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10.4: Fix some menu extras on Intel Macs System 10.4
Our Groupcal product integrates Exchange calendars with iCal calendars, and it uses a .menu item (Apple's right-menu-based Volume and Display controls are two examples of .menu items). Recently we've had multiple reports of this menu item not working, but were initially unable to replicate the problem. Eventually, we discovered that there can be issues with Intel-based Macs and applications that use MenuCracker. The problem results from a PowerPC version of MenuCracker being installed, instead of the Universal version (read on for the details on how that happens).

This situation will be an issue for many users, regardless of whether they use Groupcal or not (see background info, below). One of our developers created an installer to fix this issue (25 KB download), so we thought we'd share it. This installer will install MenuCracker 1.4 in Universal Binary format, adjust the UI Server's plist file, and require the user to log out and back in (to restart the UI Server and activate the installed MenuCracker). Note that some .menu products disable themselves (e.g., the wonderful MenuMeters product), and will still need to be turned back on after this fix.

Some Background:

Apple provides only a limited set of interfaces for non-Apple developers to create and manage .menu items on the right side of the Menu Bar. In fact, at one point, Apple appears to have tried to prevent such non-Apple menu items. The result is an (open source) code bundle, called MenuCracker, that helps applications place .menu items on the Menu Bar with capabilities equivalent to those enjoyed by Apple's .menu items.

When MenuCracker is used, there's an attempt to install a code bundle that can be run by OS X's UI Server when it starts. The UI Server keeps a list of code bundles, that it attempts to run when it starts, in a ~/Library -> Preferences -> com.apple.systemuiserver.plist file. There are many non-Apple applications, preference panels, etc. that include and use their own copy of MenuCracker.

Furthermore, there are both PowerPC and Universal Binary versions of MenuCracker that are in use. Depending upon which version of MenuCracker a product is using, and (most importantly) which product was run first by a given user on an Intel-based Mac, MenuCracker may or may not work ... and if an application uses MenuCracker to help it create a .menu item, that .menu item will not work if MenuCracker doesn't work.

[robg adds: I haven't tested this installer.]
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10.4: Fix some menu extras on Intel Macs
Authored by: Rosyna on Jun 06, '06 05:42:00AM
Alternatively, you can just download Menu Extra Enabler from http://www.unsanity.com/mee which does not require plist changes and thus works for all user accounts (if the user decides to install it in this manner).

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