Anyone else bitten by Unsanity?

  • I've received reports from users of my application failing to work
    correctly in some cases.  After some detective work with a very helpful
    user we discovered messages such as these appearing in the system log
    whenever trouble occurred:

    aped[68]: Attach failed: 5, for MacaroniTool[4755]
    aped[68]: Attach failed: 5, for MacaroniTool[5056]
    aped[68]: Attach failed: 5, for MacaroniTool[5357]
    aped[68]: Attach failed: 5, for MacaroniTool[5658]

    Some further detective work reveals that "aped" is part of Unsanity's
    Application Enhancer.  This problem does not occur on systems without
    Application Enhancer installed.

    The problem affects a command-line tool that links Foundation,
    Security, and Carbon frameworks.  I have no idea what Application
    Enhancer does that would stop applications from running, or what the
    "attach" mentioned in logs is.

    I've tried to contact Unsanity a couple of times but they have
    completely ignored me.  The error messages combined with their total
    lack of interest in the problem make them seem like something of a
    rogue element in Mac OS X software development.

    Has anyone else encountered trouble with Application Enhancer
    inexplicably breaking unrelated software?

    --
    Tom Harrington
    <tph...>
  • On Sun, Oct 27, 2002 at 08:54:12PM -0700, Tom Harrington wrote:
    > I've tried to contact Unsanity a couple of times but they have
    > completely ignored me.  The error messages combined with their total
    > lack of interest in the problem make them seem like something of a
    > rogue element in Mac OS X software development.

    I doubt this lack of communication is intentional.  Unsanity writes
    about their position with regard to incompatibilities here:

    <http://www.unsanity.org/archives/000041.php>

    which pretty much says "if you find a bug, I'll fix it".  They
    certainly fixed every problem I reported during the Labels X beta
    period, and I haven't had a single problem attributable to the use of
    APE or Unsanity-provided modules (one third-party module did cause
    some weird problems, and I removed it).

    The APE SDK is freely available for download (though licensed for
    distribution) - you can test it yourself.

    > Has anyone else encountered trouble with Application Enhancer
    > inexplicably breaking unrelated software?

    Application Enhancer modules are software running in your process
    space - there is no software which is 'unrelated' to it, unless it
    runs as root, in which case APE doesn't attach to it.  The
    incompatibility may be APE itself, or one or more of the .ape bundles
    which it loads.  The only user method of troubleshooting such
    conflicts is to APE and its bundles like Mac OS 9 extensions.

    --
    =Nicholas Riley <njriley...> | <http://www.uiuc.edu/ph/www/njriley>
            Pablo Research Group, Department of Computer Science and
      Medical Scholars Program, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Not Application Enhancer, but FruitMenu.  My sheets would open as
    regular windows causing them to misbehave (controls on the window
    wouldn't work right).  It took me and some other users quite a while to
    figure out FruitMenu was responsible.  I and a few of the others
    reported it (separately), but not a peep back to anyone.  There was
    another incident, but I can't remember right now what it was exactly.

    On Sunday, October 27, 2002, at 08:54  PM, Tom Harrington wrote:

    > Has anyone else encountered trouble with Application Enhancer
    > inexplicably breaking unrelated software?
  • I too have had nothing but extremely helpful conversations with the
    folks at Unsanity.
    This includes dealing with bugs and answering specific development
    questions that I have had.

    As with Nicholas, I suspect that this lack of communication is not
    intentional at all.

    Jeff Thompson
    CTO, CodeTek Studios, Inc.

