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Beta Version: 9.5.5 beta 1

This is a beta release of the next XTension version 9.5.5. This release contains no new features and is concentrating on fixing potential issues and making the scripting engine more robust and reliable.

This version makes no changes to the format of the Database so returning to a previous version can be done simply by placing the previous version of the application back into service. The default location of the XTension Support folder and possibly the Database within it are changed and it will be necessary manually move the folder back to the Documents folder if you need to roll back to a previous version. See below for more info.

If you’re not interested in the history and why the support folder needs to be moved skip to the next section.

Changes to the location of XTension’s data files

There are 2 ways that XTension can be installed. If the application is placed in the Applications folder then a folder called “XTension Support” was created in the Users Documents folder and the Database and other support files were placed there. You can also continue to use XTension as it was in days of old and run it from any other folder on your drive. If you do this the database and some support folders are created along side the app inside this same folder but an XTension support folder is still created in the Documents folder.

The location of the XTension Support folder has become an issue with Apple’s iCloud feature of syncing your Documents folder with iCloud. This service remains potentially a problem for many things but can and does cause corruption of the XTension database as files seem to be updated too often for it to remain in sync. It seems to restore files that were deleted as well as replacing new versions with older versions on occasion.

It is my advice to not use this iCloud feature at all as it causes the same problems with other files you may have stored in your documents folder. If you have this turned on you should turn it off immediately to avoid losing information. In the meantime moving the XTension Support folder to the Application Support folder will solve the problem for XTension unless you are using XTension outside of the Applications folder but still somewhere under the Documents folder in that case you must either switch to running from the Applications folder or make sure you are not using the iCloud Documents sync functions.

Process of moving the files

When first run XTension will look for an XTension Support folder in your Documents folder. If it exists in that location but not already in the Application Support folder it will move it and startup normally. Giving you a startup message window telling you exactly what it did. If there is already an XTension Support folder in your Application support folder and it does not contain a database then it will be renamed and the current XTension Support folder will be moved to the new location. If it does contain a database, even if it is an old one, then it cannot move it and will startup with that database along with a message that what appears to be your current database could not be moved and you will have to resolve the conflict manually. There should not be a live database in the Application Support folder however much earlier versions of XTension did use this location and so there may be old and outdated versions of information there that you may have to remove.

Switching to Running in the Applications Folder

If you are running XTension in the legacy way of being anywhere but the Applications folder you do not have to move anything manually yet. However at some point Apple may enforce that applications have to live in the Applications folder. If you wish to make the change now you can move the XTension application into the Applications folder. Then move all the support folders and database from the folder you used to have the App in to the Documents/XTension Support folder. This includes the “icons”, “sounds”, “views” and other folders that will be there along with the XTension Database bundle. When you first run this version of XTension from the Applications folder it will move that Support folder to the Application Support folder and run normally from then on.

Returning to a previous version

If you find this version to cause new problems, please do not just return to the previous version without letting me know exactly what the issue was that caused you to need to do so or it will be much less likely I can get it sorted out by the release. Without XTension running just move the XTension Support folder from the Application Support folder back to your Documents folder and then start the previous version. The Application Support folder is generally hidden from the User and may not be easily visible from the Finder. If so you can use the “Go” menu in the Finder to reveal the Library folder and inside that will be the Application Support folder. If XTension is still running you can use the Reveal Database In The Finder menu item from it’s Database menu, Then Quit XTension and do the move manually before replacing it with the previous version.


  • At startup if XTension finds that your database is being shared to iCloud it will open a startup messages window advising you of this and suggesting that you turn that off. This info is also saved in the database so that if someone sends me a database to debug I can check easily if this is the source of some of the problems.
  • If the database has already suffered some kinds of corruption from being shared to iCloud there are many things that it can now clean up. This includes deleted units or scripts that have been replaced by an over zealous iCloud sync service. It cannot replace active files that were replaced or reverted incorrectly but this can still be a major help in getting things sorted out.
  • The XTension Support folder is moved from the Documents Folder to the Application Support folder. Unless there is already a Database in an older version of the folder that might exist in the Application Support folder. In which case no files are moved or deleted and a message is displayed asking you to move the most current version there manually to make sure you get the right one.
  • Improved script error logging. Previously errors that were generated while running handlers in a different script were sometimes not logged causing instead a generic error in the script doing the calling. They will now log more useful information for debugging purposes to find out just went wrong in the other script.
  • Quite a few major OS versions now Apple changed Applescript to be somewhat, sometimes, unpredictably threaded. This allowed the application to continue to process commands and events while another script might have still been running. This led to confusion and things no longer happening in a linear and logically consistent order. I fixed that back in the day by pausing the command queue while a script was running so that even if the app got control back no more commands would be processed until the current script being run was complete. I recently added some new RTS cameras of higher resolution to my system which is pushing my older Mini a bit and I started getting more regular strange scripting errors that rarely or never happened before. In studying the problem I realized that not all scripts are purely started by received commands or scheduled events anymore. The Idle handler and the DoLater commands use program timers to pump the script callbacks. These were still potentially happening while a script was running. This usually worked OK but occasionally there was either a race condition or a script would never return causing the timeout and an error message that the script environment was unstable and should be restarted. All timer pumped scripts will now defer until the current script is finished running. If you are having any odd and difficult to duplicate script issues and if you make use of either the idle callback or Do Later commands then this will solve those issues. There still may be one more path for things to go wrong, or there may yet be other applescript issues but 99.9% of my issues have been fixed by this change. There is a debug menu item to turn on logging of these occurrences. If you’re curious or if you want to see if it’s really catching anything you can turn that on and watch the log.
  • Further new script debugging I’ve added the ability to log runtimes of individual scripts. You can turn this on in the Gear toolbar menu for any script be it an On/Off script or a Global Script. This may be useful if there is a script that sometimes seems to take a lot longer than it should be. Especially if that script is talking to an external app to wait for something.
  • Errors that could be logged when deleting more than a single page of Units from a list is now suppressed. It was never a useful error message so no fix was necessary, it’s just confusing debug logging.
  • Errors that would sometimes be logged when closing the Interface list window while doing CPU and Memory use displaying in the “show more information” mode are no longer logged. Again these were just over zealous debugging messages and did not indicate a real problem.
  • Fixed the incorrect display of version information. The version logged and in the About window will properly show 9.5.5 beta 1 in this case rather than 0.0.0.whatever as it did in some previous versions.
  • Made some additions and changes to the runtime debugger window to better sort items when there are more than 10k of any individual kind. I also added deltas to the memory used and object count displays to make figuring out things easier. Most of you have never opened this window from the debug menu and won’t ever need to but it is helpful while I am testing and debugging and could be useful to help gather more info if needed from any of you.
  • Added another debug menu option to log the current state of the globals “thisUnit”, “thisScript” and “thisInterface” as well as the value of gCurrentScript internally which is used to direct handler calls of global handlers and other such things. These should all be empty with gCurrentScript being nil at any point that a script is not running. If there remain issues with scripts failing to exit or otherwise hanging up in the background these may be left set to incorrect values causing interesting results. If so this will show that it has happened making debugging easier.

XTension 9.5.5 beta 1 2/5/2024

current/beta.txt · Last modified: 2024/02/05 17:51 by James Sentman