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Mac: Keyboard Shortcuts Killed by Bug(eclecticlight.co)

114 pointsbkudria posted 2 months ago118 Comments
118 Comments:
jacobsenscott said 2 months ago:

I doubt it is developer apathy. It smells like a management issue. iOS is where the money is. I don't know anyone at apple, but here's how I imagine it is there:

Every OSX engineer probably has more bugs on their plate than can be fixed in one career, in addition to feature development tasks. The OSX team is severely understaffed both because it is not a priority at Apple, and because it is getting harder and harder to find engineers that are able to/willing to work on this kind of code - a Byzantine labyrinth of C flavors that's been accreting lines for decades.

The OSX team is in a desperate fight for recognition and status against the iOS team. They believe (and are probably right) that the only way to gain executive mind share there is to build out new visible features, no matter how useless. Witness dark theme, stacks, dynamic desktop, siri on the desktop, a steady stream of useless iPhone integrations, etc. All the troops are ordered to march relentlessly toward feature development. Stability and bug fixes be damned.

It bet it takes at least three weeks of focused effort and red tape macheteing to fix this bug and it is way down on someone's list. Even if you fix it the change won't make the next OSX key note at the annual IOScon or whatever it is called, so it won't help your career one iota.

Again - this is just how I imagine it is there. I don't really know.

shuckles said 2 months ago:

Engineering is not organized by platform, but function. Apps that are cross-platform have engineers who move back and forth between macOS and iOS. Lots of code is also reused between the two. Both platforms use essentially the same tooling and languages (if anything, iOS development is more painful), though certainly iOS codebases tend to be better because they are newer.

A fight for attention by a specific, resource-starved macOS engineering team could not be more incorrect. That’s simply not how Apple works. You have to come up with a different explanation for these perceived quality problems.

bangonkeyboard said 2 months ago:

> You have to come up with a different explanation for these perceived quality problems.

The developmental move to agile deadline-driven feature-sprints under Craig Federighi.

skywhopper said 2 months ago:

Well, customizable menu-based keyboard shortcut support is not a cross-platform feature. So maybe there's no one responsible for it? Which amounts to a management/resource-allocation problem as suggested above. The team organization you describe would contribute to the problem of this sort of Mac-specific thing being marginalized and de-prioritized, exactly as described above.

shuckles said 2 months ago:

No. There is no fight for recognition or status of the kind the parent extrapolates. “Resource allocation problem” is general enough that it could explain basically every bug, so that’s not particularly helpful.

The way to think about this is that the menu bindings are AppKit features which share resources with UIKit.

An interesting theory would be one which identifies (i) who in the organization gets to gate what ships and decides it’s good enough (ii) what are their incentives. At a company like Apple which is huge, has marketing deadlines, and is coordinating hardware, software, and services releases, both items have very subtle and interesting answers.

tomduncalf said 2 months ago:

The iPhone integrations (assuming you mean Handover) are one of my favourite parts of the MacOS/iOS ecosystem and one of many reasons why I can't see myself moving away from either OS for a long time.

I've also experienced very few bugs in MacOS which have affected me on a day to day basis. Not saying they aren't there, but to me the MacOS team are doing a pretty great job.

jacobsenscott said 2 months ago:

For any feature on OSX there are some people who love that feature. But the reality is the core reliability of OSX has been declining for years, and many of the bugs are becoming more egregious. Especially some of the recent security issues. They are all symptoms of an under-resourced team. I have no doubt the OSX engineers are heroes to a person. But I can't imagine they have the resources they need. I also can't imagine Apple really cares when accessories appear to be on track to generate more revenue than macs in a few years.

x0x0 said 2 months ago:

I administer approximately 30 macbooks. 2018s with a few 2017s still in there. They're mostly unreliable garbage.

In particular, zoom.us, our teleconferencing solution, crashes them regularly with spewed messages about GPU stuff in console. We're about at the point of running windows vms so my salespeople can have a reliable conferencing solution.

The keyboards also do not hold up at all. I've gotten into a shouting match at an apple store after buying their "warranty" and learning that a keyboard repair would mean the laptop would disappear for a week. That's not a warranty; that's some Dell consumer-grade bullshit. I basically had to buy a floater laptop on the spot. Two of the laptops, including my cofounder, have keys that don't work, but they're too busy to deal with Apple's bs to get them repaired. I'm aware that after the WSJ embarrassed them the wait is supposedly shorter, but it's not anything reasonable. They should be able to do a keyboard swap in an hour while you wait.