    On Sunday, October 27, 2002, at 10:19 PM, Nicholas Riley wrote:

    > On Sun, Oct 27, 2002 at 08:54:12PM -0700, Tom Harrington wrote:
    >> I've tried to contact Unsanity a couple of times but they have
    >> completely ignored me.  The error messages combined with their total
    >> lack of interest in the problem make them seem like something of a
    >> rogue element in Mac OS X software development.
    >
    > I doubt this lack of communication is intentional.  Unsanity writes
    > about their position with regard to incompatibilities here:
    >
    > <http://www.unsanity.org/archives/000041.php>
    >
    > which pretty much says "if you find a bug, I'll fix it".  They
    > certainly fixed every problem I reported during the Labels X beta
    > period, and I haven't had a single problem attributable to the use of
    > APE or Unsanity-provided modules (one third-party module did cause
    > some weird problems, and I removed it).
    >
    > The APE SDK is freely available for download (though licensed for
    > distribution) - you can test it yourself.
    >
    >> Has anyone else encountered trouble with Application Enhancer
    >> inexplicably breaking unrelated software?
    >
    > Application Enhancer modules are software running in your process
    > space - there is no software which is 'unrelated' to it, unless it
    > runs as root, in which case APE doesn't attach to it.  The
    > incompatibility may be APE itself, or one or more of the .ape bundles
    > which it loads.  The only user method of troubleshooting such
    > conflicts is to APE and its bundles like Mac OS 9 extensions.
    >
    > --
    > =Nicholas Riley <njriley...> |
    > <http://www.uiuc.edu/ph/www/njriley>
    > Pablo Research Group, Department of Computer Science and
    > Medical Scholars Program, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
    > _______________________________________________
    > MacOSX-dev mailing list
    > <MacOSX-dev...>
    > http://www.omnigroup.com/mailman/listinfo/macosx-dev
  • At 10:19 PM -0600 10/27/02, Nicholas Riley wrote:
    > Application Enhancer modules are software running in your process
    > space - there is no software which is 'unrelated' to it, unless it
    > runs as root, in which case APE doesn't attach to it.

    This is why "Haxies" and "APE" should be avoided by users.  They're
    fun to play with at MacHack, and their use should be entirely
    confined to those four entertaining days in June.

    We have protected memory on Mac OS X for a BLOODY REASON.

    (Cc'd to MacOSX-Talk, please ONLY send followups to this there.)

      -- Chris

    --
    Chris Hanson                      |  Email: <cmh...>
    bDistributed.com, Inc.            |  Phone: +1-847-372-3955
    Making Business Distributed      |  Fax:  +1-847-589-3738
    http://bdistributed.com/          |  Personal Email: <cmh...>
  • On Sun, Oct 27, 2002 at 10:13:54PM -0700, Tom Harrington wrote:

    >> which pretty much says "if you find a bug, I'll fix it".
    >
    > They also pretty much say that they don't want to hear about problems
    > that someone else has reported to me. Meaning, if I want them to care
    > about the trouble they're causing, I need to somehow reproduce the
    > problem under conditions they'd accept, spending time to document their
    > problems to their satisfaction before they'll pay attention.  After
    > seeing this page I'm actually not all that surprised they haven't
    > responded, since it seems to be policy that if their software breaks
    > mine, and users tell me, they don't want to hear about it.

    I don't interpret it that way at _all_.  All it seems they're saying
    is, don't spread FUD about APE, and that's what it looks like you're
    doing.  It's your user having the problem, not you, and they should
    report it to Unsanity as a user of their software.  Likewise, it's
    Unsanity's responsibility to fix problems in their software, including
    those that result from interactions with your code.

    It seems you're ascribing negligent or malicious intent to Unsanity
    when it's likely unwarranted.  I don't have anything to gain from
    saying this, but I've only had the friendliest, most helpful
    interactions with them, and considering the potential for damage in
    the code they write, it works very well.

    >> The APE SDK is freely available for download (though licensed for
    >> distribution) - you can test it yourself.
    >
    > Oh, sure, but it'd be nice if they could at least try to shed some
    > light on what the error message even means and why it might crop up.

    Why not ask for them to add it to the FAQ?  You seem to be basing a
    lot on the fact that they didn't respond to a single email of yours!

