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Snow Leopard: Mail's Attachment Bug

Another good one.


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Apple Mail for 10.6.1 acts as if attachments are loaded when they're not. Follow this scenario.

  1. Start a new message.
  2. Start to add an attachment. Select it in the dialog but do not click through yet.
  3. Go to disk and change the name of the attachment.
  4. Go back to Mail. Your 'Choose File' button is still enabled and the old file name is still selected.
  5. Click the button.

Expected behaviour: if the file name doesn't change in the dialog then at the very least Apple Mail should disallow the selection and/or disable the 'Choose File'.

Actual behaviour: Apple Mail acts as a babe in toyland, presumes everything is fine, attempts to load the attachment that doesn't exist, bombs out somewhere in the code - and issues no alert whatsoever. Your composition window remains blank. No attachment is loaded.

Workaround: Keep a close eye on good old Apple Mail or learn to use another mail client.

Orphaned Messages Redux

As documented at this site on numerous occasions, Apple Mail has a longstanding inability to properly disposed of message drafts. This issue has been around for at least two years. Apple Mail for 10.6.1 changes nothing. At time of writing (27 October 2009) an additional half dozen orphaned messages were found with the following timestamps.

Mon, 26 Oct 2009 21:03:29; Mon, 26 Oct 2009 16:42:29; Sat, 24 Oct 2009 21:55:37; Sat, 24 Oct 2009 17:32:35; Thu, 22 Oct 2009 21:45:07; Wed, 21 Oct 2009 02:48:26.

Messages from almost a week ago were found. Messages that may have contained sensitive information. These messages are generated automatically by Apple Mail as you compose new messages.

Your workaround is as before. Make sure you've removed all message drafts from Apple Mail and then use the following to ferret out the stragglers. Then remove them.

find ~/Library/Mail -name *\.emlx -type f | grep Drafts\.mbox

As for the Apple Mail team: shit happens and so do bugs. But when it's a question of bugs of this sensitive and persistent nature where after several years you still can't get your act together, maybe you ought to see if Microsoft are hiring. Apple users deserve better - they deserve 'Apple quality'. And this isn't it.

See Also
Coldspots: Snow Leopard: Under the Hood 1
Coldspots: Snow Leopard: Under the Hood 2
Coldspots: Snow Leopard: Under the Hood 3
Coldspots: Snow Leopard: Mail's Hyperlink Bug

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