2Q FY07 Apple Bug Friday Madness

Tuesday, 2007-03-27; 02:39:00

You thought it was dead! But no! Apple Bug Friday is back! (Apologies to Peter Hosey for the shameless filching.)

... and with a vengeance, no less. Last time I did an ABF was way back on October 21. That means I missed a full 22 weeks of ABFs. And yes, I will be catching up on them all at once. So buckle up!

(This entry was brought to you by The Committee Honoring Mac OS X's Sixth Birthday, and The Committee For Celebrating The Redesign of the Apple Bug Reporter. And the letters 'Y' and 'A' as well as the numbers '1', '2', and '5'.)

LXVIII: On Desktop Macs, the F14 and F15 keys on stock Apple keyboards adjust the brightness of your monitor. These keys cannot be disabled or remapped. (Filed: 5086913.)

LXIX: In Safari, when you're sorting RSS articles by date, and then you decide to sort them by new-ness, Safari marks all the new articles as read, making your new sorting completely useless. (Filed: 5086919.)

LXX: Apple advertises that you can begin watching a movie from the iTunes Store while it's downloading. I don't know if that's the case, but I do know that you can't do this for TV shows. Annoying. (Filed: 5086929. Marked as duplicate of 4786479.)

LXXI: When watching videos through an iTunes shared library, you cannot start watching at any arbitrary point in the video like you can when streaming through QuickTime Player. Annoying. (Filed: 5086939.)

LXXII: The AppleSpell process which allows Mac OS X to check your spelling on-the-fly as you type has been spontaneously hogging 100% of the CPU, and refuses to respond to applications that query the process which in turn causes THEM to lock up. I have experienced hangs in both Safari and Mail because of this. I can't figure out what causes the problem, but I did send Apple a 10-second sample of the AppleSpell process in this state. Force quitting the AppleSpell process immediately un-hangs the applications that are waiting for it. (Filed: 5086947.)

LXXIII: In Remote Desktop, if you're observing a single computer at a reduced size, and you lose your connection to the computer and then regain it, your observe window is reset to full size. Annoying. (Filed: 5086978.)

LXXIV: When you first start up Remote Desktop and switch to a list of computers, they will all appear as offline regardless of their actual state. You have to switch to a scanner to scan the network first, and then switch back to your custom list in order to see the actual state of the computers you are monitoring. Annoying. (Filed: 5086993.)

LXXV: The appearance of spinning NSProgressIndicators differ between regular and small sizes. And this isn't just the actual size of the spinner. When regular spinners are placed on a black background and the windows aren't frontmost, the spinners display as white on the black background. When small spinners are placed in a similar situation, they still display as black on a black background. If you download TuneTagger, you'll note that the large spinners in the approval panel and over the info button in the opener panel are all white. These are unmodified regular-sized spinning NSProgressIndicators. The same effect cannot be achieved for small sized spinners -- you have to programatically change the size of a regular sized spinner to be the same size as a small spinner to achieve the same effect. To easily see this problem, download my sample project, build and run the app, and then put the window in the background. (Filed: 5087002.)

LXXVI: When an info window is open in iTunes, iTunes refuses to return any AppleScript calls. I had to make a workaround for this in TuneTagger, otherwise TuneTagger would hang when an info window is open in iTunes. Annoying. (Filed: 5087016. Marked as duplicate of 3180284.)

LXXVII: The button to confirm deauthorization of an iTunes account in the deauthorization dialog of iTunes is incorrectly named. It is named "OK", but it should be named "Deauthorize". The authorization dialog correctly has buttons that are named "Cancel" and "Authorize". (Filed: 5087019.)

LXXVIII: When typing in the "defaults" command that allows you to tell a Mac to look for a custom Software Update server, you must have a slash at the end of the catalog URL, otherwise Software Update will fail. See tip #3 here. (Filed: 5090637.)

LXXIX: AppleScript persistent IDs for user playlists in iTunes are not unique. For example, the following script (written by Peter Hosey) returns multiple user playlists, when I would expect that it should return only one.

tell application "iTunes"
        set thePlaylist to container of current track
        set theSource to container of thePlaylist
        set thePlaylistID to persistent ID of thePlaylist
        set theSourceID to persistent ID of theSource
        set theFoundSource to first source whose persistent ID is theSourceID
        set foundPlaylists to playlists of theFoundSource whose persistent ID is thePlaylistID
end tell

Amusing side-note: the search term that I put into Mac OS X Mail to find the e-mail that contained this script was "persistent hosey". That's pretty apt; he is a persistent little bugger. :)

(Filed: 5090647.)

