The Silent Suffering of QuickLook

I experiment with lots of different software – there are currently 308 items in /Applications and 508 git repos in ~/work (only a handful of which are directly job related). If you’re thinking something like “that’s gross, I bet your computer is an ecohazard” – nope! That’s the point: exercise software muscles to keep them strong, but also to satisfy some wayfaring curiosity or other that fuels the exercise in the first place. Despite finely tuned situational awareness and well-rehearsed mole-whacking techniques, sometimes one slips through the cracks.

Honestly I forget how long it’s been since quicklook previews of certain file types have worked correctly on this machine, but I do have a vague memory that it’s probably my fault. As of today, I’ve Had Enough Of This (™). That unspecified guilty feeling was enough to quickly lead me to the general vicinity of the root cause:

? ls -l ~/Library/QuickLook/
total 0
drwxr-xr-x 3 andre staff 96 Nov 8 2018 QLCARFiles.qlgenerator
drwxr-xr-x 3 andre staff 96 Dec 15 11:36 QLColorCode.qlgenerator
drwxr-xr-x 3 andre staff 96 Oct 21 2019 QLMarkdown.qlgenerator

Oh I know, maybe if I can get some quality time with quicklook in a setting where we can really communicate with each other using our natural file descriptors, perhaps I’ll have a better chance of understanding what’s wrong… just incase, maybe, perhaps, the full range of potentially useful messages cannot be expressed through the rigid and unfeeling glory hole known as QLPreviewController.

Real friends don’t keep their STDERR all bottled up inside, they SHARE IT, because silent failure results in silent not-getting-helped whilst simultaneously letting all your friends down because you can no longer do your job.

–Citizens for Concerned Citizens

Ok, come here. You trust me, right? Ok.

? qlmanage -p /Users/andre/work/Playtime-Quicker/Playtime\ Quicker/PQDevice.swift
Testing Quick Look preview with files:
/Users/andre/work/Playtime-Quicker/Playtime Quicker/PQDevice.swift
dyld: Library not loaded: /opt/brew/opt/lua/lib/liblua.5.3.dylib
Referenced from: /opt/brew/bin/highlight
Reason: image not found
dyld: Library not loaded: /opt/brew/opt/lua/lib/liblua.5.3.dylib
Referenced from: /opt/brew/bin/highlight
Reason: image not found
2021-02-12 19:27:00.609 qlmanage[6260:4238976] QLColorCode: failed with exit code 101. Command was ('/Users/andre/Library/QuickLook/QLColorCode.qlgenerator/Contents/Resources/' '/Users/andre/Library/QuickLook/QLColorCode.qlgenerator/Contents/Resources' '/Users/andre/work/Playtime-Quicker/Playtime Quicker/PQDevice.swift' 0).

That’s all?! Oh, COME ON. QuickLook! You’ve been allowing yourself to face certain death at any time, night or day, for months on end, when all you had to do was literally anything at all to get my attention, then I could have magically fixed all of your problem in like 5 seconds? You didn’t want to bother me?!? I’m not sure you understand how easily this problem can happen, how often it actually happens, or that it’s not your fault.

brew upgrade highlight

I know, QuickLook. I know that deep down, you DO want to help me help you, but you can’t because your current employer does not allow it. No easy answers there, you just gotta ride it out. If it comes to pass that the train you’re hitched to eventually derails because what was once a healthy ecosystem with a supportive and empowered community has become a haphazard array of isolated and inflexible components that serve their vendor more than their user… well, sit tight, I’ll come back for ya ;)

About dre

I like all kinds of food.
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