Their busted ass OS also has automatically (!!!) disabled Filevault, refused to turn it back on, including spending 6 hours on technical support and an OS wipe. We had to take that laptop into the mac store for them to service. Folks, don't wait on installing an mdm -- just because you turn Filevault on, it can silently disable itself.

pfranz said 2 months ago:

My company uses zoom.us on Win/Mac/Linux. Out of necessity, I also use TeamViewer, NoMachine, and occasionally Skype, Slack, and often just end up phoning them. I can only assume each needs deep integration into the OS because they all have problems. With zoom.us, I've had black screens (when trying to record?), keyboard input problems (where only alpha-numeric characters worked and other characters sent garbage), the mouse would stop working when certain applications got focus, and audio/video problems. These were mostly on Windows--I believe the black screen was on Linux. Screen sharing software also doesn't play well with each other or I imagine other software that messes with audio/video. zoom.us does seem to scale and perform better than the other solutions. I'm not sure it's a great representative of how good the OS is.

Apple's keyboards used to be excellent. After the new keyboards came out a few years ago they've been delicate (I've come around on my opinion about how they are to use--but I'm still not a fan of the layout). Replacing them is also a nightmare. So far a keyboard cover has seemed to not have me baby it and prevented a repeat of any issues.

paulryanrogers said 2 months ago:

Is there a PC laptop vendor you would recommend?

cosmie said 2 months ago:

I've worked at a company that had Dell ProCare[1]. If you have issues, they'll send a technician onsite for a same-day or next-day repair. I've seen everything from keyboards to screens to entire mainboards get swapped out on the spot by technicians.

For consumer grade stuff, I'm not a fan of Dell. But their business laptops and support services are solid, from what I've seen.

I haven't experienced any of the other vendors, but any vendor with a business line (such as HP or Lenovo) have similar support services. And just as critical: they design their business laptops with that need in mind. If you pay for a service level that includes on-site support, very few issues are un-repairable by a field technician. And they even make access to things like the hard drive easy, since corporations don't like to relinquish control of potentially sensitive business data.

Apple offers enterprise support[2] (not sure if that's an indication that the service is priced out of the SMB range) with similar onsite services. But their machines aren't exactly designed to be easily repaired. So if an Apple Store would have to send it off to a repair depot, I doubt a field technician would be able to do much more.

[1] https://www.dellemc.com/en-us/services/support-services/pros...

[2] https://support.apple.com/applecare-enterprise-service

TimTheTinker said 2 months ago:

My MBP (2016 model, touchbar, macOS Mojave) kernel-panics every time the battery runs out, while attempting to wake up after I plug it in. I frequently work away from my desk and have symptoms of ADHD (inattentive variety) so this actually happens at least 3 times a week.

The MBP I had previously (same model, exchanged out due to keyboard keys sticking) did the same thing.

OJFord said 2 months ago:

Ditto, except in my case the previous is an MBA. (I still have it, but the battery's dying, so it does it at about 26% instead.)

Additionally I find if the battery hits 5%, it doesn't actually register that it's charging in time to save it. Fair enough, but call it zero (so implicitly I'm warned earlier).

chrisseaton said 2 months ago:

It’s called macOS. It hasn’t been called OS X for years, and it was never called OSX.

ken said 2 months ago:

The macOS team still does a great job at making features that demo well. For the past few years, everything below the surface layer is becoming increasingly flakey.

- I upgraded to 10.13, and my stock graphics cards would slow, freeze, and then crash window server, logging me out. I spent the money to buy a hot new GPU from Apple's latest recommendation list, and it no longer crashes (though I'm having trouble getting both of my Apple displays to work, since apparently most of the "DisplayPort to dual-link DVI" adapters in the world are actually single-link).

Other issues I've run into recently with new or revamped features:

- Dark mode works great sometimes, and other times it's an unreadable mess.

- Xcode 10's new text editor broke control-T, which has worked correctly in every text field since the earliest days of Mac OS X.

- The new security around contacts/calendars broke my app. It doesn't work like it used to, it doesn't work like the documentation says it should, and it doesn't log anything useful to help diagnose the problem.

- The recent documentation, overall, is a big step down. developer.apple.com used to have long-form articles describing how things were built. Now, it's mostly just HTML versions of header files, and half the descriptions are "No overview available."

- The new WKWebView teases improved performance (and not being deprecated, like WebView), but removed major features I was using, or planned to.

- Dragging toolbar items in Safari 12 seems completely broken.

- You can set almost any accessibility option via script, except menubar transparency, for no apparent reason.

It was no coincidence that Macs used to be simple. "Simplicity is prerequisite for reliability"! When you've got only one color scheme, you can make it 'just work' everywhere. Once you've got more than one color scheme, now you have to go check everything to make sure this doesn't happen: https://twitter.com/KenHatesSoftwar/status/11059512173713530... (which depends on the dark-mode setting, the reduce-contrast setting, the desktop wallpaper setting, ...)

Multiply this by every permutation of settings. I don't think it's feasible any more for single-developer Mac shops. There just aren't enough hours in the day to make everything work well. Even Apple is struggling.

