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Christjesus Those Apple Engineers Are Stupid

It's really very very simple but it's still too rocket-science for the engineers at Apple.

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Try this.

Open any app that saves files, like your text editor, and save a new empty document as 'Christjesus Those Apple Engineers Are Stupid'. Give it whatever extension you want (if you christjesus know fucking how). See what happens.


Now go to your trusty file manager (do you have one) and mark the file as '0400'. For the inept of you that means 'read permissions only and only for the owner'.

(That wasn't that bad, was it?)

Now try saving it again. (You know what's coming, right?)

OK, now you're going to fuck around even more, because you again know what's coming, right?

You go back to your trusty file manager and you mark the parent directory of that file as '0500'. That means 'read permissions only and only for DIRECTORY owner'. (That wasn't that bad either, was it? No of course not, you stupid fucking simpleton.)

Now try saving it again. (You know what's coming, right?)

OK, so what happened?

From a new book to be published in March called The Glory Years of Apple we can read:

Once there was this dimwitted Apple executive. He was no better or worse in the brains department than any of his colleagues. But he had a problem saving his files on his Mac.

He'd often mark his own files as 'read-only' and then was perplexed when he could no longer save changes to them. (He was no better or worse in the brains department than any of his colleagues.) So he went to what he thought was a crack programming engineer for help.

The engineer solved the problem for him in a few minutes by rerouting the system code that saves files. Instead of copying in the changes, the crack engineer now moved the changes in, effectively removing the original file and then replacing it.

[This can be seen by inspecting the inodes before and after. Contrary to Unix, where inodes of course do not change on file updates, this new system had to.]

And all was well and good in the Kingdom of Apple Lunacy©. For a while. Sure, you'd tell the user that the file couldn't be saved, and then tell the user the file could be saved anyway, but those are brain-dead Apple customers, right? So no worries!

The next snag was what to call it. The file was actually not writable. Call it 'locked'! 'Locked' doesn't exist in the world of Unix. 'Locked' is just fucking stupid. Typical Apple.

But OK, what happens if the parent directory is locked? That crack Apple engineer hadn't thought about that. For to move a file in Unix means you are actually changing the contents of a parent directory, and what happens if you can't write to that directory?

Oops. Well gosh. Apple hadn't thought about that.

[SERIOUSLY. They hadn't thought about that.]

The fanboys weren't going to complain. To them, nothing makes sense anyway - they hate computers! The only reason they're using computers is GUY KAWASAKI told them it's OK, and they all know what a rube he is when it comes to computers!

So for six or eight long, very long, years, consumers of Apple junk got a totally misleading diagnostic, which only recently has been updated (without addressing the overall issue of their total fucking Clownworld incompetence).

But the diagnostic is still incorrect of course. Perhaps the reasoning is that 'if we let on how fucking stupid this really is, we'll lose our bonuses?'

For here's the kicker. If you first loosen permissions on the parent directory, the save will work, and you can restore the old permissions afterwards.

This is easy-peasy. Takes a couple lines of code. It's really very very simple.

But it's still too rocket-science for the engineers at Apple.

 - BCB Oyster Bay January 2021

See Also
Learning Curve: I Want a Gold Mac

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About Rixstep

Stockholm/London-based Rixstep are a constellation of programmers and support staff from Radsoft Laboratories who tired of Windows vulnerabilities, Linux driver issues, and cursing x86 hardware all day long. Rixstep have many years of experience behind their efforts, with teaching and consulting credentials from the likes of British Aerospace, General Electric, Lockheed Martin, Lloyds TSB, SAAB Defence Systems, British Broadcasting Corporation, Barclays Bank, IBM, Microsoft, and Sony/Ericsson.

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