back to article Chrome version 42 will pour your Java coffee down the drain: Plugin blocked by default

The latest release of the Chrome web browser, version 42, will block Oracle's Java plugin by default as well as other extensions that use the deprecated NPAPI. The Chrome 42 – available now – brings about the end of official support for NPAPI, a move that will render various plugins incompatible with the browser. Among those …

  1. x 7

    going to be a real challenge for the British NHS........so many programs rely on Java, especially the remote stuff accessed through The Spine. Even just logging onto it requires Java.

    Because other applications require old versions of IE to run, many NHS staff use Chrome as their mainstream browser. Between outdated IE versions, lack of IE support in Windows 10 (when it arrives) and this decision with Chrome, in a years time the NHS is going to have to face the problem of either running insecure browsers, or finding much of their software infrastructure in unsustainable,

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      isnt that a good thing?

      It will generate new job opportunities for software developers. a $100bn contract for someone who went to school with whomever happens to be prime minister at the time, and runs a software company but doesnt understand the difference between software and a potato.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Holmes

        Re: isnt that a good thing?

        There is a difference between software and a potato?

        1. dan1980

          Re: isnt that a good thing?

          Easier to get a potato that does what its supposed to. Also backups are pretty straight-forward and they work much better with dead fish.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: isnt that a good thing?

            ...and a potato also has a handy, built-in, self copying protocol.

            1. dan1980

              Re: isnt that a good thing?

              Not to mention that if you are unhappy with how the potato has performed in its primary capacity - or indeed when it is, perhaps, superseded - there are still many uses for it.

              (Apart from the obvious.)

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: isnt that a good thing?

                Posting a link on how to make a weapon? That was either brave or foolhardy.

                Expect to be branded a terrorist and get a visit from the goon squad real soon...

            2. Ken Hagan Gold badge

              Re: isnt that a good thing?

              "a handy, built-in, self copying protocol."

              You mean if we don't stamp out this DNA stuff then it will infest the whole planet? Ahh ... that's proper malware, that is.

              1. Bert 1
                Coat

                Re: isnt that a good thing?

                I'm surprised that no-one has pointed out that a potato is a MUCH better use of chips than software.

        2. VinceH Silver badge
          Joke

          Re: isnt that a good thing?

          >"There is a difference between software and a potato?"

          No - and anyone who claims there is doesn't have the first clue about software development.

        3. fruitoftheloon
          Joke

          @Andy Prough: Re: isnt that a good thing?

          Andy,

          Is there a differenece, cue some smart alec developing a mash-up to fix it all eh?

          J.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        ...clap... ...clap...

        oh good, my Slow Clap Processor made it into this thing.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: isnt that a good thing?

        "who went to school with whomever happens to be prime minister at the time"

        You are predicting the result of the election, since Miliband went to Haverstock Hill Comp, and while its catchment area includes some fairly well off places, the sort of public school old boy network that exemplifies the Cameron government doesn't exist.

        For Labour corruption, you need to look at who's who in the public sector after a few years - though to be fair the Conservatives have their own version of that.

        If anything Labour bungled the NHS because they didn't have the OBN and took the large US vendors at face value, even as Richard Bacon* was digging into the incompetence on the PAC. If you want to see where government waste and corruption lies, it's often useful to see what the PAC is investigating - and how the government is trying to ignore their findings.

        *Bacon is a co-author of Conundrum, a book about why public sector projects fail - which he attributes to the recruitment of the wrong kind of civil servants, ones who obsess about ideas but have no practical skills.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: isnt that a good thing?

          "... wrong kind of civil servants ..."

          You mean there are the right kind?!

          1. dan1980

            Re: isnt that a good thing?

            @AC

            "You mean there are the right kind?!"

            Absolutely. They're just more concerned with doing their jobs than gaining the power that enables them to get their corporate mates sweet deals and earn them kickbacks. I.e. - they're the ones you never see nor hear of.

            In other words, and to borrow at least the spirit of Douglas Adams' famous line, if you know the name of a public servant, they are therefore someone who is not to be trusted. The ones who do their jobs are, largely, anonymous and unsung, caring more about cold numbers and truth and accuracy than the myriad lies and maneuvering that out 'leaders' deal in.

      4. Irongut

        Re: isnt that a good thing?

        Potato... Podildo

      5. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

        Re: isnt that a good thing?

        Is a potato a zero or a one?

        1. Master Luke

          Re: isnt that a good thing?

          It can be both: A zero if you boil it, or lots of ones if you make chips from it........

    2. Dan 55 Silver badge

      You mean if the NHS wants to run Java applets it'll have to use Firefox which doesn't CC everything to the Google mothership? And the downside is?

