Core Rot at Apple generated more page hits here at MPG than any topic ever presented here at MacPerformanceGuide.com. Readers can also listen to a related interview on Apple Core Rot on the Tech Night Owl.
Just recently I came across a detailed example by Adam Engst of TidBITS explaining the damage Apple has done to his workflow. Read Adam Engst’s Pages 4.3 vs. BBEdit 10.5: How Apple Doesn’t Respect Its Users.
What’s interesting in Adam’s piece is a “two tales” explanation of Apple’s cavalier incompetence in wrecking his workflow, and how another small company with an (unrelated) bug of its own just got it fixed ASAP. Which is the way it ought to be and never is with Apple.
Engst is spot-on in calling Apple’s changes “offensive”. But they are not surprising in light of changes in other Apple software, which at this point deserves the label crapware.
Software development that belongs on the TV show “Jackass”
Professionals need tools they can depend on— a product or service or app supports that professional, directly makes money, etc. Apple’s arbitrary removal of features, broken functionality that never gets fixed, lack of backward compatibility (Pro Tools was a nightmare), bugs that destroy workflows— this is unprofessional and destructive, and particularly jarring from a company that prides itself fanatically on whether the curved metal on an iPhone is accurate to 10 microns (or whatever it is).
When feasible, avoid Apple-brand software for any critical tasks.
Because you’ll be screwed whenever Apple make the latest arbitrary change. But it gets worse.
I use XCode to build diglloydTools— each and every new release of XCode breaks my (simple) build every time, forcing unwanted and unnecessary work. Engst is absolutely right in calling this “offensive” in his case. In my case far worse, because not only does XCode break my build, Apple has now deprecated the two key APIs used in diglloydT0ols (HFS file system calls and MultiProcessing Services). Which means they’ll just “go away”, perhaps as early as 10.9. Why? Because someone at Apple just felt like “cleaning house”.
Software versions not even an option
It wouldn’t be so bad if one could keep multiple versions of Apple software installed— then there would be a backstop plan. But Apple’s simplified simpleton approach to apps is “latest version only” and “no reversion to prior version” and “mumble about what actually changed”. So Apple undermines the most basic self-protection one has: to keep the prior version available.
Adobe and other companies don’t foist this awkward problem on their users; it’s possible to run both CS5 and CS6, which I do.