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The Ghost of Scott Forstall

Posted by C.S. Hsia on · Comments

Near the end of July, the tech world was stunned by the news that Apple's developer portal was hacked. What was shocking wasn't the actual hacking itself, nor was it the news that the responsible culprit was a responsible (pun intended) Turkish security researcher. The truly surprising fact what that he reported the findings via Apple's bug reporting interface.

To most people in the technology community, this was the first time they'd ever heard of this site. It was even more traumatizing for recent Apple converts. For these folks, they were shocked to see an Apple website covered with glossy beads. OMG! Did the ghost of Scott Forstall return and cover Apple's developer site in stale candy?

No, that's just a button (gasp! and it's a JPEG!). It's actually the same Aqua button that kicked off the whole "Web 2.0" design trend.

Classic Login Button

Humor aside, for a company that preached design consistency, it's astonishing to see such little care given to the bug reporting aspect of their website. While developers, whom I'm guessing are the intended users of this page, are used to staring at command prompts, they do so not because it's old and tasteless, but because it's elegant and efficient. A website that looks and works like it dates back to 2002 is neither elegance nor efficient. It means it shoud be running on an iMac G3 so that the column headers will match the menu bar in OS X 10.2.

Bug Report Interface

Each day millions of dollars are lost as the result of software problems found by customers yet unreported. While I'm thrilled to see Apple and Microsoft feature sites that allow users to report bugs (I'm looking at you, Google), is it too much to ask that they make the experience less painful, or at least not covered with decade old candy?.