My next project isn't another Mac app. It's a web app in Clojure. CSS is still terrible to work with, but (with grid and flex) it's slightly less awful than it used to be, and much more consistent. And Clojure is infinitely more pleasant than Swift.

rsfinn said 2 months ago:

> Xcode 10's new text editor broke control-T, which has worked correctly in every text field since the earliest days of Mac OS X.

I couldn't believe this, so I tried it. To clarify: in Xcode 10.2.1, typing control-T between two characters in a line exchanges the two characters, as expected. But typing control-T at the end of the line does not perform the special case of exchanging the two characters at the end of the line; instead it exchanges the last character of the line with the newline, thereby moving the last character onto the next line. Off to bugreporter...

buzzert said 2 months ago:

I’ll tell you as an Apple employee—engineers and first/second level managers don’t give a shit about market share or which platform makes the most money. Most of the engineers I work with are very personally motivated because macOS is their favorite operating system.

Yes, there is feature creep and it does have a bit to do with executive mind-share. But don’t attribute to greed what you could attribute to the age old problem of managing software complexity.

jacobsenscott said 2 months ago:

I don't doubt the rank and file are dedicated to the projects they work on. But I imagine the people higher up the chain care very much where the money comes from, and priorities will naturally fall out of that.

saagarjha said 2 months ago:

I thought you worked on UIKit ;)

perfmode said 2 months ago:

It’s dangerous to craft rich narratives without access to even the slightest bits of ground truth.

TimTheTinker said 2 months ago:

Narratives in general can be very dangerous, even if there is a lot of truth in them. In fact, our worldviews are constructed out of narratives that define our sense of origin, meaning, morality, and destiny.

jacobsenscott said 2 months ago:

I did make it very clear twice I am just imagining, and have no ground truth. It does appear to have struck a nerve - it is not an uncommon scenario in this industry. Like I said, I don't know if that's what is actually happening at apple.

perfmode said 2 months ago:

“Making it clear” doesn’t do anything to mitigate the danger. The danger is in doing the thing.

The way to win the game is to not play.

Bahamut said 2 months ago:

There's no "OSX team" at Apple. That would go against Apple's whole corporate structure.

skywhopper said 2 months ago:

There is, presumably, a team responsible for the feature described in the article. Unless there isn't, in which case, that would explain some of the problems.

anbop said 2 months ago:

Surely there is some team that develops OS X. That is the OS X team.

thelopa said 2 months ago:

Not sure if you're being sarcastic, but they are right. there isn't an OSX team. Apple doesn't slice things up that way. If there were an OSX team then surely there would be a manager for that team, right? The only person that could plausibly fill that role is Craig Federighi... but he arguably fills the same role for iOS, too.

In the Scott Forstall days, there was a distinct iOS team (Scott) and a distinct OSX team (Craig). now there isn't.

Wowfunhappy said 2 months ago:

> In the Scott Forstall days, there was a distinct iOS team (Scott) and a distinct OSX team (Craig). now there isn't.

Frankly, maybe that's exactly the problem. He left in 2012, and that definitely feels like around when things started going downhill.

I don't know what stuff is like under the hood, but from a user perspective, iOS and macOS are two very different platforms that are good at very different things. I'm sure there is a lot of tech that can be shared between them, but some individual focus would likely be beneficial as well.

anbop said 2 months ago:

Sure, there is one exec, but there must be someone under him who is responsible for OS X.

shuckles said 2 months ago:

Nope. Craig’s directs are responsible for apps and all the platforms those apps ship on or cross-platform technologies that power apps.

skywhopper said 2 months ago:

I'm not sure what point you are trying to make here. macOS is a product. With releases, features, etc. Someone or some group of people must necessarily make decisions about what makes up "macOS 10.14.5". Even if that team is "Craig and his direct reports" or whatever, and even if that team has other responsibilities.

shuckles said 2 months ago:

For example, I believe if macOS had a dedicated VP with specialized software teams like the type we are speculating here, my guess is we would have fewer bugs of this sort than we do now.

russh said 2 months ago:

This is my take as well.

favorited said 2 months ago:

> Even if that team is "Craig and his direct reports" or whatever, and even if that team has other responsibilities.

And if those "other responsibilities" are iOS, tvOS, and watchOS, then there is no "macOS team." There is the software engineering organization.

anbop said 2 months ago:

I don’t get what you’re trying to express. Is there anyone at Apple who works only on Mac OS? The senior most such person is the de facto boss of Mac OS.

Bahamut said 2 months ago:

I think you're not grasping the difference of how Apple is structured compared to most companies, and why I made the comment I did, which is completely verifiable.

