I released the second beta of Find It! Keep It! today.
It contains a few bug fixes, and a crash reporter to help people report bugs.
The biggest change is that Input Managers are disabled within Find It! Keep It! by default. They’ll still work in your other applications.
Why? All but one of the reported crashes at launch were due to Input Manager conflicts: 50% of all reported bugs! Understandably, if a crash is your first experience with Find It! Keep It!, you’ll assume Find It! Keep It! is at fault.
Contacting the author of every Input Manager that fails to ask them for a fix isn’t ideal: my users need to tell me what crashed and work with me to isolate the fault, and the Input Manager author needs to be willing to fix the problem. In the real world, most users will just give up.
Furthermore, in many cases, Input Managers are targeted at a specific application. For instance, Safari Tidy targets Safari, Chax targets iChat. At best they are harmless when loaded into other applications. At worst they’ll crash them.
So what if you actually want to access an Input Manager’s functionality from within Find It! Keep It!? I provide a Preference Panel that allows you to enable any of your Input Managers. When loading a new combination of Input Managers, Find It! Keep It! will step you through the process to help isolate crashes on load. It also disables any Input Manager it recognizes as having crashed on load, and restarts without it.
Hopefully, this is the best of all worlds: the ability for users to customize their systems without the penalty of instability.
I would like to see Apple providing stronger system controls over Input Managers, and other customizations: the user should always be in control. In particular Input Managers make adware trivial to implement on the Mac. Apple could improve overall user experience by requiring users to explicitly go to a preference panel to allow a given Input Manager to load into a given application.