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Old May 27, 2012, 10:59 PM   #1
azpc
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Automatic Termination Poll

How many would like to have the option to turn off Automatic Termination?

Automatic Termination needs an option to change system wide default behavior. Automatic Application Termination might be useful for some users but it can be a real irritant for experienced users. Clients frequently open up programs such as Grab and Preview and switch to them as necessary via the dock or command tab. These programs frequently don't have an open window, however, they are used for a minute or two several times an hour.

As my clients remind me - When the application automatically terminates without user permission, it is the same to the user as an application crash!

Please See

http://tidbits.com/article/12398

http://tidbits.com/article/13019
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Old May 27, 2012, 11:09 PM   #2
Nielsenius
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I wouldn't mind an option to turn automatic termination on or off. That said, I'm not sure why this is such an issue for some people. The applications that quit automatically after their window is closed are the ones most users open for a minute or two and then close. I find auto termination to be very convenient and I'd consider myself to be an "experienced user". I mean, how long does it take to re-launch an app if you need to use it again? Hopefully, not more than a few seconds. If you use the app in question, Preview for instance, frequently then you should add it to your dock. Many inexperienced users fail to quit apps after they stop using them (open an image in Preview, look at it, don't bother to quit the app) which leads to unneeded RAM usage.
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Old May 28, 2012, 01:06 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nielsenius View Post
I wouldn't mind an option to turn automatic termination on or off. That said, I'm not sure why this is such an issue for some people. The applications that quit automatically after their window is closed are the ones most users open for a minute or two and then close. I find auto termination to be very convenient and I'd consider myself to be an "experienced user". I mean, how long does it take to re-launch an app if you need to use it again? Hopefully, not more than a few seconds. If you use the app in question, Preview for instance, frequently then you should add it to your dock. Many inexperienced users fail to quit apps after they stop using them (open an image in Preview, look at it, don't bother to quit the app) which leads to unneeded RAM usage.
The problem with automatic termination is that you can no longer drag a file from Finder to the application icon in the Dock to open it.
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Old May 28, 2012, 08:58 AM   #4
Nielsenius
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The problem with automatic termination is that you can no longer drag a file from Finder to the application icon in the Dock to open it.
That's why I said you should put apps you use frequently in the Dock so that you don't have this problem. The only apps I can think of that would have this issue are TextEdit, QuickTime Player, and Preview. You're not going to be dragging and dropping, for example, a Notes or a Reminders file.
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Old May 28, 2012, 02:20 PM   #5
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The problem with automatic termination is that you can no longer drag a file from Finder to the application icon in the Dock to open it.
This. And also the fact that any app that has been auto-terminated is no longer available in Cmd-Tab app switcher interface. It's super-annoying.
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Old May 28, 2012, 04:07 PM   #6
MikhailT
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Remember that automatic termination is an opt-in feature, it's not automatically built into all apps. Developers must explicitly support this feature.

You can also open Activity Monitor and see which app has this feature, it'd be called "sudden termination" in the columns listing.

If you don't like this setting in your app, you have to talk to the developer and ask them to remove it or make it optional.

Also, why is this in ML forum? This started with Lion.
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Old May 28, 2012, 05:58 PM   #7
ScottishCaptain
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I don't understand this feature at all.

It might make sense if:

1) Apps that were in the background (inactive) were terminated if the system needed more memory (similar to how iOS will nuke a background process if the foreground requires more RAM)

2) Apps that were terminated in this fashion still hung around with a dock icon and an icon in the switcher, AND also supported auto-resume- so that clicking on either icon would immediately re-launch the application right back to where you were before

This is something that should "just work", applications that support it should appear to behave identical to those who don't- in other words, you should have no idea that Automatic Termination is working. The current implementation is... Strange, to say the least- it manifests more like a bug or a crash that tends to confuse users and perturb admins.

-SC
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Old May 28, 2012, 06:37 PM   #8
JangoFett124
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Originally Posted by ScottishCaptain View Post
I don't understand this feature at all.

It might make sense if:

1) Apps that were in the background (inactive) were terminated if the system needed more memory (similar to how iOS will nuke a background process if the foreground requires more RAM)

2) Apps that were terminated in this fashion still hung around with a dock icon and an icon in the switcher, AND also supported auto-resume- so that clicking on either icon would immediately re-launch the application right back to where you were before

This is something that should "just work", applications that support it should appear to behave identical to those who don't- in other words, you should have no idea that Automatic Termination is working. The current implementation is... Strange, to say the least- it manifests more like a bug or a crash that tends to confuse users and perturb admins.

