JDK-6736854 : no need for JDK online installer anymore
  • Type: Bug
  • Component: install
  • Sub-Component: install
  • Affected Version: 6u10
  • Priority: P2
  • Status: Closed
  • Resolution: Fixed
  • OS: generic
  • CPU: generic
  • Submitted: 2008-08-13
  • Updated: 2010-09-17
  • Resolved: 2008-10-01
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6u10 b31Fixed 7Fixed
I would like to get rid of the JDK online installer for good.  Reasons for this are:

-72% of developers already choose to download the JDK offline installer vs the JDK online installer.  One theory is that some of the people that choose the online installer is that they see that the size of the online installer is .41MB vs the size of the offline which is 66.78MB.  We currently give no explanation of why one is bigger, so users may get confused and just download the smaller of the two.
-The JDK installer no longer has patching.  Patching the src.zip file was making the patches over 12MB, so we dropped JDK patching support in 6u10. -Having an online installer is more important for JRE installations, which need quick deployment through browsers, and a more one-click/streamlined UE, etc.
-Most developers have fast connections
-Most competitor Development Kits only offer offline installers.
-The JDK installer still uses the Windows Installer download engine, and it's nearly impossible for us to drop this usage for the JDK online installer.  One of the major efforts in 6u10 was to drop support of the Windows Installer engine, but this was only done for the JRE installer.  We were only able to do this because we now choose the JRE features for the users, rather than give them choice.  This is not possible with the JDK installer.
-Dropping the JDK online installer would mean less files for RE to archive
-Dropping the JDK online installer would mean less files for Download Engineering to stage
-Builds will be faster because we won't have to build/compress/stage another large JDK online installer (estimated 10-30 minutes faster)
-We currently have 2 code bases for the JRE/JDK online installer stub.  They got to be so different in 6u10 that we had to separate the code, which means more maintenance over time.
-We've only been hosting the JDK offline installer for all of the 6u10 snapshot builds at http://download.java.net/jdk6/ and no developers have complained about the missing JDK online installer.

The only CONs I can think of is that users will now always have to download the source (6MB) and Java DB (9MB).  Before, they could de-select it with the online installer and it wouldn't get downloaded.  Download statistics show that the majority of users choose to install these features anyways.

Overall, I just don't see much benefit in having an online JDK installer.  I think we'd be better off deprecating it and spending more of our time on improving the JRE online installer, auto-update, and other Distribution Service efforts.

EVALUATION The fix is to just move the JDK online wrapper files to the deleted_files tree, and make a few ishield/sdk/Makefile changes.