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Java platform is evil

  1. Nov 27, 2016 #1

    DaveC426913

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    < rant >
    For ten years I've had a particular program that has only been released in a version to run on Java 6.
    That's spanned multiple incarnations of Windows, culminating in Win 10.
    The developers still don't seem to realize what a giant PITA barrier-to-entry Java is.
    It's ten years later, Java is suppsood to be ten years more mature, and here I am spennig my evening trying to get the thing working instead of actually running my program.

    I hate it I hate it I hate it.

    I've uninstalled and reinstalled it twice now. It TELLS me it's installed successfully.
    My program doesn't run.
    Java has nothing to say about this.

    Gonna give up in disgust. Demand my money back for my program.

    Wake up Oracle - this is the 21st century. Some of your users are not IT techs and hackers.
    < /rant >

    It is just a rant because I can't even ask for help!
    What would I ask?
    Why is my program not launching?
    Useless question.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 27, 2016 #2

    Mark44

    Staff: Mentor

    Why doesn't the program run? Do you have the source code, or are you attempting to run code that was compiled for v. 6 on whatever the current Java version is now?

    Good luck on trying to get your money back for a program you've had and used for ten years.
     
  4. Nov 28, 2016 #3

    Filip Larsen

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    Perhaps you can install an older JRE from a time you know the application was running? Years back I always kept the older versions around for testing and those applications that broke when Oracle changed stuff around, but I don't know if that is still a feasible approach. If it is, you should probably give thoughts to any security risks that you might open yourself for before going full in.

    Seems Oracle still offer http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/java/javase/downloads/java-archive-downloads-javase6-419409.html [Broken] (as long as your are willing to create an account with them) so in some sense it must still be supported.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 8, 2017
  5. Nov 28, 2016 #4

    DaveC426913

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    How would I, as a consumer, know?

    What would I, as a consumer, do with the source code?

    The software instructions say it needs minimum Java SE 6. I first installed the latest Java 8, then uninstalled it and installed Java 6.

    I first bought the software 10 years ago.
    After many iterations of computers and OS's, I've decided it makes sense to re-buy it, rather than trying to dig up an old version.
    So I bought it again. Fresh and new in it's shiny zipfile.

    (If I were trying to spin up an app that's ten years old, I'd be a little less bitter. :wink:)
     
  6. Nov 28, 2016 #5

    jedishrfu

    Staff: Mentor

    Realizing this is a rant. I can't imagine whats wrong with your program since I don't know if you're on Windows, some variant of Linux or Macos. Each OS has its own peculiarities. If you tell us more about the program you're trying to run like its name... and the OS you're trying to run it on we might have a chance of diagnosing the problem and give a course of action.

    Is this like you click on an icon and it doesn't come up or are you using the java command or some script to launch the program?

    This may not even be a Java issue.

    Could this be related to the move from 32-bit to 64-bit application models?
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2016
  7. Nov 28, 2016 #6

    DaveC426913

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    What was going wrong:
    The program would show its launch window, which listed what it was installing, then it would just never complete. No warning, errors or anything.


    The vendor got back to me pretty quick. I was installing it in the Program Files folder, which requires write permissions. It needs to be installed in a folder over which it has write permissions. That was ultimately the problem.


    So, the remaining question is: why did they not write a proper installer that can install itself?

    The download is a zipfile, which simply contains the necessary files, including the .exe. You run the exe to launch the app. So there is no installer here.

    The exe needs to create a few files and folders every time you launch the app. That was being prevented.


    I suspect the answer to the mystery is that the developers are hold-outs from the DOS/early windows era, when programs were truly standalone collections of files - and installers were merely self-extracting zip files.You could extract them anywhere you wante and they would simply run in their own little space.
     
  8. Nov 28, 2016 #7

    Mark44

    Staff: Mentor

    I doubt that this is the case, since Windows 3 goes back more than 20 years, and about the same for most DOS-based software. As you said, the problem was one of permissions -- the .exe needed to be installed in a directory that wasn't read-only. When you install many programs, they will show a default location where the files will be written, but allow you to modify this location. Did the installer give you this choice?

    Also, most software comes with a README file that lists possible problems and workarounds. Did your software come with any such information?
     
  9. Nov 28, 2016 #8

    jedishrfu

    Staff: Mentor

    So from what you said, its not a java problem. The developers should have created a windows installer for their product. It sounds like a mom and pop operation.
     
  10. Nov 28, 2016 #9

    DaveC426913

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    Yes. It wasn't specifically a Java issue after all. It was an issue that the programmers chose Java as their platform, (meaning I also had to install a giant platform on top of the OS just to run this one program.)

    Well, they're board game designers whose board games became so popular (and complex) that there was a demand for software for character configuration software.
     
  11. Nov 28, 2016 #10

    rbelli1

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    Actually it was that the programmers chose to assume write access to the program storage location. That has been forbidden for all modern Windows/Mac/Linux distributions for about 15 years now (longer for Linux). They are doing it wrong. If I try to fix my watch with a 15lb sledge hammer I don't call Stanley tools and complain they sold me a defective hammer when my watch get smashed.

    BoB

    EDIT PS: You will get the same mal-operation with any tool-set. Java is not the problem here.
     
  12. Nov 28, 2016 #11

    jedishrfu

    Staff: Mentor

    The most likely reason they chose java is to keep their options open. They can write one program that can run wherever java can run. Of course when you do that there will be overhead for java libraries and executables.
     
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