Apple slices up departments by function, not by product, which is why there are organizations under Tim Cook such as Software Engineering, Hardware Engineering, Internet Services, etc. Everyone and no one is responsible for shipping all the products as a result of this structure. Software Engineering in particular is responsible for all of the operating systems that powers Apple hardware.

Similarly, this is how smaller departments under each SVP/C-level org are subdivided, and so on to the team level. Each team may be responsible for a particular product, which includes all the experiences for that product across operating systems. There is no single engineer responsible for just macOS/iOS/tvOS/watchOS. Everyone is responsible for everything, and similarly no one is responsible for anything.

Apple's structure is unique compared to other companies, and contrary to how most are run, which probably contributes to your confusion.

larkost said 2 months ago:

No, much of the codebase is shared, and where the codebase is not shared the teams usually are. There are undoutably exceptions to this, and this may fall into one of those, but your blanket statement is just not how Apple operates internally.

astericks said 2 months ago:

Well, officially, OS X doesn't exist anymore. It's "Mac OS" now I believe. But yes, they'd be the Mac OS team

Wowfunhappy said 2 months ago:

The full name was always "Mac OS X" and the most-major version number is still 10, so...

saagarjha said 2 months ago:

macOS

seandougall said 2 months ago:

No, but there certainly is a macOS team.

tyingq said 2 months ago:

Is there some credible source as to what percentage of revenue or profit MacOS drives versus the rest of the org?

jacobsenscott said 2 months ago:

I'm sure there are lots. This shows iphone dwarfs all other sources of revenue https://www.apple.com/newsroom/pdfs/Q4-18-Data-Summary.pdf

Apple is a phone manufacturer. Computers are a side business.

wlesieutre said 2 months ago:

A side business that is still a requirement for anyone to ship software into Apple’s iPhone ecosystem, so there’s at least some incentive for Apple to continue supporting it.

But given that developers have no choice in the matter, they’re stuck putting up with whatever issues Apple doesn’t bother to fix. I’m sure Apple is well aware of that when prioritizing what bugs are important.

drspacemonkey said 2 months ago:

Don't forget us devs who are required to use OSX as a matter of corporate policy. I'd much rather be on Linux

jorvi said 2 months ago:

I always show people this[1] graph when they complain about Macs feeling like an afterthought to Apple. It's because they are, in terms of total profit.

[1]http://cdn.arstechnica.net/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Apple-...

Wowfunhappy said 2 months ago:

If spun off into its own business, the Macintosh business would still be a fortune 500 company.

I get that Apple makes more revenue from other products, but the Mac is still extremely profitable. They ought to give it some attention on those grounds, if nothing else.

maxhedrome said 2 months ago:

Apple is a phone manufacturing outsourcer

said 2 months ago:
[deleted]
deergomoo said 2 months ago:

According to their recent financials, 8% of revenue (vs 54% from iPhone, 10% from iPad, 20% from services, 9% from everything else (wearables, accessories, etc).

freditup said 2 months ago:

It's a bug for sure, but conclusions like this are over the top for a single small bug:

> This isn’t an Apple which has any concern over the quality of its products, or for its users. It’s just another leviathan corporation which has stopped caring or taking pride. One small bug reveals a deep and pervasive problem.

I'd rather see a more measured approach to drawing conclusions from a single anecdote.

falcolas said 2 months ago:

Straws break camel's backs. You can be sure this isn't the only, the first, or even the last time this particular developer has found a major bug. It's also safe to assume that past bugs they have reported (especially small usability bugs like this) have languished, or been closed as "will not fix".

At some point, the back is broken, the developer gives up on trying to help an obscenely profitable company QA their own products, and rants about the lack of care being shown.

sixstringtheory said 2 months ago:

The process for even submitting bugs is time-intensive, so much so that I started keeping a TODO list of bugs to report, which I never found the time for and wound up stopping even writing new bugs on it because I couldn't keep up.

protomyth said 2 months ago:

If this was the only item, I would agree with you, but it isn't. Finder is buggy and broken since Mavericks (along with some bugs that look like the got rebroke in [edit]10.14[/edit]). Each new version of Mac OS breaks more stuff. This is exacerbated by their hardware failures and constant "only affects a small number of users" line that gets old. Its a constant stream of breaks these days and they need to start looking at the details.

rectang said 2 months ago:

My 2012 MacBook Pro Retina has been more stable on Mojave than on any previous OS. It used to crash at least once a week; at the moment `uptime` tells me it's been 21 days since a reboot.

I attribute this to improvements in the reliability of Airplay: my machine used to be prone to crashing after connecting via Airplay (either sound only or mirroring) to my old Apple TV.

