Archive for June 2, 2021

Wednesday, June 2, 2021

Stack Overflow Acquired by Prosus

Joel Spolsky:

Today we’re pleased to announce that Stack Overflow is joining Prosus. Prosus is an investment and holding company, which means that the most important part of this announcement is that Stack Overflow will continue to operate independently, with the exact same team in place that has been operating it, according to the exact same plan and the exact same business practices. Don’t expect to see major changes or awkward “synergies”. The business of Stack Overflow will continue to focus on Reach and Relevance, and Stack Overflow for Teams. The entire company is staying in place: we just have different owners now.

This is, in some ways, the best possible outcome. Stack Overflow stays independent. The company has plenty of cash on hand to expand and deliver more features and fix the old broken ones.


Prosus N.V. ("Prosus"), a global consumer internet group and one of the largest technology investors in the world, announced today that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Stack Overflow, a leading knowledge-sharing platform for the global community of developers and technologists, for approximately US$1.8 billion.


With expertise in scaling communities in high-growth markets globally, Prosus can help accelerate Stack Overflow’s growth ambitions, with a particular focus on reaching a wider international community, while also further scaling the company’s Teams product to position Stack Overflow at the center of product and technology development within major enterprises globally.


Update (2021-06-04): Prashanth Chandrasekar (tweet):

Once this acquisition is complete, we will have more resources and support to grow our public platform and paid products, and we can accelerate our global impact tremendously. This might look like more rapid and robust international expansion, M&A opportunities, and deeper partnerships both on Stack Overflow and within Stack Overflow for Teams. Our intention is for our public platform to be an invaluable resource for developers and technologists everywhere and for our SaaS collaboration and knowledge management platform, Stack Overflow for Teams, to reach thousands more global enterprises, allowing them to accelerate product innovation and increase productivity by unlocking institutional knowledge.

Jeff Atwood:

Today’s sale of Stack Overflow, most importantly, lets Stack Overflow continue as an independent site -- and also mints 61 new millionaires.


any assurances that it’s “business as usual” are absolutely worthless, because the people making those assurances JUST ACCEPTED A CANVAS SACK WITH A DOLLAR SIGN ON IT IN EXCHANGE FOR ANY ABILITY THEY HAD TO MAKE THAT DECISION

A Global Perspective on the Apple App Store Ecosystem

Apple (MacRumors):

Apple today announced that the App Store ecosystem facilitated $643 billion in billings and sales during 2020, a 24 percent year-over-year increase. An independent study by economists from the Analysis Group found that developers selling goods and services across many categories grew their businesses while reaching customers around the world. App creators applied their creativity and passion to help people stay connected, healthy, and entertained — while the App Store played a vital supporting role as developers adapted to the year’s challenges and brought new innovations to life.

“Independent” means funded by Apple. “Facilitated” means that it counts estimates of physical goods bought from Amazon and other retailers, if the purchase (or subscription?) was initiated using a (non-browser?) app.


Amazon Sidewalk

Alex Hern (via Hacker News):

Amazon customers have one week to opt out of a plan that would turn every Echo speaker and Ring security camera in the US into a shared wireless network, as part of the company’s plan to fix connection problems for its smart home devices.

The proposal, called Amazon Sidewalk, involves the company’s devices being used as a springboard to build city-wide “mesh networks” that help simplify the process of setting up new devices, keep them online even if they’re out of range of home wifi, and extend the range of tracking devices such as those made by Tile.

Mike Prospero and Ian Morris:

As mentioned above, Sidewalk is essentially an open network. That means that any device that is Sidewalk-enabled can connect to your Sidewalk bridge. However, those devices don’t have unfettered access to your Wi-Fi network — no one’s going to be watching Netflix using your Wi-Fi — nor can you see what devices are connected to your Sidewalk bridge. Additionally, any information that’s sent via Sidewalk Bridges is encrypted.

However, if you’re uncomfortable with the idea of others using your network, you can opt to turn off Sidewalk. You can’t selectively turn off Sidewalk for specific devices; rather, you can only activate or deactivate it for all Echo and Ring devices linked to your account.

This is done in the settings of the Alexa app. I don’t recall opting out or even being aware of this when setting up my Echo, but when I checked the setting today it was already disabled.

Dan Goodin (via John Gruber):

Amazon has published a white paper detailing the technical underpinnings and service terms that it says will protect the privacy and security of this bold undertaking. To be fair, the paper is fairly comprehensive, and so far no one has pointed out specific flaws that undermine the encryption or other safeguards being put in place. But there are enough theoretical risks to give users pause.

Update (2021-06-04): John Gruber:

The thing to consider is whether you trust Echo and Ring devices with your privacy. If you do, you might as well participate in Sidewalk. It’s not that different, conceptually, from Apple’s Find My network.

Slow Testing With Xcode 12.5 and Big Sur


When running app in iOS 14.5 simulator launch takes incredibly long time (more than 30 seconds). In comparison launching installed app in simulator - 2 seconds, launching app on the real device (iOS 14.4) - 6 seconds.


When running against simulator Xcode says “launching app”, “attaching to app”, and then “running app”, at the running app stage we get a ~30 second pause. debugserver at 100% activity at that time.

Via Chris Fish:

I have noticed that our regular dev lifecycle has tanked significantly since updating to 11.3. It takes up to 10 seconds to attach the debugger. If I run the app without attaching the debugger automatically it flies.

This is reported as starting with macOS 11.3. I didn’t see any problems with that version, but since updating to macOS 11.4 I’ve seen incredible slowness testing my Mac code. Running an individual unit test used to be almost instantaneous. Now there is a delay of 10 seconds or so between launching xctest (i.e. when Xcode starts showing “Testing…”) and when the test actually begins running. Turning off “Debug executable” doesn’t help. Sampling the process shows that xctest is waiting for the access() call, as it tries to load my test bundle. Meanwhile, the tccd process pegs the CPU.

I guess the problem must be triggered by something in my project—or perhaps just its (modest though non-trivial) size—since it doesn’t occur with a fresh project (though even that has high CPU use for tccd). I’m not sure what TCC doesn’t like. The test bundle and all the frameworks that it links to are code signed. The delay occurs on three different Macs, one of them a clean installation.

Another Xcode 12.5 issue: the “Run ‘Test/Class’” command (Command-Control-Option-U) is always disabled, even though Xcode shows the tests and I can run them by clicking the diamond.


Update (2021-06-05): Ashley Bischoff:

Just as an eensy correction to the quoted article—I believe that Full Disk Access may have been introduced in macOS 10.14 Mojave?