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5 hours of my life…

Well, I just wasted about 5 hours of my life trying to figure out a problem I was having with frameworks, bundles, and my new app. There is a nice way to embed frameworks into an application, as shown in an excellent video tutorial by Jonathan “Wolf” Rentzsch. The problem comes when embedding a framework into a plug-in bundle. I went through the tutorial, except embedding the framework code into my bundle. Things compiled fine, but when I went to run my app, it choked and complained that it could not find a method in a class within the framework.

Unfortunately the debugger was kind of flaking out on me…it was stepping at blank lines without any code and returning out of functions early. This led me to believe that maybe the debugger wasn’t looking at the right code. I couldn’t for the life of me figure out what was going on though. I tried doing a clean build of everything, making sure the frameworks were being included in the bundle, and that the bundle was in the Plugins directory of the app. Everything checked out fine. So if the structure was set up fine, why wasn’t the correct code being executed? I ended up finding the problem was two-fold.

First, I had an old version of the framework I was trying to embed in my ~/Library/Frameworks directory. The old version contained the class I was trying to use, but the class didn’t have the method I was calling yet. I removed that file, and tried running the app again only to find that it couldn’t find the Framework it was looking for. Aha! That explains why the debugger was acting funky….but why isn’t it finding the framework that is included in the bundle?

After poking around a bit more, I came to the point where I set the installation path to “@executable_path/../Frameworks”. Apparently, when embedding a bundle, the @executable_path is set to the application path and not the bundle path. I suppose this makes sense, after all the bundle isn’t the primary executable…it’s just a dynamically loaded library. However, there is no linker definition for @bundle_path or something similar, so unless the bundle is always at a hard-coded path, there is no way to embed a framework into a bundle.

The work-around I ended up doing was just to embed all the frameworks I need directly into the application. This bothers me though, because I know some of the frameworks will only be used in a single bundle, so it doesn’t make sense for them to be embedded in the app and not the bundle.

Anyway, I’m posting this here in the hopes that I can save someone else hours of confusion. 🙂 If anyone knows of another way to embed frameworks into a bundle without hard-coded paths, send me an email.

1 Comment

  1. Holy cow, thanks. You saved me 4 of 5 hours!

    Some mac people say @loader_path is available on 10.4+, which does the obviously correct thing in bundles.

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