Originally Posted by Steffen
What about the Sky Safari Pro 1.1.1 update? I'm currently running version 1.0.4 which was not bought from the App Store. Will v.1.1.1 retain USB telescope control?
Bill and Tim at Southern Stars, the creators of Sky Safari, advise that the Pro
version is not affected as it sold by them directly rather than through Apple's
app store and does not have sandboxing.
On Nov 4 2011, Apple announced that as of 1 March 2012, all apps
submitted to the Apple Mac App Store must implement sandboxing.
Sandboxing is a mechanism that restricts an app to a limited set of
"entitlements", such as read/write access to certain parts of the file
space or accessing the core location framework to determine the
machine's geographic location.
When one creates an app, one specifies a pointer to a profile which
contains a set of entitlement keys. These keys then should unlock the
necessary resources that the app will need.
Southern Stars advises that sandboxing was implemented for Sky Safari
Plus 1.1 for Mac OS X and one assumes also for the entry level version
of Sky Safari in preparation for the mandatory sandboxing requirement
Apple are enforcing for apps to be sold through their store.
Unfortunately in the case of Sky Safari 1.1 Plus for Mac OS X there is a yet to be
identified problem which Southern Stars will investigate that is preventing it from
operating correctly. Apart from not being able to access serial I/O via /dev, it appears
that it is being denied access to other parts of the file system by the sandbox
Generally speaking, unfortunately when a resource denial occurs, apart from some
part of the application's functionality failing, the only way that the end user can
ascertain the nature of the problem is by trawling through the Mac OS X console.
This took us several hours of investigation to track down ourselves which we then
dutifully reported to the Southern Stars team.
The irony is of course that the Apple user interface, which they like to advertise
as "user friendly", when it comes to alerting a user of a sandboxing denial
event is somewhat lacking to say the least.
Tim at Southern Stars is currently on vacation but reports that they will defer
judgment until they hear back from Apple but if the issue cannot be resolved
then they will have no choice but to pull the app from the Apple store and
sell it direct as they do with the Pro version.
Indeed, not all developers it seems are happy with Apple's
sandboxing policy. One blog by a developer appears here -
In the 1982 film "Tron", user's programs are frustrated that they
are denied access to the I/O Tower by the draconian Master Control
In an analogous fashion, Apple's "sandbox" kernel extension
is currently denying Sky Safari Plus access to /dev.
But as Bill communicated to us, you should be good to go with the sandbox-free Pro edition.