What is sandboxing?

01/05/2013 11:48:56
tags: FAQ, Mac

Apple has begun to require that all applications sold through the Mac App Store are “sandboxed” — this means that the application has limited access to the files and processes on your computer. The motivation behind this requirement is likely a good one — to help prevent maliciously designed software from accessing or damaging your information. The problem is that it restricts the features that are available. This includes MultiMarkdown Composer.

For example, MultiMarkdown Composer users frequently want to see a preview of how their document will look when rendered as HTML. These HTML files will often include images, links to CSS files, etc. If these files are specified as URLs from the internet (e.g. “http://example.com/image.png”), everything will work just fine. If the links are specified as local URLS (e.g. “../images/image.png”), the sandbox permissions will not allow Composer to open that file, since the user did not specifically grant permission to open those files.

Composer can be used to open image files, which would then enable access permission when used in a preview. But this can be a frustrating experience to remember to open each and every image each time you launch the applications.

Because of these limitations, you can download a version of MultiMarkdown Composer that has been compiled without sandboxing. You are still required to purchase Composer through the Mac App Store, but your license will be recognized by the alternate version as well. The download is available from the MultiMarkdown web site.

You cannot purchase the non-sandboxed version directly. All purchases are made through the Mac App Store. Once purchased, you will also be able to use the non-sandboxed version when you download it.

Features that are blocked by sandboxing:

Features that are only available in the Mac App Store version:

If you install both the sandboxed and non-sandboxed versions, they will use separate preferences.

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