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Snow Leopard to slim apps, add touch framework

updated 04:05 pm EDT, Mon June 23, 2008

Quiet Snow Leopard changes

A number of important changes are being brought to Mac OS X Snow Leopard that have not been well-publicized, a new report notes. Even though Apple has described the forthcoming operating system as an attempt to refine Leopard rather than make dramatic changes, it should for instance introduce a comprehensive multi-touch framework, which will help developers implement commands currently coded exclusively by Apple.

More crucial may be a dramatic shrinking in the size needed for OS functions, possibly related to cutting out duplicate localization, and to the implementation of "resolution independence," which replaces bitmaps with vectors that can handle any desktop size. The Utilities folder is expected to fall from 468MB to 112, for example, while Mail will be cut from 287MB to 91.

Apple is also improving its handling of text, implementing features from Microsoft Word such as auto-correction and smart replacement, for instance by substituting "TM" with the trademark symbol.

In terms of ZFS support, the filesystem will be usable in both the client and Server forms of the OS, in read and write modes; it will not, however, be in a position to replace HFS+ completely. Benefits of ZFS are said to include pooling, redundancy, snapshots, error correction and dynamic volume expansion.

by MacNN Staff





  1. rytc

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Polishing up Leopard sounds like we'll be getting a pretty nice OS.

  1. Guest

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Not Fat Binaries

    The slimmed down applications could be due to the fact that the Snow Leopard Developer Preview is Intel-only (as opposed to Leopard's Univeral Binaries with their PowerPC support).

  1. ggirton

    Joined: Dec 1969


    resolution independence

    I had thought we were getting resolution independence in 10.5 -- I'm really looking forward to the more-pixels-per-inch screen that actually gives me higher resolution, rather than a much-wider screen with teeny tiny features at 72 dots per inch and miniature lettering. Our eyes and brains are so much better than our computers...

  1. tomodachi

    Joined: Dec 1969



    "possibly related to cutting out duplicate localization"

    duh. obviously it's from going Intel only. No more PPC code = almost halving the sizes of all UB apps.

    'Course, that won't explain Mail going from 287 to 91MB, but, my educated guess is that the bulk of that shrinkage will be from getting rid of UBs.

  1. Paul Huang

    Joined: Dec 1969


    programmer's wet dream

    Just look at how poorly Apple's own subsidiary deal with fonts and you will understand that Resolution Independence will never happen without blowing up all the applications out there. We have gone through too many transformations already, but this one is the most important one. However, it requires all vendors of software to cooperate.

    As monitor's resolution increases, the need for resolution independence gets greater. However, 90% of the population is perfectly content using 800 x 600 resolution on a 1680 x 1050 monitor—that's right, stretch marks and all. They don't understand why the text is fuzzy, but they don't bother, because a flat panel is "s***" and it's so expensive, so it's got to be better than a CRT.

    Blame the dumbass users.

  1. webraider

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Another Pet Peeve...

    In addition to the 90 percent content with a non native resolution is my biggest pet peeve! I can't stand how many people don't realize how to set up "Wide-Screen" TV's correctly. Too many times.. even in the stores, I see an already wide screened signal.. double widescreened... That's right.. stetched to be thinner and wider than it's supposed to be. You would think people would just leave the tv sets on the auto setting the correctly determines the aspect ratio. If an image is square.. its should display square.. if it's wide.. it should be exactly as wide as it's supposed to be.
    They also stretch out signals that were never supposed to stretch out. I just can't stand that.

  1. elroth

    Joined: Dec 1969



    "Apple is also improving its handling of text, implementing features from Microsoft Word such as auto-correction and smart replacement, for instance by substituting "TM" with the trademark symbol."

    Just as long as you can turn it off. I can't stand the automatic features of Word - they totally annoy me.

  1. bredlo

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Less bloat is good!

  1. Nemco

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Vague and speculative

    So it's just a project they are doing, nothing definitive, and highly speculative at this point... Of course they're doing research on other possibilities, but in the end it's probably going to end up being the next Windows again.

    Still, it's interesting to read they're researching this. I'm one of many people who thinks that MS should just drop Windows (or have it run alongside) and create something different...

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