Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Apple Shutting Down Developer Mailing Lists

Greg Branche, administrator of Apple’s MPW-Dev mailing list, quotes a message saying:

List owners are encouraged to move their conversations to http://devforums.apple.com (for developers), http://discussions.apple.com (for users) or create an “Open community” group (via <redacted>). To facilitate this transition, we plan to make the non-confidential Apple Developer Forums readable by all Registered Apple Developers (i.e. the free membership level).

Via David Ryskalczyk and Landon Fuller. This is terrible news, as the mailing lists offer a superior user interface compared with the Web forums, along with better searchability and reliability. Of course, the MPW list no longer sees much traffic, but the Cocoa list continues to be very useful (and the archives are invaluable). Hopefully, a third party such as The Omni Group can (once again) step in to fill this void.

Update (2014-01-09): Reprieve!:

I am working with several fellow list owners to secure some resources to address the remaining concerns that will allow lists.apple.com stay alive. The good news is will not be retiring the service after all.

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1 Comment

"as the mailing lists offer a superior user interface compared with the Web forums"

Mind, that's only because Apple's web forum UI/UX design is a giant stinky pile of poo. Their developer documentation section is utter garbage too. Both *used* to be pretty good, until the Web2.0 jackasses nowadays running Apple's web presence got their idiot claws into them. (When Apple's UI/UX is good it's often very good, but when it's bad it's atrocious. And for a company so lauded for the former, it also produces a shocking amount of the latter.)

A well-designed web forum *would* be a clear improvement over the current shambolic mess of crusty mailing lists and crappy bulletin boards. The simplest fix would be to chuck out both MailMan and all their own home-grown BB rot and replace the whole lot with a mature battle-tested BB system from a reliable third-party vendor. Unfortunately, I think that's unlikely to happen as it'd be an public admission that their current product sucks: as bad as Apple are at doing anything network/web related, they're even worse at admitting when they're wrong.

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