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Views in a Web app as an applet or HTML?

We are developing a Domino Web application and have two choices to implement the views: as an applet or as HTML. We are very interested about the application performance, so what will be better to use, the applet or the HTML? What are the advantages and disadvantages of each of the two methods?
The effect on performance depends on the environment where you use it -- the applet is fairly large, so on a slower connection, it'll take a lot longer to load the page -- at least until the applet is cached. Try it in your environment and see.

The view applet displays all the documents on a single screen -- the user can scroll using the scroll bar, which makes it easier to get to a document that's not near the top of the view. There are ways of compensating for this when using HTML, which you can read about in various articles and tips (for instance, see "Quick Search for Domino" in this download).

It's possible with either method to write actions that let the user choose documents and perform some operation on them. Refer to How to process selected documents from a Domino Web view for a description of how to do it using the applet. The advantage to using an applet for operations that require document selection is that the user can select documents at the same time that don't appear on the same screen.

As a general rule, applications done completely in HTML are more accessible than those done with Java applets, because HTML and URL links work very nicely with screen readers. You might also consider whether all your users are going to have Java-capable browsers and whether they will all have Java enabled.

The HTML version of a view gives your application finer-grained control of where in the view you steer the user to. The "StartKey=" URL and "Count=" arguments work with HTML and not with the view applet.

The view applet has a more professional look to it, and you can use the view properties to control its appearance better. However, ND6 lets you easily use style sheets to control view appearance.

The view applet has a big advantage in user-driven navigation of categorized views. Those little twisties are really a pain, especially when you have to wait for the whole screen to redraw whenever you click one. You can design around this in HTML by dynamically creating "drill down" screens out of your categorized views. Lotus Advisor magazine ran an article about this sometime back -- can't find the reference at the moment, but they publish many articles of that type, so a little perusal of their Web site would probably yield some useful stuff.

So, in summary, HTML is a more general solution, and with some extra development work you can make up for most of its shortcomings. Applets have advantages for selecting documents from a view. I would generally go with HTML unless I see a strong need for free selection of documents on multiple screens or unless I wanted to support lots of categorized views and was feeling lazy.

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