It’s been bugging me for a while now that – ever since upgrading to Xcode 3.2 and Mac OS 10.6 – the list of recent projects in Xcode’s initial window and in its “Open Recent File” and “Open Recent Project” menus are all blank.
Thanks to @pimpinglen, I found the answer here: the “Documents” value under “Number of recent items” in “System Preferences“‘ “Appearance” section (phew) now applies system-wide to all Cocoa applications!
I had this set to “None” in OS 10.5.8, and this setting remained on upgrade.
One solution to this problem is to change the value on a per-application basis:
defaults write com.apple.Xcode NSRecentDocumentsLimit -int 10
… which keeps the system “Recent Items” menu tidy – but does require manual setup for each application, and is somewhat non-obvious to change from then onwards…