I’m proud to say that all of my apps are pretty solid. They rarely crash. At least, I assume they rarely crash, because I very rarely receive crash reports from users. When I do, it’s usually from beta testers before the application has been shared with the general public.
But after Apple released 10.4.11, I started receiving crash reports at an accelerated pace. The log is the same in every instance, and culminates in what appears to be a threaded NSURLConnection caching operation:
-[NSURLConnection(NSURLConnectionInternal) _didFinishReturnCachedResponse:] -[NSHTTPURLProtocol startLoading] -[NSURLConnection(NSURLConnectionInternal) _performOriginLoad]
Now it so happens that WebKit is the one crashing in many of these cases, but I suspect the problem is more widespread than that. In any case, the problem is definitely more widespread than just MarsEdit. Searching Google reveals a number of similar results, from a variety of applications, including Apple’s own.
If you’re a developer and your application uses WebKit or NSURLConnection, chances are you’ve noticed an increase in crash reports, too. Always on 10.4.11, always involving NSURLConnection. If you’re a user running 10.4.11, chances are you’ve noticed that network-enabled applications seem to be a bit more flakey and crash-prone.
The fact that the bug seems to be fixed in Leopard makes me think that this is a bug whose source was identified and fixed. Now the question is, will Apple ever ship a 10.4.12 containing a fix? Or will those users be stuck in crash-ville forever?
Apple needs to get this fixed. For these poor 10.4.11 users who got stuck with a buggy URL loader, and for us poor developers who have to gently explain to them that it’s out of our control. I have to assume there’s already a bug reported against this, but better safe than sorry, I wrote up another one: Radar #5704773.
So why I am I writing this blog entry? Because I want other developers who read my blog or who find it by Google search to know that they’re not crazy. And I want users who run into this crash to please remember to send the crash report to Apple. They need to know that this is a serious issue that is impacting you and the apps you use.