Java is a popular programming language used for everything from server software to desktop applications and even Android apps. You’ve probably heard of Minecraft, which is written in Java. Running a Java application requires Oracle’s Java runtime on your computer. It was previously developed by Sun, but Oracle purchased Sun — so it’s now Oracle Java instead of Sun Java.
But Java isn’t just used for traditional applications. Back in the 90’s, Sun developed a browser plug-in that allowed you to run Java programs –or “Java applets” — inside web browsers. The Java plug-in isn’t widely used anymore, and it’s been a source of endless security problems. You do not want to run Java applets inside your browser if possible. The Java plug-in — and Java content in web browsers — has proven insecure and bad.
There’s just one Java plug-in, and it’s created by Oracle and bundled along with the Java runtime. If there’s a problem with it, you have to wait for Oracle to fix it. There’s no competition to improve it.
We’ve moved away from Java content in the browser over the years. While Java is still widely used, it’s become a dirty name when associated with web browsers. Java has also become an increasingly disliked piece of consumer software known for bundling junkware with security updates.
On the other hand, the Java browser plug-in is used on very, very few websites. If you disable the Java browser plug-in, the web will continue working normally. You’ll probably never notice you don’t have it.