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Quirk with launching applications LB 5 beta 1

Posted: Sat Dec 06, 2008 3:29 pm
by Greg Jones
I've noticed that when launching an application with LB 5 beta 1, the application is not always made the active application. There does not appear to be a pattern to this behavior, and it is not limited to any specific applications. Sometimes the application is the active application, launching it again an hour later may result in it being launched as a background application.

Yup. Same Here.

Posted: Mon Dec 08, 2008 4:50 pm
by Jim C
I'm seeing this same bug, too, with equal unreliability in being able to predict the behavior. Sometimes the launched application is given focus, other times it launches behind other apps.

I can't get too annoyed, though... it is beta software, after all. :)

Posted: Mon Dec 08, 2008 10:50 pm
by joshuakaufman
I'm seeing this as well, and also with inconsistent duplication.

Posted: Tue Dec 09, 2008 7:43 pm
by sjk
I'd recently noticed more apps launching in the background, too, but hadn't connected it with LB5. I was ready to blame Spaces getting futzed-up again. ;)

Posted: Thu Dec 11, 2008 2:03 am
by Stormchild
I'm running into the same problem -- not just when launching applications directly, but also when I open a document that causes an application to be launched.

If the app is already running, opening a document with LaunchBar correctly brings the app to the front. But whenever an app is launched, it does not become the active app. For me this happens 100% of the time, so I'm sure it's a bug.

Using 5.0b1 (626).

Posted: Thu Dec 11, 2008 2:32 am
by Dennis
Stormchild wrote:For me this happens 100% of the time, so I'm sure it's a bug.


It may very well be a bug, but there must be something else involved here because I can't reproduce the problem at all using 5.0b1 (626). In fact, I've never seen the behavior after several days of heavy LaunchBar use.

There must be some configuration difference between our systems.

-Dennis

Posted: Thu Dec 11, 2008 2:50 am
by sjk
Dennis wrote:There must be some configuration difference between our systems.

And interference with Spaces is always high on my suspect list when unusual/inconsistent window activation/selection occurs.

Posted: Thu Dec 11, 2008 2:54 am
by Dennis
sjk wrote:
Dennis wrote:And interference with Spaces is always high on my suspect list when unusual/inconsistent window activation/selection occurs.


Hmm, yes. I currently have Spaces turned off. Do all of you have Spaces enabled? Maybe we're on to something here.

-Dennis

Posted: Thu Dec 11, 2008 3:49 am
by sjk
Even one person with this problem who's not running Spaces would virtually eliminate it as a possible influence.

It might turn out being easier for OD to isolate this from descriptions of the symptoms and knowing the app code than us trying to figure it out without being able to consistently reproduce it or seeing any obvious pattern (yet). The kind of "oh, yeah… this code change could trigger those symptoms" awareness that we outsiders don't have. :)

Posted: Thu Dec 11, 2008 11:24 am
by Greg Jones
I never use Spaces myself, so that's not a factor on my system.

Posted: Thu Dec 11, 2008 3:30 pm
by Greg Jones
When I first posted this issue, I checked "Hide other applications when opening an item" in LaunchBar's preferences to somewhat get around the problem. I'm sure this behaved as expected (hiding all items) at first, but now this is behaving erratically also. Sometimes only the active application is hidden and the new application is still in the background. Other times all applications are hidden and the newly opened application is activated.

Posted: Sun Dec 14, 2008 6:38 pm
by Stormchild
I don't use Spaces, so we can eliminate that as the cause of this particular problem.

Probably the key factor is whether you have LaunchBar hidden in the Dock. If you don't have the Dock icon hidden, it behaves as a normal application, in which case you shouldn't have this problem.

One thing that's different in LaunchBar 5: When you enable the new option to hide the Dock icon, the icon appears briefly in the Dock when you start LB, then disappears. This never happened in LB4 and earlier (when you had to manually set the LSUIElement flag in the top-level Info.plist to hide the Dock icon). Not sure if that has any bearing on this issue though.

Posted: Sun Dec 14, 2008 7:18 pm
by sjk
Stormchild wrote:I don't use Spaces, so we can eliminate that as the cause of this particular problem.

Not completely. There's still a possibility (however improbable) that Spaces could be one of multiple causes.

But I'll put all my money on it not being anything that Repair Disk Permissions voodoo will fix. :D

If you don't have the Dock icon hidden, it behaves as a normal application, in which case you shouldn't have this problem.

Since installing LB5 I've had the intermittent app-launches-in-background symptoms here and have never hidden the Dock icon. But that doesn't eliminate it from being a factor either, and seems more probable (to me) than Spaces being one.

Anyone having this issue on Tiger? Leopard has been notorious for having more mysteriously intermittent, harder-to-isolate misbehaviors than I've experienced with other OS X versions at least back to Panther. I'd have been satisfied sticking with Tiger if DEVONthink 2.0 didn't require Leopard and I hadn't gotten hooked on Quick Look while using my wife's system.

When you enable the new option to hide the Dock icon, the icon appears briefly in the Dock when you start LB, then disappears.

Interesting. I guess it's using some other method than tweaking LSUIElement?

Posted: Sun Dec 14, 2008 7:27 pm
by norbert
Stormchild wrote:One thing that's different in LaunchBar 5: When you enable the new option to hide the Dock icon, the icon appears briefly in the Dock when you start LB, then disappears. This never happened in LB4 and earlier (when you had to manually set the LSUIElement flag in the top-level Info.plist to hide the Dock icon). Not sure if that has any bearing on this issue though.

That's an interesting observation! LaunchBar's new preference option for turning off the Dock icon actually does the same LSUIElement modification that you had to apply manually in LB4.

In LB4 we suggested to move the modified LaunchBar application to the Desktop temporarily and then put it back to your Applications folder in order to make Mac OS X aware of this change (since Mac OS X caches the LSUIElement information, and moving the application seems to refresh that cache).

It appears that if you move LaunchBar 5 temporarily as well after turning off the Dock icon solves the "Dock icon appears/disappears" phenomenon you've observed.

Does this also solve the problem of not activating an opened application?

Posted: Sun Dec 14, 2008 9:57 pm
by ape
Norbert,

That worked beautifully for me. I shut down LB5, moved the application out of the Applications foleder to the desktop, moved it right back into Applications and launched LB5. The two issues I was experiencing a) launched applications appearing in the background and b) moving to different spaces when the application is launched, have disappeared.

Thanks for the hint.

Steve