Well…there has been another article written by another high profile Apple orientated journalist, Walt Mossberg, regarding the ‘declining quality of Apple’s software’ ( link ) which was then followed up by a podcast by Marco Arment, Casey Liss, and John Siracusa ( link ) where there was the issue of the iCloud synchronisation issue being touched on. It appears that every so many months there is another cycle of wailing and gnashing of teeth over the decline of Apple’s software quality then Apple in the next month or two release a slew of updates, feedback arrives from the trenches that things are going well, an uneasy quiet then followed by another cycle of Apple’s software is declining once more – anyone getting the feeling that it is almost like the Slashdot meme years ago of ‘BSD is dying’?
As I’ve said in a previous post, look at it within context to everything else that exists on the market – there is no use looking at something in isolation because it gives no point of reference other than the demand of perfection the complaining when that perfection isn’t reached. At least in the case of comparison you can have a point of reference and first of all see whether the problem is unique to OS X or iCloud or whether, due to the complex nature of what is trying to be achieved, that these sorts of problems are unavoidable but they will eventually get addressed. The biggest problem as far as I see is their iCloud service but the leaked information so far is that they’re looking at replacing the back end infrastructure of multiple services (iCloud, iTunes, Siri etc) with a new backend ( link ) however I am unsure whether iCloud is referring to everything, including the email, or whether it is only such things as Notes, iMessage and so on.
Currently today for their email, CalDAV and CardDAV server they use Oracle Communications Messaging Server so I can’t see them moving away from that because I’d be dumbfounded as to what they would replace it with. Assuming that they decided to go with a custom setup then it would require them to have its own in house programmers to take care and maintain which although gives Apple the benefit of having the source code to resolve problems in a timely manner it also means taking on a lot of work in house that would have otherwise been outsource to their software vendor who would have taken care of the details. When it comes to the backend technology mentioned in the aforementioned link (the one that goes to Mac Rumors) it appears that many of the components they’re going to rely on are very much in a state of flux particularly when it comes to API stability such as Mesos which has had already several API compatibility breakages with 0.27 being the latest which make some believe that if there is a long term plan I can’t see them doing anything until there is some stabilisation as to avoid them having to chase a moving target and continuously testing and debugging against that moving target (which would make the situation worse than it is today as customer issues would be difficult to track down and correct in a timely manner).