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Feature: Five reasons to skip El Capitan for now
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NewsPoster
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Oct 5, 2015, 11:31 AM
 
As predicted, every release of Apple's mac operating system brings user trials and tribulations. El Capitan has its share. While overall we're very pleased with the update here at MacNN, and have already discussed five reasons to jump to El Capitan, there are nonetheless perfectly good reasons to wait for the imminent ".1" update (which is already in beta testing). As a partial counterpoint to our five reasons to immediately jump to El Capitan, here are five reasons to wait.

Mail issues, but not just with Outlook

Nearly immediately, we got reports that Outlook from Microsoft Office 2011 had issues. More troublesome, the very recently-released Office 2016 version of Outlook has similar problems. Some users report that the application simply won't start, where others are seeing problems with the program after waking from sleep. Disturbingly, there are reports that MacNN can confirm that the rest of the Office suite is unstable if Outlook crashes, and the only way to resolve Word or Excel instability is to reboot the system.

Looking into the issue a bit more, the crashing and instability has been reported to Microsoft since the first public betas of El Capitan. Why this hasn't been resolved in the interim, we can't say. Microsoft has confirmed that there is a problem, telling us only that they are "researching the problem" and "having problems with various configurations" of hardware. Outlook's travails aren't so much an Apple OS issue as they are a Microsoft one, but if you rely on Outlook, then the El Capitan update is inducing the problem.

Additionally, we're hearing sporadic problems with Apple Mail failing to launch. These are harder to lock down, and we are looking into them -- but there are too many reports of instability to ignore. None of the MacNN staff has had a problem with Apple Mail crashing or instability, but the issue appears to mostly strike those with POP-based email accounts.

Music mavens might have migration issues

While we're not flooded with problems, Core Audio has changed a lot, and so has the kernel. So, devices like the M-Audio (now Avid) Fast Track C600 recording interface, and Avid Mbox 3 audio interface just flat-out no longer function. Other older, but not strictly "legacy" audio interface external devices have stopped working under El Capitan with provided drivers -- some companies note that their devices are now full Core Audio devices, and the solution is to totally remove the company-provided software that was formerly needed.

Logic Pro X is seeing random audio cuts, as well as distortion under El Capitan for some users. Native Instruments is recommending that customers wait on the update, because of incompatibility issues with Komplete, Maschine, and Traktor. Developers of Cubase and Nuendo Steinberg are advising users to wait to upgrade. Finale 2014 won't be updated to support El Capitan until the middle of November. Apogee's Ensemble won't be updated for El Capitan at all, because the FireWire Core Audio driver has been deprecated. Many third-party plugins no longer function, or have complex workarounds.

So, if you rely on OS X for audio production, you're best off to wait. In some music production cases, maybe never upgrading at all -- at least until you swap out your old Firewire-based stuff for Thunderbolt or USB 3.0 -- is the best choice.

Gamer? Might be some issues there, but your mileage may vary

According to porting company Aspyr's Gameagent blog, every OS X game that uses Game Center has the "game invite" functionality completely broken. However, El Capitan users can accept invites from Yosemite hosts. Big titles afflicted include Borderlands 2, Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel, and Command & Conquer: Generals Deluxe Edition.

On the other hand, OpenGL and Metal performance are very good. OpenGL has seen some improvements to speed. However, some video card drivers have stopped functioning, causing either the need to upgrade or downgrade. A large number of third party "flashed" video cards commonly found on Ebay aren't working properly either.

UNIX is no longer vanilla

This is an outside case, but there are users of OS X who rely on its UNIX underpinnings to get things done. As part of Apple's System Integrity Protection (SIP), not even root users can write to /usr, /bin, /System, and /sbin. This is of absolutely no concern to most desktop users in itself, but a side effect of the enhanced security is that it will break some software environments, causing problems with drivers for (generally high-end) hardware. SIP can be disabled, but not enough to prevent problems with legacy drivers that rely on routine, complete access to prohibited directories, though of course the issue was caused by the developer violating Apple's policies on access to those directories in the first place.

