Home > Mac OS X > OS X Panther Preview at O’Reilly OS X Panther Preview at O’Reilly Submitted by Prognathous 2003-10-12 Mac OS X 54 Comments Macdevcenter has an overview of the features and benefits of Mac OS X 10.3. The essential question is asks is “Should I upgrade?” and it answers “yes.” About The Author David Adams Follow me on Twitter @david_adams 54 Comments 2003-10-12 9:16 pm Good grief. I know it’s a Mac based site, but do they really have to write about Panther in a style befitting a giddy schoolgirl meeting her boyband idol? 2003-10-12 9:26 pm the inconsistency of OS-X’s GUI themes. You got brushed metal, aqua themes, etc.. left and right. Thank god windows is not like this at all. 2003-10-12 9:38 pm I don’t know.. It seems like the spinning beach ball of death (prebinding) will be around for quite some time. At least newer versions of Windows simply restart instead of locking up. 2003-10-12 9:41 pm Yes, yes they do, because it’s quite a significant upgrade. The dramatic speed increases, Font Book, and Expose are reason enough for me to upgrade. Of course, I get the educational discount, and because I just bought a Powerbook, it’s only $20 for me anyway. ~_^ I don’t find OS X inconsistant at all. iLife/apple applications are wrapped in aluminium (much like their computers) and now the Finder will be as well. There’s two looks: Aqua, and Brushed Metal. So yes, compared to Windows XP’s default theme (ugly as sin), it is complicated. 2003-10-12 9:48 pm I have never seen a blue screen on my own system ever since I upgraded to Windows XP and that was when it first came out. So the BSOD excuse is no longer valid and it certainly does not apply to Windows XP. 2003-10-12 10:02 pm It is an issue with bad device drivers. Unfortunately, what people don’t seem to understand is that their own particular experience does not automatically translate to everyone’s experience. Your saying that “Windows XP doesn’t crash for me, it no longer happens for anyone” is roughly equivalent to “Linux is easier for me to use, everyone should use it.” 2003-10-12 10:10 pm Look what Apple did with OS X: take user unfriendly and slow OS “BSD” and put GUI on it, GUI uses OpenGL = fast. But recently ReactOS announced, and yes, BSD is 30 years old so Apple OS is still old tech – even with new GUI = outdated. But ReactOS = Windows NT in OPEN SOURCE and NT is, yes you guessed it = “new technology”. Incredible. Apple: please take ReactOS and apply legandary GUI touch to create awesome OS! I look forward to seeing “.exe” files on my Macintosh. 2003-10-12 10:11 pm but on Apples website you can get even more information about the upcomming Panther. It will be a stunning release. I will get it for sure – because of it will be bundled with my new 17″ Powerbook :p 2003-10-12 10:20 pm Interesting note: the author of the article is the creator of Tomcat and Ant, two extremely prominent Java open source applications from Apache. Another interesting note since this is on the O’Reilly network: Tim O’Reilly has stated in interviews that a huge percentage of their writers and developers have switched to OS X. 2003-10-12 10:22 pm Apple is updating OS X so often and giving even minor updates new code names, that they are rapidly using up their choices of big cat names. What are they going to do when they run out of big cat names to name their OS after? 2003-10-12 10:28 pm I think the big cats were chosen because they were wild cats. Probably future versions will be called by domesticated breed names since they are more polished, and suitable for the average user (just as domesticated cats make better pets than say a cheetah or panther). Expect to see OSX Tabby, OSX Siamese, OSX American Shorthair, OSX Devon Rex, et all after a while. 2003-10-12 10:30 pm “Unfortunately, what people don’t seem to understand is that their own particular experience does not automatically translate to everyone’s experience.” “Your saying that “Windows XP doesn’t crash for me, it no longer happens for anyone” is roughly equivalent to “Linux is easier for me to use, everyone should use it.” Maybe it’s also equivalent to saying that Apple OS’s are more intuitive, better looking, or does the work I need faster?