsers.
Where possible, we have marked any Java applets
that require the plug-in as
Java Plug-in applets.
To view such applets, you will need to
the Java plug-in on your computer.
This is part of the Java 2 Run-time Environment
(known as the J2RE or JRE)
which can be freely
In most cases, you will be automatically guided through the installation
when you try to view an applet that needs a plug-in.
However, some applets on the
web are not coded in such a way as to make this happen, so if you find
that some applets
report error messages or just don't work correctly then it may
be an idea to try installing the plug-in first and see if that helps.
Installing the plug-in first is also sensible as it guarantees that you will
get the most recent version of the plug-in supported by your computer.
Note that users of multi-user Microsoft Windows systems such as
Windows NT/2000 will require special privileges to install
the plug-in - ask your friendly systems administrator for help!
Users of Unix and Linux systems might find that the necessary software is
already installed but requires some manual configuration.
Users of browsers such as Firefox, Mozilla 1.0 (and above)
or Netscape 6.2.1 (and above)
will need to install
the plug-in to see all applets as these browsers generally
do not come with in-built Java support.
Unfortunately, the situation with Java
applets and plug-ins can get rather complex so
the above notes have been intentionally
over-generalised for brevity (and sanity)!
If you need any further help with viewing any of the Java resources
in the library, please use the
feedback page to contact us
and we will try to help.