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Ars Technica Reviews OS X 10.5 522

Posted by kdawson
from the latin-for-exhaustive dept.
E1ven writes "Ars Technica has published their in-depth review of the newest version of Mac OS X. John Siracusa both covers the user-visible features such as the new UI tweaks and Time Machine, and dives into the increased use of metadata and the new APIs introduced and what they mean for the future of OS X."
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Ars Technica Reviews OS X 10.5

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  • lookin good (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Vanden (103995) on Monday October 29, 2007 @11:13PM (#21166215) Homepage
    All of the reviews I've read thus far, including Ars, have been very positive. It's amazing how much can be done in a corporate/development culture like Apple in 2.5 years compared to the debacle that is Vista, which MS took 5+ years to produce (not that there's nothing at all positive about Vista, but looking in comparison).

    Hopefully a good step forward for Apple that will lead to larger market share. I'll be installing as soon as my job gets its site license worked out.
    • Re:lookin good (Score:4, Interesting)

      by sqrt(2) (786011) on Monday October 29, 2007 @11:23PM (#21166287) Journal
      It's too bad Vista and OSX will never compete with each other directly. When you can install 10.5 on the same range of computers as Vista (along with all the myriad problems and support nightmares for Apple that go along with that) we could really see which is the better operating system. I've installed and tested Vista on a wide range of desktops and Laptop computers and it's stability and compatibility is wider than even XP or Ubuntu (the other two OSs I commonly use). This is important for a lot of people, myself included. I'd never consider buying a computer I couldn't rebuild or modify (or build entirely) so using Apple's software is never an option for me.
      • Re:lookin good (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Kadin2048 (468275) * <slashdot DOT kadin AT xoxy DOT net> on Monday October 29, 2007 @11:46PM (#21166477) Homepage Journal
        The point of the Macintosh is that you don't expose yourself to the inevitable problems that come as a result of that.

        The Mac OS doesn't compete with Vista as operating systems, but the platform as a whole, as a device for doing things, does compete with other platforms and manufacturers.

        I don't see any reason for Apple to want to try to do what Microsoft does, and as a user of their products I frankly don't want them to. The reason I've always felt that Apple gear was worth the price is because it's a predictable, known quantity, and because it's sold as a system rather than as bits and pieces. While being able to assemble it would admittedly be nice for hobbyists (and it was nice back in the day when Apple sold motherboards through their VAR chain, so you could build them), it's not a compelling feature for most of their core market.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by sqrt(2) (786011)

          ...and as a user of their products...

          Perfectly fine. However, there's a group of people that wants something completely different than you do. I wouldn't be happy with the restriction of the Mac platform, and maybe you'd be frustrated with a PC. The reasons you like Apple are the same reasons I don't like them and prefer the alternative. This doesn't make either position more or less valid than the other. Both of us end up just as satisfied with our respective outcomes. But for people not in your camp, Apple is not competing with MS for thei

          • I am curious what restrictions you found with OS X? This is a serious question as I switched to the OS X platform specifically because I found it more open and usable. I could do half again the work in 3/4 the time as I could on windows and was far less frustrated daily and spent much less time on maintenance and finding things. With Mac Ports any of my favorite Unix utilities were a command away.

            That was my experience however... I am curious what restrictions you felt there were that caused you to avoid it
        • Re:lookin good (Score:5, Insightful)

          by omeomi (675045) on Tuesday October 30, 2007 @12:53AM (#21166947) Homepage
          because it's sold as a system rather than as bits and pieces

          You do realize that the majority of Windows machines are sold as a system, not as bits and pieces. It's a fairly small subset of the population that builds their own computers. And aside from the motherboard, everything else on a Mac is just as configurable / replaceable as with a Windows machine. Apple fans might tend to choose not to upgrade components, but there isn't any real reason that they can't (again, aside from the motherboard / mainboard)...
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by djupedal (584558)
            "You do realize that the majority of Windows machines are sold as a system, not as bits and pieces. It's a fairly small subset of the population that builds their own computers."

            You've never been to Asia, I take it.

