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The Roadmap to Leopard? 152

Posted by Zonk
from the includes-stops-for-dennys dept.
Alexandros Roussos writes with a link to the site MacScoop, which claims to have obtained a roadmap for the months leading up to Leopard's release. It's a straightforward article, stating how much access individuals outside the company will have access to the product prior to October. "Major build on early August - In a little more than a month, Apple's development team targets a feature-full build. The build that was provided to developers during the World Wide Developers Conference earlier this month is actually not totally feature frozen. Some minor features are currently being finished for the system. These features will arrive in the August build along with user-interface improvements, sources told MacScoop. If you expect major 'wow' features or interface changes, you will be disappointed. What we may expect is additional settings and [some] user interface polish[ing]. Among the most criticized parts of the new user interface [are] the new menu bar and Dock."
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The Roadmap to Leopard?

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  • FTA:

    In a little more than a month, Apple's development team targets a feature-full build.
    [...]
    The milestone that will follow the total feature-freeze is slated for September, as the target of Apple's internal development team is a totally feature-full and stable Final Candidate version of Mac OS X Leopard.
    [...]
    In early to mid October, Leopard should reach the Golden Master status and Apple will be launching the DVD and packaging production.
    [...]
    Finally, the release is scheduled for late October

    Is that a realistic time frame? Seems to be an awfully short to me, then again I've never been involved in projects on that kind of scale.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by node 3 (115640)
      How long are you thinking it will take to press a disc, stick it in a box, and ship it to the store?

      Given that FC is in Sept., and FC is the first *intended* final version, a month+ of going through fine-tuning, and a week or two of manufacturing, seems more than adequate.
  • WTF? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Penguin Follower (576525) <TuxTheBurninator AT gmail DOT com> on Saturday June 23, 2007 @01:49PM (#19621721) Journal

    Among the most criticized parts of the new user interface [are] the new menu bar and Dock."

    OK, I watched the WWDC07 demos of Leopard and I thought the new Dock and menu bar looked good. What's the beef? I've not read any "reviews" yet. No matter what happens - come October this MacPro will be running Leopard.

    • The menu bar... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by ZxCv (6138) on Saturday June 23, 2007 @01:55PM (#19621779) Homepage
      ...seems to be the main complaint among the bits I've read. And after having used it now myself, I'd have to agree.

      Personally, I like the new look of the dock. The menu bar, however, is something I really hope they make an option. For the same reason that I (and many others) don't want or use semi-transparent windows, I don't want a semi-transparent menu bar. It's like they threw readability and usability out the window, all in the name of looking "cool".
      • by aichpvee (631243)
        I think they're copying from microsoft again on this "feature."
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        I've had leopard installed for about two days now and the semi-transparent menu bar is actually pretty nice. It doesn't jump out at you when you look near the top of documents.. It's just kinda.. there, but in the background.

        The reflections from the dock are also very nice. It actually reflects everything, even video.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by node 3 (115640)
        I've heard it's optional (an interview with someone important at Apple (Steve?), or maybe even during the keynote). Have you checked in System Preferences? A "defaults write" command? Or maybe that feature is one of the "interface polishes" that are yet to happen.

        Regardless, I think the translucent menu is a good idea, and one that probably doesn't grab you at first, but takes some acclimation. Also, I think having it be configurable via System Preferences (or at least via defaults), is also a good idea.
    • by Baumi (148744)
      I haven't played around with Leopard myself yet, but I imagine a semi-translucent menu bar and a reflecting dock could get confusing sometimes.

      E.g., I've read in a review that the new indicator for running applications - a small glowing dot - is sometimes difficult to spot between reflections on the dock. If that's the case, it seems like an unfortunate case of valuing eye candy higher than usability. I haven't read anything similar about the menu bar, but translucency on major interface items can be a pain
      • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward
        "I've read in a review that the new indicator for running applications - a small glowing dot - is sometimes difficult to spot between reflections on the dock."

