Print Story A Day in the Life
By ReallyEvilCanine (Fri Jun 23, 2006 at 02:46:58 AM EST) A Day in the Life, Java, WTF, pie (all tags)
A Hot Cup of Java

Maybe it's true that what we dislike in others is what we least like in ourselves. I remember my father yelling at me on occasion for not listening to his answer. Usually it was because I'd parsed it in a manner other than he meant it and he'd lose his cool rather than rephrasing it.

Of course, I was only around eight years old. My responsibilities, rather than the maintenance of a multi-million dollar room full of servers, were limited to tasks such as gluing macaroni artfully onto construction paper or clipping a bunch of Spanish magazines to make collages and calendars.

Over the past 30-some years I've become much better at parsing statements and rephrasing my own when I'm misunderstood, but sooner or later someone always moves me to my breaking point. So it was with Herman...

x-posted to the blog

We have discovered that $YourBigApp will cause a conflict with another application which only works with JRE version 1.3 while $YourBigApp requires JRE version 1.4.

From what we know about the Java environment the browser cannot run two different JREs at the same time.

That's a reasonable enough question, and it was asked professionally, providing lots of details about this other application. Details I didn't need, but the guy knew what he was doing.

So why am I writing about it?

Hi Herman,

It's possible to install multiple instances of the JRE to different directories without deleting older versions by downloading the Java package for later or network installation, then running the Custom rather than Basic or Express Installer.

The HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{ABCD1234-nnnn-nnnn-nnnn-nnnnnnnnnnnn} Registry key is mapped by default in the client system to the JRE 1.3. Changing this to point to the v1.4 JRE will allow $OurBigApp to identify the correct JRE and allow $CrapApp to continue using the v1.3 JRE.

Love, REC

And that's where it should've ended. Should have, because the answer is clear: change one registry key value, a change that can be easily pushed onto every machine in the network.

Instead, he started driving me apeshit.

Thanks for the reply. I'm not sure exactly how to implement your suggestion (and trial and error is not an option for us). Our internal skillset does not include Java. Could you please supply a set of instructions for achieving what you suggest?
So what if your "internal skillset does not include Java"?! The solution has fuck-all to do with Java! The solution is "change one fucking registry key"!

Herman, there's no programming involved in the solution I sent. You need to install the later version of Java and specify that the installer should place it in a different directory: The installer should also NOT remove the earlier version. Once this is done, run regedit and change the value of the HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{ABCD1234-nnnn-nnnn-nnnn-nnnnnnnnnnnn} key to point to the new Java directory.

That was cut and pasted straight from the ticket; I only removed the key. I wrote that there's no programming involved, right? The only action with Java was installing it, right? Right?

We don't have any Java programmers here to make the changes you're saying. We need a solution. Please file a request for support for earlier versions of Java.
That *thwack* you heard was the sound of my head hitting my desk.


  1. Go to
  2. Under "Required" click "Accept License Agreement". The page will refresh.
  3. Click on the first link under Windows Platform: "Winndows Offline Installation, Multi-language"
  4. Click Save
  5. Choose the directory you want to save the installer under
  6. Click OK
  7. Close Internet Explorer.
  8. Open Windows Explorer.
  9. Go to the directory you saved the installer in. If you forget the directory, you can search for the file "jre-1_5_0_07-windows-i586-p.exe"
  10. Double-click the installer
  11. Click Run
  12. Click CUSTOM Setup
  13. Click Accept
  14. The default installation folder is C:\Program Files\Java\jre1.5.0_07\. This is acceptable since it won't overwrite other Java installations.
  15. If you want Java to look nicer, click the icon in front of "Additional Font and Media Support" and select "This feature will be installed on local hard drive."
  16. If you receive an Out of Disk Space warning, click OK, then free up space or choose a different drive location (return to step 14)
  17. All checkboxes should be checked unless you don't want Java to run in a particular browser.
  18. It will take about 2 minutes before the installation is complete.
  19. Click Finish
  20. When the Restart pop-up appears, click "Restart Later"
  21. Click the Windows Start button
  22. Select Run
  23. Type regedit and hit enter.
  24. In the left panel, expand the HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT folder
  25. Scroll down to the CLSID folder and expand that.
  26. Scroll down to the ABCD1234-nnnn-nnnn-nnnn-nnnnnnnnnnnn key
  27. Expand that key
  28. Click on the InProcServer32 folder
  29. In the right panel you'll see a key called default
  30. Click on it
  31. Go back to Windows Explorer
  32. Find the Java 1.3 directory and click on the bin directory
  33. Make sure you see SSV.DLL
  34. Copy the full directory path. You could type Start: Run, then drag that version 1.3 DLL into the Run window. Delete the quotation marks and then copy the string.
  35. Go back to Regedit
  36. Right-click the default key on the right
  37. Select Modify
  38. Type or paste the full path to version 1.3 (see step 31)
  39. Click OK
  40. Close Regedit
In case you're wondering, it took about half an hour for me to tediously replicate the process and ensure I didn't miss a single step.
REC, You sent us detailed steps but we already told you we don't have any Java skillset. Modifying the system Java key isn't authorised since we can't make programmatic changes to Java with no one to test it the repercussions. We need you to file a request to support version 1.3
What the fuck do I write back now?!

