Adobe Acrobat Stupidity

I’m filling out a fellowship application that requires the use of Adobe Acrobat, and the free reader won’t cut it. I had been using a computer in Dr.Rudy’s lab, running Win XP, that had Adobe Acrobat Pro installed. Unfortunately, I’m not done filling it out yet, and I am leaving for NOLA tomorrow bright and early.

Therefore, I had to go buy Adobe Acrobat for Mac. I opted not to get the professional version. It cost $100 at the educational pricing level. It’s bad enough that I should have to fork out cash for this when a simple web form would have been just fine, but it gets worse.

It wouldn’t run. Nothing. Not run and quit. Double-click-then-nothing. I was pretty sure that I knew what the problem was right away: they assumed that my filesystem wasn’t case sensitive, and were accordingly careless in writing the program. When installing OS X v. 10.4 (Tiger), it’s possible to choose a case-sensitive HFS+ filesystem, rather than the standard non-case-sensitive HFS+. I chose case-sensitive, because I normally work with case-sensitive filesystems in Linux, and there have been times in the past where I had collisions — files that were named the same thing except where case differed, and transferring those files to Mac OS X had been a mess.

Luckily, I was able to figure out what the problem was. I ran the program from the command line, and discovered from the error message that the program was looking for AdobeBIBUtils.framework. The file that existed was AdobeBibUtils.framework. The difference is just the case in IB vs ib. I renamed the directory. The program then launched, but crashed moments later looking for AdobeBibUtils.framework. They had used two differently-cased names in the same program.

I just symlinked one name to the other, and now the program runs without a problem. Adobe has something about this problem on their support site. Their solution? Install it on a non-case-sensitive HFS+ filesystem. For many people this means reformatting their hard drive and reinstalling everything. That’s a great solution to Adobe’s shitty coding. There may be a few more of these spelling land-mines in the software. I guess I’ll have to find and fix them as I go along. How absurd.

Guess what, Adobe? It took 30 seconds to fix the problem. I suggest you take care of it on your end. I can’t believe I paid money for this.

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2 thoughts on “Adobe Acrobat Stupidity

  1. Kodjo

    All of Adobe’s code is shitty, at least as run on a mac. I use HFS+ files and it still is crap. I paid for the professional version, but it regularly crashed and caused all sorts of problems. In the end I deleted it and all traces of Acrobat. One of the best things I ever did for my Mac.

  2. stain

    I just installed Adobe Acrobat Professional, and since I also have a case-sensitive file system, I did the symlink trick with AdobeBibUtils.framework. However, now Adobe just crashes after showing the “Do you want web updates?”-dialogue. To avoid this, I also had to go to Preferences->Updates and turn off everything.

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