    > Uh-huh.  So while they're careful to explain on their web site that
    > what they're doing is nothing like Mac OS 9 extensions, they also
    > carefully omit the fact that they can cause problems that are just as
    > bizarre and hard to diagnose.

    APE modules will not crash your system unless they trigger a Mac OS X
    bug.  They're no more or less powerful than application code.  In that
    way they're nothing like Mac OS 9 extensions.  They don't violate
    memory protection, in that the APE code executing in one application
    can't interfere with other applications.

    In troubleshooting, yes, they're exactly the same as OS 9 extensions,
    except you only need to log out and back in, not restart.  The page I
    referenced mentions removing APE itself as a method of troubleshooting
    - I don't think it's claiming in any way that problems can't happen.
    People make the choice to use APE because they want the features it
    offers, often because Apple neither implemented certain useful
    features in OS X that existed in OS 9, nor provided a clean mechanism
    for extending OS X to do such things.  I'm willing to live with having
    to troubleshoot a conflict once in a while for that.

    --
    =Nicholas Riley <njriley...> | <http://www.uiuc.edu/ph/www/njriley>
            Pablo Research Group, Department of Computer Science and
      Medical Scholars Program, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • I don't see how, consider FM doesn't do anything to sheets or
    windows. And we have not one email from you on the issue.

    Ack, at 10/27/02, Mike Vannorsdel said:

    > Not Application Enhancer, but FruitMenu.  My sheets would open as
    > regular windows causing them to misbehave (controls on the window
    > wouldn't work right).  It took me and some other users quite a while
    > to figure out FruitMenu was responsible.  I and a few of the others
    > reported it (separately), but not a peep back to anyone.  There was
    > another incident, but I can't remember right now what it was exactly.

    --

    Sincerely,
    Rosyna Keller
    Technical Support/Holy Knight/Always needs a hug

    Unsanity: Unsane Tools for Insanely Great People
    ---

    Please include any previous correspondence in replies, it helps me
    remember what we were talking about. Thanks.
  • If the attaching is failing, how is it causing a problem? no ape is
    ever getting into your application if this error occurs.

    You say its causing problems, but according to that log entry, ape
    isn't touching your app. And you never say what problems.

    This just says that MacaroniTool is running as root anyways.

    Ack, at 10/27/02, Tom Harrington said:

    > I've received reports from users of my application failing to work
    > correctly in some cases.  After some detective work with a very
    > helpful user we discovered messages such as these appearing in the
    > system log whenever trouble occurred:
    >
    > aped[68]: Attach failed: 5, for MacaroniTool[4755]
    > aped[68]: Attach failed: 5, for MacaroniTool[5056]
    > aped[68]: Attach failed: 5, for MacaroniTool[5357]
    > aped[68]: Attach failed: 5, for MacaroniTool[5658]

    --

    Sincerely,
    Rosyna Keller
    Technical Support/Holy Knight/Always needs a hug

    Unsanity: Unsane Tools for Insanely Great People
    ---

    Please include any previous correspondence in replies, it helps me
    remember what we were talking about. Thanks.
  • On Monday, October 28, 2002, at 01:21  AM, Rosyna wrote:

    > I don't see how, consider FM doesn't do anything to sheets or windows.

    I wouldn't know either.  But I and several others have confirmed this.
    The bug seems to affect apps randomly, but usually System Preferences.
    I don't regularly use FM and I don't know if this bug is still in the
    latest versions.  I know I've seen this issue mentioned in the MacFixit
    forums as well.

    > And we have not one email from you on the issue.

    I know I sent one about 3-4 weeks ago.  At least two others I know also
    sent in a report.  Perhaps there are problems with your mail server
    which would explain reports of unanswered emails.  I know there were a
    few similar complains about correspondence in the VersionTracker
    reviews.
  • Ack, at 10/28/02, Mike Vannorsdel said:

    >> I don't see how, consider FM doesn't do anything to sheets or windows.
    >
    >
    > I wouldn't know either.  But I and several others have confirmed
    > this.  The bug seems to affect apps randomly, but usually System
    > Preferences.  I don't regularly use FM and I don't know if this bug
    > is still in the latest versions.  I know I've seen this issue
    > mentioned in the MacFixit forums as well.