-SC
I believe that's exactly how it works (or should work) in Lion (I recently watched last year's WWDC session about this topic). Specifically, apps that support auto-termination need to implement auto-resume.
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Old May 28, 2012, 11:47 PM   #9
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This discussion has been going on a long time - IIRC back when iCal first came out people requested that it shouldn't quit when the window was closed, for some syncing operations. And it was around that time that the classic Mac OS Desk Accessories concept was revisited around here - the old Calculator that quit on close, for example ... and then came Dashboard for that sort of thing.

... but in typical OS X fashion we just never quite reached consistency . The GUI was sooo close before Lion; now we have leather interfaces, ugly scrollbars if any, and it looks to be getting worse.

The deal with apps quitting has always been a matter of trying and remembering. I've always thought they should all remain open and need to be quit explicitly. I guess Apple now thinks it shouldn't matter a damn with auto-resume and also their even turning the Dock lights off by default (or was it not the default? A while since I used Lion). But the Dock does change functionality depending on whether the apps are open or not - ironically it is the MS Office apps that work best with it, allowing access to a recent items list whether running or not (again, that might have changed in Lion, I forget). But anyway, if the waters are going to remain muddied, Dock should be upskilled to make app state not matter.
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Old May 29, 2012, 02:09 PM   #10
Riemann Zeta
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I would love to see it become optional, perhaps even automatically disabled on systems with 8GB RAM or more. With that much RAM, there is no reason why Mac OS should be performing the kind of fake "autoterminate and retain an image of current open window(s)" multitasking that iOS has to use. It makes sense in iOS, because the hardware only has 256MB-1GB of RAM to work with (128MB of which is taken up by the OS itself) and there is no swap/pagefile, but is downright silly on a desktop OS.

I would also love to see a system-wide way of disabling auto-save/versions. That is a feature that causes more issues than it solves--a solution without a problem.

Last edited by Riemann Zeta; May 29, 2012 at 02:17 PM.
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Old May 29, 2012, 02:24 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Nielsenius View Post
That's why I said you should put apps you use frequently in the Dock so that you don't have this problem. The only apps I can think of that would have this issue are TextEdit, QuickTime Player, and Preview. You're not going to be dragging and dropping, for example, a Notes or a Reminders file.
True, you can always put the apps into the Dock, but what happens if I want my Dock to be clutter-free when I really want the apps closed (which happens to be my case)? I don't use these apps all the time, but when I do, I deal with a pretty large amount of files that require the same apps. Automatic Termination is so obtrusive that when I want it open, it closes itself, treating as if the user doesn't need the application running anymore. In the early days of Lion I even thought the apps crashed.

Please also don't be fooled into thinking the app is really closed when it is gone from the Dock. It can still be found in Activity Monitor and Force Quit Application window and is listed as running and continues consuming your memory. How intelligent.
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Old May 29, 2012, 02:54 PM   #12
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True, you can always put the apps into the Dock, but what happens if I want my Dock to be clutter-free when I really want the apps closed (which happens to be my case)?
...
On the flip side of keeping the dock clutter free, I like knowing where in my dock certain applications are. No, I don't keep all the applications I use in the dock, but for certain ones, it makes sense even if they aren't always running.
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Old May 29, 2012, 03:28 PM   #13
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Yep. Auto-termination, Auto-Save, and Resume all need to GTFO. I want my computer to do what I tell it to, and not randomly quit certain apps when it sees fir, or randomly save changes when I don't want it to, or bring up random documents that I opened 2 months ago and have absolutely no idea why they're on my screen again when all I want to do is view a picture.
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Old May 29, 2012, 08:33 PM   #14
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I would rather have the option to quit any program with the red button Windows-like. I can manage my own desktop and decide which apps need to be running and which I'd rather see closed.
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Old May 29, 2012, 09:26 PM   #15
MartiNZ
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I would also love to see a system-wide way of disabling auto-save/versions. That is a feature that causes more issues than it solves--a solution without a problem.
Indeed, auto-save/versions/resume is the evil triumvirate - Apple's pox on all our households. The main reasons I went back (will NOT say downgraded) to SL, and then bought a Dell. Which is fine for now, but I fear W8 will probably take away user control in similar ways - a really scary future.
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Old May 30, 2012, 12:20 AM   #16
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Yep. Auto-termination, Auto-Save, and Resume all need to GTFO. I want my computer to do what I tell it to, and not randomly quit certain apps when it sees fir, or randomly save changes when I don't want it to, or bring up random documents that I opened 2 months ago and have absolutely no idea why they're on my screen again when all I want to do is view a picture.
Yes. I don't want my computer to do a bunch of random saves and to bring old files I forgot I even have. I never had an issue with saving myself or opening up documents by myself. i certainly dont need my OS doing it for me.
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Old May 30, 2012, 08:52 AM   #17
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I'd like the feature better if developers could specify that their app should appear as if it's still open, i.e - it would look as if it's open and simply has no windows to display. When you click the Dock icon, apple-tab etc. it'd then load up, possibly with Resume, and it's like it was never closed.

