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Disable app auto quitting

6883 Views 45 Replies Latest reply: Jan 19, 2013 5:53 PM by FastEddy760 RSS
  • dwb Level 6 Level 6 (19,695 points)
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    Jan 21, 2012 6:03 PM (in response to Alex Zavatone)

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

    Long ago I got into the habit of keeping TextEdit open and using it as a temporary repository for text. The automatic termination feature of Lion was confusing and somewhat annoying at first but I found the workaround that I described earlier and so far TextEdit hasn't quit on me since. I'd like for applicaitons to give me the option of turning this feature off but I do understand the idea that Apple is working toward.


    Before I upgraded my iMac at work I often found my computer bogging down. I'd have 6 or 8 applications running but at any given time several of those would be totally inactive and their windows were all closed. So these inactive but running applications were hogging memory that, if released, would let my computer hum. Since the memory wasn't released, the hard drive was thrashing and the beachball was spinning. In a similar situation Lion sees these inactive applications and releases the memory and the result is a computer that behaves itself much better under low memory situations than Leopard and Snow Leopard did.


    The MacBook Air lets me restart these applications in a heartbeat or two and the trade-off is mostly positive. But when it comes to a couple programs it is annoying, which is why I wish Apple required applications to offer a toggle on the feature so users could turn it off.

  • Leauki Calculating status...
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    Apr 16, 2012 9:07 AM (in response to Linc Davis)

    Linc Davis wrote:


    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.


    Two cases seem obvious to me because they just both happened to me.


    Xcode is downloading and installing "command line tools". There is no window open. Xcode quits because it is "inactive". The download is abandoned. I find Xcode quit and wonder what might have happened. Took me three tries to download and install the command line tools without Xcode quitting on me while doing that.


    Second is switching between applications. I switch away from Xcode and half an hour later I switch back. Xcode has gone. Great.


    Generally, Apple shouldn't pretend that it is the 1980s and applications habe to be quit to free resources. Applications that are (really) inactive are already paged out to disk. That's enough.

  • Paul Sch. Calculating status...
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    Apr 26, 2012 11:35 PM (in response to Alex Zavatone)

    Count me in with that complaint. I think auto-quitting -- and in particular auto-quitting document-based applications -- is the worst "feature" ever introduced in an Apple system. I hate it.


    Take Preview and TextEdit:


    You can’t switch between the apps because they auto-quit. (What is Cmd-Tab good for then?)


    You can’t use the “New Document” command from the dock icon in TextEdit because it auto-quits. (What is the dock menu good for then?)


    Generally if an app still offers functionality even if all windows are closed why should it be quit automatically against the will of the user?

    So document based apps should never ever auto-quit, because you are likely to use them to create a new document or open another one.

    And even single window applications (e.g. iPhoto, AddressBook) should not auto-quit because you are likely to use them again. At least they should not quit if they still do things in the background.


    I just don't get why Apple is doing this. Quitting an app is so easy via Cmd-Q or the dock icon. So auto-quitting is not solving any problem but creating problems and removing functionality.


    As maybe an illustration of the problem: Imagine auto-quitting for Safari. How would you like that?

  • baltwo Level 9 Level 9 (59,150 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 27, 2012 1:52 PM (in response to Paul Sch.)

    File a bug report with Apple for lost functionality.

    27" i7 iMac 10.6.8 , Mac OS X (10.7.3), G4 450 MP 1.5 GB RAM w/(10.5.8/10.4.11/9.2.2)
  • dwb Level 6 Level 6 (19,695 points)
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    Apr 28, 2012 7:09 AM (in response to Alex Zavatone)

    And just how do you think auto quit accomodates Win users?


    OTOH, it mimics iOS which keeps programs running in memory when we exit out and launch (or switch) to another application. When there's no more free memory to launch another application our iOS device auto quits one. Since launching an app from flash RAM is fast we often don't even realize the program had been quit.

  • Leauki Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
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    Apr 28, 2012 7:25 AM (in response to Alex Zavatone)

    Actually, Windows uses document windows, windows within windows. Excel does that. Windows users who close all documents within Excel do not necessarily assume that Excel should now close. Generally Windows users do not expect applications to quit on their own.


    If a Windows user closes all windows of a Mac application and expects it to close, it won't matter if it doesn't, because modern computers (that is computers built since 1992) page out the memory of applications no longer used and it really doesn't matter how many inactive programs are "running" at any given time.

  • dwb Level 6 Level 6 (19,695 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 28, 2012 7:27 AM (in response to Alex Zavatone)

    No, insanely stupid is getting so bent out of shape over a feature that happens seldom enough that 90% of Mac users don't even know it exists. Get a life bud!

  • Leauki Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 28, 2012 7:31 AM (in response to dwb)

    Are many Mac users really so stupid that they just don't notice when TextEdit quits after a while or that documentation has to be downloaded again and again in Xcode, becaue Xcode quits while downloading because no windows are open?


    Nobody here is "getting bent out of shape" over a "feature". We are angry because of a _bug_.


    The operating system quitting applications without the user telling it to is not and never has been a feature. It's a bug, regardless of whether the error was made by the programmer or the person making the decisions for the functional specs.

  • paulimausi Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 28, 2012 7:34 AM (in response to baltwo)

    Good idea. I think I did that once right after Lion was released. But it would probably help if other people who care about the application quitting behaviour filed a complaint as well (in polite words of couse).

  • paulimausi Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 28, 2012 7:57 AM (in response to Leauki)

    Personally viewing all the arguments in this thread I still think auto-quitting is bad.


    I understand that Windows users might consider it normal that apps quit when they have no open windows. But IMHO it has always been a great feature of the Mac OS to have applications running without open windows because you can still call them to do something (e.g. via the Dock icon or via a short-cut) and you can quickly activate them.


    Regarding the comparison with iOS: I think the Macs serve different purposes and are used in a different manner than mobile devices. In iOS you use only one app at a time whereas on a Mac you use multiple apps in parallel.


    I simple don't understand what the advantage of auto-quitting is supposed to be. Idle apps use almost no cpu cycles. Their memory is paged out when needed (something that does not happen in iOS b.t.w. so here is another difference) so they don't block RAM.


    The only "advantage" I can see is that the Dock icon of the quit app vanishes. But many users crowd their Docks with all apps used anyway. In this case the difference is only that the Dock icon of the quit app has less functionality. And the people who want only the apps they are currently working with or use very often in the Dock will probably prefer the old way.


    If Apple thinks that auto-quitting is a feature it should be an option. I'm even fine with it being the default. But it would be releaving if Apple provided a way to disable auto-quitting, preferably as a global option as well as a per-app option.


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