RAB Friday V: Cosmetic Cursor Changing Bug

Saturday, 2005-09-17; 03:27:00

Yes, it's quite minor.

Well, it's the end of the week again, and you know what that means... time to file a bug with Apple again! And just in case you were wondering, early Saturday morning DOES count as Friday.

I mentioned last week in my insanely long rant that I decide to forego (I forgade? lol) my cosmetic bug in favor of a bug that made sense with the rant. Well, this week's bug will be that very cosmetic bug that I didn't post about. It's quite an obscure bug -- obscure in the sense that you may not notice it and that it's very minor, but not in the sense that it's hard to reproduce. In fact, it's quite easy to reproduce.

Here's the thing: whenever the cursor changes from one state to another, there's this weird intermediate frame where the cursor is all squished to one side or the cursor is enlarged and interlaced. It's very brief, but it's definitely noticeable with the naked eye. Here's a video of what I'm talking about (QT6 required, 4.3 MB). Because of the video compression, there are some composite frames that make the cursor changes seem more like fading. However, you can clearly see in some frames what I'm talking about, both when the cursor changes from a normal cursor to a plus cursor, and when it changes from a plus cursor back to a normal one. Also note that this happens EVERY time the cursor changes, not half the time as the video indicates -- it's just that my iSight wasn't fast enough to capture the effect every time.

I think this bug only occurs in Mac OS X Panther and Tiger, because that's when I recall it starting to happen. I'll bet it's related to drunkenbatman's pet OpenGL bug too, because the strange intermediate frame when going from a plus cursor to a normal cursor looks quite like the weird colored lines displayed in the screenshots that drunkenbatman posted.

(In case you were wondering how I captured that movie, it's with an iSight and the magic of QuickTime Broadcaster. QTB is sweet if you have an iSight or some webcam -- it allows you to save your "broadcasted videos" to the disk, you can choose all your compression options in the details pane before you even start recording, and it even automatically flips the video that the iSight transmits! That last part is especially cool because when recording the raw video from the iSight when it's pointed at my screen, it would be backwards. The fact that it does the auto-flipping means that I still can get by without QT Pro.)

Bug filed, under #4262172.

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