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DevJuice: Does WWDC need a lottery system?


WWDC sold out in just minutes this year. As iOS developer Josh Avant put it, "Next year, tickets are going to sell out before they even go on sale."

Many developers were greeted by server errors, failed purchases and the "Sorry, tickets are sold out" banner.

Others, like Daniel Jalkut of Red Sweater Software, were able to place an order. In the end Jalkut decided to cancel his ticket, stating, he was "[v]ery conflicted, but it ended up feeling too exclusive for me."

In a move that was seen as a boost to fairness, developers were given a day's warning about sale time. This enabled people around the globe to set their alarms and schedule their visit to Apple's developer site.

Unfortunately, the high demand for the "golden" tickets meant that distribution was both chaotic and random. The overloaded system presented bugs, as reported by various parties on Twitter.

"I never once got anything but an error page," said developer David Green. "Apple seriously needs to change how they handle WWDC tickets, that went beyond unfair and into untenable."

"It timed out on me when I submitted the purchase," agreed developer Scott Yelich.

So why not switch to a less intense lottery system? Sure, the results are still random, but distributing purchase requests over a week or month surely would avoid the technology-based limits created by so much demand at a single moment (not to mention sleepless nights caused by time zone differentials).

Did you snag a ticket? Or were your attempts unsuccessful? Drop a note in the comments and share your story.

Think WWDC needs fixing? Here are TUAW's proposals from last year.

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