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back to article Apple banishes Java from Mac browsers

Apple has discontinued its own Java plugin, issuing an 'update' that removes it from MacOS and encourages users to instead download Oracle's version of the software. The update, available now and depicted at the bottom of this story, advises users to install new software with the following effect: Java for OS X 2012-006 …

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WTF?

An update that just removes a plugin is a 66MB download????

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FAIL

I was going to say the same thing! It even has the cheek to tell you to download from Oracle! I wonder how many MB that is!

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Anonymous Coward

@ Jan Hargreaves

"An update that just removes a plugin is a 66MB download????"

Just as well it's not a fat binary with the PowerPC version embedded in it. That'd be 132MB!!!

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FAIL

Is this an IT site?

The update also includes fixes for multiple vulnerabilities in Java itself:

http://prod.lists.apple.com/archives/security-announce/2012/Oct/msg00001.html

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Anonymous Coward

It will be a plugin plus a copy of the JRE (Java Runtime Environment) which is a version of Java that doesn't contain the SDK.

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FAIL

Of course, what would you expect from the company that made me download a 180MB update which forced a restart of my laptop to add RAW support for 2 Canon cameras that I don't own last week?

I remember back in the day all the fanbois gave Windows users crap about the 'you must reboot your computer' stuff that used to go on. I haven't rebooted my Windows 7 desktop for months and it's been fine, all patches installed etc - yet rebooting my Macbook *EVERY SINGLE TIME* Apple puts out a patch of any description has got beyond a joke.

Don't get me wrong, you don't have to reboot for every patch - but in a given 'update' of 3 or 4 patches, you can bet your bottom dollar that one of them requires a reboot.

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Anonymous Coward

Windows Update

I quite like Windows update - you can choose to select or reject updates if you want to. Ok, that's never going to be a quick and easy or straightforward job (who's going to read the release notes for every update?!) but at least the mechanism is there.

Most of the Linux distros seem to want you to reboot after update quite a lot of the time. I don't think many of them have taken enough brave pills to patch live running kernels yet.

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Re: Windows Update

You can reject OS X updates if you want to as well.

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Facepalm

Re: Windows Update

>Most of the Linux distros seem to want you to reboot after update quite a lot of the time. I don't think many of them have taken enough brave pills to patch live running kernels yet.

That is wrong on so many levels that I don't know where to begin. Let's just say that both assertions are false and leave it at that, without entering the details of whether or when these "features" are a security and/or stability hazard.

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Re: Windows Update

Can you? As far as I know they just keep appearing in the list, at least on Snow Leopard.

Meanwhile in Windows land you can hide them and not get bothered by them until you unhide them.

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Thumb Down

That's BS. Both do not require restarts if updates important files. That and I just had to restart Win 7 twice due to MS updates. That and I'm calling BS on anyone mocking restarts for updates. UAC on the other hand deserves it. I should not have to run a program as admin and deal with a lame pop up to use a folder within the software's root. UAC does nag way too much.

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Anonymous Coward

@toadwarroir

" I should not have to run a program as admin and deal with a lame pop up to use a folder within the software's root. UAC does nag way too much"

Well, the other way didn't work out too well did it?

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UAC

if your program requires access write access to its own install folder then it is up to the program to set those permissions when it installs. If it doesn't set the permissions then it is the fault of the program not Windows.

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Bod
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UAC

UAC nag is no different to failing to issue 'sudo' for just about everything you want to install or update.

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I can gues at two reason

1) The world's most profitable company remains the world most profitable company by not spending its own money when others will spend their's instead. So why pay developers to write a JVM when Oracle will do it for free. Makes economic sense. Pity, they used to employ some great engineers. But hey, you have to pay lawyers somehow.

2) It just works, well that's the marketing slogan. Well for Java its not true, so if Apple stops making its own implementation it can place the blame back on Oracle when (as usual) Java breaks, again. Helps them claim that all their stuff works and its not their fault when life doesn't.

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Re: I can gues at two reason

That indeed makes sense.

Good thing Apple isn't a car manufacturer for they might remove the wheels from your car if they find it's prown to punctures and , probably even more important : sourced from another company and not helpful to their bottom--line.:-)

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Stop

Re: I can gues at two reason

The difference is, unlike wheels, the Java plugin is not essential for web browsing these days.

