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#20725 - 02/19/12 01:11 AM Reordering Login Items (in OS X 10.6, at least)
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Some of us prefer to have our Login Items in a particular order, a preference that was supported by easy drag & drop in early versions of OS X.

Since the dragging & dropping got more cumbersome (in Leopard [?]), it's appeared necessary to drag multiple items all the way down to the bottom of the list to either change their order or insert a new item into the middle of the list.

Good news (in case it hasn't been mentioned before): I just discovered that merely dragging an item below the item beneath it (and un-clicking) automatically moves it to the bottom of the list. (Unfortunately, I've never found a way around the "move multiple items" issue. frown )
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#20730 - 02/19/12 08:19 AM Re: Reordering Login Items (in OS X 10.6, at least) [Re: artie505]
Hal Itosis Offline


Registered: 09/03/09
Loc: 10.6.8 (build 10K549)
Is this a 'cosmetic' issue... where one simply wants to view items listed in a particular order?

Or is this about manipulating the actual launch sequence?

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#20737 - 02/19/12 02:09 PM Re: Reordering Login Items (in OS X 10.6, at least) [Re: Hal Itosis]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Originally Posted By: Hal Itosis
Is this a 'cosmetic' issue... where one simply wants to view items listed in a particular order?

Or is this about manipulating the actual launch sequence?

Unfortunately, it's only cosmetic, Hal; I've never run across a way to manipulate the actual launch sequence that I've found acceptable, so I just let OS X have its way.
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#20740 - 02/19/12 04:57 PM Re: Reordering Login Items (in OS X 10.6, at least) [Re: artie505]
Hal Itosis Offline


Registered: 09/03/09
Loc: 10.6.8 (build 10K549)
Originally Posted By: artie505
I've never run across a way to manipulate the actual launch sequence that I've found acceptable, so I just let OS X have its way.

Writing an applescript is probably the easiest...

tell app "textedit" to launch
delay 2
tell app "safari" to launch
delay 2
tell app "terminal" to launch

etc., etc. [and don't forget to remove those same entries from the Login Items list, when adding the applescript.]

It gets more complicated when PrefPanes contain internal apps, but it's still possible i believe. Not sure that qualifies for 'acceptable', but it's not too daunting.


Edited by Hal Itosis (02/19/12 05:04 PM)

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#20748 - 02/20/12 05:33 PM Re: Reordering Login Items (in OS X 10.6, at least) [Re: Hal Itosis]
ganbustein Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Originally Posted By: Hal Itosis
Is this a 'cosmetic' issue... where one simply wants to view items listed in a particular order?

Or is this about manipulating the actual launch sequence?


One place where the cosmetics might matter is with menulets. The icons at the right end of the menu bar come in three groups. From right to left, there are:
  1. Fixed menus. (Spotlight and, on Mountain Lion, Notifications.) You cannot move or remove these menus.
  2. Apple-supplied menus. (Date/time, fast user switching, Time Machine, Sync, Bluetooth, ...). These are all optional, usually enabled by placing a checkmark in the relevant preference pane, and are backed by something in /System/Library/CoreServices/"Menu Extras". They can be rearranged or removed by command-dragging, but remain together in this section of the menubar.
  3. Third-party menus. These are arranged right to left in the order they were put into the menubar by whatever application put them there and provides the supporting code. Usually, that means they're put there by something in Login Items, which therefore controls their order. They cannot be removed or rearranged by command-dragging.

It can be really annoying if the menulet that you've gotten used to having as the leftmost icon in (the right half of) the menubar suddenly has its place of honor usurped by a new add-on you've just installed. The only way to get it back where you like it is to rearrange your Login Items.

It might be easier to rearrange your Login Items by opening ~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.loginitems.plist in Property List Editor and dragging subnodes of SessionItems:CustomListItems, because at least in Property List Editor you aren't limited to dragging only to the end.

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#20749 - 02/20/12 07:39 PM Re: Reordering Login Items (in OS X 10.6, at least) [Re: ganbustein]
dkmarsh Offline

Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09

For those who haven't got an installation disc with the Developer Tools (i.e. purchasers of new Macs, going forward) and are loath to download a >1 GB file to get a <1 MB app, is there any reason (other than the strain on middle aged eyes) not to edit this file using TextWrangler or a similar text editor? (Obviously one would want to make a copy first as a hedge against cutting or pasting at the wrong tags.)

It seemed to work fine when I did it that way. (I do have Property List Editor; I'm just anticipating the question.)

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#20750 - 02/20/12 08:07 PM Re: Reordering Login Items (in OS X 10.6, at least) [Re: ganbustein]
dkmarsh Offline

Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09

(Disclosure—this is in OS X 10.5.8 with Property List Editor 2.2.)

After editing in TextWrangler, logging out and logging back in, I found my login items had reverted to the old order. On the assumption that this was due to the method of editing, I re-reordered the list by dragging items within the Accounts -> Login Items prefpane. On logging out and in, I was surprised to find that the order had reverted once again.

Is there a trick to dragging subnodes (or any item, for that matter) in Property List Editor? Or is that a 10.6+ feature?
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#20758 - 02/21/12 02:35 AM Re: Reordering Login Items (in OS X 10.6, at least) [Re: dkmarsh]
Pendragon Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Georgetown, Texas, USA
TinkerTool claims to be able to rearrange the startup order, but I have never found this to work as advertised. Perhaps 'tis moi… (nah). But maybe it will work for others.
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#20768 - 02/21/12 08:47 AM Re: Reordering Login Items (in OS X 10.6, at least) [Re: Pendragon]
Kevin M. Dean Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Florida
Found some apps specific for changing the order and adding delays:

Free

Exhaust
Delayed Launcher

Pay

Menubar Rearranger
Startuptizer
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#20777 - 02/22/12 12:28 AM Re: Reordering Login Items (in OS X 10.6, at least) [Re: Hal Itosis]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Originally Posted By: Hal Itosis
Originally Posted By: artie505
I've never run across a way to manipulate the actual launch sequence that I've found acceptable, so I just let OS X have its way.

