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Java Runtime Environment

To run an x.factory librarian you will need the Java Run Time Environment (JRE) Version 11, installed on your computer.

Don't panic about this need for Java. Quite a few applications use it these days, and installation via the link given below is no more difficult than installing any other application; but if you are installing on Windows, please ensure that you follow the steps shown below.

There are now numerous providers of the Java Runtime Environment (it's getting a "little Linux like" in the proliferation of versions - see below for an explanation if you are interested).

I have tested the latest releases on AdoptOpenJDK on both OS X and Windows 10, and if you do not already Java installed, this is the one that I recommend.

Download Java

Download Java from the Adopt Open JRE 11 Download Page. There are different platform options, so look for the JRE for your platform(s).

Note that you have options for either downloading a Java Development Kit (JDK) or Jave Runtime Environment (JRE). Unless you are developing Java applications you do not need the JDK, just the JRE.

For MAC OS X, download the .PKG file, and run the installation package, just stepping though the package windows with making no changes, which will install Java for you.

For the PC, download the .MSI file and run it, following the instructions given below. These need to be followed to ensure that Java is correctly set up so that the application launchers that I use on PC can find Java.

Windows AdoptOpenJDK JRE Installer Instructions

Step 1. Run the AdoptOpenJDK JRE installer wizard and on the first screen click the Next button as shown below.

Step 2. On the second screen, tick the license agreement acceptance and click the Next button as shown below.

Step 3. On the third screen, (and this is the really important part!), click the Set JAVA_HOME variable and JavaSoft (Oracle) registry keys features in turn and select the Will be installed on local hard drive option in turn for each feature.

Your install screen should now look as shown below. You can now click the Next button as shown below. This step is important as without these features being enabled the PC application launcher that I use for the x.factory librarian installer package and the librarian itself will not be able to find the JRE.

Step 4. On the next screen, click the Install option as shown below.

Step 5. The installer will now run and install the JRE. When it has finished, click the Finish option as shown below.

If you have installed the JRE but you get the following error when trying to run either an x.factory librarian installer or librarian, then you have probably missed the 3rd step or not set the features correctly.

If you get this error, rerun the AdoptOpenJDK JRE installer, and select the Change option as shown below and repeat Step 3 onwards.

The Java situation explained in a little more detail...

Up until recently acquiring Java was quite simple. You downloaded it from Oracle's website and ran the installer! However, the situation is now a little more complicated because Oracle will no longer, except under very limited and stringent conditions, permit free use of their versions of Java. No version or update of Oracle Java released after January 2019 will be available for any production purpose without a commercial agreement being in place (which is eye wateringly expensive). You may still use versions of Java for free for non-commercial/personal use, provided the version has not been deprecated. If you wish to use a deprecated version ever for non-commercial/personal use then you will again need a license from Oracle.

It's almost as if Oracle do not want you to use Java! In reality their big interest is the large corporations who are prepared to pay for support.

However, all is not lost because also Oracle also makes Java available as Open Source via the OpenJDK Project, and they encourage the use of OpenJDK for general free use (for which Oracle has no support obligations). The complication is that OpenJDK does not provide pre-built downloads, and its web site is very user unfriendly.

However, a lot of companies/organisations are now supplying pre-built binaries of the JDKs and JREs, so the next question is which one to select.

I have myself selected AdoptOpenJDK as its website is very simple to navigate and it provides JREs. Some providers only support JDKs, which you could use (as a JDK also contains a JRE), but you end up with a lot of unnecessary software on your computer, which is no use to anybody who is not a Java developer.

An x.factory librarian should be able to run on any flavour of Java 11 provided it is built from OpenJDK, but I am only myself testing on AdoptOpenJDK.

The next complication is that major releases of Java are increasing in frequency, with an intended release cycle of every 6 months; they used to be spaced apart by several years. Already Java releases are available up to Java 14. However, unless a version of Java is marked for Long Term Support (LTS) then Oracle (and thus OpenJDK) will only be providing patches (including security fixes) for six months.

When it comes to software releases, I tend to be conservative and do not tend to use snazzy new features, therefore I have elected to only use and test Java versions that are marked as LTS versions, and Java 11 is currently the latest version with LTS. There is currently no later LTS version on the horizon.

You can use a later version of Java if you wish (and occasionally I may try this myself), but if you run into problems, then I might not be able to help.

I will always keep this page up to date with the recommended version of Java

Further information can be found on the Java Roadmap.

It used to be so simple! Whilst not desperately complicated, I think Java has now become a little Linux like in the proliferation of different versions and suppliers, which you need to navigate through.

In the longer term, I plan to update the applications to embed the JRE within the applications themselves to remove the need for users to worry about Java at all (or even be aware of the need for it), but this will be quite a large task to tackle, and I have another new librarian, montage.factory to focus on first. Once that is done I will probably tackle the challenge of embedding the JRE!

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