Subscribe to
NSLog(); Header Image

Apple Bug Filing Day

Today I filled out about 40 bug reports at Here's the list, from our previous articles on the "inconsistencies" we find creeping up in the Mac GUI. If you have any bugs that you'd like to add to this list, let me know ( I'll post an updated list with your UI bugs in a few days. Submit bugs at the first link (you need a free developer account at least).

Without further ado, the 38 bugs submitted today…

From Suffers from Amnesia:

  • Mail sometimes calls itself "MailViewer"

From What the Hell?:

  • The built-in spell-checker has weird issues with words that begin with a / such as "/gauge." (Given the followup ID 2462563)

From Death of a Dogcow:

  • Several apps use TIFFs instead of standard controls (iCal, Safari, Keynote, etc.). The HIGs state "Avoid creating custom controls for use with textured windows; standard controls look and behave appropriately when used with this appearance."
  • Safari is metal and most definitely should not be (it's multi-window, does not interact with or represent a digital device).

From Nails in the Dogcoffin:

  • Keyboard shortcuts are inconsistent across several applications, specifically for the "Preferences" command. Safari uses command-;, Mail uses cmd-opt-;, iTunes uses cmd-Y, Project Builder uses cmd-,, and several Apple apps lack a keyboard shortcut for Preferences (iChat, TextEdit, Preview, Sherlock, Stickies, Terminal, etc.)

From NSSchizophrenicControls:

  • Text fields in various apps, such as the Search text fields in Mail, iTunes, Safari, and Address Book, all behave differently and look differently.
  • Safari misuses a text field as a progress bar.
  • iChat buttons in the chat windows improperly indicate their behavior. They all look the same, while one button opens a drawer (the "person silhouette" button), two buttons toggle state (the "bold" and "italics" buttons, one button pops up a drop-down menu (the "smiley" button), and another button opens an open dialog (the "paper clip" icon).
  • The bold and italics buttons in chat windows in iChat do not show state (stay "depressed" when the selection or cursor is in a bold or italic piece of text.).
  • iTunes buttons such as "Randomize" and "Mix" and "Add playlist" all look the same, but "Add Playlist" does not toggle state as the Randomize and Mix buttons do.
  • iSync uses a non-standard toolbar.
  • iSync uses a non-standard window with a yellow/black striped title bar.
  • The play/pause/ffwd/etc. buttons in iMovie, Final Cut Pro, Movie Player, iTunes, etc. vary in their appearance and function.

From Yet More Apple UI Strangeness:

  • Keynote uses TIFFs in its bundle for standard NSToolbar items like "Colors," "Customize Toolbar," and "Print."

From iChat iRritations:

  • Choosing to read a new message in iChat and then switching to another window without responding changes that message window again to "new" (i.e. "collapsed") when it should remain expanded.
  • If iChat is not running when you receive a new message, it comes to the front. It should appear behind other windows, not taking your keyboard focus, like it does when iChat is already running.
  • The iChat buddy list buttons are badly grouped. The first two buttons act on the list and should be grouped, and the next three act on the selected buddy.
  • The iChat buddy list icon for the "View" button should be changed to something that doesn't indicate "List View" (like the Finder) or "toggle list" (like in iCal). The icon should have a down arrow badge to indicate that it will display a drop-down menu.
  • The attachment icon in iChat chat windows should be disabled when talking with someone whose client does not support file transfers instead of just beeping when you press it.
  • iChat should not open multiple "info windows" for the same buddy.
  • iChat "info windows" should tile.
  • iChat should not use metal windows. It's multi-windowed and does not interact with a device.
  • "Add Hyperlink" menu command in iChat should only be active when focus is in a message text field.
  • iChat's status drop-down menu is of variable length (and again uses a non-standard control).
  • iChat's status popup menu uses a down arrow to indicate that it is a drop-down menu when it acts, sometimes, as a popup menu.
  • iChat's "When I quit iChat, set my status to Offline" is improperly organized as a submenu item to showing the status in the menu bar. It more logically belongs with the "When ichat opens, automatically log in" item. The middle two items should be grouped together, and the first and last should be grouped.
  • iChat should display the path to the transcripts folder near to the "Automatically save chat transcripts" preference item.
  • iChat's "Show Folder" prefs button should say "Show Folder..." and should show the folder, selected, not open the folder, or it should be renamed "Open Folder...".
  • iChat's "Privacy" list in the preferences should not appear to remove people from the list when switching between privacy levels. A dual-list approach similar to the status message windows could be used to show both "allowed" and "blocked" people.
  • iChat's "Privacy Level" popup is ambiguous. "Allow people listed below"... to do what?

