NSWindowController and window release

Graham Cox

Here we go again… another memory management issue.

I have a fairly simple situation where I instantiate a window controller (NSWindowController subclass), which loads its window from a nib file. The window contains one custom view.

When the window is closed, the window controller (as its delegate) gets the -windowShould Close:, -windowWillClose: etc. as normal. The owner of the window controller (the app delegate in this case) retains it until it receives the -windowWillClose: notification, at which point it’s removed from its list of windows. Then, the window controller is deallocated, as expected.

However, the window it is controlling is never deallocated, and so neither is the custom view within it. The result is a lot of leaks.

I have been through the code with a fine-tooth comb, nothing that shouldn’t is retaining the window, nor the view.

There are no issues flagged up by running the analyser either.

The documentation for -[NSWindow releaseWhenClosed] states:

"The default for NSWindow is YES; the default for NSPanel is NO. Release when closed, however, is ignored for windows owned by window controllers. Another strategy for releasing an NSWindow object is to have its delegate autorelease it on receiving a windowShouldClose: message.”

In the nib ‘release when closed’ is set for the window, but apparently this is ignored for windows that have an associated windowController.

Following its advice, I tried autorelease-ing the window in the -windowShouldClose: method - result, EXC_BAD_ACCESS (whatever the state of the setting in the nib).

So what’s the deal - how do I get a window controller to let go of its window correctly?


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