Apfelstrudel for developers

When a beta software for the developers is not working for them, you know something is fundamentally wrong. This is exactly the situation with the current developer's beta releases of Mac OS (El Capitan), iOS 9, and Xcode (Apple's IDE).

As many others, I was super happy with the first beta releases of OS X 10.11 and iOS 9. They had this magical touch of stability that I do not remember seeing for many years. But then the things got badly wrong. Any combination of OS X 10.11 (beta 5 and 6) and Xcode 7 (beta 4 and 5) did not work for me. Besides frequent Xcode crashes (something I do not complain, when working with beta software), it was absolutely impossible to open any Interface Builder file for iOS (XIB, Storyboard) - and this is definitely no go! After all, how am I expected to beta test software, that I cannot write?

There were sporadic reports that some lucky developers got it running, but no magic command line gibberish could solve my pains. So I collected different suggested "workarounds" by fellow developers and tried to analyse what's going wrong. At the end I solved my most urgent problems by doing the following:

  • I removed any trace of Xcode from the disk. This includes Xcode 6 and 7 in /Applications, any Xcode related files in /Developer, as well as multiple applications of chlorine containing detergents in my home ~/Library
  • From App Store I installed the official Xcode 6.4 version. After installing it, I opened it to perform any post-installation magic. Then I closed it (at that point the IB was still broken).
  • As suggested by lucky fellow developers, I ran in the terminal the following: 
gtupar$ cd /Applications/Xcode.app/Contents/Developer/Platforms/iPhoneSimulator.platform/Developer/SDKs/iPhoneSimulator.sdk/usr/lib
gtupar$ sudo mv dyld_sim dyld_sim.orig
  • At this point, Xcode was able to open IB files again
  • Installed the latest Xcode beta (beta 5). Without any terminal massaging, IB was working. Without executing the commands above and by just installing Xcode 7/5, IB was still broken. I did not try to install only the latest Xcode 7 beta (without Xcode 6) and run the above commands.

So, I am happy again. But here is my question to Apple: are  your QA procedures completely broken?

I started using Apple related development environments since 1990 - long before Apple acquired NeXT, and at times when Xcode was non-existent, and the dev tools were IB and TextEdit. (Later came the PB - ProjectBuilder, which was a glorified UI around Unix Makefile). Since then I had the chance to install every early beta software on my computer - even WebObjects v. 0.71 was happily working on my HP workstation at the time. If my memory serves me well, for all these 25 years I never had to deal with such badly broken (for the developers) beta release.

What Apple delivered this time to us - the developers, is a mess. At best it is something like an Austrian Apfelstrudel (apple pie), where one can find few tasty pieces of apple or raisins, but nothing consistent. I was very happy when Apple announced few years ago their efforts for better integration and communication between different groups. At the moment, I am unable see how two groups could work together and create such major havoc.

One fina note: around 1993 on NeXTstep 3.x I was able to install (and often uninstall) new apps and app plugins without stopping the execution of any app, or for that matter - rebooting. It was possible to install and load a dynamic bundle for a running app (yes, I know the security arguments, thank you). In 2015 I am unable to install Xcode without stopping iTunes. Is this a sign of progress?