updated 11:55 am EDT, Mon May 11, 2009
Snow Leopard code freeze
Apple has issued what may be its most significant seed of Mac OS X Snow Leopard to date, developer sources indicate. With build 10A354 Apple is said to be freezing the APIs for the operating system, allowing developers to code on the assumption that all key components are in place. The achievement may also cement notions that testing is accelerating towards completion.
Central to the changes in 10A354 is a simplification of the APIs in relation to Grand Central, which better exploits multi-core processors by automatically dividing tasks into smaller chunks. In Mac OS X Leopard and in Windows Vista, developers must generally write their own multithreading support in order to take advantage of two or more cores. Apps without multithreading are frequently slower than their counterparts.
Minor updates include Chinese handwriting recognition for Macs with multi-touch trackpads, and an option for bidirectional text within the Language & Text Preference panel. Also present is the groundwork for MPEG-4 High Efficiency AAC, a new sound codec. HE-AAC should serve as a companion to the existing Low Complexity AAC (AAC-LC), which handles lower-quality streaming audio.
A final release of Snow Leopard has typically been predicted for August or September.