Friday, August 3, 2012

Mountain Lion Is (Still) a Quitter

Matt Neuburg:

Optimistic attempts by various Apple boosters to justify this astonishing behavior have not, in my view, met with any success. The best that can be said for it is that, given the existence of additional Lion and Mountain Lion features such as Auto Save and Resume (which, together, allow an application’s state to be restored the next time it is launched), the distinction between whether an application is running or not is of diminished importance. That might be the case, if an automatically terminated application’s icon remained in the Dock and the Command-Tab switcher, so that you could conveniently relaunch it; and some pundits have suggested that the icon’s failure in this regard was just a minor bug which Apple would fix in due course. But the fact is that throughout all versions of Lion, and now in Mountain Lion, Apple has not altered this aspect of Automatic Termination’s behavior; an automatically terminated application’s icon is still removed from the Dock and the Command-Tab switcher, just as it would be if the user had quit the application deliberately. And so the user, who did not quit the application deliberately, is puzzled and annoyed, and in order to continue using this application must now search for it and relaunch it all over again.

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I think you've buried the lede here. They've actually provided a way to disable this behavior via the command line in ML, as Matt describes.

(And, of course this isn't going away. If anything, the command line fix will go away in 10.9 - aka Pekingese. If it makes sense in iOS, Apple will find a way to stick it in OS X.)

@Chucky The NSDisableAutomaticTermination default has been around since Lion. I think the story is that Apple fixed some of the other obviously bad stuff from Lion but didn’t address the quitting issues. That says to me that they like this design.

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