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14 Replies Latest reply: Feb 28, 2013 10:20 AM by 994039 RSS

Java runtime install / update

964851 Newbie
Currently Being Moderated
Does anybody else think it inappropriate that a company as well respected as Oracle stoops so low as to try to trick you into installing a browser toolbar during Java installation or updates? This is the pinnacle skeevy behaviour. If this was some random bit of shareware, it would say "this is a scammer company, use this product was extreme caution or not at all" - so why do this, Oracle?

Seriously, I avoid putting Java on servers these days, unless it's absolutely necessary. I just don't trust it anymore.

Thanks for listening.
  • 1. Re: Java runtime install / update
    gimbal2 Guru
    Currently Being Moderated
    If you want to distrust a whole development platform because you don't like something being bundled with an installer that's your problem - you're being excessive IMO. Me personally I'd be more interested in all these security flaws that people keep falling over, but whatever floats your boat.

    I'll meet you halfway in saying that it is certainly not necessary. But I've never been tricked into it - I just pay a tiny bit of attention in stead of clicking next next next next.
  • 2. Re: Java runtime install / update
    964851 Newbie
    Currently Being Moderated
    I posted this because I've always been a supporter of the Java platform, and I'm concerned by the addition of the toolbar into the base installation package. Specifically, I'm posting it in the forum because I can think of no other way of getting a message to Oracle about this.

    "Not necessary" is whitewashing it. It's not related, in any way, and that is my point. There's no reason why ANYBODY would want to install the Ask toolbar as part of their Java runtime - period.

    It's only because I'm careful when installing software, particularly onto servers, I've never been tricked into installing it. But that doesn't mean Oracle's not trying to trick you. Tell me, why is installation of the toolbar the default? If Oracle wanted to show respect for its users, they'd let people opt-in. Hands up, everybody: Has anyone ever said "Oh, yes! The Ask toolbar! That would be useful, thanks Oracle!"

    And thanks for your comment, gimbal. When I posted my original message I was hoping to generate a constructive discussion. I certainly didn't come here to slag anybody. I want Java to be the best it can be.
  • 3. Re: Java runtime install / update
    968259 Newbie
    Currently Being Moderated
    I'm totally for xawgh. I'm a big fan of Java for years, I did a number of certificates, and my own company's major services is Java development. Seeing "Install Ask Toolbar" during Java installation is like offering a free but stale Rocky Mountain oysters (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rocky_Mountain_oysters) after selling a car. Ie.: almost nobody likes it, it's stupid and it's irrelevant. Period.
  • 4. Re: Java runtime install / update
    gajasutra Newbie
    Currently Being Moderated
    Ask toolbar is clearly unsolicited (it is not a part of Java requested by user), and like any unsolicited product by user, it need legally, in my opinion, at least in Europe, to be opt-in and not opt-out. By asking user to opt-out Ask toolbar, I think Oracle is violating European laws with its Java installer.
  • 5. Re: Java runtime install / update
    572525 Newbie
    Currently Being Moderated
    When updating my Java I first time saw the proposition "Java ... Oracle ... We reccommend to install ... Ask toolbar", I supposed that the instaler was a fake installer, not from Oracle. Surprise ! This was really from Oracle !!!
    In my 40 years of doing Software, this is the stupidiest Idea I have seen ! Larry, how can you support this ?
  • 6. Re: Java runtime install / update
    gimbal2 Guru
    Currently Being Moderated
    Denis ALEXANDRE wrote:
    In my 40 years of doing Software, this is the stupidiest Idea I have seen ! Larry, how can you support this ?
    Money. And you've really not seen anything more idiotic? Then I can't believe you've been doing this for 40 years to be brutally honest. I've been doing it for "only" 13 and I've seen things that make me want to not live in this universe anymore; this is not one of those things, not even close.
  • 7. Re: Java runtime install / update
    964851 Newbie
    Currently Being Moderated
    Ah, race-to-the-bottom thinking. Our whole world seems to be plagued by it these days. As long as something isn't the worst example, it must be acceptable, right? Using that kind of logic you can justify pretty much anything. Well, fear not! A toolbar has never committed genocide (yet)!
  • 8. Re: Java runtime install / update
    974262 Newbie
    Currently Being Moderated
    Well, let me tell you why it breaks my heart.

    Earlier this month, the "Java Update" thing appeared on our CEO's computer, and when he clicked "update now", it gave him the toolbar.

    When I asked if he looked closely for the Ask Toolbar checkbox, he said "no, this is an Oracle product, I took the defaults, I trusted them."

    Given the name "Oracle", most people probably do, and this is the trust that Oracle is exploiting.

