Friday, April 13, 2012 [Tweets] [Favorites]

Java for OS X Lion 2012-003

Apple:

This update also configures the Java web plug-in to disable the automatic execution of Java applets. Users may re-enable automatic execution of Java applets using the Java Preferences application. If the Java web plug-in detects that no applets have been run for an extended period of time it will again disable Java applets.

Glenn Fleishman and Rich Mogull say that the time period is 35 days.

This seems like a reasonable decision, although it’s strange that Java can’t be re-enabled directly from Safari. I don’t think most users know that the Java Preferences app even exists. There doesn’t appear to be any imminent danger for cross-platform apps such as CrashPlan, but this move got me thinking of Steve Jobs’s remarks:

Nobody uses Java anymore. It’s this big heavyweight ball and chain.

5 Comments

I'll note one area where Java is important: development. Tons of server-side code is written in Java, and pretty much all non-Apple IDEs that run on Macs are written in Java. A Mac without Java is a Mac that's effectively not usable to any developer who writes any code that runs on non-Apple platforms.

Of course, people who install IDEs will probably be able to install a non-Apple Java distribution.

Yes, but those IDEs aren't running inside a web browser and won't be affected by this change, right?

I have to use Java for internet banking. After installing the update and going to my bank, I saw an "inactive plugin" warning with a button for enabling (Safari needs to restart after that). No need to use the Java Preferences unless you want to disable it before the 35-day period expires.

@Rainer Brockerhoff Thanks for that info. I wonder why both Apple and TidBITS specifically said that you have to use Java Preferences.

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