17 comments

  • Ryan LeaseRyan Lease, over 4 years ago (edited over 4 years ago )

    Some interesting comments about this and the Geoff Wozniak article found here: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=8836734

    Highlights:

    "Former OS X developer here. I'd say the biggest change in the development methodology happened when Bertrand Serlet was replaced with Craig Federighi. With Bertrand, we would move in giant monolithic releases where every group would just dump in whatever they had ready and the whole thing would get released with nightly builds. With SnowLeopard in particular, I remember three dozen releases in a row where Xcode was unusable due to obj-c garbage collection issues. Random stuff you didn't expect like CoreGraphics would have showstopper issues and then we'd report it and it would get fixed by the next week. This resulted in extremely late releases that had a ton of bugs that we piled patches onto as time went on. Craig moved the organization onto a sprint system, where we would develop new features for 2 weeks and then spend a week fixing bugs. After 10 or 12 or 16 of these cycles, we would deem it ready and ship it out. I felt this produced more stable but more conservative software. It seemed like giant rewrites and massive features would be very difficult to introduce and if they did get done, wouldn't happen until two thirds or so into the release cycle. On the other hand, Craig has consistently been able to release on time with most of the features promised. I was only there up to the release of Lion (the first Craig release), so I don't know how updates and patches worked from then on. Maybe they're worse now. But I've been using OS X all this time, and honestly I don't think it's any worse than before. What has changed is that releases and features happen more often. Tiger and Leopard had a good 2 years to mature and get patches while their delayed successors missed target dates. In the meantime they stagnated with ancient unix tools, safari build, QuickTime frameworks, graphics drivers etc. They felt stable because they were just old, sort of like Debian stable. Meanwhile, the development versions of Leopard and Snow Leopard (the two I spent most of my career at Apple developing) were downright horrible and unreleasable. Each of those releases went gold and had an almost immediate .1 release to fix glaring issues. It's just that you remember them better because they had a longer history as a stable legacy OS than the modern versions."

    "current apple engineer... the sprint (milestone) development system is still in place... it's not the problem though, it's the problem is the focus on new useless [imo] features at the expense of core functionality and quality hope marco, geoff and others keep writing these articles so that eventually tim or someone sees one and shakes things up. pressure from the bottom has not worked so far"

    Take with a grain of salt because this is the internet.

    7 points
  • Cody Cowan, over 4 years ago

    Obviously no OS is going to be 100 perfect, and Apple has never truly "just worked", but with every new feature comes added complexity, and with every redesign come interaction changes. Spent christmas watching my parents struggle to try to use their iPads because every option and control keeps changing.

    Not that one molehill makes a mountain, but look at iOS 7 airplay and iOS 8 airplay. Originally, when watching a video on your iPhone, you hit the airplay button and, like magic, it showed up on your AppleTV. The button didn't show up when you weren't near an AppleTV. It "just worked". Now, in iOS 8, you have to turn on Airplay in Control Center (definitely not intuitive), and you can turn it on or off whenever you want - when connected to an AppleTV, when watching a movie, or when sitting in a subway not connected to any network. No indication of whether its on or not. No guidance. Very confusing. Much more Windows95 taskbar than iOS simplicity.

    6 points
    • Christoph OChristoph O, over 4 years ago

      Well said about Airplay. This has been the biggest issue for me, too, in that it put cracks in the "it just works" perception. Outside of usability, I'm assuming something else broke as well in the Airplay integration of Apple TV. It has become incredibly unreliable, and since I can't be sure now whether I need to first spend 20 minutes fiddling around, I started preferring Chromecast now.

      Hopefully 2015 will be (outside of Apple Watch), a year of refinement. 2014 was certainly a year of pushing the envelope.

      1 point
    • Darth BaneDarth Bane, over 4 years ago

      I'm not a fan of the "If Steve was still here..." argument, but in this case it's pretty safe to say that this issue would be one of those things that Steve would complain about, and probably never allow to be changed.

      His death has allowed Apple to relax a little bit about the smallest details, and in some cases you can tell. It's still high quality hardware and software, but the attention to microscopic detail has been lost a little bit since Steve joined the PowerPCs in limbo.

      0 points
    • James WilliamsJames Williams, over 4 years ago

      I've noticed the same problems at work with connecting to share a presentation in a conference room.

      I think people blindly parrot the "conventional wisdom" about desktop Linux. I've used it as a secondary OS since about 2003. The number of tweaks I have to do with a typical Ubuntu install isn't any less than I have to do on a clean Mac install in the past few years. I generally order from a company that specializes in Linux laptops so I don't have any hardware issues. Ubuntu in 2003 was beyond painful to setup. Now it (or something like Linux Mint) is a breeze.

      0 points
  • Tom WoodTom Wood, over 4 years ago

    This just feels too knee-jerk to me. A tad band-wagon-ish.

    4 points
  • Rick KhannaRick Khanna, over 4 years ago

    Is this the 3rd anti-OS X article I've seen on the first page in just about 2 days?

