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.XcodeSCMTemp

Speed mountains remain.


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Here's a directory created whenever Xcode for Leopard starts up. Paths may vary.

So far fairly innocent. But things now start to spin out of control. For on exiting Xcode for Leopard and pursuant to your not approving of the way the application suddenly behaves you get the following.

Note: this causes Xcode to crash. You have two buttons but they don't mean anything. Click either one and Xcode is toast.

Why should Xcode crash? It shouldn't. But what went wrong? It would seem the geniuses responsible for this latest incarnation decided to move the contents of /private/.../.XcodeSCMTemp to ~/.Xcode.

This wouldn't be half bad if:

  • The user was able to configure the location of this SCM data.
  • The user had actually opted to use this precise type of SCM data.

And for most developers neither of the above will hold. In the example above it's patently obvious there was nothing in the temporary directory anyway. And beyond: it's just silly to crash an entire application because you found your were unable to do something that:

  • Doesn't affect the stability of the application or its results - the code it generates.
  • Depends solely and entirely and exclusively on use of something the user might simply not want.

You crash an application because it's spun out of control - because it's going to crash anyway. You catch an exception and save the user from more commotion and afford (if possible) an orderly exit. That's the way it's supposed to work. That's the only situation where exception handling should be used.

Anything else is rank amateur.

There are a lot of 'speed bumps' that remain before professionals can take Leopard and its development tools seriously. Actually they're not so much bumps as they're mountains. The file system is an utter failure; the makeover of Interface Builder sure is pretty but it's godawful to use and it produces really lacklustre results; the compiler - which is GCC and not Apple - is better but the IDE - take a look again at the screenshots above.

For many reasons professional developers are going to keep Tiger and its ADC tools around for an awfully long time. And the great majority of them don't really believe Apple can undo the mistakes they've already made.

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