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App developers ask Apple to fix Radar bug reporting tool

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
An online petition signed by over 350 iOS and Mac app developers is asking Apple to fix its bug reporting tool called Radar, one of the only avenues through which software makers can communicate with the company.

The petition is named "Fix Radar or GTFO," a play on the "Radar or GTFO" phrase Apple engineers supposedly respond with when devs pose questions, is looking to remedy a list of problems that the independent app makers face when using the tool, reports The Next Web.

"The only way to really communicate with Apple about what is broken and what we want is Radar," the petition's letter reads. "But Radar sucks, and has done for a very, VERY long time. This puts a lot of people off filing radars."

Developers who have signed include The Iconfactory's Craig Hockenberry, Read it Later's Steve Streza and Edovia's Luc Vandal, among other notables.

Ironically, the petition asks devs to file a radar report for Radar itself outlining what features they feel are missing or broken. If those who have filed feel so inclined, they can copy and paste the Radar filing number to the petition's webpage to show their support in a more public manner.




Also on the site is an open letter to Apple that hits on the major deficiencies found with Radar.

Point-by-point, the letter notes the following issues:

User interface is awkward and slow
Majority of radars are either left untouched or marked as duplicates
Hard and painful to file
Inability to file bugs from Xcode
Duplicate filings that can't be seen

The letter argues that by making Radar a more open system in which developers are able to make filings searchable, time would not be wasted by filling out duplicate reports. Other UI requests include the ability to drag and drop attachments, auto-generation of system profiles and the ability to save reports as drafts.

From the open letter's closing paragraph:
Quote:
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

Apple has yet to respond, and it remains unclear if the petition will gain any real traction.

[ View article on AppleInsider ]
post #2 of 20
Hi

I can't believe they still use it. I was a Software Tester for Apple back in 1997 and we used Rader as our bug tracking tool. I am amazed it is still used. It was clunky back then!!
post #3 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

An online petition signed by over 350 iOS and Mac app developers is asking Apple to fix its bug reporting tool called Radar,



350 malcontents out of how many devs in the world?

GTFO.
post #4 of 20
Thank god someone else thought so. For those of us who file bug reports the process and web interface are really bad. Apple needs to work this. They did great job with the developers forums but you cannot get help from Apple there.

I am glad someone is taking action.
post #5 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by I am a Zither Zather Zuzz View Post

350 malcontents out of how many devs in the world?

GTFO.

Considering that this has just been reported on the number is actually impressive. Have you actually used the developers bug reportering tool?
post #6 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Apple has yet to respond, and it remains unclear if the petition will gain any real traction.

Maybe an all at once coordinated 350 e-mail campaign to Tim Cook. It worked for that single guy and the unlocking of his iPhone from ATT when Tim gave ATT a call. Maybe Time can give the Apple Radar folk a call?!
/
/
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Ten years ago, we had Steve Jobs, Bob Hope and Johnny Cash.  Today we have no Jobs, no Hope and no Cash.

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Ten years ago, we had Steve Jobs, Bob Hope and Johnny Cash.  Today we have no Jobs, no Hope and no Cash.

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post #7 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by I am a Zither Zather Zuzz View Post

350 malcontents out of how many devs in the world?

GTFO.

Seriously? Radar is pretty bad. And it looks like 10.1, which should say something.
post #8 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by I am a Zither Zather Zuzz View Post

350 malcontents out of how many devs in the world?

GTFO.

Radar is seriously a POS. Seriously.
 
Reply
 
Reply
post #9 of 20
Spending a lot of time making bug reports about things that allready are submitted instead of referencing to them is pretty bad indeed its probably the worst thing about the whole bug reporting thing!

Apple has sooo many bugs nowadays and you cant see what the hell is happening about the bug because yours is a duplicate and you have no idea what they are doing about the thing!!!

like the HIDPI bug that was introduced in 10.7.3 that makes my mac mini htpc almost unusable. Im wondering if there is a workaround or should I wait for and update that someone has worked at? Or should I just stop waiting and try to install 10.7.2 ?!?!? All i know that my ticket is a duplicate to another ticket that i cant look at!!?!??!

What the F/&/€/?((/(%€#%""€€"k!!! Welcome to 2012!

Some people report bugs in double to openradar just so people would know about the bugs they submit but THAT IS JUST SAD!
post #10 of 20
The UI isn't nice, it has fairly short timeouts and a lot of them are marked as duplicates or 'works as intended' and sometimes it takes a while for them to be answered but it's functional.

While XCode integration would be useful for some, Radar covers a whole range of things, even hardware so they'd just be making multiple entry points to the same system, which complicates it.

Also, although it would be nice to see duplicate bug reports, it could be an invasion of privacy e.g shared screenshots or system profiles with hardware IDs. Also, even when items are closed, you can append info.

