[R] RH 8.0, Mozilla and help.start() - Deja Vu All Over Again....

Marc Schwartz MSchwartz at medanalytics.com
Thu Mar 20 21:01:23 CET 2003

Hi all,

In the continuing process of dealing with the upgrades to Mozilla under 
RH 8.0 Linux (present stable release is 1.3) and as a result, the 
"breakage" of R's help.start() function, which is a java applet based 
search engine, I wanted to point out to folks some key points of 

If you are upgrading to Mozilla version 1.3 under RH 8.0 from an older 
version, even one of the devel versions such as 1.3a or 1.3b, you need 
to carefully read the Installation Notes at:


Most significantly in this case, is that the RPMS for RH 8.0 of this 
version of Mozilla are compiled with gcc version 3.2.

The present official release of Java from Sun is not and therefore the 
Sun Java plugins for Mozilla will not work with 1.3, breaking 
help.start(). As of this writing Sun does not have a gcc 3.2 compiled 
Java download available, though is expected to in the near future.

In order to get help.start() working in this scenario, you need to 
download the gcc 3.2 compiled versions of Java from one of the 
Blackdown.org mirrors at:


Once at the mirror of your choice, go into the JDK-1.4.1/i386/01 folder.



Be sure to read the README and INSTALL-j2re files carefully and fully.

The .bin file is the install executable and you of course, need to 
change the file attributes to make it executable after download. Note 
that by default this file will extract and install in its download 
directory and it does not prompt you for a target. Again, read the 
installation instructions carefully.

The key will be to remove the existing Java shortcut in your Mozilla 
plugins folder, which for me using Moz 1.3 is:


Depending upon what version of Java you presently have installed, the 
existing shortcut may be to .../javaplugin_oji.so or to 

Once you have installed the Blackdown.org version of Java as per the 
installation instructions, you will need to recreate the shortcut to the 
new Java plugin, which for me is:


Hence, in the /usr/lib/mozilla-1.3/plugins folder using a terminal as 
root, enter:

ln -s /usr/java/j2re1.4.1/plugin/i386/mozilla/javaplugin_oji.so

Of course, in each case, replace my path(s) with yours, if different.

Finally, be sure that in the Mozilla Preferences settings, you have BOTH 
Java and JavaScript enabled on the Advanced and Advanced/Scripts&Plugins 
tabs respectively.

Basically, once you have completed these steps, help.start() should work 
with Moz 1.3. If it is working properly, you should see a Mozilla status 
line message indicating that the Java applet has started ("Applet 
SearchEngine Started") when you go to the Search Engine & Keywords 
search page (not the initial page).

I hope that this information helps folks. This seems to be an ongoing 
(but hopefully not never ending) saga.

Best regards,

Marc Schwartz

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