Would car manufacturers remove unneeded extras that raise safety concerns?

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Re: I can gues at two reason

They still pay developers who work on Java, but they submit their work upstream to oracle so it can be used in "the one" Java instead of a forked apple only JVM.

Not too bad.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I can gues at two reason

"The difference is, unlike wheels, the Java plugin is not essential for web browsing these days."

My browser seems fine without wheels, should I be worried?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I can gues at two reason

"They still pay developers who work on Java, but they submit their work upstream to oracle so it can be used in "the one" Java..."

Unfortunately that "one" Java is in the hands of Oracle, which is a bit like the "one" ring being in the hands of Sauron.

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Stop

Reality Distorting Fruit

Oracle? I get my java from starbucks!

I wonder what spin the Reality Distorting Fruit has prepared to make this paletable to the fruit-aholics.

"All Rise !

The Ministry of Fruit expells Java as it is not a Fruit.

We deem it an Evil Herb which does not belong on our, erhm your, fields.

That will be all.

You may now kiss our feet !"

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Stop

Re: Reality Distorting Fruit

Coffee is not an herb, but a bean.

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Re: Reality Distorting Fruit

I'm so sorry. Coffee isn't a bean, it's a seed.

Shoot me now.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Reality Distorting Fruit

An herb

dont you love americans

Even a silent H is not a vowel

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Stop

Silent H

Putting "a" or "an" before a word depends on the pronunciation, not whether the word starts with a vowel or a consonant. E.g. you write "a university", even though u is a vowel, but you write "an hour", even though h is a consonant.

So you are correct that one should write "a herb" if the h of herb is pronounced; but if the h is silent, you should write "an herb".

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Anonymous Coward

After all the recent Java security problems is this really a surprise?

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Translated: "This update breaks your Mac...

To fix it, go somewhere else."

That's what most Mac users will actually experience, assuming they are using Java at all.

Given that the whole USP of Mac OS is supposed to be "It just works", this strikes me as a very odd thing to do.

Why exactly didn't Apple just ask Oracle for permission to redistribute their Java installer (saving the hit on Oracle servers), and install the Oracle Java themselves?

At least that way this "upgrade" would have left Apple users with a working computer.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Translated: "This update breaks your Mac...

They only removed the Java plugin, not Java. Does anyone really still use the plugin?

If Apple distributed Oracle's plugin they'd have to support it (or cue the headlines claiming Apple was shipping insecure software versions), but since Oracle's Java has been the root of all recent OSX malware it doesn't seem like the thing Apple would want to be responsible for.

After all Windows or Linux don't come with the plugin built in and it's not like anyone is too bothered about it.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Translated: "This update breaks your Mac...

Yea, only the 5 million+ in Denmark who need it to sign into their online banking systems...

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FAIL

Re: Translated: "This update breaks your Mac...

They use java to make their online banking more secure?

That's like putting holes in your lifeboats so any water that gets in can drain away.

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Re: Translated: "This update breaks your Mac...

"Yea, only the 5 million+ in Denmark who need it to sign into their online banking systems..."

They can pay me in good quality Danish licorice, and I will explain patiently where to get the Oracle install from :)

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Go

Meh!

Disabled Java on my browsers months ago. Apple is just catching up.

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Holmes

Actually, Apple did talk to Oracle earlier and decided to get out of the biz of doing their own Java builds. Oracle will take care of that now... and considering what Oracle's done to patch Java (finally)...

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It does make more sense for Oracle to maintain OS X Java than for Apple to do so, given that Oracle already maintain the versions for Windows, Linux, Solaris etc; IIRC some of the recent security holes had already been fixed by Oracle in the non-OS X versions, but were exploited while Apple were still working on porting the fixes over.

A shame Apple can't integrate it more cleanly, though. I've always appreciated the advantage Linux distros have over Windows/Microsoft Update, that they are open enough to redistribute third party packages and to add third party package repositories: 'apt-get update ; apt-get dist-upgrade' can update everything from Apache to Zebra in less time than Windows takes just to check for Microsoft updates. The App Store at least covers Apple-blessed third party applications alongside OS X itself and most Apple products, why couldn't they put Java in there to keep updating cleanly?

