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Did you see the developer forums refresh that launched yesterday?

This isn’t the first time Apple shipped updates to the developer forums shortly before WWDC. It also happened a few days before WWDC 2020 when we were all wondering what a virtual WWDC would look like! The forum refresh got lots of criticism then, but looking back they fared better than many thought they would.

My only request at the time was:

What I’m hoping for is that these forums receive the attention they need inside Apple. I hope the employees and engineers are being encouraged and given time to help out, not just in this coming week but permanently. 🤞

So, what’s new with this pre-WWDC 2024 refresh? Well, first of all, they look great. I have no notes on the design refresh. 👍

The categories and sub-categories are also great, and I like how they focus people’s attention on a broad selection of top-level topics rather than just coding. There are categories for Distribution and Marketing, Design, Graphics and Games, and even a Community category in addition to all the coding categories you’d expect. They all have RSS feeds, too. ❤️

But what about my only request? Four years seems like a good amount of time to see if Apple employees are being encouraged and given time to participate. The good news is that plenty of Apple folks are active, made obvious by the little Apple badge added to any thread where they are talking. Taking a couple of popular categories, I found that ~30% of recent threads had Apple involvement. That’s much better than I expected, and those categories all had threads spanning more than two weeks, so it’s not just a flurry of activity related to the launch of this refresh.

Looking at reply and view counts on threads in those same categories, it appears they are not particularly well visited, and most threads only had two-digit view counts. I’m sure that will change during WWDC, but let’s see if that influx of traffic plus the refresh turns them into the destination that the Swift forums have become, which are between one and two orders of magnitude more visited for a much more niche topic.

I’m happy to see Apple put more effort into these forums, and I hope they continue to grow and become a permanent venue for this community.

Dave Verwer  

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