Alastair’s Place

Software development, Cocoa, Objective-C, life. Stuff like that.


Much has already been written, both about Leopard’s features and about the fact that we developers didn’t get to see the final build before it was released. Actually, even if we had been able to grab a copy of the final build before release, it wouldn’t have made that much difference really; if problems show up (as happened to my company this time around) in the final seed, or even in the GM if they provide it before the release, there really isn’t that much time to correct them before either Mac OS X or your apps need to ship.

In this case, the problem we’re seeing seems to be with the Leopard kernel, though it’s possible that it’s actually a disk firmware bug that’s being triggered more readily by Leopard than Tiger.

Anyway, as a result, we’ve had to join the rather humiliating position that Filemaker are in, by declaring our applications not fully compatible with Leopard. I say “not fully” because, unlike Filemaker, at least our customers can run our applications from a bootable CD, and since that bootable CD will contain Tiger, not Leopard, it’s really not as bad as it sounds.

Having griped a little, let me just say: I’ve installed Leopard on a few of my machines now, and it’s looking very nice indeed. Superficial first impressions are that, in spite of all the new UI glitz, Leopard is actually faster than Tiger. Which would make it the third update in a row where Mac OS X seemed to get faster, not slower (contrast that with Microsoft’s recent efforts).

As for the UI changes… well, broadly speaking I quite like them. I’m still not entirely sold on the squarer corners on the windows, though I’m already finding the ones on Tiger too rounded after only a few hours of using Leopard full-time. And I’m glad they toned down the extra shadows on the Dock a bit, though I’d have liked to have seen what it was like without them. As for folder icons… well, they are nice, but I understand the complaints from others that the badges for the system folders are too subtle.

Like it or loathe it, I’m sure we’ll all get used to the new UI, and in a couple of weeks’ time, Tiger will look dated.