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Small footprint embedded browser rides on JVM

Nov 27, 2000 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 1 views

Los Angeles, CA — (press release excerpt) — ANT Limited (Cambridge, UK) has announced a development of its mature and proven Fresco embedded browser to run on the Java platform. This new implementation uses the Java Native Interface (JNI) to interface with Java-based Internet devices, enabling ANT to provide OEMs with a small footprint, fully customizable browser for Java environments. ANT Fresco is written in C, which reduces development times by combining the ease of programming in Java with the speed and performance advantage of a native browser.

ANT Fresco is a small memory footprint, standards-compliant browser that enables OEMs to quickly and easily design a branded interface for Internet appliances. It is platform-independent, so it can be used with any hardware or operating system environment, and is based on a patent pending three-layer architecture that enables it to overcome the power, memory and processor constraints inherent in such appliances. It also allows it to be ported to a new operating system in a matter of weeks, rather than months.

ANT Fresco is based on a unique three-layer architecture, consisting of the ANT Portability Environment (APE), which manages the interface to the hardware platform; the core standards-compliant browser code; and a graphical front end, which allows the design of a custom user interface and functionality. For this new solution, ANT has developed an implementation of APE that interfaces with Java platforms through JNI. Therefore, all systems with a compliant JVM and a C compiler can run the Fresco browser without the browser code having to be ported at all. This implementation is intended to comply with developing industry standards for connected devices.

In a typical solution, the browser front end will be written in Java. The port to a Java platform means that whenever Fresco requires a platform-specific service, such as an event, socket, or timer, a call is made through APE, which maps onto an appropriate Java implementation through JNI. As the external events will all originate from Java, JNI is then used to make a call back into APE which, in turn, sends an appropriate event to the browser. Therefore, any applications written in Java can use Fresco as a native class to display HTML content.

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