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Sun - What's the best thing for Java/Java Industry for them to do?

Robert Paris
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Joined: Jul 28, 2002
Posts: 585
I posted this elsewhere in response to someone's post, but since this is the "Meaningless" forum, I figured it wouldn't be bad to respost my comments (with some changes).
I think the Java Industry would be better served if Sun spent more time/money/effort on figuring out ways to make the JRE and Java products easier to install on all systems that don't have the JRE, rather than trying to force M$ to install Java in the OS.
Even if the Judge does order MS to install Java in the OS (in the anti-trust case), all the current Windows computers out there will still NOT have Java. And Sun/Linux/Mac/OS2 computers still don't have Java built in. Java programs become more viable when it's trivial to install one. While it is easy for me to install the JRE, it is not so easy for the average user to do so. Areas that need to be improved:
1. Size of the JRE (Is this fixable? Not sure)
2. When user installs JRE and then at another time is asked to install the Plug-In for web browser, that will override the JRE for entire computer
(This has happened to me. I had JRE 1.4 and browsed to a page that needed the Java Plug-In for an applet from Java 1.3.1, so I clicked to install and it changed the OS's JRE to be 1.3.1, so when I typed "java -version" it no longer said "1.4" but "1.3.1". This messed up some apps that needed 1.4)
3. Alot of Apps assume that you can type:
"java <etc>"
However, this requires you to add the Java app to the PATH environment variable, something most users would have no idea how to do. Other apps I've downloaded (not Java) are able to add themselves to the path, so the JRE install should as well.
4. Messy install: if I choose to install Java on my "D" drive, for some reason this prompts the installer to ALSO install it on the "C" drive in "Program Files". This causes problems because SOME programs use that install, and OTHERS use the "D" drive install - and if I change things, they have diff. security settings, extensions, etc.
Anything else anyone can think of?
I think that Java as a language is VERY mature. However, Java is VERY, VERY weak from a deployment standpoint. I think rather than spending time and money on forcing MS to install Java, they should make it so easy to install that it's almost no difference to our users. What does everyone else think?
 
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