Archive for the ‘Default Folder X’ Category

High Sierra corrupting application preferences?

Monday, December 11th, 2017

Prior to El Capitan, I used to sporadically see a few ‘random’ but consistently-repeating tech support issues. The most common were settings not “sticking”, file dialog windows not remembering their sizes, and St. Clair Software applications forgetting that a user had purchased a license. You might say “how are these in any way related?” Well, they all involve data stored using NSUserDefaults or CFPreferences, the built-in preference storage for macOS applications. It appeared that preference files would occasionally get corrupted – most commonly when an application auto-updated or when the user installed a macOS system update. The result was software not being able to retrieve previously-saved information. The incidents would often happen in waves – just after Apple released an OS update, or just after I released an update for one of my products (most noticeably Default Folder X, since it has the largest user base).

After Apple released El Capitan, most of this went away. I knew they’d been working on the application preference system for El Capitan because, in a few of the early developer betas, it was partially broken or changed in interesting ways. But by the release of 10.11.0, everything was working better than it ever had. Hooray for progress! Right?

And then came High Sierra. After two fairly quiet years, the preference-file-related problems started popping up again with increasing frequency. The most recent Default Folder X release seems to have resulted in a bunch of paid users being suddenly told they were running a trial version (the common thread is that they’re all running High Sierra). If you’ve been affected by this, I’m sorry! Unfortunately, nothing in Default Folder X’s license handling code has changed, it just suddenly can’t read your license information from its preference file, forcing you to re-enter it. I’ll be changing how Default Folder X saves its license info in future versions so this doesn’t keep happening because, yes, it’s really annoying.

With the apology done, I’m wondering – if you’re a developer, have you noticed similar issues with High Sierra? I never dismiss the possibility that I’m just doing something stupid, but with NSUserDefaults, there’s really not a whole lot to do wrong (feel free to correct me, of course). This has only happened to a very small percentage of my users, but there is a 100% correlation between the problems and High Sierra.

Default Folder X 5.1.9 helps reopen recently closed Finder windows, adds color and fixes bugs

Monday, November 27th, 2017

Version 5.1.9 of Default Folder X is now out, offering a new “Recently Closed” submenu in the Finder Windows menu. It tracks all Finder windows that you’ve recently closed (imagine that!) so you can easily reopen one later if you need to go back to a folder.

This release also adds a Terminal-accessible setting to switch Default Folder X’s toolbar icons from black-and-white to color, a tweak that some people find makes it easier to hit a particular menu quickly. To turn color menus on, open Terminal and paste in this command, then hit Return:

defaults write com.stclairsoft.DefaultFolderX5 colorToolbar 1

To go back to the monochrome look, just change that one at the end to a zero.

Default Folder X 5.1.9 will also make sure that filename extensions are hidden when you save files and have the “Hide extension” checkbox turned on in the Save As dialog. “Doesn’t the system already do that?” you say? After all, isn’t that the whole point of that checkbox? Unfortunately, not all applications actually follow through – the most commonly-used culprit being Google Chrome.

In addition to these changes, there are a few bug fixes, one of which is pretty significant and should remedy spurious crashes that some people have been seeing.

Check out the full release notes and grab your copy of the update on the Default Folder X Release Page.

Default Folder X 5.1.8 brings bug fixes and works around a High Sierra bug

Friday, October 27th, 2017

Default Folder X 5.1.8 is available. For High Sierra users, it works around a macOS bug where file dialogs in apps built with Apple’s Carbon APIs don’t supply all the information that Default Folder X needs. This results in Default Folder X not being able to “see” the selected item in Open or Save dialogs in Firefox, Adobe CS6 (and earlier), MS Office 2011, and many older applications. This bug was supposed to be fixed in the High Sierra 10.13.1 update, but it doesn’t look like that’s going to happen, so I’ve come up with a workaround so Default Folder X works correctly anyway.

Version 5.1.8 also fixes several bugs in Default Folder X itself, as well as providing better feedback when you add an item to Default Folder X’s exception list in its preferences.

For download links and a full list of changes, see the Default Folder X Release Page.

Default Folder X is officially High Sierra-compatible

Friday, September 22nd, 2017

Beta testing is complete and Default Folder X 5.1.6 is now available! While the beta builds were all very stable, it’s been a bit of pushing and pulling behind the scenes to get everything working smoothly. There’s still one bug in High Sierra 10.13.0 that slows Default Folder X down a bit in some applications (like older versions of Pro Tools), but I’ve spoken to the Powers That Be at Apple and they should have it fixed in the 10.13.1 update.

There are also a slew of miscellaneous bug fixes as a result of all the testing (and good bug reporting – thanks to everyone that reported issues!). For a complete list, head over to the Default Folder X release page. You’ll also find download links for English, Japanese, French, German and Danish installers.

