Radar? GTFO!
March 02, 2012

Daniel Pasco just blogged an article named Radar Or GTFO.

The gist of his argument is that it’s all very well moaning about Xcode 4, but unless you file Radar bugs on it, you don’t have a leg to stand on.

Since I’ve recently been moaning about Xcode 4, I have a view on this. Not that I have anything against Daniel, but from the title of this blog post, you can probably guess what it is.

Funnily enough, a few weeks ago, I was also moaning about Radar.

You can read the post if you want the full details, but my basic point about Radar is that it’s a crock of shit for anyone outside of Apple. It’s an impenetrable black hole - bugs go in, but little or nothing ever comes out. It takes a lot of time to make a well formed bug report, yet Apple won’t even let you know whether or not they know about an issue unless you go through all of that effort.

If you are lucky enough to have someone publicise a radar number that you can file a duplicate on, you can avoid some of this work, but even then it’s far harder that it ought to be to just post a “me too” report. You can’t even see the content of the bug report so you have to take someone’s word that it’s actually the issue you are complaining about (Open Radar is a little help in this, but it’s run by us, not by Apple, it’s entirely voluntary and therefore very incomplete, and using it is potentially even more work).

I have every sympathy for Michael Jurewitz (developer tools evangelist at Apple), and the Xcode team - it’s not their fault that they are stuck behind The Great Wall of Cupertino. Unless Apple give some serious love to the bug reporting process though, it is they who don’t have a leg to stand on.

Coincidentally, John Gruber made a tangental but highly relevant post on this the other day.

Apple’s resorting to moaning about a lack of bugs filed in Radar is either them being deliberately obtuse, or it exposes a fundamental misunderstanding of human psychology (something that Apple usually can’t be accused of).

People do things (or fail to do things) for a reason. If we’re not filing bugs, it’s because the bug reporting process is fundamentally broken. Fix that, and we’ll drown Apple in bug reports.

Then maybe I can have a development environment that doesn’t crash on me at least once per hour.