Linked by Eugenia Loli on Wed 15th Oct 2003 22:47 UTC
Mac OS X I was able to try out and preview Mac OS X Panther 10.3 for the past few months after WWDC and for the last few days I am running a latest version. So, what to expect from Mac OS X when it comes out on the evening of October 24th? Come in and have a look in this preview article. Update: screenshots removed at request of Apple.
Permalink for comment
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
Backwards compatibility
by other attendee on Thu 16th Oct 2003 04:05 UTC

Good review, Eugenia. I appreciate reviews like yours as I debate with my pocket book about getting Panther now, or later.

I would like to offer my 2 cents on your comment about the differences in backwards compatibility of third party apps for Mac OS X vs Windows.

[quote]One of the biggest differences between Windows and Mac OS X, in my opinion, is that Microsoft always tries to retain as much compatibility with previous versions as possible while Apple doesn't.[/quote]

This is true to some extent but let me add more to the story. I think Apple is particularly protective of their UI and cares very little about "breaking" apps (or "hacks") that mess with it. However, when it comes to applications in the most strict sense, those like the word processors and media editors etc Apple far exceeds Windows in backwards compatibility, speaking from my experience on both platforms. For example, I still run CricketGraph 1 on my OS 10.2.8! That app was written for System 6, 68K macs, survived unchanged to run on the original PPCs and now is running on the G4 processors through every incarnation of OS X. Now that is backwards compatibility! Sure it is lame to run apps in "classic" mode on OS X, but at least Apple provided the option while pushing the OS forward. The only major app I had that broke through any hardware or software migration by Apple was VirtualPC 2, which did not survive the OS 9 to X transition, but was updated by Connectix with an OS X native version. I think if you look at how many apps survived the transitions between Windows 1, 3, 95, 98, 2000 etc without requiring patches and overhauls by the developers you will see a very different story than your statement implied.

But you may have unwittingly hit on a fundamental difference between Apple and Microsoft's OS development approach. Apple is making huge improvements in the under-appreciated system core to make the OS faster and more reliable with every release, having the unfortunate side effect of keeping certain developers on their toes to keep up with the changes/improvements while Microsoft is uninterested in doing the under-appreciated hard work of improving their OSs core, instead keeps adding more bloat/features with each slower running release of Windows. Personally, I prefer Apple's approach even if it means I have to go without my favorite interface hack for a week out of the year (which actually did happen to me once, TinkerTool needed some work to go 10.1 to 10.2.)

Anyhow, as you say, this is just in my opinion! Once again, thanks for a great review that considered important improvements and problems with Panther that I will certainly be adding to my mental score sheet before plunking down the cash.