Java support discontinued on CLASSE-managed Windows computers

October 26, 2015

Over the past few years, websites with embedded Java applets have become a major security risk for Windows computers because the Oracle Java browser plugin (which allows Java applets to run inside one's browser) is prone to vulnerabilities and must constantly be kept up to date. In fact, the latest version of Oracle Java refuses to run unsigned applets, which places a burden on web programmers. Because of this situation, web programmers in general have moved away from Java on their websites, in favor of HTML5. Vendors that provide local Java programs have also been providing alternatives.

In addition:
  • Beginning with Oracle Java 1.8, we have been unsuccessful in installing Java automatically on CLASSE-managed Windows computers. We have tested across multiple Windows 7 computers and 1.8.xx versions of Java.
  • When a Java installation fails, Java is entirely broken on the computer. Most CLASSE Windows computers do not have Java functional at this time.
  • Mozilla (who provides Firefox) is dropping NPAPI, which is the mechanism by which Java works on websites. They have scheduled this for about a year from now.
  • If you need to use Java, we provide a number of alternatives:
    • Use a CLASSE Linux computer, such as LNX201 (where we provide OpenJDK, a mostly compatible Java system). After logging into LNX201, type firefox at the prompt.
    • Run Firefox on WinApp.
For these reasons, we are discontinuing support for Java on CLASSE-managed Windows computers. When a local installation of Java is absolutely required for business purposes, we are able to update Java on individual computers by hand.

Over the next year, vendors of any Java web applications that you use will need to provide an alternative. Please check regularly for updates from these vendors, or contact them about their plans, so that your access will not be interrupted when NPAPI-based plugins become obsolete. Please open a ServiceRequest if you need assistance in identifying alternatives or in contacting vendors for updates.
Topic revision: r1 - 22 Jul 2016, WernerSun
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