Dave Landers

Dave’s thoughts (such as they are)

Archive for November, 2011

Last (hopefully) Lion issue

I was getting frequent lockups – I wasn’t sure initially what was going on, but it became apparent that it was something related to Eclipse.  While eclipse was building my projects, it would crawl to a halt (always at the same place on the same project).  Other apps would be responsive- for a while, but eventually everything would crawl to a halt.

I think the ultimate issue was actually with the Java VM.  I had two entries in my eclipse.ini: UseConcMarkSweepGC and UseCompressedOops which I had added per the ScalaIDE docs.

Once I removed these, things started behaving again.  I didn’t like using the concurrent mark and sweep algorithm anyway, as I thought the pauses were worse.  But something is certainly misbehaving in that algorithm (or in the VM as a whole) with Lion to allow it to lock up the entire machine.

It seems that the JDK available for Lion has at least changed some defaults (like the memory sizes I discovered earlier) and possibly some other things (memory/gc/hotspot-related).

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And another thing

The Lion upgrade deleted all (except one random guy) in my address book contacts.

I restored the ~/Library/Application Support/AddressBook folder from the TimeMachine backup pre-Lion and everyone is back now.

Update – No, it’s not back.  This was not Lion doing this, but iCloud.  Every time I turned on iCloud to sync Contacts, it deleted everybody (apparently preferring the empty list on iCloud to the full list on my Mac).  The solution (after many restores from backups) was:

Turn on iCloud on my iPhone (I had not done this previously).  Sync contacts from there (after a short prayer).  That did preserve my contact list (whew) and got everything up to iCloud.  Then, turning on iCloud at the Mac did sync properly.  Finally.

Apparently, this whole business of trying to make my computer work like a phone is not quite there yet – my computer is now in some ways less-capable than my phone.  At least (for now) I can still do software development on the Mac.

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Lion upgrade issues

I just upgraded my MacBook Pro to Lion yesterday – and thought I’d summarize the things I’ve found so far:

The first thing to note is that, except for some issues noted below, this was a pretty smooth upgrade.  I usually don’t like upgrades and prefer to do a clean install and reconfigure or move stuff over.  But the upgrade install itself was pretty good.

I had terrible problems with Spotlight indexing – I think mdworker crashed about 10 times yesterday trying to get through the initial indexing.  It is possible that it was colliding with Time Machine trying to backup the 9Gb or so that changed during the upgrade.  Not sure, but now that it has (eventually) finished the initial index pass, it seems OK.

I had things just plain lock up several times – usually I was trying to get my Eclipse projects refreshed and rebuilt, and maybe that was deadlocking with the Spotlight vs. Time Machine issue.  I don’t know, but it really annoyed me to reboot and have Lion reopen the very thing (Eclipse) that caused me to reboot in the first place.

Reboot (or even logout/in) should start you off clean, IMHO, not “where you left off”.  If I wanted to be where I left off, I wouldn’t have rebooted in the first place.  I should at least have an option to turn this off (globally and per-app).

I had trouble getting my work calendar (CalDAV) to sync.  I eventually fixed it by deleting all the entries for that server in Keychain.  We hit the same server for Calendar, Mail, and IM, and several of the keychain entries were accessible by Calendar, and a few of those were old – so maybe it was confused about which one to use.

Something changed in Java (other than the install location).  I have stumbled upon two issues with WebLogic Server:  First, I now need to bump up my MaxPermGen even for a basic web app to deploy – I’m now using -XX:MaxPermSize=256m (before Lion these apps were getting by with the default).  Also, WLS is now not happy with Lion’s IPv6, and won’t bind to any port unless I specify a v4 listen-address (

I don’t really want my laptop to look/act like my phone.  That’s probably why I don’t like the new look in Mail.  So it’s Classic layout (under Prefs -> Viewing), and View -> Show Mailbox List.  Then, System Prefs -> General -> Sidebar icon size to Small so my mail folders (yes, I’m old-school and still use folders for mail organization) fit in the window.

I do think I might like Launchpad – although it could sure use some tooling to help make the configuration better.  But I finally think I got it usable enough to trim down my Dock.  A couple of hints:

  • You can drag an app from Finder onto the Launchpad icon (in Dock) to add an app (outside of the Application folders) to the Launchpad.   I got Eclipse.app into Launchpad like this.
  • You can bind Launchpad to a key shortcut in Sys Preferences -> Keyboard -> Shortcuts -> Launchpad.  Check Show Launchpad and enter a shortcut.  I went with Command-F12.
  • There doesn’t seem to be a (good) way to remove icons from Launchpad, and it’s pretty cluttered with everything.  So I made several groups/folders (whatever they’re called) to hide the junk, and tossed them on the last page.

The biggest surprise for me is that I am almost used to the upside-down scrolling thing.  I thought I’d hate it, but it seems like it might be ok.

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