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Developer(s)Sun Microsystems[1]
Initial releaseMarch 24, 1997; 27 years ago (1997-03-24)[1][2]
Final release
Late 2004; 20 years ago (2004) v3.0
Written inJava[1]
Available inEnglish
TypeWeb browser

HotJava (later called HotJava Browser to distinguish it from HotJava Views) was a modular, extensible web browser from Sun Microsystems implemented in Java. It was the first browser to support Java applets, and was Sun's demonstration platform for the then-new technology.[3] It has since been discontinued and is no longer supported. Furthermore, the Sun Download Center was taken down on July 31, 2011, and the download link on the official site points to a placeholder page saying so.[4]


In 1994, a team of Java developers started writing WebRunner, which was a clone of the internet browser Mosaic. It was based on the Java programming language. The name ‘WebRunner’ was a tribute to the Blade Runner movie.[5]

WebRunner's first public demonstration was given by John Gage and James Gosling at the Technology Entertainment Design Conference in Monterey, California in 1995. Renamed HotJava, it was officially announced in May the same year at the SunWorld conference.

The parser code was reused by the standard Java libraries.[6]


HotJava had somewhat limited functionality compared to other browsers of its time.

More critically, HotJava suffered from the inherent performance limitations of Java virtual machine implementations of the day (both in terms of processing speed and memory consumption) and hence was considerably sluggish.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Rakitin, Jason (October 27, 1997). "Review: Alternative Web browsers". Network World Fusion. Archived from the original on October 5, 2001. Retrieved August 16, 2010.
  2. ^ "Sun Microsystems, Inc. to Ship HotJava Browser 1.0; New Customizable Browser Enables Custom Web Interface". Business Wire. March 11, 1997. Archived from the original on July 28, 2014. Retrieved June 10, 2014.
  3. ^ Watson, Dave (July 21, 2001). "A Quick Look at HotJava". The Southern California OS/2 User Group. Retrieved August 16, 2010.
  4. ^ "Sun Download Center Decommission". oracle.com. Archived from the original on 2011-08-06. Retrieved 2011-10-29.
  5. ^ Byous, Jon (1998). "Java Technology: An Early History" (PDF). Sun Microsystems. Retrieved November 24, 2010.
  6. ^ "HTMLEditorKit (Java 2 Platform SE v1.4.2)". docs.oracle.com. Archived from the original on 2012-01-09. Retrieved 2012-12-31. The default parser is the Hot Java parser
  7. ^ Killelea, Patrick (2002). Web Performance Tuning: Speeding Up the Web. O'Reilly Series (2nd ed.). O'Reilly Media, Incorporated. p. 378. ISBN 978-0-596-00172-8.

External links[edit]