Language Chosen Carefully on WWDC Promo

I'm sure I'm not the only one to notice this, but Apple chose its words very carefully when describing what to expect at WWDC 2006:

Join the thousands of Mac developers who will be attending WWDC 2006, and be one of the first to preview Mac OS X Leopard. You’ll get the chance to explore the latest Mac tools and technologies, and to learn the advances that are keeping Mac OS X far, far ahead of the competition.

The site uses "preview" as a verb, not a noun or adjective. That is, it doesn't say "a Leopard Preview DVD" or a "Preview Version of Leopard." Instead you can be the "first to preview." See and possibly touch, but don't take home.

Now, if Leopard is scheduled to come out at the end of the year or even the beginning of next, an actual Leopard DVD still seems fairly likely, but the language here leaves enough wiggle room for the DVD or download to show up at some point after the conference.

The updated track descriptions are, unfortunately, still quite vague (at least the ones I read). They just read as high-level descriptions of the APIs that are available in Mac OS X. There are some definitive tasks such as "Call Objective-C methods from a Carbon application," but mostly they're just category listings.

Then again, it's only April, so maybe I'm judging too harshly. Still a third of year to go.
Design Element
Language Chosen Carefully on WWDC Promo
Posted Apr 18, 2006 — 10 comments below


Dale — Apr 19, 06 1110

I've noticed each year that Apple initially provide vague track listings. It's not until a month or so before WWDC that they flesh out the track listings and throw as some juicy tips about what's new.

The only thing I did notice of interest was "What's New in the Mac OS X Kernel" (OS Foundations track). It isn't very specific but it does tell us that the kernel changes are significant enough to warrant a session. Apple updated Tiger's kernel signficantly for networking (if I recall correctly) which led to speed improvements. Maybe there's more changes afoot which will improve the user experience.

Jeff — Apr 19, 06 1111

Yes I thought the exact same thing when I read the email from Apple. It's stopping me from committing to attend at the moment. If I knew the sessions would have the same level of Tiger content that WWDC2004 did (but for Leopard of course) then it would be enough to sway me to attend again. Otherwise, times are tough right now and it's harder to justify the expense.

Ben — Apr 19, 06 1112

Out of interest, when did Tiger preview and when did it finally release?

Scott Stevenson — Apr 19, 06 1114 Scotty the Leopard

Out of interest, when did Tiger preview and when did it finally release?

June 2004 and April 2005, respectively.

Jon Hendry — Apr 22, 06 1121

I wonder if Apple is letting the schedule slip a little, perhaps in order to avoid overloading 3rd party developers who've already been dealing with the Intel port.

And maybe they're looking at what is going to ship as Vista and figure they can afford to slip a little... ;^)

Jon Hendry — Apr 22, 06 1122

I would add that August seemed kinda late if 10.5 is going to ship late this year or very early next year.

Alas. I would have liked to have it ship by year's end.

Oskar Lissheim-Boethius — Apr 23, 06 1124

Could it be that Apple is planning to make an "under-the-hood" switch to a monloithic kernel, as some "respected" (hrm...) members of the Mac journalistic corps have suggested? Have they by now abstracted the kernel enough from users and developers (with Frameworks, Driver Kit's, et al) that such a switch could be not only possible but fairly seamless? I wonder...

Scott Stevenson — Apr 23, 06 1127 Scotty the Leopard

Could it be that Apple is planning to make an "under-the-hood" switch to a monloithic kerne

A lot of people seem to think xnu is a microkernel. It's not.

Ken — Apr 26, 06 1129

The speed problems in OS X's kernel doesn't appear because of the fact that its monolithic vs. micro, its because memory allocation is painfully painfully slow.

This has been my observation in my optimization work in my own (unreleased) app, and also the recent OS X vs. Windows stdlib performance tests.

This more than anything I hope gets fixed because I think it has the potential to speed up high level frameworks like cocoa that allocate and release lots of auto-released objects.

Daniel Eggert — May 07, 06 1188

Don't think 10.5 will slip. Overheard someone from Apple say that "Steve would fire the entire development team" if Leopard is not ready to schedule...

Well, it was meant to be a joke, obviously, but it think Apple is very eager to deliver this one well ahead of Win Vista. Just my 2 cents.



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