Archive for the ‘Monterey’ Category

It’s the little things: App Tamer 2.7.3 fixes icon spacing and kernel_task CPU usage

Tuesday, July 5th, 2022

Version 2.7.3 of App Tamer is now available, fixing a couple of problems.

First, my apologies to folks using versions of macOS older than Big Sur: Changes in the last App Tamer update tightened up the spacing of its menu bar icon to comply with modifications Apple made to Monterey and Big Sur. Unfortunately, it also did that on pre-Big Sur systems, often making its icon too close to adjacent ones in the menu bar. I’ve fixed that in 2.7.3.

Second, internal changes that Apple made in macOS resulted in App Tamer reporting the CPU usage of one particular process – kernel_task – incorrectly. App Tamer would show either zero or astronomical values for kernel_task’s processor use, neither of which was correct. In App Tamer’s defense, the system’s approved public API was supplying those numbers and it dutifully reported them without prejudice. Some hunting around in the macOS source code (thank you Apple for making darwin Open Source!) revealed an alternate method that correctly reports the CPU usage of all processes, including kernel_task. So that fix is now available in App Tamer, making it a reliable source of CPU information for all processes again.

As usual, release notes and download links are on the App Tamer release page, or if you’re already using App Tamer, just choose “Check for Update” from its menu. This update is free if you’ve already purchased an App Tamer 2.x license.

Default Folder X 5.6.5 improves Finder-click, compatibility with Path Finder and ForkLift, recent file tracking, and more

Wednesday, May 25th, 2022

Version 5.6.5 of Default Folder X is now available for download. It includes a number of improvements and bug fixes.

First, Default Folder X now recognizes files that you upload using a web browser or attach to an email as “recently used,” even if they haven’t actually been modified or opened. They’ll appear in DFX’s Recent Files menu so you can quickly get back to them.

Also, this release improves the way it handles Save As dialogs in Big Sur and Monterey. When a Save dialog is presented as a sheet, Default Folder X will emphasize the Finder windows behind it by drawing them darker as you mouse over them, but will leave the title-bar area of the sheet’s parent window unemphasized. This is done so you can still drag the window by its title bar to move it (and its attached Save dialog) around on the screen. It looks like this:

The “Downloads” window in the Finder is shown darkened behind a Save As sheet

Clear as mud, right? I’ll be the first to admit that it looks damned weird, but given that the Big Sur / Monterey implementation of sheets is a giant step backward in usability, I didn’t have a lot to work with. This method gives you the best access to your Finder windows while still allowing you to move the window (even though the new sheet UI implies that you can’t move it by graying it out).

And while we’re discussing Finder-click, version 5.6.5 fixes a problem with the way Default Folder X tracked the windows of Path Finder and ForkLift. They sometimes wouldn’t be recognized by the Finder-click feature because, in my drive to get the best performance, there was a case where I just optimized them out of existence. That’s been corrected.

Various bugs have also been fixed in the way Default Folder X handles Finder comments, cloud-synced folders, the icon of the Finder itself, and Save dialogs in macOS Sierra.

Release notes and download links are on the Default Folder X release page. Or if you’re already running Default Folder X, just choose “Check for Update” from its menu in your menu bar.

App Tamer 2.7.2 fine tunes its menu bar icon, fixes installation problem

Wednesday, May 11th, 2022

A new release of App Tamer is available for download! Version 2.7.2 incorporates a number of fixes to tighten up the layout of the text in App Tamer’s menu bar icon, and improves its compatibility with Bartender‘s multiple options for the spacing of menu bar icons. It also corrects a bug that could result in App Tamer’s helper app failing to install correctly on some Macs.

And relevant to App Tamer users using M1 Macs: Howard Oakley at The Eclectic Light Company has done his usual thorough benchmarking work and determined that the efficiency cores on Apple’s M1 processors use a shocking 70% less energy than the performance cores when doing the same amount of work (thanks Howard!). Why do we care? Because App Tamer lets you automatically run apps on those efficiency cores when they’re in the background, so can markedly reduce the amount of power used by your M1 Mac!

As usual, this update is free for anyone who already has a license for App Tamer 2.x. Details and download links are on the App Tamer Release Page.

App Tamer 2.7.1 fixes compatibility issues and bugs

Thursday, March 31st, 2022

Version 2.7.1 of App Tamer is now available, addressing a number of issues and also providing localized online help for French-speaking users.

Compatibility has been improved with Bartender and Steam, and a number of user interface problems and window placement issues have been fixed. User interface glitches on older versions of macOS have also been eliminated.

