Archive for June 24, 2020

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Perl 7

Brian D Foy (via Hacker News):

Perl 7.0 is going to be v5.32 but with different, saner, more modern defaults. You won’t have to enable most of the things you are already doing because they are enabled for you. The major version jump sets the boundary between how we have been doing things and what we can do in the future.

Remember, Perl was the “Do what I mean” language where the defaults were probably what you wanted to do. In Perl 4 and the early days of Perl 5, that was easy. But, it’s been a couple of decades and the world is more complicated now. We kept adding pragmas, but with Perl’s commitment to backward compatibility, we can’t change the default settings.


Perl 7 is a chance to make some of these the default even without specifying the version. Perl 5 still has Perl 5’s extreme backward compatibility behavior, but Perl 7 gets modern practice with minimal historical baggage.


App Clips for iOS

Apple (also: Hacker News):

App clips are a great way for users to quickly access and experience what your app has to offer. An app clip is a small part of your app that’s discoverable at the moment it’s needed. App clips are fast and lightweight so a user can open them quickly. Whether they’re ordering take-out from a restaurant, renting a scooter, or setting up a new connected appliance for the first time, users will be able to start and finish an experience from your app in seconds. And when they’re done, you can offer the opportunity to download your full app.


App clips can adopt a new type of notification that can be presented within eight hours of a user launching your app clip.

Erica Sadun:

All App Clips are accessed via URLs and limited to 10MB or less in size. Their job is to move a user through a quick transaction and then either return control to the user or solicit the user to download the full application. So if you’re selling cupcakes, you can “upsell” the experience from a single purchase to a loyalty program app.


When I first saw this feature, I wasn’t all that excited. Now that I’ve dived in a little more I’m much more impressed by the thought care and clever delivery mechanism Apple. has put together.

Update (2020-07-27): Curtis Herbert:

Interesting to think about the parallels between AMP and App Clips (at least for URL triggering). Both are an attempt to keep people in the platform’s ecosystem, and focus on small footprints / focused tasks, without sending them to some JS-loaded BS web page.

If we get enough App Clips registered for URLs, Apple has it’s own mini App-web.

Struck Rejected From the App Store

David Farrier (via Hacker News):

“Nine rejections, on the basis of their guideline “4.3 Design - Spam.”

Offensively, this guideline groups astrology (“fortune telling” in their words) alongside “burp and fart apps” under the umbrella of “spam.”

And when we finally stripped out each astrology feature piece by piece as requested by the Apple employees we spoke to on the phone, we were met by backpedaling and new excuses that didn’t make sense.

Most recently, we were told dating apps aren’t being allowed despite the fact that (1) two Apple employees told us verbally that dating apps were acceptable and (2) we know of multiple dating apps that have been accepted over this timeframe, demonstrating an apparent bias against us specifically.”

Update (2020-09-08): David Farrier (in June, tweet):

We received a call from the App Review team this morning saying they were confused at how we did it, but that the decision (which had been standing for over a month and through 9 rounds of rejections) has been REVERSED!!

Good news, but it’s frustrating to never get a real explanation for these cases. Who knows whether a similar app submitted today would be accepted or rejected?

New App Store Review Processes

Apple (also: MacRumors):

Additionally, two changes are coming to the app review process and will be implemented this summer. First, developers will not only be able to appeal decisions about whether an app violates a given guideline of the App Store Review Guidelines, but will also have a mechanism to challenge the guideline itself. Second, for apps that are already on the App Store, bug fixes will no longer be delayed over guideline violations except for those related to legal issues. Developers will instead be able to address the issue in their next submission.

David Heinemeier Hansson:

This is pretty significant. Apple will no longer ransom your bug fixes, and there’s a new process coming for challenging the guidelines themselves. This is of course still Apple policing Apple, but it’s an opening none the less for all developers ✌️

Peter N Lewis:

I somehow doubt I can challenge the requirement to be sandboxed which excludes Keyboard Maestro from the Mac App Store.

Josh Avant:

But…. how will Apple reliably enforce that an update is only ‘bug fixes’? What are ‘bug fixes’?

Challenging a guideline itself is interesting but how much does it really matter when Apple is the judge, jury, and executioner?

John Gruber:

Both of these changes sound great[…] but let’s see how it works in practice. If this is more than just lip service, wow, that’s huge.


Update (2020-08-03): Allen Pike:

While it’s great that Apple is open to these rules being challenged, it seems that the things most worth reconsidering about App Review aren’t even part of the public guidelines. Will Hey be able to challenge the secret rule that says they need to follow the IAP guideline, but that Slack doesn’t? What about the policy that iOS apps can’t be distributed directly to customers? Or Apple’s habit of quietly changing the undocumented approval policies, without notifying people that apps that used to be approved will now be rejected?

Max Seelemann:

Aaaaand App Review is running another shit show with shady arguments keeping our bugfix release in limbo for no sane reason.

This refuted wording has been approved dozens of times, and it has been at the exact same hour on the other platform.

You can’t make that up…

Max Seelemann:

I can confirm the new handling of non-legal rejections works. Our previously rejected update has now been approved and we got two weeks to address the issue.

Zach Bruhnke:

Legit feel like I am living @dhh’s life right now! @Apple just rejected an update of our app because it had a signup link leading to our site. Removed,rejected! It’s a free bank account but the app is only for customers, it has a bugfix for updating PINS for our customers ... wtf

Ryan Jones:

Wouldn’t be a launch day with an App Store rejection for something that's been there for 2 years and is actually following the rules. 🤣


The latest Prompt update was rejected because our icon, despite being the same for 9 years, was “identical to the icons of other apps” (?) and “spam”.

Kosta Eleftheriou:

So Apple, please help us see App Review as a reliable ally. Let us access our past communications with you - including phone call records if we choose to. Show us that you want to be accountable for what you communicate to developers. There may be some legal challenges, but transparency is a prerequisite to accountability. It’s only then that we can begin to have a fair and honest discussion with you about the actual process and guidelines. Because until then, we’re in the shadows.

Update (2020-08-24): Tim Windsor Brown:

The rep also mentioned that the bug fix mitigation will only come into effect after iOS 14 arrives.

Why tie such a sensible policy change to an OS update?


Update (2020-08-25): Andrey Butov:

Apple absolutely does hold bug-fix updates hostage. I’m sitting on a client app right now where they refused to let through a bug-fix update, on an already-approved app, until we put in IAP.

Update (2020-08-27): Peter Steinberger:

“We even appealed the guideline under the new app review process announced at WWDC,” says a Facebook spokesperson. “We did not receive a response.”