Using MailWrap on macOS Monterey

Apple’s Mail Plug-In system is quite amazing, and has led to some innovative and brave developments as an MUA (Mail User Agent). These brave developments include: wrapping long lines like a decent MUA, quoting messages in replies correctly like a decent MUA, and an option to Wrap Text like a decent MUA.

I actually forgot to install MailWrap on my M1 when I built it up, and haven’t noticed mostly because I haven’t been posting to mailing lists lately. However, I feel deep personal shame for posting on lkml without remembering to install it first. Look at those long lines!

So I set out to install MailWrap. It certainly is a lot more difficult than it used to be.

#1: Allowing the installer to access ~/Library/Mail

The first time I tried to install MailWrap, I received the unhelpful message that access to ~/Library/Mail/Bundles was denied. This is because I had to grant Terminal the Full Disk Access permission.

You can do this in System Preferences under Security & Privacy. You’ll be helpfully reminded that you have to restart Terminal. Hope you don’t have six active SSH connections open, like I did!

#2: Using the correct UUID

Now we need to add the correct UUID to the Info.plist file. Open ~/Library/Mail/Bundles/MailWrap.mailbundle/Contents/Info.plist in your favourite plain-text editor. Scroll to where you’ll find “Supported10.16PluginCompatibilityUUIDs” and then add the following lines under the “</array>” line:

        <key>Supported12.2PluginCompatibilityUUIDs</key>
<array>
<string>6FF8B077-81FA-45A4-BD57-17CDE79F13A5</string>
<string>25288CEF-7D9B-49A8-BE6B-E41DA6277CF3</string>
</array>

Note that this says “12.2”; when 12.3 comes out, we will need to change this again.

#3: Sign and allow the bundle to run

Gatekeeper will try to keep you safe from untrusted code, which is generally a good thing. We can sign our bundle now:

$ cd ~/Library/Mail/Bundles
$ codesign -f -s - MailWrap.mailbundle

And now that it is signed properly, we can tell Gatekeeper to trust the signature:

$ sudo spctl --add --label “MailExtensions” MailWrap.mailbundle
$ sudo spctl --enable --label “MailExtensions”

Troubleshooting

Incompatible Plug-ins Disabled.  Mail has disabled the following plug-ins: MailWrap.mailbundle Contact the makers of these plug-ins for versions that are compatible with Mail 15.0.
Incompatible Plug-ins Disabled

If you receive this Incompatible Plug-ins Disabled message, then something has gone wrong with your UUIDs. You’ll need to try again and make sure that you’ve pasted those lines in the correct spot.

“MailWrap.mailbundle” is damaged and can’t be opened.  You should move it to the Bin.  Mail created this file on an unknown date.
“MailWrap.mailbundle” is damaged and can’t be opened.

I received this message when I edited the Info.plist file after running codesign. It means the CodeSignature doesn’t match the contents. You need to re-run the codesign command every time you change any file in the bundle to keep the signature updated.

“Mail” needs to be updated.  This app will not work with future versions of macOS and needs to be updated to improve compatibility.  Contact the developer for more information.
“Mail” needs to be updated.

This message is because MailWrap uses Python 2.7. Hopefully I will have some time to update it to Python 3 before the eventual removal of Python 2.7 from macOS. I’ve had success doing this before, so hopefully it goes well.

In conclusion

Now my emails are nice and wrapped and I’m not breaking a bunch of email clients in faraway lands. And all was quiet in the world. (Except not: the kernel is still broken, and Ukraine is still being invaded.)

I hope this post was useful to you. Happy hacking!

2 TB USB drive on a PowerBook G3 Pismo

I have a 2 TB USB SSD for my photo library, and I wondered: would it work on my PowerBook G3 Pismo with Mac OS 9? Let’s find out!

Here’s a quick, fun anecdote from the Retro Lab. I bought a Sandisk Extreme 2 TB USB NVMe drive on Black Friday. (Actually, I bought it the Wednesday before Thanksgiving.) My intention is to use it for storing my entire photo library.

I primarily intend to have it connected to my M1 MacBook Pro, but it comes with a USB-C to USB-A adaptor, and states it is compatible with “any computer with a USB port”. I decided to put that statement to the test with my trusty Pismo.

This computer was the top of the line for the year 2000, including a 500 MHz CPU and Mac OS 9. I tried to do some searches online to see the maximum volume size that Mac OS 9 can support. Most of my searches simply showed “more than 200 GB”. Okay, then!

I booted the Pismo and connected the drive to the rear USB port. Lo and behold, there really was no step 2: it showed up immediately in the Finder.

My new 2 TB NVMe SSD working perfectly on a Pismo running Mac OS 9.

It makes me happy that if I ever feel the desire to fire up Kai’s Power Goo again, I can do so with any photo in my library. Have fun, everyone!

Designing a Sheet in Interface Builder

Quick tip time! This is an anecdote from a libre project I’m working on, specifically Auctions.

One of the things I am doing right now is implementing the Cocoa/Mac UI. I’m writing a flow using sheets for signing in to accounts. I had a lot of issues making the sheet accept input; it just wouldn’t let any of its fields become the first responder.

Poking around DuckDuckGo, I found a Stack Overflow question that seemed pretty interesting, and the answer was to override NSPanel‘s canBecomeKeyWindow method to return YES. I did some searching around in Apple’s Developer Documentation to see how the system determines when a window can become a key window, and I found this nugget:

A window that uses NSWindowStyleMaskBorderless can’t become key or main, unless the value of canBecomeKeyWindow or canBecomeMainWindow is YES. Note that you can set a window’s or panel’s style mask to NSWindowStyleMaskBorderless in Interface Builder by deselecting Title Bar in the Appearance section of the Attributes inspector.

Apple Developer Documentation

I had turned off Title Bar in Interface Builder as I thought it should be disabled since the window would be shown as a sheet. I re-enabled Title Bar, and voila! The sheet worked perfectly, and did not have a title bar when displayed as a sheet.

Reimagining my blog

It’s been quite a while since I’ve written anything here. Part of that is due to my life being hectic lately. I’ve been dealing with health issues surrounding my family and I have also been happily adjusting to my new job.

When I started this blog, my goals were two-fold: a place for my long form writings on various topics, and status updates with the projects I work on. I still wish to write articles like those, but I want to share more content.

To that end, I would like to reimagine this blog. I intend to start sharing more, shorter articles with tips and tricks I learn, cool software and services I find, and also more cat posts.

On September 18th, we adopted a new kitten, Melody. She was born in July of this year, so she is still growing a little every day. She also has been adjusting to life with her big brother, Mr Gaz. These two get into hilarious hijinks regularly, so stay tuned!

I look forward to sharing more and interacting with my readers.