    If it happens randomly, what makes you think it's FM? Do you have any
    logs of the sort? Where on the MacFixIt forums?

    >
    >> And we have not one email from you on the issue.
    >
    >
    > I know I sent one about 3-4 weeks ago.  At least two others I know
    > also sent in a report.  Perhaps there are problems with your mail
    > server which would explain reports of unanswered emails.  I know
    > there were a few similar complains about correspondence in the
    > VersionTracker reviews.

    From what email address did you send it from?
    --

    Sincerely,
    Rosyna Keller
    Technical Support/Holy Knight/Always needs a hug

    Unsanity: Unsane Tools for Insanely Great People
    ---

    Please include any previous correspondence in replies, it helps me
    remember what we were talking about. Thanks.
  • On Monday, October 28, 2002, at 02:34  AM, Rosyna wrote:

    > If it happens randomly, what makes you think it's FM?

    At least one app in an few hours of use would show the problem with FM
    installed.  The problem goes away after FM has been removed.  This was
    repeated on several machines including those which never had the
    problem and never had FM installed.  Shortly after installation, the
    problem cropped up on those as well.

    > Do you have any logs of the sort?

    Sorry, no logs.  I had a screenshot of System Preferences putting up a
    window where there should have been a sheet (Network pane).  However, I
    doubt I still have it.

    > Where on the MacFixIt forums?

    I'm sure a simple search in the Mac OS X forums for FruitMenu will
    probably produce results.

    > From what email address did you send it from?

    This address: <mikevann...>.
  • On Sunday, October 27, 2002, at 10:39 PM, Nicholas Riley wrote:

    > All it seems they're saying
    > is, don't spread FUD about APE, and that's what it looks like you're
    > doing.
    [snip]
    > Why not ask for them to add it to the FAQ?  You seem to be basing a
    > lot on the fact that they didn't respond to a single email of yours!

    If I'm spreading FUD, I'm only passing it along, not generating it.  If
    I get user reports about problems caused by their software, and my
    (more than single) emails to them are not even acknowledged, then
    surely at least some concern is justified.  Calling it "FUD" is just a
    way for you to write off legitimate concerns as if I had fabricated the
    situation somehow.  I would have preferred to keep this between me and
    Unsanity but it wasn't until I posted here that they seemed to notice.

    --
    Tom Harrington
    <tph...>
  • On Monday, October 28, 2002, at 01:37 AM, Rosyna wrote:

    > If the attaching is failing, how is it causing a problem? no ape is
    > ever getting into your application if this error occurs.
    >
    > You say its causing problems, but according to that log entry, ape
    > isn't touching your app. And you never say what problems.
    >
    > This just says that MacaroniTool is running as root anyways.

    I guess now I know how to get hold of someone at Unsanity.  I would
    have preferred to keep this private, but when my emails of last week
    got no response at all I decided I needed to know if I was the only one.

    Rosyna, up to this message all I had was a cryptic error message and
    reports of trouble.  You answer as if I somehow would have known the
    things you say regarding aped and how it affects other applications,
    when in fact this information doesn't seem to be publicly available.

    The problem is as follows: MacaroniTool is a command-line background
    helper tool for my GUI.  It's run on a regular basis by the Unix cron
    utility, and may also be invoked from the GUI via NSTask.  Users have
    reported that it seems to have no effect with aped installed (at least
    in some cases), but that the log messages I posted do appear when it
    attempts to run.

    I have not yet narrowed down the source of the problem.  I thought that
    contacting Unsanity would be a logical first step in this process.

    --
    Tom Harrington
    <tph...>
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