beaTunes, macOS Mojave, and the AEpocalypse
As you might know, a new version of Apple's operating system macOS named Mojave is going to be released very soon. Be advised that beaTunes is not optimized for Mojave yet. Specifically, there is no integration with Mojave's dark mode and AppleScript may cause some headaches.
While dark mode integration is purely cosmetic (just use the 'dark' theme accessible via beaTunes' general preferences), AppleScript issues may be more problematic. When you are using beaTunes to maintain your iTunes library on macOS, you are effectively letting beaTunes control iTunes via AppleScript. Mojave may introduce a new security mechanism called AppleScript Sandboxing. This means that, before an application is allowed to control another application via AppleScript, the user is asked whether that's OK. This is most certainly not a bad thing, but Apple's implementation is still fairly new (not to say immature) and has been ridiculed a bit, simply because it reminds people of an old Apple commercial (with reversed roles).
A couple of people in the indy software world have voiced some legit concerns and criticism. Here's a little reading list:
- Felix Schwarz: macOS Mojave gets new APIs around AppleEvent sandboxing – but AEpocalypse still looms
- Daniel Jalkut: Apple Events Usage Description
- Dave Nanian: macOS Mojave: Opening New Vistas in Security for Mac Users
- Paulo Andrade: Apple Events And The State Of macOS Automation
- Paul Kim: Hazel and the AEpocalypse
- Doug Adams: Mojave Security
What does this mean for beaTunes?
For now—not a lot. I will wait until the final macOS Mojave version is released before making changes, simply because this security mechanism seems to be too much of a moving target. After the dust has settled, we will see what's the best way to proceed.
PS: If this does not scare you or you have trust in dot-0 versions of Apple's operating systems—by all means, please take beaTunes for a ride and report on help.beatunes.com what problems you ran into!