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

The beginner's guide to Warbits
Warbits is a turn-based strategy that's clearly inspired by Nintendo's Advance Wars series. Since turn-based strategy games can be kind of tricky to dive into, see below for a few tips to help you in the beginning. Positioning is crucial [Read... | Read more »
How to upgrade your character in Spellsp...
So you’ve mastered the basics of Spellspire. By which I mean you’ve realised it’s all about spelling things in a spire. What next? Well you’re going to need to figure out how to toughen up your character. It’s all well and good being able to spell... | Read more »
5 slither.io mash-ups we'd love to...
If there's one thing that slither.io has proved, it's that the addictive gameplay of Agar.io can be transplanted onto basically anything and it will still be good fun. It wouldn't be surprising if we saw other developers jumping on the bandwagon,... | Read more »
How to navigate the terrain in Sky Charm...
Sky Charms is a whimsical match-'em up adventure that uses creative level design to really ramp up the difficulty. [Read more] | Read more »
Victorious Knight (Games)
Victorious Knight 1.3 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $1.99, Version: 1.3 (iTunes) Description: New challenges awaits you! Experience fresh RPG experience with a unique combat mechanic, packed with high quality 3D... | Read more »
Agent Gumball - Roguelike Spy Game (Gam...
Agent Gumball - Roguelike Spy Game 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Someone’s been spying on Gumball. What the what?! Two can play at that game! GO UNDERCOVERSneak past enemy... | Read more »
Runaway Toad (Games)
Runaway Toad 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: It ain’t easy bein’ green! Tap, hold, and swipe to help Toad hop to safety in this gorgeous new action game from the creators of... | Read more »
PsyCard (Games)
PsyCard 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: From the makers och Card City Nights, Progress To 100 and Ittle Dew PSYCARD is a minesweeper-like game set in a cozy cyberpunk... | Read more »
Sago Mini Robot Party (Education)
Sago Mini Robot Party 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Education Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: -- Children's Technology Review Editor's Choice -- | Read more »
Egz – The Origin of the Universe (Games...
Egz – The Origin of the Universe 1.0.2 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $3.99, Version: 1.0.2 (iTunes) Description: ►►► Special offer until 2nd may : get the game at 2.99€ instead of 3.99€ ! ◄◄◄ Egz is a mesmerizing mix... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Price drops on clearance 12-inch Retina MacBo...
B&H Photo has dropped prices on leftover 2015 12″ Retina MacBooks with models now available starting at $999. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY tax only: - 12″ 1.1GHz Gray Retina MacBook... Read more
15-inch Retina MacBook Pros available for $20...
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 $200 off MSRP - 15″ 2.5GHz Retina... Read more
Target offers Apple Watch Sport for $50 off M...
Target has Apple Watch Sports on sale for $50 off MSRP for a limited time. Choose free shipping or free local store pickup (if available). Sale prices for online orders only, in-store prices may vary... Read more
Apple restocks Certified Refurbished Mac mini...
Apple has restocked Certified Refurbished 2014 Mac minis, with models available starting at $419. Apple’s one-year warranty is included with each mini, and shipping is free: - 1.4GHz Mac mini: $419 $... Read more
15-inch 2.2GHz Retina MacBook Pro on sale for...
Amazon.com has the 15″ 2.2GHz Retina MacBook Pro on sale for $1699.99 including free shipping. Their price is $300 off MSRP, and it’s the lowest price available for this model from any reseller (and... Read more
Apple Beats Microsoft at Own Game; Amazon Pri...
First quarter seasonality combined with an overall disinterested customer base led to an annual decline of 14.7% in worldwide tablet shipments during the first quarter of 2016 (1Q16). Worldwide... Read more
Tablets Had Worst Quarter Since 2012, says St...
The global tablet market began 2016 just as 2015 left off, down. Tablet shipments fell 10% to 46.5 million units during the Q1 2016, according to the new “Preliminary Global Tablet Shipments and... Read more
Clearance 13-inch MacBook Airs, Apple refurbi...
Apple recently dropped prices on certified refurbished 2015 13″ MacBook Airs with 4GB of RAM with models now available starting at $759. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each MacBook, and... Read more
Clearance 12-inch Retina MacBooks, Apple refu...
Apple has dropped prices on Certified Refurbished 2015 12″ Retina MacBooks with models now available starting at $929. Apple will include a standard one-year warranty with each MacBook, and shipping... Read more
Aleratec Releases Mac Software Upgrade for 1...
California based Aleratec Inc., designer, developer and manufacturer of Portable Device Management (PDM) charge/sync products for mobile devices and professional-grade duplicators for hard disk... Read more

Jobs Board

Simply Mac *Apple* Specialist- Service Repa...
Simply Mac is the largest premier retailer of Apple products in the nation. In order to support our growing customer base, we are currently looking for a driven Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions - Apple,...
Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, you're also the Read more
Restaurant Manager (Neighborhood Captain) - A...
…in every aspect of daily operation. WHY YOU'LL LIKE IT: You'll be the Big Apple . You'll solve problems. You'll get to show your ability to handle the stress and Read more
Automotive Sales Consultant - Apple Ford Linc...
…you. The best candidates are smart, technologically savvy and are customer focused. Apple Ford Lincoln Apple Valley is different, because: $30,000 annual salary Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions - Apple,...
Job Description: Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.