            Fight the crowd...sit down...fill out a form...get a quote and wait briefly while the girls/boys in the back build your box to order:
            - case
            - motherboard
            - power supply
            - ram
            - HD(s)
            - optical drive
            - cards
            - k'board/mouse
            - monitor

            From Hong Kong to Shenzhen - Shanghai to Beijing. And t
      • by SuperKendall (25149) on Tuesday October 30, 2007 @12:11AM (#21166669)
        I'd never consider buying a computer I couldn't rebuild or modify (or build entirely) so using Apple's software is never an option for me.

        Nor would I. That's why I bought a Mac desktop, where I can replace all the same components I can with a PC desktop... and lets face it, with just about any PC chassis you're going to be almost as limited since motherboard formats change over time. Over the years people have offered processor upgrades as well, made easier of course by them using Intel chips now where processor swaps are just as easy as any other PC motherboard.

        And of course I have a laptop. And just like most laptops, there are more limited changes I can make - but Mac laptops come with a good range of i/o options, including gigabit ethernet and firewire 800.

        Are you honestly saying you never ever would buy a laptop? To me I just can't see saying that someone would never buy a Mac because they can't upgrade one, is just not being true to yourself. You don't want a Mac for other reasons, that's fine - but lets all stop pretending the upgrade options are so very different.

        • by dal20402 (895630) * <dal20402NO@SPAMmac.com> on Tuesday October 30, 2007 @12:29AM (#21166803) Journal

          Nor would I. That's why I bought a Mac desktop, where I can replace all the same components I can with a PC desktop... and lets face it, with just about any PC chassis you're going to be almost as limited since motherboard formats change over time.

          Sadly that's not really possible anymore, as each of the three desktop offerings is made less versatile than a standard desktop PC by design decisions. The Mini uses low-end laptop components, sacrificing performance in the quest for small and quiet. The iMac uses a laptop MB and processor (most notably limiting RAM expansion), can fit only one hard disk, and saddles the buyer with a non-reusable, non-upgradable monitor that will still be looking gorgeous when the iMac is obsolete. The Mac Pro uses a staggeringly expensive dual-Xeon board (with equally expensive FB-DIMMs) and custom componentry throughout. (Oh, yeah, and costs $2200 and way up.)

          I see the logic behind Steve's not wanting to offer a prosumer/hobbyist desktop. It would violate his design principles, cannibalize his high-margin iMacs, and create support problems for some users. But what he should do is license OS X on a very narrow basis. Allow one or two white box manufacturers to sell OS X-capable mid-price desktop machines with a very limited range of hardware, that could be extensively tested to keep "it just works" intact. Make the boutique makers offer their own support. I think you'd find small makers eager to take up the challenge for what would probably be a $200-$300/box OS X premium. I know I'd pay it!

          • by kgruscho (801766) on Tuesday October 30, 2007 @12:40AM (#21166879)
            Apple tried allowing licensed clones at one point and were not happy with the results. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Macintosh_clone [wikipedia.org]
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by SuperKendall (25149)
            Sadly that's not really possible anymore, as each of the three desktop offerings is made less versatile than a standard desktop PC by design decisions.

            The Mini is actually one of the easier systems to upgrade, since you just have to pop the case off. Much easier to get at than a laptop... I can upgrade much of the system with improved laptop components (like a faster drive and more memory). Mostly the things people would upgrade anyway.

            The iMac only holds one disk internally but offers Firewire 800 which
          • by Savage-Rabbit (308260) on Tuesday October 30, 2007 @04:44AM (#21167955)

            Sadly that's not really possible anymore, as each of the three desktop offerings is made less versatile than a standard desktop PC by design decisions. The Mini uses low-end laptop components, sacrificing performance in the quest for small and quiet.
            That's kind of the point with the Mac Mini. For most people the Mini is a cheap option for getting ahold of a Mac, either for them selves, their kids or for use as a media center and it does that reasonably well. If you need to be able to run the latest 3D Shooters at maximum resolution with the insanely expensive graphics or audio card of your choice buy a PC.

            The iMac uses a laptop MB and processor (most notably limiting RAM expansion), can fit only one hard disk, and saddles the buyer with a non-reusable, non-upgradable monitor that will still be looking gorgeous when the iMac is obsolete.
            Again, the iMac is a compact computer that is not aimed at people doing insanely CPU intensive tasks that demand a top notch Graphics or Audio cards. Most people I know and who own one use it for surfing, e-mail, social networking word processing and other office-type work and their concept of 'Gaming' is a bit of Tetris, Solitaire or Chess. Oh, and according to the Apple store, the new iMac can now be upgraded with up to 4GB of RAM. Do you need 8GB?