I do however think that Resume needs to be further improved before auto-termination can be truly seamless, as some apps just take way too long to re-open with Resume enabled. There should be fast resume facilities added so thatů for example, an app can re-open with a preview of the open file while it reloads it in the background (with some kind of visual indicator to show this is going on).

Resume in Preview is something I've been trying in vain to do for a while since I frequently open huge PDFs, but Preview is insisting on re-opening last open files even though I've disabled Resume in ever conceivable place. I don't necessarily mind that Preview is re-opening the files, but since I know they're usually huge I try to avoid it because Preview seems to load the whole thing before opening the window for it, and locks up the entire app in the process.

If Preview starts auto-terminating in the background with open-windows, then switching back to it is going to be incredibly painful, but if I disable Resume I'll be constantly re-opening the file(s) I had open.
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Old May 31, 2012, 09:37 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by JangoFett124 View Post
I believe that's exactly how it works (or should work) in Lion (I recently watched last year's WWDC session about this topic). Specifically, apps that support auto-termination need to implement auto-resume.
It doesn't work exactly like that. There are two possible ways of auto-termination with the apps that support it.

When an application is visibly auto-terminated:
  • it has no open documents or windows
  • it is removed from the App Switcher (Cmd-Tab)
  • it will vanish from the Dock if "keep in Dock" wasn't selected
  • it may not actually be terminated at all - it will stay running without a UI
  • it can be relaunched instantly because it was already running
When an application is invisibly auto-terminated:
  • it can have open windows and documents
  • it will remain in the Dock as a running application
  • it will remain in the App Switcher as a running application
  • the application's process is actually terminated
  • when switching to the application, it will relaunch in the background and resume operation (I think it displays a spinning progress indicator during that)

I fail to see what's the point in the former case of auto-termination. The application still consumes system resources (although minimally) and its disappearance from the App Switcher and in many cases the Dock causes frustration in the user if they wish to switch to the app later. Who benefits from it?

As I understand it, the latter case only occurs when the system really needs those resources and the application's windows are either hidden, minimized or on another desktop - it think it makes much more sense.

If there's false information here in my post, please correct me.
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Old May 31, 2012, 10:59 AM   #19
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What I hate the most is that the behaviour of AutoSave, Resume, and Auto Termination is extremely inconsistent.

I have always hated how some apps will quit when I close the last window, while others wont: make up your mind, I don't care which one it is, but let it be the same for all apps so that I know what to expect!

And now, to add to that inconsistency, you now have Surprise Resume, which resumes some apps but not others, Surprise Auto-Save, which saves everything you do in certain apps, and Surprise AutoTermination, which pretty much randomly quits some your apps.

Fortunately, not many apps support these "features" yet, except some of Apple's own ones, and it doesn't seem like many third parties are really rushing to implement it.

But the problem is that I now have no idea whether a given app will resume, quit, or auto-save randomly, since there are so many different behaviours to keep track of. I have to write a list of all the apps and how they work in order to know which ones have Save As, which ones require me to close every single window before I quit, and which ones will quit as soon as I click on something else.

If they all behaved the same way, it would be less of a problem. But the best thing would be a setting that would disable these features one by one, consistently.
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Old May 31, 2012, 11:32 AM   #20
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To disable automatic termination open Terminal and type:

defaults write -g NSDisableAutomaticTermination -bool yes

Relaunch any apps that use Automatic Termination for this to take effect. To re-enable it run the command again but change "yes" to "no".

Hope this helps everyone.
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Old May 31, 2012, 01:12 PM   #21
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To disable automatic termination open Terminal and type:

defaults write -g NSDisableAutomaticTermination -bool yes

Relaunch any apps that use Automatic Termination for this to take effect. To re-enable it run the command again but change "yes" to "no".

Hope this helps everyone.
Thank you so much. I have never known of this command.
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