Trouble in the AIR

After extensive searching, I can’t believe I’m the only person who is having trouble getting Adobe AIR apps to recognize my default browser.

My default browser (Mac OS X 10.4.11 Tiger) is an Intel-optimized build of Firefox, aka “BonEcho” that a guy named Neil Lee is nice enough to whip up for us Mac folks.

Why not regular Firefox 2? BonEcho has some configuration tweaks which make it run a tad smoother on Macs. It also contains pretty form widgets. If you’ve ever seen the ugly form buttons on a Mac running Firefox 2, you know what I’m talking about.

But wait, you say, Firefox 3 beta 4 is optimized to run smoothly on Macs and has pretty form widgets! I know, I know. I tried it for a while. Not stable enough for me yet. Too many crashes and it was especially buggy with the Remember the Milk plug-in that I now heavily rely on. Not to mention how much I hate the heavy default Mac theme. Why do Mac windows have to be so dark and dreary?

So back to AIR… My favorite Twitter client is Twhirl, written on Adobe AIR. I’ve tried many other clients, including Twitterific, and this one just feels right to me.

BonEcho is set as my default browser system-wide, and every application that has a click-through link doesn’t have a problem with this and opens the link as expected. Except for AIR ones.

Every time I click a link in Twhirl, I get this:

“Close Firefox: A copy of Firefox is already open. Only one copy of Firefox can be open at a time.”

If I close Firefox (BonEcho) and click a link, same problem.

The problem happens with other AIR applications I use (such as the outstanding Google Analytics app), too. So it’s not an issue with the individual app. I have an email in to Adobe, but I’m curious if anyone had any ideas to make this work.

I know it may be related to an invisible .parentlock file. However, as soon as I delete that file and try and click another link it comes right back. The problem is AIR.

If Word, Excel, Zinio, Text Wrangler, etc. can recognize that a hyperlink should open in BonEcho without complaining about it, so should AIR.