            You seem to have run into the usual disconnect between the needs of normal users and hobbyist computer builders. Macs are computers for people who don't have the time or the patience to build their own systems. This is exactly why I bought one, it does what I need it to, adequately, it works just fine out of the box and doesn't run Windows. If I was inclined to build my own system I would have done so and would I would probably be running Slackware on it just for that little bit of added tech-trouble for me to enjoy dealing with but I lost the patience for that sort of thing many years ago.
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by drsmithy (35869)

          Nor would I. That's why I bought a Mac desktop, where I can replace all the same components I can with a PC desktop...

          Let us know how you go swapping out the motherboard in that thing. The video card is also pretty much a token gesture, given you have to search far and wide for one that you can be sure will definitely work with the Mac's legacy-free EFI and then within OS X.

          Not to mention the minimum buy-in for an "upgradable" Mac is a US$2500 Mac Pro.

          and lets face it, with just about any PC chassis y

        • by gig (78408) on Tuesday October 30, 2007 @03:41AM (#21167715)
          One way Macs are upgradable is the high resale value. You sell your current Mac and buy a new Mac, which comes with all the latest software also. Nobody had to get out any tools and now there are two happy Mac users with two complete and functioning Macs. It's a sensibly designed PC with a full array of ports and compatibility with Mac OS X, BSD, Linux, Solaris, Windows XP and Vista. What exactly are you going to fix about it? Just sell it whole and buy a new one, like a watch or a TV.

          Some people just buy a new Mac when there is a new OS and sell the old system. That is a great way to fly. Not only do you always have the most current gear, you have zero recycling problems.

        • The upgrade options on a Mac are rather limited. Even at the top of the Mac line the case is designed to hold only 2 drives. Hardly an example of flexiblity. The choice of graphic cards is limited to a handful as most companies don't supply drivers. Only one or two manufacturers make add-in SATA or SAS cards for the Mac, and I think there is only one battery backed-up RAID card for the Mac. If you go with the x-server some of these options are available (but again only from Apple).

          The Mac fans point
          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by lyonsden (543685)

            Even at the top of the Mac line the case is designed to hold only 2 drives.

            Actually, according to Apple [apple.com] it can hold four drives.

            Not agreeing or disagreeing with your other points, but that one was wrong.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by jcr (53032)
      Well, Leopard's great, but topping vista isn't much of an accomplishment. The Llonghorn disaster was obvious for many years, just like Office Vision at IBM, or Copland at Apple. Vista isn't longhorn, it's a 1 1/2 year rush-job of an update, trying to distract the customers and investors from the magnitude of longhorn's failure.

      -jcr

  • I used Linux as my primary desktop for years and years (started on Caldera), but I must confess that my Mac with OS X leaves all of 'em in the dust. XP was okay, but all the virus noise kept me at bay. Vista was an improvement, but all the constant interrupting was annoying.

    As it looks, it'll be along, long time before I switch OSs again. Sure I'll keep trying the new ones as they come along, but I don't see anything on the horizon..say 3-4 years, that'll make me move.

    • must be a case by case thing... I mean my mac is cool and all, but Ubuntu it is not
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by sqrt(2) (786011)
      You know that most people just turn off UAC, right? Everyone that I've talked to about it said they turned it off after the first message. It's annoying, and if you're computer literate there's really no reason for you to have it on; you wont benefit from it at all. I'm far more annoyed at Ubuntu's constant "admin password required" to do anything important, I see those far more than the Vista UAC message (when it is turned on).
      • by tlhIngan (30335) <slashdot@wor f . n et> on Tuesday October 30, 2007 @12:29AM (#21166811)

        You know that most people just turn off UAC, right? Everyone that I've talked to about it said they turned it off after the first message. It's annoying, and if you're computer literate there's really no reason for you to have it on; you wont benefit from it at all.


