Kirrkirr and Elan

We've always tried to make Kirrkirr so that it runs okay on even the oldest and cruftiest computers that have never seen a software update, and for that reason, we've shipped Kirrkirr for Mac OS X so that it uses the oldest version of Java available on the Mac platform, JDK 1.3. Kirrkirr will run on a Mac OS X 10.0 system!

But starting with version 2.5 of ELAN, the ELAN installer installs some Java input method libraries into your Mac OS X's Java system extensions, such that they load every time any Java application is run. Unfortunately, these extensions are only compatible with JDK 1.4+, and crash any Java application running under JDK 1.3.

Thus, if you've installed ELAN 2.5+, Kirrkirr will no longer launch ... and neither will any other "old" Java application that you might have on your Mac that uses JDK 1.3. This is unfortunate.


Here are the possible solutions. Going with solution 3 is easiest, providing it works for you.

  1. Remove from your Java extensions folder ~/Library/Java/Extensions these input method libraries. Remove all the files whose names begin with nl.mpi (this may well be everything in the directory). ELAN will still run fine except only that the ELAN input methods will not work any more. Input method libraries are used to provide ways of entering characters that are not on your keyboard easily. Deleting the libraries will affect you only if you use Elan's script entry methods.
  2. Edit the Kirrkirr application to run with a modern version of Java. This involves going under the hood, but is fairly straightforward. Open the Terminal application in Applications/Utilities. Give the command emacs -nw /Applications/Kirrkirr4.0.2/, assuming that you installed Kirrkirr 4.0.2 in the Applications folder. Scroll down until you see the lines:
    Change the second line to:
    Press CTRL-X CTRL-S CTRL-X CTRL-C. Kirrkirr should now run again, except only that the menus will no longer appear at the top of the screen as is usual for Mac applications, but in the Kirrkirr window. (This is because Apple changed the handling of menus between JDK1.3 and JDK1.5.)
  3. Providing that you are running Mac OS X 10.4 or later (and have installed system updates at least up until the Java 5 update released in Apr 2005), you can download an updated version of Kirrkirr that runs with JDK 1.5 and will happily coexist with ELAN:
    Download Kirrkirr 4.0.3 for Mac OS X 10.4 (JDK 1.5)

14 July 2007