One of the fastest-spreading stories of the weekend has been a strange OS X Mountain Lion bug that can crash almost any Mac app running any version of OS X 10.8, reported on Open Radar.
The initial bug report stated that typing ‘File:///’ (without the quotes) into almost any app causes the app to crash.
Follow-up testing has shown that the final character needn’t be a forward-slash, with almost any character after ‘File://’ triggering the bug. The issue is also speed-dependent: leaving a brief pause between typing // and the next character will prevent the crash from occurring.
More embarrassingly still for Apple, filing a crash report causes both Crash Reporter and the Console apps to crash. The Console crash can only be cured by running a terminal command:
sudo sed -i -e 's@File:///@F i l e : / / /@g' /var/log/system.log
The Next Web has a detailed analysis of the issue, noting that it is related to Apple’s Data Detectors feature for automatically recognizing dates, locations and other information in text for addition to Address Book or Calendar entries.
While it is rather surprising that the issue took so long to receive publicity, Apple is now likely to include a fix for the problem sooner rather than later. It is, however, unknown whether Apple will squeeze a fix into the upcoming OS X 10.8.3 that has been in developer testing for over two months.