Archive for April 21, 2022

Thursday, April 21, 2022

Improved Reddit Search

Reddit (via MacRumors, Hacker News):

With this latest update, for the first time in sixteen years everything on Reddit is now searchable - users, posts, communities, and now comments - making Reddit one of the first platforms with this capability. Additional new features include completely new user interfaces for search and improved search relevance.


Right now, comment search goes back 2 years, and of course will cover all comments made from here on out. We’re still working out how far back we’ll ultimately be able to index.


Open Letter to Apple About Final Cut Pro

Alex Gollner:

On Tuesday 19th April 2022, a group of over 100 people in TV and film production worldwide sent an open letter to Tim Cook of Apple about Final Cut Pro.

They used the letter ask Apple to publicly stand by the use of Final Cut Pro - Apple’s video editing application for professionals - in TV and film industries worldwide.

It wasn’t a criticism of the Apple team developing and marketing Final Cut Pro. They have worked very hard for over a decade on making Final Cut Pro better and better. This open letter is aimed at the executives who set the priorities of the Final Cut Pro development team and the Apple managers whose policies limit the public marketing of Final Cut Pro to a couple of website updates a year and some mentions in Apple keynotes about how much faster Apple hardware is getting.

Via John Gruber (tweet):

In other words, these Final Cut Pro-using professionals are asking Apple to do whatever it takes to make Final Cut Pro more popular in the industry. That it’s so seldom used — to name one example, it’s not on Netflix’s list of approved products for their own commissioned productions — is proof that something has gone deeply awry.

Scott Simmons:

There is no doubt that Final Cut Pro has come a long way since it’s introduction many years ago. We’ve seen an architecture change with Libraries, multicam added, a new XML format, an interface redesign, machine learning features, in-app tracking, workflow extensions and even dropping the “X” for the name. Just looking over the release notes shows a long list of features, updates and bug fixes that goes back years. But the flip side of this is the argument that the Apple team working on Final Cut Pro is moving too slowly and not keeping up with competitors. It took over a decade to get the very basic feature of dupe detection. Rumor has it there is a Roles-based audio mixer somewhere in the FCP code but it hasn’t been turned on yet (who knows if that is even true or if it will be … rumor!).

John Doty:

When Apple botched the transition to FCP-X ten years ago, it scared off the pros using its predecessor. I think it is now by far the best and most efficient editing software available. But, I also hesitate to tell peers how much I love it. It has a stigma to this day.

That letter is a seriously mixed bag. On the one hand, they’re dead right about functionality missing from FCP. On the other, they’re pushing for a reseller channel which is absurd and gives one pause about the rest of their arguments.

Adobe’s Premiere Pro is by far the dominant post production software for most professionals. Collaboration is the big reason I hear.

Josh Centers:

I think Apple knows exactly what they’re doing. YouTube content is a much larger potential market than traditional media and is easier to support. User-created content is the future.

Look at it from Apple’s perspective. Would you rather be in a market that serves hundreds of demanding customers and compete with Adobe, Avid, and DaVinci? Or would you rather be the best affordable product for millions of low-stress YouTubers?


Update (2022-04-27): Christina Warren (via Alex Gollner):

From the sampling of people/channels/workflows I know, [Apple’s share of the YouTube market is] nearly zero. Maybe iMovie is stronger (I doubt it), but at this point, every editor I know uses Premeire or DaVinci Resolve, even if they personally like FCP.

Update (2022-05-19): Peter Wiggins:

Over a hundred credited editors added their names to the letter and it got a very public delivery. Well, now Apple has officially replied and we have printed the full response below.


While we believe we have plans in place to help address your important feature requests, we also recognize the need to build on those efforts and work alongside you to help support your film and TV projects and keep you posted on important updates.

Via John Gruber:

That Apple responded at all is the story.

Applying Computer Science

Ben Sandofsky:

People seem to think Computer Science all data structures and sorting algorithms, when that’s maybe 5% of CS.

So for folks just starting out, I made a short intro to a different area of CS, and a powerful tool I use every day: the transform matrix.

