August 31st, 2004 • 4:49 am
I purchased my BBEdit 8 upgrade earlier this morning and installed it right away. I haven’t had time to explore the new features yet. But I have already experienced my first application crash, which was quickly followed by the appearance of an alert telling me that I had not entered a serial number and that BBEdit was now quitting because of that. (I did enter my serial number right away.)
I dismissed that dialog and relaunched BBEdit 8. Then I got an alert telling me that the application was force-quit or had crashed, and lecturing me about the fact that I was using application enhancers, which modify the code of Mac OS X applications and can cause instability, blah blah blah.
I remember seeing that alert at some point with BBEdit 7, and it looks like Bare Bones Software is still being particularly intolerant about such software utilities, in spite of their usefulness and popularity.
The application enhancers that I have are Rogue Amoeba‘s Audio Hijack Pro and Detour, which are highly useful and respectively let me capture sound files that I would not otherwise be able to record (even though I am legally entitled to do so) and control the volume level and sound output device for each individual Mac OS X application that I run.
Now, granted, these application enhancers are not really important for BBEdit — although I’d like to be able to control the volume level and sound output device for alert sounds coming from the text processor. So for now I have added BBEdit 8 to my list of “Exclude” applications in the “APE Manager” preference pane.
Still, should I really have to do this? For a text editor? No other Mac software company is being so preachy about what software enhancements their users should or should not be using. And, as far as I can tell, using these application enhancers has not had any significant impact on the relative stability of my Mac OS X applications. The usual suspects (these days: Mail and Excel 2004) are still crashing from time to time, and the other ones are still not crashing.
A greater source of concern for me is the fact that one of my favourite and most indispensable utilities, Default Folder X, is also based on the use of Unsanity’s Application Enhancer architecture, at least according to the utility’s own “About…” box. However, it doesn’t appear to be using the same architecture as Audio Hijack Pro and Detour, since Default Folder X is not listed in the “APE Manager” preference pane. And the fact that I have added BBEdit to my “Exclude” applications in the “APE Manager” preference pane has not disabled Default Folder X in BBEdit, which would be a major drawback.
Still, I am wondering if this will be enough to prevent BBEdit from crashing and Bare Bones Software from trying to educate me about pure and impure uses of Mac OS X. I guess we’ll see.