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You could try using a much older version of SQL Developer to access 8i. See the bottom of this OTN page for such older downloads:
Oracle 8i has not been supported for quite awhile, as you can see in these old forum threads:
Re: Connect SQL Developer 3 to Oracle 8.
Unable to connect Oracle 8.0.4
I just checked and sqldeveloper-22.214.171.12413-no-jre.zip downloaded for me.
SQL Developer Team
Is there any way that we can connect oracle 8i with SQl developer? We are rewriting a system with APEX 4.1 and PL/SQL on Oracle 11g R2. However, the legacy system was written in Oracle portal on Oracle 8i platform. We cannot connect SQL developer 3.1.07 to oracle 8i for some reason. Anyone could give us a hint on this?
The JDBC 11.x.x drivers do not support 8i or earlier versions of the database and the current sql developer releases use those drivers.
If your Oracle 8 version is 8.17 or later you should use the JDBC 10.2.0 driver; otherwise prior to 8.17 you will need the JDBC 9.0.1 driver to support it.
Here is the official Oracle JDBC page that shows the Oracle DB versions supported for each of the JDBC drivers available and also describes the JDBC jars and what JDK versions they support.
The various JDBC jar files and supporting files are available via link on that page but no source code.
The official download page for JDBC, SQLJ, Oracle JPublisher and Universal Connection Pool (UCP) is here
If you download an older version of sql developer as Gary suggested make sure it uses one of the JDBC 10.x or earlier jars and also make sure that the jar you use supports the JDK version you are using. Any mismatch and you will likely have problems. The first link I provided above has ALL of the allowable combinations listed.
A couple more comments about the 1.2.1 mentioned above:
1. It ships with the 10.2.0.3.0 JDBC driver.
2. The exe's run fine on WinXP but are incompatible with Windows 7.
On Windows 7, use a bat file to run SQL Developer directly from Java. For some reason, I also added Java's tools.jar to the classpath.