        I would have to agree. I've had some confusing issues with it, when trying it. I hope Apple fixes it.
    • People have complained that the dock doesn't look as cool on the side. The reflection design is really an artistic element that only works well when the dock is on the bottom, and always showing. Fine for demos in a keynote, but most people who use their computer move the dock to the side, to make more screen real estate in the vertical dimension, where it's badly needed. I guess teh menu bar looks a little "flat" to some people. I like it myself. I don't want it to be flashy and distracting.
      • Guess I must just be the oddball then. The dock stays on the bottom for me. Key is having it hide when not in use. Such a waste to have screen real-estate eaten by icons you need intermittently.
        • I keep my Dock on the bottom as well. I wanted more screen real estate, so I bought a Samsung 22" widescreen. Problem solved. Oh and I love DVI.
      • by node 3 (115640) on Saturday June 23, 2007 @03:17PM (#19622475)

        most people who use their computer move the dock to the side
        I highly suspect this isn't true.
        • by iluvcapra (782887)
          It's a common thing where I am, since all of our systems are built for one main application (Pro Tools) that you usually use in a one-window fullscreen mode, and you do a lot of side-scrolling, thus the dock gets in the way if it's at the bottom. The left edge is a compromise, since you're trading horizontal real estate, unless you have a wide monitor.
          • by node 3 (115640)
            I realize it's common, I just don't believe that a majority of the 60 million or whatever installs of OS X there are out there have their docks on the side.

            I suspect, for the aggregate of Macs, it's: dock on the bottom > dock on the bottom + audohide > dock on the side.

            Although certainly, among some subsets of the Mac user base, docks on the side are going to be more prevalent than among others, perhaps so much so in some as to make up the majority. But in the general sense (which is what I was replyi
            • by LKM (227954)
              I think most "normal" Mac users I know don't even know that they can move the Dock, and don't care, either.
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by boscosmith (883836)
        I maintain 12 macs for different friends and family. The people using them are not power users, but they know how to configure their machines. Anyway, of the 12, ONE person moved their doc to the side. Something to do with Final Cut Pro and wanting to have the video time slider at the very bottom of the screen. Other than that, everyone leaves it on the bottom.
      • by solios (53048)

        but most people who use their computer move the dock to the side,

        Of the dozens of Mac users I've met and hung out with over the years, I know of only ONE who kept her dock on the side. One out of dozens is hardly "most."

        I tried it on the side, but a few minutes in photoshop convinced me otherwise. So it's on the bottom on all of my machines - the same place I keep my Windows start bar. Not only is it less obtrusive, it's the default - one less thing to worry about.

    • Agreed (Score:5, Interesting)

      by pavon (30274) on Saturday June 23, 2007 @02:12PM (#19621909)
      I think the transparent menu is unnecessary, and perhaps counterproductive, but not a huge deal. I'm curious about what is disliked about the dock though. Stacks seemed a nice feature, and other than that there really wasn't much to right home about. Oh actually I do have a complaint about the stack - smartly, the last item placed on the stack is the one visible in the dock, but when you go to fan them out, it become the farthest one away making it the hardest to click, even though it is the one you are most likely to open.

      I'm also curious about how they are handling mounted volumes. I noticed that they were not on the desktop anymore (yea! I hate using the desktop for anything but wallpaper). It didn't look like they were available in the dock though either. Is the finder sidebar the only place you will be able to find them now? I'd love it if they were accessible via a special stack in the dock, with newly inserted ones showing up on the top. I use DragThing right now to do something similar.

      While I'm drifting off subject, I've wondered how the shared volumes will work for large networks. Jobs mentioned that any computer will automatically be found (via netbios or zeroconf?) and will show up in the finder sidebar. What happens if you are on a company or dorm network - hundreds of computers in the sidebar? I'd hope not. Maybe after a certain number of computers, it is replaced with a "see entire network link" where you can browse and/or pick which computers should be in the sidebar.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        I,too, am interested in stacks. And Spaces. I always made use of multiple virtual desktops on my Linux boxes. Oh and since I am bad about doing backups any more regularly than twice a year, I'll probably use Time Machine as well.

