The announcement by Oracle two days ago that is finally going to going to stop further support for the popular Java browser plugin was greeted with joy universally. Over the years, the Java browser plugin has become a serious irritant to users who installed it in their systems.
The major standout problems with the plugin were two fold:
-it was always asking for users to update it. It can be really annoying when a program keeps asking you for another another after the last one, that was sometimes, just a few days ago
– the Java browser plugin often had security loopholes, which hackers exploited frequently to send malwares to our PCs. As a matter of fact it became a favorite window for hackers to gain access to PCs around the world.
And of course there is the annoying Ask toolbar. A piece of software that was always forced on unsuspecting PC users anytime the too-frequent Java update was forced on us. Avoiding installing the toolbar was a bit tricky unless you were very careful. Another unnecessary imposition during Java browser plugin updates was the McAfee security software. A user had to be careful to avoid them during Java updates and many people are just not that careful.
The killing of the Java browser plugin by Oracle is more like arriving at a party after all the most important guests had gone home. Popular browsers like the Internet Explorer, Google’s Chrome and Mozilla Firefox had since implemented (or would soon do so) the decision to stop having the Java browser plugin in the latest versions of their browsers.
“By late 2015, many browser vendors have either removed or announced timelines for the removal of standards based plugin support, eliminating the ability to embed Flash, Silverlight, Java and other plugin based technologies.
With modern browser vendors working to restrict and reduce plugin support in their products, developers of applications that rely on the Java browser plugin need to consider alternative options such as migrating from Java Applets (which rely on a browser plugin) to the plugin-free Java Web Start technology.
Oracle plans to deprecate the Java browser plugin in JDK 9. This technology will be removed from the Oracle JDK and JRE in a future Java SE release.
Early Access releases of JDK 9 are available for download and testing at http://jdk9.java.net. More background and information about different migration options can be found in this short whitepaper from Oracle.”
A clear case of passing the buck if I ever saw one. Oracle is practically saying even though the Java browser plugin was the best thing to happen to our browsers, killing it was inevitable because major browsers had already decided to do the same thing.
So what now for users? Uninstall it if you don’t use it for any specific purpose. Most good anti-virus in your system already do the work the Java browser plugin does. Even Oracle is advising individuals and companies who rely on on the plugin to start looking for alternatives that won’t require the plugin.
Welcome to the new world of Java-less browsing.