Apple apps woes

Tim Bray thinks iCal sucks hugely. I feel the pain, except for me it's with Apple Mail which, for an unknown reason and on just one of my 3 macs, keeps reporting false unread counts and crashing, doubling some crashes with corrupting its preferences (in which case it completely forgets about my 9 email accounts). I noticed that when it does that, I'm presented with an alert that reads something like "Reopen"/"Report to Apple"/"Cancel", but it doesn't warn you that if you click Reopen, it'll simply wipe out your preferences. This sucks, indeed.

6 Comments

Nope, doesn't wipe them... just fails to read them (probably some race conditions)... If yo quit and restart again (or click 'cancel' when it asks to re-open and do it manually), chances are it will all be back and working nicely.

And yes, I do agree: this is sucky.

@dr Dave: I'm pretty positive, at least with Mail, that it does replace the preference file with a new empty one, forcing me to go through the setup assistant as if it was the first time Mail is launched. Utterly sucky!

Yes, it does that (presenting you with the assistant) when you restart using the Crash dialog button... But quitting immediately and restarting manually (in my case at least) brought back all the older preferences... I guess the key is to quit without starting the actual account creation process...

Sorry for the typical "Works for me here" comment...

No worry. I didn't realize you could get it back by quitting right away, I just assumed that it had done it's cleaning act for good already.

IIRC, when an app crashes, the "report and reopen" dialog will reopen it normally; but if the app crashes again it will repoen it while skipping the preferences file -- but not erasing it, unless you actually edit the prefs once it's relaunched (or maybe not even then, I'm not sure, I never use the reopen button anyway because I've usually restarted the app by myself before the dialog has had time to appear). The idea being that, if the app crashes twice in a row, there's got to be something wrong and hiding the prefs file might help.

Of course, it's a bit stupid that the differences between both modes wouldn't be displayed more prominently. But at least they're trying.

OK, that makes sense now (indeed, it only does that after the second reopen, but I can't remember any noticeable change in the UI that would warn me that it's going to start from a clean sheet :-(.

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