SAGE II and the Browser Java Plugin

March 29th, 2017
Many browsers have ended support for all NPAPI plugins, including Oracle's Java plugin which enabled online access to Java applets like Sage II. We are working now to convert the SAGE II Java applet to an HTML5 application which will be supported by all current browsers, as well as many tablets and mobile devices that have not previously supported SAGE II.
Microsoft Internet Explorer continues to support SAGE II and other Java applets.
Firefox ended NPAPI plugin support as of version 52 in March 2017, while Chrome and Safari ended support in 2016.
There are 2 options to re-enable NPAPI plugin support in Firefox, one which will support the current version of SAGE II at least until Firefox 53, and a longer-term solution which will continue supporting the current version of SAGE II until sometime in 2018:
  • Option 1: How to re-enable NPAPI plugins like Java, Silverlight, etc. in Firefox 52, using an "about:config" setting:
    • Enter "about:config" in your Firefox Location Bar (address bar) and press Enter to display the list of preferences - this will trigger a caution about changing advanced settings for the browsers - click the "I accept the risk!" link button to proceed. The browser will now display a list of advanced settings.
    • Right-click the list anywhere and select "New...", followed by "Boolean", from the popup menu.
    • Enter "plugin.load_flash_only" in the field labelled "Enter the preference name", and then select "false" from the next choice option.
    • Restart the Firefox browser.
    That's it; assuming your Java plugin was previously installed correctly, SAGE II should work as before.
  • Option 2: Mozilla offers an “Extended Support Release”, or ESR, branch of the Firefox browser. This browser is intended for organizations to have a stable, long-term platform that only receives security updates, not the frequent feature updates and changes that the main version of Firefox receives.
    Firefox 52 ESR was released on March 7, 2017 and includes support for NPAPI browser plugins. Mozilla will continue supporting Firefox 52 ESR with security updates until sometime in the second quarter of 2018. At that point, the next ESR version of Firefox will drop support for NPAPI plugins.
    This 32bit ESR version of Firefox is available here:
    Firefox v52 ESR download...
    Firefox 52 ESR can be installed concurrently on a PC with the standard Firefox 52 already installed, and is functionally equivalent to the standard Firefox 52 with the addition of continued support for Java applets like SAGE II.


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