Last Wednesday's "Got Java?" post generated number of e-mails regarding the silent removal of JRE 5 Update 8 from Sun's website. We don't know for how long it was gone, but it's now back on Sun's site. (As of September 7th at least.)
One reader asked about and commented on the system's use of previously installed versions of Java. So to clarify, the issue affected versions prior to Update 6. From Sun's site:
"Prior to 5.0 Update 6, an application could specify the version of the JRE on which it would run. With 5.0 Update 6 and later installed, unsigned Java Web Start applications that specify a version other than the latest installed will trigger a warning, requiring explicit user permission before the application will run. Signed Java Web Start applications are not affected."
Updated to Add: Reader Mika N. wrote to comment that java.com still offers Update 6 - while java.sun.com offers Update 8. So this is perhaps why some thought that the download was removed from the "java" site. And maybe the Update Now feature in the Java Control Panel checks java.com rather than java.sun.com? Confusing, eh? Thanks to all of you for your comments.