Serious Issue: cmd-space does not always work

General discussions about LaunchBar
jerrykrinock
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Re: Serious Issue: cmd-space does not always work

Postby jerrykrinock » Mon Oct 23, 2017 7:07 am

Yes, one of the windows in Quicksilver still has the little resize thumb button in the lower right hand corner. I think that means it is very old, not a Cocoa window. Since Quicksilver is open source, maybe the LaunchBar developers will look at how Quicksilver implements its keyboard shortcut triggers and fix LaunchBar. I have not deleted my LaunchBar preferences.

JimmyTheSaint
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Re: Serious Issue: cmd-space does not always work

Postby JimmyTheSaint » Mon Oct 23, 2017 7:29 am

The QuickSilver app in its download says September 6, 2017, so that's encouraging. Is there a recent QuickSilver vs. LaunchBar comparision thread on these boards? Simply searching on "QuickSilver" turns up too many hits.

jerrykrinock
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Re: Serious Issue: cmd-space does not always work

Postby jerrykrinock » Sat Oct 28, 2017 7:05 am

SORRY - I retract all I said about Quicksilver working better.

It was perfect for the first few days. Then, it happened once (I had to hit the space bar twice with the command key down before Quicksilver appeared). Then it happened again, and the next day, again and again. And today it seemed to be just like LaunchBar on an average day. That is, it typically requires two hits after I have not used it for a while. It has not yet been as bad as LaunchBar on a bad day, but I suspect that is coming.

It is worse when my computer's CPU is more busy. And as I mentioned previously with LaunchBar, when I first log in it is perfect.

Actually, I was pretty surprised when I found that, initially, Quicksilver was better because, you know, macOS probably provides only one reasonable mechanism for detecting command-space, and LaunchBar and Quicksilver probably both tap into this same mechanism. And it is not surprising that the delay now appears to be in macOS.

Oh, and Quicksilver is sometimes indicating App Nap. Maybe tomorrow I'll try to disable it as I did for LaunchBar (which gave no improvement).

JimmyTheSaint
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Re: Serious Issue: cmd-space does not always work

Postby JimmyTheSaint » Sat Oct 28, 2017 12:17 pm

I haven't had a single instance of the failure-to-launch problem with Quicksilver. But even though Quicksilver works as advertised, its interface is less clever than LaunchBar's in ways that quickly add up and make QS take more work to use than LB. For example:

-all the good plug-ins are outdated
-The menu items interface hasn’t worked in years.
-The interface can't be repositioned.
-the interface's font is too small, while its graphics are huge,
making the interface waste a lot of space and you can't read filenames and URL's as easily
-No emacs-style cursor control
-No direct file manipulation shortcuts. You do it via an action, but
no multiple selection via the normal interface.
-Calculator isn't direct, but via an action, and the interface's
font is too small.
-I can't figure out how to use the 1Password interface.
-Abbreviaitons are not free, but must be literally contained in the original.
-I can't figure out how to use my existing Firefox searches
-Generally more cumbersome (more keystrokes, more complicated
methods) than LaunchBar.
-Calendar plug-in is old, for iCal and doesn't allow creating events
at both a specified time and a specified date. Creating a ToDo
creates a Reminder in the default Reminder list.
-Quicksilver has nothjing like LaunchBar's immediate action on a file
because its preload doesn't work.
-The support group is on Google Groups.
-It's clunkier for file manipulation than LaunchBar.

QS is suffering from lack of development of its extended features, apparently because the community is too small. Over the past five years, it's lost more and more functionality. LB has the niftier interface, I guess because the promise of income gives the devs more incentive to keep polishing it. But this failure-to-launch issue is a real bear. I mean, it's LB's only glitch that I know of, but it's a doozie. Today, once again, I had an entire Word file's contents highlighted and when LB failed to activate with cmd-space, the space clobbered the entire Word file. As mentioned, disaster seems to always be easy enough to avoid via cmd-z or close-without-saving, but somehow I have the feeling I'm cruising for a bruising. QS's inferiority is significant enough that I do prefer LB.

A new discovery today: Alfred. I'd looked at it in the past, but chose LB at that time. But with LB's failure-to-launch problem, I have a lot of incentive to find something that will offer the same functionality with greater reliability. I'm just learning Alfred, but it looks like it will provide all the same functionality as LB, just arranged differently. No failures to launch yet. And the developer and user community looks more lively than LB's, partly due to the retail price. Oh yeah, you have to pay up for Alfred's Powerpack, or else you sacrifice way too much functionality. One irksome thing about Alfred is its lack of a single-key trigger, but it does do several things in different ways than LB and that are nifty in a different way so that it may be, on the whole, the more labor-saving and less frustrating interface.

SmithJones
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Re: Serious Issue: cmd-space does not always work

Postby SmithJones » Mon Oct 30, 2017 1:13 am

jerrykrinock wrote:...LaunchBar would only activate and show its window about 90% of the time...


I am also getting this behavior on my 2010 Mac Pro under 10.12.6 and using the standard Cmd-Space keystroke combination.

I'm not sure it happens about 10% of the time (I've only been messing with LB for a few weeks so far) but that sounds about right.

