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Alex Zavatone Level 1 (0 points)

Apple's Lion HUI guidelines tell us that "sudden and unexpected quitting of an application enhances the user experience".


This is by far, the stupidest thing ever to be declared as a standard from Apple.


I have machines with 12 and 8 GB of RAM and Apple thinks it will enhance me experience be auto quitting an app that takes up 19.7 MB of RAM?


This is not helpful.  This is frustrating and makes having to use Lion an inconsistant and unpleasant experience.


I do not want my OS to be trying to outthink me.  This is another example of Lion being a bad nanny state of an OS. 


In the few times when I have to use Lion, the auto quitting of Preview and TextEdit is a repeat frustration.


How can this be disabled?


<Edited by Host>

Mac OS 10.7.x
  • dwb Level 7 (22,615 points)

    It cannot be disabled but it can be 'out thought'. The only time an application is auto quit is when your computer needs additional memory to perform the currently active task and when other applications are inactive and have no open windows. To keep TextEdit running don't close all its windows.

  • Linc Davis Level 10 (192,559 points)

    Apple's Lion HUI guidelines tell us that "sudden and unexpected quitting of an application enhances the user experience".


    Where did you read that? Please post a link.


    Preview and TextEdit don't quit when their windows are closed. They may be crashing because something is wrong with your system or your data.

  • dwb Level 7 (22,615 points)

    Actually under Lion inactive programs can automatically quit. It is called Automatic Termination and while officially even an application with an open window can auto terminate I've not seen that happen....yet. See this TidBITS article.

  • Alex Zavatone Level 1 (0 points)

    But no!   I have the Application Monitor open.  There is a large green slice in the pie that indicates 3 GB of RAM free!


    When you close the last document in TextEdit, and click on the Finder, then try to command tab back, TextEdit has quit. 


    But it really hasn't.  The OS is preventing it from being displayed.  It's still running according to the Application Monitor. 


    And I don't want to get in a thinking battle with my OS.  Can I outthink it?  Will it outthink me?


    Why is this a good idea?


    It's auto quitting to save 19.7 MB, (with 3 GB free) but it really isn't quitting!  It's just preventing me from driving the app from the GUI since I closed the last document and brought another app to the front.


    I can understand quitting an app with no documents to save memory in a memory constrained condition, but...


    1. It isn't really quitting!  It's just disabling the display of the GUI. 

    2. This isn't a memory constrained condition!  There is 3 GB free!


    This is one of the reasons I uninstalled Lion from all my 3 macs and restored Snow Leopard.  Unfortunately, I have to have Xcode 4 for iOS 5 development on a Mac in the office. 

  • thomas_r. Level 7 (30,727 points)

    So, since you have removed Lion from all your machines, you are no longer seeking a solution, and are just here to complain?  I'm sure the hosts will be interested to hear that!

  • Alex Zavatone Level 1 (0 points)

    It's from the Apple HUI guidelines that I downloaded because I'm a registered developer.


    Linc, they are not crashing.  I'll try to find the Apple HUI guidelines that explains this.  DWB's link does a great job of explaining this. 


    But it's insane that Apple thinks that "applications in the background with no docs are the ones that need to be quit.

  • Alex Zavatone Level 1 (0 points)

    Thomas, it appears that you forgot to read the next sentence. 


    "Unfortunately, I have to have Xcode 4 for iOS 5 development on a Mac in the office. "


    If you do not use Xcode, then you might know that this requires Lion.


    Also, If you have been using the Mac for as long as I have, you do it because you love the Mac.  All these changes being put into Lion have been a usability and productivity mess for me. If Apple continues in this direction, we will not have the Mac that we loved.  We'll have an operating system we'll have to deal with, not one we like.


    That is what I currently call "Windows".


    Remember Clippy?  Do you want all the things that Clippy suggested to be done automatically for you?  WIthout even asking?  That's where it seems Lion is already heading and it's really not enjoyable.

  • Linc Davis Level 10 (192,559 points)

    I've not seen that happen....yet.


    Neither have I, but I'm not sure I would notice if it did happen, nor do I know why anyone would care.

