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?

 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

BetterTouchTool 2.260 - Customize Multi-...
BetterTouchTool adds many new, fully customizable gestures to the Magic Mouse, Multi-Touch MacBook trackpad, and Magic Trackpad. These gestures are customizable: Magic Mouse: Pinch in / out (zoom... Read more
Chromium 59.0.3071.115 - Fast and stable...
Chromium is an open-source browser project that aims to build a safer, faster, and more stable way for all Internet users to experience the web. Version 59.0.3071.115: This update has no Flash plug... Read more
SyncTwoFolders 2.2.3 - 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
Myriad 4.1 - $79.00
Myriad is, simply put, one of the best audio batch processors. Totally redesigned, it looks beautiful and delivers incredible performance. Let Myriad do the heavy lifting while you get back to doing... Read more
Suitcase Fusion 7 18.2.4 - Font manageme...
Suitcase Fusion 7 is the creative professional's font manager. Every professional font manager should deliver the basics: spectacular previews, powerful search tools, and efficient font organization... Read more
SoftRAID 5.6.1 - High-quality RAID manag...
SoftRAID allows you to create and manage disk arrays to increase performance and reliability. SoftRAID allows the user to create and manage RAID 4 and 5 volumes, RAID 1+0, and RAID 1 (Mirror) and... Read more
BetterTouchTool 2.25 - Customize Multi-T...
BetterTouchTool adds many new, fully customizable gestures to the Magic Mouse, Multi-Touch MacBook trackpad, and Magic Trackpad. These gestures are customizable: Magic Mouse: Pinch in / out (zoom... Read more
Google Chrome 59.0.3071.115 - Modern and...
Google Chrome is a Web browser by Google, created to be a modern platform for Web pages and applications. It utilizes very fast loading of Web pages and has a V8 engine, which is a custom built... Read more
Google Chrome 59.0.3071.115 - Modern and...
Google Chrome is a Web browser by Google, created to be a modern platform for Web pages and applications. It utilizes very fast loading of Web pages and has a V8 engine, which is a custom built... Read more
SoftRAID 5.6.1 - High-quality RAID manag...
SoftRAID allows you to create and manage disk arrays to increase performance and reliability. SoftRAID allows the user to create and manage RAID 4 and 5 volumes, RAID 1+0, and RAID 1 (Mirror) and... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