I guess I’ve been at this a while… :-)

Saturday, September 9th, 2017

Michael Tsai and Jason Snell brought it to my attention that Default Folder is almost 30 years old. I guess that makes me a stubborn old man at this point…

https://sixcolors.com/post/2017/09/built-to-last/

Default Folder X 5.1.6b3: more High Sierra fixes and holes in the Desktop

Friday, August 18th, 2017

A new public beta version of Default Folder X is up on the Beta Testing Page. It’s got fixes for a couple of quirks in the latest High Sierra betas, and also tweaks the UI a bit to deal with the slightly different alignment of things in 10.13.

I’ve also implemented a suggestion that may help to clarify one behavior of the Finder-click feature. DFX offers the option to make Finder-click take you to the Desktop if you click anywhere besides on a Finder window. When this option is turned on, it highlights the entire screen in gray when you move the mouse over any area that doesn’t contain a Finder window – that sort-of reflects that you’re hovering over the Desktop, but often confuses people (the “why is my entire screen gray?” question).

So now the highlighted area will show the non-Finder-window area of the screen in gray – ie. the entire screen minus “holes” where any Finder windows are located. It makes sense, but still looks a little odd to me, so I’m wondering what our non-developer users will think. Does it help? Or is it just weird and ugly? Let me know (I’m sure you will 🙂 )

Default Folder X support for macOS 10.13 High Sierra + relative Favorites

Wednesday, June 7th, 2017

I’ve just posted a beta version of Default Folder X 5.1.6 that supports the developer release of High Sierra, which Apple made available on Monday. A few under-the-hood changes to file dialogs had an impact on Default Folder X, and we’re still testing to make sure that there aren’t any hidden gremlins. If you run into any issues with the beta, please make sure to tweet, email, or comment here to ensure your bug gets fixed!

Also in the 5.1.6 beta is a handy little enhancement for people that use a consistent folder hierarchy to store files for their clients or projects. You can now use a relative path as a Favorite in Default Folder X. So if you’ve got lots of folders that look like this:

You can set a Favorite for “../images”, for example. Then, if you’re in a Save dialog pointing to any “html” folder, that Favorite will take you to the adjacent “images” folder. Pretty cool for all you super-organized folks 🙂

Default Folder X 5.1.5 makes minimized Save dialogs less confusing and fixes some significant bugs

Thursday, May 11th, 2017

TLDR; Get Default Folder X 5.1.5 here. Default Folder X now shows its bezel around minimized Save dialogs and fixes crashes and compatibility problems, especially with old Carbon apps like Office 2011 and Adobe Creative Suite 6. It also addresses issues with particular shortcut key combinations and works better with Spaces.

For Those That Want Details: ‘Minimized’ Save As dialogs have been a problem for Default Folder X for some time. Because of the way macOS El Capitan and Sierra work, DFX can’t provide all of its features in a Save dialog if there’s no list of files and folders. Up until now, Default Folder X would simply not appear next to minimized Save dialogs. This caused confusion, with some people thinking that DFX wasn’t working at all, when in fact it just couldn’t do anything in that particular situation.

I kept revisiting this issue over and over again to see if I could find some sort of technical solution that’d let me get Default Folder X working in this configuration. Alas, it’s not to be – there are some fundamental limitations that prevent Default Folder X from working. So in version 5.1.5 I’ve put together a simple bezel that comes up around minimized Save dialogs and offers a single option: expanding the dialog so that Default Folder X can provide all of its features. It isn’t ideal, but it’s less confusing than just having Default Folder X missing in action when you click the minimize button in a Save dialog.

In addition to this change, Default Folder X 5.1.5 addresses a number of compatibility and stability issues (ie. bugs). I’m actually very happy to have found the source of a recurring crash that I’ve never been able to reproduce. Crash logs have been trickling in, but none of them actually pointed to the underlying problem. I’ve now found a bug that appears to be the cause of those crashes, and have also addressed bunch of other issues that have come up since the last release.

A change list and download links are available at  http://www.stclairsoft.com/DefaultFolderX/release.html

 

Default Folder X 5.1.4 – lots of little improvements

Friday, March 24th, 2017

Version 5.1.4 of Default Folder X is out, and although this update doesn’t bring any big feature additions, it offers a bunch of internal improvements that make things more reliable. If you’re already using Default Folder X, just select “Check for Updates” from the Default Folder X menu in your menubar to get the new version.

And if you’ve experienced a crash in Default Folder X and submitted a crash log after it happened, thank you for taking the time to do so. That data really does help track down problems and get them fixed! If you’re having a problem that doesn’t result in a crash, contact us using the Tech Support page and we’ll do our best to get the issue resolved, whatever it happens to be.

Use Default Folder X – take off the mittens!

Friday, March 17th, 2017

Default Folder X was mentioned on Dave Hamilton’s excellent Mac Geek Gab podcast. It made me laugh so I have to share it. At the end of the segment Dave says “Using a Mac without Default Folder feels like using a Mac with mittens.” I think that’s one of the best endorsements I’ve heard in a while 🙂

Anyway – check it out – along with lots of other great information and commentary – at the 1:20 mark of Mac Geek Gab 647. I think I learn something new in every episode.