Writing an applescript is probably the easiest...

[....]

It gets more complicated when PrefPanes contain internal apps, but it's still possible i believe. Not sure that qualifies for 'acceptable', but it's not too daunting.

Thanks for that, Hal, but while it will be of use to others, it doesn't interest me.

Bottom line for me is that the right hand side of my menu bar takes so annoyingly long to populate as it is (*) that I'd rather deal with the (just) four non-Apple menulets on the left changing position when I restart or log out/in than lengthen the process.

(*) MenuMeters first has to load MenuCracker, then Butler takes a long time to load, and then, when all is almost said and done, MenuCal kicks in and quits and relaunches SystemUIServer.

Edit: My real interest in this matter is that I prefer to keep my Login Items in alpha order, and the functionality I reported in my original post makes re-ordering them when necessary a considerably less time-consuming process than it was when I thought I actually had to drag each item to the bottom of the list to re-order it.


Edited by artie505 (02/22/12 12:56 AM)
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The new Great Equalizer is the SEND button.

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#20778 - 02/22/12 01:06 AM Re: Reordering Login Items (in OS X 10.6, at least) [Re: artie505]
grelber Offline


Registered: 08/05/09
Loc: North of 49th ||
Permit me to ask a really basic question.

I've been following this thread but for the life of me cannot figure out: What difference does it make how login items are ordered?

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#20779 - 02/22/12 01:41 AM Re: Reordering Login Items (in OS X 10.6, at least) [Re: grelber]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Originally Posted By: grelber
Permit me to ask a really basic question.

I've been following this thread but for the life of me cannot figure out: What difference does it make how login items are ordered?

At one time it was thought that the order in which your Login Items (They've been called other things, but Login Items is what I've got in Sow Leopard.) were listed controlled the order in which the apps associated with your 3rd party menulets (the non-Apple icons [if you've got any] on the right-hand side of your menu bar) were launched, and, thus, their menulets' positions in your menu bar's left to right hierarchy, but that has long-since been proven false.

That notwithstanding, some of us just plain like to see our Login Items in alpha or other particular order.

As per my post immediately above yours:

Quote:
My real interest in this matter is that I prefer to keep my Login Items in alpha order, and the functionality I reported in my original post makes re-ordering them when necessary a considerably less time-consuming process than it was when I thought I actually had to drag each item to the bottom of the list to re-order it.
_________________________
The new Great Equalizer is the SEND button.

In Memory Of Harv: Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. ~Voltaire

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#20785 - 02/22/12 07:46 AM Re: Reordering Login Items (in OS X 10.6, at least) [Re: artie505]
joemikeb Offline

Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
In the early days of OS X there was a prevalent thought the order in which login items worked could have a functional effect on some login items. This was in fact true in early versions of OS X where login items were launched in a single threading environment. That was why Apple provided the ability to reorder the login item launch sequence.

My memory isn't good enough to remember which OS X version the login item launch sequence changed from a single threading to a multi-threading environment where they are all launching virtually simultaneously and the order in which the items complete launching and become active is primarily a function of how long it takes each individual login item to launch. In the current environment, it is entirely possible the first item on the login item list may be the last to complete launching and become active. The slower your Mac, the more obvious this becomes. This is further confused by the fact that not all startup items are listed in the login items - some are controlled in the various Library folders in sub-folder such as LaunchAgents, LaunchDeamons, and Startupitems.

So the effect of changing the launch sequence is entirely cosmetic.
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#20786 - 02/22/12 08:41 AM Re: Reordering Login Items (in OS X 10.6, at least) [Re: joemikeb]
grelber Offline


Registered: 08/05/09
Loc: North of 49th ||
Given that processor speeds are in the multi-GHz realm these days, I can't imagine that order of launch sequence would be of significance at any level.
Add to that that logins are essentially of a by-gone era (Apple recommends never shutting down computers unless one is absent for many days and Guest settings obviate the need for repeated logins), it's even more curious as to why it might be an issue — other than a cosmetic one.

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#20791 - 02/22/12 09:11 AM Re: Reordering Login Items (in OS X 10.6, at least) [Re: grelber]
Hal Itosis Offline


Registered: 09/03/09
Loc: 10.6.8 (build 10K549)
Originally Posted By: grelber
Given that processor speeds are in the multi-GHz realm these days, I can't imagine that order of launch sequence would be of significance at any level.

One example would be loading some RAM Disk application before launching the web browser which needs to use it. [typically, if the browser launches first it reverts to using the HD for cache/history files.]

There are probably other examples which escape me now. It doesn't come up all that often... but when it does, then it matters.

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#20797 - 02/22/12 01:15 PM Re: Reordering Login Items (in OS X 10.6, at least) [Re: grelber]
MicroMatTech3 Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
I came across this, but am not sure how important it is:

From http://launchd.macosforge.org/

From a Technical Perspective:

This may appear like a bold statement, but we hope launchd will be as successful as virtual memory was. We view launchd as a manager of virtual processes. Much like virtual memory allows for a page of memory to be allocated long before it is backed by a physical page, launchd allows for processes to be allocated long before they’re backed by a concrete process the kernel knows about. The combinatorial advantages of this are huge, but we’ll get into those on another day, and with another blog post.
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Moderator:  alternaut, dkmarsh, joemikeb