XXC: To get the user playlist of a certain track through AppleScript in iTunes, or a source of a certain user playlist, you must use the "container of" syntax as in "container of current track". You cannot use "user playlist of current track" or even "user playlist whose contents contain current track". Annoying. (Filed: 5090655.)

XXCI: When using AppleScript in iTunes, you cannot get the file track id, user playlist id, or source id through AppleScript. You'll clearly see these id numbers in the results field when requesting the current track, for example, but there's no way to actually get at these numbers. Coercing the result to a string doesn't work. Requesting the id doesn't work. This is (can you guess?) annoying because it would be great to be able to refer to user playlists or sources by their id, but if there's no way to retrieve the id, this method is useless. (Filed: 5090694.)

XXCII: There is no way to get all playlists that contain a certain song through AppleScript in iTunes. The reason is that the same song has a different file track for each playlist in which it exists. If you add a song to your library, put it in two separate playlists, and then execute the AppleScript command "selection" while the song is selected in each playlist, you'll get two file tracks with two different ids. Thus, the previous bugs notwithstanding, there still is no way to get the other playlists for a given file track, because that file track refers to the song in a specific playlist. (Filed: 5090710.)

XXCIII: When you have auto-arrange on for the Desktop and you insert some blank optical media into your Mac, the blank disc is sorted as if it were a regular file/folder, not as a device. That is, the blank CD/DVD is not going to be sorted in the upper-right corner of the screen as other connected hard drives, optical media, and connected servers are. If you have a lot of stuff on your Desktop, it's likely going to be sorted in the bottom-left corner of the screen since the default name of "Untitled [something]" starts with a 'u'. (Filed: 5090728.)

XXCIV: This one is pretty amusing: bring up a window that has hundreds or thousands of items in it. (Your user's preference folder is a good candidate, or your recorded iChats folder might even be a better bet -- this contains over 3000 items for me.) Switch the Finder window to column view. Scroll down to the bottom of the list, and select the last item. Then scroll back to the top of the list, leaving the last item selected. Now choose "Get Info" from the File menu.

The info window will take a really long time to appear, because the animation of the info window opening starts from where the selected item is, which is far offscreen. So it can take 15 seconds for the info window to appear. Looks like someone was going a bit overboard with the window-opening animations. :) (Filed: 5090745.)

XXCV: When browsing TV shows on a 5G, 5.25G, or 5.5G iPod, there's no "All" option for TV shows that span multiple seasons. This means that if you don't know the season in which an episode falls, you have to go through multiple lists to find it. In Front Row, there is an "All" section that allows you to see all episodes of a certain TV show in one long list. (Filed: 5090752.)

XXCVI: When using Front Row to find videos, there is no "Video Playlists" subsection of the Video module like there is on the iPod. This means that if you have a few favorite videos in a certain playlist, you still have to go through the "Movies" subsection or through the list of TV shows to find those videos in Front Row. (Filed: 5090758.)

XXCVII: Dialogs that say a disk can't be ejected because it's in use, or that a file can't be deleted because it's in use, they don't say which application is using the file or disk. This is infuriating, 'cause sometimes you just have to randomly guess which application is using your file/disk, and you end up quitting all your apps before you find the culprit. Ugh. These dialogs should include the app that is using the file/disk. (Filed: 5090761.)

XXCVIII: When saving completely new documents from Preview, the save panel always defaults to the user's Documents folder. How do you create a completely new document in Preview? Simple. Command-Control-Shift-4 to take a selective screenshot and save it to the clipboard. Then select "New From Clipboard" from Preview's File menu. (I do this all the time.) If you save this new document, the save panel will always default to the Documents folder. Other apps like TextEdit, Keynote, and Pages default to the last saved location. (Filed: 5090794.)

XXCIX: When saving completely new documents, Preview defaults to the "PNG" format rather than the last saved format. This doesn't apply to existing documents, because Preview should default to the format of the existing document, which it does. (Filed: 5090803.)

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