Wave Goodbye to the Java Plugin (if you have not already)

Martin Brinkmann
Jan 29, 2016
Updated • Sep 8, 2019

Oracle announced on January 27 that it will deprecate the Java browser plugin in JDK 9.

Browser plugins, at least those based on the ancient NPAPI standard, will become a thing of the past in 2016 when all major browsers will stop supporting them.

Years ago, browser plugins were used to power a variety of services including media streaming, DRM enforcement, gaming, or web applications.

These plugins, even though they provided functionality needed at that time, were prone to security, stability and performance issues, and users had to make sure to upgrade these plugins regularly to avoid any issues in this regard.

The rise of HTML5 and a shift towards this plugin-less technology has made browser plugins obsolete, and companies like Google, Microsoft or Mozilla have already begun to, or are about to start, blocking plugins from the browsers they produce.

Browser Plugins will be a thing of the past at the end of the year as things stand. This is done by removing NPAPI support from the browser which in turn ensures that these plugins are no longer picked up and integrated in said browsers.

One could say that Oracle is only reacting to reality with its announcement of deprecating the Java plugin as the plugin relies on continuing support of NPAPI in browsers.

With support gone, it does not make any sense to continue supporting the plugin.

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.

Some browsers may still support NPAPI after the major browsers stop supporting it, but a low user count is probably the reason why Oracle is deprecating the plugin anyway.

Java 9 is available as an early access release currently. According to Oracle's schedule, the final version of Java 9 will be available on September 22, 2016.

The latest version of Java is always available from the official website.

Oracle has created a migration whitepaper for webmasters and content creators who rely on Java applets currently. It has been designed to help migrate from Java applets to plugin-free Java technologies such as Java Web Start.

It is likely however that some services won't migrate to other technologies, such as Java Web Start. These services will stop functioning in modern browsers at that time and there is little one can do about it.

The only option at that point is to use a browser that still supports NPAPI, for instance an older version), and the latest Java version that supports the browser plugin.

Since this leaves the doors wide open for attacks, it is generally not recommended.

Wave Goodbye to the Java Plugin (if you have not already)
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Wave Goodbye to the Java Plugin (if you have not already)
Oracle announced yesterday that it will deprecate the Java browser plugin in Java 9 which it will release in September 2016.
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  1. Kuromi said on February 2, 2016 at 3:57 pm

    Information is scarce about H264 and WebM in Firefox?
    How about this?

    If you read that carefully you will know, that “Mozilla wants to bring best performance to customers, because of that VP9 (and MSE for WebM, since Youtube support MSE ONLY for VP9 and H264, not VP8) will be enabled ONLY if there is no H264 hardware support. And opposite, if you have H264 support you will be forced to use it. Because Mozilla decided that”
    Notably, Youtube itself is set VP9 more priority then H264 (for desktop), because its allows them so save a lot of traffic, but Firefox is working opposite.

  2. Adithya FRK said on February 2, 2016 at 2:59 am

    Maybe they will go for PPAPI and pepperflash like chrome did.

    After all, chrome is all that inspires Mozilla right now.

  3. Arenai said on January 31, 2016 at 10:07 pm

    Firefox still uses NNAPI so I wonder what their plans are, PPAPI or get rid of adobe flash support completely.

  4. Adithya FRK said on January 31, 2016 at 5:26 am

    Java is indeed a headache to update also the same with flash

    But with the case of flash, as someone commented earlier, for online games flash is still a big need.

    Honestly, how many of you running a legacy hardware, say pentium of 2010’s etc. has the ability to play html5 games?

    html5 games are a handful compared to online flash games

  5. Janmejai said on January 31, 2016 at 4:59 am

    Java plugin was always a headache, I had to upate it a lot.

  6. Dave said on January 30, 2016 at 9:36 pm

    Amen! This crap had to go. I do not use flash anymore but this java junk is still required at some sites so lets hope this will purge it soon

  7. chesscanoe said on January 30, 2016 at 7:59 pm

    For those Home users on Windows 7,8, and 10, I believe Microsoft will continue to support legacy applications with IE11, and I believe this will continue to work with Java, as it does now. IE11 may have to be set for compatability mode for this to work, as it does now for the only Java application I currently care about.

    1. chesscanoe said on February 6, 2016 at 9:28 pm

      If you do a manual check for Java using IE11 or Firefox on Windows 10, you can get Java Platform SE 8 version 8.0.730.2, which continues to work with these browsers.

  8. S2015 said on January 30, 2016 at 6:43 pm

    It just depends on personal needs or situations for a user. Example, some Windows or Mac based app/application would still request the user to have Java pre-installed to work properly.

  9. Ren said on January 30, 2016 at 7:44 am

    I look forward to the day I can Uninstall the crapware that is Java and Flash.

  10. Dwight Stegall said on January 30, 2016 at 12:57 am

    Wonderful news! I’ve been waiting to see this happen for 20 years. I stopped installing Java & Silverlight more than 10 years ago. Since then all Superantispyware can find are a few tracking cookies.

    1. LimboSlam said on January 30, 2016 at 2:50 am

      Goodbye! Lol I hardly use it, in fact I’m going to uninstall right now. Yeah the only reason I have it installed was because my kid I used to work with (I’m a Special ED tutor/mentor) had some history projects online and so the website needed the Java plugin, but seeing the kid no longer requires my assistance, I no longer need Java.

      1. LimboSlam said on January 30, 2016 at 10:32 am

        @Pants: Yeah I know……. I still need Flash and Unity for a lot of sites, or I actually prefer Flash over HTML5 and Unity is best for 3D games.

      2. Pants said on January 30, 2016 at 4:13 am

        I have some clients who need java for their work (eg getting job contracts from banks for property valuations). What I do is make sure its disabled in IE and only in their FF can they use it – and then its only whitelisted for those sites.

  11. Earl said on January 30, 2016 at 12:44 am

    I stopped installing Java on Windows more than a decade ago–just no need for it. It was essential for unix, however; I expect it still is (but I’ve been out of that for awhile). Either way, I would definitely keep Java as far away from any browser as possible. Just say no.

    Flash is following that same path, but soon it’ll be gone too (from the browser anyway). Disabling Flash (and most plugins) is one of the first things I do with a new install. The one place I’ve needed Flash up till now is going away, so I won’t even need to have it installed on my systems, won’t need to disable it constantly in a new browser install. Wow… what’ll I do with all of that extra time… :)

  12. Decent60 said on January 29, 2016 at 8:04 pm

    Hey Martin,

    The Oracle’s Schedule blog posting hasn’t not been updated. They’ve had delays starting up and basically pushed the whole thing back around 6 months.
    http://openjdk.java.net/projects/jdk9/ is Java 9’s project page and the schedule shows for public release in March 2017.

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on January 30, 2016 at 12:54 am

      Interesting, thanks for the link :)

  13. George said on January 29, 2016 at 7:01 pm

    Let’s hope Adobe takes the hint.

    1. LimboSlam said on January 30, 2016 at 2:54 am

      Yes that sounds like a good idea, but it’s certainly not feasible at the moment and probably wont be for a few years now. I mean just think how many website owners have to upgrade their websites to more current standards, such as HTML5, Webgl and other API’s.

  14. jyjy said on January 29, 2016 at 5:49 pm

    Java is nice as a begginer-level programming language. Java Runtime on the other hand is a piece of shit.
    Good riddance.

  15. Nebulus said on January 29, 2016 at 1:18 pm

    Maybe this is a good thing security wise, however it is sad to see a technology disappearing mostly because the ones behind it were unable to make it secure enough for everyday use.

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