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Mac OS X Bugs

Posted Friday April 6, 2001

While exploring Mac OS X for two weeks. I ran into a number of bugs which is surprising considering how clean Apple's OS releases usually are. Clearly, this is one of the biggest software undertakings Apple has ever done, and they must have had to let some things slide in order to meet their deadline. I did not crash the operating system or even an application which says something for the stability of the OS, though I did not give each application a thorough testing.

Apple has a web page for us to provide feedback on Mac OS X. I have reported all of these problems, so hopefully we'll see them fixed in the near future.

Somehow, the privileges for the Applications folder have changed so that I can't write to that directory. When I choose Show Info from the File menu, I see that members of group "wheel" can read only. The privileges for the Utilities folder (inside the Applications folder) are set so that members of group "admin" can read & write, and I can write to that folder just fine. I have not changed privileges for anything, so I'm not sure how this could happen.

For instance, for no apparent reason, my Application folder permissions changed from:

Owner "system" can Read & Write and Members of group "admin" can Read & Write
Owner "system" can Read & Write and Members of group "wheel" can Read only

and I could not modify these settings until I enabled the root user, gave it a password, logged in as root and set it to Members of group "wheel" can Read & Write. Definitely not an easy task for a non-technical person...

Clicking on the name of an item in the Finder, while in Icon or Column view, selects the item but does not allow the name to be edited. You must click on the name again after an item is already selected in order to edit the name. This is different from behavior of the Finder in previous versions of the OS, and annoying, because if you click the name too quickly after selecting the item, the item will be opened, and it requires two clicks where only one was required before. Clicking on the name of an item in a List view works as it does in previous versions of the OS.

Holding down the Option key before selecting Empty Trash from the Finder menu correctly by-passes the empty trash warning dialog, but incorrectly displays the ellipse in the menu item (it should be "Empty Trash" but is "Empty Trash..." instead).

Resizing Finder windows in List view or large windows in any application is choppy and slow. There are pauses of 1 to 2 seconds before the window catches up to the mouse position. Likewise resizing a column in List view is equally slow. Dragging across files to select them with the selection rectangle is also slow.

Dragging a small number of files in the Finder works well, but dragging a large number of files (874 in my case) is intolerably slow. For a couple of seconds it looked as if nothing was happening, then the multi-colored CD cursor spun for 1 minute and 32 seconds before the Finder displayed the translucent files. At each mouse movement, the multi-colored CD cursor spun for long periods of time. Letting up on the mouse button did not immediately stop the drag process, and left the translucent files floating with the multi-colored CD cursor spinning. Switching to other applications caused the translucent files to be displayed above other applications' windows until the drag process was finally halted by the Finder.

In the Finder, placing the cursor in the middle of a file name in edit mode and dragging the cursor straight up selects all text to the beginning of the name. Dragging the cursor down does not select the text to the end of the name. This behavior is different from Mac OS 9 Finder and other Mac OS X applications (TextEdit, etc.)

When viewing a window as List in the Finder, typing the beginning of a filename selects the file, but does not scroll to the file if it is below the view. The file will scroll into view if it is above the view. When viewing the window as icons or columns, the file is correctly selected and scrolled into view in all cases.

The information (if any) displayed for any application in the Version field of the get info dialog seems inconsistent between applications. For instance, Clock displays "1.0", Image Capture displays only copyright information, and OmniPDF displays both version and copyright info, and Calculator does not even have the field.

The size of folders as displayed by the Finder in the Get/Show Info window is inconsistent between Mac OS 9.1 and Mac OS X. For instance, Show Info for my Applications folder in Mac OS X shows a size of 187.6 MB on disk (165,748,815 bytes). Using Get Info in Mac OS 9 for the same folder produces a size of 187.3 MB on disk (165,468,515 bytes). Another folder showed a size of 48.6 MB (49,237,520 bytes) in Mac OS 9, but 48.6 MB (49,249,816 bytes) in Mac OS X.

Single files displays the same size in both operating systems.

Additionally, Mac OS 9 shows 14,838 files in my Applications folder in the Get Info window. Mac OS X does not display the number of files in the Show Info window, but when I copied the folder in Mac OS X, the copy progress window displayed only 6,261 files.

When I inserted a Kodak PhotoCD, the following error message was displayed: "You have inserted a disk containing volumes that Mac OS X can't read. To use the unreadable volumes, click Initialize, To use the rest of the disk, click Continue." with the buttons Continue, Initialize, and Eject. Eject works correctly, I don't know what Initialize would do to a CD, but Continue seems to do nothing. The CD does not mount, and I could not find a way to eject the CD. I had to boot into 9.1 (which mounted the PhotoCD just fine) to eject the CD.

Clicking on the size box of a window (which is not the front-most) in the Finder does not bring the window to the front. This is not the case in other applications. Clicking on any other part of the window correctly brings it to the front.

Sherlock seems to re-index every indexable item in its list each time Sherlock is launched even if the items have not changed since the last time they were indexed. Volumes indexed while running Mac OS 9.1 are listed as "Not Indexed", and the volume with Mac OS X installed on it cannot be indexed.

Moving or renaming an item that exists in Recent Items in the Apple Menu causes that item to be removed from Recent Items. Returning the item to its previous state causes it to return.

Drives do not display custom icons. You can paste a custom icon onto a drive (it will display correctly after booting into Mac OS 9), but the icon will not display in X.

If an application is dragged to the Dock and then replaced with a newer version in the same directory with the same name, the Dock will have two icons when the application is launched.

Dragging an URL from OmniWeb to the desktop works, but double clicking on the URL file in the Finder Produces "The operation could not be completed. An unexpected error occurred (error code -10814)."

When closing an unsaved document in TextEdit, a sheet slides out alerting you to save changes with the buttons "Don't Save", "Cancel", and "Save". Pressing the Escape key or Command-Period correctly activates the "Cancel" button, Enter or Return correctly activate the "Save" button, but Command-D incorrectly initiates "Find Previous" from the Find menu in the Edit menu and does not activate the "Don't Save" button as it should.

Additionally, while the front-most document has the Close sheet active, the following menu items are enabled when they should be disabled: "Find Next", "Find Previous", "Use Selection for Find", "Jump to Selection", "Bold", and "Italic".

Double-clicking aliases of files created with TextEdit often produces a dialog saying 'There is no application available to open the document "X Questions.rtf"', after clicking the 'Choose Application...' button, and selecting TextEdit, after choosing 'All Applications' from the Show popup menu, TextEdit launches (or becomes the front-most application) and creates a new untitled window.

Reproduction Steps:
1) Create a file in TextEdit and save the file to disk
2) Make an alias of the file in the Finder
3) Move the alias to a different directory
4) Close the window containing the original file (not the alias)
5) Make a change to the file in TextEdit, save it, and close it
6) Double-click the alias to the file in the Finder

Note: If you then select the alias in the Finder and choose 'Show Original' from the file Menu, the window with the original file will display. If you watch closely as the window opens, you will notice the TextEdit file will change its position or disappear and reappear. Once this is done, you can then successfully open the file in TextEdit again by double-clicking the alias in the Finder. I have not seen this behavior with files from other applications.


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