If a coll with its "Save Data With Patcher" flag turned off is
referred to another coll with that attribute turned on, it will
inherit that attribute when the patcher is saved. So if you have a
coll that should be referring to nothing when loaded, there is already
data in it, from the last refer message before you saved it. And it
works both ways: if you change the attribute back in the referred
coll, it turns off the flag in the referring coll.
Conceptually, I can see why this would work the way it does: if you
are referring, you are dealing with that actual coll, not just the
data inside it. If this is intended, fine, I'll chuck in a lot of
freebangs, but it seems kind of strange from a user standpoint. It
would make sense to me that the refer message would refer the data of
the coll, and not its attributes (this can particularly slip under
your radar when using MRO). The idea of saving a referred coll seems
to undermine the whole concept of refer...
I just checked, and yes, it works this way in max 4, and probably has
since max 2, but I'm going to complain about it anyway, at least in
the context of MRO.