      The primary purpose of potatoes is to make chips, anything else pales into insignificance.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "in a years time the NHS is going to have to face the problem of either running insecure browsers"

      They already are. Chrome has over 1,000 known security vulnerabilities! That's about double the total for all versions of IE...

    4. Craigness

      IE in Win 10

      "...lack of IE support in Windows 10..."

      IE 11 will ship with Windows 10, it just won't be the default browser. It is supported until 2023-01-10 (the same date as Win 8) but will get no new features and there will not be an IE12. Hooray!

  2. gerdesj Silver badge

    "Enterprise ready"

    Ho hum. I generally use Chrome (long story, can't be othered to bore you why) but I have to connect to rather a lot of devices that insist on using Java. There are lots of top end stuff that uses Java in a browser for configuration and although some offer a much more powerful command line interface as well, sometimes they don't and sometimes I can't be arsed to remember and just want to click on stuff.

    Hopefully whoever develops the next thing wot will configure lots of stuff will get it right but I doubt it. Whenever something gets popular enough to be used ubiquitously then it will be bought and sold mercilessly and then deprecated by NIH competitors in a damning display of what is wrong with patents as practiced currently.

    I have rather a lot of browsers installed (and VMs for the rest). t'intertubes have been pretty much fixed with regards browser compatibility. NOW FIX MY FUCKING (V)LAN.

    Jon

    1. the spectacularly refined chap

      Re: "Enterprise ready"

      Ho hum. I generally use Chrome (long story, can't be othered to bore you why) but I have to connect to rather a lot of devices that insist on using Java. There are lots of top end stuff that uses Java in a browser for configuration and although some offer a much more powerful command line interface as well, sometimes they don't and sometimes I can't be arsed to remember and just want to click on stuff.

      This is the elephant in the room and it isn't possible to just wish it away. It's all very well saying "Oh, but you shouldn't be using this because of x, and z..." but if you need it then you need it and the discussion about whether you should be using it stops there. I've got several older devices here much like you describe, embedded web servers with Java applets, none of which are signed. It's getting increasingly difficult to support them, not because of any technical factors but because of the ego of some development team somewhere deciding that they know what I need better than I do.

      1. dan1980

        Re: "Enterprise ready"

        Yes, its a problem.

        With Chrome such a popular browser, it might be that this really forces peoples hand.

        BUT, some people just don't have the option - they can't just magic away the need to run Java no matter what changes are made by Chromium.

        As someone who manages many systems for many different organisations using many different web applications from many different providers - with varying levels of importance to their businesses, I can assure everyone that the world simply does function the way these developers are deluding themselves to believe that it does.

        With the move to web applications on the rise, the Chromium team are finding themselves where Microsoft have been for a long time - having to deal with security issues caused by third-party software. Of course, MS has its share of issues with the OS itself but third-party software like Flash and Java has been a constant bugbear for them.

        The fanciful idea that once you move your applications into a browser you don't have to worry about compatibility or the local environment or anything is starting to crack. Well, not starting, but the cracks are more visible.

        It might sound like sour grapes from someone who sees his 'traditional' IT experience muscled out by the world of 'cloud' and 'startup' but it's not - I am far busier now helping people make these new applications work in their environments than I have been support 'normal' software.

        This promise of stuff 'just working' is, to any IT person, a fantasy and any vendor who claims otherwise is not to be believed. Of course, people still end up signing up and migrating to web-based applications based on these promises and only later do they find they have to call in IT support to pickup up the pieces and try to bridge the gap between what they have and what they expected based on inadequate testing and the enthusiastic sales pitches from 'evangelists'.

        I've seen it time and again and several times I have been called in where a department has signed a contract for a cloud-based service and only a afterwards realised that their (e.g.) end-of-months reports won't work properly or some feature that they need and were sold on requires a whole bunch of additional plugins that aren't compatible.

        With this specific issue, I am seeing reprecussions right now with a cloud software provider (who tells users that they must use Chrome) who supply a plugin to perform some relatively important function that the client uses 'all the time'. Guess which type of plugin it is . . .

        When questioned, they don't have plans to update the plugin. Why not? Oh well, that's because they have an 'app' that does this and much more besides and is much simpler to boot. The catch? Nothing much - it's needs Office 365. When questioned, their response was that they couldn't understand why the client wasn't using Office 365. I could only agree with them: they didn't understand.

        (For the record, their - overseas - parent company manages all e-mail and licensing and has quite strict policies on this kind of thing.)

