Sunday, January 25, 2009

Backward Compatibility. Java, Mozilla, Sun, IBM, Microsoft

About a week ago there were press articles about SAP paying SUN Microsystem to support SAP customers with stoneage java 1.4 users/systems.

Unfortunately there is nobody who wants to own and support the stoneage OJI project that puts java support into Firefox. The new way to support java is provided through the NSAPI plugin interface and the new thing is called "plugin2". Unfortunately (again) SUN forgot - or never knew - that Firefox extensions have - if they want - all the rights of the Firefox user. SUN implemented plugin2 having java applets in mind. Firefox extension that use java were forgotten.

But Sun is very helpful to ease the pain and supports me - thanks Kenneth - in rewriting the java classloading stuff from OJI to plugin2. But (again) you need java 6 update 12 or newer for this to work. This version of java has a patch for plugin2 that gives Firefox extensions the necessary priveledges.

So currently there are two options for openinfocard users: either disable plugin2 as I discribed in previous posts or install java6u12ea.
When Mozilla stops support for OJI then there is only the option to install a current version of java. I guess that Firefox 3.2 will not have OJI inside.

This reminds of an email thread/t on the higgins-dev mailing list. Where most developers wished for java 5 in higgins but IBM's shogun ordered his men to commit harakiri should they become traitors to java 1.4. Well, I am exaggerating...

I guess that IBM does not want to pay SU... - Hm, IBM has its own java - IBM to migrate customers stoneage IBM systems to a better world?!

Other memories bubble up: Did you remember the news that Microsoft CardSpace was downgraded to run on FAT file systems?

Well, well, well. I am happy that openinfocard is provided AS-IS.
I will do my best to support all versions of Firefox on all platforms, but my resources are limited. So we all should be happy if we can always work with the latest and greatest software. Happy downloading. Enjoy.

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