        Yeah, you turn off UAC, then you get a nasty red shield with "Windows is not protected" and balloons saying "User account control is off". A power user can ignore these security warnings since they probably already do the right steps, but a normal user will turn it off, see the red shield, then "fix it" and boom, UAC is on again.

        Worse yet, there are apparently a set of distinct tasks that can only be done with either UAC off, or UAC on. Some tasks require UAC to be on, while others require it to be off (I can't remember the list, but there are a few picky settings).

        Some things with UAC on just really make life miserable - before I reinstalled Vista, I copied off my downloads and a few other directories to a USB disk (why redownload files that are downloaded in the past week?). Afterwards, with UAC on, mysteriously all the executable files cannot be run at all, even answering "Allow" to the UAC prompts. Useless. Permission repairing, setting security, etc., I could not figure out how to get those executable installers running again. Turn off UAC, boom they work just fine. All it takes is a folder on a network drive, or copied from a thumbdrive, and you can be seeing this happening relatively often if one of your applications gets tagged like that. Worse yet, Windows may decide your app is insecure and start prompting you with UAC prompts. It's random enough to be frustrating...

        I found the old IE model a bit annoying (where every file downloaded off the internet gets marked with a "downloaded" attribute (NTFS)), but at least it prompts you if you want to run them, then lets you run them. Better than making it look like it works, but fails silently.

        The strange thing is, Unix, OS X, and Linux get it right. If you're changing a user setting, no annoying prompt. A system setting - a password prompt (and it's usually good for a few minutes, so you can avoid seeing it repeatedly). The differentiation between user and system is such that rarely does one need system privileges, so seeing the dialog is a rare enough event.

        Vista's "user virtualization" (where the system registry keys and system folders are silently mirrored to user accessible versions) could accomplish the same thing for the millions of broken Windows apps out there, and the amount of prompting kept a minimum... but it's like Microsoft intentionally decided to inundate us with this "security".
    • by Ash-Fox (726320)

      I used Linux as my primary desktop for years and years (started on Caldera), but I must confess that my Mac with OS X leaves all of 'em in the dust.
      Ironic, I've used OS X for years and years and the numerous issues have pushed me more towards Windows, Linux and the BSDs.
      • by dal20402 (895630) *

        Also genuinely curious what those issues are (other than lack of reasonable desktop hardware).

        OS X has had considerable performance problems in certain specific server applications. And it's not a platform for gaming. Other than those two weaknesses (and occasional Apple lack of configurability) what have you found lacking?

  • Great Review (Score:5, Informative)

    by AndrewStephens (815287) on Monday October 29, 2007 @11:16PM (#21166241) Homepage
    I came across this article this morning. It's great to see Ars Technica pumping out another of their signature ridiculously-in-depth technical reviews. I have just (like 15 minutes ago) finished installing OSX 10.5 on my MacBook. The review is right about some of the aesthetic changes being a step backwards, but on the whole it feels snappier and some of the new functionality (stacks, time machine) is fantastic. I am looking forward to having a proper play tonight.
  • The freakin' Dock (Score:5, Interesting)

    by realmolo (574068) on Monday October 29, 2007 @11:25PM (#21166301)
    Seriously, does ANYONE think the Dock is good? It's an unholy combination of the "Launcher" from the old days, and the Windows taskbar. It does neither job very well.

    The weird thing about OS X is that in most ways, the GUI isn't as good as MacOS 9. I mean, the only real problems with the "classic" Mac GUI were that there wasn't a easily visible way to keep track of/switch between running programs, and the Finder was a pain to work with. Well, and the lack of right-click context menus.

    The Dock is a crappy task switcher, and the Finder is still broken in most of the same ways it has been broken since, oh, 1984.

    Apple just bugs me. They have neat products, but they could be GREAT. They aren't bound by compatibility like MS is, or even Linux. They could do whatever they want. The best of everything. But instead they keep refusing to improve the obvious things.
    • by Ash-Fox (726320)

      Seriously, does ANYONE think the Dock is good? It's an unholy combination of the "Launcher" from the old days, and the Windows taskbar. It does neither job very well.
      I don't and I use a combination of operating systems daily. OS X, Windows, Linux, OpenBSD etc.

      I just don't find the dock that natural at all. It feels irritating that I have to customize it to make it useful and even then, I still don't like how it operates.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      "The best of everything. But instead they keep refusing to improve the obvious things."

