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/Library/InputManagers

I hadn't noticed this subtle shift in the way Leopard "wishes" people to handle Input Managers until I noticed Speed Download's "For Leopard 10.5 ONLY" folder. It contains a readme telling people to run a script that does in part:

sudo cp -pR "$BASE_PATH" /Library/InputManagers
sudo cp -pR "$BASE_PLUGIN_PATH" /Library/Internet\ Plug-Ins
sudo chown -R root:admin /Library/InputManagers
rm -rf ~/Library/InputManagers/SpeedDownload\ Enhancer
rm -rf ~/Library/Internet\ Plug-Ins/SpeedDownload\ Browser\ Plugin.plugin

My /Library/InputManagers/ folder currently contains four items:

  1. 1PasswdIM
  2. Ecamm
  3. Inquisitor
  4. SpeedDownload Enhancer

Three of them are registered products. Two add buttons and/or somewhat confusing functionality to Safari1, the system's default browser and the one all users on my computer are likely to use.

I don't want the other users on my system to have to deal with Speed Download launching or wondering what that "keyhole button" does, nor should they be nagged to purchase something they've never installed themselves.

So who's to blame here? Apple for failing to let people use ~/Library/InputManagers or the developers themselves for abusing something that's not intended for these purposes?

Footnotes

  1. Inquisitor adds functionality, but doesn't really change Safari's behavior much at all.

3 Responses to "/Library/InputManagers"

  1. [...] which will certainly help with the potential threat of malware spreading this way, but, as Erik points out, comes with the non-negligible downside that all installed InputManagers affect every user. They [...]

  2. Input managers are going away. Don't be surprised if they're not in 10.6 at all. They're already unsupported for 64-bit processes in 10.5 (and for anything running as root or group wheel).

    This "allow them if they're owned by root and installed systemwide" setup is a compromise. Some seeds of Leopard disabled input managers completely. But people complained too much, so they put them back in, but with enough restrictions that it's hard for a user to accidentally end up with them installed.

  3. Tim Buchheim said on November 1, 2007:

    Input managers are going away. Don't be surprised if they're not in 10.6 at all.

    I know - which makes their "promotion" to system-wide use and root ownership all the more confusing in 10.5.

    Tim Buchheim said on November 1, 2007:

    but with enough restrictions that it's hard for a user to accidentally end up with them installed.

    Ah, but now, users who never actually installed them are "forced" to use them.


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