Software quality

I’m getting fed up with software updates.

My iPad can easily rack up thirty or so App updates in a few days. This IMO is sloppy stuff. I think all developers should be restricted to a limited number of updates a year, unless a security vulnerability is being addressed. If they are already, then the limit should be reduced. Being able to bang out an update anytime you want encourages producing bad code and letting the end user do your testing for you.

However, I can’t see Apple implementing or reducing such a restriction anytime soon because they have become one of the worst offenders. Last week we had to upgrade our two MacBooks and our iMac to macOS 11.5. That’s five updates in eight months. iPadOS is worse. As I type our iPads are updating themselves to 14.7, that’s seven updates since last September.

Back in the day when I was a Systems Programmer I never applied service packs to our mainframes, only individual patches to solve individual problems. I thought these big updates only solved one problem to cause another. As many of my systems programming colleagues found out :face_with_hand_over_mouth:

I can’t help thinking that if Steve Jobs was still with us he’s be banging his developers heads together and railing about sloppy code and the need to streamline fix distribution. Tesla doesn’t seem to have the same code issues, otherwise there’d be a lot of dead ex owners by now.


Android is just as bad, leave any of my phone’s more than a couple of days and it says there are 20 updates available, gtf.

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One of the problems I experienced with programmers I employed when tackling them over “issues” was overcoming the “well, it works on my machine” syndrome :roll_eyes:
The other was from the software houses I used for client applications (principally accounting). To save money they often employed session programmers as opposed to their own in house staff. Problem: the session programmers often had outdated versions of the core application so re-introduced bugs which had already been fixed requiring a fix to fix the fix which had already been fixed :grimacing:
Bleeding nightmare!!! :hot_face:
What made it worse for me was that fixing these fixes cost ME money, not the software house, as I would find it impossible to charge my client for what they had already paid the software house for :expressionless:

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Whilst at Reuters, one of my roles as Architect was to ensure the particular software was up to date. We used to have a six month update by rule just to keep within support of IBM (who’s software we used for data protection). We would only break that rule if there was a specific bug that was causing issue within the business - this would result in out of cycle testing and then a forced build rollout across the infrastructure (something that usually caused major issue / moaning from the supporting teams) :slight_smile:

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My big irritation particularly with Android is when s/phone or tablet has completed an update, some personalised settings disappear or revert back to original status, somtimes a preferred way of doing/viewing something changes.
I have Microsoft surface Pro4 tablet which is normally well behaved but recently the proptietary keyboard sometimes is none responsive on fire up…I think that is after an update…anybody have one of these devices and experiencing same problem ?
…used Microsoft over many years at work so never used any Apple kit…

I wonder if this is caused by your phone manufacturer’s bloatware rather than Android itself? I’ve used mainly Pixel Android phones for several years and have never had any problems like yours.

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Unbelievable! Less than two weeks after upgrading to macOS 11.5 we now have to upgrade to 11.5.1. If Tim Cook doesn’t see this as problem then he’s the lightweight (albeit a very wealthy lightweight) I thought him to be before Jobs died. That’s 14GB of macOS updates in about ten days. Sloppy, sloppy, sloppy.

Next they’ll be as bad as Microsoft :roll_eyes:

Update, this fix is 3.1GB per machine so between mac OS and iPadOS in the last week that’s 20GB, for SFA!

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Update, there’s also an iPad OS update only days after that last. There’s been a major SNAFU chez Apple.

The size of the updates is large because they reissue a whole module rather than a patch

Absolutely. A full macOS download each time. iPadOS seems more modular.

Apps have to track the iOS version and any change to the API an app uses by Apple results in an update to the app or it stops working.

This is why you disable automatic iOS updates on old iThings once the iOS version can no longer be updated.

Apple SW quality has been going downhill for years. Managing change control when there’s 4-5 active SW trains across multiple device types is a nightmare. Coder burnout is huge.

Sure, App developers have to keep up with OS releases but changes to APIs should be rare or at least backward compatible between releases. I’ve no doubt change control is a nightmare for Apple, but that’s the business they are in. Having two fix releases across macOS and iPadOS in two weeks IMO means something very silly happened. I’d love to know what :slightly_smiling_face:

I should have mentioned I never have auto update on, on anything :slightly_smiling_face: I’ve even zapped the Windows 10 virtual machine I have. Maybe if I buy a Tesla I’ll have to accept it but not yet.

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just hope that they don’t do a full system reset whilst hurtling down an Autoroute somewhere :slightly_smiling_face:


The blue screen of death.


I worked briefly for Reuters. Absolutely loved the place. Jon Snow (ITV in same building as I was for one of my stints there) used to chain up his bicycle outside next to mine.

The culture there was quite unique. They stuck up for their journalists when the journalists got put in a tight spot by some regimes.

And do you remember the no-paperclip rule? Not a single paperclip was ever allowed in the building.

No paperclips! How did you reset your devices or change SIMs? :slight_smile:


I loved Reuters, it changed for the worst when Thomson financial effectively bought them.
I was based in their Canary Wharf office - I suspect you were in the previous location ?
They were a supportive and dynamic organisation, for me it was the highlight of my IT career. I only left in the end due to disagreeing the direction we were going with my particular role and my US based director who was a bully and aggressive. Six years was enough commuting and it was time for a reset and an easier life in the sunset of my career :grin:

Fleet St and Gray’s Inn Road. This was all pre-Thomson. Reuters were losing money for quite a while by then and knew they needed to be acquired. But were very stressed about wanting to maintain their journalistic independence. Even then they were a lot more independent than the BBC and the BBC are a h*ll of a lot less unbiased now.

I think the IT location pre-Canary Wharf was near Fleet St, but closer to the river.

FWIW I am guessing being acquired by Thomson was the best they could do as regards their journalistic independence. Most other outfits that could have bought Reuters were probably too hideous to contemplate.

Fascinating place to work though, so many interesting people who nowadays would be forced to be much more “conformant”

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This may have been a pretty urgent and important one, and if so perhaps not Apple’s fault per se…


Very good. I hope so.

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