      Kind of like Linux.
    • by c_forq (924234)
      I will give you that the dock is a horrible application switcher, but who uses it as an application switcher when you have alt+tab and expose? (By the way, in OX-X you can use the mouse in the alt+tab menu). I personally like the dock a lot for iChat, e-mail, and newsfeed information. For an application launcher I use Quicksilver, but I hear the speed of spotlight in leopard has made Quicksilver pretty much obsolete. I have never found Finder broken, and don't quite get exactly what is broken when peopl
      • Note that Vista also includes support for the mouse in the Alt+Tab menu.

        I'd have to agree the Dock implementation is horrible. I had the pleasure of downloading a file and burning it to CD on OSX today, and I'd have to say it was a pain just navigating between windows with the Dock. Frankly, the 'Burn to CD' Functionality is alot smoother in Vista also.

        In my book, the only real downside to Vista over OSX is the UAC, which like most other people, I have partially disabled. So I also rarely see a UAC box.
    • I think it's great (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Space cowboy (13680) * on Monday October 29, 2007 @11:44PM (#21166443) Journal
      Personally I don't see the beef people have with it. It works well for me. I like the "shelf" look that people are bitching about as well. Perhaps it's because I don't give much of a crap about "the angle at which the icon points", for crying out loud!

      The other main complaint is the menubar - it's about 10% (guesstimate) transparent. It just adds a subtle shading to the otherwise-white bar. I rather like it, as did most of the commentators in the discussion that I skimmed through. Some people get far too fixated on minute inconsequential details...

      I mean, the only real problems with the "classic" Mac GUI were that there wasn't a easily visible way to keep track of/switch between running programs, and the Finder was a pain to work with. Well, and the lack of right-click context menus

      So Leopard has an easy way to switch/keep track of running programs (the Dock), the Finder is no longer a pain to work with, and OSX has a context bar. And this one is worse ? I got to admit, I'm not an "old-mac" fan - I thought the OS was a piece of crap, and I far preferred my unix workstations of the day, so perhaps there's some magic thing the old OS did. I'm *really* not seeing much wrong with Leopard though. It's still the best damn unix workstation I've ever used, and I've used a lot of them...

      Simon.
    • by pammon (831694) on Monday October 29, 2007 @11:48PM (#21166489)
      > They aren't bound by compatibility like MS is, or even Linux.

      Oh, how I wish that were true....but Mac OS X has very strong compatibility requirements, far stronger than Linux and in many ways stronger than Microsoft.

      When Windows and Linux went 64 bit, they just broke all the drivers. Apple maintained compatibility with 32 bit drivers while enabling 64 bit software.
      When Apple migrated from PowerPC to Intel, they maintained binary compatibility with all the old software via a transparent emulator - something you don't find on Linux and that works only partially on the Xbox 360.
      The application frameworks - Carbon, Cocoa - are very much bound by backwards compatibility.

      Linux, with its tradition of open source and recompiles, has it easy.

    • So said realmolo:

      The Dock is a crappy task switcher, and the Finder is still broken in most of the same ways it has been broken since, oh, 1984.
      You are doing it wrong. The dock isn't meant to be a task switcher. It is a launcher/shortcut area. If you want an application switcher, you have a few options: exposé and cmd-tab to name two. If you want a task switcher, you really can't beat exposé, though most Mac greybeards are probably comfortable with having a portion of the window from their other task visible behind the current front window (which really only works if you are only doing 2 or 3 things at one time).

      According to the article (with which I agree), the only real reasons the finder seems to be broken is because Apple is making it a crappy combination of a browser (or explorer, if you are more comfortable with that term) and a spatial system (like the old finder) instead of clearly separating these things and letting the user to decide what they want to do. The new global view options mung things up even more as far as an intuitive UI goes, IMHO. I guess I can understand the gripes about the Finder, but I really don't use it that much. I prefer using it as a browser in column view, and with that I rarely have to have more than two finder windows open to do any given task. However, my organizational style is probably quite different from others.

      That said, I haven't used Leopard yet, but there are a few things that I'm really not looking forward to. The Dock doesn't seem like too much of a nightmare if it is pinned to the sides (stacks default to grid view, I'm told). I'm a "pin it to the left, keep it small, and keep it hidden" dock user. The new folder icons and their previews on the dock look like they will drive me crazy, but it shouldn't be hard to change that (hopefully).

