I have been observing strange behavior with two dictionary apps from a French / Belgian developer. I can launch both of them multiple times -- i.e., multiple instances of the app will appear in the dock (and Activity Monitor) -- but this is true only for these apps. I'm running Mac OS 10.13.3 on a MBP mid-2015. I've reported this to the developer, but they can't reproduce the problem -- and state that no one else has reported this. If I create a test account, the problem still occurs. I've tried completely deleting and reinstalling these apps, to no avail. However, it turns out that I'm unable to launch more than one instance of these apps on a 2010 MacBook Pro running Mac OS 10.11, and I don't know whether it's because of the hardware or the software.

Does anyone have any suggestions as to how to troubleshoot, if not how to resolve this problem?

  • Can you tell us the name of the app or point us to their website? How many copies can you open? Is there any chance you have multiple copies of the application on your MacBook? – Alistair McMillan Jan 31 '18 at 20:51
  • Collins-Robert Comprehensive Dictionary 2017 and Le Petit Robert 2018. I appear to be able to open as many copies of each as I want (I've gone as far as 3). Here are the links: lerobert.com/dictionnaires/anglais/langue/… lerobert.com/dictionnaires/francais/langue/… I only have one copy of each. – odysseus Jan 31 '18 at 21:42
  • Are you launching with a double click? Hypothetically, if your application was replaced with a AppleScript application that had the script do shell script "open -n /Applications/TheAppInQuestion.app", you would see this behaviour (the -n flag opens another instance). So it's like the application has some how defaulted to this method of being launched... – Heath Raftery Jan 31 '18 at 21:44
  • It happens when I launch with a double-click, or when I launch from the Spotlight search field (command-space, typing the name, then hitting return). Could there be some key in the apps' .plist file that would do the same thing as "open -n"? – odysseus Jan 31 '18 at 21:53

This appears to be fixed in 10.13.4.

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