Members answering questions about Apple frameworks

Hello everybody,

I've noticed a lot more questions regarding Apple frameworks recently, and a lot more members helping to troubleshoot those problems.

It's great that we have such a welcoming community of people eager to help others, but I'd like to remind everybody that Apple has requested that all such questions be asked on the official Apple developer forums.

Please help to keep this community tidy. When others see that questions regarding, say, SwiftUI, are routinely asked and answered on these forums, it leads them to think this is the appropriate place to ask their own questions. The best way to help those developers is to direct them to the appropriate forum.

Thank you.

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It'd probably help if the official Apple Developer Forum wasn't an unusable dead void where questions go to die and never be seen... Just a thought. :upside_down_face:

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When composing a new post, the forum software gives useful hints on similar post, and asks the user to consider if an existing post perhaps already has the answer they're looking for.

Could it be possible to e.g. detect mentions of Apple framework and class names and direct the user to the Apple Developer Forums? Or at least mention it, so the user can consider their actions? Maybe through a Discourse plugin, perhaps?

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I've been wondering the same. Currently, if I try to create a topic called "SwiftUI text", I get the following suggestions:

Which really doesn't help; it certainly makes it seem like this is the right place. A few of them are labelled "off-topic", but that's clearly not a strong enough signal.

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I'd like to provide a different perspective. In my opinion SwiftUI transforms the Swift language. Many SwiftUI questions are actually Swift questions in disguise. It's pity to pretend that's not the case.

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Some SwiftUI questions are really Swift questions - for example, this one happens to mention SwiftUI in the title because that's where the author encountered it, but it's really about the property-wrapper language feature. On the other hand, we also have a lot of questions like this one, which are about view layout problems, or like the thread you posted recently about data consistency between @Binding and @Environment property wrappers. Those threads are looking for framework support, not language support.

It's fair enough when new or inexperienced users come by and are unsure of the difference. If it is not clearly a language issue (and they can't reduce it), they should go to the ADF first.

But what we're seeing now is more and more users who are fully aware of the difference but disregard it. They either ask or answer questions even when they know this is not the appropriate place to do so. It creates a worse experience for members who don't care about SwiftUI or other Apple SDK frameworks, as now interesting topics are lost in a sea of threads asking why their views are not properly aligned and other such questions.

But the reason why these threads are considered off-topic is not just because they'd drown out every other discussion; it's because Apple has specifically asked that we not act as a support forum for their SDK frameworks.

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Just for the record, I have been in the forum for one year. I have only asked 2 SwiftUI questions, including the one I asked yesterday. I brought up that question because in my opinion that's a basic and fundamental issue I can't help wonder how the people in the forum think about it (many people here also do UI programming).

But I'm not mentioning that as an excuse. If I were you I would be unhappy too. So once you pointed it out and I stopped.

I made the above comments not because I'm unhappy but because I don't think it works. This is not the first time someone bring up the topic and won't be the last. We'll see how soon someone will bring up SwiftUI question again. If we really want to solve the issue, we can't pretend it's an non-issue.

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It would be good to do as @sveinhal suggested and have a notice when somebody tries to post a topic about SwiftUI. Perhaps that would be more effective against users who accidentally post in the wrong forum.

But even that would not be effective if members who know the rules still ignore them.

Regardless, it isn't a matter of opinion. Apple (who operate this forum) have said they don't want it providing support for their SDK frameworks, and we should instead direct users to the actual support site. That's all there is to say about it.

I'd also suggest to remove SwiftUI tag (or perhaps off-topic tag also). What are they intended for?

I find in most discussion about this topic it's often pointed out this is a website run by Apple, but ignore the fact this is also a site for Swift open source community and many people in this community use Swift for UI programming.

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A hypothetical question: if someone comes up here with an open source project that implements SwiftUI lookalike on missing platforms (say, iOS 12, macOS 14, or Linux, or Android, etc) do you think that would that be appropriate for "related projects section" of this forum? Note, there would be many questions about "real swiftUI" itself "in order to understand it better to replicate it one to one". It would be akin to Foundation topics being discussed here frequently.

