Archive for March 31, 2016

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Introducing Safari Technology Preview

Ricky Mondello (Hacker News, MacRumors):

Starting today, there’s a new, convenient way to see what features and improvements are coming to Safari and other applications that use WebKit. Safari Technology Preview is a version of Safari for OS X, distributed by Apple, that includes a cutting-edge, in-development version of the WebKit browser engine. It’s a great way to test upcoming WebKit features and give feedback to the people building them when it’s most useful — early in development.

Safari Technology Preview is a standalone application that can be used side-by-side with Safari or other web browsers, making it easy to compare behaviors between them.


It’s now possible to programmatically copy and cut text in response to a user gesture with document.execCommand('copy') and document.execCommand('cut'). Having this ability may eliminate some websites’ last need for the Flash plug-in.

John Gruber:

Once installed, updates will come every two weeks through the Mac App Store — but you have to initially install from the website download. And unlike Webkit nightly builds, Safari Technology Preview is signed by Apple, which allows it to work with iCloud features (bookmark and tab syncing, etc.).

Nick Heer:

By the way, I’d just like to point to the Mac App Store review guidelines:

2.6 Apps that are “beta”, “demo”, “trial”, or “test” versions will be rejected

Just in case you thought you might be able to get away with this, as a third-party developer. Not that you did, of course.

I’m seeing a weird issue where Safari Technology Preview keeps relaunching itself after I quit it. I can’t get it to stay out of my Dock. I think this is caused by RescueTime.

This may be related to the fact that installing Safari Technology Preview broke my compiled AppleScripts for Safari. They now try to talk to Safari Technology Preview even when I’m already in Safari. I think this is because Safari and Safari Technology Preview have the same CFBundleSignature (sfri)—not the case with WebKit Nightly—but the preview has a higher version number. Even though my scripts mention Safari by name, the creator code is what gets saved during compilation. The fix is to change:

tell application "Safari"


tell application id ""

since the apps have different CFBundleIdentifiers.

A public beta to fix this in EagleFiler is available.

Update (2016-04-13): Ricky Mondello notes that the second version of Safari Technology Preview has a bundle identifier distinct from regular Safari’s. It is now stp1.

Microsoft Is Bringing the Bash Shell to Windows 10

Frederic Lardinois:

Microsoft today announced that it is bringing the GNU project’s Bash shell to Windows. Bash (Bourne Again SHell) has long been a standard on OS X and many Linux distribution systems, while the default terminal for developers on Windows is Microsoft’s own PowerShell.

More importantly than bringing the shell over to Windows, developers will now be able to write their .sh Bash scripts on Windows, as well (or use Emacs to edit their code). Microsoft noted that this will work through a new Linux subsystem in Windows 10 that Microsoft worked on with Canonical.

“The native availability of a full Ubuntu environment on Windows, without virtualization or emulation, is a milestone that defies convention and a gateway to fascinatingly unfamiliar territory,” Canonical founder Mark Shuttleworth said in a statement today.

Dave Winer:

They ported Word and Excel to Mac when they were trying to get the world to adopt Windows. I think you can see where this is headed. Flatten out the differences between the OSes as much as possible. Why not. No one cares about that stuff, that’s the layer that was established 30 years ago. The action is happening 10-levels up the stack.

OmniFocus 2.5 for Mac

Derek Reiff:

In OmniFocus Preferences you’ll see a brand new pane: Style. Inside are both font collections and color palettes. Along with the ability to create your own styles, we’ve included some good-looking pre-made sets.


If you’re wanting to create your own color palette or font collection, check out this support article for more about what’s involved. Be aware! There are a lot of colors involved—it might be a productivity-breaker!

It’s not just fonts and colors. There are a ton of constants for controlling the spacing and padding. There’s also an OmniFocusColors app to make it easier to edit the property list file.

Update (2016-04-10): Nicholas Riley:

OmniFocus 2.5 finally letting me migrate from v1. Some niggles remain, but… (compare …)

Gatekeeper Bug in Mac OS X 10.11.4

Paul Kim:

Gatekeeper seems to be broken for non-app bundles. Heads up to devs shipping prefpanes, screensavers, plugins, etc.

spctl complains about an “obsolete resource envelope”.

Update (2016-03-31): Daniel Jalkut notes that this even affects Apple’s own Network Link Conditioner preference pane.

Daniel Jalkut:

This is a minor annoyance for folks trying to install an obscure development tool, but it’s a major issue for developers like Noodlesoft whose entire livelihood is built on the distribution of software packaged as a preference pane. The scary wording in the dialog casts doubt on the reputation of the developer, and for the more savvy, on the reputation of Apple’s ability to properly assess the trustworthiness of software that we download.


Let’s hope Apple can address this problem soon. Although it doesn’t pose a security risk, it seems appropriate that they could include this in a security update. After all, it has everything to do with preserving trust between users, developers, and Apple.

Update (2016-04-06): Paul Kim:

After filing a DTS incident, Apple confirmed it as a bug (I’ve filed rdar://25466753). There was no information about when a fix would be made available and given that Apple is not known for being nimble about these things and that I was losing customers, I followed the advice of some colleagues and took matters into my own hands.

The result is that starting with Hazel 3.3.8, it will ship with an installer app. The installer app still goes through System Preferences as I still think that its installation process works well.


One can debate how much Apple cares about non-app-bundled software but when the workaround is to suggest people bypass Gatekeeper, they should be very concerned. False positives only erode the confidence people have in your security systems and you don’t want them to get in the habit of casually bypassing them.

Update (2016-05-17): Paul Kim:

10.11.5 fixes the Gatekeeper/prefpane issue. I’ve already switched to shipping an installer app but might be helpful to others who haven’t