Linked by David Adams on Mon 23rd Jun 2003 23:03 UTC, submitted by Bascule
Mac OS X Apple has published details of new Panther features on their web site. Read more for the highlights:
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This was an interesting quote...
by Bascule on Mon 23rd Jun 2003 23:25 UTC

Panther will include a final X11 client for Unix-based applications, improved NFS/UFS, FreeBSD 5 innovations as well as support for popular Linux APIs, IPv6 and other important acronyms.

There's the answer for everyone wondering if X11 will be bundled with Panther. They do, of course, mean X11 server, but that's just a small semantic issue...

I'm curious what "FreeBSD 5 innovations" might be included in Panther. My guess (and hope) would be UFS2 + Soft Updates as not many other technologies would port easily to XNU, whereas since FreeBSD and XNU use the same VFS porting a filesystem from one to the other is trivial.

I certainly get a kick out of "other important acronyms" as well...

New Dev Tools!
by Paul Sexton on Mon 23rd Jun 2003 23:42 UTC


They're also including (so they're kind of part of Panther) a new Dev Tools suite. Most of the changes seem to address performance.

On 10.2, debugging is so slow as to be just about unusable (with a binary in the 2MB or so range.) CodeWarrior is a little better, but the extra 20 seconds it takes debugging to start up and the 0.5-1 second pause when stepping through code is maddening. Our project is Carbon, and is largely done on OS 9 for that reason, limited to testing and minimal fixes on OS X . I can reboot 9 many times per day and still save time, plus I get the time in larger chunks that I can use for other things.

They're also promising Edit & Continue (a la Visual C++ 6.0): hopefully it's better than Microsoft's, where it sounds good in the ads but almost never works (YMMV!)

I actually prefer OS X now; I'd love to be able to use it at work. I'd even raise the subject of an X-only release, if I thought it was possible to make one....

If this does what they say, they'll tick off Metrowerks as bad as they did Microsoft with Safari.

FreeBSD
by Anonymous on Mon 23rd Jun 2003 23:45 UTC

Well, they could just update all tools and libraries to the versions used in FreeBSD 5. But the Finder has that really, really fast search feature. (beos like). I wonder how they are doing it. Just letting cron run updatedb wouldn't work, because you couldn't find a file you created 3 minutes ago. So I guess that they would have to have a new filesystem. Is UFS2 capable of this sort of thing?

What's also pretty cool is those little security features. Secure file deletion option (7 passes of random data), encrypted home folders, asking password after sleep, being able to lock the powermac g5 case,... Pretty cool that they are taking security seriously.

New Finder Look, Piles
by Michael on Mon 23rd Jun 2003 23:49 UTC

I'm dissapointed that they are changing the looks of finder. I don't have a Mac (my brother does) and I think finder looks great now. I'm not a big fan of that brushed steel look. Also, I thought this was supposed to include those "pile" things. Was the rumor mill wrong on that one?

FreeBSD
by Anonymous on Mon 23rd Jun 2003 23:54 UTC

Panther will deliver improved performance for key network services. Darwin 7, the latest version of Apple's open source UNIX-based core operating system, incorporates numerous bug-fixes and enhancements to the FreeBSD 4.8 kernel, as well as some of the latest advances from FreeBSD 5, such as improved reentrancy for improved scalability and the kqueue/kevent mechanism for monitoring kernel events. For improved file and networking system performance Panther Server now supports asynchronous I/O, up to 16TB file systems and Jumbo Frames for large Ethernet packets.

Re: Anonymous
by Bascule on Mon 23rd Jun 2003 23:55 UTC

But the Finder has that really, really fast search feature. (beos like). I wonder how they are doing it. Just letting cron run updatedb wouldn't work, because you couldn't find a file you created 3 minutes ago. So I guess that they would have to have a new filesystem. Is UFS2 capable of this sort of thing? Is UFS2 capable of this sort of thing?

For a block allocation filesystem, UFS2 is quite fast as it uses hash tables to optimize storage/retrieval of directory contents.

However one other thought that comes to mind is perhaps they ported kqueues from FreeBSD and are using them to monitor the filesystem for changes. Not only would this eliminate my single biggest gripe about the Finder currently (which is that it often fails to notice when files are added/removed to the desktop or folders that are currently displayed) but it would also allow it to maintain an easily searched index of files which is updated immediately whenever any alterations occur to the filesystem.

I'm glad Apple finally rewrote the Finder. One would guess that it's now a Cocoa application, which will allow for Cocoa-specific add-ins to work, such as CocoaGestures: http://www.bitart.com/CocoaGestures.html

Re: Anonymous
by Bascule on Mon 23rd Jun 2003 23:58 UTC

I responded to your first post before seeing your second. Where are you getting that information from?

But regardless, if the Finder is rewritten with kqueue support it can finally surpass other file managers which also perform live filesystem event monitoring like BeOS's Tracker (and to a lesser extent, some of the FAM-enabled Linux file managers such as Nautilus)

This is very exciting news indeed.