  • Linc Davis Level 10 (192,559 points)

    Why do you care whether a document-centric application quits in the background when it has no documents open? I'm not being sarcastic; I'd really like to know.

  • Alex Zavatone Level 1 (0 points)

    Why?  Because it's the computer overriding what the user wants to do.


    Open a document in TextEdit on Lion. 

    Close it.  Make sure that there are no other documents open in TextEdit.

    Click on the Finder.

    Command tab back to TextEdit. 


    It's gone.  It's not even in the list of applications you can command tab back to.


    So Linc, how long have you been using the Mac?  The way these apps have always worked in the past is that YOU quit them.  The OS doesn't.  


    Many times, I'll close the last doc, then go off and surf, then come back to the application, press command O and open a file from the open dialog.


    But what's worse is that the app doesn't quit.  It's still running.  You can see this in the Activity Monitor.  The user is just prevented from accessing the UI unless they actually go back and launch the app again.  This forces the user to perform unnecessary steps for no reason.


    So, why wouldn't I care if the operating system thinks it knows better than me and starts auto saving everything I type, auto quitting an app if I closed the last document and so on. 


    We have simple methods to do this already.  They are the quit and save menu items.  This new push creates conflicting user experiences (which apps auto quit and which don't, which auto save and which don't).  This forces the user to think about more things before they use random app features, "is my text saved", "will the app auto quit on me if I do something", and so on.


    It's not fun.  It doesn't help and I want to know how to turn it off.


    I use my Mac to make money.  For me and for my employer.  I use it because I like how it operates.  I do not like how Lion operates.  If Apple continues this way, I'm not going to like using the Mac. And that makes me sad.

  • Alex Zavatone Level 1 (0 points) rogrammingGuide/MOSXAppProgrammingGuide.pdf


    Search for "Automatic and Sudden Termination of Apps Improve the User Experience"


    But here is the text:


    In Mac OS X v10.7 and later, the use of the Quit command to terminate an app is diminished in favor of more user-centric techniques. Specifically, Cocoa supports two techniques that make the termination of an app transparent and fast:

    • Automatic termination eliminates the need for users to quit an app. Instead, the system manages app termination transparently behind the scenes, terminating apps that are not in use to reclaim needed resources such as memory.
    • Sudden termination allows the system to kill an app’s process immediately without waiting for it to perform any final actions. The system uses this technique to improve the speed of operations such as logging out of, restarting, or shutting down the computer.

    Automatic termination and sudden termination are independent techniques, although both are designed to improve the user experience of app termination. Although Apple recommends that apps support both, an app can support one technique and not the other. Apps that support both techniques can be terminated by the system without the app being involved at all. On the other hand, if an app supports sudden termination but not automatic termination, then it must be sent a Quit event, which it needs to process without displaying any user interface dialogs.

    Automatic termination transfers the job of managing processes from the user to the system, which is better equipped to handle the job. Users do not need to manage processes manually anyway. All they really need is to run apps and have those apps available when they need them. Automatic termination makes that possible while ensuring that system performance is not adversely affected.

    Apps must opt in to both automatic termination and sudden termination and implement appropriate support for them. In both cases, the app must ensure that any user data is saved well before termination can happen. And because the user does not quit an autoterminable app, such an app should also save the state of its user interface using the built-in Cocoa support. Saving and restoring the interface state provides the user with a sense of continuity between app launches.

    For information on how to support for automatic termination in your app, see “Automatic Termination.” For information on how to support sudden termination, see “Sudden Termination.”

  • Linc Davis Level 10 (192,559 points)

    OK, well, I guess that answers my question. I can't say that I share your concern. You know how to give feedback to Apple.

  • Alex Zavatone Level 1 (0 points)

    Time Linc.  Spare time.  I do not have it.


    Why are you perfectly fine with the app quitting without your permission?


    Using the steps I outlined, do you see the sme behaviour?  Is this confirmed on your end?

  • Linc Davis Level 10 (192,559 points)

    Why are you perfectly fine with the app quitting without your permission?


    Because it makes no difference to what I do.


    Using the steps I outlined, do you see the sme behaviour?



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