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OS X Businesses Operating Systems Apple

Mac OS X 'Panther': User at the Center 550

MatthewRothenberg writes "Over at eWEEK, we believe we've got the drop on the much-discussed interface enhancements to Mac OS X 10.3, a k a Panther: The theme of this September release will be 'User at the Center,' an umbrella term for a variety of new features aimed at leapfrogging Microsoft when it comes to pervasive, user-focused computing. Niceties include user-configurable 'piles,' a fast-user-switching-type feature, and easy transferral of home directories among devices and the Web. Oh, and it's mo' definitely 64-bit-complete, too."
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Mac OS X 'Panther': User at the Center

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 22, 2003 @12:42PM (#5781983)
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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 22, 2003 @12:43PM (#5781996)

    I'm not touching those things.....

  • drop, what? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Dg93 ( 10261 ) on Tuesday April 22, 2003 @12:44PM (#5782006) Homepage
    Got the drop? There was nothing in this article that hasn't been floating around the mac rumor sites for weeks now.
  • Leapfrogging? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Brento ( 26177 ) <brento AT brentozar DOT com> on Tuesday April 22, 2003 @12:44PM (#5782007) Homepage
    ...new features aimed at leapfrogging Microsoft.... Niceties include...a fast-user-switching-type feature, and easy transferral of home directories among devices and the Web.

    Not to troll, but if they're thinking they can leapfrog with user switching and roaming home directories, they need to jump a lot higher than that. User switching came with XP, and roaming home directories has been in since 2000. My home directory syncs automatically between my desktop & laptop & other home workstation, and it's been brain-free for years with Windows 2000 Server.
    • Re:Leapfrogging? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by alernon ( 91859 )
      Well, that sentence was most likely the work of the articles author and not any source at Apple. I think it's just badly written/researched. The author probably just picked a couple of features out without even checking if these were the ones that were meant to surpass Windows in usability.
      • Re:Leapfrogging? (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Otter ( 3800 )
        Actually, the submitter said that. The article specifically mentions that the features are intended to catch up with XP.
    • Re:Leapfrogging? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by feldsteins ( 313201 ) <(scott) (at) (scottfeldstein.net)> on Tuesday April 22, 2003 @12:59PM (#5782142) Homepage
      I don't think anyone at Apple would say they're "leapfrogging" Windows with a "fast user switching" work-alike feature. I think they would say, however, that they're going to do it better. And I bet they do.

      Well maybe not better by nerd standards. Better in the sense that a lot more of the user base actually finds the feature understandable and easy enough to actually use instead of being one of those wierd "did you know?" features of windows that only nerds use.

      Actually I hope they hide the feature away in some rarely-looked at place. Your average user who doesn't know the difference between a document and a program certainly doesn't know the difference between logging out and logging out while leaving applications running. I mean just think of the people who have come to you and said "mydocument is gone!" because it no longer appeared in the "recently used" list.
    • Suitcases have almost the same functionality (as far as I know anyhow), and have been around since Win95.

      If Apple really want's to get a leg up on Microsoft, all they need to do is make competant software that makes my life better. Unfortunately publicly traded companies seem to be nigh incompetant in this area.

      Linux is probably our only real hope for free computing. Someday anyway.
      • Re:Leapfrogging? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Ryan Amos ( 16972 ) on Tuesday April 22, 2003 @04:49PM (#5784127)
        What Apple seems to be doing is taking all the really good ideas that came out of the dot-com era (p2p, home media creation, etc) and making them marketable and usable. All these great things we've been promised (home burning of DVDs, the iPod, internet purchase of music, the "computer of the future") have been what Apple is delivering. They basically make products that are almost sci-fi cool. Except they're real and you can buy them now if you can afford them. Apple's big thing is the "digital lifestyle," the iPod was only the first step (and why you keep hearing rumors of Apple branded cell phones and PDAs) Apple, while not free computing, gives me exactly the kind of things I want without sacrificing the cool little touches (lots of blue blinky LEDS on a rackmount server? woo) that make Apple's stuff REALLY cool. You have to use OS X for a good period of time before you realize exactly how much thought went into making things work the way they do, but once you do, it's like "Wow, that makes sense, why didn't I think of that?" It looks cool, it's powerful as all hell, yet easy enough for a child to use. Apple makes products for the masses, but they leave enough power under the hood for us geeks to tinker with. That's something hard to do. :)
      • Re:Leapfrogging? (Score:4, Interesting)

        by gig ( 78408 ) on Tuesday April 22, 2003 @08:21PM (#5785969)
        On Mac OS X it is common to represent some folders in the GUI as single icons. You use them that way, and if you want to "open the hood" you can go inside and there are individual files in there. It's a convenient way to have a less-complex interface and still work with lots of data.