Re: Bascule
by Anonymous on Tue 24th Jun 2003 00:01 UTC

Correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't hash tables primarily interesting if you are looking for an exact match? The finder was doing partial matches. That combined with the fact that they ported kqueues from freebsd5 (http://www.apple.com/server/macosx/pantherserver.html), will mean that the latter option is more likely.

Re: Anonymous
by Bascule on Tue 24th Jun 2003 00:05 UTC

For improved file and networking system performance Panther Server now supports asynchronous I/O

This is another feature present on commercial Unices (namely Solaris and Irix) which OS X was lacking.

With kqueues for synchronous I/O multiplexing and asynchronous I/O for asynchronous event handling OS X is certainly gearing up to compete with the big iron Unices.

We may see many people dependant on Sun/SGI for Unix workstations (including where I work) buying a $3000 Mac for their next Unix workstation instead of a $20,000 Blade 2000.

Re: Anonymous
by Bascule on Tue 24th Jun 2003 00:06 UTC

Thanks for the URL.

Yes, it seems much more likely that the Finder will maintain its own filesystem index specifically for optimizing searches and will monitor the entire filesystem using the kqueue mechanism, then update its own filesystem index whenever changes occur.

re:Anonymous
by Serge on Tue 24th Jun 2003 00:08 UTC

Correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't hash tables primarily interesting if you are looking for an exact match? The finder was doing partial matches.

Anoymous is right, hash tables are not useful for partial matches.

Re: FreeBSD (search speed)
by Prognathous on Tue 24th Jun 2003 00:19 UTC

>But the Finder has that really, really fast search feature.
>(beos like). I wonder how they are doing it. Just letting cron
>run updatedb wouldn't work, because you couldn't find a file
>you created 3 minutes ago. So I guess that they would have to
>have a new filesystem. Is UFS2 capable of this sort of thing?

It doesn't necessarily require an updated file system. Ava Find for Win32 does the same (keystroke updated search) with FAT32. It only takes a fraction of a second to search 50GB of data. You can get a time limited version at www.avafind.com

Prog.

Finder Sidebar Shelflike?
by DCMonkey on Tue 24th Jun 2003 00:20 UTC

A blurb on the Apple Panther web page mentions that the new finder side bar can be used to copy files. That sounds a bit like the NeXtStEp (cap?) shelf. Though IIRC the old shelf allowed one to drag more than just file/folder shortcuts.

Shelves Reloaded
by DCMonkey on Tue 24th Jun 2003 00:23 UTC

Now that I look at it closer, I think they just mean that you can drag two folders to it and quickly switch between them but still have to copy the files by other means. Oh well.

Xcode !!!
by Ludovic Hirlimann on Tue 24th Jun 2003 06:23 UTC

distributed compiles !!! That's a neat feature I really hope this feature will not be restricted to LAN, but ba able to be used over the internet such I would gladly give some CPU power to some devs (instead of giving it to distributed.net).
I also hope the feature will be given back to the main gcc tree if it's a gcc hack.

--
http://homepage.mac.com/softkid

Re: XCode !!!
by Anonymous on Tue 24th Jun 2003 08:54 UTC

Check out:

http://distcc.samba.org/

Distributed compilation has been around for a while. Addnig Rendezvous support is cool however.

What I'd love to see is....
by Christopher X on Tue 24th Jun 2003 09:56 UTC

a new file system. UFS2 sound spiffy, but what about a modern fully journalling file system - not HFS with a hack. Something more modern would be nice...still, HFS + journalling hack is better then no journalling at all.

OT
by rajan r on Tue 24th Jun 2003 11:47 UTC

Am I the only one at every new session for the past few days when I go to http://www.apple.com or any of its subsites, it automatically redirects to http://store.apple.com/1-800-MY-APPLE/WebObjects/AppleStore?family=... ? This is in Mozilla, and it is kinda annoying.

Re: This was an interesting quote...
by rajan r on Tue 24th Jun 2003 11:50 UTC

Yeah, I was wondering about that too, of course the first thing that came to my mind when I read FreeBSD was "ports"... Heh. I certainly hope it is UFS2, HFS+ is a bad excuse for a file system.

kqueue/kevent() in Panther
by sjk on Thu 26th Jun 2003 01:16 UTC

But regardless, if the Finder is rewritten with kqueue support it can finally surpass other file managers which also perform live filesystem event monitoring like BeOS's Tracker (and to a lesser extent, some of the FAM-enabled Linux file managers such as Nautilus)

This is very exciting news indeed.


I've been wondering how Panther "Fast Find" is implemented and this certainly seems the most likely possibility. A kqueue/kevent() man page for FreeBSD (from 2000) mentions this bug:

It is currently not possible to watch a vnode that resides on anything but a UFS file system.

Perhaps something Dominic Giampaolo has been working on is getting that working with HFS+?

Interesting stuff!

PS - First post here so please excuse any formatting botch.