        Such is the way of these things - the promise is that the move to 'cloud' and 'web' somehow magically resolves all the issues and concerns that occur with that old, out-dated software. The truth is that all the concerns still exist, they are just shifted and often to a location you have no control over.

        Again, I get plenty of work from all this - it's just frustrating seeing the same thing happen again and again and vendors still keep selling the lie that the solution to every problem is more cloud. More frustrating is that people keep buying it.

        (The disclaimer is that I have no problem with 'cloud' and 'web' based software - at least not as a rule. The problem is that using such software doesn't mean that you can just ignore the considerations that normally go with choosing and running software.)

        1. Frank N. Stein

          Re: "Enterprise ready"

          Good points. The Cloud/Internet based madness gets even worse with mobile devices, as Enterprise firms tend to stick with older devices for far too long and the Cloud/Internet apps are not the ready made "it just works" solution for that, either. You'd be surprised how many enterprise firms are still deploying iPhone 4S, Samsung Galaxy Tab1, Note 1 and 2, and doing custom Android development that can only be described as shoddy/botched code, at best. As unrealistic as desktop/laptop computer expectations can be when connected cloud/Internet apps are used, the problem gets much worse with mobile devices that are company deployed.The tech support nightmare grows even more of a headache if the devices are BYOD, the user botches things up with some app store purchased app that isn't compatible with their work apps, and botches up a personal device which isn't covered by an RMA process from tech support.

    2. Oninoshiko

      Re: "Enterprise ready"

      I'm glad I wasn't the only one to see this problem.

      Guess I'll be uninstalling chrome. (which is unfortunate. It works fairly well)

  3. Greg J Preece

    Good timing on our part then. Our first(?) Java application to be completely rewritten as a HTML 5 app goes live this week.

    1. bazza Silver badge

      Genuinely interested; is it proving to be a write-once-run-everywhere experience?

      Good luck!

      1. Greg J Preece

        Genuinely interested; is it proving to be a write-once-run-everywhere experience

        Sort of - we've done a pretty nice job of creating a new UI for the applet client. Just having some issues in that the tech to run it originally only existed in Chrome, and I think most modern designers know how buggy Chrome's engine is. Now we're testing on FF and finding issues that people are blaming on FF, but are actually down to Chrome bugs.

        In terms of device, it's actually working pretty damn well. We have a seamless Flash fallback for browsers that don't have the appropriate tech, and that'll be phased out in time. I've tried it on a range of devices and it's hard to trip up. The new JS APIs are pretty solid, it seems.

    2. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      HTML 5 app

      You mean JavaScript/ECMAScript app?

      1. JDX Gold badge

        Which is easier to type?

      2. Greg J Preece

        You mean JavaScript/ECMAScript app?

        Technically I mean a HTML 5/Typescript/CSS app, but "HTML 5 app" is much easier to say, and most people understand what I mean just fine. It's become an acceptable shorthand for a modern collection of language versions, no?

  4. Kurt 4

    Firefox

    All the Dell and HP servers I've connected to use Java as well as KVMs. Firefox always worked best for this anyway...

    1. dan1980

      Re: Firefox

      Doesn't the CISCO SDM (or whatever it's called) use Java too?

      I remember an issue with a new client's site where everything had gone to hell with the last IT provider closing down and them left with very little information. I had to try and access the servers via OOB (can't remember if it was iDRAC or iLO) and also access the Cisco PIX via the SDM because there was no console cable (I was unprepared for the Cisco as they had said it was a 'D-Link' when asked) and the telnet seemed to be disabled and SSH didn't work - probably wasn't setup properly.

      Cue SDM only working with an older Java and the iDrac/iLO only working with a newer version . . .

      Oh the fun.

      But these are the situations you can find yourself in.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Unhappy

      Re: Firefox

      You don't have to use Java for HP's these days, you can use .net as well.

      Feel free to choose which one you want to lock into.

      1. dan1980

        Re: Firefox

        Ha!

        I believe it was Dell which but yes, you're right - choose your poison.

  5. Jan Hargreaves
    Facepalm

    Just use a better browser. What's the big deal?

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge
      Facepalm

      The "better browsers" BREAK the antiquated-yet-irreplaceable plugins on which your business relies. What's your answer to an antiquated-yet-irreplaceable piece of custom software that's too expensive to replace yet so insecure and rickety it can break at any moment?

      1. Jan Hargreaves

        Who has written such a thing for Chrome??? When I said better browser I meant better than Chrome. It's horrible.

      2. dan1980

        @Charles 9

        In all honesty, the best bet - where possible - is to set up some VMs running an older version of the browser (set to not update) deployed as a published app and then lock down those VMs as much as possible.