I'm sure other things have been broken along the way, but it seems to me like Apple is tackling hard problems at the OS level and making progress.

protomyth said 2 months ago:

Airplay is something iOS uses, so I would expect it to get fixed. Finder and Keyboard Shortcuts are Mac OS only, and it shows in its lack of testing. I don't think Apple is tackling the hard problems unless it benefits iOS.

duxup said 2 months ago:

Yeah the "Apple doesn't care about users" line of thinking for one use case or bug here or there is a bit much.

Personally I've introduced bad ... choices because I cared about users a few times. It just was a mistake on my part, and yet the whole time I was thinking "this will be better for the user".

slantyyz said 2 months ago:

>> Yeah the "Apple doesn't care about users" line of thinking for one use case or bug here or there is a bit much.

To be fair, a lot of people choose OSX over other OSes because Apple has the reputation of "sweating the details" in both their software and their hardware.

Some of those people in particular are now noticing that the attention to detail may not be like it was, so it is unsurprising that some are complaining over seemingly little things even when the product as a whole might still be better than its competitors.

PhasmaFelis said 2 months ago:

Yeah, the bet where he basically says "I refuse to report this bug to Apple because they obviously know about it already and are maliciously ignoring it" is just weird.

Supermighty said 2 months ago:

I completely agree. No one sets out to create bugs in their software. I'd give the engineers working on this the benefit of the doubt versus a grand conspiracy of product apathy.

falcolas said 2 months ago:

No-one sets out to create bugs, but these days it feels like nobody sets out to proactively identify and fix bugs either.

Expecting the customers of obscenely profitable companies to QA that company's products (for free) is silly.

Supermighty said 2 months ago:

You paint a picture of Apple ignoring all QA responsibility and pushing it on the users, only to later ignore their requests. Surely this is not the case. It's just another bug that slipped through. It doesn't have to be the result of a greedy corporation cutting corners.

falcolas said 2 months ago:

>another bug

>slipped through

At what point do we hold companies responsible for their products? At what point should we, as software developers, hold ourselves responsible for our products?

I think it's entirely reasonable to answer "when the company is a multinational, highly profitable company" and "when they are among the brightest software developers in our generation"; "another bug" "slipping through" should not be considered to be acceptable.

michaelmrose said 2 months ago:

Slipped through for a year?

js2 said 2 months ago:

This bug is much more subtle that the author describes. I use keyboard shortcuts semi-regularly so I would've noticed this bug, especially if it had been around since 10.13. I never noticed it, but then I realized the author's screenshots are all dark themed. I use the light theme and cannot reproduce it under 10.14.4 with light theme.

If I toggle to dark theme, I can reproduce it, but not in a consistent way. Depending upon how I add and remove shortcuts and toggle themes, I can get just the last shortcut to display incorrectly, or all of them to display incorrectly, or none of them to. It's some odd interaction between dark/light themes and this panel.

smnscu said 2 months ago:

I mean, they also had this bug for ages:

> There is, still, a long-standing MacOS bug where your balance may drift when volume buttons are pressed while CPU is under heavy load.

https://github.com/jamsinclair/ballast

https://www.tunabellysoftware.com/balance_lock/

on_and_off said 2 months ago:

ohhh ! that's what happened ! I had this happen to me a couple of month ago. I thought that my headphones were busted until I realized that OsX had decided to mess with the balance for no reason.

said 2 months ago:
[deleted]
derefr said 2 months ago:

> This isn’t a subtle bug which only occurs in certain circumstances.

Sure it is. OP is an outlier in how they use this panel. Most people just use it to enable/disable the built-in menu commands, or to modify their accelerators.

One very common use-case for people who speak multiple languages is enabling the keyboard switcher accelerator. I expect that they have extensive tests for common use-cases like that.

On the other hand, I expect that the test suite they use probably only tests creating one or two custom keyboard shortcuts using the panel; and doesn’t give them overly-long names. UX integration tests, above the level of the control library itself, aren’t usually concerned with being fuzz tests on what happens when you have a whole bunch of something (long strings, many items) loaded into a control. Normally the control library itself takes care of that for you (and has its own trustworthy fuzzing/property-testing suite), so you only worry about ensuring that your view controller gets the data into the control’s data binding in the right way.

I would guess that this bug is there because the view controller is summing up the lengths of the strings under a given section for some task; and then, later on, accidentally using that sum-of-lengths as the determinant for whether each string is too long to fit into its column and needs ellipsis...ing (eliding? elision?), rather than using each individual key’s length. Totally plausible bug, it makes total sense that this is an old bug that nobody discovered until now. It would seem that literally nobody has tried to do this until now.

Still, this is the type of thing that’ll get fixed immediately if you file a Radar on it. Whatever the underlying problem is, it’s on the view-controller layer, and definitely a simple fix; and there’s no decisions or opinion required on what the fix should be; and it doesn’t require any specific expertise (like having knowledge of the kernel.) It’s an “easy win” ticket someone would likely knock out the same day you submitted it.

