Have Java applets have had their day? They cause a whole raft of security issues and consume a huge amount of resources. It may be one reason why Java 8 looks like it has been delayed – Oracle has had to rollout a whole list of updates to address security issues. Mark Reinhold has written about the security issues in depth on his blog.
Applets are becoming more complex to use and will also require an external party to provide the signatures so that Applets can all be validated. There is a good description on the latest Java Spotlight Podcast.
Given that you can use Java to write Apps and Webstart or develop rich client apps in HTML5 with JSP which can easily integrate with Java on the server, is there still a demand for Applet support? Why would you use an Applet when you can build a secure application in GlassFish?
So should we keep Applet support in our PDF viewer, deprecate it or totally remove it – what do you think?