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
$101.32
Apple Inc.
+0.74
MSFT
$45.15
Microsoft Corpora
-0.07
GOOG
$582.56
Google Inc.
-0.81

MacTech Search:
Community Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

calibre 2.0.0 - Complete e-library manag...
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
Apple iMovie 10.0.5 - Edit personal vide...
With an all-new design, Apple iMovie lets you enjoy your videos like never before. Browse your clips more easily, instantly share your favorite moments, and create beautiful HD movies and Hollywood-... Read more
Apple Keynote 6.2.2 - Apple's prese...
Apple Keynote makes it simple to create and deliver beautiful presentations. Powerful tools and dazzling effects bring your ideas to life. You can work seamlessly between Mac and iOS devices. And... Read more
Apple Numbers 3.2.2 - Apple's sprea...
With Apple Numbers, sophisticated spreadsheets are just the start. The whole sheet is your canvas. Just add dramatic interactive charts, tables, and images that paint a revealing picture of your data... Read more
OpenOffice 4.1.1 - Free and open-source...
OpenOffice.org is both an Open Source product and a project. The product is a multi-platform office productivity suite. It includes the key desktop applications, such as a word processor,... Read more
Pages 5.2.2 - Apple's word processo...
Apple Pages is a powerful word processor that gives you everything you need to create documents that look beautiful. And read beautifully. It lets you work seamlessly between Mac and iOS devices. And... Read more
Quicken 2015 2.0.1 - Complete personal f...
The new Quicken 2015 helps you manage all your personal finances in one place, so you can see where you're spending and where you can save. Quicken automatically categorizes your financial... Read more
CleanMyMac 2.2.7 - Delete files that was...
CleanMyMac makes space for the things you love. Sporting a range of ingenious new features, CleanMyMac 2 lets you safely and intelligently scan and clean your entire system, delete large, unused... Read more
MacFamilyTree 7.2.4 - Create and explore...
MacFamilyTree gives genealogy a facelift: it's modern, interactive, incredibly fast, and easy to use. We're convinced that generations of chroniclers would have loved to trade in their genealogy... Read more
Videobox 4.1.1 - Download Flash video th...
Videobox allows you to quickly and easily download Flash video from most all of the popular video sites on the internet. Videobox will convert the video into a native Quicktime format so it's ready... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

Trolls vs Vikings Update Adds Over One H...
Trolls vs Vikings Update Adds Over One Hundred Levels, Reduces Item Cost, and More Posted by Ellis Spice on August 22nd, 2014 [ permalink ] | Read more »
SNK Celebrates the 20th Anniversary of T...
SNK Celebrates the 20th Anniversary of The King of Fighters With a Big Sale Posted by Ellis Spice on August 22nd, 2014 [ permalink ] | Read more »
It Came From Canada: Star Wars: Commande...
With a brand new Star Wars trilogy on the horizon, prepare yourselves for Disney and George Lucas’s space fantasy throwback to be more omnipresent than ever before. So it should come as no surprise that new adventures in that galaxy far, far away... | Read more »
Swing Copters Review
Swing Copters Review By Jordan Minor on August 22nd, 2014 Our Rating: :: DIE TRYINGUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad The creator of Flappy Bird is back with a vengeance.   | Read more »
The Outcast Review
The Outcast Review By Nadia Oxford on August 22nd, 2014 Our Rating: :: HANDS OFF. WAY OFF.Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad It’s easy to see what The Outcast is trying for, but its execution needs a lot of work.   | Read more »
Brain+ Review
Brain+ Review By Nadia Oxford on August 22nd, 2014 Our Rating: :: DIM BULBUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Brain+ is just another entry in an over-saturated brain-training marketplace – and not a particularly fun entry... | Read more »
The Witcher Battle Arena – New Gameplay...
The Witcher Battle Arena – New Gameplay Trailer Revealed Posted by Jessica Fisher on August 22nd, 2014 [ permalink ] Based in the Witcher universe, | Read more »
Max Gentlemen Review
Max Gentlemen Review By Jennifer Allen on August 22nd, 2014 Our Rating: :: OUTSTAYING ITS WELCOMEiPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad Max Gentlemen seems pretty quirky initially but that appeal wears thin... | Read more »
Club Penguin Gets Frozen All Over in Lat...
Club Penguin Gets Frozen All Over in Latest Takeover Event Posted by Ellis Spice on August 22nd, 2014 [ permalink ] Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad | Read more »
Doctor Who: Legacy Review
Doctor Who: Legacy Review By Jennifer Allen on August 22nd, 2014 Our Rating: :: RUN OF THE MILLUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Doctor Who: Legacy is an ok match-3 puzzle game, but it lacks some much needed personality... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Leftover 15-inch 2.0GHz Retina MacBook Pros a...
B&H Photo has leftover previous-generation 15″ 2.0GHz Retina MacBook Pros now available for $1599 including free shipping plus NY sales tax only. Their price is $400 off original MSRP. B&H... Read more
Pro.Calendar – New Productivity App for iPad...
Austin, Texas based mobile business and productivity app developer LightArrow, Inc. has announced Pro.Calendar, a powerful and intuitive calendar app with eight versatile calendar options including... Read more
SanDisk Ultra II SSD — Supercharge Your Syste...
SanDisk Corporation has announced the new SanDisk Ultra II SSD with enhanced SSD Dashboard. The new drive is designed to deliver a cost-effective and easy upgrade solution for PC owners looking to... Read more
Samsung and Barnes & Noble Introduce New...
Samsung Electronics America and NOOK Media, a subsidiary of Barnes & Noble, Inc. have announced the introduction of the new Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK, a 7-inch tablet combining Samsung’s leading... Read more
21-inch iMacs on sale for up to $150 off MSRP
B&H Photo has 21″ iMacs on sale for up to $150 off MSRP including free shipping plus NY sales tax only. B&H will also include a free copy of Parallels Desktop software: - 21″ 2.7GHz iMac: $... Read more
27-inch 3.2GHz iMac on sale for $1698, save $...
Abt has the 27″ 3.2GHz iMac on sale for $1698 including free shipping. Their price is $101 off MSRP. Read more
Mac Backup Guru 2.0 Drive Backup/Cloneing Uti...
Mac Backup Guru developer MacDaddy has released Mac Backup Guru 2.0, offering new and enhanced advanced features, such as bootable backups, synchronised volumes and folders, and a Snapshot mode that... Read more
Operate GE’s New Free-Standing KItchen Range...
Think you accidentally left the oven on? Switch it off while on the go. The new free-standing Profile™ Series gas and electric ranges are GE’s second cooking appliances, following their wall oven, to... Read more
Parallels Announces Parallels Desktop 10 for...
The no. 1-selling software for running Windows applications on a Mac becomes an even easier choice for millions of consumers and IT professionals worldwide with the launch of the most powerful... Read more
Apple now offering certified refurbished 2014...
 The Apple Store is now offering Apple Certified Refurbished 2014 MacBook Airs for up to $180 off the cost of new models. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each MacBook, and shipping is... Read more

Jobs Board

*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
Position Opening at *Apple* - Apple (United...
**Job Summary** As more and more people discover Apple , they visit our stores seeking ways to incorporate our products into their lives. It's your job, as a Store Read more
Position Opening at *Apple* - Apple (United...
…Summary** As a Specialist, you help create the energy and excitement around Apple products, providing the right solutions and getting products into customers' hands. You 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* 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
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.