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I Didn't Ask for a Toolbar with That Java

Posted by cayhorstmann on February 2, 2013 at 8:37 AM PST

Summary: In these unhappy days where Oracle is working hard to regain the trust of users, it seems a staggeringly bad idea that the Java updater installs the Ask toolbar by default. It's plainly bad for Java and can't possibly be worth the few clams in additional revenue. If you agree, please sign the petition


These are unhappy days for desktop Java. Java is under constant attack by hackers. Operating systems and browsers now disable Java by default. (Just yesterday, I had a Webex call and for the life of me, I could not find out how to get Webex—which uses Java—to work in Firefox. We switched to Flash-based Adobe Connect instead.)

Could it get worse? Sadly, yes. The Windows installer for the JRE now installs crapware by default.

This may have been going on for a while. I don't really know. On Linux, I just run tar xvfz ~/Downloads/jdk-7u*.tar.gz ever so often (which apparently is a challenge to many). And the JDK installer, which I run ever so often, doesn’t seem to do this.

Now I don't know whether the Ask toolbar is actually evil, but it certainly is unloved. So, where is the win? Right now, people don't trust Java very much. Oracle is working hard to regain trust by providing timely security updates. Why undermine that effort? You don’t earn people’s trust by “recommending” to install stuff that they are likely to hate.

I feel particularly strongly about this because many students need to use Java-based software. You can't expect students to parse and question every screen of every installer. For example, here is the first screen of the JDK installer:

Should students have to worry whether it is bad that the JavaFX SDK is now included as part of the JDK? Should instructors have to reinstall Java every few weeks to see what might trip up their students next?

Come on, Oracle. Tear down this toolbar!

If you agree, please sign this petition to help things along.

Comments

And Oracle didn't ask for a contract (which legally binds ...

And Oracle didn't ask for a contract (which legally binds them to bundle this toolbar with the JRE) with their Java (when they acquired Sun) ;)
I'm not saying that 's actually the reason, but I do know this was already happening in the Sun days. And I'm sure the Oracle management is smart enough to realize this is doing Java much more harm than good.

I do strongly agree. With this Oracle further undermines the ...

I do strongly agree. With this Oracle further undermines the general acceptance of Java.

Many applications in the Windows environment must be ...

Many applications in the Windows environment must be frequently updated as other technologies become a vector into the platform, especially products like Flash and Java that are able to access the system. Security is serious business to real organizations. For a security update to install onto a system anything other than the bare bytes to fix a known hole is an affront to the companies and individuals who try to do the right thing. Is Oracle a real producer of enterprise software that we can count on or just a bunch of silly fools? Perhaps security updates of third party applications should be managed by MSFT and no one should be allowed to create there own back door updaters. Then Windows security updates would be more more like Linux, as in more secure and business-like.

Yeah, this has been going on for some time, and I guess we ...

Yeah, this has been going on for some time, and I guess we all should have complained earlier. I rarely use Windows myself, but remember getting asked by my in-laws what the deal was with the weird Java update dialog that popped up on their PC.