Web 0.1: Apple: please hire some web developers

I can no longer develop iPhone Apps. I am on my eighth attempt to download the 1.75Gb 2.2.1 SDK – without which, XCode refuses to even talk to my iPhone any more, because I allowed the iPhone to upgrade.

EDIT: I have it! I HAVE IT! YES! NO MORE PRAYING TO THE GODS OF ****ING APPLE’S CRAPPY WEB SERVER! (it’s probably a corrupted download)

The problem?

Sheer mind-numbing incompetence by Apple’s web team, it would seem (NB: I may be wrong; I haven’t tried packet-sniffing the HTTP traffic to prove this beyond all doubt, but my experiments with different browsers and different ISP’s strongly indicate it is the case). They’ve (mis)configured the webserver over at developer.apple.com to kill partial downloads of this monstrous file.

If you cannot download the whole thing before Apple automatically logs you out of their website (which they do every half an hour or so if you don’t actively surf the site), then your download is cancelled, server-side. You cannot resume from where you left off (their web server refuses to honour the HTTP command that tells it to resume a partial download).

What did they do wrong?

It’s a session-management problem – you CAN pause and resume a minute or two later. Just not half an hour later.

The other major bugs in the Apple websites (including that force logout!) suggest that some novice web programmer made a half-assed Session-management system that, well, sucks. (am I sounding angry? Hell yes; Apple’s website is behaving like some naive bricks-and-mortar company from 1999, not 2009). Or maybe they picked up a 3rd party one … that sucked. Whatever. It seems the session-manager is overriding Apache’s built-in support for this core element of HTTP, and saying “no”. For no reason other than bad web coding.

In passing, I noticed that they are *still* (allegedly – it’s easy to fake) running the same version of the Apache webserver that they’ve been shipping by default with OS X Server for some years now – a version that is more than 4 years old, 8 versions behind the current “maintenance” release, and 1 major version behind the “mainstream” release. Personally, I wouldn’t run Apache 1.x if you paid me, not with 2.x out there and running a “proper” webserver arch (apache 1.x is not a real webserver, it’s a hack using forks that makes it unnecessarily slow under heavy load).

</rant>