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Sad news for STV from WWDC


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#1 Tarek

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Posted 10 June 2016 - 07:21 AM

As you guys have probably heard by now, the new Xcode 8 will disable all third party Xcode plugins, and STV is no exception.

 

I've tried experimenting with almost everything since the announcement, and the only way I could get STV to work was by unsigning the Xcode executable binary, and even that had some issues (not sure if it's due to the unsigning or for Xcode being still in beta). Since Xcode unsigning is not a production-level procedure that we can enforce on our customers, it goes without saying that this doesn't look good at all for the future of STV and Sensible Cocoa.

 

Here is what you need to know:

  • If you're using any of STV's visual IB features, your Storyboard will stop loading in Xcode 8, and your project will not compile.
  • If you're only using STV in code, your project will compile normally and you will not be affected by this.
  • Even though we were able to get STV running on Xcode 8 by unsigning it, this is a very hacky solution and is not guaranteed to work on future Xcode versions.

 

We will do our very best to help you guys port your STV visual IB elements back into code. Some ideas we're experimenting with is adding a "Copy Code to Clipboard" button on all visual IB data definitions. We also welcome any other ideas or suggestions you guys might have.

 

I'd like to close by saying that while I understand the reasons behind Apple closing Xcode like this, it completely baffles me that they did not provide the huge Xcode plugin community with any other alternatives or even a roadmap for what's coming in future Xcode versions. The right thing to do was giving at least a 1-year heads-up to the community, and providing a roadmap for what will and will not be possible to do in the future. I can't help but feel immensely disrespected by Apple here.

 

Tarek



#2 Donovan Dillon

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Posted 10 June 2016 - 09:06 AM

Hi Tarek,

 

That is disappointing, and I agree, very disrespectful of Apple to handle something this potentially disruptive in such a thoughtless manner. The Apple I like to believe I know would not do what is implied so I am hopeful that there will be support for plugins detailed in a future announcement. 

 

After reading your post, I searched for references to disabling Xcode plugins and came across this VentureBeat article: http://venturebeat.c...nsions-in-beta/

 

The article suggests that plugins may be handled in a new manner as "extensions."

 

Can you comment on this possibility?

 

"Keep hope alive"

 

Donovan


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#3 Tarek

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Posted 10 June 2016 - 09:16 AM

Thank you, Donovan.

 

The new Xcode 8 extensions only cover a really minor part of Xcode, which is the source code editor, and it covers it in a very limited way too. You can learn more about Xcode 8 extensions in the second part of this WWDC video.



#4 Donovan Dillon

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Posted 10 June 2016 - 09:46 AM

Hmmm .. Hopefully the community will make some noise and prompt Apple to address this. I've already started. Please check your email.



#5 ozie

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Posted 10 June 2016 - 04:26 PM

maybe Apple will create some type of "official" plugin system for developers to use.. like we now have to get the apps approved, maybe plugins might get something similar.. well i hope so anyways

next obj-c will be out and there is no way I'm going to learn swift


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P.S. I hate Swift.. don't talk Swift.. Too old school to learn yet another programming language.


#6 Dave Guerin

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Posted 11 June 2016 - 02:30 AM

Hi Tarek,

 

This is indeed sad news! The code side of STV is still amazing so I'm hoping that STV will still be around for years to come. I could NOT imagine dealing with UITableView without STV!

 

 

There is discussion about the Xcode 8 plug-in changes here:

 

https://github.com/a...traz/issues/475

 

Of particular interest is one comment here:

 

https://github.com/a...mment-226090731

 

 

where pdcgomes commented, and I quote:

 

"Managed to sit down with some of the Xcode engineers that are working on Xcode Extensions earlier today. As expected, anything that doesn't involve pure text manipulation can't really be achieved with the current extension point. 
The good news is that this is just the beginning and they're very keen on getting as much feedback as they possibly can, so definitely submit radars with very clear use case cases.
 
Unfortunately there are no clear timelines, so who knows how long it'll take until we have a rich public API and more extension points.
 
And yes, they've confirmed that by removing code signing, existing plugins will work. Having that said, it adds even more friction to the whole process, so the average user will probably either opt out or just be completely unaware of it. The way forward is to definitely clearly document valid use cases and file radars.
 
Both sad and exciting times ahead."
 
 
Tarek, if you could submit a Radar, and publish it at https://openradar.appspot.com as well, we could all then duplicate the Radar. As Radars normally require source code, and our license prohibits us distributing STV source code, then any example code needs to come from Sensible Cocoa.
 
There is already at least one Radar about plugin issues:
 
 
 
I not expecting Apple to add support for the STV plugin immediately in Xcode 8, but a few duplicated Radars would hopefully at least get it visible to the Xcode team.
 
 
Unsigning the Xcode binary is not the way forward. I'm expecting Apple to require a signed Xcode to upload app binaries to iTunes Connect in the future. They want to avoid a repeat of the https://en.wikipedia...wiki/XcodeGhost issue from last  year.
 
And Ozie, Swift is coming, although all the Swift I've so far used has broken in Xcode 8, especially if I go to Swift 3. It is the future though. Just more to learn!
 
 
 
 

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Cheers,

Dave

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#7 Tarek

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Posted 11 June 2016 - 05:56 AM

Thank you so much @dave, I love what you said. We have some contacts @Apple and they will be advising us on how to move forward in the coming few days.


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#8 Everett

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Posted 11 June 2016 - 07:50 PM

Hi Tarek,

 

When I first heard about the official Xcode extensions, I was kinda happy,  I didn't realize at that time that it would have a detrimental impact to STV. But I'm bummed now.

