Netscape readies Java-only Web browser

Netscape Communications will have a beta version of its all-Java Web browser, dubbed "Javagator," ready for public consumption by March, the company announced on Tuesday. Netscape's "100% Pure Java" version of Navigator is aimed at Network Computers and other thin clients that support a Java virtual machine. The final version should be ready by June.

Javagator, which is known internally at Netscape as "Maui," is expected to be the most ambitious software product yet written in Java. To date, most large-scale Java projects, such as Corel's Java Office, have met with failure and were abandoned. To this day, the majority of Java code is used in small "applets" that appear on Web sites. Javagator is a proof of concept project for both Netscape, and Sun, who is assisting in its creation.

The first version of Javagator will not include any email or newsgroup capabilities, much like the current version of Navigator. It is based on the "Gemini" JavaBean that Netscape created to render Java displays. Gemini is also at the heart of the next version of Communicator (called "Mercury"), which is also due by mid-1998

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