TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Dec 95 Crabbs Apple
Volume Number:11
Issue Number:12
Column Tag:Crabb’s Apple

Copland, Where Are Thee?

By Don Crabb

Dateline: May, 1994. Apple promises developers at WWDC 94 that the next generation operating system, Copland, will be in their hands as DR1 by year’s end for testing and released to their customers by mid-1995.

Dateline: May, 1995. Apple promises developers at WWDC 95 that the next generation operating system, Copland, will be in their hands as DR1 for testing by the fall of 1995 and released to their customers by mid-1996.

Dateline: October, 1995. Apple figures it’s high time to tell us all the truth: they don’t know when Copland will ship, save to say it surely won’t ship in 1996 and might ship in early 1997.

With this kind of product development cycle and advance planning it would be safer for all of us if we simply read the entrails of slaughtered farm animals to predict the availability of Copland. Maybe we could bring the Oracle at Delphi out of retirement? Or blow a call in to Jean Dixon?

My point, of course, is that our friends in Cupertino have done it again! They have mismanaged a development project that only has the fate of the company and its loyal developers’ lives hanging in the balance. If it weren’t so serious, it would be hysterically funny.

I don’t imagine, however, that any of you are laughing. I know that I am not. In fact, I imagine that you’re probably even more pissed than I am. Not because Apple is behind in its Copland development efforts, per se, but because they have deliberately misled us and our customers.

The Truth Hurts

Apple knew months ago that they wouldn’t make any of the 1995 and 1996 Copland dates. They knew they were very late in Finder and microkernel development. They knew they were even later in the development of other core technologies, including OpenDoc, Open Transport, and PowerTalk 2.0. They knew all this and they didn’t bother to utter a peep. Nary a nod in our direction. And that, folks, is wrong.

It’s wrong (as well as stupid) for Apple to mislead its developers, much less its customers. It’s wrong for Apple to mislead its tool developers. And it’s wrong for Apple to mislead itself - a problem clearly evident when you start talking with any of the PowerMac engineering teams. Many of these folks were floored when they heard the news about Copland slipping yet again, since they were recently told things were right on schedule. It’s bad enough when Apple lies to us, but it’s bonehead city when it lies to itself.

What We Know

This means, of course, that you will not be getting your DR1 release this fall as you were told in May. If you work at Symantec, Metrowerks, or one of the other tool vendors, you will get something that Apple’s calling the Copland Tools Development Release, a DR0 CD with very early versions of the Finder and microkernel on it, as well as Copland APIs.

DR0 might be enough for Greg Dow, Greg Galanos, Jean Belanger, and the ultrasmart braintrust at Metrowerks (hell, it will have to be!) to produce the CodeWarrior for Copland release, but it’s nowhere near enough along for us to do anything with it seriously (besides, we’d still have to wait for CodeWarrior, anyway).

All this means we might get our DR1 in March of 1996, but that release will only interest those of us doing device drivers and some extensions. DR2, which will have more general utility for the bulk of Mac developers, won’t grace our CD-ROM drives until at least May of 1996 (and that’s probably another overly positive scenario - some engineers on the Copland team are saying DR2 won’t hit until October of 1996).

Speculating Onward

This puts a DR3 or more robust DR2 into our hands maybe by the end of 1996, but more likely early 1997. This release might also be made available to large Mac sites for testing. Finally, by mid-1997, we’d have the released Copland 1.0 - only two years later than were told we’d get it at WWDC 94, and a year off the schedule given us at WWDC 95. And all of this speculation assumes no further serious slippage, which we all know just isn’t the case when it comes to very complex operating system development.

What Might Have Been

All of which makes me wonder why the hell Apple didn’t collapse some of this development cycle by buying or borrowing some of its basic services for Copland. Certainly the experience of moving from System 6 to System 7 must have taught them something. And the move to Copland from System 7.5 is a couple of orders of magnitude more complex than that transition was, making it all the more important to get a boost on the process.

I keep wondering if we all wouldn’t be well on our way to System 9 or 10 by now if Apple had only used the Pink (Taligent) kernel from IBM as their point of MacOS departure, rather than building the Copland microkernel from the ground up.

Hoping for the Best

Of course, all of this is water under the bridge now. And we are still stuck in the same position we’ve always been: hoping that Apple is telling us the truth and being honest to itself about its own development cycle.

