My new project: Tact, a simple chat app.

A fairy tale about Apple code signing

January 10, 2022

It is the year 2035.

We all use Xcode 25 (VR) on our Apple Glasses and iPad to develop new Magic Reality experiences and ship them to the Magic Store for billions of people to download.

Everything is smooth and shiny.

Except once in a while, when preparing your app, you get the error:

Code signing error > Requires provisioning profile

Nobody knows what this means exactly, or why it appears. Nobody remembers the time when “computers” and “command line” were still a thing. Except a few old men with long beards, called Provisioning Oracles. They live in a cave. The journey there is long and treacherous, yet all Apple platform developers must undertake it once in a while, lest they be forever stuck with this error.

The old men still master the long lost art of command line, Apple developer portal navigation and messing around in Keychain Assistant.

You sigh and take the journey.

“Another one?” They shake their head. But it’s not with contempt. It is with great compassion and understanding. “Come forward, young one. Let’s look at it together. We have seen many like you.”

You sign in to your developer account together. You then step away from the keyboard, and the bearded wise man starts his incantations. You watch with amazement as screenfuls of stuff flash by, as he does things you do not even begin to comprehend.

“There. I fixed your keys and profiles for you. It builds again.”

As you prepare to leave and start to offer your thanks and perhaps some payment, and say goodbye, the old bearded man shakes their head.

“Do not thank me. Thank Apple in their infinite wisdom to give us this great system that is beyond the comprehension of mortals, yet enables us to build magical things. Your greatest thanks to me is that you go forth and build more magical things.”

“Now, leave. The day is ahead of you.”

“And perhaps this is a goodbye, but not farewell. I know you will be back.”