I can't see any urgency to overhaul it functionally. Making it inaccessible means only the people who genuinely want to submit a bug do so and you don't get 30 million consumers submitting Apple enhancement reports for a new television set or for Seinfeld to be on iTunes.

Aesthetically, it's an eyesore and Apple should just give it a timeless design but I don't see that there's any rush.
post #11 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

The UI isn't nice, it has fairly short timeouts and a lot of them are marked as duplicates or 'works as intended' and sometimes it takes a while for them to be answered but it's functional.

While XCode integration would be useful for some, Radar covers a whole range of things, even hardware so they'd just be making multiple entry points to the same system, which complicates it.

Also, although it would be nice to see duplicate bug reports, it could be an invasion of privacy e.g shared screenshots or system profiles with hardware IDs. Also, even when items are closed, you can append info.

I can't see any urgency to overhaul it functionally. Making it inaccessible means only the people who genuinely want to submit a bug do so and you don't get 30 million consumers submitting Apple enhancement reports for a new television set or for Seinfeld to be on iTunes.

Aesthetically, it's an eyesore and Apple should just give it a timeless design but I don't see that there's any rush.

bla bla bla, just another one downplaying ohw much bug reporting sucks at apple. Do you work there? Every IT shop I know have better bug tracking implemented.

All those things you mention can be avoided you know
post #12 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by habi View Post

bla bla bla, just another one downplaying ohw much bug reporting sucks at apple. Do you work there? Every IT shop I know have better bug tracking implemented.

All those things you mention can be avoided you know

How many IT shops with bug tracking are we comparing here? This is always how these things go, I would bet that each complainant has had maybe 1 bug report that hasn't been answered the way they wanted so the whole system is broken.

It happens all the time, we get the statements like 'Apple need to do what I want NOW, or I'll convince all my friends, co-workers, random people in the street to switch to Windows. That'll show them how influential I, as an individual, am against a company that sells products to hundreds of millions of people who, for some reason, aren't all moaning too but should be'.

If they integrated bug reporting into XCode, developers are going to be clicking that every time something goes wrong instead of figuring out the problem and then retracting the report. It's not painful to file a report, it's a singe page form. Yes, the hardware profile should be attached to the account so it doesn't need to be submitted every time, yes the UI should be nicer but the biggest complaint is about reports not being dealt with.

The idea about voting up reports for importance is a sound idea but is it going to mean that developers sign up multiple dummy accounts to uprank all their own problems? If duplicates are submitted then they're still going to be marked as duplicates because that's what they are. Apple probably uses duplicate reports to determine the importance of a bug report.

Would all the developers on the list rather that their clients had the same privileges of determining their priorities or would they rather have the freedom to prioritise the features in their own software that they felt were important? The proposed system is little more than a system allowing a handful of individuals to bully Apple into giving some bug reports more importance than others. It will create cliques of developers who like to uprank each others' bugs.

I don't see Apple ever making the reporting system public as this means bug lists can be published online.

It just needs a friendlier interface. Have fewer drop-downs, subject line, text box and a single drop-zone where you can drag files from the desktop into it to upload, longer timeouts and better layout. I don't even think multiple tabs are needed, just filters for open, closed etc with progress reports for each. The message window could also be more like the iOS conversation window. Right now, all your comments go in one box and their comments in another so there's no flow to the conversation. Nothing really major IMO.
post #13 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by jdoyle View Post

Hi

I can't believe they still use it. I was a Software Tester for Apple back in 1997 and we used Rader as our bug tracking tool. I am amazed it is still used. It was clunky back then!!

Well its just the same name j, ( were you testing in Cork?). It could be a different software. The internal radar application is alright actually.

Quote:
Originally Posted by I am a Zither Zather Zuzz View Post

350 malcontents out of how many devs in the world?

GTFO.

Quote:
Originally Posted by habi View Post

bla bla bla, just another one downplaying ohw much bug reporting sucks at apple. Do you work there? Every IT shop I know have better bug tracking implemented.

All those things you mention can be avoided you know

Bug reporting does suck externally, it has to. Apple want people reporting bugs but to allow a search tool would be to allow a lot of airing of dirty linen in Public. Its the biggest company in the world, now, and there would be a huge scramble by the press to look at bugs, and report "Unhappiness with Apple because...."

This won't get fixed.
I wanted dsadsa bit it was taken.
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I wanted dsadsa bit it was taken.
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post #14 of 20
I went ahead and filed the bug report and signed the petition. Radar could definitely use some love from Apple and the suggestions they posted are sound. That being said, I think that the responses I have received from Apple on the bugs I have reported have been pretty good. I would say about a quarter of the bugs I report end up getting fixed. Some of these have been pretty major changes to iOS or the SDK. At least a third of them get some kind of response even if it is just to request more information. That's really not bad when dealing with a company the size of Apple.
post #15 of 20
I joined the party. I hate Radar so so so much. Feels like it was made back in 2001.
post #16 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by asdasd View Post

Bug reporting does suck externally, it has to. Apple want people reporting bugs but to allow a search tool would be to allow a lot of airing of dirty linen in Public. Its the biggest company in the world, now, and there would be a huge scramble by the press to look at bugs, and report "Unhappiness with Apple because...."