We'll either see a huge amount of new drivers in the coming days, or a lot of abandonments of relatively new hardware. Developers and hardware manufacturers were given El Capitan betas at the Worldwide Developer Conference in June, so we're concerned that if there isn't a driver now, there may never be.

Architect? The heavy hitter is broken

No sugar coating, or slick turn of phrase here -- AutoCad 2013, 2014, and 2015 aren't stable, and either completely fail to launch, or crash very often while working, making it unusable. While some users claim that a reinstall fixes the issue, the vast majority of users aren't seeing that as a fix.

There is a public beta of the new version. The language in the license agreement prohibits using the beta for commercial jobs, and it in itself is beta software. By definition, beta software should be considered unreliable.

Let's talk

Now, with these five things in mind, let's have a chat. This is not "the new Apple." Steve Jobs is not rolling in his grave, nor is there a new corporate mindset with the intent of screwing over users. For every argument that "well, (Linux or Windows) doesn't have this problem," there is a similar one that allows us to say "I use OS X, so that's not an issue for me."

The birth of Apple's Mac multitasking was Multifinder -- it completely broke under System 6, and was restored in 6.0.8. System 7.1 implemented the nightmarish System Enablers, causing grief for troubleshooters for nearly 15 years. The 7.5 release brought extension conflicts to a new height, with even Apple extensions and CDEVs needing to be loaded in a specific order for system stability. Do we need to cover the disaster that was MacOS 7.5, or the MacOS 9.0.2 update, for this crowd?

The "good old days" are just old, and only good now that time has passed. Neither Snow Leopard, Lion, Mountain Lion, nor MacOS 9 are the one OS to rule them all, and early versions of each were terrible. Things were not better with an older version -- they were just different, with particular issues, and each had a wide assortment of software and hardware getting broken or left behind. In particular, Snow Leopard users are notorious for their rose-colored glasses only after eight significant updates -- 10.6 broke everything when it first came out, and there was much wailing and gnashing of teeth.

Some, but not all, of the reasons to wait will be rectified in a point update. It's not up to Apple to make sure that every customer's workflow everywhere remains intact after a major OS revision -- it's mostly the developer's responsibility, which is why they get early access to new OS versions, and plenty of warnings about big changes or deprecated stuff. Apple's responsibility remains to itself, and its own future -- the El Capitan changes are part of that future.

Yes, this means that along the way it -- and lazy developers -- will antagonize users with choices made. You're not really a "power user" if you're not driven crazy by an OS change -- most regular users don't even notice much difference from iteration to iteration. Every revision of every operating system has its own flaws, issues, and workarounds -- El Capitan is no different.
( Last edited by NewsPoster; Oct 16, 2015 at 02:43 AM. )
     
bdmarsh
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Oct 5, 2015, 11:55 AM
 
I haven't seen the Outlook 2016 problems so far, been using 10.11 since release day. But I only use Outlook with the company Exchange, no other accounts or account types.

Thanks for the heads up with AutoCAD, hadn't read about that one yet, and have 2 users. Will have to followup on that one after the system hits 10.11.2 or 10.11.3 when it might get rolled out to users.
     
aroxnicadi
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Oct 5, 2015, 12:13 PM
 
I'm still traversing it but find that what should have been included wasn't and now have to find workarounds for different tasks that I had in Yosemite, but not in El Capitan.

I'll go out on a limb and say that Apple has it's job cut out for it's self to reinstate some of the features they pulled that were in Yosemite. The Spit Screen sucks and I have to use for it. Get ride of it.
     
coffeetime
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Oct 5, 2015, 12:33 PM
 
What about Adobe Suite on El Capitan?
     
DiabloConQueso
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Oct 5, 2015, 12:36 PM
 
Adobe CS6 seems to work just fine for me (Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign).

I've got a few buddies that use CC; I'll ask if any of them are on El Capitan and what their experiences are.
     
Mike Wuerthele
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Oct 5, 2015, 12:55 PM
 
Coffeetime, we're getting some reports of unspecified "lag" on tools, but nothing crashy. As always, your mileage may vary. As DCQ reported, CS6 is fine.
     
b9bot
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Oct 5, 2015, 01:04 PM
 
El Capitan is working great for me and have seen very few problems. No mail issues either. Office 2016 is working too. There maybe other software on systems that is causing the issues and not El Capitan.
     