        How much you can sandbox it all really depends on the app itself and of course many need access to all manner of local and remote resources that seriously restrict what you are able to do to secure it.

        And, again, this is 'where possible'. You have to have the infrastructure and licenses and so forth and an app that will even work this way. But, where you can isolate the application to a couple of VMs accessed via a published app, this may be the best option.

        Many, many businesses run legacy software due to complex interdependencies that render the necessary upgrades prohibitively expensive.

        Bringing it back to my previous comment about cloud software, I saw an instance recently where a client had some staff stuck on an older OS due to a piece of legacy software that, to be compatible on newer a client OS would require a full upgrade through the back-end, costing, well, a lot. It was a piece of software they had largely migrated from but that was still essential for several specific staff.

        The department signed-up for a new cloud-based application that, for whatever reason, required the use of several (unsigned, of course) ActiveX plugins and thus would only work with Internet Explorer. Now, while these plugins were compatible with IE 8 (the latest version that runs on XP), the website itself was coded such that it required IE 10. It would load, more-or-less, in IE8 but much of the navigation and many of the windows and functions would display incorrectly or flat not work.

        Thankfully, most of the parts that required the plugins did work well-enough in IE8 that these people could use them but, unfortunately, getting to those pages and section just didn't work as the menus wouldn't load. So, those poor users ended up running Chrome and IE side-by-side and would navigate to pages with Chrome and then copy and paste URLs (many of which contained record identifiers and so change for each item) over into IE, where they could then run the functions against those records.

        For a while they would try to use a spare PC and we trialled using a KVM to control 2 PCs as well as setting up VirtualBox but in the end we sold them a remote desktop server setup so that it was easier for the users - as they were quite peeved by this time.

        Of course, we couldn't run the legacy application on that as the license didn't support deployment in that manner and, given that the client was running an old version and they hadn't maintained support (as they couldn't install updates anyway!), the vendor insisted that they either pay their 4 years back-support - for the whole install (originally 10 licenses) despite there only being 3 people using it currently or else they would need to upgrade to the new version to obtain the required licenses to install on a TS - which would be moot at that point, anyway.

        Of course, the contract for the new cloud application was signed without any involvement with their in-house IT or us (we were performing high-level support to the in-house team) as the salesperson had told them all that there was "typically no need to involve the IT department" as it didn't require any software installations. Before we knew there was a problem, the client was in for a 24 month contract and had already migrated their data into the new system.

        But hey - it worked on mobile phones!!

        1. Charles 9 Silver badge

          "How much you can sandbox it all really depends on the app itself and of course many need access to all manner of local and remote resources that seriously restrict what you are able to do to secure it."

          Some antiquated software also drives antiquated hardware and therefore CAN'T be virtualized (and the hardware itself can't be replaced because there's no substitute or it's still being amortized). NOW what?

  6. Ken Hagan Gold badge

    Sigh...

    If only there was a version of Java that was designed to be provably secure. Then all someone would have to do was implement the spec and we'd have a write-once-run-anywhere platform that was also the answer to all our malware woes.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: Sigh...

      Except because we're only human, every single implementation would be vulnerable to some human mistake. The chief (and irremovable) reason software is vulnerable is because it or something else along the line is made by humans.

    2. Daniel B.
      Boffin

      Re: Sigh...

      And the irony is that Java is probably the most secure of the "stuff that can run remote code" out there, even though it did have gaping holes a couple of years ago. But alas, it has been permanently tainted by those dark days.

      Funny that JavaScript is "teh hotness" these days with web developers, but that thing is actually worse than Java in the security field. Its just going to be a matter of time for truly evil JavaScript malware to really screw the pooch. Meanwhile, what can be used that isn't Java or .NET for client-side heavy stuff (i.e. strong encryption, digital signatures)? There's no way I'm trusting on JS for that. At least Java does have the security sandbox by default.

  7. Dan 55 Silver badge

    Although plugin vendors are dancing to Google's tune

    FTFY.

    By the way, Google have underestimated the amount of things that need NPAPI in their rush to kill it and replace it with whatever wonderful idea they've had while playing ping-pong this week. Safari on Mac managed to keep NPAPI plugins but stick them in a sandbox with only a little effort required by the developer.

    Anything with client-side digital signing needs Java because there's nothing else cross-platform that can do it (with the dishonourable exception from ActiveX in South Korea) and in many countries banking and government stuff needs that. They're not going to kill NPAPI that quickly.

