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Inside Mac OS X 10.7 Lion: Crash or continue, push notifications

post #1 of 34
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Developers have noted two interesting features in progress within the Mac OS X Lion release, one being the ability to continue an application poised to crash, and a second being the foundation of push notifications in Mac OS X.

Crash or continue

When Lion encounters an app that raises an exception and fails to properly handle it (essentially throwing an object in the air and filing to catch it), it now offers the user the choice of either allowing the app to crash or a new option of continuing to allow the app to run.

While this results in the app running in an inconsistent state, it does allow the user at least an attempt at saving data in any open files before quitting the app are restarting it fresh.

The error dialog below indicates how an app that suffers a internal error presents the option to the user, providing a look at what caused the problem.



Push notifications

Another feature discovered in the bowels of Lion is the foundation of push notifications, something Apple originally created for iOS. While apparently not yet fully functional, a developer reports that "the whole range of callbacks for iOS push notifications have been added to NSApplicationDelegate."

- (void)applicationNSApplication *)application didRegisterForRemoteNotificationsWithDeviceToken NSData *)deviceToken NS_AVAILABLE_MAC(10_7);
- (void)applicationNSApplication *)application didFailToRegisterForRemoteNotificationsWithError NSError *)error NS_AVAILABLE_MAC(10_7);
- (void)applicationNSApplication *)application didReceiveRemoteNotificationNSDictionary *)userInfo NS_AVAILABLE_MAC(10_7);

Apple's push notification system allows developers to create services that update the user with notices of new information. The feature is most useful in mobile devices, where constantly polling the network for new emails, news, or other content is a waste of battery life. However, it appears that a consistent push notifications mechanism across both Mac OS X and iOS could be useful in delivering software that works the same on both systems.

Push notifications work by holding an IP connection open, waiting for a message. Essentially, it's like waiting for the phone to ring rather than running to the mailbox every few minutes to see if you've received a reply. Apple's Push Notification Server currently relays messages to iOS users, which can be badge number increments, short messages, or sounds.

Apple has shared a great deal of technology between iOS and Mac OS X, and continues to do so everywhere it makes sense. The result has been not only shared effort on Apple's side, but also a familiar and usually consistent environment for developers who want to target both.
post #2 of 34
I think the crash thing is for developers testing the beta. Popping up a window like that is unprofessional.
post #3 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by bdkennedy1 View Post

I think the crash thing is for developers testing the beta. Popping up a window like that is unprofessional.

Not really. We've been getting windows like this for years. App crashes, window pops up and conveys, "Your app crashed. Wanna report it? You can ignore the crash or reopen it and try again."

What's the harm in taking it one step further? It's actually somewhat a step towards stability for the entire OS, if the user has slightly more control over when the app crashes. Like the article suggests at least just for saving current data, I think lots of people would be happy with that, myself included.

It can also be good for developers in a lot of ways. One might be easier debugging, being able to continue the app running to gather information about the app's state and why it's crashing. I really hope they keep it.
post #4 of 34
The continuation of a crashed app may be made practical by the new versioning file system. In the past it would be too risky to allow a user to continue, since it could save their document in an inconsistent state, destroying all their work. But now if that happens they can just roll back.

Bringing PNS to the Mac is a great idea. If they use it for MobileMe new mail notifications, instead of IMAP IDLE, Mac could have the fastest new mail notifications of any computer.

Is this article written by one of the new writers they were advertising for a few days ago? The little explanatory notes about Exceptions and Push Notifications are not something I've noticed before.

Also, are those traffic lights smaller than Snow Leopard's?
post #5 of 34
We used to (sort-of) have this back in the old days with Macsbug. On occasion I could hit the developer key when the system froze, get Macsbug to pop up and hit 'r' to resume. Didn't always work, but for early days it would sometimes let me save my work...
post #6 of 34
Notice the window shows "hide details". In other words, the initial window that pops up contains minimal information (i.e. crash or continue) and thus would function like other windows of this type.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bdkennedy1 View Post

I think the crash thing is for developers testing the beta. Popping up a window like that is unprofessional.
post #7 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by bdkennedy1 View Post

I think the crash thing is for developers testing the beta. Popping up a window like that is unprofessional.

I don't have a problem with it as long as the default is to save as. Otherwise you could be dealing with the possible corrupting of your data.
post #8 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

Also, are those traffic lights smaller than Snow Leopard's?

Yes, the traffic lights are smaller in Lion.

