What is the fundamental difference, for .app-bundles/applications, between

open Application.app

in a bash-shell and opening it by clicking on it in for example Finder or the dock?

It seems the environments are slightly different, at least in Mojave, which causes low-level differences in AppKit-resources. In this case I've encountered weird behaviour with NSView (https://developer.apple.com/documentation/appkit/nsview).

Does anyone have information (developer level info) on what the differences are?

I Googled and went through Apple's developer info, but I couldn't find anything meaningful. Appreciate if someone could point me in the right direction.

  • What differences in behaviour? As far as I know they should be the same but the differences might suggest a place to look
    – mmmmmm
    Sep 17, 2018 at 13:39

1 Answer 1


Apple developer info for 10.14 and AppKit had enough info to find the issue.

What mattered in this case was that the call order is slightly different depending on open Application.app or clicking on it. So do not assume call order for the first calls anymore.

The breaking change was that resetCursorRects (from NSView in AppKit) now can be called before the first redraw. AFAIK this was not the case previously.

See https://developer.apple.com/documentation/appkit/appkit_release_notes_for_macos_10_14?language=objc

  • Please put the reason in the answer - link only answers get problematic when the page changes - which Apple does do Also in this case that is a long document and it is not clear what is the relevant part
    – mmmmmm
    Sep 18, 2018 at 14:16

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