MitchIves
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Oct 5, 2015, 01:06 PM
 
Mike, FWIW I encountered this issue of Mail sometimes not wanting to load all my emails after waking up... but that was with the last round of updates right before El Capitain. The new OS seems to have helped that a bit, but it may be related to the same issue that MS Office is seeing? Also, have you had a chance to test the Metal with the new Mac Pro (late 2013). I've seen some indication on other boards that it results in slower graphics speed, not faster? I just wondered if you've seen anything to back that up?
     
itimik
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Oct 5, 2015, 01:11 PM
 
Adobe CC, CS5 and CS6 working fine. Had issues with Office 365 apps starting the first time but afterwards there were no issues.
     
Mike Wuerthele
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Oct 5, 2015, 01:24 PM
 
Originally Posted by MitchIves View Post
Mike, FWIW I encountered this issue of Mail sometimes not wanting to load all my emails after waking up... but that was with the last round of updates right before El Capitain. The new OS seems to have helped that a bit, but it may be related to the same issue that MS Office is seeing? Also, have you had a chance to test the Metal with the new Mac Pro (late 2013). I've seen some indication on other boards that it results in slower graphics speed, not faster? I just wondered if you've seen anything to back that up?
We talked a little about this in the podcast (coming in a few hours). Still too early to say anything definitive, and I don't have a Mac Pro on my test bench at the moment. I am looking into it, though.
     
Charles Martin
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Oct 5, 2015, 01:37 PM
 
I've had no issues with Photoshop CC ... maybe later today I'll try firing up CS3 (which, with some finagling, worked in Yo) and see if that's broken yet. Some iZotope plugins I use are just plain completely broken, but the company has acknowledged this and says a fix will eventually be issued (see "lazy developers").
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Jeronimo2000
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Oct 5, 2015, 02:14 PM
 
Quote: 'This is not "The new Apple."'

It's not, correct, and it has very little to do with Apple.

It is, in fact, "The old Microsoft" and "The old Adobe" (remember the first OS X version of Photoshop? Exactly.). And "The Old XYZ" [insert your any other lazy-ass software developer here].

Why on earth would you blame Apple when those developers have had 4 months to get their act together?
     
mdirvin
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Oct 5, 2015, 03:10 PM
 
Capture One 8.3.3.23 will not run on El Capitan. It just crashes on start up.
     
bobolicious
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Oct 5, 2015, 03:38 PM
 
...lazy-ass software developers ? .... perhaps some wait until Apple's perturbations settle down, lest expending shareholder resources coding foundations in quicksand...?

...and speaking of a 'heavy hitter is broken'... Apple 'breaks' another arguably even heavier app pretty much every year:

http://helpcenter.graphisoft.com/tec...icad-versions/

http://helpcenter.graphisoft.com/tec...-capitan-beta/

and yet...
http://helpcenter.graphisoft.com/tec...ms/windows-10/

Does this entreat high value / performance vertical market mac hardware sales...?
( Last edited by bobolicious; Oct 5, 2015 at 03:57 PM. )
     
Mike Wuerthele
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Oct 5, 2015, 04:05 PM
 
It has been established that if you follow Apple guidance on what to do/not do in coding for OS X, then you'll do pretty well as far as longevity goes. If you go off-script (as MS, Adobe, Autocad, et al) do, then there's going to be problems sooner rather than later. I also know that these big names are told of API changes and given pre-previews of new OSes and told of requirements well before the general public. Where do you think some rumor sites get information?

Its not Apple's responsibility to keep this stuff running. If the dev chooses to not act on the info Apple gives them, then so be it. Maybe the shareholder's needs should be considered when coding on/off script, hm?

I get your point, though.

Everybody: keep your info about what's not working for you coming!
     
Steve Wilkinson
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Oct 5, 2015, 04:39 PM
 
Well, they borked Disk Utility... that has been one of my first discoveries in the last couple of days. And, while that might be attributed to lazy developers, they reside at Apple.