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Black/Space Grey iPad Air with Wi-Fi & LTE | 128GB | On 4GEE
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MacBook Pro 15" | Intel Core2 Duo 2.66GHz | 320GB HDD | OS X v10.9
Black/Space Grey iPad Air with Wi-Fi & LTE | 128GB | On 4GEE
White iPhone 6 | 64GB | On 3UK

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post #9 of 34
Wonder if the push notifications being baked into Lion will incorporate system or application level notifications as well (ie, Growl)?
dano
if it is to be, it is up to me...
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dano
if it is to be, it is up to me...
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post #10 of 34
This doesn't seem necessary since Lion saves your documents automatically as you edit them. Although I'm not sure exactly go it works. If you just create an new untitled document, it might not save your work.
post #11 of 34
Push already exists on Snow Leopard. They debuted in FaceTime. You don't need to leave FaceTime open in order to receive FaceTime calls, push notifications start it automatically.
post #12 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mynameisjoe View Post

This doesn't seem necessary since Lion saves your documents automatically as you edit them. Although I'm not sure exactly go it works. If you just create an new untitled document, it might not save your work.

lion enabled applications of course save ALL THE TIME your documents, new or old, "saved" or not, named or not.

if you just create a new untitled document, yup, it is saved.

-
"Save as" is no more in textedit. Now you have "save" who allow you to name the new document or create a new version immediately and "duplicate" to create a new document starting from an old.
post #13 of 34
Should send a report whether one chooses to continue or allow to crash. None of us like to lose work/data but Apple and the Dev responsible need to know there is a problem. The file associated with the crash should be similarly marked with a prefix/suffix.
post #14 of 34
Steaming military stripes? Flan?
post #15 of 34
Developers know what it means that "an uncaught exception was raised," but this is just gibberish to ordinary mortals. In fact, since it is in the passive voice, non-geeks might think they did something wrong. Apple's computers are for the rest of us, that is, for non-geeks. Apple should reword it to be something comprehensible, like "This application made a fatal error."

I remember a computer operator at Merrill Lynch who remained at his seat for eight hours waiting for security to arrest him because the computer displayed "illegal operation performed." They forced the developer to rephrase the error message.

The last sentence also needs rewriting. It should say, "If you choose Crash, you will lose any unsaved data."

The passive voice is to be avoided. It obscures the subject, turning every sentence into a detective novel. I told someone once, "If you keep using the passive voice in every sentence, people will think you are lousy in bed." Guess who started writing in normal English!
post #16 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by jpellino View Post

Steaming military stripes? Flan?

I thought it was crème brûlée
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post #17 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Panu View Post

Developers know what it means that "an uncaught exception was raised," but this is just gibberish to ordinary mortals. In fact, since it is in the passive voice, non-geeks might think they did something wrong. Apple's computers are for the rest of us, that is, for non-geeks. Apple should reword it to be something comprehensible, like "This application made a fatal error."

At the very least it sounds existential; at worst, Windows-esque (an ethernet cable is unplugged).

Reword it, yes, but "fatal error" is no better. A crash in which no one died isn't fatal... right?

Quote:
When Lion encounters an app that raises an exception and fails to properly handle it (essentially throwing an object in the air and filing to catch it),

Perhaps it was written by an Aussie
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post #18 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by jpellino View Post

Steaming military stripes? Flan?

http://www.plexapp.com/
post #19 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by john galt View Post

Perhaps it was written by an Aussie

We're sorry but your application just chucked a wobbly.

Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

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Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

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post #20 of 34
Windows 3.1 had something like this, but it was dropped in 95 in favour of the "Illegal Operation" compulsory shutdown (possibly because everyone would always try and continue in the inconsistent state and then complain when it broke I remember frantically clicking on Ignore every second or more desperately trying to prevent data loss). Maybe this version will be better-implemented.
post #21 of 34
The makers of Growl can't be too happy.
post #22 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Outsider View Post

The makers of Growl can't be too happy.

It's not like they're making money on it. Besides, I don't see Growl notification going away. Email receipt is only one of many notification events I see. IM notifications are probably less efficient going through a central server. Dropbox notices would probably be well served outside of Growl, perhaps OmniFocus task notices as well. However, iTunes music changes, last.fm scrobbles, Handbrake encodes - basically any local processing alerts do not need to go through Apple's notification servers.
post #23 of 34
This is a cool feature. More control/options is good.

I just noticed the buttons in Lion for the first time; they're square. Which makes sense, for Apple to match their buttons with their iMacs. Round and shiny for the gum-drop style, matte and square with rounded corners for the current gen.