        As of Logic 6, there is a new "project" file format for Logic which is the same old file, but sitting in a standard folder structure with folders for audio files, plug-in settings and such always in the same place. In 10.3 these project folders could easily be represented as a single document, or as a single item with child items.

        Suitcases? It's the 21st century, man. Suitcases are early 1990's Mac platform stuff ported badly to MS Windows and repurposed as a way to sync two folders. The history of bundles is all Mac and NeXT. On the old Mac OS they were forked files with "resources" stored in the resource fork. On NeXT they were folders that appeared to be single icons most of the time, and that's how they work on Mac OS X.

        Speaking of syncronization, that's what this article is about, too. Mac OS X will sync your contacts and such across your phone, PDA, iPod, and their Web services. Now they are adding the whole home folder, basically.

        All the tech for this stuff is already in Mac OS X. They are in a phase now where they are just building on the solid foundation that they worked so hard on for the past five years. They don't have to do a bunch of hacking and trickery to make a UI feature like this happen. It makes sense along with other features, like the way you can easily manipulate disk images in Mac OS X, even encrypted ones, even your grandmother. The whole platform gets better because when they build a feature in they do it right and then it is a problem that's taken care of. We all build on top of it.

        Apple's software is the best desktop software there is. This is widely, widely accepted in the industry. People buy Macs often to run just one great app, like iPhoto or Final Cut Pro or Logic or Pro Tools, and that software is so good, so perfectly realized, so easy to use, so reliable, it's worth getting the Mac just for that. The creative tools are a generation and sometimes two ahead of what's on MS Windows.
    • Re:Leapfrogging? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by nadador ( 3747 ) on Tuesday April 22, 2003 @02:03PM (#5782747)
      > Not to troll, but if they're thinking they can
      > leapfrog with user switching and roaming home
      > directories, they need to jump a lot higher than
      > that. User switching came with XP, and roaming
      > home directories has been in since 2000. My home
      > directory syncs automatically between my desktop
      > laptop & other home workstation, and it's been
      > brain-free for years with Windows 2000 Server.

      Not to troll, but NFS has been letting my home directory roam from station to station since it made it out of the lab at Sun in 1984.
      Thanks to Google:
      http://classes.csumb.edu/CST/CST434-01/wo rld/WEBSI TES/NFS/nfshistory.html

      But you are correct. Fast user switching and roaming home directories do not an intuitive desktop make. (Actually, that sounds like UNIX, cerca 1984. But I digress.)

      The point the eWeek writer was trying (badly) to make is that Apple is rumored to be implementing the foundations of intuitive, pervasive computing that Microsoft is likely to shoehorn into Longhorn.

      From Microsoft's perspective, computer's always existed as disconnected nodes, hence their late (and rather loud) entry into all things internet-enabled. (Speaking of which, naming something ".Net" was the epitomy of this internet obsession that is Microsoft's reaction to how they missed the burgeoning of the internet and allowed someone else - Netscape - to challenge their strangle hold on personal computing. But I digress again.)

      So, in Microsoft's mind, the only way to have "pervasive" computing is to extend the PC experience, so that your PC can follow you around. Its not so much that data lives on the network (as a properly NFSed or even better, AFSed, network might work on a corporate plant site), but that your data will follow you around from PC to PC, if you so choose.

      Apple, by way of its BSD folk, understands that this is silly, and that data should just live on the network, hence iDisk is a main selling point of .Mac, and iDisks can be mounted as a normal drive under Mac OS and Windows, and seen as folders on the web, etc.

      Apple also understands that whatever decision Microsoft makes, it will be held liable in the court of public tech opinion if it doesn't do it the same way.

      So, this is just a long way of saying that what the eWeek write meant to say is that Apple is going to implement a boat load of stuff that Microsoft is planning for Longhorn, so as to make those "features" a moot point.
    • Re:Leapfrogging? (Score:5, Informative)

      by TrackDaddy ( 630566 ) on Tuesday April 22, 2003 @03:42PM (#5783558)
      Let's deal with "roaming home directories" for a moment. As another reader pointed out, this feature has been around since NT4 (maybe even sooner). But you left out a few of the niggling details that make it a "less than ideal solution".

