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 (for developers), (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 stay alive. The good news is will not be retiring the service after all.

Update (2019-07-01): Eric Schlegel:

I’ve been informed that the carbon-dev list will be closing down this weekend, on June 30th.

Update (2019-12-30): Felix Schwarz:

Looks like Apple has removed many mailing lists from - including archives

Just tried to read a post from 2017 in bonjour-dev referenced from Apple's forums: Page Not Found. Not even the Internet Archive has it.

6 Comments RSS · Twitter

"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.

[…] (a new, unofficial mailing list, since Apple’s lists are finally being […]

The developer docs and dev forums are not the same teams.

And, having been involved in the cocoa-dev mailing lists Apple ran for years, the web boards can never compare. And it’s by the nature of web discussions alone that they are doomed to fail.

Bryan Pietrzak

Like many who will read this post, I used those mailing lists going back to the MPW days and have fond memories of the community involved.

It's a terrible shame the archives are gone.

Though we can debate web forms vs mailing lists all day long, it doesn't seem like as many young people use email the way I do (did). Of course some of that predates the web. But I don't know that mailing lists are the most effective way to communicate these days. (I'm also not sure they aren't the most effective!) Not really sure what point I'm trying to make here, but I just know that most people I know don't seem to value or use email the way I do. Is that an age thing? Because I predate the web? I don't know.

Eric Schlegel answered so many of my questions on carbon-dev back in the late 2000's. It was a wonderful resource, and I occasionally returned to the list archives to unearth old discussions that I retained only fuzzy memories of. Now, fuzzy is all that remains, and getting fuzzier by the day.

Leave a Comment