Whatever happened to Xcode?

Lately, it’s getting harder and harder for me to work with Xcode, and this is bad, really bad, because it’s my main work tool. Although I do backend, frontend and Android development, I develop mainly for iOS, and have been doing that for years. During all these years, Xcode has had some minor issues on some releases, but has always been a delightful tool for developing… until lately.

Some time ago, Apple introduced this SourceKitService service into Xcode, apparently in charge of managing the source code representation, from syntax highlighting to autocompletion suggestions. From the very beginning, this component, alongside the introduction of Swift into the equation, have been a source of problems, crashes and bad performance issues in Xcode.

The latest Xcode release takes 10.65 Gb from my hard drive. It’s massively heavy, and the user interface is laggy as hell. My laptop is a late 2015 MacBook Pro, 3,1 GHz Intel Core i7, 16 GB 1867 MHz DDR3, 512Gb SSD drive. It costed more than 3000€. It’s not the latest or greatest MacBook pro, but it’s supposed to be an awesome machine, and it performs flawlessly for everything else, from audio/video edition to design to photography manipulation. It was also working without performance issues until the latest versions of Xcode.

Now, when I type in the editor, I feel like I’m typing through an SSH session. It’s laggy and slow, and I can finish writing a line of code and then watch Xcode spend 2-3 seconds actually displaying that line of code on screen. That’s not a good developer experience, and it’s something that shocks me as a something from the past (you know, JBuilder and all that Java stuff from the late 90s/early 2000s).

Besides, as you can see in this video, my CPU skyrockets as soon as I start writing something in Xcode. I have tried everything, from removing the DerivedData folder and restarting to regenerating the project from scratch, with no result. This is not a one-time issue, there’s simply something going terribly wrong with Xcode, and it’s getting worse. Why does Xcode need to take 10,65Gb of space in my hard drive? Why is a top MacBook pro from just two years ago incapable of running a tool built from the same guys that developed the hardware in a fluid and reasonably fast way?

Am I alone? Are you experiencing the same issues? Let me know in the comments.

Comments(3)

Jusung
January 19, 2017 At 1:10 pm

It’s not exactly same reason but the issue is similar.
To me that overhead of CPU occurs when I use Xcode with Git.
So I had to disconnect Git from Xcode and use SourceTree always to do sourceControl.

    Ignacio Nieto Carvajal
    January 19, 2017 At 1:10 pm

    Thanks for your comment Jusung. I personally have experienced some problems with Git too, specially with big projects.

What's New in Swift 4, An Opinionated Review – Digital Leaves
June 20, 2017 At 1:10 pm

[…] those are certainly nice improvements, but overall, I would rather have them fix the annoying SourceKit crash bug that has plagued Xcode for years now, or offer a real solution for the indexing […]

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