BBEdit 8: Bare Bones Software still pontificating about application enhancers

Posted by Pierre Igot in: Macintosh
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.

5 Responses to “BBEdit 8: Bare Bones Software still pontificating about application enhancers”

  1. Olivier Scherler says:

    Where is it written that software developers should be tolerant about third party hacks they have no control over? If these hacks are capable of crashing an application that has nothing to do with their function, they must be doing Bad Things? indeed. I don’t especially want Bare Bones to start hacking their perfectly written applications to accomodate for such things.

  2. Pierre Igot says:

    Just strikes me as odd that Bare Bones Software would be the only developer (as far as I know) that complains so vocally about people’s use of system enhancers. Why should BBEdit be particularly sensitive to the presence of application enhancers? Can’t it just coexist with them like most other Mac OS X applications do?

  3. Pierre Igot says:

    No, I have no idea whether the crash was related to the enhancers. The point is that it’s what the alert said. If the alert is misleading and is a “blanket” statement that is displayed by default regardless of the origin of the crash, then Bare Bones is being just as bad as Microsoft with their misleading error alerts. If I was getting a crash every time I launch BBEdit, then I would understand the recommendation to switch enhancers off and see what happens. But this was just a one-off occurrence. The error message shouldn’t start blaming enhancers right away.

  4. Olivier says:

    I don’t know if it’s that sensitive to enhancers. Are you sure your crash was related to one? I remember always seeing the lecturing altert when BBEdit or Mailsmith crash (that does not happen so often but sometimes I force quit them), even though I’m not running any application enhancer.

    I always took the part about enhancers in the alert as a pointer for further investigation, not as a lecture. I rarely read this kind of alert very carefully, though.

  5. secret says:

    I am having the same ssue with BBEdit 8. The only APE haxie I have installed is clear dock.

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