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Re: Version 9.3 Macintosh binary won't start with preferences on network share

From: Peter Kerr <p.kerr@auckland.ac.nz>
Date: Wed, 8 Feb 2006 13:53:03 +1300
Message-Id: <3F82FECD-3DC3-4224-801B-BAE5EA3EC2F8@auckland.ac.nz>
Cc: www-amaya@w3.org
To: Brian F.Opitz <listreader@ofarrell-mail.sandi.net>

On 8/02/2006, at 12:24 PM, Brian F. Opitz wrote:
> Amaya 9.3 Mac OS X binary distro:
> Amaya won't start in an MCX environment.
> Mac OS X workstations that are managed by MCX (Managed Client X aka  
> Workgroup Manager) have their preferences stored on a network  
> shared volume. Amaya attempts to start but is unable to write  
> preferences to the preferences folder it creates, so it just quits.  
> The prefs folder that Amaya creates is at the top level of the  
> user's folder and is labelled .amaya so it is hidden from the user.  
> Once the invisible .amaya folder is created, Amaya cannot write/ 
> read into/from that folder.

Disclaimer: I do not use MCX because I could forsee this type of  
problem with some other apps we use. However I have a colleague who  
is using it in a student lab, where the bulk of users have a network  
Home dir, but ~/Library is not mounted at login. Instead the custom  
login script provides a copy from a local template.

He also has a group of users who are permitted to mount their entire  
home dir. They are not using Amaya, but some use Gimp which has a  
similar .gimp folder for user prefs. Points: .amaya may need to be  
created manually the first time; it must belong to the current user;  
permissions 744; is your network clean and fast? we have had other  
apps crash because they could not write and confirm their prefs, a  
ping time of 400 milliseconds was too long.

Where are the networked home dirs? MacOS-X will allow a user to write  
to an invisible folder if it is correctly addressed. What about  
Windows servers? or is the path turning out to be that horrible Apple  
/Network/Servers/Domain/Servername/Users/<username>/ ?

> Amaya should write it's preferences to a MCX compliant XML-based  
> property list file (labelled something like org.w3.amaya.plist) and  
> it should place that file in the /username/Library/Preferences  
> folder. Any additional files/folders that Amaya needs should be  
> placed in the /username/Library/Application Support/Amaya folder.  
> Any preference files or folders that Amaya creates should not be  
> invisible.

If it were a well behaved MacOS application, yes. But Amaya has to be  
crossplatform, without too much differences for the developers to  
manage each. I observe in my own machine ~/.amaya/ ~/.gimp/  
~/.mplayer/ ~/.openoffice.org2/ ~/.pfaEdit/ ~/.scribus/ These contain  
either xml or rc preferences files, both of which are valid for OS-X.  
If you want to manage user preferences thru MCX you could try a  
symlink ~/.amaya -> ~/Library/Preferences/Amaya

This is not supposed to be an apology for Amaya ;-) I had just gotten  
used to Macintosh Manager on OS9, then Apple well and truly broke it  
in OS-X. It's starting to come right again, but it still needs a  
little help.

More trivia: amaya writes its pid to ~/.amaya/pid/ not to /var/run/  
like all good *nixen.
top and ps can still find it tho'

Peter Kerr
School of Music
University of Auckland
Received on Wednesday, 8 February 2006 00:54:28 UTC

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