Cuckoo revved for Leopard.

Cuckoo was bumped up to version 1.1.2 today, fixing a longstanding (albeit minor) problem: the Cuckoo preference pane would reset your sound to “Pure Cuckoo” every time you opened it up. (The problem only affected unregistered users.)

There’s another minor fix for Mac OS X 10.5 users, and it has to do with one of the new security features in the OS. Read on for the details.

In Leopard, when you download software from the Internet using Safari, an invisible “quarantine” label is applied to the file. Then, when you (or any other entity, including automated tasks and login items) launch the application for the first time, the Finder notices the quarantine and first asks the user if the application is OK to launch.

While this feature has proved somewhat annoying for advanced Mac users (who have already invented ways to disable it), everyday users ought to appreciate the fact that the new Finder is looking out for them.

For preference panes, the process is a little bit different. When you double-click on a .prefPane file (like Cuckoo.prefPane) to install it, Mac OS X has always presented a dialog to confirm the operation. In Leopard this process is unchanged (and, in fact, doesn’t mention the quarantine at all, which may very well be a bug). In the case of Cuckoo, the prefPane is installed and the CuckooChimeAgent—the background application that takes care of chiming at exactly the right moment—is automatically launched.

The trouble comes when you reboot and see this dialog:

Leopard dialog: '“CuckooChimeAgent.app” is an application which was downloaded from the internet. Are you sure you want to open it?'

The prefPane installation process appears not to lift the quarantine on downloaded items (another small Leopard bug), and (as stated earlier) Login Items are subject to quarantine. So the user is presented with this perplexing dialog the first time she reboots 10.5 after installing (or updating) Cuckoo.

The latest version includes code to explicitly remove the quarantine label from CuckooChimeAgent once you’ve already approved the installation of Cuckoo itself. Future bug fixes to Leopard may make this unnecessary, but for the time being, it should save some extra clicking (and possibly some extra confusion, especially if you don’t reboot very often, in which case this dialog—appearing a long time after you’ve installed Cuckoo—will be very puzzling indeed).


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