… (BTW everyone should use Linux. heh heh!) 2003-10-12 10:31 pm Right now I thinking about holding off the upgrade due to how expensive it is 129.00 before shipping. But more than likely after reading reviews about it after the release I might do the upgrade thing. When I get the money that is. 2003-10-12 10:37 pm Well, that makes sense. About chosing them because they are wild cats. But switching to domestic cats when the system has become more polished? I certainly hope not. Jaguars, panthers, an cheetahs convey the image of speed and power. I think switching to domestic cat names would backfire on them. 2003-10-12 10:45 pm As I scanned through the new features, I couldn’t help but think that really Apple is trying to ‘catch-up’ with Panther. Exposé and Command-Tab key combos are not new. Wow a threaded mail app. I have been using threaded email apps for years. What else? I own a Mac, but I also run Linux. I don’t see anything compelling in this new release. I see a lot of pretty marketing and salesmanship. But I see little of substance. Nero plays the fiddle while Apple’s marketshare declines… Sean 2003-10-12 10:46 pm what is with the trolls today? “XP never crashes”…yeah right….MS jhust made it reboot before the Bluescreen can show. so you just think it was some weird event. as for the prebinding in OS X, from reports, Panther has almost all but fixed the problems. I would just like to add…I went in to a compUSA and played with all 3 modles of the g5…where do people get off calling them as slow as g4 1.4s? my god, I could feel the diffrence between the 1.4 imac and the 1.6 g5 just from using them next to each other. sure, given the choice between over stock g4s and a new 1.6 g5, I would pick the over stock, but that is becasue I am cheap. the set up at the store had a DV cam….I encoded a movie on teh g5 and it was much faster than encodeing on the 1.4 imac. 2003-10-12 10:49 pm huh? while I will admit that mail.app should have been threded, and that the control-tab should have worked the windows way, expose is totaly new…sure, it was created fromt eh ide of multi-desktops, but please…expose is a much more elegant way to deal with your applications than virtual desktops. and you have got to be kidding if the rendesvue distributed compileing is not a killer feature!! 2003-10-12 10:57 pm “Look what Apple did with OS X: take user unfriendly and slow OS “BSD” and put GUI on it, GUI uses OpenGL = fast. But recently ReactOS announced, and yes, BSD is 30 years old so Apple OS is still old tech – even with new GUI = outdated. But ReactOS = Windows NT in OPEN SOURCE and NT is, yes you guessed it = “new technology”. Incredible. Apple: please take ReactOS and apply legandary GUI touch to create awesome OS! I look forward to seeing “.exe” files on my Macintosh.” The guy who works as head of OS development at Apple wrote the Mach kernal OS X is based on, so I don’t see them switching anytime soon. And who else has Expose? BTW people, tabbing between apps has been in Macs for years now. They just added a visual for it. Try it now. Your dock pops up and highlights from one open app to the next until you let off. It then switches to the app you let off on. 2003-10-12 11:24 pm But ReactOS = Windows NT in OPEN SOURCE and NT is, yes you guessed it = “new technology”. Point #1: A company’s marketing department putting a moniker on something does not imply that it’s necessarily valid. Point #2: NT’s kernel architecture is in many respects nearly identical to VMS (not surprising since the chief architect of the NT kernel was also the chief architect of VMS). Hardly new in any case. 2003-10-12 11:39 pm I think Apple has put a lot of work into this release. The OpenDarwin mailing lists have been much more quiet the last few weeks because the Apple employees have spent all the more time on Panther. Sure there’s a lot of marketting about Panther, but so what? Can you imagine what would happen if Apple didn’t market their new products? Right, nobody would know about it and consequently no one would buy it. Most people aren’t technophiles and it’s hard to get the message across to them as to why they should upgrade. If they truly get duped then that’s their fault for being stupid. 