        Core Animation is sweet. As is 64 bit from top to bottom.

        Oh and what's the deal with the blazin' speed of Steve's demo machine that was at WWDC07? I've got quad-core 2.66GHz MacPro that just doesn't have the snappiness of the MacPro Steve demo'ed. Is there that much of a diffe
        • Jobs probably had it packed to the limit with RAM. How much better would your system run with 16GB of RAM?
          • From my understanding, the MacPro suffers from increased latency if you fill all the memory slots. So 8GB of RAM would be the balance between the most RAM and keeping latency down. The performance review I read, which unfortunately I cannot remember which site I read it on, stated that using only 4 memory slots was best if you wanted to keep down latency. For me that's the only knock on the MacPro is that it uses FB-DIMMs (expensive RAM and more latency). Other than that I really like this machine.
      • You know... (Score:5, Informative)

        by SvnLyrBrto (62138) on Saturday June 23, 2007 @02:54PM (#19622285)
        > I'm also curious about how they are handling mounted volumes. I noticed
        > that they were not on the desktop anymore (yea! I hate using the desktop
        > for anything but wallpaper).

        You can take HDs, CDs, iPods, servers, and mounted disc images off the desktop right now, if you're so inclined.

        Go to Finder>Preferences, or use command-comma while Finder is the selected app. From there, just uncheck the top three ("Show these items on the Desktop") boxes in the "General" pane. Bamf... nothing on your desktop but what you purposely put there.

        cya,
        john
         
      • by dr.badass (25287)
        I'm also curious about how they are handling mounted volumes. I noticed that they were not on the desktop anymore

        The current Finder preferences have the option to not show volumes on the desktop. In all probability they've just changed the defaults. I've been using it this way for so long I didn't even notice they changed it.
      • Re:Agreed (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Firehed (942385) on Saturday June 23, 2007 @04:21PM (#19622901) Homepage
        I just pray that Leopard's Finder doesn't flip out if a network share suddenly goes missing, as Tiger's does. It's enough of a pain that I need to fully quit out of Azureus and iTunes which I have configured to do all of their storage on a network drive, and it's entirely my fault. But when my computer flips shit and locks up for fifteen minutes because I unplugged the network cable before unmounting all the shares... you get the idea. An auto-mount option, preferably with location-based configuration (sort of how I use MarcoPolo.app right now, with its scripting tools) would be great, but I'd be content if it simply gracefully disconnected from network shares that have become unavailable.
        • I think this issue of the Finder flipping out is due partly to the finder and partly due to the automounter (autofs [apple.com]), both of which appear to have received a major overhaul in Leopard. Autofs has apparently been threaded. If the Finder is instrumented with NSOperation (I can find no publicly available documentation to that effect), then the combination of those efforts should be a "Finder" which appears to be much more responsive than on previous versions of Mac OS X.
          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by Guy Harris (3803)

            I think this issue of the Finder flipping out is due partly to the finder and partly due to the automounter (autofs), both of which appear to have received a major overhaul in Leopard. Autofs has apparently been threaded.

            If nothing is in the process of being automounted, the automounter has precisely nothing to do with any Finder hangs.

            With the old single-threaded automounter, if a mount was in progress, the automounter would be incapable of responding to any other requests. As the old automounter was a

      • Showing mounted volumes on the Desktop was always a Finder option. Maybe Steve simply had it turned off. I think early versions of OS X did not have this option, and Mac users complained, so Apple put it in.
    • is that you can't tell which applications are running and which are not. In the Tiger dock, running applications have a very visible black triangle under them. In the Leopard dock, there is a much more subtle shadowing effect that indicates running applications. It needs to be less subtle.
  • Amazing insight! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ZxCv (6138) on Saturday June 23, 2007 @01:50PM (#19621729) Homepage
    Is it just me, or is the "timeline" the article talks about not just something you could reasonably deduce, knowing where Leopard is at right now and when they plan to release it?

