The Elegant Chaos Blog

Last November I encountered an issue in Xcode whilst attempting a submission.

I was getting an error due to the fact that some embedded bundles in the application that I was submitting were signed with the wrong identifiers.

Xcode, rather unhelpfully, reported this:

“the nested app bundle ECFoundation ( is not signed, the signature is invalid, or it is not signed with an Apple submission certificate. Refer to the Code Signing and Application Sandboxing Guide for more information.”

I submitted a Radar report, pointing out that whilst having an error message is helpful, it would be even better if it narrowed down the actual cause, rather than suggesting three possibilities and leaving you hanging.

Last week, I got the first response to this report:

“We believe that this issue has been resolved through changes on our side.

Please let us know whether the issue is resolved for you.”

Now first of all, let me say that I appreciate getting the response.

The first sentence is really helpful, as it sets my expectations - if I use the latest Xcode, it’s probably fixed.

The second sentence is a little irksome. If they’d just said “Please let us know if you notice any problems”, I’d be fine with it.

Even as it is, I do realise that it’s probably just a stock response, and I shouldn’t read too much into it, but it does slightly irritate me.

Think about it for a minute. I had an issue seven and a half months ago. It was an issue with submission. Am I really likely to still have something that exhibits that issue?

“What about source control?” I hear you cry (that was you, wasn’t it?). And yes, you’re right, I could wind back in git and get the project into the state it was in then. But hang on, it was a problem with submission. So I’d need to do a submission again. Now forgive me for being a wuss, but I’m not in a great hurry to submit a new version with seven-and-a-half-month-old code. I could probably do it - add a fake new version, hack around the old code to have the right version numbers, perform the submission, cancel it if it worked, and so on.

We’re starting to talk about a bit of an investment in time now though. Maybe only an hour or two, but it’s funny how these sorts of things have a habit of taking longer than you expect. Now I don’t fall into the trap of immediately equating any time spent doing anything in my life with the hourly rate I charge in my working life, but…

And thus we see some of the problems with the bug reporting dance:

  • the response is so late that the problem is no longer current
  • the response is so impersonal that I don’t quite know whether to interpret it as a courtesy, or a serious request for help
  • the response doesn’t appear to acknowledge the difficulty of following it up
  • incidentally, the response didn’t tell me which version fixes the problem

All of this leads to the feeling of futility / apathy that I’ve mentioned in previous posts.

I’m sure I could make a test case and satisfy myself that the problem is fixed. Maybe offer further feedback on the solution they’ve come up with. If I happen to encounter it again in passing, I will. If I’d had a personal email from someone on the Xcode team, I’m sure I’d do it right now, no matter how long it took (despite the fact that I wouldn’t be doing anything that they couldn’t do themselves), just because it’s nice to feel involved in the future of the tools that I use.

In the absence of that email though, going out of my way just feels, frankly, like it wouldn’t be worth the effort.


I’m happy to say that Ambientweet 1.1 has been approved for release and is now in the store.

The main changes in this version are:

  • Added ability to view the results of a search.
  • Fixed bug where a message containing links could get truncated.
  • Fixed clipping of author info when it spills onto three lines.
  • Fixed auto-completion window popping up again straight away after a completion.
  • Improved tweet caching so that mentions are always kept - this stops the badge being shown again for mentions that have already been seen.
  • Added a “psuedo tweet” which is a reminder that you’re running a pre-release or unlicensed version of Ambientweet (if you are). It is inserted into the tweet stream every now and then.
  • Improved application security.

You can find more details, and download links, on the Ambientweet home page.


April 27, 2012

I’ve just found and squished another little Ambientweet bug, which could occasionally cause problems when posting a tweet with a URL in it.

Consequently, there’s a new beta available - 1.1b5. Unfortunately a new beta also means resetting the clock on the Apple store review process, so we’ll just have to cross our fingers and hope it doesn’t take too long…


I just had a weird glitch where I realised that iCal wasn’t showing the birthdays calendar, even though the relevant preference was turned on.

I looked on iCloud, and sure enough the birthdays were showing up there - proving that I hadn’t somehow lost the data from my address book.

In the end I found a simple solution:

  • Open iCal preferences
  • Turn off “Show Birthdays calendar”
  • Quit
  • Launch iCal again
  • Open iCal preferences
  • Turn on “Show Birthdays calendar”

Lo and behold, back came the calendar, and the events showed up as they should.

Go figure…


April 15, 2012

Hopefully this is the final beta of 1.1.

I’ve now turned on Apple’s sandboxing, in preparation for submitting it to the Mac App store.

Sandboxing makes it run in a slightly more secure environment, though hopefully users will not notice the difference.

Pick up a copy of the latest beta from the beta software page…