Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

Transmit 5, the Mac App Store, and Privileged File Operations

Cabel Sasser of Panic:

But here’s something you might not know: the reasons we never put Transmit 5 in the App Store. They’re simple. We weren’t sure we could provide a good-enough Transmit experience under the stringent sandboxing security the App Store requires. And frankly, we weren’t sure Apple cared that much about the App Store on the Mac.

Since then, a lot has changed. macOS Mojave gave us a significantly improved App Store that caters to professionals like yourself and seems to treat apps with respect. And sandboxing has evolved enough that Transmit can be nearly feature-parity with its non-sandboxed cousin.

So, as we promised at WWDC: it was time to give this another go.

You can now get Transmit 5 on the Mac App Store!

But, there’s a twist…

The twist is that the Mac App Store version of Transmit is an annual subscription of about $25, instead of the $45 flat cost of buying directly from Panic. I have mixed feelings about that; I’m glad a one-time payment option is still available because, if I were still building websites full-time, I wouldn’t want a critical part of my workflow to evaporate if I unsubscribed. However, I can see the benefit from both Panic’s perspective, as well as for a user or agency that can consistently budget for the software.

There’s one more thing about the Mac App Store version that’s unique, and it’s how it encourages some flexibility in MacOS’ sandboxing.

Daniel Jalkut:

I downloaded Transmit even though I own a copy of the direct-purchase version. I wanted an answer to my question, which I got, at least partially, by dumping the application binary’s “entitlements”, which represent the sandboxing exceptions that the app has received.

New to me among the entitlements is “com.apple.developer.security.privileged-file-operations”, which is a boolean value set to true for Transmit. I don’t see any Google results for this key, so I’m assuming it’s something new that was added for Panic (and maybe BBEdit), and which may or may not be documented in the future for use by other developers.

Apple has a form on their developer site to request the privileged file operations entitlement.