I decided a while back to cancel my Dropbox subscription, for a variety of reasons I won’t get into here. In doing so, it put me in the “free tier” of Dropbox, which only grants 2GB, and I have much, much more than that.

So I decided to try to clean it up using Dropbox’s web application. Aside from the constant reminders that I’m out of space and that I should upgrade, the web application (and the iOS application, for that matter) refuse the cooperate in deleting files. I get a number of obtuse or useless error messages:

  • “Could not delete X items.” — Hmm, okay. WHY? It won’t say, and repeated attempts results in the same stupid error message.
  • “Too many files in one request. Please try again with fewer files.” — I’ve gotten this one trying to delete a folder that contains nothing. Good job, Dropbox. Ship it.

Call me cynical, but it seems like this kind of stupidity is deliberately programmed into the applications, in an attempt to get me to upgrade. But if your company is this malicious (I’m looking at you, Apple-of-recent-days), I will not be giving you my money. And if it’s because the software is just that bad, I will not be giving you my money.

Dropbox used to be cool and useful, and they’ve outgrown their britches (*cough* Apple *cough*). Full of hubris, cruft, and money-grubbing shenanigans. No thanks.

I’m terrible at writing consistently (I’ve thought about it a lot; I just never get to it), so here’s a summary of what’s been going on.

I made some progress on my SweetRPG project, touching on a number of areas. I wanted to make sure there was a consistent, reliable CI/CD process with unit tests, version tagging, and deployment. I wanted to use Kubernetes, so I setup a small cluster using kubeadm, and setup Flux to handle the deployments. I also setup multiple Python packages with automated build and deployment to PyPI. I also made the backend open source. But, work has stalled due to a variety of reasons.

I started exploring mod development for Minecraft and Forge. My wife and her cousin wanted a cat mod similar to Doggy Talents, so I started working on one. That’s my current diversion.

I bought a new M1 MacBook Pro, even though I think the notch is probably one of the stupidest design decisions Apple has ever made. (They’ve completely gone off the deep end: they continue to be capricious with App Review, burn developer trust, and even though they’re the most valuable company ever, continue to display greedier and greedier behavior. I’ve also let my developer program membership lapse.) I would switch back to Linux or Windows 11, but I have too much invested in this platform right now, and too much muscle memory, that I don’t want to relearn everything. Once Apple crashes and burns because of their own self-inflicted stupidity, I’ll move somewhere else.

I made another attempt to start working on a web application in Swift with Vapor. It didn’t get very far.

Apple introduces things like Property Wrappers, and the Vapor project responds by rewriting the entire framework, leaving behind work only partially done for serious web application components like JSON API, and the authors of those projects can’t keep up or lose interest.

Looks like it’s back to reliable and feature-complete Python and Flask.

Apple needs to release to the development community whatever IDE they are using internally, because there is no way they can write an operating system or other applications with the joke IDE Xcode.

Or, maybe they are using Xcode internally, and that explains why their software sucks so badly of late. 👿

Here is a list of the things I’m trying to work on, programming-wise:

Fantasy Grounds

  • Extension for storing spell types and custom spell setups when using magic in Genesys
  • Extension that supports journey mechanics and logging (in the vein of Adventures in Middle-Earth) for D&D 5e, Pathfinder, Genesys, and The One Ring

Mac Applications

  • A document manager application for tagging and organizing documents on the computer
  • A homeschool management application

Xcode has become more and more bloated. The download package is 11GB now, so it takes forever to download and install. The installation fails repeatedly from the Mac App Store app, and then starts over from the beginning of the download when you try again (ever heard of caching, Apple?). And after all these years, it’s still not even a good IDE.

It’s very sad to see the way that your company is behaving in this fight with Epic Games. To be clear, it’s just that: a schoolyard dust-up between a couple of immature boys.

But it’s more than that.

While your company still makes some great products, it’s becoming more apparent that the company is not made up of great people. The actions of your Developer Relations organization have been spiteful and vindictive, as well as capricious and hypocritical.

You keep your platform closed, hiding behind the banner of “user privacy”, but I’m certain that there’s more to it. The scrappy start-ups, like Apple of yesteryear, aren’t afraid of the competition. It’s the behemoths who hoard their wealth, who stomp on anything that comes close, who become territorial and possessive, who stifle any competition, for fear of losing those precious dollars for which they’ve worked so hard. That’s what Apple has become.

You claim to respect user privacy, but it appears that you respect nothing else, save perhaps the Almighty Dollar. You’re the most valuable company in the world right now, and you still act like you need to squeeze every last penny from everything around you.

You’ve become a bully.

While you may or may not be doing anything illegal, it’s certainly unethical, and lacks any sort of decent moral compass.

Your words to Congress recently were duplicitous and danced around the real issue, which you fully understood, and you took advantage of the ignorance of the politicians questioning you. I thought you were better than that.

While I will probably continue to use my Mac and iOS devices, it is with regret. You no longer have my loyalty, because it’s clear that you don’t really care.


Paul Schifferer