Snow Leopard Breaks All 3rd Party Apps by Removing Creator Codes!

Begin RANT

OK, so the title is a little sensational … but this decision is going to cost me money, so I am understandably upset. It’s also a decision that seems to have no merit, and if rumor is correct was simply more of the NeXT clan forcing out any traditional Mac OS X functionality out of ?spite? … I don’t know why, but many of these decisions seem to be “NeXT is correct, Mac OS was wrong” vs. rationally motivated.

What has happened

For some unknown, apparently arbitrary reason, 10.6 no longer obey’s a file’s creator code. What this means is that it is no longer possible to attach a document to specific applications from code! I’ve tested creating documents in hexedit, bbedit, etc. and the documents created refuse to open in the creating program when double-clicked. It appears that they now belong to some ‘default’ program (textedit in bbedit’s case).

Is Apple trying to put all other software makers out of business?

I mean, if an end user creates a document in MyWordProcessor but it opens in TextEdit all of the time, which app are they going to keep using? This seems like a really sneaky way to pull of the same “integrate the web browser into the OS” crap that Microsoft did with Explorer. (OK, it probably isn’t, but it sure feels that way to a developer who now has to deal with, and pay for the handling of, hundreds of support issues.)

Seriously, this is incredibly broken!

The inability of programs to create documents that can be re-opened in the creating program by double-clicking on the document icons is a serious problem for both end users and developers. I’ve tried explaining this to various HexEdit users, but they only understand that it no longer works.

Beyond the document creation issue, the loss of this functionality removes a very valuable component from the Mac OS X filesystem. Creator codes, along with their associated data types, offer are _extremely_ valuable in Mac OS X and are one of the really great ways in which Mac OS X sets itself apart from Windows, linux, unix, etc.

Please, let us know what we can do to get Apple management to see the consequences of this decision so that they can restore a very marketable and valuable feature to Mac OS X.


Without this ability, I am finding that I am very annoyed, to the point of almost hating to use the Mac OS X finder, as so many things like opening documents works the way it used to. How irritating would Apple’s management find it if they had to go through three steps to open every document they worked on instead of simply being able to double click on them?

What Can We Do?

I am not sure we can do anything, but at the very least everyone who reads this needs to file a bug report and submit feedback against 10.6 via the official Apple channels:

Official Apple Feedback Form
Official Apple Bug Reporting Form

If anyone else has suggestions on ways to get Apple management’s attention on this, speak up!


About Lane Roathe

I make my living designing, producing, and programming computer software. I have done work on numerous platforms, including MacOS, Win95/NT, Apple //, Super Nintendo, Sega, and others; writing mainly games but also operating systems, applications, utilities, etc. I have started and run several companies, currently operating Ideas From the Deep and working at Quicken, inc on Quicken for Mac.
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