    I'm not sure where all these "bugs" are coming from. I have 2 iMacs with Yosemite and Mavericks installed. 3 iOS devices with 7 and 8 installed. Zero problems.

    3 points
    • David Lochhead, over 4 years ago

      I'm glad you're bug free but here are some issues I've had.

      Yosemite: Random WiFi disconnects. Didn't happen with Mavericks. Seems fixed now though.

      Yosemite: Safari crashes a LOT.

      iOS 8: Spotlight search for apps more often than not returns nothing.

      iOS 8: Remote app not connecting to Apple TV despite everything being set up correctly.

      iOS 8: iCloud Keychain does not stay on. Switches itself off.

      iOS 8: 3rd party keyboards occasionally not loading.

      3 points
  • Mattan IngramMattan Ingram, over 4 years ago

    Disappointed in both this article and the other one by that Wozniak guy. Neither actually point out specific bugs or issues that I or others I know have come across.

    Yosemite has been 99% fine for me since day one. I know that's just an anecdote, but it's true for my coworkers and friends as well.

    This just sounds like the people who complain whenever Facebook has a UI change.

    2 points
    • Andrew ZimmermanAndrew Zimmerman, over 4 years ago

      Anecdotal, but for me Yosemite randomly disconnects/reconnects my Bluetooth mouse and keyboard when transferring files over my internal network.

      Changes in Airplay implementation are also really annoying. Used to be easy to put my iPhone screen on AppleTV. Last week I gave up and went to the 2014 MBP after looking for the AirPlay feature on my iPhone for five minutes. Then I enjoyed a stuttering video on YouTube on my TV.

      Nobody cares about my Apple experience and frankly, I don't care what software/hardware others use. But experiencing frustration using an Apple ecosystem is something I never frequently experienced prior to ~2012.

      1 point
      • Spencer HoltawaySpencer Holtaway, over 4 years ago

        off topic but on topic for your problem: I work in an office with not-so-reliable 5ghz wifi. Almost every time I get disconnected from the wifi, my bluetooth mouse drops out, too. I looked into this on the Apple Support Communities and it seems like 5ghz wifi and bluetooth don't get along too well :-(

        1 point
    • Hawke BassignaniHawke Bassignani, over 4 years ago

      If you ever have some time, the last few episodes of ATP definitely contain all the discussion that the text version of this article lacks.

      Marco Arment usually writes content that has or will come up on an episode of his podcast; they typically don't get much traffic outside his radio audience.

      In other words, I think this was written mostly with his podcast listeners in mind... and we are all very familiar with how he feels about a whole host of Apple topics.

      3 points
  • Mario GiambancoMario Giambanco, over 4 years ago

    Over the holiday; a friend bought his wife a new Macbook Pro 13 inch. Needing to use this laptop for work as well and working for a local insurance agency, she needed to install Windows as well for specific insurance based programs. So my friend asked for my help to install Windows 8 via Bootcamp.

    We quite literally wasted an entire day. He had a perfectly valid Windows 8 license, but Microsoft does not and would not provide an ISO to download (new Macbook Pro's not having a disc drive after all). So we wasted the entire day trying to download Windows 8 with the install program found on microsoft.com on a test PC i had - which failed the transfer. Then we found a iso download program from Microsoft, which failed the first time, worked the 2nd time only to find out the version of Windows 8 we downloaded did not match his license (neither were clear on which to download), then to transfer it to the Mac over dropbox (because by that time, he went home) and then for him to install it.

    The "bugs" in OS X 10.10 are nothing compared to the potential headache that is Windows. I agree it's more buggy now adays then I remember even just a few versions back, but the latest features IMO out weight leaving.

    Airplay works fine for me; both to Apple TV for video and music as well as to an Airport Express for whole house audio.

    Hand Off now that I also have a new Macbook Pro is awesome; sending sms messages from my laptop, answering phone calls from my laptop. Even Airdrop to send then random photo to my laptop. Really cool stuff lately.

    And the hardware is amazing. As I said, I also just purchased a new Macbook Pro 13 and it's driving 2 additional monitors - 1 over the built in hdmi out and 1 over thunderbolt - with no problems at all and the fans not pegged; something my 13 inch Alienware would struggle with driving just 1 external.

    We'll see how long these people that wrote these articles last on their new systems.

    1 point
  • Bryan KulbaBryan Kulba, over 4 years ago

    There's something wrong with the fact that I annually have to adapt my practices and habits to the changes that Apple has made in its operating system. It's never anything huge, but it's small changes that unnecessarily slow me down for a week.

    1 point
  • Charlie PrattCharlie Pratt, over 4 years ago

    Always seems like there's an ebb and flow to the strength of the various aspects of business. For Apple it's always seemed like hardware and software exchange top position in the cycle, repeatedly over time.

    Good article, I think it's honest. Hopefully Apple knows this too, and is flowing back to software quality.

    1 point
  • Daniel FischerDaniel Fischer, over 4 years ago

    I don't really get it, I've been using OSX since the switch to intel and nothing has been hard to move on to. What are the actual issues?

    0 points