The Java applet plugin expanded the functionality of browsers. With that developers could launch apps in website pages. Now, Oracle has announced that it will deprecate the plugin. As the Java plugin is increasingly antiquated, it doesn’t come as much of a surprise that Oracle is abandoning the plugin.
Oracle Corp. (NYSE:ORCL) announced its plans to deprecate the Java plugin on its blog. The blog post stated: “With modern browser vendors working to restrict and reduce plugin support in their products, developers of applications that rely on the Java browser plugin need to consider alternative options such as migrating from Java Applets (which rely on a browser plugin) to the plugin-free Java Web Start technology. Oracle plans to deprecate the Java browser plugin in JDK 9.”
So it seems Oracle has recognized that plugins are generally in decline and increasingly outdated. Microsoft, Google, and Mozilla have all begun to drop support for NPAPI (Netscape Plugin Application Programming Interface) plugins for their browsers. Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge are two browsers that do not support NPAPI plugins. Firefox will no longer support the same plugins at the end of 2016.
Flash is another plugin that has declined somewhat. Adobe has gradually begun to abandon Flash on various platforms. Adobe also added HTML 5 support to Flash-building apps.
Consequently, it seems that Oracle has little option but to abandon the Java applet plugin. The plugin has considerable security vulnerabilities for hackers to exploit. Alongside the Flash plugin, it has notable security flaws that have convinced the foremost browser developers to ditch it in favor of more standardized HTML 5.
However, Oracle isn’t abandoning Java altogether. The company has developed Java Web Start as a new framework for Java. This runs outside of browsers within a virtual machine sandbox. Overall, it is more robust and is easier to upgrade than the Java applets.
It’s about time Oracle Corp abandoned the Java plugin. The company will launch JDK 9 in March next year, and that will not include any Java plugins.