updated 10:40 pm EDT, Thu October 26, 2006
Leopard for developers
Apple this week revealed new interface and security enhancements expected with the next version of its Mac OS X 10.5 "Leopard" operating system, including a new realtime debugging tool for developers, code-signing, updated Objective C environment, and resolution independence for higher density screen. The company outlined its new Xray application, which will allow developers to "track UI events in real-time and see how they affect I/O activity and CPU load at the same time," eWEEK writes. "This application will be based on the open-source DTrace, but provide a graphical interface to that utility's command-line monitoring of kernel and user code.... At the other end of the spectrum--affecting users more than developers--is resolution independence. This will allow the operating system to present user interface elements at various scales."
The technology will allow the OS to store images independent of the display out, which is critical as newer displays have higher pixel densities. Historically, screens have had 72 dpi (dots per inch) resolution, but new displays offer over 100dpi. The technology will cater to higher-density displays and allow users with impaired vision will be able to scale up the physical size of the screen at a higher resolution, according to the report.
In addition, Apple's developer pages outline a new implementation of OpenGL, QuickTime upgrades and more details on how much 64-bit code will be in Leopard, even while maintaining 32-bit compatibility, the report noted.
Code-signing, noted by one developer, is a security measure that can verify that a piece of software was produced by a specific vendor and can also ensure the integrity of code, enabling of discovery of altered code.
Other technologies, such as Core Animation, announced previously by Apple CEO Steve Jobs at the August WWDC Conference, are also mentioned. Core Animation allows developers to easily add advanced, real-time motion effects to their applications. Objective-C 2.0 also features garbage collection, built-in enumeration, and automatic class property generation; it is the only major revision to Objective-C since NeXT started using it in 1989, according to the report.