About one year ago Google announced that they want to clean up Chrome from 90es legacy and remove NPAPI support (and, therefore, get rid of Java plugin). The transitional period is about to finish. What it means for Aurigma's Java uploader?

First of all, let's see what is NPAPI and why Google does not want to see it anymore in Chrome.

About NPAPI

NPAPI stands for Netscape Plugin API. Since old days this API was a standard way to create plugins for all main non-IE browsers such as Firefox, Safari, Opera and others. When Google decided to create their own browser, supporting this API was a reasonable idea as it was a simple way to get a lot of ready browser extensions, including Java plugin.

However supporting NPAPI is not so easy. Being invented in the Netscape days, it was not take into account modern requirements and approaches. Google struggled a lot to provide a reasonable level of security and stability. Many years passed since the first Chrome release and this browser started to dominate. Someday they said to themselves, wait, not so many people use NPAPI plugins (e.g. Java plugin is used by mere 60-70 million users), so why not to make live easier by discontinuing it? 

What Google offers to plugin vendors

In the end of the last year, Google started to phase NPAPI support out. First they stopped accepting new NPAPI to the Chrome plugin store. Then they removed it from Linux version. And at last, by the beginning of 2015 they are going to do it for other platforms as well.

Software vendors had one year to migrate their plugins to a newer API (known as PPAPI, Pepper Plugin API). The problem is that even if vendors eager to do this, it is not always possible technically. Also, they have to forget about having the same code for all browsers - they have to support both PPAPI (Chrome only) and NPAPI (all other browsers). No wonder that the plugin vendors are not feeling excited about it.

What Oracle (Java plugin vendor) is going to do about it

In the context of Aurigma, we want to know what Oracle things about it. Although hope springs eternal, I don't see any evidence that Oracle is going to create a PPAPI version of Java plugin. It is about one months before the "D-Day", but no public announcements were made (neither official nor non-official). Moreover, there are some indirect evidence that they don't care about Chrome support.

https://blogs.oracle.com/stevenChan/entry/chrome_ebs_certified

They write that Chrome is certified for one of their enterprise systems, but only for its HTML part. Java won't be supported and there is no even a subtle hint that they are going to do anything about it. From their point of view it is easy to understand - their customers are enterprise clients and Chrome is toonewfangledthing. It is not a problem to stay with old good IE or Firefox.

What Aurigma and its customers can do about it

What should do regular Java users who are not Oracle customers? It looks like we had to accept the fact that Chrome users will never be able to load Java applets, including Aurigma's Java uploader.

It is similar to civilians of a seized city during a civil war. We can endlessly ask security forces (i.e. Google) to cease fire (i.e. don't break NPAPI) but the only answer we will hear - not earlier than rebels surrender. Insurgents (Oracle) just silently fortifies their position and the government troops continue deploying new artillery units. The only choice for civilians is to break their habits and become refugees.

Google Chrome attacks Java 

Fortunately, in opposite to this grim metaphor, changes in the user's live are not such dramatic. There are two options are available:

  1. Migrate from Google Chrome to some other browser (most likely, Firefox). 
  2. Website owners who use Java uploader should provide a fallback upload option based on our HTML5/Flash uploader or even completely switch to it.

For any Aurigma Upload Suite license owner the latter option is not such difficult thing as it may sound. Java/ActiveX and HTML5/Flash uploader API are quite close and in 95% of cases only cosmetic changes in JavaScript are required. 

The only thing which may prevent migration is if you need to use some special Java uploader features which are not available in HTML5/Flash, e.g. chunk upload or folder upload. If it is your case, we encourage you to email us at info@aurigma.com and let us know what uploader features are crucial for you.  We will do our best to add these features to HTML5 uploader as soon as possible at highest priority.

I wish everyone to outlast Google's assault on Java. Good luck!

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