JimmyTheSaint
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Re: Serious Issue: cmd-space does not always work

Postby JimmyTheSaint » Sat Nov 04, 2017 5:07 am

Update on Alfred: it provides essentially all the same functionality as LB, but it requires more keystrokes. I would say Alfred smarter than LB, always presenting you with many fewer correctly relevant choices, but the cost in extra keystrokes is a real drawback as certain common and frequently repeated operations require, for example, 5-7 keystrokes where LB requires only 2-3. It adds up. Alfred does have nice feature-discovery mechanisms; I often forget some of the things LB can do so that I keep a file of LB notes handy, but the more experienced a user becomes, the more LB outshines Alfred. Alfred does have one killer feature: it can be controlled remotely via an iPhone app, which is useful to me for public presentations. LB just has that one fatal flaw: LB frequently fails to launch, as discussed in this thread. Alfred has never failed to launch for me yet, and I've assigned it the same cmd-space trigger that intermittently fails in LB.

Running both LB and Alfred simultaneously works just fine, and is kind of nice, so you can't go wrong trying out Alfred. But you do need to pay for Alfred's Powerpack ($50 USD for lifetime), or else it's not worth bothering, failure to launch or no,

mjpw
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Re: Serious Issue: cmd-space does not always work

Postby mjpw » Tue Nov 14, 2017 5:52 am

Update: I discovered that in System Preferences -> Siri, there is a keyboard shortcut selector with four options, with the one selected (for me, before I noticed it) being "Hold Command Space". Ever since I switched it to "Press fn (Function) Space" I have not had to type command-space twice to invoke LaunchBar.

This is interesting because:
a) Siri debuted with macOS 10.12 Sierra but I did not start experiencing this problem until I upgraded to High Sierra - I don't know whether the selected keyboard shortcut changed with the upgrade

b) I don't think I was holding down cmd-space long enough to trigger Siri any of the times that I was unable to invoke LB on the first try -- it's hard to miss when you've invoked Siri by mistake. Still, the correlation between the shortcut change and the disappearance of problems with LaunchBar seems strong.

Also, I received a reply to my support request that stated I was "the first user which reported us such issue." I pointed them to this thread and I will let them know about this update as well.

JimmyTheSaint
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Re: Serious Issue: cmd-space does not always work

Postby JimmyTheSaint » Tue Nov 14, 2017 6:05 am

I have never had Siri enabled, yet LB has exhibited the failure to launch problem for me on both Sierra and High Sierra on for different Macbooks. What's more, in my Siri preference panes' grayed-out options, the default is "Hold Option Space." So I think this Siri connection is a red herring. I enabled Siri, changed the keyboard shortcut to "Press Fn (Function) Space" as you've done, then re-disabled Siri, but that seems rather unlikely.

I do hope the devs start paying attention to this.

kbaley
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Re: Serious Issue: cmd-space does not always work

Postby kbaley » Fri Nov 17, 2017 4:54 am

I started experiencing this problem in the last week where I would often have to press Cmd-Space twice and I think it started happening after I updated to High Sierra. This is on a late 2016 MBP. I disabled Ask Siri altogether as per mjpw's comment and preliminary results look good. I haven't had it happen in a few hours now whereas beforehand, it would have happened a couple of times by now.

JimmyTheSaint
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Re: Serious Issue: cmd-space does not always work

Postby JimmyTheSaint » Fri Nov 17, 2017 5:55 am

After doing a screen grab of part of the screen by using cmd-shift-4, does LaunchBar exhibit the failure to launch problem? I do, every time on my High Sierra laptop.

mjpw
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Re: Serious Issue: cmd-space does not always work

Postby mjpw » Fri Nov 17, 2017 6:55 pm

I just tried the Cmd-Shift-4 screenshot action and then invoking LaunchBar, both from a standard desktop space and a full-screen app space. Both times, invoking LaunchBar afterward worked fine. I also continue to not see this issue since I changed my keyboard shortcut for Siri (see earlier post).

JimmyTheSaint
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Re: Serious Issue: cmd-space does not always work

Postby JimmyTheSaint » Fri Nov 17, 2017 7:02 pm

I just tried cmd-shift-4 on a different High Sierra Laptop, a new Macbook 12 (the other was a 2013 MBR), and it shows the same problem. All of my laptops have Siri disabled.

JimmyTheSaint
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Re: Serious Issue: cmd-space does not always work

Postby JimmyTheSaint » Sat Nov 18, 2017 6:38 pm

Aside from a singled cmd, I've also tried other launch shortcuts: single ctrl, double cmd, etc. I get the same reproducible problem every time: after a cmd-shift-4 screenshot, LaunchBar fails to launch regardless of what launch sequence is set. Then, of course, there are the continued launch failures in other contexts, but I can't figure out a pattern. The only error context I can reproduce is after a screenshot.

JimmyTheSaint
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Re: Serious Issue: cmd-space does not always work

Postby JimmyTheSaint » Mon Nov 20, 2017 3:06 am

LB has now been launching after a screenshot no problem when using cmd-space. I reproduce the problem every time when using modifier taps, but the full keyboard shortcut seems to now be working, so maybe the Siri trick has that much effectiveness. It would be nice, though, if launching via modifier taps could still be made reliable because, when standing or moving around, it's much easier to tap cmd once than to accurately hit cmd-space.

violab
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Re: Serious Issue: cmd-space does not always work

Postby violab » Tue Nov 28, 2017 4:34 pm

For a long time LaunchBar was the absolute first application I'd install on any new Mac. It always knew what I wanted no matter how seemingly random the letters I typed were.
But they kept charging too much for updates with too little, and Alfred got better and better, for free. Now I don't really have any compelling reason to go back to Launchbar, free or not.
Last edited by violab on Tue Dec 05, 2017 11:46 am, edited 1 time in total.


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