16 votes The myth and reality of Mac OS X Snow Leopard Posted November 13 by gingerbeardman Tags: apple, ios, macos, os x, history, bug, releases, stability, operating systems, author.jeff johnson https://lapcatsoftware.com/articles/2023/11/5.html Link information This data is scraped automatically and may be incorrect. Word count 2150 words 6 comments Collapse replies Expand all Comments sorted by most votes newest first order posted relevance OK NoblePath November 14 Link There's a reason, I think, Snow Leopard is mythic. A generation of Apple fanbois (including me) remember Snow Leopard very fondly. For me, it was kind of an inflection point. I do remember it... There's a reason, I think, Snow Leopard is mythic. A generation of Apple fanbois (including me) remember Snow Leopard very fondly. For me, it was kind of an inflection point. I do remember it being as exceptionally stable and fast, especially compared to Lion, so much so that many of us rolled back to snow leapoard until mountain lion's .1 release (and a few never progressed at all). It's hard to measure and articulate for me, it was a very subjective experience of stability. But it was also a time in my life when computers were still very fun. The internet was not yet locked down, you could still fiddle with guts of most macs, terminal still gave almost complete control the software innards, su still meant Super User. Easynews still had complete binaries (I'm told). After that, at least for me, computers became more appliance like, and I shifted my internet time from weird websites (both making and reviewing), to youtube and digg. So Snow Leopard is mythic, much like cars before pollution controls were a thing, where you could fix half the problems with an adjustable wrench and a screwdriver. Where a can of coke cost a nickel, and you could count on the operators eavesdropping your phone calls to exercise discretion. Or where people with sensory challenges had to buy complicated third party software and hardware just to interact with the machine. Where people in marginal census blocks had limited access to the internet. Where the drudge report was venerated by the perpetual septemberites. I welcome news that Apple is going to slow down feature releases. In some ways, the release schedule is irrelevant now. It seems Apple adds features and fixes on a continuous basis; big release features are not that numerous or that big. And part of the problem is that macOS is really good. To my eyes and fingers, there's really not a lot of room for improvement on a 2D screen in terms of interface and functionality. There's plenty room to add refinement, and more importantly, consistency. macOS breaks its own UI/UX rules far too frequently. That said, I still relish the purchase of a new device, and doing a clean install of the software, so there's that. 8 votes brandt November 13 Link In the keynote where Mac OS X 10.6 was announced, they referred to it as "a better Leopard." The number of features was >0, but from an end user perspective it was still very few. There were a lot... In the keynote where Mac OS X 10.6 was announced, they referred to it as "a better Leopard." The number of features was >0, but from an end user perspective it was still very few. There were a lot of under-the-hood changes, but "no new features" is not the same as "no changes." It'd be more accurate to call Snow Leopard a quality-focused update rather than a "bug fix" update. Sometimes the prerequisite to fixing a set of problems is rewriting a component, updating a dependency, or taking a different approach to a problem altogether. Wisdom is knowing when to/not to reach for the bigger hammer. Bigger changes -- even when made for the sake of quality -- increase the risk of negative side-effects. Sometimes it's still worth it. Sometimes it's what you have to do to loosen the chains of past decisions that bind your options for the present. But was 10.6.0 an especially buggy initial release? Possibly. I don't think the release notes they've listed for 10.6.1—10.6.4 look that different from those for 10.5.1, 10.5.2, 10.5.3, and 10.5.4. Leopard 10.5.0 even had it's own big data loss bug. For many of the items the author listed, it's difficult to know whether they were bugs introduced in 10.6 or if they were fixes for issues also present in earlier versions. After 10.6 was released, Apple seems to have only released security updates for 10.5 so we don't have contemporaneous release notes to compare. Conclusion While I disagree with the author on the history, I agree that pace and feature pressure could well be the cause of recent quality issues. I'd argue there are likely other issues at play, but that's another discussion. I also largely agree with their prescription to slow down. However, deadlines are good. They hone focus. The only real question is what you'll focus on. 5 votes  AspiringAlienist November 14 Link I might’ve missed it in the bullet points, but wasn’t the Mac App Store a game changer during this time period? Wikipedia states that Snow Leopard was the first Mac OS version that supported it.... I might’ve missed it in the bullet points, but wasn’t the Mac App Store a game changer during this time period? Wikipedia states that Snow Leopard was the first Mac OS version that supported it. It changed the way the OS was distributed (made for some very annoying upgrade problems when I didn’t upgrade to Lion, and the download disappeared from the App Store). To me it felt like Apple getting ready to draw OS X further into the walled garden that they were creating with iOS. The time period of Snow Leopard could very well be the tipping point in this regard. While I only used Leopard on a hackintosh machine, it signified a great improvement in design and performance for me, if I looked at earlier versions of the OS or the Windows OS releases of that time. Snow Leopard was for some probably an improvement (Mac App Store, starting to turn into the Apple ecosystem we know today), for others the last ‘good’ OS X version (that followed the Leopard style, and was less handholding and controlling than later versions). So even if Apple changed release strategy, the walled garden won’t magically open up again. JXM November 14 Link Parent It wasn’t launched (or even announced) with the operating system. It was released as a point update later. It wasn’t launched (or even announced) with the operating system. It was released as a point update later. 2 votes  ButteredToast November 14 Link Parent Regarding the Mac App Store, I don’t think the intention was necessarily to pull Macs into the walled garden. I think they saw the runaway success of the iOS App Store, which was a major driver of... Regarding the Mac App Store, I don’t think the intention was necessarily to pull Macs into the walled garden. I think they saw the runaway success of the iOS App Store, which was a major driver of iPhone purchases early on, and thought there might be potential for something similar to happen with a Mac counterpart. It’d also serve as a point of familiarity for users who’d never used a Mac, but had used an iPhone (a group that was rapidly growing) and improve app installation UX for the less technically inclined. The problem is that desktop software devs had grown accustomed to the software they wrote having nearly unfettered access to users’ machines, as it had been that way since personal computers came into existence. This clashed with the sandboxing that Apple had made mandatory with the Mac App Store to try to limit the damage of bad actors sneaking through and to stop companies from poking their noses in parts of your computer it doesn’t belong in (for example, how Adobe software scatter files across your system like a confetti popper). As a result it never took off the way the iOS App Store did. It’s slowly improved over the years, but major parties like Adobe remain absent. stu2b50 November 14 Link Parent I don't think that's true anymore. I did a quick search for "adobe" in the mac app store and lightroom, acrobat, and photoshop elements came up. So they didn't port all of their apps, but some of... It’s slowly improved over the years, but major parties like Adobe remain absent. I don't think that's true anymore. I did a quick search for "adobe" in the mac app store and lightroom, acrobat, and photoshop elements came up. So they didn't port all of their apps, but some of them.