I’ve been meaning to write about some of the major problems that I have with the App Store, both the Mac and iOS varieties. But honestly, I don’t have a whole lot to add to what Wil Shipley and Craig Hockenberry have already said. Instead, I’ll link to the bugs I’ve written up, and encourage you to do the same.
I know there’s been a lot of pessimism about writing up Radars lately, including from yours truly. But the truth is filing bugs is the only official way Apple will listen, so the pragmatic side of me wins out. It’s not that I necessarily think filing bugs will cause a change, but it’s the only possible way of affecting changing that’s been given to me.
Recently Apple has been closing a lot of Radars with the response of:
We are closing this bug since our engineers are aware of the issue and will continue to track it.
This baffles me for a couple of reasons:
Isn’t the point of Radar (a bug database) to track issues that you’re aware of? If not in Radar, how are Apple engineers tracking them? Storing them in /dev/null?
Of course your engineers are aware of the issue, I freakin’ told them about it.
So I’m not sure what Apple means by this response. Word on the street (by which I mean Twitter, since we engineers certainly don’t go outside, much less into the street), is that it’s supposed to be a “polite” way of saying “we’re not going to fix it.” But I’m not sure why they wouldn’t just say “it works as intended”, which is what they used to say, or simply “it will not be fixed.” Have engineers gotten more sensitive over the years and Apple is afraid of rejecting them, fearing Foxconn style suicides? (Note to Apple: if I sign an affidavit stating my office is only one story high, will you tell me the real reason why the bug is being closed?)
Regardless, Apple is already so opaque when giving feedback about bugs, that a lot of engineers have given up filing bugs in the first place. Apple doesn’t seem to grasp that we’re doing them a favor by telling them where their bugs are. Radars seem to be treated more as an annoyance, than as valuable feedback.
But my main problem with “our engineers are aware of the issue” response is it’s very unclear what Apple’s trying to say. Even if they rejected the bug report in the past, even if it was for a lame reason, you knew where it stood and could do a minimal amount of tracking of it via the Radar. But now there’s not even that.
So to get to the bottom of this issue, and to increase the chances of irony, I’ve filed a Radar (Bug # 10777677, non-Apple people see OpenRadar). I’ll let you know if Apple engineers are aware of the problem and if they’ll continue to track it.