There’s been a lot of interest in App Tamer’s new capability of running apps on the efficiency cores of M1 Macs, including requests to do so even when the app is frontmost. You can do that by holding down the Option key while clicking on an app in App Tamer’s process list – an extra “Also slow this app when it’s in front” checkbox will appear. Just turn on that checkbox (now that version 2.7.1 properly enables it).

Full release notes and download links are on the App Tamer release page.

Default Folder X 5.6.4 stays in step with OneDrive & other cloud-sync services, Chromium-based browsers and more

Thursday, February 3rd, 2022

Version 5.6.4 of Default Folder X is available. It updates its tracking of cloud-sync services (OneDrive, Dropbox, Box Sync and Google Drive) to handle changes that Apple is requiring for macOS 12.3 compatibility. OneDrive and Box Sync were recently updated, and this resulted in Default Folder X’s Recent Files and Recent Folders menus no longer showing items that were synced to your Mac by those services. This update fixes that.

For more info on the changes to OneDrive, Microsoft has an in-depth description on its OneDrive blog. The changes will be similar for other cloud services because Apple is constraining the location of their sync folders and the APIs they use. Dropbox appears to be behind on this at the moment, and has posted workaround instructions for users of macOS 12.3 betas.

Default Folder X 5.6.4 also works around a bug in Chromium-based web browsers that rendered default folders inoperable if they depended on the type of file being saved. This impacted Google Chrome, Brave, Vivaldi, Opera and Microsoft Edge.

And finally, I fixed a bug in Default Folder X’s logic for expanding and minimizing Save dialogs depending on previous usage and whether the OK and Save buttons lie on-screen or not. It now works as it should in all scenarios and all applications.

Release notes and download links for Default Folder X 5.6.4 are available on the Default Folder X release page, or if you’re already running Default Folder X, by choosing “Check for Update” from its menu in your menu bar.

Version 5.6.3 of Default Folder X improves recent file tracking, fixes bugs

Friday, January 14th, 2022

There’s a free update to Default Folder X available, bringing it to version 5.6.3. This release adds a few notable exceptions to DFX’s general rule of “if something is hidden, I won’t show it in your recent files or folders”.

Background

Default Folder X has always followed the principle that it should respect your privacy choices. To that end, if you open a file or folder that’s stored within a folder that’s been hidden, it assumes that there’s a reason that folder is hidden and it shouldn’t show the world the thing that you just opened. Generally, that’s what you want. If you hid that huge folder full of photos you took on an ill-considered party weekend in Vegas, your Recent Files menu won’t suddenly be filled with them after you’ve opened a bunch while trying to figure out what the heck your buddy Jason was wearing on his head that Saturday night.

The Problem

The hiccup in this system arises because Apple has chosen to hide some folders on your system by default. Most notably, the Library folder within your home folder is hidden. That’s generally a good idea, since you don’t want to know about its zillions of mystery files storing cached information, preferences, miscellaneous application data and the like. Unfortunately, there are a few things stored in the Library folder that you do care about – namely the attachments included in Mail messages and Messages conversations.

The Solution

In version 5.6.3, Default Folder X now makes special exceptions for attachments that you open from Mail and Messages. Even though they’re in a hidden location, they’ll show up in your Recent Files menu because there’s a reasonable chance that you’ll want to get back to them later.

Similarly, the cloud sync service Box Drive recently changed the default location of its synced Box Drive folder so that it’s stored within your Library folder. That, too, will now be treated as an exception by Default Folder X when it’s tracking cloud-synced files and folders. Anything that arrives in your Box Drive folder will be shown in your Recent Files and Recent Folders menus as it should be.

Other Changes in 5.6.3

In addition to the changes to recent-item-tracking, this release includes a number of bug fixes. One particularly vexing one for some folks was this situation:

where the Save, Cancel and Delete buttons are below the bottom of the screen. While you can move the dialog by dragging the parent window’s titlebar – or use the Return, Esc or Command-Delete keys to activate the button you want – this situation is confusing. It’s caused by Default Folder X trying to “help” by maximizing the dialog that first appears, which originally looks like this:

To fix the problem, Default Folder X now detects this situation and leaves the “do you want to keep this” dialog at its smaller size if there’s not room for it to fit on-screen.

Finally, version 5.6.3 corrects several other less egregious user interface issues. Full details are in the release notes on the Default Folder X Release Page. You’ll also find download links there, or if you’re already running Default Folder X, just choose “Check for Update” from its menu in your menu bar.

Default Folder X 5.6.2 fixes issues with Monterey

Friday, November 19th, 2021

Well, the launch of Default Folder X 5.6 for Monterey has been a little rocky if you’ve been using some particular features.

