Mac OS X 10.2 - Jaguar

From iGeek
NeXT acquired Apple, and replaced old Apple's NIH and leadership with NeXT's NIH and leadership.
Apple acquired NeXT, Steve Jobs had a palace coup and replaced old Apple's Not-Invented-here and leadership with NeXT's Not-Invented-here and leadership. NeXT did some things better, some worse, and had even more arrogance and inflexibility than old Apple. But they did have competent management, a stronger vision, and a willingness to just ship "good enough" and fix it later.
ℹ️ Info          
~ Aristotle Sabouni
Created: 2002-09-13 

With Jaguar released, I was pretty happy. There are a lot of improvements in it, and progress is obviously being made. Then I hear the people saying that, "it is a good as a Mac", or that Apple is killing MacOS 9, and I wrote this article to list the things I like, and don't like about the new OS. Where it has caught up or surpassed the old one, or just isn't there and may never be. Jaguar • [8 items]

Jaguar - Type, Creator and Metadata
Type/Creator was much better than just File Exensions, and Apple's metadata was better and more versatile than NeXT's. But we got NeXTs. So this has some consequences: filename limitation, file behaviors, drag and drop quirks,
Jaguar Architecture
Basically, a kernel offers low-level memory protection, scheduling and communication between tasks. That's it. There are other things you can do to compensate -- but having better protection, scheduling and communication does help. As does more modern memory management. But it's not magic, and has overhead. And NeXT documentation is a far cry from Apple's.
Jaguar Drivers
Drivers let you run devices, and because Jaguar is still new(er), there's lots of things that still don't work quite as well. The things that do work, work well (sometimes even better). But this is gap analysis, and what can't I do that I used to be able to.
Jaguar Finder
Jaguar Finder isn't bad... if you're a NeXT user or a new user and you don't know better. In fact, in those cases, many things might be better. But if you're a Mac user, and especially a power user, it was different in ways that were mostly for the worse. It feels like the Finder got a promotion; it used to work for me, now I work for it.
Jaguar Font Support
I miss fonts just working. OpenType font support is better. Everything else is worse. I used to have them organized in one place, and they worked. Now I need to reboot and they are disorganized and in 5 different places. No centralized font management.
Jaguar User Interface
The User Interface is the most mixed of all; with some huge wins and still pretty annoying losses/omissions. +PDF, +Shadows, +OpenGL (3D), +General Look. -Aqua (information density), -Command Line Shell, -Extension Manager, -Dock, -Control Panels, --Internet Settings, etc.
Jaguar brings Unix Apps
UNIX comes with UNIX Apps and software: mostly clustered around a few markets, development, academia (higher education), research, network administrators, and some vertical markets in the high-end arenas (high end video productions, high end animation and 3D, and so on).
MacOS X is Unix
OS X is cool because UNIX is cool. Not because UNIX is a particularly well done OS, UNIX has tons of anachronistic design choices and has plenty of legacy issues that aren't pretty or modern. But UNIX does have many strengths to counteract those issues. The Mac was not UNIX, Jaguar is UNIX.

Conclusion[edit | edit source]

UNIX just works, many, many people know it, and write software for it, and have been for decades. It has entrenched markets, and very loyal users and programmers, and a whole lot of code. It succeeded because it is cheap: but success is success. People will borrow from UNIX, and people will bet on UNIX. Many of them would not have bet on Mac, without the UNIX foundation. This is significant; Apple can break into new markets because they are a UNIX, and they can drive technologies in ways they couldnít before. It wasn't that what they did before wasn't as good (in some ways it was better, in other it was worse), but the biggest issue is not technical merit but marketing perception. Apple had proven unable to generate as much momentum on their own, so at least they can ride on the snowball that is UNIX. UNIX means opportunities for Macs and the Mac market that it wouldn't otherwise have. This alone makes OSX such a huge leap forward over OS 9 that it is not funny.

While there are things that drive me nuts (negatively) about OS X, even those things that make me less productive (the Dock), often helps some other people and others even like. So I can't call them complete losses, at worst they just aren't quite as good for me. And I'm the only user that counts, right?

I like many of the new features. I really like the openness and trying to play well with others and make standards. I really like that Iím seeing continual evolution and progress: Apple is challenging themselves to be better. I love that they are extending what an operating system does, and offering better services (like calendar and synching). Apple could be more open in some areas (they do the closed API thing too much), but they are also more open in many other ways than they used to be. Most of all, they are choosing which standards to follow wisely and following through with those decisions much quicker (can you say LDAP, ZeroConf, XML, and so on)?

There's a better atmosphere in the organization (more or less). And while their much more pragmatic (and Microsoftian attitude) of ìship it now, fix it laterî sometimes grates (and effects quality), it is probably better than the old, ìHang on to it until it is perfect, and irrelevantî attitude of the old Apple. But all the other little stuff pales in comparison to the new markets stuff; markets and market perceptions matter more than technology, more than good interface, more than anything. If you are a healthy market, they will come. Things are healthier. This is good. Add that to a few changes in attitude and you have some serious wins.

So while I do use OS X, and I do think it is the best UNIX ever, just don't tell me that it is as good as the classic MacOS at stuff that MacOS did better. It isn't. And if NeXTies hadn't been so fucking igno-arrogant and unwilling to listen to the way things used to work, they could have made the transition a lot smoother for everyone.


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