Why is everything so buggy?

ToastyX

macrumors regular
Original poster
Oct 4, 2005
118
0
I got a Power Mac about three months ago. This is my first Mac, and I'm not very happy with it. I find it frustrating to use because everything is so buggy. Coming from Linux, I'm not used to seeing so many problems. One of the reasons I got a Mac was because Mac OS X is UNIX-based, but what's the point of being UNIX-based if buggy services can cause the system to stop responding? That simply should not be possible on a UNIX-based system, yet it's possible on a Mac. There's also tons of little bugs and glitches all over the place.

Now don't get me wrong. I don't expect things to be perfect, but I didn't expect to see so many problems. What I don't understand is how so many people don't notice any problems. How is that possible? Are they not paying attention when using their computer? What bothers me is how some of those people act like if you have problems, it must be your fault somehow, or something must be wrong with your computer. I know not everyone is like this, but I've done a lot of reading on various Mac forums and have seen it often enough to bother me.

I'm sorry to have started out on such a sour note, but I needed to vent.
 

Cooknn

macrumors 68020
Aug 23, 2003
2,111
0
Fort Myers, FL
ToastyX said:
...what's the point of being UNIX-based if buggy services can cause the system to stop responding?
I've had my Power Mac for two years and I've never had buggy services cause my system to stop responding. I came from AIX. What services are you referring to?
 

Applespider

macrumors G4
Examples of the bugs, what Mac you're using, how much RAM/free disk space it has and how many 'system mods' you're running would be useful if you want sensible answers. Otherwise, you'll just get people telling you that their Macs work just fine...

PS My Mac works just fine ;)
 

ToastyX

macrumors regular
Original poster
Oct 4, 2005
118
0
Okay, I'll give an example.

A while back, I was playing around with FontForge (PfaEdit) to see if I could convert a particular font. When I tried to generate the font file, FontForge crashed, and the system stopped responding with the psychedelic spinning pizza of doom. I thought this was strange because on a UNIX-based system, a program running as a normal user shouldn't be able to cause the system to stop responding like this. Turns out it wasn't the program. After several more spinning beach balls of death, I tracked the problem down to the corrupted font file FontForge managed to create as it crashed. The file managed to make the system stop responding simply by existing! I found three other people who were able to reproduce the problem simply by downloading the file.

Here is the file if you're interested: http://www.toastyx.net/test.dfont

For Safari, right click or control-click the link, then choose "Download Linked File" from the context menu, otherwise it will try to display the contents of the file in the browser. If you're running Tiger and haven't disabled Spotlight, the system should stop responding shortly after downloading the file. Don't worry though. You should be able to delete the file after rebooting.

Eventually, I figured out Spotlight was the indirect cause of the problem. When Spotlight tried to index the corrupted font file, it tried to get information about the font. This caused ATSServer to blow up, which caused everything to stop responding. That's not right. A non-installed corrupted font file shouldn't be able to cause the system to stop responding like this. How do I know there aren't more cases where a file can cause something like this to happen? This makes me weary of Spotlight and the various services the system depends on, which is something I never had to worry about in Linux.
 

robbieduncan

Moderator emeritus
Jul 24, 2002
24,510
27
London
ToastyX said:
...Long example...
Were you not able to ssh in from another machine? I've seen the whole GUI layer lock up before but ssh'd in and fixed it.

On Linux I've seen the GUI layer lock up as well, but fixed it via a virtual console (now there's something they should bring to OSX)...
 

ToastyX

macrumors regular
Original poster
Oct 4, 2005
118
0
I don't have access to another machine to SSH in from, and I shouldn't need one. A file just sitting on the hard drive shouldn't lock up the GUI under any circumstances. A virtual console would be useful though. In Linux, I could always switch to a virtual console to kill the offending program or use the three finger salute to kill X. I have no alternatives here.

That reminds me of another problem. Why does the OpenSSH client included with Tiger try to verify the reverse DNS of the remote server's IP address? This causes unnecessary delays when connecting, especially if there's a DNS problem, and there doesn't seem to be a way to turn this off. This isn't necessarily a bug, but I've never seen the OpenSSH client do this on any other system I've used. In fact, when I download the source code for OpenSSH and compile it myself, the compiled version doesn't do this. What did Apple do to the OpenSSH client they included with Tiger?
 

emw

macrumors G4
Aug 2, 2004
11,177
0
You've been using your Mac for 3 months and so far you've managed to present one reproducible bug related to a service, Spotlight, that in general presents tremendous value (and if it doesn't you can shut it off) and suddenly OS X is "so buggy"?

Not including times when you've been messing with the internals of the system (i.e., it sounds like you have a pretty in-depth knowledge of the UNIX core of OS X), how often have you had to force a shutdown in the system?

