-1 developers
have asked Apple to
"Fix Radar or GTFO"

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Hi, you must be a Mac or iOS developer. If not, hi anyway! As developers for Apple platforms, we encounter bugs or want features. As good developers we know we should file reports with Apple. Unfortunately this means we have to use the dreaded Radar, an awkward and painful experience. But it doesn't have to be this way.

We're always hearing from Apple that we should file radars on things that are important to us. Well this is important to us. So what I want you to do is this:

And you're done. But if you want, there are two more optional steps:

Thank you and hopefully we can get Apple to give us a great tool.

Dear Apple,

We need to talk. We love your software, we really do. Or maybe we don't but we want to tell you why so you can try to improve it. We are developers ourselves and we know how hard it is to write software, to find and fix bugs, to know what your users want from your software. We want to file bug reports and feature requests for every bug we find or feature we think of. As a community we want you to know what is important to us, in a way that doesn't require you to trawl through countless blogs and tweets. Unfortunately you're making it so incredibly hard to do so.

The only way to really communicate with Apple about what is broken and what we want is Radar. But Radar sucks, and has done for a very, VERY long time. This puts a lot of people off filing radars. The user interface is awkward and slow. We have to stop what we're doing and go to a web UI that still thinks we're running Mac OS X 10.1, that makes it awkward to look at bugs we've already filed and generally is un-Apple-like.

Radar is also a black hole. We file radars and we're lucky to hear back about them. The majority of radars are either left untouched or marked as duplicates of other radars we cannot see. We may get a request for more information from engineering, but sometimes it is for irrelevant information or information already given in the original report. All this makes us feel like our radars make little difference. And this is important as our time is valuable.

We are contractors and every minute spent filing radars is time not spent doing client work. We are employees and every minute spent filing radars is time not spent writing code for our employers. We are indies and every minute spent filing radars is time not spent writing great apps for our users. We are hobbyists and every minute spent filing radars is time spent not doing our hobby and enjoying ourselves. We are all developers and every minute spent filing radars is time spent not making the great applications that show off how your platforms can be so much more than just what you ship to customers.

By making radars so hard and painful to file, most developers end up not filing them. For every radar that is filed, there are many more that developers would file but don't consider it a big enough issue to be worth the time. It may be a small bug or feature request, or it may be a common issue that we figure someone else has already filed so there's no point wasting our time telling you about it.

So what are we asking from you? Well the joking refrain from Apple engineers is "Radar or GTFO". We want you to give us the tools to help us file bugs, so the refrain we send back is this: "Fix Radar or GTFO". How can you do this?

First of all, let us file radars from Xcode. We spend most of our time in Xcode, so it makes sense to reduce the context switch needed to file a bug. Add a Radar tab to the organiser and let us quickly search and view existing radars. Save our login details so we don't have to login each and every time. Provide us with a nicely laid out form for filing new radars. Do work for us. If a report needs a system profile attaching then automatically generate one and send it if we don't include one ourselves. Let us drag and drop attachments onto the report. Add a checkbox to let us include the current Xcode project as an attachment. And let us save reports as drafts. This way we can make a note of all bugs and feature requests when we think of them, but properly file them when we get the time.

Secondly, open up Radar. We understand that you use Radar internally and you can't open that up. We don't want you to. What we want is the ability to click a checkbox on our own radars that says "make this searchable and viewable by other 3rd party developers". Many of the radars we file don't include anything that cannot be shared with other developers. At worst they contain information about pre-release software, but you already provide ways to deal with that in things such as the developer forums, so it is a solvable problem. Along with this checkbox, let us browse and search these opened up radars to see if one already exists.

And lastly, let us upvote and comment on open radars. We spend a lot of time filing radars that are just marked as duplicates and we hear nothing more. We are doing duplicate work. On top of this you have to spend a lot of time going through these radars, reading them and seeing if they're duplicates of other radars. So let us find the duplicates by searching and let us just press a button to +1 an issue and say "this is important to me as well". This saves time for everyone and so makes it easy for us to tell you what is really important to us. And if you let us comment on each other's radars, we can expand upon what is already there rather than duplicating work. We can provide workarounds that enable us to keep writing our apps while you work on a fix.

So please fix Radar. You've worked hard to give us great APIs, a great language, great documentation and great developer tools. Please now focus your attention on giving us a great tool to help us help you.

Thanks

Your 3rd Party Developers

Who else has filed this radar?