    When you give a product root (or quasi-root) access to your businesses machines, there has to be trust. At least a base level. Trust that the company doesn't employ fly-by-night shareware tactics. Especially when deploying something company-wide.

    Nobody ever got fired for buying Microsoft, and probably nobody ever got fired for installing Oracle products, but more and more of us are being called in to the offices of our users and are being asked "What is this Ask toolbar thing and how did I get it?"

    When we say "oh, you got that when you updated Java", we get that look. All of a sudden, people start questioning whether "that Java thing" is the benign addition they had always assumed that it was, and they are starting to ask "well, should I uninstall Java, then?"

    Anyway ... after this episode, our CEO asked us to audit all of our workstations, and to remove Java from the ones that don't absolutely need them. Perhaps this is a good policy anyway, but as a Java developer, I want Java installed on as many machines as possible.

    Please don't take this the wrong way, but I think too many people are minimizing the effect of this toolbar thing. Sure, you're savvy enough to uncheck the box and go on with life, but the guy who runs a business, hears all of these horror stories about scary malware, and then sees a toolbar when he installs Java … well … he's not going to react in the same, measured way. He's going to demand to know why Java is on his machine in the first place, and he might start wondering if he can live without it. At the same time, he's going to wonder if the 100 workstations in the rest building need it too. After all, if even 30% of people don't scrutinize their installs, that's 30 toolbars spying on employees.

    Taking this lightly may have ramifications.

    It takes a lifetime to build a reputation, but moments to throw it away.

    It's hard for me to believe that a toolbar is worth all the goodwill that the Java name has spent over a decade building. As someone who needs it to run my applications, it gives me a black eye too. Average users just don't understand the paradigm.

    This toolbar thing will have an effect on the platform as a whole.

    From what I've seen first-hand, to a minor extent, it already has.

    Edited by: 971259 on Nov 14, 2012 9:05 AM
  • 9. Re: Java runtime install / update
    baftos Expert
    Currently Being Moderated
    Among the 25 highest payed executives in the world, 3 are from Oracle. Therefore I trust them to take the best business decisions, like this Ask toolbar, or the Android story.
    Now seriously, they are ruining years of good work done by Sun. Just my opinion.
  • 10. Re: Java runtime install / update
    Kayaman Guru
    Currently Being Moderated
    Hi Larry Ellison!
    As I'm sure you're browsing "New To Java" daily, please take note that these people are unpleased by your personal decision about the Ask toolbar.

    Thanks!
  • 11. Re: Java runtime install / update
    974262 Newbie
    Currently Being Moderated
    Ahhh. You're that guy. Every forum has one. The guy who always says something, especially when he has nothing to say.

    Don't take this reply the wrong way though. I'm not being critical. Rather, congratulations are in order.

    6,000 posts. Wow. You must be a real lady killer. If there's anything that turn the women on, it's a large ... post count on the Oracle forums.

    You're right to take time out of your day to be sarcastic to us. Your point is well-taken. Larry Ellison isn't reading the forums. I doubt that anyone of consequence is. It's wasted effort and wasted time, and I appreciate the heads-up that you have provided.

    Look on the bright side, though. I've only made 2 posts.

    Egads, man, it's not like I've made 6,000.

    That ... would just be sad.

    Happy Holidays!
  • 12. Re: Java runtime install / update
    978692 Newbie
    Currently Being Moderated
    Absolutely it is inappropriate and many java users and developers are frustrated about it.
    Sign this petition to demand Oracle remove AskToolbar from Java:

    https://www.change.org/petitions/oracle-corporation-stop-bundling-ask-toolbar-with-the-java-installer
  • 13. Re: Java runtime install / update
    810655 Newbie
    Currently Being Moderated
    If you are concerned about the Automated JRE Windows installer, you can always download the zipped JRE distribution and modify your PATH to point to the bin directory. If you are working in an enterprise, a simple modification of your domain policy can push the zip distro and environmental variable. Your sys admin should be able to figure this out.

    If you are installing java on a server, you should probably install the jdk anyway.

    I do agree however that it in poor taste to include the toolbar. At least default the installer to being 'un-checked' so that users are not accidentally installing software they do not desire. At least Microsoft does'nt install a bing toolbar when i update .NET libs.
  • 14. Re: Java runtime install / update
    994039 Newbie
    Currently Being Moderated
    On the ZD site there is an excellent article on this subject: http://www.zdnet.com/a-close-look-at-how-oracle-installs-deceptive-software-with-java-updates-7000010038/, especially for those people that assume that they can simply avoid the Ask toolbar by opting out.

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