September 11 2018 - 9:33 am

What About Dark Mode?

I wasn’t rooting for a Dark Mode, the new low-light display preference in macOS 10.14 Mojave. And after working in it I don’t particularly care for it. But I get that many people will find it compelling. So I’m guessing that there are a few “Dark Power” users who will expect that the scripts they download from this site will work in Dark Mode.

Well, they won’t. Not all yet, anyway. In order for AppleScript apps and scripts to respond to Dark Mode they have to be built in Mojave. Anything built in prior operating systems won’t know about Dark Mode. Now, other than updating the scripts just for Dark Mode, there aren’t enough compatibility issues that necessitates a script to be updated yet (new security features, notwithstanding). Most all have been testing fine under the macOS 10.14 betas. So, in my opinion, there’s no rush.

That said, there are some scripts and apps I will be updating for Mojave sooner than later, and these will include some of the more popular shareware apps and scripts. And then, eventually, as more scripts require regular maintenance they will be updated as a matter of course.

September 10 2018 - 7:51 pm

Mojave Security

Most apps from this site are 1) saved as read-only to inhibit malicious code injection, 2) codesigned with my authorized developer ID so that they will break if they are so edited and 3) packaged in a disk image that is also codesigned with my developer ID so that the disk image will not open if its contents doesn’t check out. You—the user—also have Gatekeeper security options to allow just Mac App Store and/or developer signed apps.

Additionally, I would hope that my own personal reputation as a “good dude”, cultivated over almost twenty years as an AppleScript developer, would also attest to the safety of my scripts. But that won’t be the case for bad actors attempting to hijack processes on your Mac.

Apple is introducing a new level of security in Mojave called “AppleEvent Sandboxing”. It effects how AppleScript is or isn’t permitted to access certain locations and processes on your Mac.

When you launch an AppleScript of mine for the first time on macOS 10.14 Mojave you’ll see something like this:

This message will appear before the app or script starts runniing or it may appear a little later into the launch, if and when it actually attempts to access iTunes. AppleScripts that work with multiple apps will display an alert for each of those apps.

(Personally, I think that “OK” button should say “Allow”, but, whatevs.)

This is a new layer of protection that attempts to prevent AppleScripts, and other apps that use AppleScript, from controling apps and accessing data without you knowing about it. When you click “OK”, you’ve acknowledged to the system that you indeed intend to use the script with said application. Once so acknowledged, you shouldn’t see the dialog(s) again for that particular script.

Users of scripts that have targeted “System Events” may be familiar with this process when Accessibility requires a similar acknowledgement. This is a little different since it falls under the purview of Security & Privacy. In fact, if you go to System Preferences > Security & Privacy > Privacy > Automation, you will see the list of apps that use automation and which apps they target:

The list of apps on my machine is way longer than appear here.

If necessary, you can uncheck an app if you suspect the listed AppleScript is up to some funny business. Or, if you clicked on “Don’t Allow” when first asked, you can enable access for a particular app.

Felix Schwartz has posted some first looks at AppleEvent Sandboxing and it’s worth a read until Mojave is officially released and Apple tells us more.

June 26 2018 - 3:16 pm

macOS 10.14 Mojave Betas

Apple has released the first Mojave beta for enrollees of its Public Beta program. Developers have had access to two versions of the beta to date.

Like most developers, I’ll be spending a lot of my Summer digging in to make sure my scripts and apps for iTunes are compatible and/or take advantage of new macOS features. And, as I caution around this time every year, if you are using the betas:

Don’t count on current scripts and apps having complete compatibility this early. In my nominal testing so far, I haven’t run into any serious issues with current versions of my software. But unless a script or app specifically states that it’s macOS 10.14 Mojave-compatible, assume that it isn’t—at least until the final release of Mojave later this year.

Early betas are simply not stable and can’t be depended on for “mission-critical” work. If a script or app doesn’t work like it used to it could be because the OS isn’t fully-baked yet.

Report a problem! The whole point of the beta program is to expose problems. It’s a good thing! If you have an issue with my software running under the Mojave beta, please let me know the details by emailing support AT dougscripts DOT com.

Thanks for your support and help!

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