2003-10-12 11:56 pm The author listed a bunch of new features in Panther. Let’s see how those new features stack up in the Windows world. 1. Expose: Nothing like it in Windows XP. Cluttering of applications is a real problem for Windows. The GUI seems to be optimized for home/office users who only use 2/3 applications at a time. 2. Command Tab: This one has been in Windows since 3.1. 3. Threading in mail apps: Again, Windows apps have had this since ages ago. 4. Faster Preview: Not in Windows XP 5. The New Finder: Windows XP does this already. It also has shortcuts to default document folders for pictures, music, movies, etc. 6. Safari Rendering: Since IE 5.0 7. Font Book: Nothing like it in Windows XP. 8. File Vault: Since Windows 2000. NTFS automatically supports per-user, per-file encryption. 9. Secure Erase Trash: Nothing like it in Windows XP. 10. Active Directory Integration: Skip this one. 11. Xcode: Not for Windows. A personal biggie but a non-issue for most users. Microsoft does provide free download of SDKs for the Windows platform, but without an IDE such as VS.NET, they are close to being useless. My take on the latest version of OS X is that half of the new features are playing catch-up with Windows, whereas the others are genuine innovations that Windows has to catch up to. 2003-10-12 11:59 pm I would consider the Mac as not playing catch up in the ctrl-tab issue…they have had it since the 80’s. they are just implementing it different (the right way) than they had it in OS X (OS X tab switch was done in the dock) 2003-10-13 12:17 am 3. Threading in mail apps: Again, Windows apps have had this since ages ago. I wasn’t aware that Outlook Express had threading in mail. That’s the only mail program that comes with XP and that’s what we’re discussing here – not other programs that are available. 5. The New Finder: Windows XP does this already. It also has shortcuts to default document folders for pictures, music, movies, etc. Explorer and the current Finder have pretty much the same “features”. It’s just a matter of how they are positioned. I am not a big fan of Explorer but that is just a personal preference. I work faster in the Finder and hopefully that will be even faster in the new Finder. 6. Safari Rendering: Since IE 5.0 IE still hasn’t caught up to Safari and I doubt it will. Without snap-back AND tabs IE is far, far behind Safari. 2003-10-13 12:44 am This review is more from the end user/non-technical point of view hence the reason why there is just a smidgen of giddiness over the user centric features. What I am looking forward to is reviews done on the *NIX enhancements such as the FreeBSD 4.8/5.x features that have been added and the SYSV compatibility that has been improved. What would be a great marketing spin, especially for the corporate world would be if Apple submitted MacOS to the OpenGroup for UNIX 98 certication and for any remaining idiosyncrasies to be ironed out. It would then give them a great marketing hammer to swing above their head and claim that they’re not only the moser user friendly UNIX but the cheapest as well. 2003-10-13 1:06 am 1) WinXP ranks fourth in consistency in by book. The major apps I use in Windows (Word, Visual Studio, Explorer, WMP) all look different, even though they are made by the same company! Third is OS X, because of the Metal/Aqua schism. Its a close race for second and first. HIG complient GNOME apps all look the same, while KDE apps all act the same. I’d give the edge to KDE, because its practically possible to run a 100% KDE desktop, but much harder to run a 100% GNOME desktop. Of course, none of the field hold a candle to OS9, BeOS, or pre-Metal OS X. Also, the comments about stuff like menu layouts and keybindings are totally off-base. The windows keybinding setup is one of the most brain-damaged ones I’ve seen since emacs. Who has the 10-inch fingers necessary to hit CTRL+a function key for common actions? I saw a good article about this the other day: http://teresi.us/html/writing/mac_vs_windows.html See item 2d. 2) I find it curious that the author claims that virtual desktops are clunky compared to Expose. Expose sounds like something for newbie users, who are liable to to forget that they’re apps are in a non-visible workspace. Hitting F9, searching through a morass of windows, and finally clicking on the right one sounds like a lot more work than just hitting WIN-S (on my machine) to get to the fourth desktop. 