Java Fail

I took a deep breath and upgraded my MacBook to Mountain Lion yesterday.  Things are going pretty well, but a website I use regularly has a complicated security arrangement that uses several Java applets.  I noticed that the site had not shut down all its components.  A bit of investigation revealed that I needed a new version of Java (version 7 build 40).  This process created several Java fail events.

First, the download is 150 megabytes.  For a browser plugin that was supposed to solve problems.  Second, once downloaded, the install requires exiting Safari (and, presumably, any other browser).  Once installed (thankfully a fairly painless process), Java launches the default browser and asks if you want to check to be sure you have the most recent version of Java installed.

Pro-tip: before you do anything else, go to History / Reopen All Windows From Last Session.  Otherwise you may lose them.

Safari History Menu

Safari History Menu

When I clicked the button to check Java, I got the message “inactive plugin” with no additional explanation.  I checked Safari preferences.  Nope, Java was fully enabled.  Tried the Java version check again.  Same message.  Accidentally clicked the “inactive plugin” message and saw this:

Java Detection Using ... Java

Java Detection Using … Java

You read that correctly.  Checking the Java version requires … Java.  Wow.  I guess that’s one way of making sure Java is really there, but it’s kind of sketchy from where I’m sitting.

About Tony Lima

Tony Lima has been working with technology, economic modeling, forecasting, and market research for 40 years. His background makes him uniquely qualified to navigate this varied landscape. Begin with his education: B.S. in chemical engineering from M.I.T. , M.B.A. from Harvard, Ph.D. in economics from Stanford. His day job was professor of economics at California State University, East Bay. He retired in 2016 to devote his time to consulting and writing. But he has found time to: write (eight books and over 100 articles ranging from wine economics to detailed analyses of meta-language code generators) consult with companies ranging from Microsoft to CEDEX keep his expertise up-to-date, constantly reading and sorting through the avalanche of information available daily maintain three blogs: Wine Research, Wine Economics, and Economic Policy Local policy analysis: Los Altos

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