    Not that I like Java in the browser that much, I run it with click-to-play so I can use it only when I really need it.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: Although plugin vendors are dancing to Google's tune

      Java's supposed to be sandboxed, too. Guess what happened? Malware found ways to escape sandboxes, so perhaps Google doesn't consider a sandbox much of an assurance. Firefox added the capability, too, but it's not on by default. Probably because of the risk of the access restrictions breaking essential plugins: another concern of any form of new access restriction.

      1. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Re: Although plugin vendors are dancing to Google's tune

        Google say the primary reason for forcing everyone over to PPAPI is it's sandboxed...

        http://blog.chromium.org/2012/08/the-road-to-safer-more-stable-and.html

        However Apple have managed an NPAPI sandbox and as you say Mozilla are developing one. Looks like Google were too quick to drop NPAPI.

        1. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Re: Although plugin vendors are dancing to Google's tune

          Unless Google is claiming NPAPI is too old TO sandbox properly. We don't know if Apple's approach is breaking stuff since the MacOS presence is relatively small. Meanwhile, like I said, Firefox's is off by default, which leads me to suspect it's likely to break things. If the only way to properly sandbox NPAPI breaks too much, then perhaps Google has a point.

      2. jason 7

        Re: Although plugin vendors are dancing to Google's tune

        Didn't all the Browsers using Sandboxes get theirs quickly kicked open at PWN2OWN a few weeks ago?

  8. Duncan Macdonald Silver badge

    Goodbye Chrome

    It only takes a few important (to the user) sites not working with a browser for users to switch to a different browser. The "We know best and you will do as we say" attitude of the Chrome developers is likely to kill Chrome (and Chromebooks if they do not have another browser loaded).

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: Goodbye Chrome

      But what happens when the only alternatives lead to pwning, which leave users in a bind: the ONLY browsers they can use to work leave them with their butts in the breeze, so to speak, basically putting am minefield between them and their work and in the dilemma of neither being able to stand still nor move forward.

      1. dan1980

        Re: Goodbye Chrome

        Users will always choose functionality and convenience over security.

  9. Harry the Bastard

    grrr

    i understand the desire to expunge legacy nastiness for the sake of the children, but for grown ups it causes problems

    as above, there are many existing systems and applications, including supposedly modern fluffy cloudy ones, that either will not work at all, or will have surprise malfunctions when accesed

    oh, and then there's the updated microsoft webmail my megacorp just deployed, far more bells and whistles than the old version, oh, and now i can't attach files, chrome doesn't work, firefox doesn't work, safari (ptuii) works a bit

    at this rate i'll be firing up a vm running ie just to get work done, hardly a step forward

    1. Irongut

      Re: grrr

      What MS webmail would this be where Firefox doesn't work? You are presumably talking about Office 365 which has had Firefox support since launch. Everything on the employee and admin sides works perfectly.

      Pull the other one.

      1. jason 7

        Re: grrr

        Sounds like someone didn't attend the training or read the handout.

        We rolled out a webmail system to a company a few months ago. We tested all the functionality they required and then some. Created handouts that explained the stuff they would need.

        Then had the boss on the phone a few days later saying "Eric (the resident IT knowitall big mouth who actually doesn't...) says it doesn't do this, do that etc. etc. ! We can't use this! Eric says we need to go to Outllook/Exchange..."

        Me - "All in the hand outs! Take a look! You have read them I take it?" (like hell)

        Boss - "Oh I hadn't...oh yes says here it can! Oh I see..haha yes! Okay well....I'll let Eric know."

  10. Stephen Booth

    Not the end of the world

    Running ANY programming language inside the web-browser is a bad idea. The more capable the language, the worse idea it is. If you can change the web-site applets can trivially be changed into jnlp downloads solving the problem. If you need to access an applet based interface that has not been converted then just open another browser when you need to (you could even write a stand alone program specifically for running java applets from web pages). Lets face it java applets never integrated well with the surrounding web-page so losing the ability to start them seamlessly is no big loss and easily worked around.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: Not the end of the world

      Trouble is, non-interactive web pages are more trouble then they're worth now, so you're caught between Scylla and Charybdis. The ONLY way you can attract enough e-business is to render yourself vulnerable. So do you sink or swim with the sharks?

      1. Jamie Jones Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: Not the end of the world

        "so you're caught between Scylla and Charybdis. "

        Syphilis?

    2. Daniel B.
      Boffin

      Re: Not the end of the world

      I would concur with your idea, which is why I dislike JavaScript: it has caused far more grief than Java, and it usually has more exploits doing the rounds, what about CSRF, XSS and all those "nice" things. Java at least has the code signing security stuff, which means that only signed apps have access to your local stuff, JS has no such crypto protections.