As for the bug you've found, report it to Apple. I'd agree that Spotlight shouldn't shut down the system when it finds a corrupt file, since that's a very difficult error to track down.
 

MacDawg

macrumors Core
Mar 20, 2004
19,708
4,274
"Between the Hedges"
ToastyX said:
I find it frustrating to use because everything is so buggy

There's also tons of little bugs and glitches all over the place

I didn't expect to see so many problems. What I don't understand is how so many people don't notice any problems. How is that possible? Are they not paying attention when using their computer?
You've gotta give us more than one rather obscure crash to back up statements like that...

Woof, Woof – Dawg
 

ToastyX

macrumors regular
Original poster
Oct 4, 2005
118
0
The bug has already been reported three months ago, and that isn't the only bug that causes the system to stop responding. Do a Google search for "js.adsonar.com" or search for "lookupd" in Apple Discussions. There's a bug in lookupd that causes the system to stop responding with certain DNS lookups. A DNS lookup shouldn't be able to cause the system to stop responding. That's ridiculous, especially on a UNIX-based system.

Okay, I'll give an example of one of the little bugs and glitches I run into all the time.

Here I have an example folder with 17 files named Example01 through Example17: http://www.toastyx.net/images/finder1.png

Let's say I want to delete Example13 through Example17. Here I scroll down: http://www.toastyx.net/images/finder2.png

Then I select Example13 through Example17: http://www.toastyx.net/images/finder3.png

After I drag the files to the trash, the scroll bar disappears! http://www.toastyx.net/images/finder4.png

Now I can't scroll back up to see Example01 through Example06 even though the files are there. After closing and reopening the window, it's back to normal: http://www.toastyx.net/images/finder5.png
 

Eric5h5

macrumors 68020
Dec 9, 2004
2,406
357
ToastyX said:
Now don't get me wrong. I don't expect things to be perfect, but I didn't expect to see so many problems. What I don't understand is how so many people don't notice any problems. How is that possible? Are they not paying attention when using their computer?
So many people don't notice any problems because they don't encounter them. I know you're frustrated, but to say that they "aren't paying attention" is pretty insulting. The fact is, my Linux experience was buggier than my OS X experience. The worst thing about my Power Mac is that, very rarely, my second hard drive won't spin up after waking the computer from sleep, which locks up the system. Before I got the second hard drive, my computer froze one time in six months. I think I would notice if I'd had more problems than that.

Are you sure you don't have faulty RAM? Because that often causes glitchy behavior.

--Eric
 

louis_sx

macrumors regular
Jul 6, 2005
153
0
International House of Louis
I could reproduce the Finder bug, removing the scroll bar, but it's nothing that rearranging the icons by name from the menu couldn't fix. Amusing, though mildly annoying at worst. I have slightly bigger fish to fry, though.

Compare that to installing ATi drivers in Linux sometime. :confused:
 

emw

macrumors G4
Aug 2, 2004
11,177
0
ToastyX said:
Okay, I'll give an example of one of the little bugs and glitches I run into all the time.
I can't immediately duplicate this since I'm not on Tiger, but would agree this could be moderately annoying. Try using Cmd-1 after doing the deletion to see if the scroll bars come back.
 

snickelfritz

macrumors 65816
Oct 24, 2003
1,109
0
Tucson AZ
I agree; OSX has some pretty frustrating behaviors.
Personally, I found OS9 to be a better, albeit less stable, "work-horse" for graphics work.
Although OSX is technically a unix-based system, the implementation is far less obscure than most distributions of Linux, and overall is much better suited to mainstream consumers, warts and all.
 

Eric5h5

macrumors 68020
Dec 9, 2004
2,406
357
louis_sx said:
I could reproduce the Finder bug, removing the scroll bar, but it's nothing that rearranging the icons by name from the menu couldn't fix.
Really? I just spent 5 minutes duplicating this procedure on both 10.3.7 and 10.4.2, and it just doesn't happen. No matter what I do, I can't get the scroll bar to disappear when it's not supposed to. I wouldn't consider "rearranging the icons by name from the menu" to be an acceptable solution, either. I would expect it to not happen in the first place. Fortunately, it doesn't...at least not here. I don't know what to suggest, except maybe it's a bug only in a certain OS revision. Make sure you're running 10.4.2.

