Based on yesterday’s episode, I decided to try Buzzword. In order to do that, I needed to install the latest Flash Player.
The installation failed with the cryptic message “The file flashplayer.xpt could not be written.” This message could have been more helpful, but that’s really Adobe’s fault, not Apple’s.
I tracked down the problem to the fact that Firefox was installed using the “skuwamoto” account. Meanwhile, I was trying to install Flash Player using the “household” account.
So I decided to change the owner of Firefox to “household”. Easy, right? Guess again. Changing the owner of an application turns out to be kind of difficult.
I started by changing the owner of the file using the info dialog like so:
The install still failed. Take 30 seconds and try to guess why.
Ok. Being a software developer, I knew that applications were really “packages” which are a special kind of Unix folder. If you do a “show package contents”, you find that the Firefox package only contains one folder:
And after doing a “get info” on the folder, I found that the package contents still had “skuwamoto” as the owner. ARRGGGHHH!!!
Why on earth would you want to set the owner of an application without setting the owner of the enclosed folders?? Also note that the original info dialog had no option to “Apply to enclosed items”, so even if you knew that this was something to watch out for, there is no way to fix this without manually opening the package and inspecting the contents.
I mean… I had trouble figuring out what was going on, and I write software for a living.