This was a risky strategy for Apple. After the rapid-fire updates of 10.1, 10.2, and 10.3 followed by the riot of new features and APIs in 10.4 and 10.5, could Apple really get away with calling a "time out?" I imagine Bertrand was really sweating this announcement up on the stage at WWDC in front of a live audience of Mac developers. Their reaction? Spontaneous applause. There were even a few hoots and whistles.
Many of these same developers applauded the "150+ new features" in Tiger and the "300 new features" in Leopard at past WWDCs. Now they were applauding zero new features for Snow Leopard? What explains this?
It probably helps to know that the "0 New Features" slide came at the end of an hour-long presentation detailing the major new APIs and technologies in Snow Leopard. It was also quickly followed by a back-pedaling ("well, there is one new feature...") slide describing the addition of Microsoft Exchange support. In isolation, "no new features" may seem to imply stagnation. In context, however, it served as a developer-friendly affirmation.
If you have the time this will sum up a lot of what is going on with the new OS X update, Snow Leopard. It's all about the back end and making things more stable. My take on the new upgrade?
As always, wait till the first patch a month or two down the road before installing this on any workplace based machine. So far I have seem reports of it not working well with Xrite color monitors (Eye One Match), Wacom preferences, Quicken and others. Any Pref Pane app that is 32 bit will cause some problems as well.
Sadly, the pissing match with Adobe continues as Apple blames Adobe and Adobe blames Apple for the problems. People are reporting CS4 is unusable with Snow Leopard which I find amusing as CS4 is unusable in 10.5.8 anyways. The Open GL GPU bugs really rear their heads in Snow Leopard and I imagine the old Carbon Photoshop just hates everything about 64 bit and Cocoa (Yes, I just simplified the hell out of this fight. Not dipping my toes into that flame war thankyouverymuch.)
So this update is all about the back end and unseen revisions to how the OS actually works. It makes the programming for the Mac all the easier and programs work faster, provided they are programmed to take advantage of these new changes. Grand Central Dispatch (GCD) is the key to this if you want to read up. So the real benefits to Snow Leopard will start to show when programs start updating to take advantage of the changes (Possibly with "Snow Leopard Only" programs coming down the pipe feeding into the Mac "upgrade every two years or die" product cycle they are so fond of now a days).
Snide aside, could be a interesting update down the road especially if Adobe plays nice for once. But as I said before, wait on any updates to your work stations.
Maybe if I get some free time later in the week I'll do a post on how Adobe is the new Quark itching for some company to make a functioning Photoshop clone and clean their clock with it. Does anyone under 25 even know what Quark is? Under 30?