The fact that it didn’t get caught during any of the numerous betas since Sierra, really, really implies that nobody ever thought to try this—users or developers. (Because if someone did report this bug in the beta, and it was still in the prod release, you can bet they would have blogged about it when that happened.)

diegof79 said 2 months ago:

> The fact that it didn’t get caught during any of the numerous betas since Sierra, really, really implies that nobody ever thought to try this—users or developers.

There is another explanation. The author says that he was able to reproduce it always, but I use this feature all the time and I don’t have that problem, so probably there are other factors that cause the bug.

You asume that nobody uses this feature, because probably you don’t use it and because the author says that the bug is easy to reproduce. But without meaningful data is hard to say.

For example, most of the shortcuts that I put there are for Sketch, and AFAIK many designers using Sketch use this feature.

Wowfunhappy said 2 months ago:

Did you try it? It takes less than a minute. I found I was one under the number of shortcuts necessary for the bug to appear.

throwayEngineer said 2 months ago:

That's nice, but most companies can't brush off user complaints. I found a simple mouse acceleration problem on Ubuntu Desktop had me installing Windows.

Apple is an exception, which is why it's so fascinating to study.

Why can Apple get away with bugs and overly expensive products?

I'm 50/50 on this. I think the primary reason is marketing/psychology tricks to make Apple users feel happy. Or Apple has created an ecosystem that is impossible to leave.

I'm just glad I never fell for it.

saagarjha said 2 months ago:

> this is the type of thing that’ll get fixed immediately if you file a Radar on it

This isn't how Radar works :(

peterwwillis said 2 months ago:

> I cannot believe that they didn’t open this pane and test it, even briefly

Does this author really think that every developer, after every code commit, and before every release, manually goes through every single piece of functionality in an entire operating system, in every possible configuration, to ensure nothing regressed? That just does not happen. Either they write regression tests, or they document a feature and have QC evaluate it. But both of those can be error-prone, bugs happen, and there is absolutely no indication that anyone knew about the bugs. Refusing to report them because "they should have known about them anyway" is childish.

wool_gather said 2 months ago:

Agree; it's also not rendering the feature "unusable" or "killed" as hyperbolized in the article. It's a bug -- it's a very annoying bug -- but it's pretty middle of the road and doesn't actually prevent the user from doing anything.

wlesieutre said 2 months ago:

My complaint about this preferene pane - no wildcards in menu names.

macOS has a handy "Batch rename" feature in the contextual menu when you right click on files. The renaming GUI gives you options for sequential numbers, text replacement, prefixes, suffixes, inserting dates.

But the menu to open this is called "Rename X Items…" so you can't assign a keyboard shortcut to it. Might be 5 items, might be 2914 items. Without wildcards you'd have to make a different shortcut for every different quantity.

kccqzy said 2 months ago:

You can make an actual Automator service to do the batch renaming and then call it whatever you want. The Automator version also has more features than the Finder one.

Wowfunhappy said 2 months ago:

This, but I think the more general point here would be that the system preferences panel is for dead simple stuff, and Apple does provide more powerful tools (namely, Automator and Applescript) if you need them.

I love Applescript. My entire home entertainment setup basically runs on Applescript—each button on my Harmony remote triggers a different script.

There's no equivalent on Windows—you can use Autohotkey, kind of, but without any sort of Apple Event-esque specification it isn't nearly as useful/nice.

bobbylarrybobby said 2 months ago:

I agree with your criticism, but what I've done to mitigate this issue is bind a keyboard shortcut to an AppleScript that walks through Finder's Edit menu and looks for an item beginning with "Rename"

jmull said 2 months ago:

I tried this and for me, it's a minor bug.

Upon adding the third shortcut, the display of the "menu" name, indeed, shows as an ellipsis. But:

(1) the name is still visible through a tool tip (2) when I close the window and reopen, thingS display fine. (If I start editing again, I can get some weird ellipsis display again, though now by deleting items rather than add thing them)

Anyway, definitely a bug, but at least for me it's pretty easy to work around, so a pretty minor bug in a minor feature.

rsync said 2 months ago:

"macOS is designed to be rich in features and highly adaptable to everyone’s taste. It’s also designed to be driven in a variety of ways, including extensive use of keyboard shortcuts."

Both of these statements are false.

saagarjha said 2 months ago:

How so?

vectorEQ said 2 months ago:

lol: "The bug has occurred because of a simple programming error using what I believe Apple refers to as an Outline View. The error is that the first column width, containing the command names, has been set too narrow, and isn’t adjustable by the user either. In coding terms, it’s a trivially simple error which should take a few seconds to fix."

that makes no sense at all looking at the behaviour described. if you want to write an article complaining about someones business processes letting through unacceptable bugs, make sure you understand what is a computer. then perhaps learn to debug issues on it. once you can do that, perhaps you will be less tempted to write such a mess.

michaelmrose said 2 months ago:

You began this post with with a sentence fragment and a massive quote from the article everyone just read wherein no particular point required a reference.

