The Systems-That-Work Edition Saturday, June 1, 2019

Apple Putting Finishing Touches On WWDC Decorations At McEnery Convention Center, by Eric Slivka, MacRumors

The first WWDC 2019 events kick off in just two days with the early arrival of student scholars, and Apple is putting the finishing touches on decorations at and around the McEnery Convention Center in San Jose.

iTunes: An Error Occurred, by Allen Pike

There will surely be naysayers that claim iTunes should have been tossed entirely. And admittely, if the new Music app ditches iTunes’ interface but can’t cure its deep and baffling love for obtuse modal error dialogs, I too will bemoan its preservation. But arguing for code to be rewritten just because it’s old has never been the right way to build systems that work.

And whatever the composition and fate of this new app, you really have to hand it to iTunes for getting this far. Seriously, this app has been keeping the beat for almost 20 years. It has survived a veritable hurricane of scope creep and strategy taxes. It was a key part of Apple’s growth from charming underdog to singular goliath.

iOS Developer Alex Paul Shares His Incredible Immigration Story, by Hanna Flanagan, People

“I had a problem, so I went into the app store to see if an app that keeps an inventory of the paint colors you used existed,” Paul tells PEOPLE. “Nothing came up.”

Rather than wait around for someone else to solve it, Paul took matters into his own hands. He taught himself coding and created an app called “What Paint.” His development turned a profit, but it would be another two years before Paul would finally receive a green card and land a tech job.

The Dark Side Of Dark Mode, by Adam Engst, TidBITS

Unfortunately, Apple’s marketing claims about Dark Mode’s benefits fly in the face of the science of human visual perception. Except in extraordinary situations, Dark Mode is not easy on the eyes, in any way. The human eyes and brain prefer dark-on-light, and reversing that forces them to work harder to read text, parse controls, and comprehend what you’re seeing.

It may be hip and trendy, but put bluntly, Dark Mode makes everyone who turns it on slower and stupider. Here’s why you should switch back to the Light mode that your eyes and brain prefer in System Preferences > General.


All Versions Of macOS Losing Back To My Mac iCloud Feature In July, by Michael Potuck, 9to5Mac

Apple removed the Back to My Mac iCloud feature from macOS Mojave last fall after giving a heads up about its removal in August. Now, an update to the support document for the feature warns users that Back to My Mac will be discontinued in July for what sounds like all macOS versions.


Can Apple Be Trusted With The App Store?, by Chaim Gartenberg, The Verge

At best, Apple’s stewardship here is inconsistent; at worst, it’s biased in favor of its own services. Neither of those reasons says anything positive about Apple’s ability to successfully run or moderate the App Store in a fair manner. [...] It all highlights the biggest problems with Apple’s walled garden, which is that you live or die by Apple’s whim. Even if you’re a developer who’s been building an app for years, the whole thing can be yanked out from under you in an instant simply because Apple changed the rules of the game.

As China Takes Aim, Silicon Valley Braces For Pain, by David Streitfeld, New York Times

The Chinese government said Friday that it was putting together an “unreliable entities list,” a counterattack against the United States for denying important technology to Chinese companies. No companies were named or details given, but tech firms seemed all but assured of being a prime target.

As the economic relationship between the two countries frays at warp speed, the much-anticipated tech cold war is escalating.