Thursday, October 4, 2012

AESendMessage Bug in Mac OS X 10.8.2

Brian Webster:

The basic outline of the problem is that sometimes a particular application will get into a state where any events sent to it using AESendMessage (or AESend, for that matter) would not be delivered to the target application, and AESendMessage would simply block until the timeout value was reached, then return an errAETimeout error code.

This affected his iPhoto Library Manager as well as e-mail clients such as MailMate, Postbox, and GyazMail communicating with SpamSieve. The bug can also affect TotalFinder and applications that use the ODBEditor events.

As a short-term fix, you can log out of your Mac or kill the appleeventsd process. Medium-term, the applications sending the events can be rewritten to use typeKernelProcessID rather than typeSignature or typeApplicationBundleID to specify the target application. Of course, we hope that Apple will eventually fix the bug.

Update (2012-10-05): This bug also seems to cause hangs at launch for applications using the Growl 1.3 SDK.

Update (2013-03-16): The bug appears to be fixed in Mac OS X 10.8.3.

Update (2013-10-29): It looks like this bug may be back in Mac OS X 10.9 Mavericks.

13 Comments

GAH THAT'S WHAT THIS IS.

I've had folks complain about this with VoodooPad's Edit In… feature. I was wondering what went wrong.

Nice to know this is a identified issue. It beat me a couple of time since the update by blocking all my apps that use to send events to iTunes.

Could this also be affecting Hog Bay's QuickCursor? I've been getting spotty results with it for the past couple of weeks, though I install and update too much stuff to be able to pin it down to any particular update.

@Eurobubba Yes, I believe QuickCursor uses the ODBEditor events. (As does, e.g., BBEdit integrating with FTP clients.)

[...] ones. And it’s scary as a developer to think that you could ship a bug (or have Apple ship an OS update that introduces one). You work as quickly as possible to get a fix ready, and then Apple sits on it for a [...]

It may also cause slow shutdown. Kill that process in OSX 10.8.2 and shutdown goes from 25 to 2 seconds

[...] other applications that use Apple events to communicate with TextMate. Thanks to Brian Webster and Michael Tsai this has been tracked down to a bug in the appleeventsd process in 10.8.2, hopefully this will be [...]

[...] More on the AppleEvents bug here, here and here. It’s obviously a bug that affects a large number of applications/uses of OS X. Killing the [...]

any news? you guys were having these problems at the beginning of October I see.. I just found out about it now. Does anybody know if Apple is working on it? Should apple release a new version on the OSX?
is there any other way these issue could be resolved?
I can't use Endnote on my sparkling new Mac.. which means that I can't work!

@fra Apple will have to fix this in an OS update. They closed my bug as a duplicate.

I also have this problems. Thet have become major, and i have to go back to windows, and reference manager. I dont like it, but thats the fact.

[...] The cause: AESendMessage Bug in Mac OS X 10.8.2 [...]

When this happened the first time (10.8.2), I wrote my own wrapper to work around the bug and stuck with it.
https://gist.github.com/markmunz/7216998

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