      To have a roaming profile, what MS calls roaming home directory, you must authenticate into a domain and have a domain controller available. This is fine in a corporate environment, but most Windows users (other than my esteemed colleagues here on Slashdot) wouldn't know what those terms mean, let alone how to implement them. Then there is the matter of how roaming profiles are actually implemented. When you log onto a system, your home directory, preferences, registry settings, and everything else that makes up your profile is copied from a Windows share to your local host. And when you log off, it is copied back to that share. Notice, I didn't say changes were copied. That's right Sparky, the WHOLE thing gets copied back to the server. And the next time you log on, it does it all over again. Now considering how things like Outlook OST files tend to get large, or as we in the industry like to say, "F*$&@%G HUGE", that means that you get to slog this data back and forth across your network each time a user logs on/off their system. Now, do that for a 5000 user company. Have fun.

      So, apple has the opportunity here to do it MUCH better. After all, when you only have to aim as high as "I think I'll just copy everything on my computer every time I log on/off", its pretty easy. So yeah, maybe they will "leapfrog".

      - Peace

      • by JohnsonWax ( 195390 ) on Wednesday April 23, 2003 @12:38AM (#5787104)
        Can someone explain how I'm not currently doing this with Mac OS X - and have been since 10.0 shipped?

        Each of the client machines in my office are essentially identical. Users sign on and their l/p are authenticated against our Xserve, their home directory (plus appropriate groups, etc) are mounted locally, and they go about their work. Everything runs out of their account on the server. We mount via AFP, but we could do NFS if we opted.

        Users have no idea that they aren't working locally until they need to walk up to some other machine, log in, and everything is exactly the same. Users can run multiple sessions from their account as well. Network traffic isn't too bad since it's generally only reading config files and prefs and hitting the server on demand.

        BTW, this is a pretty straightforward setup on OS X Server. If the server is on your subnet (mine isn't) then you hang the entire thing off of DHCP - plug in a brand new machine out of the box and you can hit your user account with no configuration. That's cool...
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 22, 2003 @12:45PM (#5782020)
    What's next? The "Cougar"?
  • Panth-ire? (Score:5, Funny)

    by dschuetz ( 10924 ) <david@@@dasnet...org> on Tuesday April 22, 2003 @12:45PM (#5782022)
    Anyone know how Jobs pronounces "Panther"?

  • Piles (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Finally a desktop metaphor I can relate to. If I can lose the bowl in the 'specifications' pile and use the dried trail left over from some spilled dew as an index, it'll be just like IRL.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 22, 2003 @12:50PM (#5782069)
    WTF? What on earth are they thinking making Apple's marketing campaign public over four months before it starts? Speculate on the hardware or software, fine. Make that public for page counts, for a little while. But can you imagine what it would be like if the Mini-me/Yao commercial was leaked this far before the laptops availability?!

    They might actually be able to meet the demand by now.
  • hm? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Neophytus ( 642863 ) on Tuesday April 22, 2003 @12:50PM (#5782070)
    easy transferral of home directories among devices and the Web

    Keeping copies of your home directory on the web at the moment would seem to me impractical as many/most 'home users' still use a 56k modem which would make synchronisation of anything more than your office documents a bit of a joke.

    Once you have broadband then you encounter the problem of web storage and assosiated costs. Most providers won't let you host illegal files to cover their own arses, and more than a few hundred MB is rare on most traditional web hosting packages. I see a market for a premium file mirroring monopoly here, jump onboard before AOL takes over!
    • Re:hm? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by mrpuffypants ( 444598 ) <{mrpuffypants} {at} {gmail.com}> on Tuesday April 22, 2003 @12:58PM (#5782136)
      hell, even over broadband it'd be annoying to have to sync my home directory with the .mac server... I've got at least 1GB of things in my Documents folder, almost 10GB in music, and god knows how much in the movies dir.

      on another note, has anybody else noticed how much /. is reporting Apple news lately? I sense that this company is going to come back and really, really big...
      • Re:hm? (Score:5, Informative)

        by anthonyclark ( 17109 ) on Tuesday April 22, 2003 @01:55PM (#5782665)

        Actually, the reason /. is reporting Apple news a lot is that all the /. crew bought powerbooks and have become born-again Mac users ;-)

        • Re:hm? (Score:5, Insightful)

          by gig ( 78408 ) on Tuesday April 22, 2003 @09:37PM (#5786344)
          Who else is making news in computers these days? Everywhere else it is all lawyers and poor excuses for the same old half-assed shit.

          The Apple platform has made more progress in the past two years than MS Windows has made in the last eight years since Windows 95. The Mac stopped crashing altogether, is UNIX-compatible, Java2 with all the trimmings, an updated API and a new object-oriented API, next-generation graphics system and so much more, while you can receive an email and lose your MS Windows system at any time. From top to bottom the Windows platform looks like a joke right now after all these years of "it will be stable soon". Remember when they delayed Windows 2000 and left out features just to "concentrate on fixing bugs and improving reliability" because people were demanding it. Now, a really advanced user can set up a halfway-decent Windows XP machine, but even they can't get close to the quality of a Mac, and for regular users, they are in a completely different world if they get a Gateway instead of an iMac as far as what they can do with it, and what they will have to do to admin it (almost nothing for the iMac, even adding hardware and apps is dead easy, just drag and drop at the most, and often it just works even without that.
      • Easy (Score:3, Informative)

        by waldoj ( 8229 )
        hell, even over broadband it'd be annoying to have to sync my home directory with the .mac server... I've got at least 1GB of things in my Documents folder, almost 10GB in music, and god knows how much in the movies dir.

        One word: rsync [anu.edu.au].

        -Waldo Jaquith
    • Re:hm? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Wesley Felter ( 138342 ) <wesley@felter.org> on Tuesday April 22, 2003 @01:02PM (#5782176) Homepage
      I suspect by "the Web" they mean .Mac.
    • I see a market for a premium file mirroring monopoly here, jump onboard before AOL takes over!

      Gee, if only Apple [mac.com] had thought about doing that...
    • Re:hm? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by RestiffBard ( 110729 ) on Tuesday April 22, 2003 @02:47PM (#5783105) Homepage
      I believe you'll find the reason for Mac's broadband centricity (i think thats a new word) is that while the majority of Computer people are still on dial-up (me), a majority of mac people are on broadband. I saw a poll somewhere.
  • Piles (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Squidgee ( 565373 ) <squidgeeOO1@@@hotmail...com> on Tuesday April 22, 2003 @12:51PM (#5782080)
    I have to say I like the concept of piles; it's the type of intuitive idea I like to see coming from UI design. In fact, it reminds a lot of another awesome UI idea, Clutter [sprote.com], an interface for iTunes. It shows all of the CDs you have as CD cases/covers on your desktop. Double click, and you've got your CD running in iTunes.

    This seems like an awesome UI concept, and one which will (Once again) put the Mac GUI head and shoulders above the rest.

    • The idea of Clutter is ... awkward, at best. The whole idea of iTunes it to get rid of the mess associated with CD cases.. I have more less 220 albums currently ripped. How the hell do I fit them all on my 17" desktop? I have one concern about the piles (though I like the idea): how does the Terminal (ls, cp, scp etc...) interpret those piles? As dirs? Or as a loose bunch of files?
    • Piles vs. Folders (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Amoeba Protozoa ( 15911 ) <jordan.husneyNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Tuesday April 22, 2003 @01:15PM (#5782280) Homepage

      So I did a quick search for piles, and just about every article I read echoed this one [macpronews.com]. So, basically piles are folders (directories) that are non-nestable.

      About the only use I can see for this feature is that it will help certain users who are fuzzy on how folder hierarchies are supposed to work...but heck, if that makes the user's computing experience all the more rich and it keeps people like my mother from calling me asking how to find her documents, why not?

      Has anybody else reached a different conclusion than I have?


      • by porkchop_d_clown ( 39923 ) <mwheinz@NOSpam.me.com> on Tuesday April 22, 2003 @01:31PM (#5782421) Homepage

        replace folders - they are strictly an organizational metaphor, nothing to do with how files are actaully stashed away.

        • Who the hell cares about how the files are ACTUALLY stashed away? Should I remember the cylinder address of whatever file I want to start modifying?

          OF COURSE it's an organizational metaphor. What on a GUI screen isn't? The only question is whether it's more or less useful than other metaphors for more or less humans.
      • Orthogonal, baby! (Score:4, Informative)

        by Gorimek ( 61128 ) on Tuesday April 22, 2003 @02:18PM (#5782844) Homepage
        But they're independent of folders. All files will still belong to a folder, but they can also be in one (or more?) piles, organized after whatever scheme makes sense to the user.

        Also, you can browse through your pile effectively, and you can tell by looking at the pile roughly how much stuff is in it, and possibly (it's been talked about) how old it is or how long since it's been touched by how much dust and spider web it's collected.

        A lot of people are excited by this and have talked about it for a long time, so I hope it will be good. Only actual use will tell though.
    • Re:Piles (Score:5, Informative)

      by Squidgee ( 565373 ) <squidgeeOO1@@@hotmail...com> on Tuesday April 22, 2003 @01:25PM (#5782356)
      For those of you who are unclear on piles, read this [asktog.com]:

      "Apple holds a patent on this one. Developed by Gitta Salomon and her team close to a decade ago, a pile is a loose grouping of documents. Its visual representation is an overlay of all the documents within the pile, one on top of the other, rotated to varying degrees. In other words, a pile on the desktop looked just like a pile on your real desktop.

      To view the documents within the pile, you clicked on the top of the pile and drew the mouse up the screen. As you did so, one document after another would appear as a thumbnail next to the pile. When you found the one you were looking for, you would release the mouse and the current document would open.

      Piles, unlike today's folders, gave you a lot of hints as to their contents. You could judge the number of documents in the pile by its height. You could judge its composition very rapidly by pulling through it."

    • by Michael_Burton ( 608237 ) <michaelburton@brainrow.com> on Tuesday April 22, 2003 @02:38PM (#5783036) Homepage

      I would prefer to call piles "stacks." It sounds neater.

      You could put all kinds of content in them, including pictures, text, sounds, video, user-programmable buttons, etc. And you could link items to other items in the same stack--or even items in different stacks! And if you could attach some sort of script to any item in a stack, that would be hyper cool!

      I know... I know... that idea's waaaay too far ahead of its time.

  • piles (Score:3, Funny)

    by pyros ( 61399 ) on Tuesday April 22, 2003 @12:53PM (#5782093) Journal
    I guess PHB's can start using them now that they can pile up documents in large random .. uh .. piles, all over their desktops, just like their desks and shelves.
  • Piles? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by LippyTheLip ( 582561 ) on Tuesday April 22, 2003 @12:57PM (#5782125)
    From the article: In addition, sources said Panther will finally mark the debut of the much-discussed "piles" GUI design concept, which Apple patented in June 2001. According to the patent, piles comprise collections of documents represented graphically in stacks. Users can browse the "piled" documents dynamically by pointing at them with the cursor; the filing system can then divide a pile into subpiles based on each document's content. At the user's request, the filing system can automatically file away documents into existing piles with similar content.

    I must have missed the "much-discussed" piles conecpt on /. Can someone enlighten me, please?

    How does this differ from a hierarchical filing system? Aren't my directories "piles of related documents"? Does ths just automate filing by indexing the content or am I missing something?
  • what about those of us whose home folders are gigabytes in size? This new feature eweek is talking about would work well for small home folders, but I'm not so sure about large ones. However, I hope that this means that we can easily switch our home folder to a different partition or disk.
    • > However, I hope that this means that we can easily
      > switch our home folder to a different partition or disk.

      That's already easy... simplistic even. It's the first thing I did when I switched to OS X, actually. Two commands in the terminal, and you're all set:

      mv /Users /Volumes/Whereever/Users

      ln -s /Volumes/Whereever/Users /Users

      I don't remember if you have to log out and back in for this to take. I did it as root from the console just to be sure. But in any event, you're all set. If you wa
  • by napa1m ( 154836 ) on Tuesday April 22, 2003 @01:04PM (#5782187) Homepage
    Rumor has it that in 'Panther' they have replaced the Sherlock application with the new bumbling 'Inspector'

    here is a preview [bka.net] of their new ad campaign.

    (credit where due: my friend andy is a hopeless mac addict with apparently too much time on his hands, this is his handiwork)

    ^nA - my daily illustrations [creaturesinmyhead.com]
  • by BDew ( 202321 ) on Tuesday April 22, 2003 @01:04PM (#5782189)
    is how much is this new cat gonna cost?

    Will we get to upgrade for free? Or is this our yearly $100 for an OS upgrade? Why not just have people who know they will want to upgrade subscribe to the OS (say, at a reduced rate maybe)?
    • Will we get to upgrade for free? Or is this our yearly $100 for an OS upgrade? Why not just have people who know they will want to upgrade subscribe to the OS (say, at a reduced rate maybe)?

      How come people always want things for free? What's the deal? Sometimes I think that people's adversion to capitalism hurts companies worse then Microsoft's anti-trust violations.

      • "How come people always want things for free? What's the deal? Sometimes I think that people's adversion to capitalism hurts companies worse then Microsoft's anti-trust violations."

        Don'tcha think you jumped the gun a bit?

        He didn't say free. He offered to pay a subscription. He wanted a little discount for being a loyal customer. It's a common thing these days.

      • Apple has just put out 10.2.5 for free. In my OpenGL app, the upgrade gave me a
        10% speed improvement. It's also 10% faster than the almost identical code running
        on Windows and Mac OS9. Again, this was free for the download. Plus, nothing
        (at least for me) broke after the upgrade unlike countless Windows updates I've
        done through the years. It's also packaged cleanly; a couple clicks, wait a little bit,
        and everything works better. Paying $120 a year for Apple's diligence is a bargain.

        It also appears that Appl
    • Why not just have people who know they will want to upgrade subscribe to the OS (say, at a reduced rate maybe)?

      How do you know if you're going to want to upgrade? If it comes out and it's worth $129 to you, buy it (for $79 or $99 from Amazon, of course); if it's not worth it, or especially if it sucks, don't upgrade - your computer will still work fine, and they'll keep releasing the security patches you need for quite a while.
  • Piles system (Score:2, Interesting)

    I've seen the piles system on some professor's website about a year ago.

    Thought it was totally innovative, and a very cool way to classify documents, something like a crude version of the OS seen in Minority Report (why do all of the video clips in the future have to be all flickery and dark though?). I'm not sure if I would use it, but props to Apple for innovation.

    Of course if you want to use this OS you will have to shell out $100 to upgrade .1 of a version number. Sheesh!
    • Re:Piles system (Score:5, Informative)

      by Daniel_Staal ( 609844 ) <DStaal@usa.net> on Tuesday April 22, 2003 @01:18PM (#5782306)

      Of course if you want to use this OS you will have to shell out $100 to upgrade .1 of a version number. Sheesh!

      I actually think Apple's switched to a new version numbering sceme: 10.x.x. The 10 is constant (a marketing number basically), and the x.x is the 'real' version number.

      So basically the current version is 2.5, and Panther is version 3.0.

  • damn rumormongers (Score:2, Insightful)

    by pelorus ( 463100 )
    Apple hasn't said they'd ship any of this...

    And if they don't, why it'll be Apple "failed" to ship them.

    Isn't there a cull on journalists sometime?

  • by mdw162 ( 654188 ) on Tuesday April 22, 2003 @01:10PM (#5782230)
    People are constantly griping about how Mac OSX is slow (as well as with KDE and Gnome for Linux) compared to Windows. And they're right. Windows is faster for a lot of GUI applications -- but there's a reason for the difference.

    The biggest thing that helps Windows' speed is the registry. It's basically a database and so it's faster in searching for settings and library links. However, there are two big problems with the registry that in my opinion do not offset its speed advantage. First, the registry slows down a lot as it grows and software is installed and removed. After a certain size, the registry actually makes things slower. Second, anyone who's used Regclean knows that it is almost NEVER in a clean state and eventually program installations get corrupted, "cruft factor" sets in, and people concede it's time to reinstall. You don't have this problem in OSX.

    • Hmm. I've never heard this before. The slowness of OS X has zippo to do with the configuration mechanism and everything to do with Mach and Quartz. Quartz is largely done in software (even in QE, where OpenGL is only used for the final compositing step) and Mach is just plain slow. In lmbench numbers (measure of the speed of basic kernel primitives like IPC, mmap(), etc) OS X 10.1 ws shown to be about half as fast as NetBSD on the same machine. It's probably improved since then, but even 10.3 is (optimistic
      • When people talk about Mac OS X being slow, they are talking about a lack of interface responsiveness because of the double-buffered and 32-bit composited display. Nothing ever appears out of thin air. It's drawn in a buffer and then composited with your current display.

        An analogy is that you could watch a 2-hour movie in 1:45 if you took out all the wipe transitions and just went boom, boom, boom between scenes. Technically this is faster, but it is not better. The way MS Windows is doing its display and
      • by gig ( 78408 )
        I read some things from Apple coders who said that many of the benchmarks that are run on Mac OS X against other systems are misleading because the reviewers or testers don't understand that Mac OS X is tuned and optimized to run things like Logic and Final Cut Pro and iDVD and QuickTime, not tuned for pure Web serving speed, or pure database access speed.

        So a lot of these benchmark suites have built-in assumptions that show when they test Mac OS X. They may simulate hitting a database for 1000 32k chunks
    • I could see the registry explaination almost making sense during startup. But an app isn't going to re-read a preference every time it draws a UI widget. It'll read them all in at startup and store them.

      Also, searching thru 10 megs of data for the registry is definately going to be slower than reading and parsing a 2k text file, especially if you're actually using all the info in the text config file.

      A more likely explaination of why Windows GUI apps are faster is because of how GDI resources work. All th
  • PC by definition is a personal computer, where you do what you want, using a UI, regardless of whether computing at home or on the web. In contrast, Microsoft's Windows UI is merely a front end to total server-side control over what you watch (DRM, UltimateTV), what you run (.NET+palladium) and how you log on (passport).
  • Hype? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Obiwan Kenobi ( 32807 ) <evan@misterorange . c om> on Tuesday April 22, 2003 @01:13PM (#5782256) Homepage
    Um, where's the content? Where's the screenshots? Looks like a press release in sheeps clothing to me.

    "Yeah, it's got this feature and this one too...and it's gonna whoop up on Longhorn! Woohoo!"

    Other than a feature list, which can be found in many other places, and some that aren't confirmed yet, this look like hype to me with little to back it up...
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 22, 2003 @01:15PM (#5782275)
    The journaling technology extends OS X's HFS+ file system and can be applied to current Mac OS volumes without reformatting. Users of Mac OS X Server can activate journaling by clicking on a "Make journaled" button within the Disk Utility application; they can also access it via the command line or remotely via a Secure Shell (SSH) connection.
  • by iJed ( 594606 ) on Tuesday April 22, 2003 @01:25PM (#5782358) Homepage
    There is currently very little real information on Panther at this point. The only thing we really know for a fact is that it will be called 10.3 (since Jordan Hubbard said so in an interview). Other than this the only information comes from LoopRumors [looprumors.com], MacOSRumors [macosrumors.com] (dodgy), Mac Rumors [macrumors.com] and maybe one or two others. The information from these sites can range from dead on to absolute rubbish.
  • by jeblucas ( 560748 ) <jeblucas@@@gmail...com> on Tuesday April 22, 2003 @01:38PM (#5782483) Homepage Journal
    Obviously, all this news is caveated by rumoritis. But I like the pile concept (as so thoughtfully illustrated by a previous poster). I think it's an intuitive and well-thought-out way to organize things. Sure, some folks will think it's adding to clutter, but if you saw my office you'd think it was a disaster area--but a disaster area that I can navigate very effectively. I can reach into a stack of paper and pull out the invoice I need because I know where it is. I wouldn't mind having my computer organized this way at all.

    I want to remind people to check out this article [arstechnica.com] as well, and keep this in mind as you hear about possible new features.

  • live views? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by otis wildflower ( 4889 ) on Tuesday April 22, 2003 @02:22PM (#5782883) Homepage
    This article on [arstechnica.com] discusses many interesting UI possibilities, but the one I'm most interested in is the 'live search folder' concept, where you declare a 'folder' to contain the continually-updated contents of a search.

    iTunes has this (Smart Playlists), and I'm quite smitten by it, and I'd like to see something similar rolled out across the UI (and, possibly, done as a framework for other apps to hook into).

    Combined with 'piles', you could have your smart pile of apps, pile of word docs, pile of porn divx, etc.. Makes some sense to me..
  • by Michael_Burton ( 608237 ) <michaelburton@brainrow.com> on Tuesday April 22, 2003 @02:48PM (#5783115) Homepage

    Sources said Longhorn should reach users by early 2005.

    Panther must be jam-packed with OS goodness if it's going to take Microsoft more than a year to rip off the feature set!

  • Leapfrog? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Llywelyn ( 531070 ) on Tuesday April 22, 2003 @03:13PM (#5783288) Homepage
    Don't you have to be behind them to jump past them?

He: Let's end it all, bequeathin' our brains to science. She: What?!? Science got enough trouble with their OWN brains. -- Walt Kelly