Dear Oracle, can we have our nice javadoc URLs back?

If you support this request, please vote for it in the comments below and/or on twitter using the #E17476 hashtag!

Update (2010/07/24): it looks like the old URLs are back, thanks Oracle and especially @mreinhold!

Update (2010/07/27): see also Good Feedback and Happy Endings – The Ugly URLs.

Dear Oracle,

A while ago you bought Sun, and IIRC promised to do good things for Java. Or at least indicated you would. Or something like that.

Now, a bad thing happened a few days ago. Not a bad bad bad thing, just a tiny annoying change in the cool URLs that Sun used to publish the JDK’s javadocs. Not annoying annoying annoying but not nice.

Even Google remembers: today if I search for IndexOutOfBoundsException on Google it returns the following URL:

Which is a cool URL that shouldn’t change.

Now, requesting this URL today causes a redirect to:

Which is also somewhat cool, but not as much. Factor 10 down in coolness. It makes me assume that you’re serving javadocs from a CD, and that CD’s identifier is E17476_01. That’s useful info if you’re the filesystem driver who’s reading the CD, but I doubt filesystem drivers are searching for javadocs on Google. Also, I’m not looking at downloading anything. Just browsing, okay?

Cool URLs shouldn’t change.

Can we have the old one back? Ok, maybe with instead of – you bought them anyway. But please please please, let the poor CD filesystem driver alone!


P.S. we’re having a little vote on Twitter about this, check it out at (URL updated in 2018 to account for Twitter API changes)

30 Responses to Dear Oracle, can we have our nice javadoc URLs back?

  1. Anon E. Mouse says:

    This does not give Oracle much credibility in the web space. Of course, they are a DATABASE company that has bought web space companies (BEA and Sun), but you’d think that some core competence would eventually rub off.

  2. Daniel Shaw says:

    Also disappointing is that this destroys URL navigability. Frequently I’d get to a result like this and notice I was on a Java 1.5 and wanted to switch to 1.6. I could just change the version number in the URL and I’d end up in the right place.

    If I change
    to we’re still cool.

    However, try doing the same on the final landing URL. No dice. :(

  3. Witi says:

    Oracle is handling with at least two CD’s! Java 6 Javadoc uses the identifier E17409_01. :)

  4. Casper Bang says:

    Ah, Oracle not up to speed on RESTfull yet. Bummer!

  5. John Clingan says:

    Thanks for the feedback. As we transition content to the Oracle infrastructure, this is exactly the kind of feedback we hope to receive.

    John Clingan
    GlassFish Principal Product Manager

    • phil says:

      You are just sabotaging the good work of Sun.

      Instead of kiliing Java , just give your licenses to Google
      who will do a better hob.

      (comment edited to remove inappropriate language)

  6. bdelacretaz says:

    @John, thanks very much for your prompt reply, much appreciated!

  7. Mike kelleher says:

    Old URL please. Makes my job harder

  8. metrics says:

    This is what happened to BEA as well. All their documentation disappeared in the Oracle web jungle, the same as other products they have acquired and left to wither and die. They don’t even have a decent website search.
    I’m afraid of the future for Java, MySQL and more…. :(

  9. Jon Bratseth says:

    Incompetence on public display. If Oracle can’t even get this right how can they be trusted with the difficult stuff?

  10. Justin Kestelyn says:

    metrics, the BEA doc is, and always has been, here:

    • @Justin: Just like the javadoc URLs you could guess the BEA edocs URLs. Makes it very easy to navigate instead of having to go through a “documentation portal” or make a lot of bookmarks.

    • Justin Kestelyn says:

      Vincent, fair point. I just wanted to make it clear that the BEA doc isn’t exactly “hidden” anywhere.

      As John said this is all very valuable feedback and I’m optimistic that we’ll get these infrastructure-related issues sorted out.

      – Justin K, Oracle Technology Network

  11. Juanjo says:

    Nothing new here… have you ever dealt with Oracle database documentation?

    Yes, I bet you can imagine what I’m talking about!

  12. Dean says:

    I first noticed this URL when I tried to look up a javadoc and the website was broken, so the redirect failed. Nice! NOT!

    I also teach Java programming and always point out the URL to my students when demoing the online javadocs in class, so that they can make a bookmark for themselves.

  13. assfish says:

    Based on my previous experience with many of their products and the way they were developed I have no doubts that Oracle is evil. I guess all those ex-Sun Principals will now focus exclusively on politics and will spend hours in meetings presenting how to “bring more value” to customers by simplifying api doc URLs. I hope I’m wrong.

  14. Henk de Boer says:

    If they’re going to improve the URLs by going back to the Sun style, I do hope they drop the j2 and 1. would be enough. The extra j2 prefix means nothing; the j from java is already implied by the subdomain and 2 is compete nonsense. The name of the language is Java, not Java2.

    The 1. prefix for the version number makes little sense too. The current version is 6.0, not 1.6.0. The 1. has no meaning whatsoever and I don’t understand why this is still used. It’s not 2003 anymore…

  15. Nav says:

    Ah, what a clever marketing strategy by Oracle. The new URL always reminds me that Oracle got Java now.

  16. Justin Kestelyn says:

    Redirects for SE javadoc will be rolled back shortly. Permanent solution on the way!

    – Justin K, Oracle Technology Network

  17. Henrik Ståhl says:

    All – I know that Oracle sometimes seen like an impermeable fortress, but we do have the community near our hearts and listen to you more than you know. It just takes some time for us to get everything integrated and the work the kinks out of the system. Please keep giving us feedback, I believe you will be more than happy with our stewardship moving forward.


    Henrik Ståhl, Sr Director, Java Platform Product Mgmt, Oracle

  18. bdelacretaz says:

    Looks like the good old URLs are back, just tried and it works as before.

    Many thanks Oracle for your prompt reaction!

  19. Robin Hughes says:

    Wow! One point for Oracle here for listening to the community :)

    I do like the suggestion in one of the comments above to drop the j2. 1.5.0 is the internal version number, so it does make a little sense, but the j2 doesn’t. At some point of time the language was indeed called Java2, as Java2 1.3, Java2 1.4, Java2 1.4.2, etc. But later on it had been renamed to just Java. I personally never understood why the language name had to end on a number that had nothing to do with a version number, but maybe it was some geeky thing?

    Anyway, it was never really picked up by the market. Even in the early days people said there were programming “Java”. I never heard anyway saying they were programming in “Java2”, which must be the reason Sun renamed the language to just “Java”. Strangely enough, the JVM has always been short for Java Virtual Machine, never Java2 Virtual Machine, but in J2EE the 2 did creep up again…

  20. Bryan says:

    Don’t waste my time Oracle. This is a bit rediculous. If it ain’t broken….

  21. Heiko Maass says:

    Seems to be fixed! Now the redirection works:

    curl -I “”
    HTTP/1.1 301 Moved Permanently
    Server: Sun-Java-System-Web-Server/7.0
    Date: Sat, 28 Aug 2010 14:02:46 GMT
    Content-length: 0


  22. Heiko Maass says:

    Unfortunately, i’ve to correct myself again. The redirection issue is caused actually by the Safari browser, which does not respect anchors in the “Location”-Header.

    Using Firefox, the above mentioned links are working. So, nothing was fixed or changed by Oracle.

    Sorry for this confusion.

  23. Eric says:

    There are still an awful lot of links in the Java docs ON ORACLE.COM that still point back to pages removed from!

    When is that going to be fixed?

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