You used "lol" in written communication which makes you sound like a 12 year old girl texting her friends.

You then continued in mid stream and concluded a sentence that you never began.

You said "make sure you understand what is a computer" which makes zero sense whatsoever and joined several sentence fragments with periods.

Perhaps before critiquing someone else's communications it would be optimal if you were to improve your own.

Your entire communiqe could have been written like do.

"The author does not appear to understand how the software he is using actually works, perhaps he ought to clarify his understanding before writing so unclearly about it."

JadeNB said 2 months ago:

> Your entire communiqe could have been written like do.

It's not clear what was gained by your point-by-point rebuttal (of presentation rather than content), but it was worth it for this unproofread line.

michaelmrose said 2 months ago:

That is funny and ironic.

JadeNB said 2 months ago:

What's with the author's apparent pride in not reporting this to Apple? Even if you feel that developers shouldn't need users to report bugs—which seems like a weird assumption—refusing to report the bugs that affect you hurts you, not the developer.

(This is not to defend Apple's responses to Radar reports; I think probably anyone here has one or two sore spots of years-ignored bug reports. But at least they're there!)

wDcBKgt66V8WDs said 2 months ago:

Tangent (or OT), something I've been struggling with as a new macOS user, how do I get keyboard repeats working? I understand they removed repeats so that a long press can offer accent characters.

I've done `defaults write -g KeyRepeat -int 5` or something like that and it kinda works but somehow doesn't feel "right" still. Am I missing something obvious?

hollerith said 2 months ago:

I haven't experienced your problem on my Mac, but you might try adjusting InitialKeyRepeat, too. I believe the old default was 15 (225 ms). (The old default for KeyRepeat was 2 (30 ms).)

wDcBKgt66V8WDs said 2 months ago:

Wow significantly better, I was at 30/5. I had tried lower settings (I think 10/1) at some point and logging in again was hilariously difficult so I stopped messing with it out of fear.

15/2 is beauty. Thanks a lot!

ridiculous_fish said 2 months ago:

Very recently a Chrome keyboard shortcut stopped working. It was a bug and they fixed it.

https://bugs.chromium.org/p/chromium/issues/detail?id=892480

Bugs happen, it doesn't necessarily indicate anything systemic.

bla3 said 2 months ago:

That bug was fixed in 14 days if I read that page right. The complaint here isn't just that the bug happened, but that it happened long ago, is fairly visible, and is still around a year later.

ampersandy said 2 months ago:

Because they actually bothered to file a bug report. The author thinks what's obvious to them must be obvious to everyone so didn't file anything. Of course it isn't going to be fixed in a timely fashion.

bla3 said 2 months ago:

I have filed a few rdars. It's not a good investment of time in my experience.

tomcam said 2 months ago:

Apple used to be pretty good with Mac accessibility. Now, not so much.

jbverschoor said 2 months ago:

And overall power usage. I think I probably know more shortcuts and optimizations on macOS than most people at Apple.

arthurcolle said 2 months ago:

Have any tricks you want to share? My MBP 15" gets 2 hr tops unless its plugged in. Even with "mere" web browsing

jerf said 2 months ago:

Power usage, as in power user, as in "skilled user of software".

arthurcolle said 2 months ago:

Yikes I'm an idiot

robenkleene said 2 months ago:

Click the battery indicator in your menu bar and see which apps are listed as "using significant energy"?

Go one level deeper and open "Activity Monitor" and look at the energy impact for the apps you are using. Unless you use Safari, which is wonderfully energy-effecient, then the most likely culprit is your web browser, especially if you're using Google Chrome. Personally, I'd use Safari over Chrome for the energy efficiency alone, but I understand people have different priorities.

You can also check the health of your battery by doing "Apple Menu" -> "About This Mac" -> "System Report…" and then selecting "Power" in the side bar. (Google for the expected charge capacity for your laptop model.)

gumby said 2 months ago:

That’s a battery problem if so and I’d get it fixed. A new MBP should get something like 10 hours of browsing (presumably Apple claims more)

jbverschoor said 2 months ago:

Haha. yeah not sureif that was me or a typo + autocorrect

Try clicking the battery icon ;-)

gcb0 said 2 months ago:

Lol. Even when that dialog worked as intended, it was total crap! It mostly worked for certain menu items only.