3) NT = New Technology? Ha ha, that’s a good one. There is very little, architecturally, in kernel-land. All the major OSs today are essentially various forms of modular monolithic kernels, running most code in kernel space. There is a reason for that — unlike people, code ages graecfully, and there is no reason to replace something old that works with something new that doesn’t. 2003-10-13 1:15 am “I wasn’t aware that Outlook Express had threading in mail.” Outlook Express certainly is multi-threaded. Get a process viewer and view the process msimn.exe and you will see that it has multiple threads. An informal test to see if OE is multi-threaded is to press the send/receive button and while that’s going, try to type in a new e-mail message. Two things going at once. That’s multi-threading for you. I am not sure whether Outlook Express for Macintosh is multi-threaded though. That being said, Microsoft is doing a piss-poor job innovating its Internet product line. IE/OE just plainly sucks feature-wise compared to other free/paid alternatives. 2003-10-13 1:20 am What he means is not threading as in programming threads but threading as in a response heirarchy. Think nntp or /. as examples of threading. 2003-10-13 1:26 am Lol, and I went through all that trouble to check if OE is multi-threaded. Yeah, I do feel silly. 2003-10-13 1:48 am 🙂 Happens to the best of us. 2003-10-13 1:54 am Of course it is a little hard to assume someone is not a troll with a name like “Anonytroll”. The original poster was a different person, and a different ip (I think). I was simply taking a stand against the practice of labelling everyone a troll. Perhaps my name is also a subtle reference to this practice, although I could see how that could slip you. Not to mention most of the pro-MS comments that border on troll seem to come from an *.client.attbi.com address. Perhaps many ATT clients like MS. I’m indifferent towards Microsoft, but definitely anti-Linux. However, having had a BSOD that prevented me from booting (even in safe mode) and having to pull the drive and put it in a second machine to recover data I can say with some authority that BSODs still happen. If you read back earlier, I was also defending this point of view. It’s impossible to have thousands of IHVs providing bug-free drivers, they definitely happen. I don’t think many are NT-kernel related, but they do happen quite a bit with shoddy drivers. I had my XP partition go berserk while I was on vacation in Japan, and was basically stuck.. Good thing I dual boot FreeBSD. 2003-10-13 2:57 am My opinion on Windows XP = a 64 bit rewrite for a 32 bit extension to a 16 bit GUI on an 8 bit OS written for a 4 bit architecture by a 2 bit company who can’t stand 1 bit of competition. 2003-10-13 5:40 am On the Security perspective: > 8. File Vault: Since Windows 2000. NTFS automatically > supports per-user, per-file encryption. Are you also aware and that the Admin account of a Win2k box always has a “master key”, i.e. once you break it every encrypted data is compromised? (not to mention the NSA key :>) And now in the vault screenshot of the review is says “If you forget your login password and the master password is not available, your data will be lost forever”. “master password” – this seem like the Admin again has a backup key, and since (given physical access) you can simply boot OS X like any *nix into single user mode to log in as root and all security is for nothing. I really hope there will be a way to encryt all that to only one single key – BTW anyone knows if this feature is open sourced via Darwin? (Not that Apple couldn’t build in a backdoor before releasing it in binary…) In contrast using the Linux Crypto API (merged in 2.4.22) or CFS does not have these risks (while of course it is not that easy to set up either). 