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View Full Version : The risks with the Mac OS X 10.4.10 version number



chrism238
12th July 2007, 08:09 AM
From MacFixit (http://www.macfixit.com/article.php?story=20070628105254900) this interesting piece:

"Mac OS X 10.4.10 is the first iterative release of Mac OS X to have 5 digits
in its version string (1, 0, 4, 1, 0). It is also the first iterative
release of Mac OS X to use the ".10" extension. This is causing some
significant issues.

The initial three [sic] digits for "10.4.10" are the same as "10.4.1," an
earlier release of Mac OS X 10.4 (Tiger). Since the
"MAC_OS_X_VERSION_ACTUAL" string (used by Cocoa applications to determine
the current OS version) can carry a maximum of four digits, Mac OS X 10.4.10
and and 10.4.1 are both labeled "1041."

This means that some applications recognize Mac OS X 10.4.10's version
string as Mac OS X 10.4.1 and refuse to properly run, erroneously thinking
that the system version is too old. For instance, the application UNO
requires Mac OS X 10.4.4. When running under Mac OS X 10.4.10, it recognizes
the Mac OS X version number as 10.4.1 and refuses to operate.

Essentially, the built-in Cocoa method for forbidding an app to run on too
low a system breaks against Mac OS X 10.4.10.

We're still searching for a viable method for tricking applications into
thinking that the system version is 10.4.9, which would largely obviate this
problem.

RISKS: This sounds almost like a repeat of the Y2K scenarios, with all its
attendant risks."

Bart Smastard
12th July 2007, 09:13 AM
I can't understand why Apple didn't increase the capacity of the string to allow for the extra digit.

How did this even get through to the final release? It should've been caught in testing... in fact it should've been caught at the design phase.

Sorry for the rant. I've worked in both testing and development for big corporations for far too long, which has caused me to get very uptight about silly little bugs. You would think I'd be used to it by now.

wesleyong
12th July 2007, 09:33 AM
Yeah, you can't run software update (to upgrade to 10.4.9 etc) if you install 10.1.10 first. I had to format!

iSlayer
12th July 2007, 09:39 AM
You have to lay atleast a tiny bit of blame with developers aswell. Many would have had access to 10.4.10 beta's so they could have tested and fixed issues if they really wanted to

Silver
12th July 2007, 10:40 AM
I'm looking forward to 10.10.10 in a few years.

soulman
12th July 2007, 11:15 AM
It's also not the only way to get the system version. Obviously there are a lot of apps out there that do it differently or else a lot of things would be broken. There used to be a file called Gestalt.h that contained 4 char codes that can be called to return various system attributes including OS Version. It has now been replaced by CoreServices.h by the look of it. In any case, it returns most of its values in hexadecimal, so the 0-9 limit does not apply. That's one of the reasons why we do have a .10 release now and it's not the first time. AppleScript has been at 1.10.x for a while now.

ford.boy
12th July 2007, 11:48 AM
Yeah, you can't run software update (to upgrade to 10.4.9 etc) if you install 10.1.10 first. I had to format!

um, duh :P

unless you meant 10.4.1 :)

forgie
12th July 2007, 12:26 PM
Can anyone name an app that is actually affected by this problem? Or is it simply a pointless beat-up about a potential problem that never eventuated?

kim jong il
12th July 2007, 12:26 PM
I'm kind of amazed by that. I can't believe that was not picked up or considered during beta testing. Since there is a software limitation (the 4 digit string) Apple could surely have called it 10.4.9 update 2 or B or something like that (ideally longer strings would be allowed and then the next version might have been 10.4.9.1?). I can see that it probably would have got a few laughs from the guys at M$ but surely that is better than having flaky software issues?

stevejay
12th July 2007, 12:47 PM
Sorry for the rant. I've worked in both testing and development for big corporations for far too long, which has caused me to get very uptight about silly little bugs. You would think I'd be used to it by now.


I feel your pain. If you knew what it's like at my place of employment you'd know why ;)

Haven't struck anything on my iBook that's been broken by this yet, but wouldn't it be just a matter of rewriting the version data in the right dictionary in the right .plist? Say convert the 1041 to 1049 or 1410?

marc
12th July 2007, 12:58 PM
As stupid as it sounds to even be discussing an issue like this, 10.4.1 (and 10.4.10) weren't milestones for anything important that I'm aware of.

In other words... I think I'm with forgie on this. Have any apps actually been affected? I can't see much point in checking for 10.4.1 specifically in an app (10.4 yes, and 10.4.7 yes, but not 10.4.1).

iSlayer
12th July 2007, 01:02 PM
In other words... I think I'm with forgie on this. Have any apps actually been affected? I can't see much point in checking for 10.4.1 specifically in an app (10.4 yes, and 10.4.7 yes, but not 10.4.1).

The problem isnt checking for .1. Its that checking for anything after .1 when the user has .10 installed

It has affected a few apps but i think they were all patched very quickly.

forgie
12th July 2007, 01:30 PM
The problem isnt checking for .1. Its that checking for anything after .1 when the user has .10 installed

It has affected a few apps but i think they were all patched very quickly.
Any ideas on which apps?

Ginamos
12th July 2007, 01:35 PM
Can anyone name an app that is actually affected by this problem? Or is it simply a pointless beat-up about a potential problem that never eventuated?

Good point

The only one I've come across is Uno and even that works under 10.4.10, the problem is installing it. The info posted in in the MacFixit article about Uno not running is incorrect. The problem seems to be the installer checking the version and erroneously thinking it's 10.4.1 and refusing to install. From Uno's site the workaround is simply to change the "SystemVersion" string from 10.4.10 to 10.4.9 temporarily for the install.

iSlayer
12th July 2007, 02:07 PM
Any ideas on which apps?

i remember hearing that there was some issues with onyx. Thats the only one i can remember now

PartridgeAHA
12th July 2007, 02:11 PM
I wonder if this has anything to do with my Photoshop Elements 4 having stopped working altogether a few weeks back. When did this update happen?