Unsanity plans to bring Haxies, APE to Snow Leopard

Hey, remember Unsanity? That developer became famous—perhaps even infamous—for introducing haxies, software that injected code into other Mac OS X apps through Unsanity’s own Application Enhancer, also known as APE.

Often this made for neat little tweaks, such as allowing Mac OS X windows to collapse like OS 9’s WindowShade feature, or to completely reskin OS X’s Aqua user interface from top to bottom. But haxies did so by injecting unintended code into Mac OS X software, often making applications behave in ways that the original developers could not anticipate. Understandably, the presence of haxies has made some Mac OS X developers very unhappy, especially when it came to handling bugs caused by APE that wouldn't otherwise exist. Apple has gone on the record to state that it will ignore every crash log submitted on a Mac with Application Enhancer installed.

Since the release of Leopard, many haxies still don’t work properly with 10.5, and all haxies simply do not work at all in Snow Leopard—a result of changes made to existing frameworks and new security safeguards made for Mac OS X 10.5 and 10.6. That left several haxie lovers stuck with using earlier versions of Mac OS X until Unsanity figured out a new way to inject code into OS X apps.

After many months of silence, Unsanity has announced that it has plans to port specific haxies to Snow Leopard and take advantage of new technologies like Core Animation, at the expense of backward compatibility with Mac OS X 10.4 and 10.5. Specifically, Unsanity has built a version of Application Enhancer that will only work on Mac OS X 10.6, and 10.6-specific ports of Windowshade X, FruitMenu, Labels X, and Mighty Mouse are in various stages of progress—in many cases, they’re close to public beta.

Readers should be aware that this software is made with power users in mind. It will leave your computer in a state that Apple will refuse to support until Application Enhancer is removed. If you’re willing to accept that, the fruits of this porting effort may be worthy of a weekend distraction—just as long as you’re careful not to put them on a mission-critical Mac.

Subscribe to the Help Desk Newsletter

Comments