Thursday, January 27, 2022 [Tweets] [Favorites]

Apple System Status Page Needs to Switch Off Its Reality Distortion Field

Ben Lovejoy:

The Apple system status page is best known not for displaying the actual status of Apple services, but rather a pageful of green indicators that only change once a problem is so widespread and severe that the company can no longer hide it.

[…]

Yesterday’s iCloud outage was a classic example. Games Center, iCloud Backup, iCloud Mail, iCloud.com, and iCloud Photos were all down for a significant number of people worldwide – but you’d never have known it if you’d visited Apple’s status page. It was showing all-green “nothing to see here” for several hours before the company finally admitted that there were issues affecting “some people.”

This isn’t just annoying in a roll-your-eyes kind of way – it can also waste a lot of people’s time. When I experience a problem that could be down to iCloud or may be local, the first thing I’ll do is check the status page.

It seems like either Apple doesn’t have automated monitoring systems that actually work or that somoene has decided that their results should not be published on the status page.

Previously:

5 Comments

> When I experience a problem that could be down to iCloud or may be local, the first thing I’ll do is check the status page.

Ben,
If it’s consistently wrong, why would you keeping checking it?

Beatrix Willius

I thought it was just me.

At the beginning of the week I wanted to notarise an app. Got some gibberish back - of course after uploading. I checked that status page and there was no outage for notarisation. Trying again: oh, ffs I can't upload the same version again because it already was uploaded. Head on desk.

After an hour or so everything was working again. I don't know who designs such crap. Sometimes I think codesigning and notarisation is crappy on purpose.

"If it’s consistently wrong, why would you keeping checking it?"

This is not a helpful question, since you already know the answer to it, or could probably figure it out if you just spent ten seconds thinking about it.

When a web service doesn't work, it's very obvious that the first thing you want to do is ascertain whether it is a local problem. Otherwise, you're going to start trying to fix stuff that isn't broken.

The issue is that, while this is a necessary first step, Apple's behavior makes it incredibly unreliable, which means that you will often end up wasting time trying to fix things (and potentially messing them up) when they're completely outside your control.

Just "not checking it" doesn't help at all, because while checking it at least sometimes gives you the correct answer, not checking it never gives you the correct answer.

It’s kind of like a Bloom filter. The status page can confirm that it’s broken but not that it’s working.

"Sometimes I think codesigning and notarisation is crappy on purpose."

Codesigning and notarization exist to help enable Apple's commission on apps. They also exist to convince and scare people into thinking Apple not only has their backs on security but are really necessary for security. Apple could make codesigning and notarization uncrappy if they wanted to in an instant. But they don't have to care about the experience of developers at this point in the game. There are a lot of great things about Apple, but we are the ones that can most clearly see the worst parts of Apple. Especially Apple ecosystem developers need to understand Apple is looking out for themselves first and foremost, and come to terms with that truth. Perhaps then we will begin to realize things like gatekeeper, notarization, code signing, and other 'let us save you from yourself' technologies benefit only Apple and are actually harmful to the developers and users of the Mac/iOS platform.

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