Computer Graphics is fun - even if Java Applets are Old Hat
Applets - small applications which include a Graphic User Interface in them - are where Java started ... but they didn't grow as much as other uses of Java and these days they're something of a specialist interest - great for some Intranet applications, but not so common / practical on applications that will reach a wider Internet audience. The reasons are (a) that people don't like risking the download of a JVM to run in their browser (though it is just as safe as ActiveX and / or Flash) and (b) because of those other two technologies that I just mentioned; Flash is rather good, and ActiveX has achieved a prominent position with help in various ways like being shipped as standard with common operating systems / browsers.
So a course that "majors" on Applets is either very old ... or very specialised.
But graphics is such fun! And if encourages on a Java course, I'll overview how to use Java within an applet, and pull up some code sample. I've a handful of recent ones, and a whole library of history.
This example shows the basics - a couple of buttons, and something happens (lines drawn, numbers added) when the mouse button is clicked. See the HTML frame that you'll need [here]
and the java applet source [here]
And this is quite a sophisticated (but simple) demonstration of double buffering in Java - you can drag the corners of the box around and the shapes around the outside willall change to reflect this. In order to avoid a flickering display, the new graphic is always generated in the background, and the copied en masse to the frame buffer that's being displayed.
My background is computer graphics - I love playing with this sort of thing, so please ask me if you want to learn about Graphics in Java, or Python, or PHP, or Lua ... you'll find examples of all sorts of things on the site! (written 2010-11-13)
Associated topics are indexed as below, or enter http://melksh.am/nnnn for individual articlesJ711 - Java in the Web Page 
Java Tag Libraries / how they work / Tomcat Deployment - (2009-02-11) 
Java - Client side applet applications as well as server side - (2007-08-29)J802 - Java - Abstract Windowing Toolkit 
Java - from applets to servlets. JSPs and more - (2010-02-27) 
Length, size or capacity in Java? - (2010-02-24) 
Client side (Applet) and Server side (Servlet) Graphics in Java - (2009-06-17)Q913 - Object Orientation and General technical topics - Computer Graphics Principles 
Some SVG Elements, pixel and percent positioning - (2011-04-24) 
Scalable Vector Graphics - easy, low bandwidth, high resolution, dynamic. - (2011-04-23) 
Computer Graphics in PHP - World (incoming data) to Pixel (screen) conversion - (2011-03-24) 
OpenGL / C / C++ - an example to get you started - (2011-01-26) 
Matplotlib - graphing in Python - teaching examples - (2010-10-10) 
But what will you DO with all those pictures? - (2010-05-09) 
Why do I teach niche skills rather than mainstream? - (2010-02-13)
Some other Articles
Make - automating the commands for building and installingGetting your C++ program to runPositively reforming the system - could it be done?Views of Melksham - November 2010Computer Graphics is fun - even if Java Applets are Old HatString handling - from first steps to practical examplesWhat is a universal superclass? Java / Perl / Python / Other OO languagesJava Beans, tag libraries and JSPs - what and why.After Course Resources - do we publish sample answers. Example from Java Exceptions module.Changing a Servlet - more that just editing and compiling
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