Weeknotes 2

  • I have joined Signal, as have a healthy majority of frequent contacts.

  • This week I endured my first engagement with Apple’s ‘Feedback Assistant’, the bug reporting tool shipped with macOS. Coincidentally, just this week I’d listened to ATP #411: Are My Instructions Not Clear?, where the hosts debate the numerous fundamental issues with the process at length. It did not fill me with hope.

    The bug in question causes my system to intermittently hang for 1 - 2 seconds when typing into the Safari address bar. It only seems to happen when typing English words and not random letters. It has endured all the usual suspects such as an SMC and NVRAM reset and disabling all Safari extensions. I recorded a short video of the bug as part of the report.

    The first steps of submitting a report are pretty good, asking for information about which application and feature are affected. I provide some more contextual information like if any specific URLs trigger the bug (they don’t) or if I have any extensions enabled (I don’t). All good so far.

    By far, the most frustrating part of the report is collecting a sysdiagnose. Essentially, this is a log of the system’s current state and can help diagnose recent issues. The tool automatically collects a sysdiagnose, which would be excellent if I didn’t learn that the bug needs to have just happened to be caught by a sysdignose. Some googling led me to instructions on triggering a sysdiagnose collection manually, and I was able to capture one a few seconds after reproducing the bug in Safari. Good luck to anyone trying to capture a sysdiagnose for a bug that is difficult to reproduce!

  • In our continuation of performance-related improvements at work, we picked up a copy of the newly released ‘The Ruby on Rails Performance Apocrypha’ by Nate Berkopec. This quote resonated with me, and I’m pondering how we can apply this.

Best-practice-driven development allows lazy decision-making and usually does not lead to results, as each organisation is a unique case. Instead, we can apply a more rigorous scientific process for determining the course of our performance work, using precise measurement and abundant experimentation.

  • Apple notified me that my free three-month trial of Fitness+ would expire if I didn’t redeem it within a few days, so here we are. Apple Watch integration is truly seamless. It’s not that technically impressive, but it makes it more fun and engaging. I’m finding the instructors a bit cringeworthy and somewhat intimidating. Let’s see how it goes.