strange problem connected to saving plists

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strange problem connected to saving plists

Post by Commander McLane » Sat Jan 07, 2012 9:40 pm

I have a problem triggered by saving plists since the day before yesterday which I've never had before.

It goes like this:
  • I edit and save a plist. It almost doesn't matter which editor I use. I've tried Apple's Property List Editor, Plist Edit Pro and even Text Edit. Each of them triggers the problem. (The problem is not triggered by PageSpinner, another editor I have on my HD. I don't know why not.
  • Next time I try to open this plist with any editor, I get a finder error message in two alert boxes. The first one says "application not found", the second one says "unable to finish the task, unknown error (-43)". The plist is apparently corrupted and doesn't open again.
  • I try to move the broken plist to the trash. The finder reacts with another error box, saying "unable to finish task, because at least one needed object couldn't be found (error -43)".
  • I click on the error box, making it disappear.
  • From then on the plist is alright again, I can open, edit, or delete it.
The problem is absolutely persistent, it happens every time I'm saving a plist. I can do nothing with it until I unsuccessfully try to delete it. After that it is accessible again and everything seems back to normal. But the next time I save this or another plist it's happening again.

I am totally puzzled. Something like this has never happened before. I have shut down and restarted the computer a couple of times, hoping that it would sort itself out. It didn't. Only plists are affected, as far as I can tell.

Any thoughts on what could be the culprit are highly appreciated. As you can imagine, it has become really annoying to edit shipdata or AIs. :(

(MacBook Pro, 2.4 GHz Core i5, OS 10.6.8)

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Re: strange problem connected to saving plists

Post by Kaks » Sun Jan 08, 2012 2:20 am

Seems related to file permissions... did you install or update an anti-malware or a disk management/backup program in the last few days?
On windows that's what generally causes sudden file permissions trouble...
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Re: strange problem connected to saving plists

Post by Commander McLane » Sun Jan 08, 2012 8:07 am

From a search on the Apple support forums it seems indeed that the error is about file permissions. I didn't come across a similar enough example, though.

I didn't install anything before the problem started to occur, at least not to my knowledge. It came totally out of the blue.

Additionally, yesterday, just after saving a plist, PlistEdit Pro crashed. Interestingly, the plist saved just before the crash was unaffected by the error. PlistEdit Pro offered to send a crash report to its people rather than Apple, which I did. Perhaps they'll be able to make something of it.

If any of the wizards would take a look at the crashlog (although I don't know of how much use it is if you don't know the program code), I've put it on the box: http://www.box.com/s/urt9dbv4me1ma93gcc62

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Re: strange problem connected to saving plists

Post by JensAyton » Sun Jan 08, 2012 8:28 am

It’s a crash in user interface code that’s unlikely to be related to your problem.

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Re: strange problem connected to saving plists

Post by Commander McLane » Mon Jan 09, 2012 12:38 am

Another—probably unrelated, but what do I know?—problem turned up. It seems that my email account has been hacked and used for sending spams last night. My webmail provider thus blocked the account and notified me (by sending me to a special page with a short explanation and a support phone number when I wanted to check the webmail). The account has since been unblocked and I found it flooded with around 200 mailer-deamon failure of delivery notices from last night. So it seems that my provider was right.

I have no idea how my account could've been hacked. I have now changed my password and run a full virus check with ClamXav, which produced a 205.5MB(!) log file with a result of 0 infected files on the one hand, but "Total errors: 143" on the other hand side. The log is far too long to even find out what kind of errors that could be. It's even pointless to search for the string "error" in it, because there are so many files that have "error" in their name (one of them is "Thargorn_Threat 1.5.oxp/Models/thargoid_terroriser_frigate.dat", ironically :roll: ).

I feel a little cursed right now. :? And I'd like to apologize to everybody who got spam email last night.

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Re: strange problem connected to saving plists

Post by SandJ » Mon Jan 09, 2012 9:22 am

Commander McLane wrote:It seems that my email account has been hacked and used for sending spams last night.
I found it flooded with around 200 mailer-deamon failure of delivery notices from last night.
I have no idea how my account could've been hacked.
Don't worry, it probably wasn't.

A spammer merely used forged email headers and it was your turn to be used. You will get a few hundred failure notices over the next 7-14 days, a few out-of-office messages too, then it will stop.

It is very unlikely they actually hacked into your account to do this.
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Re: strange problem connected to saving plists

Post by Commander McLane » Tue Jan 10, 2012 11:17 am

Just now the same thing as described above happened with a JS-script edited and saved with Dashcode.

As it's about file permissions I began to wonder whether the location of my AddOns folder could perhaps matter. I had moved it to ~user/Library/Application Support/Oolite/ (which I created) a couple of months ago when I was using both the latest release and trunk, and wanted both of them to access the same OXPs without having to maintain them at two different locations. Before that I used to have the AddOns in Applications/Spiele/Oolite 1.nn/ right next to the application icon.

Now that the second type of file began to make trouble when edited while residing inside ~user/Library/Application Support/ I moved the whole AddOns folder back to Applications/Spiele/Oolite 1.76/. And what can I say? The problem seems to be gone.

So it seems that I just can't edit files inside my own user's Library. I believe that I could for a while, but now I can't anymore.

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Re: strange problem connected to saving plists

Post by Eric Walch » Tue Jan 10, 2012 12:21 pm

Commander McLane wrote:So it seems that I just can't edit files inside my own user's Library. I believe that I could for a while, but now I can't anymore.
Strange, as I always edit the oxp files directly that are in my users library. And you are on OS 10.6, like me.
Starting with OS 10.7 the user library will be hidden by default and needs trick to open as I understood, but thats not the case with you. Have you looked at the permissions for the addOns folder or any folder higher in the tree? Or ran disk utility to check all the permissions.

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Re: strange problem connected to saving plists

Post by Commander McLane » Tue Jan 10, 2012 2:04 pm

I have r&w permissions for all files and folders involved.

"everyone" has r&w permission for the individual .plist and .js files, read only permission for the AddOns-folder and the Oolite-folder inside Application Support, but no permissions for the Application Support folder and the Library folder itself. This seems to be true for most folders inside Application Support, and also for most other folders inside the Library, and for all folders in my user folder.

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Re: strange problem connected to saving plists

Post by snork » Tue Jan 10, 2012 2:52 pm

...and wanted both of them to access the same OXPs without having to maintain them at two different locations.
Would this not come handy ?
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Re: strange problem connected to saving plists

Post by Commander McLane » Tue Jan 10, 2012 4:12 pm

snork wrote:
...and wanted both of them to access the same OXPs without having to maintain them at two different locations.
Would this not come handy ?
en.WP : alias (Mac OS)
Not sure whether it would work for Oolite search paths.

<tries it out>

Nope, it doesn't.

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Re: strange problem connected to saving plists

Post by snork » Wed Jan 11, 2012 7:19 pm

ah, sorry. :(
I had expected MacOS to handle symlinks and the likes even better than windows/ ntfs do.

bummer!

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