MMOUI Minion Is Broke and Abandoned. Here’s what to do about it.
Here’s the problem
Not one to mince words here. If you are using MMOUI Minion, WoW Interface’s “auto-updater” tool, you need to know that it’s either broken or going to break soon for you.
MMOUI Minion is based off of the Java virtual platform (Often referred to as the JRE, or Java Runtime Environment). This is a programming language that has gained so much mass that it has curled in the universe around it, giving itself its own “platform” status, similar to “PC” or “Mac” or “Amiga”. This is marketed as a virtue – “write once, deploy anywhere” – and for that reason it is very popular among non-system programmers – web programmers, smart phone programmers, etc.
Java is owned by Oracle, and is very aggressively promoted and supported. There are regular updates, and therein lies the problem. Recently, Java 7 was released and many people, when asked, said “Yes” to the question, “Would you like to update for free?” ((And hopefully “No” to the question, “Would you like a useless crufty piece of crep toolbar installed in your browser?” Well, they stated it more kindly, which is to say, they lied.))
Now, normally this sort of thing has two aspects.
- There is the HOORAY aspect in which everyone benefits from new features, either immediately or somewhere down the road. Not necessarily YOU, mind you, but maybe a programmer, corporation, or ad man somewhere is cheering the release of Java 7 right now.
- There is also an OMG SADFACE aspect, in which some things cease to work. This is not unexpected. Interfaces change, and programs may need to be recompiled or rewritten to accommodate that. In that case, you go to the website of the offending program, look at the forums, and find out when they plan on updating the program so that it works again.
I think you see where this is going.
MMOUI Minion was written in such a way that it broke when Java 7 was installed. Well, that’s the breaks, but surely there’s a fix ready to go. After all, any pro Java coder will probably be working on that well ahead of the Java 7 release, using beta releases of the platform, much as addon authors do with the PTR so that their addons are ready when the patch day comes.
I searched in vain, and finally found some comments on the WoW Interface fora that alluded to the Minion app being abandoned. There was no announcement. There was no posted workaround. The download page is still there. For the love of the Titans, there wasn’t even a bug report! Well, maybe there was, but I can’t see it. All bug reporting has been redirected to an external website – behind an authentication wall, so you can’t even RESEARCH whether a fix is forthcoming.
This kind of behavior just gets on my nerves. I mean, at least post an announcement and a workaround, or an announcement that it’s abandoned at the very least. Or take down the download page, at the very very least! To do otherwise is very disrespectful to the users.
Here’s a solution
So the problem is that when you installed Java 7, the MMOUI Minion file itself was not upgraded. It will still work fine if Java 6 is used. So we need two things. We need (1) Java 6, and we need (2) to make MMOUI Minion use it. Neither is exactly straightforward, but neither is impossible, either.
Getting the software ((This is for Windows. Mac Heads, you’re on your own. But you’re our wisest computer users, so I have faith in you.))
- Go http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/java/javase/downloads/jre6downloads-1902815.html.
- Select the Accept License Agreement button (the “red” circle).
- Select the Windows download of your choice (the “pink” circle). There are three variants – x86 offline and online ((I recommend the offline version because there’s no telling when the online version will get hidden behind an authentication wall.)), and Windows 64. If you’re not sure if you need the Win64 version, select the x86 version.
- Click on the appropriate link and download it.
- Once you’ve downloaded it, run the installer. You want to make sure that it goes into its own directory – for example, on my PC it’s C:Program FilesJavajre6, leaving Java 7 in C:Program FilesJavajre7. ((This is largely arbitrary and dependent on how you personally set up your system. I assuming that if you put your Java Runtime Environment somewhere other than the default, you already know enough to sort this out.))
Setting it up
Okay, you got Minion and you got Java 6. Here’s where we put it all together.
- Locate your MMOUI Minion icon.
- Right click on it to bring up its properties dialog.
- Select SHORTCUT.
- Under “Target” you should see: “C:Program FilesMMOUI Minionminion.jar” ((Or something very similar. Once again, if you chose other than the default, I trust you know how to translate my instructions.))
- Change this to: “C:Program FilesJavajre6binjava.exe” -jar “C:Program FilesMMOUI Minionminion.jar” This will force Java 6 to be used to run the program.
- Select the APPLY button and close the dialog.
Double-click the icon to test out your work. If all is well, you’ll see a console window pop open, then the Minion program. Unfortunately, you may have to re-configure it if you recently re-installed in a desperate attempt to make it work. Sorry, can’t help you there.
If you’re annoyed by the console window, however, I CAN help.
- Reopen the properties dialog for the icon (right-click).
- Next to the RUN label, select MINIMIZED. (It was previously set at NORMAL WINDOW).
- Hit APPLY again and close the dialog.
And that’s it! I hope this has helped you.