Mac OS-X Mavericks 10.9.5
I had previously listed this as a bug with the Client 1.8.8 version of Minecraft. However, I have now isolated the problem entirely to the new launcher supplied by the current Minecraft download as of September 2015.
As described in detail in bug report
MC-88782, when installing the current Minecraft DMG and launching the game, it first successfully runs the game updater (downloading the code) - this completes successfully, as tested by launching that application separately.
The issue is the new launcher. It simply displays a window with title Launcher version 1.6.44 and a gray square for the client area. During this time, the program hangs (spinning ball) and has constant memory use and thread count (~29), while CPU usage starts around 7% on my computer and slowly increases. After 20 minutes it had reached around 25-27% where it plateaued. The game must be force quit. There are no buttons that come up to interact with.
The only solution to this problem is to uninstall minecraft and reinstall an older version of minecraft with the prior launcher. The problem is Mojang does not current provide a download link for a version with the previous launcher! Many people could be simply out of luck, unable to play minecraft.
In my case, I luckily had a dmg of Minecraft 1.8.3 still available, so I installed that, the old launcher worked, and I was able to select 1.8.8 in my profile. It successfully downloaded 1.8.8. and ran it flawlessly.
This launcher issue needs to be resolved, but until then, you seriously need to provide a link to the prior version of minecraft and STOP encouraging Mac users to upgrade to 1.8.8!!!
I didn't even THINK to save a copy of the prior version of minecraft, because this is the first time I've ever had a DOA release of minecraft and just assumed it would work fine. You need to warn people and you need to have a link to the prior version, not just the 32-bit ancient one from minecraft 1.01 you list on your wenbsite.)
So three action items here:
1) Find out why the new launcher is incompatible with Mavericks. See other bug report for more details.
2) Provide a link on your website to the prior version of Minecraft for OS-X with the older launcher.
3) Warn Mac users not to just blindly upgrade to the new 1.8.8 DMG as there may be compatibility issues to be worked out.
4) Please let me know when this problem is fixed, because I'm really eager to try out the latest version of minecraft, but I'm now in a situation where I can't safely upgrade.
Thank you very much for your help.