Root Cause: 17-Fuckwit

< More About the World Cup | BBC White season: 'Rivers of Blood' >
A Day in the Life | 14 comments (14 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback
HAHHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAA!! by greyrat (4.00 / 3) #1 Fri Jun 23, 2006 at 02:58:15 AM EST
#cough# #choke# #wheeze# #wheeze# #gasp# -HAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAAAA!!!!!

For once, I'm glad I'm in Q/A and test. Thank you kind sir!

WIPO by DesiredUsername (4.00 / 1) #2 Fri Jun 23, 2006 at 03:03:37 AM EST
Write back and explain what needs to be done, rather than just saying what to do.

Now accepting suggestions for a new sigline
In other words by ReallyEvilCanine (4.00 / 1) #5 Fri Jun 23, 2006 at 03:33:08 AM EST
Cut and paste my original response into the next one?

the internet: amplifier of stupidity -- discordia

[ Parent ]
Did it work the first time? by DesiredUsername (4.00 / 2) #6 Fri Jun 23, 2006 at 03:37:41 AM EST
Instead of "Modify XYZ and then install using special option O" say something more like "Our app looks for a registry key to know where Java is installed. If you need to use a different version of Java, just install that version and tell our app where it is. Here's how...."

That sounds the same to you, but that's because you have the correct mental model in place. Obviously this guy does not (who knows how). Rather than giving him operations to perform on the wrong model, change his model.

Now accepting suggestions for a new sigline

[ Parent ]
So by ucblockhead (4.00 / 1) #3 Fri Jun 23, 2006 at 03:08:27 AM EST
File a "request" in the round file.
[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman
Look by hulver (4.00 / 6) #4 Fri Jun 23, 2006 at 03:21:06 AM EST
He's not a Java developer, how do you expect him to implement that code?
Cheese is not a hat. - clock
Easy, just pay him twice as much by Rogerborg (4.00 / 2) #13 Fri Jun 23, 2006 at 06:00:29 AM EST
It's not like you'd expect him to be able to program anything if he were a Java developer.

Metus amatores matrum compescit, non clementia.
[ Parent ]
lol by infinitera (2.00 / 0) #7 Fri Jun 23, 2006 at 03:43:56 AM EST
The product I support uses 1.4... I had to check our ticketing system for this, suspected we may work for the same employer!

[…] a professional layabout. Which I aspire to be, but am not yet. — CheeseburgerBrown

Explain to Him by ks1178 (2.00 / 0) #8 Fri Jun 23, 2006 at 03:44:49 AM EST
What the windows registry is. That the change to the registry that they are making is not a programmatic change, but rather registering $OurBigApp to use java 1.4 and leave everything else on your machines using java 1.3.

Blah, blah, blah.

Or. create a script that installs Java 1.5, and performs the steps above to edit the registry, and tell him that you had your super special Java Haxxors come up with a custom solution to support java 1.3 just for them, and how much they should love you for being so helpful.

Whoa there, Cochise! by yicky yacky (3.33 / 3) #9 Fri Jun 23, 2006 at 03:46:32 AM EST

Before we get all palaver-ish, back the funk up and ask him what he means by this:

We have discovered that $YourBigApp will cause a conflict with another application which only works with JRE version 1.3 while $YourBigApp requires JRE version 1.4.

Sun busted their balls to provide backwards-compatibility between those two releases. Aside from adding the new I/O classes and the new Swing stuff (and a few other things - XML etc.), it's mostly the same funking codebase and almost certainly the identical interfaces.

If it runs on 1.3, it'll run on 1.4.

Vacuity abhors a vacuum.
Sun busted THEIR own balls by ReallyEvilCanine (4.00 / 2) #11 Fri Jun 23, 2006 at 03:53:40 AM EST
But they didn't bust those of a lot of vendors out there who hardcoded shit like file versions and DLL names in their Java checks. There are quite a few applications which WILL NOT WORK with later Java versions. We had the same stupid problem with $OurBigApp way back when.

the internet: amplifier of stupidity -- discordia

[ Parent ]
If you do things like that by yicky yacky (4.00 / 3) #12 Fri Jun 23, 2006 at 03:59:03 AM EST

the pain you get is no more than you deserve. Fucking amateurs.

Vacuity abhors a vacuum.
[ Parent ]
Sounds to me a bit like by ambrosen (4.00 / 1) #10 Fri Jun 23, 2006 at 03:49:43 AM EST
root-cause: 17.1-Fuckwitted management telling the IT guy exactly what to do.

Possibly. Although it could easily be not knowing what the registry is.

So, file the request already by Rogerborg (4.00 / 1) #14 Fri Jun 23, 2006 at 06:02:57 AM EST
And one of the actual IT professionals who work for your company will fix it for you.

Metus amatores matrum compescit, non clementia.
A Day in the Life | 14 comments (14 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback