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Leopard Early Adopters Suffer For The Rest of Us 461

Posted by Zonk
from the working-the-kinks-out dept.
News.com tallies up the minor annoyances early adopters have experienced dealing with the newest version of OS X. From a change in folder design to install issues, and beyond to lack of support for Java 6, Mac users have had more to grumble about than usual in the last week. Just the same, the article notes, there have been no major problems and (compared to other OS launches) Leopard kicked off fairly well. "Let's give thanks to the early adopters, however masochistic they may be. You can do all the QA in the world before releasing an operating system, and it's not going to compare to what happens when the unwashed masses get their hands on the product. Microsoft's Windows Vista had years of developer releases, and was released to manufacturing several weeks before it went on sale to the general public. Still, compatibility problems cropped up because it's extremely difficult to anticipate what people are running, and in what combination. It's easier for Apple because it tightly controls its hardware and software, and because there are fewer potential combinations in the wild, but it's still a Herculean task."
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Leopard Early Adopters Suffer For The Rest of Us

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  • by Hellad (691810) on Friday November 02, 2007 @09:18AM (#21210527)
    My install as relatively smooth. It did seem to stall on reboot after install so I did a force shutdown, but it restarted with no problems. Once I turned off safesleep, my system has been fast and very responsive.

  • My experiences (Score:5, Informative)

    by robosmurf (33876) * on Friday November 02, 2007 @09:21AM (#21210569)
    I've installed Leopard on both my PowerPC Macs (yes, I got the family edition).

    One install went very smoothly (though Leopard does run slowly at first due to Spotlight indexing everything again).

    The other install ran into two separate problems. Firstly, I got the Blue Screen freeze (solution - reboot to single user mode and delete APE). Secondly, the Finder would hang on launch (solution - bring up a terminal and remove the divx support library).

    Both of these I resolved fairly quickly with a google search, but the solution each time would be worrying to a non-technical user.
  • So What (Score:3, Informative)

    by MBCook (132727) <foobarsoft@foobarsoft.com> on Friday November 02, 2007 @09:29AM (#21210657) Homepage

    That's what happens. I installed Leopard on day 1. And I'm happy.

    The only issue I've run into that is of any importance is that junk mail filtering on Mail seems to have stopped working for me. I don't know if it won't kick in until it has seen X number of messages or such, but it's starting to annoy me. The setting are all right. It is supposed to listen to the headers my ISP sends (SpamAssassin, which worked before). But nothing gets moved into Junk if I don't do it manually. Starting to bug me.

    It's a tiny bug considering all they did. By and large, I'm happy. The only other thing I'd like is to be able to live-resize disks with a DOS partition format (instead of Mac). You can't do that.

  • by virgil_disgr4ce (909068) on Friday November 02, 2007 @09:37AM (#21210741) Homepage
    I got Leopard with a new MacBook Pro; previously I have been using Tiger since it came out. I've come to the current conclusion that of all the changes in Leopard, the good ultimately outweighs the bad. A huge chunk of this is due to massively improved networking in Finder -- the "Shared" section in the left-hand list makes networking with my several other machines (windows, linux or otherwise) so much easier, faster, and logical. For whatever it's worth, this is one case where coming closer to windows was an improvement. However, this particular one, like its implementation in Windows, still suffers from the problem of DNS updating -- it doesn't appear to cache entries, and there's no way that I can find to force it to update (note: I'm a bit of a newb on that stuff, so I might be misunderstanding it).

    My friends and I were both worried we'd have to actually go back to Tiger, but I've adapted quite quickly to the changes and find the overall experience dramatically improved. The speed increases are downright monumental; using spotlight is actually a viable idea now!

    --Ted
  • Re:My experiences (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 02, 2007 @09:40AM (#21210769)
    A "non-technical" user using APE is playing with fire, anyway. That's like someone who doesn't understand command lines messing with the Windows registry or Linux's /etc directory without having a backup.
  • So far, so good. (Score:5, Informative)

    by tgibbs (83782) on Friday November 02, 2007 @09:42AM (#21210797)
    I've installed Leopard on one of my Macs so far. I even did an upgrade install instead of the far safer "Archive & Install," which creates a new, pristine System Folder. I was amazed at how smoothly it went. It's pretty much gone as expected. Low level utilities and system customizations mostly don't work (although I had some pleasant surprises--Default Folder X seems to work OK) or have minor glitches). Applications generally work fine. The only major failure I've seen at this point is Photoshop 7, which now crashes on launch. On the other hand, some minor bugs seem to have evaporated.

    Overall, I'm happy that I installed it. I am particularly pleased with Time Machine, which is far more convenient and intuitive than my current backup system, not to mention the additional safety of having hourly backups. I'm also beginning to use the built-in virtual desktop feature. I'd say that these two features are worth the price of admission

    I'm not crazy about the esthetics. They certainly are no improvement, but they are not terrible. I'm giving the glitzy new Dock a chance--I've even put it down at the bottom of the screen for a while to see if I'll warm to it (I'm used to making it very small and stashing it over on the right). I have my doubts about the value of the feature that pops up icons of the files associated with a Dock item. I think I preferred the old list method, but I never used that much. I'm using the Finder again a bit, although I still prefer Path Finder for most actions.

    Overall, I'd say it was a successful roll-out.

  • Re:Java complainers (Score:3, Informative)

    by FranTaylor (164577) on Friday November 02, 2007 @09:44AM (#21210845)
    Dude, I work with Java all the time. Some vendors are having a tough enough time supporting Java 5. Java is very important, but it takes development effort to do a good port, and Apple has been very busy lately. Face it, there are not a lot of Java 6 apps. If you really have to run one, get a Linux box, or run one in VMware.

    Like I said, it's in Fedora 8, which is shipping any day now. If OSX actually had dedicated java developers, they'd be all over this, and they'd have their JDK just about ready, too. You don't have to be a developer to help out with a port. If you can run java programs and fill out good bug reports, then you can be a big help. If OSX supposedly has so many dedicated users, they should be able to pull this off in a snap! If RedHat can do it...
  • by TheRaven64 (641858) on Friday November 02, 2007 @09:53AM (#21210943) Journal
    I installed Leopard on the release day, and it's not without problems. First, the good:
    • The kernel no longer sucks. XNU is actually a pretty nice kernel now. When the open source release is done, I might even consider running OpenDarwin on some systems (Launchd is pretty nice too, and the new security frameworks are pretty shiny). This is the first OS X system that my mmap torture test failed to kill.
    • The new unified look is definitely an improvement.
    • Spotlight actually works. In Tiger it was a complete waste of space and resource.
    • RAM usage is way down (or, rather, the new VM subsystem handles swapping a lot better). Leopard works okay in 512MB of RAM on an Intel system. Tiger felt a bit cramped in 1GB.
    • Terminal.app is much improved. Bye bye iTerm.
    • Preview is much improved. I can now ditch PDFPen (buggiest piece of crap I've ever had to use) and may AppleScript hack to reopen windows when I update a PDF from LaTeX.
    Some of the bad:
    • The menu bar is hideous unless you set your desktop background colour to black. If anyone happens to meet the UI designer who thought a transparent menu bar was a good idea, please slap them once for every Leopard user (two million slaps and counting...)
    • The new look doesn't work with Aqua widgets. Third party apps will all need updating to use the newer widgets.
    • I got a kernel panic which wiped out my home directory after about a day of use. Might have been a hardware issue (CPU failed to respond to IPI was the error). Made me very glad I keep regular backups...
    • Time Machine doesn't work properly with File Vault. It only performs backups when you log out (and how often do laptop owners do that? Once a month?) and you don't get any of the nice revision control stuff: you can do a full restore by booting from the install CD, but that's it. This forces laptop users to make a choice between security and safety for their data. Good call Apple.
    • Spaces is really buggy. Switching spaces sometimes restacks your windows (you can see why it happens, but it's still wrong). There is a race condition in the NSWorkspace code that causes new windows to sometimes open in the wrong space. No ability to pin windows, rather than apps, to all desktops.
  • Re:Other OS releases (Score:5, Informative)

    by ubernostrum (219442) on Friday November 02, 2007 @09:59AM (#21211027) Homepage

    (Oh, and anyone who used the Unsanity APE and didn't remove it before upgrading really ought to know better. The similarity of "haxies" to "hacks" isn't just marketing. Nor is the company name)

    From what I've seen on the issue, it appears that Logitech installed an ancient version of APE as part of one of their driver bundles, and so there were a fair number of people with said ancient APE lying around on their drives without their ever realizing it.

  • by GrumpyOldMan (140072) on Friday November 02, 2007 @10:00AM (#21211035)
    The X11 server shipped with Leopard is utterly broken for people who make heavy use of X (broken dual monitor support, no full screen mode, X11 Applications custom menu times do not work, X may not launch because it depends on launchd tricks, etc). If you upgrade to Leopard, do NOT install X11. If you've already upgraded, and X doesn't work correctly, there are instructions online to downgrade to Tiger's X11: http://lists.apple.com/archives/x11-users/2007/Nov/msg00005.html [apple.com]
  • by jpellino (202698) on Friday November 02, 2007 @10:21AM (#21211335)
    I keep my iBook 1.33 bog-standard and here's what I've found:
    It lies about the install time - my quoted 1.5 hrs turned into actual 35 min (no languages, no printers no dev tools).
    Zero install issues.
    The unified UI is a standout feature.
    Coverflow+Quicklook together are a standout feature.
    Data detectors - wonderful. iCal is now a serious calendaring app. We're almost back to Newton functionality ;-)
    Spaces is a standout feature. Almost makes Expose needless.
    I get FrontRow and PhotoBooth.
    Classique c'est mort, but we knew that.
    Spotlight indexing is the same as any previous install, the app is far better.
    The Dock and Menubar look great with the space-y "defaultdesktop" pic - light desktops not so much, I can see where there are issues.

  • by XnavxeMiyyep (782119) on Friday November 02, 2007 @10:24AM (#21211381)
    You can switch the dock back to its old appearance with this information. [wired.com]

    I have yet to try it though, as I don't have Leopard.
  • Pay closer attention (Score:4, Informative)

    by porcupine8 (816071) on Friday November 02, 2007 @10:24AM (#21211387) Journal
    The insanely long and detailed ArsTechnica review [arstechnica.com] (slashdotted a few days ago) is based entirely on using Leopard on G5s.
  • by tf23 (27474) * <tf23&lottadot,com> on Friday November 02, 2007 @10:29AM (#21211463) Homepage Journal

    [...]still suffers from the problem of DNS updating -- it doesn't appear to cache entries, and there's no way that I can find to force it to update
    [...]
    Try this:

    dscacheutil -flushcache
    In 10.4 it was

    lookupd -flushcache
  • by e4g4 (533831) on Friday November 02, 2007 @10:30AM (#21211479)
    I've seen it running just fine on several PPC machines - my iBook G4 (1.25 GB RAM, 1.07 GHz), a pbook G4, a flower pot imac, an out of spec ibook g4 (700MHz) and (amazingly) a g4 cube. I've had no problems with any of my apps (except KisMAC, which has been having some problems related to it being declared illegal in Germany, the place where it was "born"), and only noticed some minor annoyances with spaces and bringing the correct window to the foreground on a switch.
  • by King_TJ (85913) on Friday November 02, 2007 @10:45AM (#21211713) Journal
    A few comments:

    First and foremost, if you haven't seen it already, check out the mod someone did to the dock to make it "rainbow glass". (The rainbow effect might not be your thing, but you can use slight variations of what they did to change it to any color of "tinted glass" you like, making it much easier to see.)

    http://www.mac-forums.com/forums/showthread.php?p=516253&posted=1 [mac-forums.com]

    If you want a non-transparent top menu bar, see here:

    http://www.manytricks.com/blog/?id=10 [manytricks.com]

    I agree on Time Machine.... It's very cool, overall, but needs a little more work. (For example, Apple's solution to incompatibilities with their Aperture application is to exclude Aperture's photo database from your backups. Great... so if I'm a pro photographer, Time Machine can't even back up the most important data on my whole system for me?) It also needs a fix (supposedly coming soon) to allow using a shared disk off an Apple Airport Extreme router.
  • by Tony Hoyle (11698) <tmh@nodomain.org> on Friday November 02, 2007 @10:48AM (#21211743) Homepage
    They haven't made the networking a whole lot better than 10.4 - it's presented better, and now you can occasionally see a list of machines (only windows machines, and not all of them, but at least it's a list.. plus for some bizarre reason the list doesn't include osx machines) but they still haven't figured out login - you still have to enter a username/password for every single network share and store it in your keyring even though you're logged into the active directory (smbclient -k works so it's merely the UI that's busted). Of course that means if you change your password you've got to manually re-login to every share again and update your keyring.

    They also haven't got WINS working yet - as in 10.4 there's a place to enter the server IP (not the name, oddly) but it still only uses broadcast to find the machine so can't find the machines in the other subnet even though the wins server (and all the windows and linux boxes) have no issues finding them.

  • Re:My experiences (Score:3, Informative)

    by robosmurf (33876) * on Friday November 02, 2007 @10:58AM (#21211897)
    Although I agree in general, I should point out that I didn't install APE. Another program that I used (then ditched because it was too flakey) installed it. This was why I forgot that I might have it installed.

    Thus, non-technical users may well have APE installed, even if they didn't explicitly install it themselves.
  • by mzs (595629) on Friday November 02, 2007 @11:00AM (#21211921)
    It is going in the right direction though. The goal is to have X11.app open source and a part of the most recent X from X.org. In fact the git repository is available and Ben Byer from apple (also an X maintainer) has been adding patches to fix many of the bugs basically daily. In fact yesterday or this morning William Mortensen submitted a patch to fix yet another bug and Ben added it to git. This really is a refreshing change to how things were for X11 land on apple before.

    The mailing list is providing links to binaries to download and use instead. The list of fixed items stands at this currently (from the mailing list emails):

    * X11 windows do not come to the front
    * Yellow / invisible cursor on Intel platform
    * Unable to drag windows between screens
    * X11 apps don't "honor" the menu bar (meaning you can drag them underneath)
    * Badly-formatted .xinitrc warning message
    * Customized Apps menu items with arguments did not work
    * Modifier keys (shift, control, etc) would get stuck if you switch away from X11 while holding down the key. ?If you still see this problem with anything other than Spaces (which is an entirely more complicated problem), please let me know.
    * "Fake mouse button" fix ?-- Option-click should now emulate the middle mouse button, while Command-click should emulate the right mouse button
    * stability fixes (added -DROOTLESS_WORKAROUND and fixed overflow bug with QueryFontReply)

    Basically with these patched X11.app is again usable in Leopard unless you use Spaces. He asked help from the community to see places where the offset bug may be because he will soon have a meeting with those devs. Rarely have we had such an amazing opportunity to have this connection with the engineers inside Apple. Also Ben wrote an email today saying basically that he had spent a month trying to get full screen X working and he needs help from the community.

    Personally I am glad we finally we are in a position to determine when and how we will have a modern and useful X server on Mac OS X.
  • by Deag (250823) on Friday November 02, 2007 @11:26AM (#21212373)
  • Re:Early Adoption (Score:4, Informative)

    by Khuffie (818093) on Friday November 02, 2007 @11:29AM (#21212413) Homepage
    From wikipedia: [wikipedia.org] "Faced with ongoing delays and concerns about feature creep, Microsoft announced on August 27, 2004 that it was making changes. The original "Longhorn", based on the Windows XP source code, was scrapped, and Vista development started anew, building on the Windows Server 2003 codebase, and re-incorporating only the features that would be intended for an actual operating system release. "

    The fact that the current code-base of Vista has been in development for 7 years is a myth. This gives Vista the same time-frame Leopard had. Yes, it was stupid of Microsoft that they ended up in such a hole that they had to scrape all their work.

  • Directory Services (Score:5, Informative)

    by duffbeer703 (177751) * on Friday November 02, 2007 @11:30AM (#21212441)
    Integration with Active Directory and some LDAP directories is completely broken. It's really disapointing that features that worked great in 10.4 are broken in 10.5.
  • Re:Other OS releases (Score:4, Informative)

    by MsGeek (162936) on Friday November 02, 2007 @11:58AM (#21212935) Homepage Journal
    You don't need to install the Logitech drivers to make your Logitech mouse work. The Marble Mouse is my pointing device of choice, and I have NEVER installed their drivers. Right click works, trackball scroll works, and that's with Mac OS X internal support. So the stupid little internal buttons don't work. BFD. I don't miss them.
  • Re:Why so moderate? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Dragonfly (5975) <jddaigle@ m a c.com> on Friday November 02, 2007 @12:03PM (#21213033) Homepage

    I've yet to hear someone defend the problematic firewall.

    OK, here you go! Start with this surprisingly level-headed thread [arstechnica.com] over in the ArsTechnica forums. The c't article [heise-security.co.uk] seems to have been written by people with a limited understanding of nmap and an axe to grind. The bottom line is the functionality Leopard firewall is no different from the one in Tiger, except that it adds a third setting which allows exceptions for ports to be added on-the-fly as applications request them. I do agree that the firewall should come enabled by default, but at least OS X has a very small number of open ports out-of-the-box, which mitigates the issue. But regardless, the hysteria over Leopard's firewall is unwarranted.

  • by TheRaven64 (641858) on Friday November 02, 2007 @12:06PM (#21213099) Journal
    The VM subsystem has been seriously overhauled. I think the biggest improvement is that the page fault handler is now either preemptible or just very fast (I haven't looked at the code to find out which). In Tiger, nothing (including context switches to apps that are not swapping) happens while a page fault is being handled. This makes the system's performance degrade very suddenly when you run out of RAM. Since page faults were so expensive to handle (probably due to Mach overhead, since the VM subsystem was down in the Mach layer) any program that used mmap was insanely slow (an order of magnitude slower than using POSIX aio, while the two are about the same speed on FreeBSD).

    I wrote a simple program that mmaps a 2GB file and scans through quickly modifying each page in turn in a tight loop. This means that you are basically reading in and then writing out 2GB of data via the page fault handler. On Tiger, the entire system would freeze if you tried this. On Leopard, it slowed down a bit, but was still useable. This test program grew to use about 1.45GB of my 2GB of RAM, but even with only 512MB left for other programs (and I was running about a dozen of them) and constant page faults from this process the system was still useable. There was a little lag, but it was not anywhere near as bad as I've seen Tiger get.

  • Re:Java complainers (Score:3, Informative)

    by Dragonfly (5975) <jddaigle@ m a c.com> on Friday November 02, 2007 @12:08PM (#21213147) Homepage
    Apple has not "screwed" Java. Java5 works on Leopard, [symphonious.net] and for that matter, no one is holding a gun to Mac-using Java developers' heads forcing them to upgrade.

    Historically, Java releases on OS X have not been aligned exactly with updates to the OS as this timeline [stuffthathappens.com] shows. Yeah, it would be great if Apple would announce an estimated release date for Java6 on Leopard, but it would have been the wrong decision to delay Leopard in order to get Java6 finished for inclusion.
  • by caseih (160668) on Friday November 02, 2007 @12:38PM (#21213593)
    The first thing we noticed about leopard was that printing no longer worked for us. Somehow Apple had managed to break things when you tried to use a non-Apple CUPs print server. The solution, fortunately, is found at http://discussions.apple.com/thread.jspa?messageID=5705091&tstart=0 [apple.com] . However that's a real pain for a lot of Mac users, especially ones not used to the unix command line.

    Another problem is that it's now a lot less obvious how to connect Leopard to an LDAP server other than OS X's OpenDirectory or ActiveDirectory, which are the only two options that appear in the Directory Utility app. Rather than doing things the obvious way, you have to use the services tab, click on LDAPv3, then edit, and then add your server and specify the server type. Definitely a step backwards, kind of like how Vista's wireless setup got a lot harder over XP.

  • by Slur (61510) on Friday November 02, 2007 @12:42PM (#21213653) Homepage Journal
    After I installed Leopard I logged in to my account and the Finder wouldn't load. In fact, no applications would launch. I searched the net and discovered I was not alone. Eventually I found the answer in one of Apple's Discussion Forums. The solution is to move or rename the folder /Library/Application Support/DivXNetworks and reboot. You can do this in single-user mode or boot from another system disk. In my case I booted from Jaguar on an external drive and moved the folder to /Users/Shared.

    Since I got that out of the way the system has been running amazingly well.

    Spotlight is so much faster, and I like the way it shows "All Results" as a Finder search. Much better.

    The Translation widget is much better!

    Spaces is nice, but I want more: Named spaces and per-space desktop backgrounds, to name two wishes.

    The new Network prefpane is just about perfect.

    The new Finder is much, much better. And QuickLook is already indispensable.

    The new Safari is excellent - and so fast! Oddly the Next Window shortcut (Command-`) is gone. Doesn't seem to work properly in the Finder either, hmm...

    Time Machine: Haven't tried it yet.

    Tabs in Terminal!

    Font rendering seems to be improved throughout the system. Much sharper. And automatic font activation... it's about time!

    GrowlMail isn't working... *snif*

    PubSub wants my keychain password again.

    iChat screen sharing is great! I tried it over Bonjour at home. Very nice. However, it took two tries before my requests would pop up on the target machine.

    Stacks aren't very pretty. I don't like the concatenated file names. I'm glad Apple added a ~/Downloads folder though.

    Icon previews in the Finder aren't very useful. What good is a 16x16 PDF preview in column view? I'd rather see the application document icons most of the time so I know which app opens them.

    Cover Flow is cool, but too touchy with my scroll wheel. Some kind of acceleration algorithm - like mouse motion - would help here. I'm not sure how much I'll be using Cover Flow view.

    Where do I set the default View Options for columns, icons, list...? Finder views are still somewhat confusing, but then most of the time I just keep two column-view Finder windows open and work with those. Not often do I double-click a folder on the desktop or elsewhere to open it up to its own view.

    Still no native support for AVI files. No QuickLook for AVIs.

    Rounded corners on menus are pretty nice looking.

    Overall I find the system faster and much improved. I look forward to playing with XCode 3 next!
  • Re:Early Adoption (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 02, 2007 @01:51PM (#21214689)
    I was curious about this, so I looked it up: how long between Apple's 10.x.0 and 10.x.1?
      - 10.0: Mar 24 - Apr 14 (22 days)
      - 10.1: Sep 25 - Nov 13 (49 days)
      - 10.2: Aug 23 - Sep 18 (26 days)
      - 10.3: Oct 24 - Nov 10 (17 days)
      - 10.4: Apr 29 - May 16 (17 days)

    To compare, I looked up Microsoft's track record with SP1 here:
      - 95: Aug 24 - Dec 31 (130 days)
      - 98 ("SE"): Jun 25 - May 5 (315 days)
      - ME: no second edition (but made PC World's "Top 25 Worst Tech Products")
      - 2000: Feb 17 - Aug 15 (181 days)
      - XP: Oct 25 - Sep 9 (320 days)
      - Vista: Nov 8 - 2008Q1? (~60-180 days)

    I'm a Debian user, so I appreciate being able to get fixes the day they're checked in by the developer. But if I had to pick a proprietary system, I'd sure prefer one where the .1 release followed a month later, rather than one where it followed 6-12 months later, if ever.
  • Re:Early Adoption (Score:3, Informative)

    by Mister Whirly (964219) on Friday November 02, 2007 @03:19PM (#21216087) Homepage
    Your memory may be a bit hazy then. Atari and Commodore were easily beating Apple in the early 80s in the home market (most likely due to pricing factors). The Atari 800 was a far superior machine with bitmapped color and sound, and the capability to use a TV as a monitor all for a lower cost.

    "In 1980, Gartner reported Apple's worldwide share of the computer market at 15.8%"
    http://www.roughlydrafted.com/RD/Home/D579148C-8563-4FFB-8E97-C2613215F98E.html [roughlydrafted.com]

    http://arstechnica.com/articles/culture/total-share.ars/4 [arstechnica.com] - look at the chart at the bottom of the page. Apple was 3rd in sales after Commodore and Atari from 1980-84 (the years the chart covers). The chart on the next page from 84-87 also has Commodore and Atari ahead of Apple too.

    While you may be closer on the education side because of Apple's educational discounts, there are a far more number of homes than there are schools. Even if they had 100% of the education market it still would have been less total market share than the others.

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