And, BTW, the 'new Apple' isn't in reference to everything being different all of a sudden... why would anyone expect that? It's about speculated changes in how Apple views their priorities in regard to profits and user-experience, and whether or not some of their decisions as of late are indications of such.

Yes, there have been quite buggy software releases in the past, and then eventual stability. I think the problem is that the last time we had this was Snow Leopard and maybe iOS6 (possibly 7). Everything since, while having some nice new features (while missing others) hasn't quite lived up to that.

I get that the initial .0 release might have issues... I don't expect that refinement to take 4 years+. Hopefully after we get a few patches to El Cap, we'll start to see if maybe, finally, this is the Snow Leopard of the post-SL OS Xs.
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Charles Martin
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Oct 5, 2015, 05:25 PM
 
I cannot get over what rose-colored glasses people have about the now-insecure and obsolete Snow Leopard. If you think the complaints about Yosemite or El Capitan have been notable, you should have been around for Snow Leopard's debut. It broke **everything!**

Roaringapps.com was started BECAUSE of how bad Snow Leopard was, and it took eight -- count em! -- eight updates to fix the problems and produce the one version (shortly before being discontinued) that everyone now coos about like when a baby learns to say "mama," forgetting all the sleepless nights, temper tantrums, and diaper deposits.

SERIOUS case of selective memory going on around here.
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quebit
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Oct 5, 2015, 05:44 PM
 
@bobolicious @Mike

Indeed, I concur with Mike. Bobo, Archicad is NOT written in an OSX API; it's written in Java for the sake of cross-platform compatibility (which no one cares for). This is true of All Nemetchek products. I'm sure the run-time for Java has changed (probably with permissions). Also note that Java is NOT maintained by Apple anymore; Oracle does that.

In fact, of all the software mentioned here in the post and comments, NOTHING is written in Cocoa. When you build your own layer of API (Microsoft, Adobe, et al), then YOU HAVE to take responsibility of keeping that API current with the Vendor's OS. I'm sure all that software will break between Windows versions as well.

If you've coded your app in Cocoa, and have not used deprecated API's, or have not cheated the kernel, by asking permission for system folders that you're not supposed to, then your app will run just fine (without an update). That's Apple's responsibility, and they've been delivering on this for over a decade (and you'll get plenty of notice when things change; i.e. Carbon).

So these are all just developers not acting timely on behalf of their users. There is a reason why we see much less of this on iOS; because on the mobile platform, almost all developers use Cocoa, and the ones who use cross-compilers, they compile it back to Cocoa. Of course there are always fringe cases.
     
coffeetime
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Oct 5, 2015, 05:59 PM
 
Good to hear Adobe Suite are working. Thanks.
     
Charles Martin
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Oct 5, 2015, 06:26 PM
 
quebit: I couldn't agree more strongly with your comment, and this also explains why some things that should have stopped working YEARS ago just happily plod along in El Capitan -- like iWeb! That's what happens when you write the program to obey Apple's specs.
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bobolicious
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Oct 5, 2015, 06:29 PM
 
...design software may actually need to be written for the task at hand, rather than to support the Mac or Cocoa platform...

The DOE, engineering profession & in many cases Authorities having Jurisdiction use (or in fact require) windows based software results, so not offering cross platform compatibility may be a legitimate non-starter ...

http://energy.gov/eere/buildings/building-energy-modeling
http://www.nrcan.gc.ca/energy/software-tools/7417
     
DiabloConQueso
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Oct 5, 2015, 10:05 PM
 
Then they will deal with the inherent headaches that come with cross-platform development. Not Apple's problem. Not Microsoft's problem. Not Linus Torvald's problem.

True cross-platform is a bitch, and not because of any one company's operating system or development tools.
     
tehwoz
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Oct 6, 2015, 03:07 AM
 
I'm going to skip El Capitan (and Yosemite) completely ... until they get rid of the awful flat 2D interface ... esp the traffic light buttons. Until that happens, Mavericks remains the best Mac OS ever ... at least it still feels like a Mac. I did try Yosemite and hated the GUI ---could not live with it ... so 'upgraded' myself back to Mavericks. Sweet spot.
     
