I’m : a programmer, writer, podcaster, geek, and coffee enthusiast.

Climbing back up

It’s been almost two weeks since I’ve had trouble seeing my home network’s shares, printing to the network printer, or screen-sharing with my home server, or since one of our computers or Apple TVs gained an erroneous “(2)” after its name.

It’s been almost two weeks since my Apple TV refused to see my iMac’s iTunes share, or since I had to restart iTunes and reboot the Apple TV or disable and re-enable Home Sharing to get them to (maybe) see each other.

In fact, it’s been almost two weeks since I’ve seen nearly any of the annoying, recurring problems that made me write, back in January, that Apple’s software quality had lost the functional high ground.

Not coincidentally, it’s been almost two weeks since Mac OS X 10.10.4 was released, which replaced the problematic discoveryd with the older, more reliable mDNSResponder. These system processes are responsible for tracking the network’s computers, names, and shared services, and discoveryd’s unreliability in these tasks caused erratic network problems like mine for a huge portion of Apple’s customers.

The entire decline of software quality that I felt in January wasn’t all due to a single buggy network-lookup service — but, unbeknownst to me at the time, a lot of it was. And that huge swath of problems that annoyed me every day disappeared instantly and completely as soon as I updated every computer on the network to

It’s still scary that such a critical component could ship in such a buggy state, breaking common tasks and tarnishing Apple’s reputation, without being fixed or reverted for almost a year.

But fixing this is major progress. And seeing the direction and priorities of iOS 9 and El Capitan, I have high hopes that we’re moving in the right direction again.

  1. discoveryd persists on the iOS devices in the house that aren’t running the iOS 9 beta, and the Apple TVs, but upgrading the Macs has fixed every noticeable network-related issue in my daily use. ↩︎