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Snow Leopard to add Cocoa Finder, ImageBoot?

updated 12:00 pm EDT, Mon October 20, 2008

More Snow Leopard changes

Several major changes in Apple's next operating system have been revealed, sources claim. Mac OS X Snow Leopard is, according to AppleInsider, expected to completely jettison the Carbon-based version of Finder, in favor of a one written entirely in Cocoa. Apple has said that 64-bit support for Carbon will not be provided, and it may thus make sense to migrate as much code over as possible for maximum performance. Finder is currently one of oldest Carbon components in Mac OS X.

Apple is also expected to introduce a new feature called ImageBoot, a variant on NetBoot. Whereas NetBoot allows people to boot a Mac from a remote disk, ImageBoot should let people boot from external storage or a secondary partition, with the option of choosing among several disk images at startup. This should enable developers to set up multiple test configurations, or anyone to spawn versions of Snow Leopard for different tasks.

Apple may further intend to expand support for Microsoft's Exchange 2007 technology, which lets people synchronize mail, contact and calendar information via corporate servers. This integration is allegedly being deepened throughout iCal, Mail and Address Book, though Apple is said to be pushing testers to focus on Exchange functions like scheduling events in iCal, adding Address Book contacts, and automatic account configuration in Mail.

As soon as this weekend, testing plans may additionally involve expanding the numbers developers involved, past the limited group which typically receives seeds. Testers could in fact include members of the extended Developer Connection network, though this is uncertain.




by MacNN Staff

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  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    -14

    Come on!

    Gee, Adobe gets killed for not moving to Cocoa years ago, saying Carbon was obviously dead.

    And yet, here we are, and Apple's own finder is Carbon. Didn't they ever get the memo? Why isn't Apple getting slammed the way Adobe was?

    And why is it that the Red Sox couldn't figure out how to beat a team in St. Pete?

  1. ajhoughton

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +5

    not performance

    "Apple has said that 64-bit support for Carbon will not be provided, and it may thus make sense to migrate as much code over as possible for maximum performance"

    This is nonsense. Before writing about technical issues, please ASK SOMEONE rather than just spouting forth.

    Apple may rewrite Finder, or it may not. But whatever Apple's engineers decide, it is unlikely to have a great deal to do with the 64-bit versus 32-bit issue.

    FWIW, 64-bit apps will often run slower than 32-bit ones on the same architecture. In the specific case of x86, there have been some architectural improvements that may improve performance for certain applications, but moving to 64-bit addressing still comes at the cost of additional memory bandwidth.

    The main benefits of the 64-bit address space are and will continue to be for applications that need to deal with very large data sets for whatever reason.

    Furthermore, one other site tried to imply that Snow Leopard will not run 32-bit apps because "it is a 64-bit operating system". There is no reason to suppose that that would be the case; Leopard has a 32-bit kernel but can run 64-bit apps just fine, and it is highly unlikely that Apple will discontinue support for 32-bit apps, including 32-bit Carbon apps, any time soon.

  1. hayesk

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +8

    Re: Come on

    "Why isn't Apple getting slammed the way Adobe was? "

    Probably because it doesn't matter. Image files in Photoshop can benefit from 64-bit addressing. The Finder, well, come on? What particular Finder task do you think will benefit from being 64-bit?

    I'm really interested in hearing why you think the Finder needs to be 64-bit.

  1. Glasspusher

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +2

    red sox

    Testudo,
    Come on. Big Papi had a bad wrist, Drew was playing with a bad back, Lowell was gone, Beckett was hurt. I'm pleased and surprised they made it that far. The Rays were the better team this year. I can live with that- I'm no greedy yankee fan ;)

  1. Guest

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +2

    Yes performance

    Actually performance IS a huge reason to switch to 64 bit. It has to do with Apple's method of using 32 bits addressing. They traded system call performance for the ability to access the full 4GB of memory from within an application. (Googling "TLB Flush Issue in Mac OS X" will be left as an exercise to the reader). With a 64 bit app, that performance hit disappears.

  1. resuna

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +2

    testudo

    Testudo: Apple has been slammed over the Carbon Finder since OS X 1.0. If you haven't seen that you've just been keeping your eyes closed.

    Unfortunately Apple won't do the right thing, and turn Finder into a legacy program and bring back the NeXT file manager and shelf, they'll just do an even more limited version of the already caponised Leopard Finder.

  1. chadpengar

    Joined: Dec 1969

    -3

    fuunnnnyyyyyy!

    This whole discussion is funny! Ignoramuses and Ignoramuses arguing.

    And yes, too bad about the Red Sox.

  1. Bogartte

    Joined: Dec 1969

    -2

    Evolution

    From left field I ask this nonsensical question, which may or may not be related in some way, but what is the possibility of having Apple instead of playing with the finder, evolve the whole system into a Dock?

    In other words, turn the guts of the Dock and its UI into a Desktop, whereby one can really move everything about, making the whole system sort of 3D or multidimensional - that would make better sense, if such a thing is possible.

    Does this concept make any sense, or am I talking through my hat?

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    -7

    Re: Come on

    I'm really interested in hearing why you think the Finder needs to be 64-bit.

    I never said it needed to be 64-bit. I was just complaining that it wasn't in Cocoa yet, although everyone else is apparently supposed to have abandoned Carbon years ago.

    Oh, as to this
    and it is highly unlikely that Apple will discontinue support for 32-bit apps, including 32-bit Carbon apps, any time soon.

    That would be so true with anyone else. But with Apple, can you really be sure of anything until it happens out of the blue? No one knew 10.5 lacked classic support until it was released and people realized it. Apple hasn't said "Firewire is dead!" yet we're assuming it because they've dropped it from a laptop. And we have to assume it because Apple never tells anyone anything until it is public.

  1. Guest

    Joined: Dec 1969

    -1

    They'll Mess It Up

    ...

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