Six Colors
Six Colors

by Jason Snell & Dan Moren

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A looming Mac automation apocalypse?

Developer Felix Schwarz sounds the alarm about Mojave changes made for security reasons that could be really annoying and unhelpful for anyone who uses automation or apps that communicate with other apps (which is a lot of people!):

AppleEvent sandboxing, as of Mojave beta 9, is not in a good shape. The addition of new APIs in beta 7 telegraphed that Apple is still working on it. But it’s unclear what changes are still in the pipeline – and whether Apple can make enough progress before Mojave’s public release….

Ultimately, I’d like Apple to reconsider its approach when making changes like these to the foundation of macOS: introduce it at WWDC, but put it behind a feature toggle. Leverage the developer community. Enter into a dialogue to learn about unintended effects of the change, missing or bad APIs. Iterate. Make changes where needed. Provide comprehensive documentation well in advance. Then, at WWDC the year after, remove the feature toggle and make the change permanent.

A lengthy alert dialog.

I agree with Schwarz here; Apple’s goals with these changes are commendable, but why not provide a year for Apple and software developers to work out the bugs by shipping this feature with the ability to turn it off?

I wrote an AppleScript app last week to help automate how I use podcast editing templates. Even after adding it as an approved app by dragging it into the Accessibility list in the Privacy tab of the Security & Privacy pane in System Preferences1, it still frequently demands approval at some point in the process of running. This is ridiculous. If these issues can’t be fixed by the time Mojave launches, maybe it’s worth backing off on them until all parties involved are ready?

—Linked by Jason Snell

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