There’s been so many comments about Leopard over the weekend that I stopped reading – and there are too many of them that just repeat each other, too.
I’ve been running Leopard since the first seeds came out, and the last few have been really stable, especially the last one; I didn’t have to reboot it once in about a month.
The final release – 9A581 – was built on Oct. 12 but released to developers on Oct.26, the same day that it (theoretically) was released to users; some journalists got it earlier under embargo. In past major releases, the final build’s release date for developers was uneven – sometimes just a few days before, sometimes as much as a week after.
Buzz Andersen, a former Apple employee, wrote a very good post pointing out the difficulty of interpreting Apple’s actions from the outside. While I personally think Apple’s two-week delay in posting the final release for developers was unfortunate, I must point out that past releases leaked on the torrent sites in less than a day. If some developers won’t honor their NDAs, everybody will suffer for it.
Similarly there’s much controversy about stuff that got suddenly (or not-really-so-suddenly) taken out of the final release; 64-bit Carbon apps, ZFS support, Java 1.6, backing up over wireless are the ones that immediately come to mind. As usual, people are reading into that all sort of background motivations – Apple is following some Machiavellian scheme, or is completely stupid/clueless. I prefer to believe that they’re doing the best they can with their limited resources while trying to follow a multitude of small individual agendas. Ants carrying a large item into their nests come to mind…
For now, I’d just like to point out that, as in previous years, 10.5.1 will be out within 15 days, probably fixing at least one of those omissions. I think Apple made a good decision in, for the last month, concentrating on polishing existing features. Leopard is unusually smooth and “finished” for a .0 version.
On a personal note, and as I posted to the XRay Support Forum a few days ago, XRay 1.1 suffers from some problems in the final Leopard release. The most annoying is that the file browser doesn’t allow you XRay an item – it will crash.
I’m fully resolved to step up efforts to release XRay II, at least in public beta, as soon as other commitments allow. It will be Leopard-only and everybody who paid for XRay 1.x will get a free upgrade to the “standard” edition (there may be a “pro” edition, but I’m not sure yet).
One commitment which, unfortunately, is a great deal more pressing (literally!) is that I’ve contracted to write a book about “Programming Objective-C 2.0”. This also is specific for Leopard, and as you can imagine, deadlines are very short; ideally, of course, the book should be out today! But, the laws of physics and physiology permitting, it will be out as soon as possible. Watch this space for details.