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Java what?

By   /   October 7, 2009  /   Comments

I try to avoid questions that lead to geeky answers, but sooner or later I must have a go at those that recur repeatedly. This week, I’ll try to explain Java Scripting. Even if I don’t do a good job, I’ll still tell you how to confirm whether you have it and if not, how to get it. Reason being, you do need Java to enhance your Internet surfing experience. It’s like this: you don’t have to know anything about the carburetor under your hood, but you probably need one to drive your car.

Let’s start with a definition which I gleaned (here paraphrased) from Webopedia and the Java Website: JavaScript is a scripting language which allows Web authors to design interactive sites and allows users to play online games, chat online, and view 3D images , just to name a few. Java was originally developed by Netscape and is currently owned by Sun Microsystems. If you really want a geeky earful, try Wikipedia’s current definition. Can we just say that the Java Runtime Environment or JRE (another way to refer to Java Scripting) is like a decoder or filter that allows you to look at coded messages or images and see them as recognizable objects or texts? Without JRE, certain coded Web pages will appear as gibberish or not show at all.

If you navigate to a Web page that has JavaScript on it and you do not have the JRE installed, you may get a pop-up message that tells you to get Java so that you can translate the images. JavaScript interacts with your browser; so not only do you have to have Java installed, but it must be enabled in the browser that you are using. If you use more than one browser, Java must be enabled in each of them.

One easy way to tell if you have Java installed is to open a browser and type just this text into the URL address box: javascript:alert (‘hi’). When you press enter, you’ll get a popup that says ‘hi’. If that doesn’t happen, you need to download Java.

Another Issue with Java is that periodically, it needs to be updated, partly because of new technology and partly for security reasons. You could hope that when you download the latest version the old one would be removed, but that doesn’t happen. I find it easier to uninstall the old version first and then either go to the Java site or to FileHippo to install the new one.

What if you get a message that you need to enable Java Scripting in the browser you are using? Here’s how: In Firefox; from the Tools menu, choose Options/Content tab/check enable JavaScript. In Internet Explorer, from the Tools menu choose Internet Options/Security tab/Custom Level button/scroll almost to bottom for Scripting and enable active scripting.

Java what?

Written by Jim Hall. Send your questions to geekspeak@mchsi.com. You can find Jim online at HallsTrainingSolutions.com

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  • Published: 2152 days ago on October 7, 2009
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  • Last Modified: October 5, 2009 @ 9:34 am
  • Filed Under: Geek Speak
  • Tagged With: internet

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