Long hailed as the only OS vendor to provide Java built in, Apple stumbled yesterday in the eyes of Java developers with the release of Mac OS X 10.3.9, the latest update to the “Panther” version of the operating system.

The update causes Java to crash with a segmentation fault error whenever it is started. Visiting a website containing a Java applet in Safari 1.3, the new browser version that is a part of the update, will cause the browser to crash.


The solution to this problem is to first ensure that you have the Java 1.4.2 Update 2 installed on your system. If you’ve kept up-to-date with your software updates, you will. Next, you need to manually download and (re)install Security Update 2005-002 for Mac OS X.

These steps are detailed in a support article at apple.com.

Kevin began developing for the Web in 1995 and is a highly respected technical author. Kev is a world-renowned author, speaker and JavaScript expert. He has a passion for making web technology easy to understand by anyone. Yes, even you!

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  • mcjimbo


  • http://www.practicalapplications.net bwarrene

    The race to beat the always on technology blogosphere and online media to the punch of security vulnerability announcements has caused quite a few of these gaffes this year across a wide array of vendors.

    The online day to day news media requires intense numbers of user sessions and impressions to drive advertising revenue and like any other medias medium finds that bad news travels the fastest. Thus a vendor seemingly late to releasing a patch becomes ‘top of the screen’ news.

    With vendors trying to preempt what they perceive as this negative press in one of the largest PC refresh cycles since 1999 – slipping up on testing is probably the most famous mistake.

    Microsoft is slammed for this all the time. They simply take it on the chin and keep chugging – as Apple should.

    It is a shame it happened – however – a quick response, apology and fix is better than nothing. ;>)

  • http://nathanwwong.com someonewhois

    So they had the right intentions of bundling Java, but since they fumbled it all up it basically became degenerate? ;)

  • Cree

    The Update cause me to have to Erase my Hard Drive and reinstall Mac OS X.

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