New launcher, replacing JNLP

Announcements about major changes in Haven & Hearth.

New launcher, replacing JNLP

Postby loftar » Tue Mar 12, 2019 5:39 pm

Apparently, Oracle is abandoning JNLP (otherwise known as Java Web Start), and as of Java 11 they are not shipping it anymore, and as such it seems we need something else to replace it. I've been checking out the options that are out there already, and they seemed less than fitting for our purposes, and so in the end I've had to write my own launcher.

I'd like to start using it fairly soon, but I'd like to ask you to try it out first, as I'm sure there may very well be edge-cases out there that it doesn't handle well yet. If you feel up for it, please use this link:

http://game.havenandhearth.com/java/hafen-launcher.jar

You'll notice it's a .jar instead of a .jnlp file. Jar files should be just as directly executable as JNLP files, so all you should have to do is "just run it". Please report any problems with it!



As a reflective note, JNLP was by far and away the most important reason why I originally chose to write the client in Java, and while there are many things I like about JNLP, it has been taking a stranger and stranger route in the years since then (the most important one being when Oracle decided to require an "officially" signed certificate for JNLP programs), and so if I had known about that back then, I would have probably taken a diffeent approach. There are other things that I appreciate about the client being in Java (it's still pretty easy to make it run on a variety of platform, and the dynamic code loading system of Java is particularly nice), but if it hadn't been for JNLP, I would have probably not chosen to use Java, so it's interesting how things turn out.

I also think it is very strange that Oracle decided to deprecate JNLP, and I can't really fathom why they did so. Their official reason seems to be that they think that "app stores" are the future, which I both hope and think is untrue, and also strikes me as a weird reason to deprecate a technology that is not only mature and functional, but also seems to be widely used in practice. Weird stuff. I see other games (such as Wurm Online) still use it, seemingly without second thoughts or official plans to transition from it. Nevertheless, Oracle seems steadfast in its decision, so I guess all I can do is to deal with it.
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Re: New launcher, replacing JNLP

Postby budzilla » Tue Mar 12, 2019 5:43 pm

loftar wrote:I see other games (such as Wurm Online) still use it, seemingly without second thoughts or plans to transition from it. Nevertheless, Oracle seems steadfast in its decision, so I guess all I can do is to deal with it.


As an avid Wurm player, there has been plenty of talk among the staff and devs to transition to a launcher of their own, they just tend to be very slow with their updates.
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Re: New launcher, replacing JNLP

Postby dullah » Tue Mar 12, 2019 5:44 pm

another reason to client rewrite with another language / framework
plus Java goes pay to use for software devs soon ?
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Re: New launcher, replacing JNLP

Postby loftar » Tue Mar 12, 2019 5:45 pm

dullah wrote:plus Java goes pay to use for software devs soon ?

Citation needed. Seems impossible with OpenJDK out there.
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Re: New launcher, replacing JNLP

Postby Ysh » Tue Mar 12, 2019 5:46 pm

dullah wrote:another reason to client rewrite with another language / framework

Given how long rendering rewrite takes, I think I do not like to wait for whole client rewrite too!
dullah wrote:plus Java goes pay to use for software devs soon ?

This seem unlikely to me. Java has open source implementation of it.
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Re: New launcher, replacing JNLP

Postby dullah » Tue Mar 12, 2019 5:51 pm

we could still use java 8 SE for free, but without any more security updates.
Upper versions now use a pay to use sub

It's all over internet:
https://www.lakesidesoftware.com/blog/j ... impact-you

EDIT OOPSIE: its JAVA SE, not the JRE ?
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Re: New launcher, replacing JNLP

Postby loftar » Tue Mar 12, 2019 5:53 pm

dullah wrote:we could still use java 8 SE for free, but without any more security updates.

Ah, yes, but that's just for Java 8. Half the point of this thread is to avoid having to rely on Java 8.
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Re: New launcher, replacing JNLP

Postby shubla » Tue Mar 12, 2019 5:57 pm

loftar wrote:so in the end I've had to write my own launcher.

I am not surprised, not at all.
Its easier to count things that you did not write yourself for this game than the things that you wrote.

I tried to run it on both openjdk 8 and 11. Both worked just fine.
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Re: New launcher, replacing JNLP

Postby boshaw » Tue Mar 12, 2019 6:01 pm

Are there plans with the rewrite to also upgrade the codebase to Java 11 as well? I know I've experimented with it and noticed some minor issues with deprecated bytebuffers functions from what I imagine was in resource file code.
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Re: New launcher, replacing JNLP

Postby loftar » Tue Mar 12, 2019 6:16 pm

shubla wrote:
loftar wrote:so in the end I've had to write my own launcher.

I am not surprised, not at all.

If you know any good alternatives, please feel free to suggest them. This has actually been one of those things that I've felt particularly strong about not really wanting to do myself, but the only reasonable alternative at all that I've been able to find was Getdown, and I was very much less than enthused about its requiring platform-specific installers.

boshaw wrote:Are there plans with the rewrite to also upgrade the codebase to Java 11 as well? I know I've experimented with it and noticed some minor issues with deprecated bytebuffers functions from what I imagine was in resource file code.

I'm actually still using Java 8 for my day-to-day development (simply since it's the default Java version in Debian Stable), but I'm sure I'll get around to Java 11 things sooner or later.
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