Oops…

The biggest compatibility problem has been with Monterey’s new “Automatically hide and show the menu bar on desktop” setting, which caused Default Folder X to put its controls for Open and Save dialogs in the wrong place on the screen – sometimes covering up the actual file dialog 🙄. There were also issues for some people using Default Folder X’s buttons in their Finder toolbars – if you Command-dragged them to different locations in the toolbar, the buttons would keep moving back to their default positions every time you restarted your Mac.

These problems have been fixed in version 5.6.2, along with a rare situation where the Finder would continually relaunch after you logged in. And on the more benign side of things, Default Folder X’s controls will no longer get in the way of Quick Look previews in Open dialogs.

My apologies for these bugs, and for the rapid succession of the 5.6.1 and 5.6.2 updates. I’m trying to balance the need for getting these fixes out quickly with some patience to make sure there are no other lurking problems, or worse yet, bugs introduced in the process of fixing others.

At any rate, full details are available on the Default Folder X Release page. If you’re already running Default Folder X, this free update is available by simply choosing “Check for Update” from its menu in your menu bar.

Default Folder X 5.6: Ready for Monterey!

Tuesday, October 12th, 2021

Version 5.6 of Default Folder X is officially available, bringing compatibility with soon-to-be-released macOS 12 Monterey.

Yes, yes, I know Apple hasn’t released the final version of Monterey yet, but I’m fairly confident that there won’t be changes in the full release that will cause compatibility problems. Of course, there’s always the slim chance – if so, you’ll find me out back, kicking myself for jumping the gun. But I hate getting email from customers saying “Help! Default Folder X stopped working!” if they happen to upgrade before updating to a compatible version of DFX. It’s an unpleasant experience for all you bleeding-edge upgraders out there 😉

Anyway, in addition to support for Monterey, Default Folder X 5.6 delivers compatibility improvements with Photoshop, Affinity Designer and its sibling apps, MoneyDance, Flying Logic and PDF Studio Pro. There are also fixes for handling situations where Google Drive or Dropbox folders are hidden, and small refinements in many other areas.

I also rewrote the code for the popup path menu that appears above the list of files in Open and Save dialogs. It had some annoying little graphical glitches depending upon the version of macOS you were running and whether you were in Light Mode or Dark Mode – those should be sorted out now.

A full list of changes is available on the Default Folder X Release Page, along with download links for your chosen language (as long as it’s English, Japanese, French, German or Danish 😁).

Default Folder X 5.6b4 provides fixes on all macOS versions

Friday, September 10th, 2021

Default Folder X 5.6b4 is now available. It’s a public beta release that adds compatibility with Apple’s latest macOS 12 Monterey betas, but also fixes issues on earlier versions of macOS as well.

The most important change is for users of 5.6b3, the previous beta release. That version would hang for 10 seconds or more (sometimes a lot more) after you resized a file dialog. That’s fixed in b4.

Other changes include a fix for instances where a top-level folder in Google Drive would get its “hidden” flag set by a bug (or feature?) in Google Drive, resulting in Default Folder X hiding folders or files within that folder in the Recent Folders and Recent Files history. Now Default Folder X just ignores that hidden flag. And I’ve added support for the Mac App Store version of PDF Studio Pro, an app DFX was refusing to enhance because it’s written in Java, and Java apps can sometimes crash because they don’t properly support the macOS Accessibility API.

As always, details and download links are on the Default Folder X Testing page. Note that the change history there includes a list of all the changes made since the last full release (version 5.5.9), if you haven’t been keeping up with previous beta releases.

Default Folder X 5.6b2 continues Monterey support, addresses Dropbox issues

Tuesday, July 27th, 2021

A second public beta release of Default Folder X, Default Folder X 5.6b2, keeps it up to date with the latest macOS 12 Monterey builds from Apple.

It also fixes an issue that prevented Default Folder X from showing recent files and folders in your Dropbox folder if you turned on Dropbox’s syncing of your Documents and Desktop folders. In that configuration, Dropbox syncs your Documents and Desktop folders to a hidden folder within your Dropbox folder. Default Folder X, being the good citizen that it is, saw that hidden folder and said to itself “oh, if you’re putting files and folders into a hidden folder, you probably don’t want them shown in your Recent Files and Recent Folders menus,” and acted accordingly. Now Default Folder X will ignore the fact that that folder is hidden, showing those recent files and folders in its menus.

This beta build also enables DFX in the Flying Logic app and fixes a glitch in the way VoiceOver reads the path menu in Open and Save dialogs.

Head on over to the Default Folder X Beta Testing page to grab your copy of Default Folder X 5.6b2.