Ben Sandofsky:

I don’t think sorting algorithms are the best introduction to Computer Science. So let’s talk through a real world example of speeding up a blurring algorithm. We touch on time complexity (“Big O”) and what a quadratic algorithm looks like.

Steve Yegge:

A commenter asked if I could talk about whether you need a CS degree to be in Big Tech and make it as a software engineer. So that’s the topic for today!

In this episode, I talk about what you would actually need to study in order to get the equivalent of a CS degree, and I also call our the most core fundamental stuff[…]

Apple Discontinues macOS Server

Apple (MacRumors, Hacker News):

As of April 21, 2022, Apple has discontinued macOS Server. Existing macOS Server customers can continue to download and use the app with macOS Monterey.

The most popular server features—Caching Server, File Sharing Server, and Time Machine Server are bundled with every installation of macOS High Sierra and later, so that even more customers have access to these essential services at no extra cost.

Rich Trouton:

macOS Server 5.12.2 has shed many of the features once supported by macOS Server. As of 5.12.2, the following two services are supported:

Both services are not currently available outside of macOS Server, so Apple discontinuing macOS Server also means the end of the line for Apple’s Open Directory directory service and Apple’s Profile Manager MDM service.

Colin Cornaby:

Back in the day I did a lot of work with the old Mac OS Server releases. When it was a $1000 separate distribution of Mac OS. It was really nice stuff, and really cost effective compared to Windows. They just couldn’t seem to get the stability or reliability down.

At one point my old job was shipping entire Xserve RAIDs to Cupertino for debugging data integrity issues. It was kind of a mess.


Update (2022-04-27): Charles Edge:

Before we have this conversation, I want to give you some bad news. Your passwords aren’t going to migrate. The good news is that you only do directory services migrations every decade or two. The better news is that I’m not actually sure you need a directory service in the traditional sense that you’ve built directory services. With Apple’s Enterprise Connect and Nomad, we no longer need to bind in order to get Kerberos functionality. With MCX long-dead(ish) you’re now better off doing policies through configuration profiles.

John C. Welch:

I get it’s weird to feel anything for a product that in all honesty had ceased to be much of anything over the last few years, but for those not in the “greybeard” section of macOS née Mac OS X Server née Rhapsody, explaining what that product, which mind you, used to not be free, or even cheap, meant to a lot of people is kind of hard. Especially those of us coming from the “dark ages” of AppleShareIP et al. There’s not a lot these days that creates the kind of community OS X Server did. It was a confluence of a lot of things that I don’t think could exist today.


It wasn’t magical, right? The product itself was always kind of this afterthought, and you could tell what part of it Apple used to sell Macs to people depending on the year. Netboot was huge for a long, long time, then Open Directory, then other things. For orgs that didn’t want to move to Active Directory from NT Domains, or couldn’t, it was a way to delay that move. And it gave Apple at least the ability, along with the Xserve and the Xserve RAID, to say “We have a place in the server room.” Which in the halcyon days before we handed our entire infrastructure to Amazon and/or Microsoft Azure, was important.

There were a lot of people who learned how to be sysadmins because of that product. Which I think created the biggest thing about OSXS: the community.

Stephen Hackett:

Back in the day, I managed quite a few OS X Server installations, but the truth is that the market of third-party solutions that Mac shops can enjoy today simply overtook what Apple was doing.

The biggest problem? I don’t think Apple’s heart has been in server space for a long, long time. The Xserve has been dead for over decade, and OS X Server went from a full-blown operating system to an application since the days of Lion.


As someone that cut my teeth with OSX Server on 10.3 (Panther), I’d like to say farewell old friend.

John Gruber:

The shift to “cloud computing” was inevitable. Yes, there’s nothing magic about “the cloud” — they’re all just computers. But before cloud computing teams and companies really needed their own servers. Mac OS X Server — and its long-gone hardware counterpart, the Xserve — enabled small teams to do remarkable things for the time, without the expertise of a Unix guru sysadmin on staff.

Mac OS X Server was never a significant factor in Apple’s financials. But it was a huge factor in re-establishing the company’s credibility with creative people — people with taste — who understand and demand technical excellence.