"Activate" vs. "Open" Application?

I use VSCode to edit Adobe Illustrator Scripts. Sometimes things go wrong requiring me to force-quit and re-open Illustrator. Recently I started using a macro to re-open Illustrator and and VSCode and have found there's a differences in the methods used:


I initially used the "Open" acton and it worked fine. Then I noticed the yellow "Alert" and switched it to an "Activate" action. That's when things went wrong:

When VSCode is re-opened using "Activate" it is not able to re-establish the debugging connection with Illustrator (at least that's what seems to be happening).

Can someone elaborate on the differences of these two methods?

I also just re-read the alert and see I should choose "Finder" as the "Open with" option. It was working as it was but I've changed it.

That seems very weird.

You should never use the Open a File Folder or Application action with an application with Default Application, because there is no guarantee that the Finder will be the default application for opening applications - it could be any application that accepts applications (eg the Archive Utility could create a .zip file of the application for example).

Instead, if you want to use the Open action with an application, then explicitly specify the Finder.

But generally, to open an application, the Activate a Specific Application action is better, it will open and activate the application, or activate it if it is already running.

As for what specific problem you are having with VSCode, I'm not sure what is happening with that.

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