    Didn't seem like there was any real new info here, but maybe it's just me.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    "What we may expect is additional settings and [some] user interface polish[ing]. Among the most criticized parts of the new user interface [are] the new menu bar and Dock."

    Okay, I was wondering what the "new menu bar and Dock" were referring to. Here's Apple's page [apple.com] on the subject. Damn, I was really hoping they were bringing back NextStep-like vertical menu bars a an option, but, nooooo, they're making the menubar transparent. Useless. One of the most key UI elements transparent? Why? For a few extr
    • by 26199 (577806) *

      Ew.

      Windows reflect in the dock... that strikes me as a really horrible idea.

  • Has it been announced (e.g. on Apple developer mailing lists) what versions Leopard will have of
    • apache
    • bash
    • ksh
    • openssl
    • perl
    • postfix
    • python
    • ruby
    • sqlite
    • ssh
    • svn (?)
    • zsh
    • x11
    etc...?
    • by mgv (198488)

      Has it been announced (e.g. on Apple developer mailing lists) what versions Leopard will have of

      * apache
      * bash
      * ksh
      * openssl
      * perl
      * postfix
      * python
      * ruby
      * sqlite
      * ssh
      * svn (?)

      • NDA

        Yeah, I kind of expected this reply, since of course the answers are a --version away for anyone with a beta build. That's why I specifically asked about anything said on the mailing lists, e.g. by Apple engineers, which I guess is then fair game to repeat. (I've seen that done before, those are not HUGE secrets; just didn't follow this time.)

        if the package you want isn't the most up to date, Apple won't stop you installing it

        Of course. It's more about what I can expect other people, who won't bother

        • by mgv (198488)

          Of course. It's more about what I can expect other people, who won't bother to use fink or macports, to have as the standard versions.


          Think happy developers.

          Michael
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Can't speak for the final release, but the WWDC beta has the following versions:

      apache - 2.2.4
      bash - 3.2.9(1)-release
      ksh - Version M 1993-12-28 s+
      openssl - 0.9.71
      perl - 5.8.8
      postfix - 2.4.0
      python - 2.5.1
      ruby - 1.8.6
      sqlite - 3.3.17
      svn - 1.4.3
      zsh - 4.3.4
      x11 - Xquartz server based on X.org Release 7.2, built on ?P
      • Thanks. Good news! This essentially matches what's currently available in macports:

        $ port info --version apache2 bash ksh93 openssl perl5.8 postfix python25 ruby sqlite3 subversion zsh-devel xorg
        version: 2.2.4
        version: 3.2.17
        version: 2007-01-11
        version: 0.9.8e
        version: 5.8.8
        version: 2.3.8
        version: 2.5.1
        version: 1.8.6
        version: 3.4.0
        version: 1.4.4
        version: 4.3.4
        version: X11R6.8.2

  • What about multitouch? -- It's already incorporated into the iPhone interface,

    and the iPhone is running Leopard ...
    • "What about multitouch? -- It's already incorporated into the iPhone interface, "

      Actually you have (limited) Multitouch-capability already in OS X 10.4. The MacBooks' and MacBookPros' Trackpads will interpret actions you do with two fingers differently than actions you do with one finger. Examples:

      click [one finger] = "left click"
      click [two fingers] = "right click" ("control click" for you 1-button-mouse-maccies ;) )

      drag [one finger] = nothing (unless trackpad-button is depressed, then it's "drag sel
  • > Among the most criticized parts of the new user interface [are] the new menu bar and Dock."

    The menu bar obviously needs a control of some kind in Preferences, that enables you to set the amount of the new effect, even to zero. There is already a third-party app that fixes this for the developer preview, they can make it a non-issue entirely with a single check box or slider.

    The new Dock is awesome, though. It is not 3D eye candy, it actually is 3D. Instead of a strip of flypaper with 2D photos stuck on
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by dr.badass (25287)
      The new Dock is awesome, though. It is not 3D eye candy, it actually is 3D.

