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Would You Ever Use A Java Applet Cart?
"A series of Java Applets and JavaScripts that plug easily onto any page"

 3:59 pm on Nov 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

Try to gather some info on whether or not these are widely used. I've seen CGI, PHP, and ASP carts - but rarely see Java carts.

Am I just not looking hard enough?

What are the reasons you would NOT use a Javascript/Applet based cart?

Thanks in advance.



 4:43 pm on Nov 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

Speaking only anecdotally and from personal experience, some people disable Java due to security concerns. I personally hate Java myself. Some more technical folks here might be able to expound on that.


 9:53 pm on Nov 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

This again is anecdotal, but I heard that any shopping cart with client-side elements (ie. javascript) is prone to abuse... especially, if you have a particularly old, slow-loading system and you can tamper with the .js file as the page loads and redefine the prices you want to pay for items of stock.

I'm not technically minded enough to know how you might do this but I would think anybody who allows data like prices to be available client-side (possibly this would only be the case if the entire shopping cart was javascript) is a damn fool.


 1:23 am on Nov 14, 2003 (gmt 0)

Mu current site is running a javascript cart (free from www.nopdesign.com) and the only problem I have ever had with it is people complaining that they put items in their basket but they aren't there when they look. I presume they have js disabled? (I'm a bit of a numpty so I wouldn't know). About 1 in 20 people seem to have a problem and bother to email me about it. I don't know how many others wander off because of it.

It was easy to install though - I even did it myself (which is saying something!)


 2:05 am on Nov 14, 2003 (gmt 0)

Um...I'm confused.

Aren't Java Applets and Javascript entirely different animals?

I was referring to Java.


 3:44 pm on Nov 14, 2003 (gmt 0)

Java applets and JS are completely separate animals - but the cart I am reviewing, I assume, is an applet that uses some sort of JS for validation?

It completely oddball, that's why I started this thread.


 6:05 pm on Nov 14, 2003 (gmt 0)

Many carts use JavaScript for validation. That's not much of a problem.

Java is a horrible choice for a general purpose shopping cart/online store. There are virtually no advantages and too many disadvantages to list (complex, slow, inaccessible, inflexible, etc.).


 6:58 pm on Nov 14, 2003 (gmt 0)

"Java is a horrible choice for a general purpose shopping cart/online store. There are virtually no advantages and too many disadvantages to list (complex, slow, inaccessible, inflexible, etc.)."

not sure why pbreit feels this way. java and the MVC model allows for one to code an excellent and quite flexible shopping cart. not to mention the built in jvm secure functions are another advantage.

inaccessible? not sure what is meant by this.

granted java is not as easy to manipulate for non-java programmers, but that should be part of the decision making process.

as far as using applets in a cart(or on any web site), much like with javascript(beyond form validation), you are relying upon the user's settings, or lack thereof.

it seems to me, that implementing technology in a cart that could eliminate potential buyers(ie. javascript/java applets) is dangerous for business success.



 7:13 pm on Nov 14, 2003 (gmt 0)

There's nothing wrong with Java, for shopping carts or any other application, but using a Java applet when you don't need to is about as wise as using an ActiveX object, i.e., not very.

If you're putting up a website, you're going to be best served using technologies that stay on your server, under your control. A Java applet or ActiveX object is running on the client's machine, is slower than dynamic HTML, and can generally be duplicated on the server side with minimal effort. The only advantage I can see to using applets/ActiveX is that they can be integrated into your site with fewer steps. To my mind, that's not enough of a bonus to justify this method.

As far as JSP/Servlet carts, I think you're not looking hard enough.


 7:41 am on Nov 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

I must defend the use of "Java" for shopping cart technology.

I believe most of you have associated the negative aspects of applets and JavaScript with "Java".

Java is NOT an applet or the somewhat risky JavaScript.

People do not disable "Java", they disable JavaScript.

For instance, our company (why we can't name our products if they are relevant to the thread baffles me), has developed the leading mid-market ecommerce solution for the J2EE platform. It is written with Java using servlets and JSP. The benefits of which are open standards (no hardware restrictions as it will run on anything: Windows, Linux, Unix, Mac etc. and no Database restrictions as it will use Oracle, MS SQL, mySQL, DB2 etc.)

As for Java being slow, yes it has that notariety within client side applications, but when using web technologies such as JSP to deliver the data, there is no performance hindrance.

Java should be seriously considered as a ecommerce technology as it scales much better than proprietary languages.


 7:00 pm on Nov 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

Would You Ever Use A Java Applet Cart?

No way. even online banks that where about the only people are getting rid of this.


Basically you have to download the whole application from the server to the workstation and then run the software on your workstation. It might work, (Java: write once, debug everywhere) but why take the chances?

If you use PHP, ASP, CFM or Java Server pages / Java servlets all your customers need is a browser that can display a basic HTML page. Add anything on top (Javascript or Java) and you might get problems.

Sun itself very soon realized that for the broad market java appleets where a non-starter, so they introduced servlets and JSP to handle the work on the server.


 7:02 pm on Nov 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

Never. (note that you can have a Java cart without it being an applet, it can be servlets, and that's fine but usually expensive).

Bruce Townsend

 9:57 am on Nov 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

The problem in a nutshell is the impact of functionality on applet size. The more functionality, the bigger the applet and the longer it takes to download. A half decent cart would be abandoned by most shoppers before it has even finished downloading. One that is simple enough to download quickly will be abandoned as soon as they see how primitive it is.

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