      Anyway, I don't think the dock is really meant to be a task switcher. Just a launcher that can also give some basic application status information.

    • by SuperKendall (25149) on Tuesday October 30, 2007 @12:17AM (#21166709)
      Seriously, does ANYONE think the Dock is good?

      Yes, I like it far better than the WinXP Taskbar (which I also use every day) or other Linux equivalents I have tried.

      To me it does a far better job of telling me what applications are in use than the taskbar (which tends to run about three to four lines long in use), and acting as a store for my most common application sets. As someone else said, you use Expose for task switching which is simply the best mechanism for said switching that I have used to date.

      The Dock is a crappy task switcher, and the Finder is still broken in most of the same ways it has been broken since, oh, 1984.

      It's well threaded now which fixed just about all of my remaining complaints. Since I can't see why anyone would use anything other than column view I really am pretty happy with how it works now. Even the lack of FTP support for me is a "do not care" since I don't mind using Terminal for that anyway, and it can have files drug into it just like finder...

      Then again, I never did like the OS 9 UI overmuch so I guess I have a different sensibility.

  • by FoolsGold (1139759) on Monday October 29, 2007 @11:30PM (#21166337)
    http://arstechnica.com/reviews/os/mac-os-x-10-5.ars/16 [arstechnica.com]

    (down the page, you'll find it)
  • by kuactet (1017816) on Monday October 29, 2007 @11:40PM (#21166421)

    9:00 a.m.

    Despite having no friends, no life, no education no job, and no prospects, despite the war in Iraq, a plunging dollar, the looming energy crisis, global warming, and the sheer horror of being alive in this day and age, this morning, I woke up happy, for today would be my most exciting review: OSX 10.5 was being released.

    I am not normally one to get excited about reviewing a product, especially if it is my first time using it; usually there is a feeling of trepidation about stepping outside my comfort zone, but today, it is notably absent. Perhaps because I have been following this product since its inception, living the Apple lifestyle in preparation, and becoming fully engrossed by the user community. The experience has been like a second birth to me, and the release of 10.5 is the wonderful culmination.

    But I should back up. For those of you who have been living normal, healthy lives, 10.5, also known as the Leopard is the single most anticipated OSX release of all time, packed with 300 new features that would surely leave its competitors (the monolithic Microsoft and agile Linux) stunned and possibly bleeding as it whizzes by in a blur of growing market share and spots.

    Apple Inc., the Cupertino-based personal electronics company behind the Leopard, burst into the public view in 2001 with the introduction of the phenomenally popular iPod music player. Apple then followed up that success with the iPhone brand cellular phone, which has sold a whopping 1.4 million units since its summer debut. Today, Apple hopes to leverage that success to bootstrap its long-stagnant personal computing platform, the Mac.

    For the last decade, the Mac has maintained a relatively constant 5% share of the global computing market. In recent months, however, increasing disillusionment with the new Microsoft Vista operating system has pushed more and more people into Apple's open arms, but the uptake has been slow. The release of the Leopard, Apple hopes, will be the impetus for users to peek beyond the simple familiarity of Windows. Drawn by the prospect of a bigger and better world, they will slowly venture beyond their thatched grass huts into the thrilling unknown. The Leopard will then snatch them up and drag them into its stylish and intuitive tree to feast.

    Or so it is planned. But will Apple be able to succeed where so many others have failed? Will it finally be able to wrest control of the desktop from the Monopolist? Yes, of course. But it is my duty as a reviewer to show, not just tell. So join me as I prepare to drink deeply of the Steve Jobs Kool-Aid and plunge myself into the Leopard, to prove this Apple revolution is truly the way of the future.

    Part 1: Getting OSX

    3:30 p.m.

    The cold rain pours down outside, but under the glass roof of the Christiana Mall, it is warm and dry. Twenty yards away is the only Apple Store for miles, and consequently where one must go for the latest Apple releases.

