It’s not every Monday that Apple releases an OS update two hours after the close of business (on the East Coast) that breaks your software. The good news is that, although I didn’t expect 10.4.1 to be released this soon, I was aware of the problem and was almost ready to release SpamSieve 2.3.1, which includes accuracy improvements and some other Tiger-related changes.
The issue with 10.4.1 is that various Mail plug-ins have been causing problems with Apple Mail in 10.4. To the best of my knowledge, SpamSieve’s was not among these. (I’ve received no reports of crashes or other Mail problems with any release versions of Mac OS X and SpamSieve, except for a few crashes that were caused by an old PGP plug-in.) But Apple has no way of knowing that, and they understandably don’t want their mail program to crash or misbehave because of other people’s code. So 10.4.1 disables all Mail plug-ins. And it does so in such a way that you can’t re-enable them by dragging them out of the Bundles (Disabled) folder or by running the plug-in’s installer. Obviously, the idea was to get the plug-in developers to issue updates.
But I don’t think Apple quite accomplished what it might have wanted to, on a technical level, because plug-ins are either all enabled or all disabled. If you install 10.4.1 first, and then update to SpamSieve 2.3.1, SpamSieve will work and all the other plug-ins will remain disabled. Perhaps you’ll re-install them one-by-one as the developers issue updates. But if you install SpamSieve 2.3.1 first, and then update to 10.4.1 (or if you install some other incompatible plug-in after installing SpamSieve 2.3.1) all the plug-ins will be enabled, and you’re essentially back to the 10.4 situation.
The non-technical aspects of this update also leave something to be desired. Apple didn’t tell developers that it was going to make this change; their first acknowledgment of it was today. I discovered that 10.4.1 disabled SpamSieve while running a seed, and luckily it wasn’t hard to figure out how to get it working again. But I couldn’t be sure that my solution was correct, because Apple has yet to officially tell developers how to make their plug-ins “compatible” or to reply to my inquiry as to same.
What I’m most surprised about is how many people told Software Update to go right ahead within an hour or two of 10.4.1’s release. I won’t be clicking that button on my development machine for a few days.
Stay up-to-date by subscribing to the Comments RSS Feed for this post.