      No, sorry. It's 2D that looks 3D. You don't need 3D to create the reflection effect, or to have objects appear to be behind other objects. Also, Stacks don't work quite how you seem to think. They're just a different view for Dock folders. You can't create a "second row" of apps, for instance.
    • It is not 3D eye candy, it actually is 3D.

      Really?

      In the videos it looked like a typical "two-and-a-half" dimension interface, where the third dimension is an effect applied to a two-dimensional interface, like the "3d" drop shadowed-windows in OS X, or the "3d" buttons that have become the norm for windowed GUIs over the past decade and a half: you would get the same functionality with a short vertical stack of objects in two dimensions.

      This isn't intended to put it down, or anything... I don't think that f
      • by LKM (227954)
        Docklets existed in early versions of OS X. They were removed because (I guess) not a lot of people used them. It probably makes more sense to have a real application that updates its Dock icon regularly.
        • by argent (18001)
          They were removed because (I guess) not a lot of people used them.

          Not a lot of people used early versions of OS X, for that matter. It wasn't stable enough for production until Jaguar. :p
  • Does anyone have definitive information on what HD formats Leopard will support? Last I checked. rumors swirled around support for one or the other or none. I use a Mac Mini as media center and if Leopard does not support the HD formats (and someone does not come out with an affordable combo, or at least HDDVD. drive), it does not sound like a very appealing upgrade for that use.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Apple has backed Blu-Ray for a very long time now. They even joined Board of Directors [apple.com] of the Blu-ray Disc Association. Thus, Bu-ray support is a certainty. That said, however, rumors have it they will also hedge their bet by supporting HD-DVD.
  • I would hope that the Aqua interface elements get a reworking before the final release. They look absolutely out of place in the new unified interface scheme. If they simply copied over the iPhone style Leopard would look a whole lot better. Take a look at them side by side [appleinsider.com] and tell me which you prefer.
  • by Bones3D_mac (324952) on Saturday June 23, 2007 @10:38PM (#19625231)
    Personally, I think Apple has finally lost it after several years of producing innovations that have changed much of the world. The fact that they are touting a transparent menubar as a major feature suggests their idea pool for MacOS X development is starting to collapse in the same way Copeland did in the mid 90's. They've become too focused on presentation and eye candy, rather than improving what goes on under the hood.

    Of course, that isn't to say MacOS X hasn't been a mess in terms of the Human Interface Guidelines (on which the Mac OS was based) since the earliest public releases, but making the one visual concept that has remained consistent and immediately recognizeable in all versions of the Mac OS almost completely invisible has to be the single worst offense to date. The menubar was supposed to be a fixed (and always visible) reference point for the user to rely on while the rest of the desktop evironment continually changes during each session of use. It's the one part of the OS that keeps everything else organized and easily understood.

    Aside from Leopard, we'll soon have the iPhone to contend with, which is sure to be a nightmare once the early adopters get past the hype and Steve Jobs' Reality Distortion Field and start to realize just how confining the device really is due to all the red tape that comes with it. It will probably sell as expected, but in the end, it may go down in history as on of the worst products in Apple's history, next to the Lisa, as a result of all the artificial limitations imposed upon it that kept it from being the killer product everyone really wanted it to be.

    By the time this all plays out, Steve Jobs may get ousted for both 10.5 and the iPhone, much like Gil Amelio was due to Copeland and mac cloning.
    • by mmeister (862972) on Sunday June 24, 2007 @12:48AM (#19625819)
      Wow.. do you absolute NOT know what you're talking about.

      Copland failed because it was much too ambitious. They wanted 100% backward compatibility + protected memory and other modern OS goodies.

      As for the menu bar reference point -- it is still fixed, as always and is still quite visible. There may be some bugs where certain images make it disappear, but I'd call that a bug at this point. It isn't a major feature (the feature is the improved desktop which focuses on removing clutter so you can see more of your digital images). Stacks is a big deal. Once you actually start using it, you'll realize it vastly improves the dock.

