Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Add Security Access Groups for Accessibility APIs

Craig Hockenberry:

Disallowing an app from controlling another is a good idea (I sure don’t want an app selecting menu items for me!) and the App Sandbox Design Guide’s statements about accessibility make complete sense.

That being said, automatically moving windows around on my screen is something that helps me do my job and something I can explicitly control using Accessibility in System Preferences. As a user, this type of “controlling my app” means “making my work easier”.

He wants part of System Events’ AppleScript dictionary to have an access group so that it can be a scripting target. This would make it possible to target System Events from a sandboxed application using the com.apple.security.scripting-targets entitlement rather than the broader com.apple.security.temporary-exception.apple-events one that’s likely to be rejected by App Review.

Unfortunately, access groups are not yet widely supported by Mac OS X’s built-in applications or by third-party ones. One app that does support access groups is iTunes, whose .sdef file is, curiously, not stored inside iTunes.app.

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