1.8. Java as a General Application Language
Java was introduced to the world through the web browser and the Java applet API. However, Java is more than just a tool for building multimedia applications. Java is a powerful, general-purpose programming language that just happens to be safe and architecture-independent. Standalone Java applications are not subject to the restrictions placed on applets; they can perform the same jobs as do programs written in languages such as C and C++.
Any software that implements the Java runtime system can run Java applications. Applications written in Java can be large or small, standalone or component-like, as in other languages. Java applets are different from other Java applications only in that they expect to be managed by a larger application. They are also normally considered untrusted code. In this book, we will build examples of both applets and standalone Java applications. With the exception of the few things untrusted applets can't do, such as access files, all the tools we examine in this book apply to both applets and standalone Java applications.