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Apple developer boycott of Suggestions Assistant

Apple developer boycott of Suggestions Assistant

2023-11-06 10:30:43

Apple developer boycott of Suggestions Assistant

Jeff Johnson (My apps, PayPal.Me, Mastodon)

November 6 2023

I am organizing a boycott of Apple’s Feedback Assistant, beginning instantly, and I encourage all Apple builders to affix me. Here is how I suggest that every of us can successfully take part within the boycott and let Apple know that we’re boycotting Suggestions Assistant:

  1. File a brand new Suggestions about Suggestions Assistant (in Developer Instruments & Assets) that lists the problems under and states that you simply’re boycotting Suggestions Assistant till the problems are addressed.
  2. Do not file some other new Feedbacks until and till Apple addresses the problems.
  3. If Apple requests a response to a beforehand filed Suggestions, reply solely by saying that you simply’re boycotting Suggestions Assistant, and seek advice from your Suggestions quantity from step 1.

Ideally, I feel it’s best to make your Suggestions from step 1 as distinctive as doable. The purpose is to flood Apple with new Feedbacks in regards to the boycott and pressure Apple to do some work to deal with them, to take discover of the boycott, and to acknowledge that we’re critical about it.

Boycotting Suggestions Assistant doesn’t preclude speaking about your bugs on social media, in your blogs, and in your podcasts. Nor does it preclude submitting stories with Apple’s different public bug reporting programs, equivalent to these for WebKit and varied open supply tasks on GitHub. These different bug reporting programs are superior to Suggestions Assistant in plenty of methods. The first objective of the boycott is to result in modifications particularly in Suggestions Assistant, probably the most hostile bug reporter I’ve ever seen.

After consulting with fellow builders, I’ve composed a listing of points with Suggestions Assistant that Apple wants to deal with so as to finish the boycott. I am going to quantity the problems for ease of reference, however the order would not essentially replicate their relative significance.

  1. Apple neglects or refuses to say whether or not or not they will reproduce reported bugs, even once we give them exact steps to breed and pattern Xcode tasks. That is essential for us to find out whether or not Apple is taking our Feedbacks severely or simply lazily, bureaucratically stringing us alongside.
  2. Apple closes Feedbacks with the standing “Investigation full – Unable to diagnose with present data” with out asking us for extra data and even notifying us that the Suggestions has been closed.
  3. Apple closes Feedbacks with out the settlement of the one that filed the Suggestions, and apparently it is now a “function” of their bug reporting system that closed Feedbacks can’t be reopened, even by Apple staff. (It wasn’t at all times this fashion, I imagine.)
  4. When Apple mistakenly closes a Suggestions for a bug that is not fastened, Apple calls for that we open a brand new Suggestions for a similar bug, as an alternative of simply opening a brand new one themselves and giving us the brand new Suggestions quantity.
  5. Apple calls for that builders “confirm” Feedbacks with the newest betas even supposing Apple has not fastened the bugs, tried to repair the bugs, and even tried to breed the bugs with the steps given by us. It is a large waste of our time. And Apple closes the Feedbacks if we do not “confirm” them.
  6. Apple would not at all times notify us of modifications to the standing of the unique Suggestions when our Feedbacks are closed as duplicates.
  7. Apple consistently calls for invasive sysdiagnose stories, usually unnecessarily, and refuses to take a look at Feedbacks with out them. Many builders work on their very own private gadgets, and sysdiagnoses are gross violations of our privateness, which Apple claims is a elementary human proper. Apple has prevented or deserted creating smaller, extra focused and fewer intrusive strategies of accumulating data and diagnosing bugs.
  8. Feedbacks can now not be filed from the online. Apple now requires that each one Feedbacks be filed from the native Suggestions Assistant app on macOS or iOS. It is a very current setback: I have been submitting Feedbacks by way of the online app for years, the final one on October 26. Be aware the passive-aggressive query “The place would you want to start out your suggestions?” and the “advice” to make use of the native app, as if there have been a alternative.
  9. We won’t search Suggestions Assistant for bugs. Apple staff can search the database, however I can see solely the Feedbacks that I personally filed. In fact we acknowledge that some Feedbacks want to stay secret, particularly for merchandise that have not but been introduced by Apple, however numerous Feedbacks require no such safety, and an opt-in searchable bug database would assist exterior builders immensely, enhancing the general high quality of the software program on Apple’s platforms, to the advantage of Apple, builders, and customers alike.

