I think we should start with Java Prefs.
First, Safe Boot from the HD, (holding Shift key down at bootup), run Disk Utility in Applications>Utilities, then highlight your drive, click on Repair Permissions, then Move this file to the Desktop...
Thanks BD. I set up a new test account and can confirm that it is system wide.
FWIW - I have an alt boot disk also running 10.5.8 but hasn't installed the latest Java items via Software Update. Java Preferences and the other symptoms above I mentioned seem to be fine.
(I'm starting to think about Archive and Install. Is that a viable idea?)
Hmmm. Thanks for your offer to help, but you lost me on that one.
I see two links: One for "Remove Older Versions" and one for "Why should I remove older versions of Java from my system." Both links go to http://www.java.com/en/download/faq/remove_olderversions.xml which doesn't have any Mac info about removing Java and only seem to be talking about removing older versions.
Is there some other link that I am missing?
I'm afraid to recommend an A&I of late because several OSX updates have gone missing at apple downloads, & we can't find out if it's a snafu or on purpose.
I don't know which ones are missing in toto, but many are, goto this link...
Click on the download button, no worry, it won't DL anything, just take you to the APP Store, worry again.
Last I checked the 10.5.8 Combo was there, but no idea about all the JAVA Updates that must be done in order.
I did find 2 system wide plists that you might compare, not sure if I'd replace them from the working one though...
You do not have to delete older version of java in order to install the latest update 10, which is a combo updater.
Update 10, 29 June 2011 - This release updates J2SE 5.0 to 1.5.0_30, and updates Java SE 6 to 1.6.0_26. J2SE 1.4.2 is no longer being updated to fix bugs or security issues and remains disabled by default in this update. Support for out-of-process Java applets on Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard has been removed with this update.
This release is only for Mac OS X 10.5.8 or later versions of Mac OS X 10.5. http://support.apple.com/kb/DL1359