--Eric
 

igucl

macrumors 6502a
Oct 11, 2003
569
17
Yeah, I believe the reason most Mac users say they don't have any problems is because they don't. I know I don't.
 

gekko513

macrumors 603
Oct 16, 2003
6,302
1
Ive been using Linux at work for some years now, and I'm not very happy with it. I find it frustrating to use because everything is so buggy. Coming from Windows, I'm not used to seeing so many problems. One of the reasons we use Linux is that it is UNIX-like, but what's the point of being UNIX-like if buggy configuration tools can cause the system to stop working properly? There's also tons of little bugs and glitches all over the place.
 

revisionA

macrumors 6502
May 27, 2005
283
0
my favorite thing about my g5 is that the apps crash rarely and gui only once... in two years... one quick software update and everything runs smooth again.

if you want to throw stones at an os, start with WinME and MCE....
 

broken_keyboard

macrumors 65816
Apr 19, 2004
1,144
0
Secret Moon base
There are a lot of little glitches, I have to say. However I still feel safer than with Linux.

P.S. OS X does have a 3 fingered salute, command-option-esc will kill the frontmost process. Won't work for background services though.
 

ToastyX

macrumors regular
Original poster
Oct 4, 2005
118
0
Eric5h5 said:
I just spent 5 minutes duplicating this procedure on both 10.3.7 and 10.4.2, and it just doesn't happen.
I just figured out it only seems to happen if you have "Keep arranged by" enabled, which I have enabled for all folders.



Preview also has a problem with scroll bars. I have the "Default image size" option set to "Actual size" instead of "Scale large images to fit window" because I don't want images to be scaled down when I view them. If an image is too long either horizontally or vertically, it doesn't take the scroll bar into account when displaying the image. This results in part of the image being hidden unless the window is expanded manually:

http://www.toastyx.net/images/preview-horizontal.png
http://www.toastyx.net/images/preview-vertical.png

Here are the original images used in this demonstration:

http://www.toastyx.net/images/horizontal.png
http://www.toastyx.net/images/vertical.png
 

mduser63

macrumors 68040
Nov 9, 2004
3,038
30
Salt Lake City, UT
I have no problem with you reporting problems with Mac OS X. I have occasional problems with it myself. Nothing that humans have created is perfect, and OS X is no exception. I find OS X to be the least troublesome OS of any I've tried. However, I had to chuckle a little when you implied that Linux is relatively bug-free. I've been casually using Linux for a few years. This past weekend, I decided to install Fedora Core 4. I still don't have it working 100% right.

First, the graphical installer produced a grey screen because it couldn't figure out how to drive the graphics card in my machine. After doing a text install, I found information on the web about some configuration files to change, and packages to update to fix the problem. With that fixed, I boot into GNOME and find out that DNS isn't working right and I can't access the web. Manually entering DNS addresses (something I don't have to do on my Macs, Windows machines, or even other Linux distros) fixed that. Now I can't install GCC because FC4's package manager reports that glibc isn't installed, while yum says it is. Haven't been able to figure out this one yet.

I will say that so far, in my week of using it, FC4 hasn't locked up, but my Mac's been on for 2 months+ with no lockups before, and is basically only restarted for updates to the OS. UI bugs in GNOME and KDE are not as prevalent as in some other DEs, but they're far from perfect.

BTW, I was able to reproduce the bug with the disappearing scrollbar in Finder, but only by exactly adjusting the window and icon sizes to the same thing you showed in your screenshots. The scrollball on my Mighty Mouse still allowed me to scroll up and see the other files. Clicking the zoom button (green button with plus sign at top left), as well as dragging a file up to the top to force a scroll also fixed the problem. It's annoying bug to be sure, but incredibly minor, especially compared to the kinds of things Linux does to you.
 

gekko513

macrumors 603
Oct 16, 2003
6,302
1
mduser63 said:
.... It's annoying bug to be sure, but incredibly minor, especially compared to the kinds of things Linux does to you.
That's my feeling, too. I also see some minor quirks with Mac OS X, but it is nothing compared to Linux that never seems to work the way it is supposed and needs hours and sometimes weeks to figure out how exactly the GUI config tools managed to mess up the config files and what kind of work arounds you have to go through to fix it.
 

Eric5h5

macrumors 68020
Dec 9, 2004
2,406
357
ToastyX said:
I just figured out it only seems to happen if you have "Keep arranged by" enabled, which I have enabled for all folders.
Hmm, tried that and I still can't get the scroll bar to disappear. I must be doing something "wrong." ;) I don't doubt that this bug exists, but it apparently only happens under really specific circumstances that I can't seem to reproduce.

All I can say is, I used Linux almost exclusively for two years, and I find OS X to be more stable and logical, and less buggy and annoying than any of the window managers I used (KDE, Gnome, Enlightenment). It's not perfect, but better than anything else out there for now, IMO.

--Eric
 

louis_sx

macrumors regular
Jul 6, 2005
153
0
International House of Louis
Hmmm, weird...because you can't keep things arraged by...whatever...and tell it to rearrange, which I don't have. And now I'm at work and can't try it again.

If only Apple would dump the dock and the Windows-like browser and go back to a spatial finder that remembers your settings and a customizable Apple menu...oh, and a network browser that works.