      On java applets, sure the applets themselves didn't really integrate with webpages, but there are some websites that do some kind of client-side Java that does seamlessly integrate with the websites. Classic Hushmail is an example of this, when you enable Java.

  11. hammarbtyp Silver badge

    Could we have some grown-up options please..

    While I applaud Google attempts to make Chrome more secure, I do wish they treated us as grown-ups.

    If after weighing up the risks I want to run a potentially in-secure plug-in I don't see why I cannot be given the option. Why should should Google arbitrate on my level of risk?

    1. JimmyPage Silver badge

      Re: Could we have some grown-up options please..

      s/google/Her Majestys Government

    2. LucreLout Silver badge

      Re: Could we have some grown-up options please..

      Why should should Google arbitrate on my level of risk?

      Well, that's one way to see, and perfectly valid I might add. Anorther way to see it, is that Google are arbitrating the level of risk you can pose to others - No exploits, no botnets.

      The home computer has been fairly mainstream for about 20 years; If users were going to learn not to run malware they'd have done it by now, so sooner or later someones got to take the option away from them. That'll be a drawn out incremental process, but canning plug-ins is a logical first move.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The day Java and Flash has been replaced by HTML5 will be a good day.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm certainly not going to cry over the death of applets but at the same time I can see this causing some serious problems for some companies. It sounds to me like they have boxed up NPAPI and put it on a high shelf out of the way. I would be surprised if it could do much damage from there without some manual intervention from someone who knows what they are doing. If that's the case then why not leave it in there for a couple of years more to allow the sys admins time to beg the PHB for money to redevelop the applet that should never have been written in the first place.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      "f that's the case then why not leave it in there for a couple of years more to allow the sys admins time to beg the PHB for money to redevelop the applet that should never have been written in the first place."

      Because Catch-22 applies here. As long as NPAPI works, the PHB will never see a reason to put down for a new version. PHB's are reactive, not proactive and will only put down when their own neck's on the line: IOW, when something breaks.

  14. Alan Denman

    Lock in

    We have ways of making you use our platform.

    Commercial interests win out again.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Lock in

      It sounds more like lock out in this case.

  15. awood-something_or_another
    Alert

    Here's the deal.......

    Google should be commended to forcing change for the good. 1st, Java is shit! 2nd, Shit is crammed into where it doesn't belong, like in PDFs For example, malware writers can get Java to execute in PDFs, even if it is a 'comment', as long as it is in the 1st page. Just opening the doc executes it (Not exactly safe).

    Now for those that bemoan the need to support old IE. I assume you mean IE8, the browser that 'real' developers HATED from the start, and shit developers loved. All those shit devs are gone, but their apps live on, and live on still IE8.

    Organizations are too afraid, or unable to move forward. My last company's primary app back-end is still Foxpro for DOS - Copyright 1989 ....it says so on the screen. I work for a company that requires you to have installed another SHIT app called Flash. What is Flash used for - Nothing. It's legacy code that they are TOO afraid to remove, because they do not understand what will happen if they do.

    The answer, use one browser for crap like Java and Flash (and you know which one I'm talking about), and disable them in Chrome (moot point by now) and FF. IF, and only IF those sites require it, break out IE, or else let it/them lie dormant. I know it sucks to not have flash based ads distracting your attention with all their movement, and the utter lack of kitten video pleasure, but Java and Flash are the enemy, not Google. How is it that the maker of Java requires you to run extremely old and vulnerable versions of it just to use their own, over priced, crap-apps?

    1. dan1980

      Re: Here's the deal.......

      @awood-something_or_another

      So, you've never seen software that will ONLY work in Chrome AND requires plugins? If not then let me assure that such software exists.

      If everything was as simple as you say - one legacy browser and one 'modern browser' - then all would be good. The reason people - IT people supporting real environments - are complaining is that it ISN'T that simple. The real world is messy with odd combinations of requirements and interdependencies.

      What about if you have multiple web apps you need - one with an ActiveX plugin that won't work on anything newer than IE9 (can vouch for that one), another that requires an ActiveX plugin so requires IE but is coded such that the menus only work in IE10/11 and a third that is coded for Chrome and requires NPAPI plugins (2 of them) to perform essential functionality.

      And, of course, the random government websites using authentication via Java.

      The above may sound like a rather rare situation but it's more common than you evidently think. I can vouch for the exact scenario I have listed and could give you more of a similar stripe.

      1. x 7

        Re: Here's the deal.......

        "What about if you have multiple web apps you need - one with an ActiveX plugin that won't work on anything newer than IE9 (can vouch for that one), another that requires an ActiveX plugin so requires IE but is coded such that the menus only work in IE10/11 and a third that is coded for Chrome and requires NPAPI plugins (2 of them) to perform essential functionality."