This War of Mine gets a new ending and m...
This War of Mine just got a big new update, featuring free DLC that adds a new ending to the game, among other exciting changes. The update is celebrating the game's two-year release anniversary. Apart from the new ending, which will be quite... | Read more »
Summon eight new heroes in Fire Emblem H...
Nintendo keeps coming at us with Fire Emblem Heroes updates, and it doesn't look like that trend is stopping anytime soon. The folks behind the game have just announced the new War of the Clerics Voting Gauntlet, expected to start next Tuesday. [... | Read more »
The best deals on the App Store this wee...
iOS publishers are pulling out all the stops this week -- there's a huge number of seriously great games at discounted prices this week. Let's not waste any time and get right down to business. [Read more] | Read more »
The House of da Vinci (Games)
The House of da Vinci 1.0.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0.0 (iTunes) Description: Enter The House of Da Vinci, a new must-try 3D puzzle adventure game. Solve mechanical puzzles, discover hidden... | Read more »
Solve the disappearance of history’s gre...
Blue Brain Games invites you to indulge in an immersive hands-on 3D puzzle adventure in similar vein to The Room series, with its debut release The House of Da Vinci. Set during the historic period of the Italian Renaissance (when Leonardo himself... | Read more »
Age of Rivals (Games)
Age of Rivals 3.3 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $.99, Version: 3.3 (iTunes) Description: Deep civilization-building strategy in a fast-paced card game! | Read more »
Panthera Frontier (Games)
Panthera Frontier 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: | Read more »
Angry Birds Evolution beginner's gu...
Angry Birds changes things up a fair bit in its latest iteration, Angry Birds Evolution. The familiar sling-shot physics mechanics are still there, but the game now features team-based gameplay, RPG elements, and a new top-down view. With all of... | Read more »
Sega Forever is for the retro game fans
Sega is launching a new retro games service titled Sega Forever, in a move that's sure to delight games enthusiasts with a bit of nostalgia. Sega's releasing five classic games for free. The titles include Sonic the Hedgehog, Phantasy Star II,... | Read more »
The Little Acre (Games)
The Little Acre 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Use Apple’s Education discount to save up to...
Purchase a new Mac using Apple’s Education discount, and take up to $300 off MSRP. All teachers, students, and staff of any educational institution qualify for the discount. Shipping is free: - 15″ 2... Read more
Clearance 27-inch 3.3GHz 5K iMac available fo...
Amazon clearance 27″ 3.3GHz 5K iMacs (MK482LL/A) available for $1799.90 including free shipping. Their price is $500 off original MSRP, and it’s the lowest price available for this model from any... Read more
13-inch 1.8GHz/256GB MacBook Air on sale for...
B&H Photo has the updated 2017 13″ 1.8GHz/256GB MacBook Air (MQD42LL/A) in stock and on sale for $1129 including free shipping plus NY & NJ tax only. Their price is $70 off MSRP. Read more
27-inch 3.4GHz iMac on sale for $1699, save $...
B&H Photo has the new 2017 27″ 3.4GHz iMac (MNE92LL/A) in stock and on sale for $1699 including free shipping plus NY & NJ sales tax only. Their price is $100 off MSRP. Read more
21-inch 2.3GHz iMac on sale for $1049, save $...
B&H Photo has the new 2017 21″ 2.3GHz iMac (MMQA2LL/A) in stock and on sale for $1049 including free shipping plus NY & NJ tax only. Their price is $50 off MSRP. Read more
ABBYY TextGrabber 6 for iOS Implements Instan...
ABBYY has announced the release of TextGrabber 6.0.0, an important feature update to the company’s productivity app developed for iOS and Android devices. TextGrabber 6.0 now offers Real-Time... Read more
vPhone, First Smartphone That Can’t Be Lost,...
Austin, Texas based Hypori has introduced the vPhone, a virtual smartphone that affords every business user the benefits of separate work and personal phones, conveniently delivered on a single... Read more
Save this weekend with 2016 refurbished MacBo...
Apple has dropped prices on Certified Refurbished 2016 15″ and 13″ MacBook Pros by as much as $590 off original MSRP. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each model, and shipping is free: -... Read more
New 27-inch 3.4GHz iMac on sale for $1699, sa...
MacMall has the new 2017 27″ 3.4GHz iMac (MNE92LL/A) in stock and on sale for $1699 including free shipping. Their price is $100 off MSRP. Read more
Clearance 2016 MacBook Pros available for up...
B&H Photo has clearance 2016 13″ and 15″ MacBook Pros in stock today and on sale for up to $400 off original MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY & NJ sales tax only: - 15″ 2.7GHz... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* News Product Marketing Mgr., Publish...
…organizational consensus on strategy and vision for publisher tools, authoring, and Apple News Format.Carries this strategy and vision across the organization to 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
Security Data Analyst - *Apple* Information...
…data sources need to be collected to allow Information Security to better protect Apple employees and customers from a wide range of threats.Act as the subject matter Read more
Lead *Apple* Solutions Consultant - Apple I...
…integrity, and trust.Success Metrics/Key Performance Indicators:Quantitative* Year over Year growth in Apple Product and Beyond the Box sales in the assigned Point of Read more
*Apple* Solutions Consultant till v%u00E5r...
…ethics, integrity, and trust.Success Metrics/Key Performance Indicators:QuantitativeYear over Year growth in Apple Product and Beyond the Box sales in the assigned Point Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.