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  • Do we need Java?

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    • This topic has 20 replies, 5 voices, and was last updated 2 months ago.
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      • #2336825
        Matador
        AskWoody Plus

        A Java update available notification appeared in the taskbar last week and got me thinking if I really needed Java installed on the computer.

        I’ve had Java for quite some time, have always updated it when notified.

        I’m not even sure or aware of what program might be dependent on it.

        Is there a way to find out?

        I would be interested to hear the reader’s thoughts on this.

        Cheers

      • #2336832
        Paul T
        AskWoody MVP

        Java will have been installed when you installed a program that relied on it.

        Wander through your list of installed programs and look for a non-mainstream program. If you can’t find one, post a list of your installed apps and we might be able to suggest something.

        You can get an nice list with this PowerShell command
        Get-ItemProperty HKLM:\Software\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall\* | Select-Object DisplayName, DisplayVersion, Publisher, InstallDate | Format-Table –AutoSize

        cheers, Paul

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2336838
        OscarCP
        AskWoody Plus

        Keeping Java might be necessary for several reasons. One I am familiar with is when one really has to access and use some Web sites that were built in part around Java and are still that way. So, before removing Java one at least should check those older sites that one may absolutely need to access either often, or even now and then, to see if is still necessary to have Java installed and enabled to use them.

        But perhaps an even better question is: does one really need to remove Java from one’s PC? Because just disabling it, so it can be activated again when doing so proves to be absolutely necessary, might be a better solution.

        If one decides to keep Java, making sure that is always up to date, as with any other application, is a good idea.

        Ex Windows user (Win. 98, XP, 7) since mid-2020. Now: running macOS Mojave & sometimes, Linux (Mint)

        MacBook Pro circa mid-2015, 15" display, with16 GB RAM, 1 TB SSD, a Haswell architecture Intel CPU with 4 Cores and 8 Threads model i7-4870HQ @ 2.50GHz.
        Intel Iris Pro GPU with Built-in Bus, VRAM 1.5 GB, Display 2880 x 1800 Retina, 24-Bit color.
        Waterfox "Current" and (now and then) Chrome. Webroot SA AV and Malwarebytes.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #2336865
          Paul T
          AskWoody MVP

          Do you have an example of a website built around java?
          Javascript is the browser automation language. Java implies a downloaded app run locally.

          cheers, Paul

          • #2336868
            OscarCP
            AskWoody Plus

            A site, in the USA, of an organization that is part of NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) and is called NGS for National Geodetic Survey. They have data from a network of GPS receivers across the USA, among other things, and an interactive map of their network based on Java that one can use to pinpoint a station and get into its Web page by clicking on its pin icon, to download some of the data from there. Also NOAA has a site where, among many other things, one can get on demand so-called T-Skew plots that show together vertical profiles of various meteorological variables above a place and at a time of one’s choosing.  If one does not have Java installed, or else enabled, a notice comes up with the warning that one needs to have Java to continue (the coffee cup logo is shown, to leave no doubts as to what is being meant by “Java”). I imagine there are more sites like that, probably government ones where the budget money for upgrading software and the people available and free enough to do that are not overabundant.

            Ex Windows user (Win. 98, XP, 7) since mid-2020. Now: running macOS Mojave & sometimes, Linux (Mint)

            MacBook Pro circa mid-2015, 15" display, with16 GB RAM, 1 TB SSD, a Haswell architecture Intel CPU with 4 Cores and 8 Threads model i7-4870HQ @ 2.50GHz.
            Intel Iris Pro GPU with Built-in Bus, VRAM 1.5 GB, Display 2880 x 1800 Retina, 24-Bit color.
            Waterfox "Current" and (now and then) Chrome. Webroot SA AV and Malwarebytes.

            • #2336871
              Paul T
              AskWoody MVP

              Do you have a link for that site?

              cheers, Paul

              • #2336872
                OscarCP
                AskWoody Plus

                This used be one of those sites. Last time I used this was three years ago and it seems to have changed somewhat. It is a long story to explain how to use it. But even so, maybe you can figure out what is going on with Java there.

                https://www.spc.noaa.gov/exper/soundings/21012300_OBS/

                Ex Windows user (Win. 98, XP, 7) since mid-2020. Now: running macOS Mojave & sometimes, Linux (Mint)

                MacBook Pro circa mid-2015, 15" display, with16 GB RAM, 1 TB SSD, a Haswell architecture Intel CPU with 4 Cores and 8 Threads model i7-4870HQ @ 2.50GHz.
                Intel Iris Pro GPU with Built-in Bus, VRAM 1.5 GB, Display 2880 x 1800 Retina, 24-Bit color.
                Waterfox "Current" and (now and then) Chrome. Webroot SA AV and Malwarebytes.