    Though I had arrived early, there is already a sizable line, stretching back to where I find myself now. The head of it, I am told, had been waiting since early morning, growing progressively more excited as the day wore on. His manic energy is infectious, it seems, and the light buzz of excitement percolating through the crowd quickly set my nerves on edge in the best possible way. This, I reflect, is better than most drugs.

    I strike up conversation with the man waiting impatiently in front of me. When I ask him what he intends to do with the Leopard when he brings it home, he stares at me for twenty minutes. His steady gaze says more than any words could, and when he tells me he will teach it to love, and then maybe make a movie, I weep for the sheer joy that wells up in my heart. He holds me, understanding.

    5:57 p.m.

    The excitement has reached an almost painful level. It is a silent buzz permeating the very air; the crowd is l

    • by aarku (151823)
      Thank you, that made my day.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by bar-agent (698856)
      The box is heavy in my hands. No, not heavy; sturdy, powerful, as though the beast contained within was projecting itself beyond the confines of its cardboard prison. Or perhaps it was the weight of newfound brotherhood.

      Tycho? Is that you?
  • This might be a tad off topic, but I was just wondering what Apple is going to do for OS 11. I mean, Leopard and every other point release of OSX has had improvements. But nothing as ground-breaking or readily apparent as upgrading from OS 9.x to OS 10.x. In order for Jobs to out-do himself will he have to go on sabbatical and start from the ground-up again? Or will OS 11 just incorporate more little tweaks and features that users have to be told are there in order to notice? Or will it incorporate more sup
    • by c_forq (924234)
      I think they are currently laying the groundwork for it, and it will be instead of or immediately after 10.6. I think OS-11 will be when we see Quartz GL, resolution independence, ZFS, and much more enabled by default, in addition to being completely 64-bit. I think this will be after LLVM has reached maturity. But then again, OS-X may live on for a decade to come due to the marketing fondness of the big "X".
    • by ceoyoyo (59147)
      Apple has trademarked quite a few more big cats. With the new two-year release schedule I think you'll be waiting a good eight to ten years to see an OS 11.

      OS releases SHOULDN'T be as overwhelming as OS 9 to OS X. Apple was way behind the times with OS 9 and badly needed a big jump. They managed to pull it off, and now they're making steady, really quite quick progress. But the giant leaps are bad -- they disrupt everything and they're risky and expensive for both Apple and it's customers
  • From TFA:

    Spotlight has been substantially rewritten in Leopard, and is noticeably more responsive. It does not, however, use FSEvents [the public API]. Instead, it continues to drink from the [undocumented] /dev/fsevents fire hose, grabbing each individual event as it happens. This may seem like a failing of the FSEvents framework, but it's really more of an acknowledgment of the nature of Spotlight as a system-level facility.
  • by graffix_jones (444726) on Tuesday October 30, 2007 @12:31AM (#21166821)
    After having used Leopard for the past four days, the one feature that I so far love to (almost) hate is Stacks. From a theoretical standpoint, Stacks sound great, but Apple's implementation leaves something to be desired. In it's current incarnation, Stacks are barely usable, especially if you relied on the old Dock functionality that turned any docked folder into a nested hierarchal menu.

    There's currently a debate [arstechnica.com] going on in the Macintoshian Achaia over at Ars on whether or not Stacks are a useful addition to the OS, or a horrible mess that should've been sorted out before Leopard's release. My personal opinion is that while Stacks show promise, making them a substitute for the old functionality (hierarchal menus) was unwise (to put it kindly). Stacks should have been an addition to Dock functionality, not a replacement for a widely-used system of navigation.
  • Introduction movie (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Niten (201835) on Tuesday October 30, 2007 @12:32AM (#21166831)

    This review is great, I'm glad we have a source like Ars Technica to provide counterbalance to all the vapid and superficial product reviews we usually find elsewhere; Siracusa goes in-depth on every topic from the UI to the filesystem to the new Core APIs and Objective-C 2.0. I agree on just about every point, particularly his comment about Apple's need to eventually supplement OS X with a first-class managed code language and runtime [arstechnica.com]:

    I'm sure there are Mac developers reading this that don't see any problem at all, in 2010 or otherwise. I could go off on another tangent about how programmers always seem to think the language they're currently using provides exactly the right amount of abstraction for the task at hand, with anything less dynamic being considered barbaric, and anything more dynamic seen as crazy and unsafe, but I'll spare you and save it for a blog post.

