The final beta of the HotJava browser has been posted to the JavaSoft Web site. HotJava is written entirely in Java. Though it's not expected to compete with Web browser powerhouses like Navigator and Internet Explorer, HotJava is a proof-of-concept for Java. Most development on Java is done with applets, small mini-applications that are hosted in a Java-compatible environment like a Web browser. JavaSoft is trying to prove that the language is suitable for full-fledged, stand-along applications programs as well.

New features of the final beta include support for the JDK 1.1, signed applets, security administration, HTTP authentication for password- protected Web sites, and Secure Sockets Layer (SSL).

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