TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Oct 95 Viewpoint
Volume Number:11
Issue Number:10
Column Tag:Viewpoint

Viewpoint

By Scott T Boyd, Editor-at-Large

What is Copland? Just the other day I was trying to explain it to someone, and found that I was stumped. It’s not that I don’t know about the feature set. That’s easy enough. For example, here’s what Peter N. Lewis recently offered as a quick summary overview on the Semper Fi mailing list. First, for developers:

• Preemption

• Memory protection

• Threaded file system

• Server processes

• Replacement system extensions

• QuickDraw GX and OpenTransport built in

And for users, Peter listed:

• Threaded file system

• Fancy new Finder

• Appearance Manager

• Native speed

Preemption and memory protection, well, you just have to have those in a modern operating system. At least that’s what the pundits have been teaching for some time. Besides, NT, OS/2, and Windows 95 all have it. Why doesn’t Macintosh? Technical merit aside, the lack of these two items makes it harder to sell Macintosh, so having them should help.

We also know that we all spend too much time blocked, waiting for the file system to finish what we last asked it to do so we can get on with the next thing we want to do (phew, all in one breath?), so a threaded file system should be a great thing, too.

Support for server processes has to be great for people writing server software. No argument there. And, since we’ve been told that the current mechanism is terrible, getting rid of the extensions mechanism (breaking existing extensions in the process) and replacing it with something new will give us what we need - a stable Macintosh with no extension conflicts (that’s what we’re told).

I mentioned above that I was having trouble explaining the essence of Copland. The reason? Because I couldn’t figure out who it’s being built for. I suspect, but don’t really want to admit, that it’s being built for a bunch of unix-head computer science types rather than the millions of computer users (present and future). The Copland feature set may be essential for effecting a rearchitecting of the Macintosh, but it’s solving the wrong problems. In fact, it’s solving some things which aren’t problems.

Apple needs to be fighting for its life, not doing a course correction towards server operating systems.

What do people want? To begin with, people want an interface that’s multitasking. Unfortunately, Copland does very little to make this happen.

People also want a system that doesn’t go away when something crashes. Copland protects portions of the system, and it also protects server tasks that have been spun off into their own threads and spaces. Unfortunately, the user interface toolbox is not protected. One crashing application still has the opportunity to take down all of the other applications, and all of the user’s unsaved work with it. As Andrew Donoho has said, “All the protection for background server processes in the world does not bring that data back.” The fact that the machine didn’t go “Bing!” will be of little consolation to the poor user who just lost all of their work. If a user had to choose, do you think they would rather lose the servers they’re hosting, or the applications they’re running?

Do As We Say, Not As We Do

The typical Macintosh user doesn’t know what the Finder is. It’s not that they don’t know how to use it, they simply don’t know what it’s called. It embodies what they think of as the machine itself, “The Macintosh”.

Users have long wondered why they can’t do “Finder things” in their applications, and why they had to go somewhere else to do them. Developers have long wanted Finder functionality in their applications.

Is Apple serious about meeting the needs of the user?

Is Apple serious about the marketing messages they are sending to developers?

With the advent of OpenDoc, Apple has the opportunity to ship something that hits both of these needs right on the head - the OpenDoc-savvy Finder. Each piece of the Finder needs to be an OpenDoc component so that other applications can embed them, lending 100% Finder-fidelity to their software.

In addition, the Finder needs to lead the way as a premiere embedding application. SimpleText can and should go away and be replaced by editors and viewers for text, pictures, QuickTime movies, clippings, sounds, etc .

Here is an opportunity for Apple to take its own advice, and do as it says, not as it often does. Apple’s efforts to convince you, the developer, to adopt OpenDoc technologies surpass many of their efforts on other technologies. They’ve put out CDs, they’ve made countless presentations, they’ve formed a large consortium, and they tell us that they’ve bet the farm on OpenDoc. It remains to be seen, however, whether Apple will follow its own lead. Perhaps they’re keeping it under wraps, but if they’re not, they’d better getting to work on turning the Finder into the premiere showcase for OpenDoc.

It’s fine to attempt to improve the overall architecture, but let’s not forget to get some solutions to solve user problems.


Food For Thought

“The ROM is a big place, Steve.” - Allan Foster

“RAM’s even bigger.” - Steve Kiene

In response to “CNN just announced that there were
8 million copies of Windows 95 sold since 12 midnight !!!!”:

Those guys are like arthritis patients. They’ll buy anything if
they think it’ll finally stop their pain.