Spheric Harlot
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Oct 6, 2015, 07:40 AM
 
Good luck with alternative OSen, then. Apple spent the last decade continually flattening the interface, refining it, and removing the "lickable" gumdrop Aqua.

They won't be going back.
     
ADeweyan
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Oct 6, 2015, 08:07 AM
 
The problems I've had are only with Apple-produced software -- Mail.app in particular. I can no longer send email. At all. I woke up my computer this morning and fifteen mail windows popped up with messages I thought I had sent yesterday afternoon and the note that they could not be sent. I've migrated my primary email address to Gmail for the time being so I can use that horrible interface while Mail is flat out broken.

And the hate on Snow Leopard-lovers is misplaced. I don't remember anyone arguing that Snow Leopard was a perfect release out of the gate. People like Snow Leopard because it was more backwards-compatible and predated the ill-conceived iOS-ification of the Desktop OS. Even if they are able to fix all the bugs with El Capitan, it will still have an interface that has grown more and more frustrating to use since Snow Leopard.
     
Mike Wuerthele
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Oct 6, 2015, 10:27 AM
 
Don't hate them at all. It's a choice to stay on SL, but it's rapidly becoming less and less safe. Part of being a good Internet denizen is being a good citizen, and practicing safe computing.

SL is not it anymore.
     
Grendelmon
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Oct 6, 2015, 11:16 AM
 
My biggest pet peeve with 10.11 is the newly discovered "System Integrity Protection."

Apple has locked down the following directories:

/bin
/sbin
/usr
/System

You are not allowed to modify or write *anything* in these directories. Apple knows best.

https://developer.apple.com/library/...roduction.html

For the savvy, you can use csrutil (after booting into the recovery partition!!!)...
     
Mike Wuerthele
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Oct 6, 2015, 01:38 PM
 
Originally Posted by Grendelmon View Post
My biggest pet peeve with 10.11 is the newly discovered "System Integrity Protection."

Apple has locked down the following directories:

/bin
/sbin
/usr
/System

You are not allowed to modify or write *anything* in these directories. Apple knows best.

https://developer.apple.com/library/...roduction.html

For the savvy, you can use csrutil (after booting into the recovery partition!!!)...
Yup, got that covered under "UNIX is no longer vanilla." It is a giant "under the hood" problem for some, for sure, and is why a lot of drivers are breaking.

Most OS X users won't feel it.
     
panjandrum
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Oct 6, 2015, 02:04 PM
 
Just to pipe in here quickly; I think there is confusion among some as to *where* the major complaints about post-Snow Leopard (and, to some extent, post-iOS 6) are directed. For the most part what I see & hear on an almost unbelievably consistent basis are largely not complaints about bugs, broken software, or instability, but about the overall user experience: A combination of lack of UI visibility and consistency, lost features, and new feature implementation not being intuitive. These are all points where Apple software historically was almost unassailable up through Snow Leopard. (That's not to say that there aren't some problems with the reliability of Apple's new features, especially in networked environments; did you know that that whole wacky "versioning" system that replaced traditional Save / Save As functionality does not work on networked home folders based on Apple's own OS X server? Now, think about that. Really think about it...

Also go and research all the problems people have with post-SL-era ARD. ARD *used* to be great, now it's so full of bugs and glitches it's a struggle to keep it working properly. It's a continuous "fight".) But those issues are more from an sysadmin point of view, and as I said, what I hear from users is just about the Apple User Experience being so consistently degraded post SL. I've talked about these things before and won't rehash all of them here, but I will say this: Apple has repeatedly and consistently removed features I used, every day, and either not replaced them at all (Pages losing two-page-up viewing, Pages losing image backgrounds for entire Tables) or replaced them with features that are not as intuitive to use. They frequently make UI design decisions which make zero sense and are annoying (try resizing the Disk Utility window in El Capitan. You can't. Why? Why remove this feature? And yes, that's a feature I used so I could simultaneously view all drives and partitions on, for example, a Mac Pro with 6 internal drives and 2 external drives. If I upgrade that machine to El Capitan I will lose the ability to see all drives and partitions in one clean list. Why?)