              • #2336873
                Paul T
                AskWoody MVP

                A brief glance at the site shows it’s javascript based, not java.

                Will have a more in depth look later.

                cheers, Paul

                1 user thanked author for this post.
              • #2336889
                anonymous
                Guest

                I don’t have Java installed on my computer, and have no problem with the site linked. Do you know the difference between Java and Javascript?

              • #2336952
                anonymous
                Guest

                In short, they are completely different langauges with completely different purposes. Java is a language that one writes programs with and JavaScrupt is a language that one writes websites with. Their name similarity is to do with the fact they follow similar structual conventions, but that is about all they have in common.

                2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2336901
        JohnW
        AskWoody Plus

        It’s probably a good idea to make the distinction between Java plugin for the web, and Java for applications.

        The default installer used to place both of them aboard your computer.

        I always disabled the web plugin because I didn’t need it for the web, and also considered it a security risk.

        But I do have a local application the requires the local Java runtime interpreter to execute a local Java application. That would also be necessary of you want to develop any Java code with an IDE.

        • This reply was modified 6 months, 1 week ago by JohnW.
        3 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2336958
        JohnW
        AskWoody Plus

        In short, they are completely different langauges with completely different purposes. Java is a language that one writes programs with and JavaScrupt is a language that one writes websites with.

        And then there is the other part which is the Java browser plugin, which allows websites to provide interactive Java language applets to the user via the browser. Also not to be confused with Javascript. 🙂

        • #2336982
          OscarCP
          AskWoody Plus

          JohnW: ” And then there is the other part which is the Java browser plugin, which allows websites to provide interactive Java language applets to the user via the browser.

          Could this be the thing that I was being asked to turn on, without mentioning it specifically, in a pop up with the cup of coffee and the request that I had to have Java installed and running to get things done (I had normally it disabled, so I would turn it on just for that), whenever I connected to a NOAA Website I have used now and then to get some meteorological data, as already mentioned here and now being investigated by Paul_T ( #2336868  )? Of course, that was three years ago and maybe the site has been modified since.

          There was Java, that plugin and javascript as addons in Internet Explorer, and I had normally the first two disabled.

           

          (Please, excuse my present, temporarily de-cockaded status due to a payment mix-up that Susan has promised to take care of.)

          Ex Windows user (Win. 98, XP, 7) since mid-2020. Now: running macOS Mojave & sometimes, Linux (Mint)

          MacBook Pro circa mid-2015, 15" display, with16 GB RAM, 1 TB SSD, a Haswell architecture Intel CPU with 4 Cores and 8 Threads model i7-4870HQ @ 2.50GHz.
          Intel Iris Pro GPU with Built-in Bus, VRAM 1.5 GB, Display 2880 x 1800 Retina, 24-Bit color.
          Waterfox "Current" and (now and then) Chrome. Webroot SA AV and Malwarebytes.

      • #2336985
        Paul T
        AskWoody MVP

        It sounds like you required java and no longer do. This is consistent with improved security of websites as java has vulnerabilities that make it a target for hackers. Similarly, Flash is no longer used on the web.
        Using java locally should be less of a problem.

        cheers, Paul

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2337009
        OscarCP
        AskWoody Plus

        I still think that, for now, it is best to keep Java installed but disabled (except, perhaps, for javascript that I believe still has to be kept enabled, at least for now?) Not all Web sites one might need to access, especially some glacially-slow-to-adapt government ones, mainly due to limited resources, are likely to have been modified to make the use of Java unnecessary, as well as changing other things that used to be considered to be OK, but no longer are so.