From More Bad UI:

  • The "Burn CD" and "Burn DVD" icons in iTunes, iDVD, etc. look "greyed out" and thus "disabled." The Finder's "Burn" icon is bright and lit, but unfortunately, it is always bright and lit, and should be disabled when no blank CD is in the computer.

From Mac OS X: Where'd Our UI Go?:

  • iCal uses TIFFs for checkboxes. It should use standard controls (NSButton).
  • The font preview in the font panel lacks a "grab" widget to open the split view. Currently you must grab "empty space" and pull it down to show the font preview.

From You Can't Escape the Ken Burns Effect and other Horrid iMovie Ughs:

  • In iMovie 3, there is no way to disable the Ken Burns effect. You can set the zoom to 1.0 for each image, but you're forced to "overlap" two images to ensure that the image doesn't move from point a to point b throughout the duration of the clip.
  • iMovie 3 uses a "toggle button" to switch between "Camera" and "Edit" mode, but uses a different functionality to switch between Clip view and Timeline view.
  • iMovie 3 does not change the play symbol to a pause symbol when a movie is playing.
  • iMovie 3 misuses radio buttons for the Ken Burns "Start/Finish." Group boxes or tab views should be used.

From Sunken Metal Widgets Bug:

  • Sunken metal window widgets, when their controls (close, minimize, etc.) are clicked, bring their application to the front. The application should remain in the background.

8 Responses to "Apple Bug Filing Day"

  1. Re: Sunken metal widgets

    Do we have any clue why the widgets are sunken? Is it a bug introduced in 10.2.3 (I think that is when it first appeared).

  2. A nice long list. I hope you won't get too many "Engineering has reviewed your report and has determined that this is

    behavior intended by design and is working correctly per engineering specifications."

    That's what I got for reporting the Finder launching at startup -- and no way to disable it -- and its icon hard-coded in the Dock.

  3. Mega UI Bugs

    Erik J. Barzeski's making a list of Apple UI bugs and filing them on RadarWeb. You can go look at them here. I just wish they would look at my remaining bugs:

  4. In no particular order:

    Etan, yes, the sunken widgets were intentional. If they weren't, they'd've been removed in 10.2.4, I'm sure. 🙂

    David, you can prevent the Finder from launching on startup. See Replacing the Finder in the Mac OS X System Overview.

    And finally, Erik, some of those bugs will probably be closed right away because they don't apply to individual applications. For 3180232, 3180234, 3180235, and 3180266, once they're sent back to you and closed, refile them once for each application that exhibits the problem. Yeah, it's annoying, but otherwise the teams responsible for those applications probably won't see the bug at all.

  5. Eric, understood. Frankly, I knew that would happen and I just didn't want to waste the time today to do it. When they come back to me, I will, as you suggest, file them.

  6. #3180269: Escape any effect rendering in iMovie using the "Command" + "." key combination. I agree that a more intuitive way to add pictures without Ken Burns would be nice.

  7. I'm aware of work-arounds. They're still bugs: bugs with work-arounds. See for more.

  8. Apple Software Customer Seeding

    This has probably been around for months, but I just discovered Apple's Software Customer Seeding program (via a link on