But many problems are less an issue for me personally than they are for the users I support. I'll use a K-8 school example: During the SL period I saw the vast majority of users, students and staff, being able to sit down and for the most part just use the Macs even if they had never used one before. Things worked pretty darn well. Probably 9 out of 10 users were really happy that the school was all Mac. What do I see now? Lots and lots of confusion and frustration. I see students and staff that never learn to use many of the features at all because the features are simply not intuitive. I see people losing work because no matter how many times I try to teach them to use the option key to access "Save As" they don't remember it. I see people using arrow keys to scroll through the applications folder because they never notice the tiny little grey scroll bars! It's just incredibly frustrating to watch and realize that in nearly every case if those systems were running SL the users would have none of those problems. Worst, I now hear a lot of "can I just bring in my Windows laptop?" and "I wish we just used Windows" comments.

In other words, I'm hearing people say exactly the opposite of what we used to hear; where people desperately wanted to bring their Apple equipment into Windows environments. I've many times here read about the "rose colored glasses" that some Apple users have about SL, but maybe you should consider the possibility that people who don't think the user experience has fundamentally degraded post-SL have "fanboy-colored glasses". It's happened in other industries. For example, a colossal number of Americans (myself included) continued to claim that American cars were "the best in the world" during the decades in which they had actually turned to complete junk. Eventually people woke-up, and look what happened to the big-3. I find myself wondering if there will be a collective "ah-ha" moment where Apple users suddenly realize that things have gone very, very wrong...
( Last edited by Mike Wuerthele; Oct 6, 2015 at 02:30 PM. )
     
Mike Wuerthele
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Oct 6, 2015, 02:31 PM
 
Pipe in QUICKLY? What happens when you take a few minutes?
     
Steve Wilkinson
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Oct 6, 2015, 11:36 PM
 
@Charles, I was around for Snow Leopard (and long before). My point is that there was eventually a 10.6.8, and it wasn't over 4 years after 10.6.0. (Not to mention @tehwoz's very valid point that especially since Snow Leopard, Apple seems to be tossing everything they spent so long learning about UX/UI to the wind... chasing after supposedly cool 'flat' design trends.)

(And, I suppose I also had a bit of an affinity for it because I used OS X Server, of which Snow Leopard was the last usable version.)

I sure hope El Cap is a version I'm reminiscing about a decade from now... (besides the horrible naming), I guess we'll see. So far, it seems stable and working pretty well on my machine, but that can't fix Apple's UX/UI choices.... which we'll probably just have to learn to like and/or live with over time.
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Spheric Harlot
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Oct 7, 2015, 03:06 AM
 
Oh boy...somebody has forgotten about the initial few versions of Aqua...and the brushed metal QuickTime player with the volume dial...and the faux-leather iCal.

Apple flattened the design, and there was much rejoicing in the UX community.
     
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Oct 18, 2015, 05:04 PM
 
Why are they (Apple, Microsoft, etc.) updating the OS so frequently? Is there a huge public demand for new features? I think not. I think people value stability and not having to figure out what gets broken with each update.
     
Paul Crawford
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Oct 25, 2015, 10:25 PM
 
First, some small clarifications about a few statements I saw in an earlier post:

I think it's a stretch to say that the debut of Mac OS X 10.6 'Snow Leopard' ('SL') "broke everything", as I try to show below. (Not to mention, even MacNN's own review of SL at the time didn't make such a sweeping claim, although there is a discussion about "a surprisingly notable range of apps that have or need an update to work".)

Also, technically the RoaringApps website was not started because of SL; rather, it was actually due to the introduction of 10.7 'Lion'. {However, it was directly inspired by SL's own earlier (and smaller) compatibility-info site, the Snow Leopard Compatibility wiki.}

Okay, admittedly the early editions of 10.6 did have their share of major issues without readily available workarounds (potential data loss in Guest accounts; perennial bugs in Mail & Safari; dodgy VPN connectivity; various RAID problems; Apple Event bugs affecting complex AppleScript scripts; and, many more ...). These did all need to be fixed via a series of official Apple updates. {Just as an aside, and going back even further, does anyone else remember the catastrophic data loss involving certain bridge-chipsets in FireWire 800 drives upon the initial release of Mac OS X 10.3 (Panther)?!}