Nice attention to detail, Apple. Keep it up.
post #24 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by djames4242 View Post

It's not like they're making money on it. Besides, I don't see Growl notification going away. Email receipt is only one of many notification events I see. IM notifications are probably less efficient going through a central server. Dropbox notices would probably be well served outside of Growl, perhaps OmniFocus task notices as well. However, iTunes music changes, last.fm scrobbles, Handbrake encodes - basically any local processing alerts do not need to go through Apple's notification servers.

True, but Apple added Local Notifications to iOS, they could very well be planning to add them to OS X too, alongside Push.

MacBook Pro 15" | Intel Core2 Duo 2.66GHz | 320GB HDD | OS X v10.9
Black/Space Grey iPad Air with Wi-Fi & LTE | 128GB | On 4GEE
White iPhone 6 | 64GB | On 3UK

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MacBook Pro 15" | Intel Core2 Duo 2.66GHz | 320GB HDD | OS X v10.9
Black/Space Grey iPad Air with Wi-Fi & LTE | 128GB | On 4GEE
White iPhone 6 | 64GB | On 3UK

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post #25 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jensonb View Post

True, but Apple added Local Notifications to iOS, they could very well be planning to add them to OS X too, alongside Push.

Ah, true. Well I'd hate to see Growl superseded by OSX notifications because of how flexible they are. Example, the vast majority of my notifications automatically fade after about three seconds. Omnifocus due notifications remain until I close them. And while I never use network or email notifications, I can see how handy those could be...
post #26 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by bdkennedy1 View Post

I think the crash thing is for developers testing the beta. Popping up a window like that is unprofessional.

What are you talking about, when an app crashes you get the option to show a report of what happened already. Now maybe the window that pops up will give users an option to save work & then crash. This example may be architected more for developers but something similar will probably show up in final version.
post #27 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by djames4242 View Post

Ah, true. Well I'd hate to see Growl superseded by OSX notifications because of how flexible they are. Example, the vast majority of my notifications automatically fade after about three seconds. Omnifocus due notifications remain until I close them. And while I never use network or email notifications, I can see how handy those could be...

All we can do is hope Apple employees use the same awesome apps we do, which is probably very likely. Along with Growl styled notifications & options how about some native QuickSilver like features built right into spotlight!!
post #28 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by djames4242 View Post

We used to (sort-of) have this back in the old days with Macsbug. On occasion I could hit the developer key when the system froze, get Macsbug to pop up and hit 'r' to resume. Didn't always work, but for early days it would sometimes let me save my work...

Woah, I forgot all about the reset and interrupt buttons on my Mac Plus. I just checked and they are still on there too! Woot! Since they clipped on, they were very easy to loose.
post #29 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by n42 View Post

http://www.plexapp.com/

Ahh, the icon of the buggy program that crashed.

I was there with flan too.....
post #30 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by oomu View Post

lion enabled applications of course save ALL THE TIME your documents, new or old, "saved" or not, named or not.

if you just create a new untitled document, yup, it is saved.

-
"Save as" is no more in textedit. Now you have "save" who allow you to name the new document or create a new version immediately and "duplicate" to create a new document starting from an old.

I noticed this earlier when typing in TextEdit, but I'm a bit confused... It seems the file, despite being saved, won't actually show up in Documents until I press CMD+S. And thus, what happens if I never actually save the file, but close TextEdit? It just holds a file called "Untitled" in memory?
post #31 of 34
Today Lion crashed completely. But it recovered without a restart. The screen just went blue, and after a couple of seconds it was up and running again. It was not just a restart of the finder. Is this a new feature??
post #32 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheWaveable View Post

Today Lion crashed completely. But it recovered without a restart. The screen just went blue, and after a couple of seconds it was up and running again. It was not just a restart of the finder. Is this a new feature??

Not to be the NDA thrower-arounder ... but Lion is a Dev preview. Shouldn't you be talking about it only on the Dev Forums?
post #33 of 34
Sorry if this seems off topic as it's not about push notifications, but has anyone else experienced severe input lag using a Magic Mouse and Apple keyboard? It makes the OS unusable.
post #34 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by q2h View Post

Sorry if this seems off topic as it's not about push notifications, but has anyone else experienced severe input lag using a Magic Mouse and Apple keyboard? It makes the OS unusable.

Right. What was Apple thinking releasing this to consumers in this state?! Oh, wait....
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