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Manually checking for updates when Separated Mode is active on launch and the Welcome panel is open results in a crash [APh / ADe / APub, Big Sur/Catalina]

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Hi guys,

So, I've been testing Separated Mode on Affinity apps lately (I still think Serif's implementation is utterly broken, in that the toolbar and toolbox don't dock to the screen edges and document windows don't avoid them, like in all classic Mac apps, but I decided that if I need Separated Mode I can live with just chucking the toolbar to the bottom and be done with it), and I've been running into some bugs (that's the other one I reported today; it's not as serious, as it can't result in data loss, but still glaring and telling).

Here's the one I found today: if I launch Affinity Photo and had Separated Mode set up beforehand and the Welcome panel open*, issuing the “Affinity Photo Beta > Check for Updates” menu command instantly crashes the app.

If, however, I toggle Separated Mode off and on again (or if, alternatively, I toggle it off beforehand, launch AP in regular mode and toggle it back on), and then perform the update check, AP doesn't crash.

The bug is also reproducible in the latest AD and APub betas, but I decided to post it in this sub-forum, as AP is the only Affinity app I ever intend on using in Separated Mode.**

As for versions, it is both reproducible in the latest betas of the suite (AP / AD / APub and even on older ones (AP 1.9.0 / AD / APub 1.9.0); also, I tested the latter on my older MacBook running Catalina, because I hadn't used that computer in a while and knew I still had those in there, and took the time to update them to the latest ones and redo the test on that computer as well to the same results, so it's not just a Big Sur-specific thing.

Interestingly, those older versions did spawn the Update window automatically, so what's crashing the app is not the window itself spawning but very the act of issuing the corresponding menu command.

(*) Edit: Still on the topic of open windows/panels, I did some further testing and realised the Welcome panel may be the culprit here, as closing it before manually issuing the “Check for Updates” menu command also prevents the crash. Please bear in mind, though, that the presence of both the Update window and the Welcome panel on the screen doesn't seem to be the problem here, as 1.9.0 / spawned those on launch and worked without issue. Also, the crash is reproducible even after closing the Welcome panel and manually reopening it through the “Window > Welcome…” menu command.

Regarding the stable, non-MAS versions of Affinity apps, I'm not sure if this bug is reproducible on those, as I bought the entire suite from MAS way back when and can't test your custom – is it Sparkle-based? – update mechanism outside of the betas, but you might want to check that out as well.

If you want, I can send you the related crash logs for all three apps.


(**) Again, this is due to the inherent variability in document sizes and overall unique document philosophy and workflows in photography editing; accordingly, Photoshop is also the only CS/CC app I kept on using in classic mode after Adobe made application frames in document-centric workflows a thing on the Mac – they were aping tabs on Safari 1, as if that ever translated well to Photoshop, where dragging layers from one document to another is only possible with floating windows, but it's a good thing their old default model always was, and still is, very nice and properly kept.

Personally, I loathe using photo editing tools in the inexplicably popular “Monolithic Mode”, and I know I'm not alone in this. You see, this was a trend you shouldn't have focused too much on emulating as not only the default, but the only usable option for the entire suite, and little UX details like the ones mentioned in that extensive feature suggestion I linked to absolutely matter.

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