        Sounds like the NHS ......except that you also then need three different versions of Java installed as well. And if you're one of the poor sods looking at CCG finance you'll possibly need a couple more JVMs in the guise of long-outdated JInitiator versions.

  16. Unicornpiss Silver badge
    Meh

    <sigh>

    Where I work we have a hodgepodge of IE, Chrome, and Firefox. Like many organizations, we keep older versions of IE around for legacy stuff that just will not run right on anything else, even on 11 in "Enterprise Mode". We then allow users to install and use Firefox and Chrome for more modern apps or as a personal preference. Chrome is a big hit. (I'm partial to FF myself) If Chrome will no longer run Java, that will be a deal breaker. And Java is far from dead. One of our departments (with no consulting IT) began using a finance news and file sharing site that requires not only Java, but Java 8. Which is another story for keeping compatibility, but we won't go there.

    I suppose my point is that it's wonderful that Google is taking a stand (sarcasm), but if we (and many other companies) must now rely on older versions of Chrome, etc. now to run outdated Java, security has actually decreased, counter to Google's intentions.

    I'm sure some well meaning pundit will bring up: "Well, you should be updating/phasing out all those vulnerable legacy apps. You'll get no sympathy from me." Yes, I wholeheartedly agree. And by making such a statement, you've clearly not worked for a large company to whom IT is at best a necessary extravagance and at worst a bastard stepchild whose recommendations are to be viewed with disdain and ignored until a crisis emerges. "What do you mean we can't keep using this DOS app in production?? Oooh, do you have my Surface 3 tablet ready? Shiny!"

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    ava was at the center of a nasty legal battle between Oracle and Google

    as always, pure coincidence and malicious rumours! Can't wait to see what comes out from the EU v. Google spat. I bet new doodles have already been tested...

  18. EJ

    Great.

    Now how about Flash Player?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Great.

      And Javascript - which I see is still fully supported in Chrome 42....

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Great.

        "And Javascript - which I see is still fully supported in Chrome 42...."

        I really hope you are joking and not that stupid?

        1. Daniel B.
          Boffin

          Re: Great.

          "And Javascript - which I see is still fully supported in Chrome 42...."

          I really hope you are joking and not that stupid?

          I don't think he's stupid. He's probably right: the only way to have a truly secure browser is to disable all client-side running code. If code can run in your client, it can be theoretically exploited.

          Most stuff that downloads and runs code from the 'net should have some kind of sandbox, or at least a way to verify if the code you're going to run is safe. Some schemes do either sandboxes, code authentication, or both. But not all of 'em. So we usually get from the most secure schemes (Java does both), to the shitty security ones (Javascript does sandbox, but no code auth), to nonexistant (Oh, it seems you have an ActiveX object! I'll run it! Full access to everything! Oh no I's been pwned!!!)

          So basically, if you're agreeing with Google killing Java, you should be asking for Google to kill JavaScript as well. Because its security model is shittier.

          1. Charles 9 Silver badge

            Re: Great.

            "I don't think he's stupid. He's probably right: the only way to have a truly secure browser is to disable all client-side running code. If code can run in your client, it can be theoretically exploited."

            Problem is, without client-side code, web pages can't be interactive, and a non-interactive web page now is likely to be your ticket to obsolescence. So it's like I said earlier: you can either sink or swim with the sharks...

  19. Conrad Longmore
    Thumb Down

    It isn't the 1990s any more..

    It isn't the 1990s any more. Java should be long dead, but sadly it isn't. Probably for 90%+ of users this move is probably a great one. But for the rest it is going to be a massive pain in the arse.

    I've been saying for years that if you have Java installed on your system then the smartest thing you can do is remove it completely. In the real world hardly anybody needs it. But isn't it awfully prescriptive of the Chrome devs to decide that *nobody* can use it in Chrome? After all, Chrome was written to be a stable platform to run apps.

    One thing that will suffer is anything running that antiquated piece of crap known as Oracle Forms. Heck, that even breaks when Oracle update their own Java product. A cynic might say that Google will view any damage to Oracle's products as acceptable damage..

    1. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: It isn't the 1990s any more..

      One of the reasons I like IE over Chrome !!! is that my security suite gives me a nice little toolbar in IE that enables me to have set a global policy: no Java, and on a per website make it one click for me to enable it and several other content settings. Whilst chrome does give me exceptions, all the stuff is buried in the settings.

    2. x 7

      Re: It isn't the 1990s any more..

      "In the real world hardly anybody needs it. "

      thats the fundamental error.

