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    For me, Catalina worked fine since I’ve installed Beta 2 last summer.

    Even the usual suspects, VMWare, Vagrant/VirtualBox and Homebrew survived the update just fine.

    I see no crashes (at least not more than the usual once-every-two-months need to reboot), nor other weirdness. Compared to Mojave, even the random Bluetooth disconnects I had with my Magic Trackpad stopped happening.

    Of course this is total non-news and I’m not going to publish a blogpost saying that Catalina is fine for me nor would that reach, much less survive on, the front page of any news aggregator if I actually were to write such a blog post.

    Unfortunately, we only read about people having issues and we conclude that everybody must have problems.

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      Hear hear! I think we should share our positive experiences more often, since it’s in our nature to latch on and to spread the negative ones.

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        I think we should share our positive experiences more often, since it’s in our nature to latch on and to spread the negative ones.

        From the article:

        It’s interesting to me how — apart from the usual fanboys — I still haven’t seen any unequivocally positive feedback about Mac OS Catalina.

        Is your experience positive (it got better) or is your experience neutral (it didn’t get worse)? What is the best thing about Catalina, and what would be the elevator pitch for why somebody should install it?

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          apart from the usual fanboys

          I certainly wouldn’t consider myself an Apple fanboy, but when I look at the current state of all the other platforms, nothing comes quite close enough for what I need and like.

          Is your experience positive (it got better) or is your experience neutral (it didn’t get worse)?

          I take issue with the implication that things chugging along just fine is somehow not a positive thing. I was doing well yesterday, and I am doing about the same today. Not better and not worse. Am I somehow worse off today because of that? If I am not worse off, then is my experience not positive?

          What is the best thing about Catalina, and what would be the elevator pitch for why somebody should install it?

          Two things sprung to mind immediately:

          • I was pleasantly surprised both this week and the week before that the OS notified me of my daily average use of the computer over the prior days. The numbers were, unsurprisingly to me, extremely high. I knew I was spending too much time on the computer recently, but the computer itself giving me hard numbers is what finally convinced me to take steps toward spending less time on it.

          • I really appreciate the increased security that notarization brings. Hell, I’ve even written a native app and gotten it sandboxed, notarized and deployed on the App Store so I’ve experienced more “pain” than the average Catalina user in this regard, yet I still think it’s a fantastic improvement.

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            That looks super interesting.

            I really like separating any UI-application in a client-server layer, to avoid accidentally letting business logic, heavy computation, and blocking IO to creep into/block the UI threads (something I’ve seen happen with many QT-based GUI-application). The risk of this is heavily reduced by making the barrier more concrete through separate processes with RPC, while also adding opportunity for more resilience since the client and server process can be restarted separately if an issue occurs.

            Would be interesting to see some more details of the GUI/Swift part of the application for someone not familiar with that toolchain, are you planning to write more articles in this series?

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              Thanks! Yes, I do plan to write more about the technical bits of the app in the future. I think I’ll do another post after I’ve got the Windows port ready. I’m thinking it would be fun to compare Windows Forms and SwiftUI in a post. It might be a while before I get to it, though, because I’m juggling a ton of stuff at once at the moment.

              In the mean time, the application is source available so you can take a look at the GUI code here.

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                Interesting, looking forward for it.

                Are you planning to showcase how you work with XCode? Would be nice to get a overview of how the workflow looks for these kind of apps.

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        same experience here. I have encountered some crashes on my work laptop, but since I’ve had zero issues on my home laptop, I’d much sooner attribute that to my employer’s custom management software than the OS itself.

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        It’s interesting to me how — apart from the usual fanboys — I still haven’t seen any unequivocally positive feedback about Mac OS Catalina.

        To be honest, we see these blog posts and criticism with every release of macOS (since Snow Leopard). They also confirm my experience – every macOS release is buggy, often terribly buggy, for the first 3-6 months. Usually most bugs start getting fixed in the second half of the cycle and once the next release comes out, the old release is pretty ok.

        For one thing, it shows that the yearly feature dump approach, which primarily serve to hype up the keynotes, does not work. They should either go back to 2-3 year cycles like before Snow Leopard or switch to some rolling release, possibly with a perpetual beta for people who don’t mind things to crash and burn.

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          I strongly agree that yearly the “feature drop” releases aren’t working out well for quality. Seems to be getting worse, in my personal experience, as the number of platforms (ios, watchos, tvos, macos) has grown.

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            Indeed. And since they don’t have a dedicated macOS team anymore (which wend hand in hand with the platform expansion). So, after the feature drop, fixing the fallout on iOS has their highest priority and macOS tickets are probably deprioritized in favor of iOS tickets.

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              This is the correct business decision for Apple.

              It wouldn’t surprise me to learn that the Mac hardware and software is a net loss for the bottom line, and is only kept for reasons of prestige.

