Java Runtime Environments

In today’s scenario, every Java applications come with its own copy of Java Runtime Environment (JRE). Amoung many reasons for supplying own copy of JRE, the main one is version compatability and to reduce runtime issues and debug time :-/. And every machine would be crowded with numerous copies JRE (sometimes multiple copies of same version).

I think in java world no one cares now about how many JREs installed on single machine. And taking Java as a platform, all these applications are bundled with their own platform for running it. So where is platform independance ? If the same thing had happend with Microsoft .Net platform, I could imagine people would be ready to beat them up with Standards flag.

I was looking out some simple way to identify installed JREs on my machine and come across a tool called JRView – a freeware utility which lists all installed JREs for windows environment. But many of these applications never register their JRE with windows registry. With latest version of Eclipse – 3.2 M4 (I guess its there from version 3.0 and above), there is an option to search available JREs on the system and when I tried there were 23 JREs on my machine of 4 different versions.

Why can’t there be a specific location for each operating systems to install JREs? And these applications just need to check those location if required version is available if not get that version from specified vendor’s website.

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