Ok this is just ridiculous…
Maybe it’s because I got in the game all late with the “now I love my Mac too!” hype. Or maybe I’m just too much of a geek. I’ve been using my Macbook Pro for some time now and certain things I’ve been trying to ignore while still hyping and promoting it. Today I had one of those moments where enough is enough. It all started when a buddy referred me to a recent Javalobby post describing the shortcomings of Leopard. Honestly I saw the whole Java 6 nightmare months ago when I installed the preview version on my other Macbook and totally hosed it when I combined the QuickTime 7.1 update. So then I was like, “ok… I don’t need Java6. It’s still new and most of the good stuff is in Java5 anyway, right?” Plus since I’m doing embedded I haven’t felt the pain of missing out on Mustang goodness. So far so good, right? Well there have been other toe-stubbers that as of this morning have pushed me over the edge.
I wanted to do something really simple this morning. Something that we often take for granted. I wanted to open a PDF. I’ve been apologizing for Preview for too long and this morning I thought, “gee wouldn’t it be great to get that ol’ Acrobat integration I used to have on both Windows and Linux?” So I go to the Firefox “File Types” preferences page to tell it to use Acrobat for opening files. For some crazy reason I can’t add a file type for PDF. That’s no big deal because I really want to inline Acrobat in Firefox. So I go searching for the extension to make it happen. I end up here. That’s not as bad as what happens next. After downloading and attempting to install the PDF Browser plugin I get this wonderful message:
There is no default application specified to open the document “PDF Browser Plugin”
As usual I over analyze the intent of the message and completely misunderstand. (I actually just figured out what it means after typing the message into this post.) So then I go back to the site looking for install instructions, I even look at the readme to figure out what to do. I get completely lost and frustrated because all I wanted to do was open a doggone PDF and now it’s 10am and I’m in the middle of a long blog rant and I still can’t get PDFs to inline in my browser. Yes I know what I’m supposed to do with the plugin now but let me ask you… how many OS X newbies would be able to figure out what to do at this step? Why provide a DMG without an easy to use installer? I’d much rather have a tar.gz with the readme because the dmg implies that alls I haff tuh do is double click the plugin to get it to install. That said, I am fully aware that Apple is not responsible for the confusion I experienced with the “PDF Browser Plugin”. But why does it have to be so hard to read a PDF the way I used to?