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JDX
Gold badge

Are you sure you want to install "no Java"?

Weird

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Re: Are you sure you want to install "no Java"?

It is paradoxical - but I think it's as someone said up the page, you will still have Apple's JVM able to run Java progerams on your PC, and updated to Java 6 Update 37, aligned with Oracle's new latest Java 6 release. What you won't have is the "plugin" to open Java applets on web pages. Also, Oracle are simultaneously providing Java 7, although there isn't much difference.

According to http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/java/eol-135779.html

"After February 2013, Oracle will no longer post updates of Java SE 6 to its public download sites." But if you really need an updated Java 6 then instead of Java 7, then they can make a deal with you. I have no idea what this means for Apple's version. A colleague thinks Java 7 is technically a mess, but I haven't asked him what he thinks about -its- latest release. By the way, the date was changed to February 2013 from an earlier cutoff, November 2012 I think (perhaps).

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Are you sure you want to install "no Java"?

Not that weird to those of us who spent ages battling a z-machine in order to be the proud owners of "tea" and "no tea" at once.

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WTF?

Isn't this just the implementation of Old News?

Some while ago (a year? Maybe more), Apple announced that they weren't going to support Java any more - after all, they were getting so much crap from 'users'** about not keeping up with the bugfixes in mainline Java this seemed like a sensible decision. Why be the middleman in such a relationship?

** When I say 'users' I mean people-who-comment-about-Apple-despite-announcing-that-they'll-never-buy-an-Apple-product as well as people who actually use OSX

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Re: Isn't this just the implementation of Old News?

It's hardly a surprise. They stopped bundling Flash with OSX because they reasoned that whatever version they include will always be out of date by the time someone installs it on a machine. They announced months ago they were handing off Mac java development to Oracle and they're planning to ditch their own X-11 in favour of having users that need it install a third-party implementation instead.

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Pint

Click install to uninstall...

This sounds a little backward to me, but I guess it's a feature of the software. Maybe they're catching up with Microsoft's classic "Click Start to select shutdown"....

But hey, it's Friday, I don't care.

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Anonymous Coward

66.6MB

It's evil I tell you... EVIL!!!

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I'm surprised it took Cupertino this long to remove it.

It was a dumb choice from the beginning. Continuing it would have been stupid and unprofitable. Not something you want when trying to maintain your image as the cool dude.

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FAIL

It would have been nice to know this before my WebEx with customers yesteday...

So many problems. First I upgraded to Mountain Lion recently and suddenly all my ASDM applets to my Cisco ASA firewalls stopped working, instead prompting me with the "you must install the new Java 6" blah blah blah. Even trying to load the old Java control panel caused this. Damn. upgraded to Java 6 and the ASDM still doesn't work because it's not compatible. Double Damn.

Then I tried to enter a WebEx session and found out I had no Java plugins. WTF?!? so I clicked the link to Oracle's site. Needed it now so downloaded and found our two more problems:

It's Java 7 and it totally disabled Java 6 on my mac. More compatibility problems. Triple Damn. Oh, and the plugin is 64-bit only so it won't work on Chrome, only Safari and FF. Quad-Damn, treble damage, game over.

damn

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I don't know for sure but -

Oracle Java 7 may have made itself the default Java on your Mac, but if there are similar options to those for Oracle's Windows Java Control Panel, then you may be able to make the Mac Java 6 be launched by Oracle's plugin. That will probably help, since at least Java updates within one version number usually fix bugs and incompatibilities instead of creating them.

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Bod
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Legal

Is it not perhaps just to try to avoid a lawsuit when Oracle moves their attention from Google?

Perhaps Apple thinks they can't take on Oracle by trying to sue them for stealing Java (as they would claim if they tried)

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Been Java free on my Macs for ages. I don't miss it at all.

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Boffin

Question

Is the Mac version of Java (the one that's going away) a browser plugin only? Or does (did) in include a complete stand alone JRE bundle for desktop apps?

I assume that the Oracle download is the 'standard' JRE, with both stand-alone java (including the command line, swing, awt, etc.) plus the browser applet plugin.

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