      In the real business world, a large majority of corporates, and government institutions DO need it due to the outdated or misguided applications they use and can't afford to replace

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: It isn't the 1990s any more..

        "In the real business world, a large majority of corporates, and government institutions DO need it due to the outdated or misguided applications they use and can't afford to replace"

        So what happens when these big businesses get caught in a dilemma: told their software's not secure enough to comply with laws or whatever but lacking any viable alternative? Suppose they're "too big to fail" yet "too stubborn to live"?

  20. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    Dalvik

    Is it possible that Google might drop in their Dalvik VM to replace Java?

    1. damworker

      Re: Dalvik

      I doubt it.

      It would be the very same thing that made Microsoft and IE so hated - embrace, extend, extinguish and led to the need to support old versions of IE that were discussed.

    2. Boothy

      Re: Dalvik

      Isn't Dalvik essentially dead now (other than perhaps security fixes under 4.x)?

      It was replaced by ART (Android Runtime). It doesn't even exist in Android 5.0 and newer.

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: Dalvik

        But ART doesn't completely replace the Dalvik language: just the Dalvik runtime. ART simply compiles that bytecode into native code when the app is installed. The Dalvik source is still there, though.

  21. Hairy Airey

    All those with HP servers fitted with ilo will be delighted since that depends on Java, as well as APC's powerchute business edition.

    As my previous boss said

    Knock knock

    Who's there?

    (very very long pause)

    Java

    (truly machine independent code - won't run on any machine!)

  22. JasonT
    Devil

    Didn't see a post on this, but there is a workaround which gets you through September, when Google will completely kill NPAPI in Chrome.

    1. In Chrome, browse to chrome://flags/#enable-npapi

    2. Click on “Enable”

    3. Close all instances of Chrome and restart

    I am disappointed, if not surprised, by Oracle's response ("just use another browser") found at https://java.com/en/download/faq/chrome.xml.

  23. Kleykenb

    Google is mean!!

    Well, when you're playing with the Big Boys you better play like a Big Boy.

    So I guess I'll have to start using Firefox if I still want to be able to reach the Java Consoles of my Blade Servers from now on because Chrome already beat Internet Explorer to a pulp :-/

  24. ecofeco Silver badge

    Uh oh

    This might be a bad move. There are literally MILLIONS of websites and mini applications within websites that require Java. A LOT of them with VBCs. (very big companies)

    Combine that with millions of people who have no clue how to fiddle their settings and you are suddenly looking at a LOT of very unhappy people who will do what they always do: take the path of least resistance and ditch the thing that changed everything.

    As for more work, the only extra work I see is the helpdesk having to turn it back on.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: Uh oh

      "Combine that with millions of people who have no clue how to fiddle their settings and you are suddenly looking at a LOT of very unhappy people who will do what they always do: take the path of least resistance and ditch the thing that changed everything."

      But it makes you wonder what would happen when they suddenly find out that was the LAST thing that supported the status quo, basically leaving them up the creek without a boat and with the sharks in hot pursuit.

  25. This post has been deleted by its author

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    My guess is that the lawsuit triggered this

    The joy of Oracle....

  27. Martin-73 Silver badge

    I look forward to chrome going away now.

    It's never been fully complete, half the UI is still missing, and now it won't actually work with stuff people need. Yay google.

    Morons

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Everyone from the makers of Minecraft to the US government have taken steps to minimize user exposure the menace of miscreants wielding exploits for Java vulnerabilities.

    Minecraft maybe, but the claim from the US government is complete BS.

    The whole reason I watch Java exploits is that at least 3 of our mission critical apps have Java dependencies. The worst offender, the ones who SWEAR you have to be on EXACTLY Java 7.[version at least 6 months old] for their app to work, and you can't be on anything newer than IE 9.0 are the ones tracking current monies. One of the other apps is the one they use to plan future budgets. I'm at the end of a fairly long line descending from the CIOs office at Department of _____. It's not by branch, my line office or even my agency which is mandating these apps, it's those guys all the way at the top. Worst part is, I'm supposed to be happy they've improved their security footing because when I started here 5 years ago, their mandate for Java was for one Sun stopped supporting 6 months before I was hired. Not deprecated, stopped supporting! As in even pulled archival copies from their website.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Have you considered taking your complaint all the way up to the Secretary of _____ on the grounds that the CIO's gross incompetence is placing national secrets in danger, something that could cause him/her to directly face a Congressional inquiry if (make that WHEN) it gets breached?

  29. Filippo Indaco

    bye bye Chrome

    already for some time I do not use most Google Chrome, as well as advise my clients not to use this browser ... that's another reason to not use it ...

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