New PlistBuddy Behaviour

So, the new UniBody MacBooks come with a build 9G2133 of 10.5.6, currently build 9G55 of 10.5.6 is what’s out there. What’s more /usr/libexec/PlistBuddy has been updated as well

9G2133 (new):
-rwxr-xr-x 1 root wheel 84400 Sep 24 17:21 PlistBuddy

9G55 (old):
-rwxr-xr-x 1 root wheel 73792 Apr 7 2008 PlistBuddy

What’s changed with PlistBuddy is this:
* Now, exits with non-zero status on failure (like the man page says)
* Writes errors to stderr instead of stdout

What this might mean to you is if you have a script that tests the stdout of PlistBuddy to detect errors, instead of the exit code (which hasn’t worked until now) then that script might just keep going and going and going…

For example: I use  PlistBuddy to add icons to the Dock in custom pkgs I make for work. So the other day when I ran the base packages, Adobe Acrobat being one of them, it just kept going, never fininshing, looking in install.log I found my script stuck in a loop, counting ever higher…

Mar 23 12:42:45 BlankMacBookUni runner[641]: postflight[648]: Print: Entry, "persistent-apps:546217:tile-data:file-label", Does Not Exist

In about 30 mins it had gotten up to 546,217 attempts to read the Dock plist (thas’ a big log file!). Since my script was testing the stdout string which was now blank because it was going to stderr, it didn’t know it reached the end!

To illustrate how I changed the code to compensate for either version, here’s the snippet that will detect if it is at the end of the plist, based on the output (or lack thereof):

Old code:
if [[ "$output" == *Does\ Not\ Exist ]]; then

New Code:
if [[ "$output" == *Does\ Not\ Exist ]] || [ -z "$output" ]; then

So, we’ll see if this is rolled into 10.5.7, probably. For Tiger, I use the PlistBuddy found in /Library/Receipts/iTunesX.pkg/Contents/Resources/, as of iTunes 8.1 it is still the older version.

Hope this of use to someone. Thanks for reading.

What’s in the Time Machine Update?

Here’s the meat of what gets updated: backup daemon helper & file vault image tool,, Broadcom and Aetheros wireless kexts. Lotsa System.kexts: BSD, IOKit, Libkern, MAC Framework, Mach. The AFP filesystem plugin, metadata framework, the backupd launch daemon plists, and the DiskImages framework.





























Here’s hoping that the update in tandem with the Airport/Time Capsule fixes some of the problems people have had with using a hard drive as an Airport disk on the Airport Extremes. For me it wasn’t even about Time Machine, the real pain was transfers were SLOW even over the 100Mb/s Ethernet (dangit I jumped the gun and didn’t get the GigE model) and sometimes the Airport Disk couldn’t be mounted on my computers until the Airport was restarted. Also with the update the ever mysterious Wide Area Bonjour prefs are still around, they are in the Name-Edit… button now.One more thing…/usr/share/man/man1/tmdiagnose.1: Hmmm, is this a Time Machine diagnostics tool?Let’s have a look at the man page or this one:tmdiagnose(1) BSD General Commands Manual tmdiagnose(1)NAME tmdiagnose, Other_name_for_same_program(), Yet another name for the same program. — This line parsedfor whatis database.

tmdiagnose(1)             BSD General Commands Manual            tmdiagnose(1) 


     tmdiagnose, Other_name_for_same_program(), Yet another name for the same program. — This line parsed

     for whatis database.


     tmdiagnose, [-abcd] [-a path] [file] [file …] arg0 arg2 …


     Use the .Nm macro to refer to your program throughout the man page like such: tmdiagnose, Underlining

     is accomplished with the .Ar macro like this: underlined text.

     A list of items with descriptions:

     item a   Description of item a

     item b   Description of item b

     A list of flags and their descriptions:

     -a       Description of -a flag

     -b       Description of -b flag


     /usr/share/file_name                          FILE_1 description

     /Users/joeuser/Library/really_long_file_name  FILE_2 description


     a(1), b(1), c(1), a(2), b(2), a(3), b(3)

Darwin                           April 2, 2008                          Darwin


 Only a dummy man page. And no executable to be found. Its origins though are from the BSD package (see /Library/Receipts/boms/ No change has been made to this man page since 10.5 but yet it is included with this update? Odd. My guess is that there is an Apple internal tool in use but not something for the general public. I mean why would the ‘Rest of Us’ need to diagnose Time Machine?!It’ just works right? ;)

Applescript Language Guide for Leopard Released (Finally)

So just today I was this close to going on the Applescript mailing list to find out why the Apple Script Language guide for Leopard had yet to be released, despite being touted as “the essential guide for scripters and developers” on the Apple website, the old version from 1999 was all that could be found since Leopard’s release last year.

But today, with as little fanfare as possible, it was released.

Now go forth and…

tell Safari
get all documents containing “Applescript 2.0”
end tell