      Why would iPhone be a nightmare? Sure, there's the Steve RDF, but it seems pretty clear that for the first time, an emphasis on usability has been placed on a smart phone. I'm sure that there will be issues, but they'll be solved with software updates and I think calls that this will be a flop are incredibly premature. I'm sure you want it to be a flop, that is clear from your statements.

      Steve Jobs will not get ousted for 10.5 or iPhone.

      I think Mac OS X 10.5 is going to be a very solid release. Perhaps it is not as end-user feature laden as some would like, but it has plenty of useful features that will make it worth the $129 upgrade. More importantly, the features and functionality added for developers means that there will be some very cool apps coming down the pipe.

      The iPhone will do well. The secret is that much of the functionality is in software that can easily be updated via syncing with iTunes. Bugs can easily be addressed. Improvements can be made and sent out much in the same way Apple does for its standard applications. I'm sure there will be glitches (when several hundred thousand people start using something, there are bound to be edge cases that come up). And the 2nd generation will do even better.

      I predict that Apple will have an iPhone battery replacement program (much like for the iPod, possibly better since you'll likely take it to a AT&T store) which, while not resolving the user replaceable battery, will relieve the anxiety of what to do after two years of battery use.

      In the end, I'm sure there will be some limitations, as this is a 1.0 product, but those limitations will be worked out. There will be some very vocal nay sayers out there, but based on what I've seen thus far (and my own experience with previous phones), Apple is changing the game here. It is putting emphasis on the end user experience -- something that's apparently new to the industry -- and I think they will be successful because of it.
      • Sure, Apple *did* spread their resources thin considering the initial goals they set out for. But that was not the only issue involved. The fact is, they never *achieved* those goals before they started concerning themselves with the superficial areas of the OS, such as the goofy new themes ("Hi-Tech", "Gizmo", "Drawing Board") that would use non-square windows and large isometric icons, among other things.

        Mac OS X has been development for nearly a decade now and Apple still doesn't have something as simple
        • by mmeister (862972)

          If Apple put half as much effort into what's going on under the hood as they put into making the OS shinier, maybe we'd have machines that are better at getting a job done rather than acting as a "my computer is prettier than yours" conversation piece. Dumb "innovations" like a transparent menubar aren't going to improve the efficiency or usefulness of the user interface.

          Let's look at just a *few* of the things that have been added under the hood in just Leopard: 64-bit GUI APIs (and the ability for 32-

      • by real gumby (11516)
        Thanks for the thoughtful note.

        [...]I think Mac OS X 10.5 is going to be a very solid release. Perhaps it is not as end-user feature laden as some would like, but it has plenty of useful features that will make it worth the $129 upgrade. More importantly, the features and functionality added for developers means that there will be some very cool apps coming down the pipe.

        Yeah, I think most people, and the mainstream press in particular, don't understand what to look for (the mainstream press doesn't cover Oracle's feature set, nor Dell's, but Apple has decided to play in that area and so that's part of the deal.)

        I also hope (for my own sake, as a Mac user) that 10.5 stresses robustness and solid under-the-hood foundations. I don't need for Apple to spend much energy at all on showy stuff -- I want the results, showy or not, in the apps I use

    • Everybody has their undies in a bunch about the 10 things the Jobs showed in the recent keynote. Those things were carefully chosen by Jobs, likely with a great deal of input from other executives and managers at Apple, probably more such input than any keynote ever before. Why? Because Apple was trying to motivate the 5000 developers at WWDC to be more innovative with their use of some of the Mac OS X technologies. Apple focused that keynote on things like creative use of CoverFlow in several places, a
    • by LKM (227954)
      Yeah, a transparent menu bar is hardly revolutionary or even worth mentioning. That doesn't mean Leopard doesn't have a huge amount of new stuf. It's just that most of the changes in Leopard are in APIs.

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