Given that Copland requires the integration of complex existing and developing Apple OS technologies (QuickDraw GX, PowerTalk, OpenDoc, just to name three) into a code base that’s still not an alpha, the betting money is on Copland’s release date to customers slipping even more than the latest Apple prognostications would allow.

That puts the release of Copland interestingly close to the release of the next version of Windows NT (Cairo), and likely several update releases into Windows 95 (and/or the Windows 95 release that migrates everyone to the new NT). And it pushes Gershwin out until perhaps the turn of the century.

I wonder if by then any Apple customers will care that Copland shipped sometime in 1997?

 
AAPL
$118.30
Apple Inc.
+1.83
MSFT
$47.80
Microsoft Corpora
-0.18
GOOG
$539.36
Google Inc.
+1.86

MacTech Search:
Community Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

ForeverSave 2.1.3 - Universal auto-save...
ForeverSave auto-saves all documents you're working on while simultaneously doing backup versioning in the background. Lost data can be quickly restored at any time. Losing data, caused by... Read more
Voila 3.8.1 - Capture, annotate, organiz...
Voila is a screen-capture, recording, and annotation tool that is a full-featured replacement for Mac's screen-capture and screen-recording capabilities. It has a large and robust set of editing,... Read more
SyncTwoFolders 2.0.6 - Syncs two user-sp...
SyncTwoFolders simply synchronizes two folders. It supports synchronization across mounted network drives and it is a possibility to run a simulation showing in a log what will be done. Please visit... Read more
Duplicate Annihilator 5.1.1 - Find and d...
Duplicate Annihilator takes on the time-consuming task of comparing the images in your iPhoto library using effective algorithms to make sure that no duplicate escapes. Duplicate Annihilator detects... Read more
Cobook 3.0.7 - Intelligent address book....
Cobook Contacts is an intuitive, engaging address book. Solve the problem of contact management with Cobook Contacts and its simple interface and powerful syncing and integration possibilities.... Read more
StatsBar 1.9 - Monitor system processes...
StatsBar gives you a comprehensive and detailed analysis of the following areas of your Mac: CPU usage Memory usage Disk usage Network and bandwidth usage Battery power and health (MacBooks only)... Read more
Cyberduck 4.6 - FTP and SFTP browser. (F...
Cyberduck is a robust FTP/FTP-TLS/SFTP browser for the Mac whose lack of visual clutter and cleverly intuitive features make it easy to use. Support for external editors and system technologies such... Read more
Maya 2015 - Professional 3D modeling and...
Maya is an award-winning software and powerful, integrated 3D modeling, animation, visual effects, and rendering solution. Because Maya is based on an open architecture, all your work can be scripted... Read more
Evernote 6.0.1 - Create searchable notes...
Evernote allows you to easily capture information in any environment using whatever device or platform you find most convenient, and makes this information accessible and searchable at anytime, from... Read more
calibre 2.11 - Complete e-library manage...
Calibre is a complete e-book library manager. Organize your collection, convert your books to multiple formats, and sync with all of your devices. Let Calibre be your multi-tasking digital... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