- Todd Blanchard, SuperTodd@eworld.com

 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

Is there cross-platform play in slither....
So you've sunken plenty of hours into crawling around in slither.io on your iPhone or iPad. You've got your stories of tragedy and triumph, the times you coiled four snakes at one time balanced out by the others when you had a length of more than... | Read more »
Rodeo Stampede guide to running a better...
In Rodeo Stampede, honing your skills so you can jump from animal to animal and outrun the herd as long as possible is only half the fun. Once you've tamed a few animals, you can bring them home with you. [Read more] | Read more »
VoxSyn (Music)
VoxSyn 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Music Price: $6.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: VoxSyn turns your voice into the most flexible vocal sound generator ever. Instantly following even subtle modulations of pitch and... | Read more »
Catch Battleplans on Google Play from Ju...
Real-time strategy title Battleplans is due for release on Google Play on June 30th, following its release for iOS systems last month. With its simple interface and pretty graphics, the crowd-pleaser brings a formerly overlooked genre out for the... | Read more »
iDoyle: The interactive Adventures of Sh...
iDoyle: The interactive Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - A Scandal in Bohemia 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Books Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Special Release Price $1.99 (Normally $3.99) | Read more »
Five popular free apps to help you slim...
Thanks to retail and advertising, we're used to thinking one season ahead. Here we are just a week into the summer and we're conditioned to start thinking about the fall. [Read more] | Read more »
How to ride longer and tame more animals...
It's hard to accurately describe Rodeo Stampede to people who haven't seen it yet. It's like if someone took Crossy Roadand Disco Zoo and put them in a blender, yet with a unique game mechanic that's still simple and fun for anyone. [Read more] | Read more »
Teeny Titans - A Teen Titans Go! Figure...
Teeny Titans - A Teen Titans Go! Figure Battling Game 1.0.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $3.99, Version: 1.0.0 (iTunes) Description: Teeny Titans, GO! Join Robin for a figure battling RPG of epic proportions! TEENY... | Read more »
NinjAwesome: Tips and tricks to be a mor...
Sorry about that headline, but I'm going to go ahead and assume that GameResort would not have named its game NinjAwesome without expecting some of that. It is, in fact, pretty awesome the way it combines an endless runner and old school arcade... | Read more »
Into Mirror (Games)
Into Mirror 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: "Is all that we see or seem, but a dream within a dream?"- Edgar Allan Poe New game by Lemon Jam Studio, the team behind Pursuit... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

13-inch Retina MacBook Pros on sale for up to...
B&H Photo has 13″ Retina MacBook Pros on sale for up to $150 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY tax only: - 13″ 2.7GHz/128GB Retina MacBook Pro: $1179 $120 off MSRP - 13″ 2.7GHz/... Read more
Apple refurbished Mac minis available for up...
Apple has Certified Refurbished Mac minis available starting at $419. Apple’s one-year warranty is included with each mini, and shipping is free: - 1.4GHz Mac mini: $419 $80 off MSRP - 2.6GHz Mac... Read more
13-inch 2.5GHz MacBook Pro on sale for $999,...
B&H Photo has the 13″ 2.5GHz MacBook Pro on sale for $999 including free shipping plus NY sales tax only. Their price is $100 off MSRP. Read more
Apple refurbished iMacs available for up to $...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 2015 21″ & 27″ iMacs available for up to $350 off MSRP. Apple’s one-year warranty is standard, and shipping is free. The following models are available: - 21″ 3.... Read more
15-inch Retina MacBook Pros on sale for $200-...
B&H Photo has 15″ Retina MacBook Pros on sale for up to $210 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY tax only: - 15″ 2.2GHz Retina MacBook Pro: $1799.99 $200 off MSRP - 15″ 2.5GHz... Read more
Mac minis on sale for up to $100 off MSRP
B&H Photo has Mac minis on sale for up to $100 off MSRP including free shipping plus NY sales tax only: - 1.4GHz Mac mini: $449 $50 off MSRP - 2.6GHz Mac mini: $649 $50 off MSRP - 2.8GHz Mac mini... Read more
Clearance 2015 13-inch MacBook Airs available...
B&H Photo has clearance 2015 13″ MacBook Airs available for $300 off original MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only: - 13″ 1.6GHz/4GB/128GB MacBook Air (MJVE2LL/A): $799.... Read more
Apple refurbished Mac minis available for up...
Apple has Certified Refurbished Mac minis available starting at $419. Apple’s one-year warranty is included with each mini, and shipping is free: - 1.4GHz Mac mini: $419 $80 off MSRP - 2.6GHz Mac... Read more
ABBYY TextGrabber: 1,000,000 Installs in 5 Da...
ABBYY, an international OCR technologies provider, has announced that their image-to-text application TextGrabber, got installed 1,000,000 times in just five days while being featured by the App... Read more
New SkinIt Waterproof Case For iPhone 6
With its impact and waterproof design, the Skinit Waterproof case provides security and protection to guarantee your phone will get you through even the most demanding outdoor conditions. The impact-... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* iPhone 6s and New Products Tester Ne...
…we therefore look forward to put out products to quality test for durability. Apple leads the digital music revolution with its iPods and iTunes online store, Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions, Towson...
Job Description: Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
*Apple* iPhone 6s and New Products Tester Ne...
…we therefore look forward to put out products to quality test for durability. Apple leads the digital music revolution with its iPods and iTunes online store, Read more
Music Marketing Lead, iTunes & *Apple*...
…Music Marketing Lead is responsible for developing robust marketing campaigns and programs for Apple Music and iTunes across the whole of Apple ecosystem. This Read more
*Apple* Valley Medical Clinic is Hiring - AP...
Apple Valley Medical Clinic is Hiring! Apple Valley Medical Clinic is an independently owned practice operating a Family Medicine Clinic, a 24/7 Urgent Care, Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.