And yes, SL also had some less-severe "gotchas" that I can personally remember, including:
  • The new default 64-bit kernel on some Macs, which naturally broke third-party 32-bit kexts (although, if 64-bit replacements were not available, one could usually fall back to booting the 32-bit kernel instead).
  • The new default 64-bit mode for many Apple applications, including System Preferences and AppleScript Editor, and the resulting annoyances of constant mode-switch messages for 32-bit Preference Panes or non-loadability for 32-bit Scripting Additions (although, if 64-bit replacements were not available, one could usually adjust the apps via the Finder's 'Get Info' panel with its 'General:' section's 'Open in 32-bit mode' checkbox).
  • The dropping of support for traditional Contextual Menu Items (however, many popular third-party CMIs were converted into, or replaceable by, equivalent applications and/or Services).
  • The QuickTime X Player application itself (as distinct from the QuickTime X modern infrastructure) was, for complex workflows, a bit of a "downgrade" (but then again, the QT 7 Player was still supported as an optional install).
  • The general ignoring of application Creator Codes when opening documents (although there were various workarounds, e.g., the Finder's 'Get Info' panel with its 'Open with:' section's 'Change All...' feature).
However, by-and-large these were exceptions rather than the rule, and there were readily-available workarounds as indicated. In particular, by still retaining support for the 'Rosetta' PowerPC-to-Intel translation layer as an optional install, SL actually extended the life of many workflows based on older applications. I've even heard it said that the Eudora email client is almost single-handedly responsible for the SL club hanging around to this day. :-)

In any event, it was the subsequent 10.7 release that was arguably at least as "broken" on debut as 10.6 ever was, and perhaps more so when one also considers 10.7's substantial UI changes and lack of PPC compatibility ...

For instance, recall that the early editions of 10.7 had several major issues too (upgrade or migration data transfer glitches, including a possibly disappearing admin account; again with the perennial bugs in Mail & Safari; dodgy WiFi connectivity; system audio dropouts; and, many more ...). These similarly required fixing via a (shorter) series of official Apple updates.

Also recall that it was 10.7 which introduced some major, and arguably quite disruptive, changes to both the guts & UI (although, at least the UI changes could mostly be adjusted):
  • The dropping of the 'Rosetta' PPC compatibility layer (the show-stopper for many).
  • Automatic (or unwanted?), versioned, "in-place only" saving of documents, in conforming applications.
  • Automatic (or unwanted?) re-opening of applications & documents.
  • "Natural" (or unnatural?) scrolling direction.
  • Automatic (or unwanted?) hiding of scroll-bars.
    [*Increased skeuomorphism in some Apple apps (including the infamous faux leather in iCal, etc.)
  • Removal of colour from sidebar icons in the Finder, etc.
  • Default hiding of a User's Library folder.
  • Resizing of a window from any corner/side {oh wait, that one was mostly seen as an unmixed blessing, as were the multi-touch gestures, unification in Mission Control, etc. ;-)}
  • And so on, and so forth ...
Its predecessor, SL, was once famously described by Apple as having 'no new features' (except of course, it did introduce many under-the-hood changes in addition to those listed above, one of the most significant being the "semi-automatic" kernel-level multi-threading mechanism known as 'Grand Central Dispatch'). By contrast, with 10.7, Apple was consciously re-charting the future course of OS X, and in the process bringing over some features from iOS (and MS Windows / X11, to a lesser extent). In its scope of ambition and potential for incompatibility, 10.7 is reminiscent of SL's own predecessor, 10.5 'Leopard' (the dropping of the 'Classic' OS 9 compatibility layer; 64-bit Cocoa APIs, but without any counterpart 64-bit Carbon High-Level UI APIs; reflective 3D-ish "glass" Dock; etc.).

Anyway, the overall point of many posts here is nevertheless taken ... We do often tend to develop a nostalgic haze when it comes to our favourite older OS X version, especially if we're still actively using it (well, its latest edition of course, incorporating all the myriad bug-fixes about which we've completely forgotten). ;-)

Regards,
--P
     
   
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