2003-10-13 5:55 am And according to Apple’s site the upgrade to Panther will only be $20 check out http://www.apple.com/macosx/uptodate/ 2003-10-13 6:58 am > And according to Apple’s site the upgrade to Panther will > only be $20 Wow, if I can get OS X for that price for my iBook dated Mai this year I’ll give it a try. Else I’ll stay with <flamebait>Debian/Linux/PPC</flamebait> as my primary OS (which also runs perfectly on it). 2003-10-13 9:44 am you can simply boot OS X like any *nix into single user mode to log in as root and all security is for nothing. Won’t help you in decrypting the home folders. You may have access to the system, but as long as you don’t have the masters key, you won’t be able to decrypt all homes. *Duuuuh* 2003-10-13 10:08 am How about Mac OS X Sabretooth Tiger? And on the domestic names: Mac OS X Nebelung? Mac OS X British Shorthair Colourpoint? 2003-10-13 12:30 pm Don’t you just love the OS X theme? To linux/BSD theme-ers out there, you gotta copy that and not care about originality this time. Or is there one already that i can download? 2003-10-13 2:15 pm Hmm, I don’ think that one would fly since they are extinct. 2003-10-13 3:04 pm Uh, I’m pretty sure that was sarcasm there, Anonymous . 2003-10-13 3:42 pm If you are a student or even registered at a school you can get Panther for $60. Interestingly XP Pro costs considerably more. In fact, here is how much more: I bought XP Pro Upgrade CD. Upgraded a perfectly fine Win2K setup. Upgraded to SP1 over the net. Hosed! Tech support says that they can only help me for free if I am doing an install, if I have other issues I have to pay $99 per incident. Thanks! Went out and bought XP Pro Full. Reformatted and reinstalled all my apps. Total cost… more than $129 and a full 5 hours of my day thank you very frickin much! 2003-10-13 4:06 pm If Apple were smart, they would use subspecies for minor revisions, and species for major revisions. Example, OS X 10.4 Clouded Leopard, OS X 10.5 Snow Leopard, OS XI Tiger, OS 11.1 Bengel Tiger, OS 11.2 Siberian Tiger. That would take a lot longer for them to run out. 2003-10-13 4:17 pm NT is NEW? Well, while Apple went the route of a BSD core subsystem, it was my understanding that NT was based on the VMS OS…. http://www.catb.org/~esr/writings/taoup/html/ch03s02.html 2003-10-13 4:24 pm I am using 10.3 now and I have had it about a week. The good news is that it is a great upgrade that adds some fun features. The bad news is that those features to me at least are not very useful or things that I was just dying to have. That translates to a very limited imporvement in my workflow (which is why I buy system upgrades) and that make the 129.00 price tag a little hard to swallow. I am not saying it is not a good upgrade I am just saying you may not see all the benifits and that makes it hard to pay that much. 2003-10-13 4:36 pm The “dot” upgrades to OS X are the major revisions to the OS. OS X basically started over as an OS so simply remove the 10 portion of an OS number to see how it fits in more traditional naming schemes. For example 10.1.2 is really a 1.2 version. 10.2.8 is a 2.8 version. Apple has been doing major upgrades to the OS yearly I am betting we will not see OS 11.0 for a very long time. 2003-10-13 4:39 pm Maybe you “Fisher Price” XP users who have found an “issue” with currently two different appearances should hold your breath starting now for your next release. In the meantime, while you are blue in the face for two years or so, you can keep dreaming of a Quartz engine with realtime scaling and transparency and a sytem that lets you control it instead of it controlling you. Dream also of true intuitiveness and user-friendliness. I have user experience on most every release of both OS’s and it is evident to me that there is no comparison. When Longhorn does come out and you can release your breath, OS X will be so far ahead as Pluto and already have begun entering the next solar system. Surely there is more to find wrong with OSX than the appearance. If it is so bad to you, do a search for a theme that you like. What you XP users should prioritize as important is just how much more do you want to deal with all these viruses and security issues?? Dealing with this makes no sense to me when there is already a much better OS and hardware and a complete solution out there. Price is not relevant when compared to the total cost of longterm ownership, lack of hassles, and user experience. 