    (As much as I love working and programming on the Mac, seeing how nice .NET is really gives me concern for the long-term future of Apple's platform.)

    On the other hand, if you're not interested in all this technical mumbo-jumbo and only wanted to catch a glimpse of the new intro movie, here it is [arstechnica.com].

    • by ceoyoyo (59147)
      Like Python (first class and installed by default for years)?

      Or the newcomer, Ruby?
    • .Net vs ObjC (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Space cowboy (13680) * on Tuesday October 30, 2007 @02:36AM (#21167463) Journal

      (As much as I love working and programming on the Mac, seeing how nice .NET is really gives me concern for the long-term future of Apple's platform.)


      There's a website [dotnetdeve...ournal.com] written by a self-confessed .NET addict, a man who has quite literally written the book on .NET and the new MS frameworks. I recommend you visit his site, and click on the 'Cocoa' sidebar. More recently, he's been getting into ObjC, doing comparisons between the .NET framework, and the Cocoa/Foundation frameworks, between ObjC and the CLR. Pretty much every time, ObjC/Cocoa win out over C#(or whatever)/.NET (as long as we're talking Leopard, anyway, he prefers garbage-collected languages).

      ObjC is elegant, powerful and simple at the same time - it's what C++ ought to have been. Objective C is (by leaps and bounds) my language of choice these days, it's one of the most under-appreciated languages in modern use. Certainly, the comparative perception I get is that the frameworks are way ahead of .NET in terms of actual usability - again, read some of his blog posts for the details.

      Simon.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by VGPowerlord (621254)
        I'm not saying that Objective C is better or worse than C#, because I've never used either, but I have a hard time taking that guy seriously when he says things like

        That's great, but what you might not have noticed here is that I have foreknowledge of the data type of the destination property. What the hell does that mean? It means that this works because I knew at compile-time that FirstName is a string.

        I don't know about him, but I don't go arbitrarily changing object properties without reading the docume

  • by analog_line (465182) on Tuesday October 30, 2007 @02:01AM (#21167315)
    First the two things I'd like to have that it doesn't have:

    1. sliding from desktop to desktop ala Enlightenment.
    2. right/control-clicking on a Window border and and a menu coming up to send it to Space X, or Show on All, ala Gnome and XFCE (KDE probably has this too, but I don't use it, so I'm not sure)

    The first is just something I got used to a long time ago and haven't used in years, it was just nice. The second is a bigger absence, but the Exposé-style zoom out to display all workspaces way of doing it is practically instantaneous, and all desktops are in realtime, with videos running, new IMS coming up, it's a cool little multiple workspace monitor as long as you don't need to control one of those apps while watching. Multiple desktops were, for me, one of the Linux killer apps that made using it more enjoyable than Windows. Macs now having it (as opposed to the utterly-useless-in-my-opinion Exposé, especially with more than a handfull of windows) is major boost to its usability for me. Definitely the single most-used addition for me so far, and likely to be until I get a hard drive I can dedicate to Time Machine.

    I definitely agree with a lot of the issues with the Dock. Being forced to see Address Book as the Applications icon is probably going to cause me to remove most folders from my dock entirely, which is a shame because I really like the "stack" behavior.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by goodmanj (234846)
      Haven't used Enlightenment, but I've used X11 window managers with virtual screens a lot, and I had one for Mac OS back in the day. If by "sliding from desktop to desktop" you mean that you can switch from one screen to an adjacent one by moving the mouse "off the edge" of the screen, there's a really good reason Apple doesn't do that.

      Apple pays attention to the interface design idea that says that edges and corners are good places to put stuff, because they're essentially infinitely big targets: you slam
  • by ChunderDownunder (709234) on Tuesday October 30, 2007 @07:09AM (#21168509)
    Gosling has made the switch [sun.com], away.

    Others are set to join him [javalobby.org].

    Almost 12 months since Java 6 was released on other platforms. Still waiting, Steve.

  • BSOD Easter Egg (Score:3, Informative)

    by daveywest (937112) on Tuesday October 30, 2007 @11:38AM (#21171493)
    If you browse a PC network using the Coverflow view, the icon for a PC server shows a monitor with a BSOD.

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