@tkins online and Mac users

if you use an Apple computer and have been experiencing difficulties with out ordering software, it seems as though Apple's change in security is the reason. please read on for an explanation. Apple Java Security Changes Q & A

As we arrive into day 2 of the Apple security changes regarding Java, we wanted to cover a number of items more in depth as customers contact you with issues.

What happened? Simply, Apple decided that Java 6 was a security risk and disabled it via their built-in malware facility, which updates regularly/at startup. Since 10.7 and 10.8 support Java 7 from Oracle, the primary victims of this change are OS X 10.6 system owners, which only runs the Java 6 provided by Apple (some 10.7 systems may also still be running Java 6 update 35, and should update to 10.8 as well). Java 6 also has its' end of public updates scheduled for this month, mid-February 2013, per Oracle's life-cycle chart at http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/java/eol-135779.html.

Is this just an @tkins online problem? No - Apple Community discussion boards are alive with bank employees who cannot update databases, teachers who cannot use grading applications, games that have stopped working, and an article from the Associated Press that mentions how their photo department was left unable to function made the news - all Java applications or applets that stopped working after Apple forced this update to all. Needless to say, there are MANY unhappy Mac users, not just ROES users.

What can our customers seeing this issue do? The best bet is to go to OS X 10.8. It is not expected that Apple will re-enable Java 6, since they would need to be the ones to write an update for it (and the end of life is slated for a few weeks from now anyway). OS X 10.8 is their latest operating system and ideally Apple wants everyone on it. Updating to 10.8 is fairly simple (though some older systems may not qualify, see Apple's tech specs on supported models at http://www.apple.com/osx/how-to-upgrade/), and can be done via the App Store for $19.99. After the update to 10.8, visiting www.java.com to get Java 7 from Oracle will complete the needed updating (best to delete existing ROES shortcuts from the desktop and launch from web site URL to restore).

Any caveats customers need to watch out for? Yes, there are several:

1) Old desktop shortucts should just be deleted as they likely will be looking for Java 6, and these will fail. After updating, ROES should be started from the lab web site link (all preferences and saved info get retained). If you have had us set a .png file for your desktop icons, Java 7 in OS X will show an error creating the desktop shortcut at first launch (there is generally no longer a prompt to create one, a carry-over bug from Java 6 and 7 in Windows). Using a .jpg or .gif works better, and the next update to Java, either 12 or 13, should resolve this creation issue (and does for Windows 8 icons as well). Please contact us if you wish to change your icon to a .jpg or .gif at this time.

2) The biggest drawback to Java 7 in OS X 10.8 is the delays in folder browsing. This has 2 major area of the ROES it affects - adding images in the thumbnails pane for both normal ordering and Records use, and saving of files such as orders or templates files in Template Tool. The easiest workaround for normal ordering is to simply use Finder as the image source, and drag images from there directly into products in the crop area (Note: This works in Windows too!). For Records and Save dialogs in ROES and Template Tool, to navigate through/around the delay, clicking off the desired folder onto another folder, then back to the desired one, usually displays the contents of the desired one immediately.

3) After installing Java 7 there will no longer be a Java Preferences.app in the Utilities folder under Applications. To get to the Java Control Panel go to System Preferences under the Apple drop down at top left. Click the Java icon. An interim window stating that the Java Control Panel will open in a separate window will be displayed prior to the Java Control Panel. Once the Java Control Panel is displayed the form and function is the same as in Windows.

4) In Java 7 on OS X the calls were changed to open a browser window, such as from a splashtip window or informational product. This may also cause an issue in opening the Client-side order preview report. The upcoming ROES 8 (@tkins online) resolves this issue.

Additional information will be forthcoming, please keep an eye out here or contact us.