Don't know why exactly it is the case, but I share that sentiment. I wish there was a not so dead place for SwiftUI / etc topics related to Apple ecosystem (however close that ecosystem is). stackoverflow is ok-ish.

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The boundary (as I understand it) is quite clear: if you're seeking support for an Apple SDK framework, ask on Apple's developer forums/StackOverflow/Reddit/Twitter/etc, but not here. This site does not provide that support.

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On this particular one: there needs to be a mechanism on discourse that allows you to filter wanted/unwanted categories/tags, etc, because this argument can be brought up against anything (e.g. some related projects of this forum you don't care about.)

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Anyone can create new tags, including #swiftui, #swiftui-printing, #swiftui-hierachical-, or even #tt. In contrast, #notatag is not a tag.


I, for one, also tuned out of Apple-related questions. Be it asking for actual general language support as it may; I don't even read the content if the title refers to anything about SwiftUI or AppKit.

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i really question the wisdom of turning away people coming here with macOS/iOS-related questions. these forums are the best place for people to learn about pure swift, foundationless swift, server-side swift, etc. and we should really be encouraging the Apple frameworks people to get out of their comfort zone and break out of the Apple bubble instead of shooing them away. if people want to discuss Apple frameworks here instead of on the Apple forums, we should be encouraging that, because it will give them more exposure to swift on non-Apple platforms.

i get that it’s annoying for the forum to get cluttered with Apple framework-related topics. i’m not interested in those topics at all either, but this is fundamentally a forum implementation problem. the fact that the forum doesn’t have a better mechanism for sorting or grouping the topics here doesn’t mean that this site getting more visitors is a bad thing.

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There is already such mechanism in Discourse. Any user can mute any category and stop seeing new topics in it. There's "CI Notifications" category that I have muted, and I wonder if it's muted for all users by default?

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i don’t really want to hide them as much as i want to group them into separate “zones” on the site. for example, if a bunch of people are in the Apple-related area asking about JSONDecoder, that’s a great opportunity to tell them about swift-json or any of the other great pure-swift frameworks members of this community have created.

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I can tell you what would happen. You might be the world's foremost expert in JSON parsing and have spent years perfecting your library; it doesn't matter. The first comment will be "why not use Foundation?", and the second, third, fourth and fifth comments will all be "What's the benefit?", "I don't understand", "I don't trust it unless it's from Apple", "Best practice is to use the tools in the SDK", etc.

And once the audience of iOS developers are here, we'll get flooded by Youtubers promoting their channels.

None of this matters because again, Apple have said they don't want this forum to be their SDK support site. IMHO, we benefit immensely from that, and it means things like server-side Swift and all the related projects actually have a forum where they can have some visibility and where developers can get some actual support. This forum has its own kind of identity which is a result of its limited scope, and broadening that scope would very much change the kinds of discussions that are had here. "Be careful what you wish for", as they say.

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yep! i can confirm that’s exactly what happens. it’s really annoying. but on the other hand, at least these people would know about (insert pure-swift framework here), and if even a few of them decide to switch to a cross-platform framework, that’s a win for us.

to get visibility, we need to get better at convincing people to give server-side swift a try in the first place. i just don’t think people decide to learn swift thinking they’re going to use it on AWS. they decide to learn swift thinking they’re going to make an iPhone app, and then they realize that they can use swift for their entire stack, not just the iPhone endpoint. if we don’t make more of an effort to win over the iPhone people, we’re not going to end up with a lot of server-side swift users.

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I understand that none of our posts here may change the opinion of people maintaining the forum WRT to redirecting SDK users to other forums. But on a related note, I don't think there's a need to be condescending to iOS developers (I'm one of them, and find this stereotyping to be offensive). iOS developer community is known to be friendly and welcoming, I hope these forums can stay that way to to everyone, regardless of their target OS preferences.

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That isn't intended; it's clearly a large and diverse community. At the same time, Apple's advice is typically that developers on their platforms should prefer the tools they make available in their SDKs, so of course they would be less open to alternatives, as it goes against the platform maintainer's advice. That is not a condescending or stereotyped position. I'm not sure why your first thought would be to assume it was meant in that manner.

Anyway, there is no point in this particular part of the discussion. The policy has been this way since the forums started, and questioning that policy is not the purpose of this thread.