The Sandbox EDU Review
The Sandbox EDU Review By Nadia Oxford on November 24th, 2014 Our Rating: :: COME PLAY IN THE SANDBOX AGAINUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Like its predecessor, The Sandbox EDU offers lots for players to see, do, and... | Read more »
Taichi Panda Hits iOS in December
Taichi Panda Hits iOS in December Posted by Jessica Fisher on November 24th, 2014 [ permalink ] Snail Games has released the first official game play trailer for  | Read more »
Skylanders, Show Off How You Fight Kaos...
Skylanders, Show Off How You Fight Kaos to Win Cool Prizes Posted by Jessica Fisher on November 24th, 2014 [ permalink ] iPad Only App - Designed for the iPad | Read more »
Playdek has Annouced a Delicious Thanksg...
Playdek has Annouced a Delicious Thanksgiving Sale Posted by Jessica Fisher on November 24th, 2014 [ permalink ] Playdek, makers of | Read more »
Pair Solitaire Review
Pair Solitaire Review By Jennifer Allen on November 24th, 2014 Our Rating: :: ADDICTIVE. SO ADDICTIVEUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Welcome to your new ‘five more minutes, oh no, why is it dark outside’ addiction.   | Read more »
DryGin Studios Release a Free-to-Play Ve...
DryGin Studios Release a Free-to-Play Version of Bio Inc Posted by Ellis Spice on November 24th, 2014 [ permalink ] Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad | Read more »
The Hunted Review
The Hunted Review By Jordan Minor on November 24th, 2014 Our Rating: :: A GROAN IN THE DARKUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad The Hunted’s multiplayer thrills are overshadowed by bland visuals and average gameplay.   | Read more »
Need for Speed No Limits has Been Unveil...
Need for Speed No Limits has Been Unveiled for iOS Posted by Ellis Spice on November 24th, 2014 [ permalink ] EA and Firemonkeys have announced Need for Speed No Limits, the next mobile installment | Read more »
Space Expedition Review
Space Expedition Review By Jordan Minor on November 24th, 2014 Our Rating: :: ONE SMALL STEPUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad The only thing boring about Space Expedition’s lonely journey is its title.   | Read more »
Ubisoft Gives Everyone Two New Ways to E...
Ubisoft Gives Everyone Two New Ways to Earn In-Game Stuff for Far Cry 4 Posted by Jessica Fisher on November 21st, 2014 [ permalink ] | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Jumptuit Launches One-Tap Windows 8.1 iTunes...
Jumptuit has launched Windows 8.1 support for One-Tap iTunes Sync. with which Windows 8.1 users can now easily sync their iTunes libraries with Microsoft OneDrive. Jumptuit provides easy access from... Read more
CEA Study Finds More People Recycling Electro...
A new study by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) finds that electronics recycling receives the continued and growing support of consumers. According to the CEA,s Recycling and Reuse Study,... Read more
15″ 2.2GHz Retina MacBook Pro on sale for $17...
 B&H Photo has the 2014 15″ 2.2GHz Retina MacBook Pro on sale today for $1749. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only. B&H will also include free copies of Parallels Desktop... Read more
27-inch 3.5GHz 5K iMac in stock today and on...
 B&H Photo has the new 27″ 3.5GHz 5K iMac in stock today and on sale for $2299 including free shipping plus NY sales tax only. Their price is $200 off MSRP, and it’s the lowest price available... Read more
21-inch 1.4GHz iMac on sale for $979, save $1...
B&H Photo has the new 21″ 1.4GHz iMac on sale for $979.99 including free shipping plus NY sales tax only. Their price is $120 off MSRP. B&H will also include free copies of Parallels Desktop... Read more
13-inch 1.4GHz/256GB MacBook Air on sale for...
B&H Photo has lowered their price on the 13″ 1.4GHz/256GB MacBook Air to $1059.99 including free shipping plus NY sales tax only. Their price is $140 off MSRP, and it’s the lowest price for this... Read more
Save up to $400 with Apple refurbished 2014 1...
The Apple Store has restocked Apple Certified Refurbished 2014 15″ Retina MacBook Pros for up to $400 off the cost of new models. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each model, and shipping... Read more
New 13-inch 1.4GHz MacBook Air on sale for $8...
 Adorama has the 2014 13″ 1.4GHz/128GB MacBook Air on sale for $899.99 including free shipping plus NY & NJ tax only. Their price is $100 off MSRP. B&H Photo has the 13″ 1.4GHz/128GB MacBook... Read more
Apple Expected to Reverse Nine-Month Tablet S...
Apple and Samsung combined accounted for 62 percent of the nearly 36 million branded tablets shipped in 3Q 2014, according to early vendor shipment share estimates from market intelligence firm ABI... Read more
Stratos: 30 Percent of US Smartphone Owners t...
Stratos, Inc., creator of the Bluetooth Connected Card Platform, has announced results from its 2014 Holiday Mobile Payments Survey. The consumer survey found that nearly one out of three (30 percent... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Solutions Consultant (ASC) - Apple (...
**Job Summary** The ASC is an Apple employee who serves as an Apple brand ambassador and influencer in a Reseller's store. The ASC's role is to grow Apple Read more
*Apple* Solutions Consultant (ASC)- Retail S...
**Job Summary** The ASC is an Apple employee who serves as an Apple brand ambassador and influencer in a Reseller's store. The ASC's role is to grow Apple Read more
Project Manager, *Apple* Financial Services...
**Job Summary** Apple Financial Services (AFS) offers consumers, businesses and educational institutions ways to finance Apple purchases. We work with national and Read more
*Apple* Store Leader Program - College Gradu...
Job Description: Job Summary As an Apple Store Leader Program agent, you can continue your education as you major in the art of leadership at the Apple Store. You'll Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
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
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.