        Ex Windows user (Win. 98, XP, 7) since mid-2020. Now: running macOS Mojave & sometimes, Linux (Mint)

        MacBook Pro circa mid-2015, 15" display, with16 GB RAM, 1 TB SSD, a Haswell architecture Intel CPU with 4 Cores and 8 Threads model i7-4870HQ @ 2.50GHz.
        Intel Iris Pro GPU with Built-in Bus, VRAM 1.5 GB, Display 2880 x 1800 Retina, 24-Bit color.
        Waterfox "Current" and (now and then) Chrome. Webroot SA AV and Malwarebytes.

        • #2337041
          Paul T
          AskWoody MVP

          Let us know if you ever find a site that requires java.

          cheers, Paul

          2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2337114
        JohnW
        AskWoody Plus

        Could this be the thing that I was being asked to turn on, without mentioning it specifically, in a pop up with the cup of coffee and the request that I had to have Java installed and running to get things done (I had normally it disabled, so I would turn it on just for that), whenever I connected to a NOAA Website I have used now and then to get some meteorological data, as already mentioned here and now being investigated by Paul_T ( #2336868 )?

        Yes, I do seem to recall some scientific and government websites using that in the past. But similar to Flash, all of those web presentation capabilities have been replaced by HTML5 and Javascript in the browser.

        From a security perspective, there’s no longer a need to be running any more 3rd party code in the browser than we have to.

        And yes, Javascript is a still a security issue, but that is what the interactive web is mostly built with these days. You can turn off, but if you do, it will pretty much break the web for you.

        • This reply was modified 6 months, 1 week ago by JohnW.
        • This reply was modified 6 months, 1 week ago by JohnW.
        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2337603
        OscarCP
        AskWoody Plus

        mn- : “From a security perspective, there’s no longer a need to be running any more 3rd party code in the browser than we have to.

        I entirely agree, but also think it is necessary to explain the following, because it has not been discussed before explicitly in such general terms:

        Not running, but still keeping installed and turned off, for a while longer and just in case, some 3rd-party applications that have been widely required in the past, but recently deprecated or else discontinued by their developers, might be a prudent thing to do.

        For example, some people say they are having serious problems now trying to access sites such as those of some banks that have not yet replaced Adobe Flash as an application required to access them properly (there is a thread in this site about such flash problems). That being the case, then Flash might not have been turned off in all Web sites as Adobe announced, some time ago, it was going to happen.

        Ex Windows user (Win. 98, XP, 7) since mid-2020. Now: running macOS Mojave & sometimes, Linux (Mint)

        MacBook Pro circa mid-2015, 15" display, with16 GB RAM, 1 TB SSD, a Haswell architecture Intel CPU with 4 Cores and 8 Threads model i7-4870HQ @ 2.50GHz.
        Intel Iris Pro GPU with Built-in Bus, VRAM 1.5 GB, Display 2880 x 1800 Retina, 24-Bit color.
        Waterfox "Current" and (now and then) Chrome. Webroot SA AV and Malwarebytes.

      • #2337614
        ClearThunder
        AskWoody Plus

        IBM Notes software still requires Java — it’s written in Java. So I’m forced to update Java from the Java control panel.   I manually check the Java site each month for updates. As for Javascripts, I use NoScript. The only script(s) that makes it into Firefox are the one’s I allow — and only those scripts that are needed to make the web site functional.

        "Censorship is thought control" ----- Ronald Reagan

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2367681
        ClearThunder
        AskWoody Plus

        Since I have automatic updates turned off, I checked manually and found a Java update today. I used the Java control panel to update since Edge is disabled on my machine. New version is Java 8 Update 291

        As is usual with Oracle, the update fixes security issues. (big shocker)

        "Censorship is thought control" ----- Ronald Reagan

      • #2367694
        JohnW
        AskWoody Plus

        Since I have automatic updates turned off, I checked manually and found a Java update today. I used the Java control panel to update since Edge is disabled on my machine. New version is Java 8 Update 291

        I also have an application that is written in Java, so it needs the Java machine to run.

        But the biggest security risk to Java was the Java web plugin that could run web server based Java applets in your browser. I removed that plugin years ago, without affecting any local Java based applications. At least make sure that plugin is gone, or at least disabled. I think Oracle was even thinking about discontinuing it, but I’m behind on that news.

        And as it’s probably been mentioned a few times,  Java and Javascript have no relationship (noticed your earlier comment about NoScript).

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