284 words on Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard
Mac OS X.5 gained what can turn out to be a helpful new facilty. It’s the spin reporter. When an application goes ‘spinning’, i.e. becomes unresponsive, it will be sampled by the System’s spindump tool. If you then kill the application because it remains unresponsive that sampling’s results will be saved in the /Library/Logs/HangReporter folder. In theory there should be subfolders for each application containing all its reports in there but on my system all reports are stored in a subfolder named UNKOWN.
Looking into those files reveals some kind of stack trace which, strangely, seems to include all applications on the system rather than just the application which spun. Doesn’t that rise privacy issues of some kind if you are submitting the reports using the Apple’s Spin Reporter tool that comes up once a log has been generated (just as the crash reporter does). Similarly, doesn’t it raise questions about whether you should submit such a hang log to the developer of the application. I suppose that it might give them a reasonably good idea about where the hang happened in their code so it could be very helpful. But they don’t really need to see all other applications on my system, do they?
Could the problem I am seeing be related to the fact that all processes are considered UNKNOWN on my system and the sampling would be limited to just the affected process if the system managed to figure out its name (which, ironically, it does know and write into the log itself)? Does everybody have an UNKNOWN subfolder only rather than subfolders with the application names? And if the latter is the case, how can things be fixed for me?
I just have an UNKNOWN subfolder populated by a few files, all around 4KB in size. The file only specifies the application that hung. For example:
Date/Time: 2007-11-10 23:09:10 +0100 OS Version: 10.5 (Build 9A581) Architecture: i386 Report Version: 4
Command: Radioshift Path: /Applications/Radioshift.app/Contents/MacOS/Radioshift Version: 1.0 (1.0) Parent: launchd 
PID: 2239 Event: hang Time: 6.66s Steps: 35
There was no other information in the file.
Nice… another variation, but probably still not what’s supposed to happen.