Beneath is a screenshot of one in every of my previous stories that epitomizes the absurdity of Apple’s bug reporting system. Apple claimed of their response that “a lot has modified”, however to at the present time, nothing has actually modified. I’ve seen no proof that Apple sincerely appreciates our enter. Apple’s Suggestions Assistant, previously often called Radar, has remained unreasonably horrible for a really very long time, a lot too lengthy, so now we’re demanding change.


In protection of Apple, some folks assert that Apple would not have the time to correctly reply to Feedbacks. I do not discover this argument convincing, as a result of Apple’s priorities, schedules, and staffing are decided by Apple itself, by way of the choices of the corporate’s management. Apple values its personal time over the time of exterior builders and appears to don’t have any guilt over losing countless quantities of our time. We aren’t comfortable, although, to sacrifice ourselves for an organization value trillions of {dollars}. For sure, my internet value and earnings are microscopic compared. If Apple can resolve that it would not have the time to answer our Feedbacks, then we are able to resolve that we do not have the time to file them; Apple’s issues with lack of time are thereby solved. Frankly, as a longtime Apple consumer, I may do with out the relentless annual OS updates, and many people look again fondly to the period of Mac OS X Snow Leopard when the updates had been round two years aside, leaving extra time for bug fixes.

This isn’t a boycott in opposition to particular person Apple engineers, lots of whom additionally need Suggestions Assistant to be improved. Certainly, the development of Suggestions Assistant would improve relatively than detract from the connection between Apple engineers and exterior builders. It is a boycott in opposition to the bug reporting system, meant to pressure Apple management to acknowledge and reply to the persistent issues with the system.

See Also

Though I name it a boycott, it is also termed a labor strike. Apple makes use of builders for huge quantities of unpaid QA labor. Each Apple and builders know the essential function that builders play in testing and refining Apple’s software program and merchandise. Apple wants our bug stories, our labor, usually hours and even days of labor for a single Suggestions. Nonetheless, Apple acts as if it had been entitled to our Feedbacks, treating builders sort of like indentured servants. No respect or fundamental human courtesy is afforded by Apple to builders within the bug reporting system. We have been indoctrinated into believing that it is merely our obligation to file Feedbacks, for the sake of the platforms. Nevertheless, Apple’s platforms aren’t charity instances. On the contrary, they’ve made Apple probably the most worthwhile firm on the planet. We builders aren’t Apple staff, and our unpaid labor shouldn’t be taken with no consideration. Henceforth, it won’t be taken with no consideration.

For my part the boycott, or strike, has two targets. First, clearly, is to strain Apple into enhancing Suggestions Assistant by exhibiting Apple that it wants us to file bug stories and would undergo with out them. The second objective is to point out ourselves that we do not truly have to file bug stories with Apple. My feeling is that Apple has much more to lose right here than we do. In any case, the vast majority of bugs that I file by no means get fastened anyway, and even the fixes normally come later relatively than sooner, not in time to keep away from the implications of the bug. Do Apple bugs have an effect on our apps? Sure, in fact. However we usually need to ship workarounds for the bugs in our apps, as a result of we will not depend on Apple to repair our reported bugs in a well timed method. With a workaround for a bug in place, we now not want Apple to repair the bug, so reporting the bug turns into extra an act of charity than urgency.

This case is commonly misunderstood by the general public and even by Apple staff. Suggestions Assistant doesn’t present customer support to builders. We builders are those who’re offering the service to Suggestions Assistant, and now we’re selecting to withhold our providers till the system is improved. I hope that Apple chooses to deal with the issues with Suggestions Assistant, but when Apple occurs to decide on in any other case, and enhancements by no means arrive, then my intention is to boycott eternally. No matter whether or not Apple responds positively, I’ll take into account the boycott to be successful if many builders take part, and we present ourselves that Suggestions Assistant shouldn’t be important to our work and our livelihood.

Jeff Johnson (My apps, PayPal.Me, Mastodon)

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