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WildWords Practice & Internet Version Download

for Windows & Macs

My Email: roizen at ix.netcom dot com               


Versions: A newer version does not require a newer Java Runtime Environment. Just replace the old jar file with the new one.

Description / Issue
First Version out of Beta
Merriam Webster dramatically revised the syntax of their web pages.
WW's Lookup function for resolving challenges was changed to parse their new approach.
It appears MW has again changed the syntax of pages killing the Lookup function for their dictionary.

Some of the words ending up on the board in this sample game are shown in the Chat box.
This game used an unusually high number of Turn To Wild Squares. There is a knack here
to form and see possible words from pieces of them that takes some games to develop.
If you have memorized Scrabble words from AAL through ZUZ, you can free up those brain
cells for a better purpose. This is a game you get better at by the joyful experience of playing it.

Here's a link to a video of a whole game with the thinking time removed. You may have already seen it on the home page.  To The Video! Here is a description of Game Play if you want the full details now.

WildWords.jar (the program itself) is a very small file (75,000 bytes) and can be easily downloaded in a flash. By writing it in java, the program I write can be run on a Windows machine, a Mac, and a machine running the Linux operating system. That represents an incredible saving of development time for me and provides a similar look across the different environments. To run on these machines the JAR file requires something called the Java Runtime Environment (JRE) which is different for each of the three situations. You may already have it. You can start by downloading the jar file and firing it up to see if that is the case.


Feedback on any problems with or without solutions would be welcome.

WildWords is NOT a browser plug-in. Enabling java in your browser is not required and actually discouraged for security reasons. WildWords is a desktop application with no abilities beyond communicating with another copy of itself to exchange information on the status of the game and browsing some well-established dictionary pages. The game connection is made directly between you and your opponent. There is no third party involved to spy, pester, advertise, or self-update.

You can practice on your own and play others who use your router without requiring an internet connection at all.

WildWords downloads in a few seconds which makes changing your version easy as well. Just remember to delete the old one first. This is version 3.05 updated on 4/7/2021. It's a good idea to make sure that both players are playing with the latest and the same version.

Know where you put the file and make a shortcut to it on Windows or the eqivalent, if possible, on a Mac. It will be in your Finder, of course.

The first thing is just try to fire it up. Perhaps you have a suitable version of Java 8 or later (a higher number), and it works a la carte. When this is not the case, you will need to continue reading below.

In one case on an old Mac machine with a new Operating System, a user was told they needed the Java Runtime Environment and installed it with another click. Perhaps yours may too. Sadly, every "perhaps" has an equal and opposite "perhaps not."

On a different Mac machine I have, the System Preferences page had a java (coffee cup) icon. A click on that offered me a chance to update the version of java. A click on the Update option hung endlessly and updated nothing. Your machine might do what mine said it would, but did not. Mine has an 8 year old operating system.

For that Mac and two Windows Machines (7 and 10), I downloaded the correct installer directly from Oracle with the link further down. 

To do the download, you may need an Oracle account. It's free. There is no credit card entry required. The are a few lines of information you need to fill out first. Your account, if needed, is confirmed with a follow-up email. Once you have a java JRE, you won't need to get it again and may use it with other java programs that you trust. Updating the JRE now and then seems to be recommended. Once you have an account with Oracle, you can use it to download and install a JRE on other machines you have or on a friend's machine in a matter of minutes.

A Bit Of Nomenclature: Downloads at Oracle that start with "jre" are Java Runtime Environment downloads. Downloads at Oracle that start with "jdk" are Java Development Kit downloads. The Kit includes the JRE but also a bunch of stuff for developers like myself. You don't need the extra stuff.

A download for Windows should be a file that ends with "windows_x64.exe". For a Mac, it should end with "macosx_64.dmg."  I am telling you this because Oracle changes their page layouts from time to time and it can get confusing.

Hopefully the instructions below will work exactly as stated. The naming conventions above might provide some insight if Oracle moves stuff around. Note that the link is for Version 8 of java. Versions with a higher number 9, 10, etc. should work as well.

Start by clicking the link below.

For Windows, click the JRE 8 expansion tab to the far right side below the "Documenation Download,"  button and then Click the Windows Tab in the box that opens. You will want the X64 Installer which starts with "jre" and ends with"windows_x64.exe" as described.

For a Mac, click the JRE 8 expansion tab under to the far right side below the "Documenation Download," button and then Click the macOS Tab in the box that opens. You will want the x64 DMG Installer which starts with "jre" and ends with"macosx_64.dmg."

Follow instructions to run the Installer. When the JRE is installed you should be able to click or double click the WildWords.jar file and have it run.

Note: Some problems may arise when going beyond practicing to playing an opponent in Timbuktu or sometimes around the corner. Some explanations are offered within the program--the Make A Connection box in particular. There is also a link in the Web Links menu to a "Technical Issues" page.  Don't forget to take that link if necessary.