Sun released Java 5 Update 8 – an event typically not worthy of mention. This time is different. I grabbed the goods, just because I have to have the latest release, always – it is an affliction not dissimilar to that of a MtG user, who queues at the store with clammy hands when a new pack is to be released – and installed. Then I tested. Holy! Those results could not be real. And yet, they were. It was as if my browser had just been injected with a massive dose of caffeine, like Sun had finally gotten rid of the decaffeinated brew we all got accustomed to, telling each other that “Hey, this ain’t so bad! I’m getting a kick! Are you getting a kick?”, and replaced that brew with a quad dose of Lavazzo espresso.
Which is to say, starting a Java applet for the first time now takes 4-5 seconds, not 20. Try it while setting your clock. Loading more complex Java stuff, like this online office suite, only takes 10-15 seconds, cold, provided you connected at some point previously and impregnated your Java cache with those files.
The real test will come later today. We use Java-based GUIs that take minutes to load, mocking us with their radiant coffee cup animations. “The sands of your life are running out, and you are helpless to prevent it. Go on, rage against me, for you will only hasten your demise”. I am eager to see them brought to heel.
Now, if you are like me and you use Firefox, and you just download and install the latest JRE, eager to see with thine own eyes this technologickal miracle, you won’t see any improvement whatsoever. That’s because Firefox keeps the old Java plugins around, and you need to manually replace them. Yay user-friendly-ness! This is where it gets technical, so bear with me, kind reader.
1) Install the latest JRE. As of this writing, JRE 5 Update 8.
2) From Start -> Control Panel -> Add or Remove Programs, remove all earlier versions of the JRE. They’ll be under “J2SE Runtime Environment”, just to confuse you. If they’re really old, they may be under “Java” or “Sun Java”.
3) If you use IE or Opera 9, you’re set. You may want to reboot for good measure.
4a) If you use Firefox, get to C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\plugins – or wherever your Firefox may actually be installed, of course.
Delete all files that start with NPJava, NPJPI, and NPOJI. In my case, that’d be NPJava11.dll, 12, 13, 14, 32 likewise; an NPJPI150_07.dll (previous version, see?); and a NPOJI610.dll.
4b) Now we’re going to grab the new versions of these files. Navigate to C:\Program Files\Java\jre1.5.0_08\bin
Select all files starting with “NP” – it’s pretty much the same list as above – and right-click, choose “Copy”
Navigate back to C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\plugins, right-click, choose “Paste”.
5) If you are personally aquainted with me , I’ll even help with all this through a SecureMeeting session. Just ask.