iTheora and Java support detection

Interesting project: iTheora, a PHP script handling in-browser display of Ogg Theora video files, using the Flumotion Cortado Java applet. The site’s originally in French but has also been translated into English by Bruno (nice one Bruno!). I’d like to do this client-side with JavaScript. The big issue I find with Cortado, and indeed all Java applets, is: Java takes so long to start up. What I’d like to do is only load the Java applet if someone asks to see the video, and not show it at all if they don’t have Java installed. The problem is: how do you detect whether the punter can display Java applets, without starting Java? As far as I can tell, it isn’t possible. I’ve seen a few attempts at it, but none of them work across browsers. JavaScript people: how do you detect Java support without starting Java? I’m quite happy to write the script to do it if I can work out how, but all my experimentation and research have not led me to a solution. Lazyweb: help me out!

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