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Something Is Not Always Better Than Nothing

This piece by John Gruber seems to have caught me in the right way, in the sense that it put me into a mood somewhere between angry and very annoyed. Hence this post.

I think what many of us are talking about with the recent (5-10 years?) recession of Apple’s software quality has to do with the notion of Apples “something is better than nothing” approach to software. It is a state of mind so out of touch with what Apple prides itself in I am struggling to find the right words to describe it. The mDnsresponder rewrite for example was definitely not good enough and I believe all of would preferred not getting new features in an update than having a very critical part of a modern OS become so unreliable for no good reason.

The current trends in software development is a different one though. The race to the bottom forced by the App Store has spread onto all other platforms as well, but is felt on the Mac in particular (when looking at just Apple’s platforms) due to it’s open software ecosystem. Developers couldn’t even be bothered to implement the most basic functionality every user expects, which they’d get with no effort on their end by adopting native, or native-to-the-platform technologies.

Maybe this will get better, maybe this will end up getting worse with all platforms staying in existence and all of us being even more miserable or all of this may end up in us being like CGPGrey and ranting about Youtube sunsetting features due to lack of engangement on mobile, since Youtube failed to implement the feature to begin with (I can’t find the link, his rant is legendary). Developers don’t need yet another tool to make more mediocure software from other platforms (Apple’s own or others) into even more mediocure Mac apps. They need tooling and resources that allows them to share business logic etc. across the platforms and allows them to create good user interfaces. The latter part might be SwiftUI but I am not entirely sold on it just yet. The first part is definitely not Swift though, since it has only driven us further away from reliable, well crafted software.