Fun game: try to remap Ctrl+a to select all, Ctrl+c to copy etc to mimic unix/windows. (or god forbid, to make your limited mobility device that cost thousands of dollars several years ago to work on your work provided macbook pro)

Every single app will behave differently and you will see how broken usability/accessibility is on OSX. Some examples for Ctrl+c:

on Firefox, Ctrl+c will move the cursor to the end of the text area while cmd+c will still work as copy, despite the menu hint showing Ctrl+c next to edit>copy.

On Notes.app it will work fine and cmd+c stops working (correctly).

On safari, calendar and most apple office stuff ctrl+c just do absolutely nothing. In some apps it shows ctrl+c next to edit>copy though, because why not

simongr3dal said 2 months ago:

I'm not saying it is easy or logical, but it is possible.

System Preferences > Keyboard > Keyboard > Modifier Keys...

In this dialogue you can remap what the modifier keys means, so you can make the ctrl-button act as cmd and make the cmd-button act as ctrl.

Personally i use it to make the caps-lock key act as escape.

ggg2 said 2 months ago:

now you have the problem of making your crap accessibility hardware closed source firmware to send the caps lock key code instead of ctrl. Good luck with that.

fnky said 2 months ago:

You can change modifiers for different inputs. If you have another keyboard attached, it will give you the option to choose between that, and other keyboards, such as the built-in. They can have different modifier overrides.

frou_dh said 2 months ago:

Bug aside, this from-the-outside-in way of creating keyboard shortcuts is a cool feature, that I bet a minority of even Mac powerusers are aware of.

See also "DefaultKeyBinding.dict" for more keyboard behavior possibilities, including stuff like ^W and ^U working in Cocoa text fields.

Wowfunhappy said 2 months ago:

One great thing about macOS is that Apple provides a couple of tools to extend existing apps. The other really great one is Automator Services/Quick Actions.

btown said 2 months ago:

BetterTouchTool - https://folivora.ai/ - patches over many of these "rough edges" in macOS, including the arbitrary-keyboard-shortcuts-for-menu-items requirement of the OP. I think it's generally true that while the polished-ness of Apple's own software has deteriorated somewhat, the ecosystem of utilities largely fills that gap... except where it comes to hardware, where the butterfly keyboard problems infuriate me daily to no end.

Wowfunhappy said 2 months ago:

> What is more, as far as I can see, this bug has existed since macOS High Sierra 10.13.4, almost a year ago, in March 2018, if not before.

Hmm, I still have my main machine on High Sierra due to nVidia drivers (and Mojave's Apple Event Sandboxing being a giant PITA), and I can't replicate this on 10.13.6. The bug worked on my Mojave machine, however.

I wonder if the author is mistaken regarding how long the bug has been present. Or maybe it was introduced in 10.13.4, got fixed, and then was broken again?

passivepinetree said 2 months ago:

> In coding terms, it’s a trivially simple error which should take a few seconds to fix.

This is both a large assumption and a huge oversimplification. What about time to regression test, QA, deploy through the various inner rings/dogfooding groups, check accessibility, etc.?

It smacks of a writer who possibly has coded before as a hobbyist but never professionally.

Wowfunhappy said 2 months ago:

Wow. Looks like I never ran into this bug because I have one too few App Shortcuts set up (only two custom ones, as opposed to 3+).

And this has been in place since Sierra?! Wow!

I'm not convinced that Apple actually knows about this bug, but what does that say about their software testing...

talkingtab said 2 months ago:

"I can feel it Dave", except that it seems that Apple can't feel it. MacOS is like HAL oe one of those robots that you see in movies that wanders around doing things that no longer make sense. This appears true for hardware as well - I used to long for the latest MacBook and now I am relieved that my 2012 is hanging in there because I don't want to spend all that money for a bad keyboard. Think about that for a minute - 2012 vs 2019!

Apple should open source their OS. They would not longer have to waste their time and energy pretending that the MacBook market matters to them. Developers would be happy with them - its a win win situation!!

ilikehurdles said 2 months ago:

> Right now, if I open my list, it displays like yours, without any ellipses. If I add and then remove a shortcut, half of the list spontaneously turns to “…”. But if I close and open System Preferences again, I’m back where I started, with a properly displaying list

By the author's own admission (in the comments) this doesn't even seem like a major bug. His refusal to report it isn't helping anyone, and it's a display issue that's fixed by closing and re-opening a window. How was any keyboard shortcut actually killed here? What a terrible clickbaity headline.

Jyaif said 2 months ago:

Related: ⌘-C randomly not working is one of my top issue with the new macOSes. It used to work perfectly fine a couple years ago.

jxdxbx said 2 months ago:

Why does he assume that the responsible engineers are aware of the bug?

ilikehurdles said 2 months ago:

His comments are full of people unable to reproduce it, yet he assumes people working on the OS are actively aware of and ignoring it intentionally.

flywithdolp said 2 months ago:

please fix the keyboard bug that make it hot like lava....

can't even touch my mac without gloves