2003-10-13 6:38 pm I was tired of only getting point release service packs for 200 bucks every 18 months. 400 bucks every 3 years..that is crazy!!!! I pay less with OS X and get actual feature upgrades!! 2003-10-13 6:58 pm Hmm, there is always Mosfet’s Liquid widget style for KDE. Its not exactly OS X, but his twist on it. There is also Acqua, but that’s a pixmap theme so its reallys slow. However, between, Plastik and Crystal SVG, I think KDE 3.2 is shaping up to be a damn nice looking desktop. Its not as nice as Aqua, but it looks less tacky than Metal (the Aqua widgets don’t fit with the Metal background). However, it can’t hold a candle to OS X’s GUI special effects. 2003-10-13 7:59 pm I agree. In apps like iTunes and Quicktime Viewer its ok. But in the finder, the aluminum theme does not have enough interface differences between a selected window and a non selected window for me to tell the difference between them. a dimmed aluminum window’s only difference is gray text in the title versus black text in the title. even in panther, the aqua ui has much more distinct differences, the title bar has a distinct 3d-ish look when hilited, and is almost flat when dimmed, as well as gray text versus black text. interesting though, the transparency of title bars and menus is gone in panther. 2003-10-13 8:20 pm Wild Cat Species (alphabetical) * African golden cat (Profelis aurata) * Andean mountain cat (Oreailurus jacobita) * Asian golden cat (Catopuma temminckii) * Black-footed cat (Felis nigripes) * Bobcat (Lynx rufus) * Bornean bay cat (Catopuma badia) * Canadian lynx (Lynx canadensis) * Caracal (Caracal caracal) * Cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) * Chinese mountain cat (Felis bieti) * Clouded leopard (Neofelis nebulosa) * Cougar (Puma concolor) * Eurasian Lynx (Lynx lynx) * Fishing Cat (Prionailurus viverrinus) * Flat-headed cat (Prionailurus planiceps) * Geoffroys cat (Oncifelis geoffroyi) * Iberian lynx (Lynx pardinus) * Jaguar (Panthera onca) * Jaguarundi (Herpailurus yagouarundi) * Jungle cat (Felis chaus) * Kodkod (Oncifelis guigna) * Leopard (Panthera pardus) * Leopard cat (Prionailurus bengalensis) * Lion (Panthera leo) * Marbled cat (Pardofelis marmorata) * Margay (Leopardus wiedii) * Ocelot (Leopardus pardalis) * Oncilla (Leopardus tigrinus) * Pampas cat (Oncifelis colocolo) * Pallas cat (Otocolobus manul) * Rusty-spotted cat (Prionailurus rubiginosus) * Sand cat (Felis margarita) * Serval (Leptailurus serval) * Snow leopard (Uncia uncia) * Tiger (Panthera tigris) * Wildcat (Felis silvestris) 2003-10-13 11:32 pm I just finished ordering the family pack upgrade to 10.3. I can’t wait until it arrives!! W00t!!! 2003-10-14 1:39 am > Exposé and Command-Tab key combos are not new. Exposé isn’t new? Cool – just tell me where to get the same feature. Trick request – you can’t, because outside of OSX, it doesn’t exist. If you think it’s the same as virtual desktops – think again. > What else? Speed, to name but one. Integration between Finder windows and Open/Save dialogs, to name another. Yes, I’ve already plunked down my money. > Nero plays the fiddle while Apple’s marketshare declines… Sorry, but that’s incorrect; their marketshare is increasing. See the news from their September financial report: http://www.macrumors.com/pages/2003/09/20030904111142.shtml – Dan 2003-10-14 1:55 am I don’t know … I think “Pussy” would do well as a small cat name. Could be a real seller! 2003-10-14 2:29 am Sure, its not as fun- or even “Apple-like” to repeat another platform’s initiatives. On the other hand- it is a way of reducing the number of reasons why one whould not switch to Apple: “yes, we can do that, too.” Although we all want Apple to stay in front on innovation, covering any weaknesses is a solid strategy. Only the arrogant refuse to see the benefits of another platform. 2003-10-14 2:57 am Hah! Latin names, that is an idea. 10.4 Prionailurus Rubiginosus. I can imagine walking into Apple Store and ask if they have Prionailurus Rubiginosus. And for minor release: 10.4.1 Prionailurus rubiginosus smeagolensus For non-latin names, I vote for Kodkod. It sounds weird enough to turn heads.