This won't get fixed.

If the press want to find bugs to report on then all they have to do is look at Apple Developers Forum. They don't even have to do that. They can just search developers forums around the web.

The Radar Bug Reporter is only accessible by Apple developers so it is not public. All these excuses are ridiculous. This is a developers issue to help developers release consistence and bug free apps for both iOS and Mac. For example, there is a new default UI feature in iOS 5.1 that Apple recommend every to not change. The problem is that this UI feature make the app unusable if you have slider in your view. I spent an hour preparing the bug report and generating logs not to mention the time I've spent trying to get around it without success. Two weeks after I have submitted the bug Apple replied saying this bug already been reported. Apple could have saved me time if I was able to search for the issue in the their bug reporting data base.
post #17 of 20
When I used to work for Apple over 4 years ago, we used a (at first Carbon then Cocoa) native Mac OS X app called Radar. RadarWeb is just the http interface to the Radar database. I'm sure Apple is still using the Radar application internally for tracking bugs. They only give Devs access to the RadarWeb interface and only access to Radar as a developer. When developers write bugs, they get sent to the ADC peeps to look it over and either assign it from there to someone who can take care of it or to mark it as a duplicate and close it. The reason for this security is that when I had full access to Radar, I could look for a Component like iTunes or Mac OS or the name of an application that hadn't been released yet, select a future version of it, and see all the bugs for it, even if I wasn't on that project's team. It's a sweet application, with drag & drop and all the features that Devs want... there's just no good way to give Devs the same app and keep all the information in the database hidden from the Devs about all the other software & hardware projects under development. I miss having that aardvark in my dock.
post #18 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by asdasd View Post

Bug reporting does suck externally, it has to. Apple want people reporting bugs but to allow a search tool would be to allow a lot of airing of dirty linen in Public. Its the biggest company in the world, now, and there would be a huge scramble by the press to look at bugs, and report "Unhappiness with Apple because...."

This won't get fixed.

I dont feel this is a justifiable explanation in the long run when Apple is the only OS vendor that tries to keep a lid on things. Even if its security classifications or bugs. It will bite you badly in the end!

Quote:
Originally Posted by NasserAE View Post

I spent an hour preparing the bug report and generating logs not to mention the time I've spent trying to get around it without success. Two weeks after I have submitted the bug Apple replied saying this bug already been reported. Apple could have saved me time if I was able to search for the issue in the their bug reporting data base.

This has happened to me atleast 90% of the time. And you have no knowledge about whats happening on these Atleast you could bind these to he original ticket (eg the manager of the ticket could make some parts public, exclude any personal info) so you could get info on the problem you would think?!?!

Quote:
Originally Posted by macmagic View Post

When I used to work for Apple over 4 years ago, we used a (at first Carbon then Cocoa) native Mac OS X app called Radar. RadarWeb is just the http interface to the Radar database. I'm sure Apple is still using the Radar application internally for tracking bugs. They only give Devs access to the RadarWeb interface and only access to Radar as a developer. When developers write bugs, they get sent to the ADC peeps to look it over and either assign it from there to someone who can take care of it or to mark it as a duplicate and close it. The reason for this security is that when I had full access to Radar, I could look for a Component like iTunes or Mac OS or the name of an application that hadn't been released yet, select a future version of it, and see all the bugs for it, even if I wasn't on that project's team. It's a sweet application, with drag & drop and all the features that Devs want... there's just no good way to give Devs the same app and keep all the information in the database hidden from the Devs about all the other software & hardware projects under development. I miss having that aardvark in my dock.

Im shure they could change it so some tasks are classified as internal only?!?! Shurely that is NOT a problem if you chose it not to be!?!?
post #19 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by jdoyle View Post

Hi

I can't believe they still use it. I was a Software Tester for Apple back in 1997 and we used Rader as our bug tracking tool. I am amazed it is still used. It was clunky back then!!

I can beat that as I used it back in 1989! It was written using MacApp and connected at that time to a SQL database on a VAX. Pretty state of the art for 23 years ago! LOL
post #20 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xero910 View Post

I joined the party. I hate Radar so so so much. Feels like it was made back in 2001.

Heck, I used a version of Radar in the mid-80s on a MacPlus! I don't know who has the contract now, but in the late 90s EDS lost the contract to Infosys IN INDIA. Response time from those guys is very slow.

A funny feature is you can look up my Radar reports from the mid-80s! And 90s. The database has changed engines over time, although I presume they stabilized on Oracle in some form with Ellison on the board.
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