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System Preferences - icons - mystery? (10.15.1)

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  • Catalina 10.15.1
  • Alfred 4.0.6 b1124


Something weird is going on with Icons for a few of the built-in System Preference prefPanes. For example, "Bluetooth" or "Internet Accounts". When I search Spotlight for these, the proper icon is displayed. But, in Alfred, only a generic icon is shown:




I notice even in Finder, the generic icons are shown:



Only Spotlight and the System Preferences.app itself seem capable of showing the right icon. I opened the Contents folder of the prefPane bundle to investigate. It seems like Info.plist contained within specifies icons via keys such as "NSPrefPaneIconFile" and "CFBundleIconFile" but even in that case, the file referenced doesn't seem to exist on the filesystem anywhere that I can find.


E.g. for Bluetooth, NSPrefPaneIconFile = "BluetoothAqua.png" —but that file doesn't exist. Similarly, Internet Accounts specifies "InternetAccountsIcons.icns" and "InternetAccountsIcon40.png" as icons, but these are nowhere to be found:



What's going on here? I know this isn't really a bug in Alfred but it started with 10.15 and I wonder if anyone knows about these generic icons or where the resources are coming from...


Edited by luckman212

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15 hours ago, luckman212 said:

I know this isn't really a bug in Alfred


And for that reason you should ask somewhere else with more eyeballs, like Ask Different.


15 hours ago, luckman212 said:

but it started with 10.15


Like dozens of other bugs and complaints. Catalina is buggy. It was a hasty release and is frankly an embarrassment. There’s a good chance someone has bumped into that issue before you, and you have a better chance of finding them in a bigger generic community. Alfred’s community is great but specialised, and your problem falls outside the scope.

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I think I've found out what's going on here. Seems Apple's added yet another layer of obfuscation here with a compressed Assets.car file, which can only be read by specialized tools. Here are a few links I found about this:

Reverse engineering the .car file format (compiled Asset Catalogs)
steventroughtonsmith/cartool: Export images from OS X / iOS .car CoreUI archives
iphone - Analysing Assets.car file in iOS - Stack Overflow
insidegui/AssetCatalogTinkerer: An app that lets you open .car files and browse/extract their images.


I was able to use this beta version of Asset Catalog Tinkerer to extract PNG icons from inside those archives. So now I've got a workflow (I'm dubbing it "Preferences Plus"—will post it shortly) that shows all Prefs, with their proper icons, and uses JSON Script Filter to match on the keyword metadata as well (similar to searching in the System Preferences search box...)


Edited by luckman212

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