Tag Archives: bug

Qt visual artefacts on Mac OS X 10.6

deploy_nearly_everywhereThe release of Mac OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard) snuck up on me while I have been working hard on a major new release of PerfectTablePlan plan. I didn’t really want to risk messing up my stable Mac development machine by installing it, so I asked testlab2.com (who have been doing some third party testing for me) to test my latest beta on it.

Bad news. All the combo boxes in my application (which work fine in Mac OS X 10.3, 10.4 and 10.5) have visual artefacts on Mac OS X 10.6. They work fine, but they don’t look right. I wondered if the artefact could be unique to some weird configuration on testlab2’s test machine, so I asked the fine folk on macsb mailing list to see if they could replicate it. 4 of them tried (thanks Cesar, Jon, Aaron and Pierre) and they all saw the visual artefacts. Damn.

I posted a question on the qt-interest forum. The single response (thanks Francesco) mentioned that this issue had been reported in the Qt development blog. I managed to find the blog post, applied the recommended single line code patch to Qt 4.4.2 and rebuilt everything. Cesar from macsb kindly re-tried the new binaries and reports that this improved things, but some artefacts are still visible the first time a combo box is shown. Perhaps the patch works better for Qt 4.5.

Note the artefacts at the top and bottom of the combo box drop-down list

Note the artefacts at the top and bottom of the combo box drop-down list

It looks like I am going to have to release it like this, unless someone knows of a better patch. This is very annoying after the months of hard work I have put into the new release. Aesthetics are important for commercial software, especially on the Mac. This could cost me quite a few sales.

I am not on the very latest release of Qt, but apparently this issue would still occur even if I was. Qt/Nokia have announced that they don’t expect to  support Mac OS X 10.6 until they release Qt 4.6, whenever that might be. What use is a cross-platform toolkit that doesn’t support the latest major OSs?

Developer releases of 10.6 have been available for a while – I believe the Qt team should have burnt the midnight oil to make sure they had a release that properly supported 10.6 as soon as it became generally available.  I know that isn’t easy given the size of the Qt framework and Apple’s penchant for secretiveness. But that is the game they are in and that is what I expect. I think they have seriously dropped the ball here, and this is coming from a longtime Qt fan-boy. Perhaps they have spread themselves a bit too thin by moving to LGPL licensing.

I have written this post as a quick heads up to other Qt developers. Thanks to everyone that helped me get this far.

Ebay bug?

A couple of weeks ago I received a rather expensive looking tie in the post. I hadn’t ordered it and there was no note or letter to say who it had come from. How very odd. As a microISV my work attire doesn’t get any more formal than a t-shirt and I don’t ‘do’ meetings. Perhaps a happy user of PerfectTablePlan had sent it in gratitude for saving them hours with post-it notes?

Then the books started appearing. First “Julius Caesar” by Shakespear. Shortly followed by “The life of charlemagne”, “Travels through France and Italy” and “In the shadows of vesuvius”. Then finally “The complete angler”. Perhaps I had a cyber-stalker? One with rather refined tastes.

I have been buying lego duplo for my son on Ebay. Maybe one of the sellers got confused and sent the wrong items? I did some digging around on EBay and found that one person had purchased all the above items on Ebay. I contacted him and the sellers to find out what was going on. The sellers all said they had sent the goods to my address, as provided by EBay. The buyer said that his EBay delivery address had mysteriously changed to my address. He has since paid me the postage and I have forwarded them on to his real address.

To the best of my knowledge the buyer and I have never had any dealings with each other, through EBay or otherwise. So it is unlikely that he mistakenly supplied my address to EBay. Also there is no incentive for him to have deliberately changed his address to mine. The only rational explanation I can come up with is that this mix-up was caused by an egregious bug in EBay. Perhaps the bugs at PayPal are spreading to it’s parent company? Has anyone else heard of similar EBay address mix-ups?