 

I would like to echo Dave's words about what a fantastic product your team has created. I've had the pleasure of using it in my shipping apps for about 5 years now and I'm always excited to find out what amazing new things STV can do whenever a new version is released. I've also enjoyed the great support from both yourself and from many of the other enthusiasts on the support forums.

 

I've been thrilled to see how the product and the community have grown with the introduction of the visual approach.  I can't help but recall the irony of my early days with STV as a "storyboard" fan, and how supporting it was almost an after thought.  People would say, "sure, maybe you can get that to work, but why bother .. here's some code, just drop it in viewDidLoad".    Now, your team has done some amazing things using those dreadful storyboards you warned me away from years ago! lol.

 

I really hope that Apple get's their head on straight and provides some type of solution for tooling developers like STV to integrate in Xcode. This situation has a little of the "sandboxing on the Mac" stink to it.  I hope they don't let this situation linger on.

 

But if not, viewDidLoad is still an option and the approach still works in either objc or swift :) (Swift 3 btw really looks appealing)

 

Tarek, I only imagine how terrible this must feel at the moment, but don't lose hope or be discouraged.  STV is still a wonderful, state of the art product, so just keep innovating like you have been and you'll continue to attract new developers to the framework and keep loyal ones like me.

 

best of luck,

Ev


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#9 Tarek

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Posted 11 June 2016 - 10:17 PM

I really appreciate every word you said Ev :)))



#10 ozie

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Posted 24 June 2016 - 11:59 PM

now what is it that the plugin for STV really controls?

If STV controls were @IBDesignable then we should still get all the control items in the IB to use?

templates would still work?

 

what is it that the plugin functions to do in the end? does the plugin just add STV controls to xcode object library in IB for the nice and easy use of simple user friendly drag and drop?

 

Oz


P.S. I hate Swift.. don't talk Swift.. Too old school to learn yet another programming language.


#11 Tarek

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Posted 25 June 2016 - 06:33 AM

Hi Oz,

 

The STV plugin mainly converts all the visual STV UI elements you drop on the Storyboard into code, which is something @IBInspectable can never do. The plugin also handles all the visual renderings on the Storyboard, such as drawing the Data Definitions, sections, complex inspectors, etc. Finally, it also automatically detects the relationships (segues) between your different view controllers, cells to VCs, buttons, etc.



#12 ozie

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Posted 25 June 2016 - 04:37 PM

ahhh


P.S. I hate Swift.. don't talk Swift.. Too old school to learn yet another programming language.


#13 halldorg

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Posted 02 August 2016 - 06:52 AM

Hi Tarek,

Is there a clear direction now on where those who use STV in IB should be heading?

 

Thanks,

Halldor



#14 Tarek

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Posted 02 August 2016 - 11:47 AM

Hi Halldor,

It's seems that the latest Xcode beta does allow a workaround, but we really didn't want to get your hopes up before Xcode 8 GM has shipped and we're 100% sure (Apple has never confirmed if this workaround will be available in later Xcode versions). As of now, we still can't confirm that you'll be able to use STV's IB features in Xcode 8.



#15 halldorg

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Posted 04 August 2016 - 04:51 AM

Thanks Tarek.



#16 Tarek

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Posted 07 September 2016 - 04:16 PM

Xcode 8 GM Update:

 

I can confirm that we now have a version of STV's plugin that is compatible with Xcode 8. As discussed earlier however, Xcode must be unsigned in order for STV's IB integration to work. We will now finalize testing and try and submit an app to the App Store, just to make sure Apple doesn't reject apps developed with an unsigned Xcode version. If all goes well, we will then release the updated plugin for all users.

 

Please take note of the following:

 

  • Until we release the new plugin, please keep your existing Xcode 7 version along with Xcode 8, as you won't be able to open your STV Storyboards in Xcode 8 just yet.
  • After we release the new plugin, please only use it as a means to view and compile your existing projects. We strongly recommend that you don't use STV's IB features anymore in new projects. We even recommend you don't use them when creating new view controllers in already existing projects.
  • Even though the new plugin works with the current Xcode 8 version (unsigned), we can never guarantee that it will work with any future versions.

 

Thanks,

Tarek


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#17 Dave Guerin

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Posted 12 September 2016 - 08:21 AM

Hi Tarek,

 

I've only done limited testing with the Xcode betas but the code side of STV 5.3.0 looks to be functioning as expected with the iOS 10 betas :-)

 

Is there going to be a "Copy Code to Clipboard" button, as you mentioned in your first post, in the next version of STV? Or should I manually convert my storyboard back to code. I have one app that is almost all STV code apart from one view so it seems like the sensible (non pun intended) thing to do in this case.

 

 

 

 


Cheers,

Dave

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#18 Tarek

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Posted 13 September 2016 - 02:50 PM

Hi Dave,

 

Thanks a lot for your feedback! :)

 

The "Copy Code to Clipboard" solution was suggested in worst case scenarios where we're not able to run the plugin at all on Xcode 8. Due to the complexity of a typical STV storyboard, this would have only addressed a minor part of the problem. Thankfully, we are able to run on Xcode 8 and won't be needing this (at least for now).


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#19 halldorg

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Posted 05 October 2016 - 02:07 AM

Hi Tarek,

Is there any expected release date for the new plugin?

 

Best regards,

Halldor



#20 Tarek

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Posted 05 October 2016 - 09:47 AM

Hi Halldor,

 

We're actually already behind track, but hoping to release by Oct 15th, max. We are having issues with Xcode 8 generating errors for the AutoLayout constraints generated by STV in IB. We were also having some IB crashes happen but these mostly got sorted out.


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