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                I think that’s BS. There’s a ton of companies making a profit off of laptops and desktops, most of them with way lower prices and lower margins that Apple. Granted, Apple probably invests more into their software and hardware than most, but they also made 7 billion dollars on the Mac alone in Q4 2019 according to https://www.statista.com/statistics/263428/apples-revenue-from-macintosh-computers-since-first-quarter-2006/. If you’re not turning a profit from 5-7 billion per quarter, something is seriously wrong.

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                  Throwing more personnel at dev teams, which is I assume what you implied by suggesting they dump more money on the problem, frequently doesn’t pay off short term. In fact, the opposite is usually true in the short term — this goes all the way back to Brooks. It takes time to train new people, more people increases communication overhead (combinatorial edge complexity?), and so on.

                  They probably just need to slow the heck down a bit with the release cycle.

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                    I’ll have to take your word on it regarding how much profit they made as that link is paywalled for me.

                    But in the end, it’s not how much money they made last year. It’s about how much money they’re expecting to make in 5 to 10 years off the Mac and macOS.

                    I suspect analysts are more clear-eyed/cold-blooded with regards to the long-term prospects of macOS. If Apple were to devote a larger percentage of its resources towards a stagnant or declining product segment, this could lead to bad reports from them.

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                      I think the problem is that even though the Mac is probably hugely profitable comparable to other desktop/laptop lines, the iPhone market (+ associated products, such as Apple Watch, Airpods, iPad) has become so large compared to the Mac, it’s barely a blip on their radar. Added to that are C-level executives that use nothing but iPhones and iPads and somehow believe that the iPad (as it is) can replace desktops and laptops.

                      The best thing that could happen to the Mac is a spin-off into a company that cares (it could even be a subsidiary of Apple, like Clarisworks).

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            I manage macOS deployments in enterprise and while the complaints are about different things this year, the problems are not necessarily worse they have been in the past.

            Apple tends to have good intentions (kext -> sext, read only system partition etc) but spends very little time on making sure the migration is seamless.

            • In the betas there was absolutely no way to mount a root volume at /, so after we complained, Apple added the synthetic.conf config, but it’s still something many struggle with.
            • The “firmlink” introduction for read only system volumes broke many tools.
            • The upgrade and every single point release after ended up reverting config files and moving them to a new directory. We use puppet so the changes are re-applied, but this still causes many users to discover the change because their ssh login is not working immediately after the upgrade.
            • The 10.15.4 release is about to introduce another number of disruptive changes, including the removal of /usr/bin/xar, which package installers depend on, and will catch popular tools by surprise.

            If you’re like me and all you do with your Macbook is iTerm, Vim, Git, Firefox and SSH then of course the OS upgrades will mostly go un-noticed. But when you look at all the things users typically do with their computers, keeping up with Apple is a constant race to keep up.

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              Seems like emails received in response to a post complaining about a thing (anything really), would be rather self-selecting biased, as a statistical group.

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                There are bugs, but it feels like people are mostly upset about the non-bug things, and particularly dropping support for 32-bit apps.

                Which I guess feels a bit like history repeating itself? They went through this once already with the architecture switch: Tiger through Leopard had Rosetta installed and on by default, then Snow Leopard had it but available but not by default, then Lion dropped it completely. This time around, High Sierra started the warnings about 32-bit compatibility going away, Mojave stepped them up, and finally Catalina dropped support.

                In both cases there were apps whose developers had either long ago ceased all ongoing maintenance/folded up, or who explicitly said their plan for porting after the cutoff was “never”. Which hurts if you were critically dependent on something in that category, but A) if you’re critically dependent on an unmaintained application you have bigger problems, and B) it’s not like Apple’s known for committing to backwards compatibility.

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                  It’s not the presence of “i agree”-emails that’s really interesting, but the absence of emails which disagree. If Catalina actually made the computing lives of some people better, you’d expect them to send in emails which say that.

                  It’s also really scary to learn that many people apparently have Time Machine failing.

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                    I’m not sure even that correlation is appropriate to draw, due to the aforementioned self-selection bias, as well as non-response bias.

                    I think the most that could be said, in a statistical/sampling sense, is that “the author is clearly not alone in having issues (sometimes extremely serious data loss ones!!) with Catalina”.

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                  It’s interesting to me how — apart from the usual fanboys — I still haven’t seen any unequivocally positive feedback about Mac OS Catalina.

                  I have unequivocally positive feedback about Catalina. I have no complaints about anything that’s stopped working, no complaints about anything missing, and I appreciate the minor changes and improvements.

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                    You also do a clean install every year, right? Did you do one for Catalina?

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                      I do a wipe/reformat every year but not tied to OS upgrades. Haven’t done one since Catalina, yet, no.

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                    The SMB client is faster than it has ever been since they ditched samba as their client. Finally I get decent speeds to my local NAS.

                    For me, it is worth upgrading just for this.

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                      I think companies still have a pretty good idea whether users will be happy about their updates or not – what’s changed is that in their view users have slowly turned from being customers to being the product sold.

                      So of course user happiness is not paramount anymore, as things like tightening Apple’s after-sale ownership of macOS appliances has become more important.