Open Letter To The Guardian… Leopard.


I’m calling BS on this article!

Fully 64-bit. HTML email. Tighter UI. Don’t even get me started on Leopard Server (holy mother of God!). Just wait until you see what’s possible on the application side of things (tip: Watch Delicious Monster’s announcement in October).

I bet Charles Arthur couldn’t cite the top two innovations from the upgrade from Panther to Tiger! Let alone the “average user.” So, don’t gauge it on that! That’s just a poor, poor approach to the thing. My blogging on Leopard is getting a TON more interest [than] Tiger and Panther ever did. So, while he might score points on “Yeah, you’re TECHNICALLY right.” There are a LOT of people out there excited something (ie. ANYTHING) new is coming down the pike.

Charles… you need it. You just don’t realize it yet. (BTW, how did a non ‘early adopter’ get the gig for writing drivel like this for The Guardian’s Technology Section?

Gerald Buckley

[EDIT: Anyone feel like serving up The Guardian a heaping shovel full of haggis? Here’s their email addy ]

Explore posts in the same categories: leopard, Rant

11 Comments on “Open Letter To The Guardian… Leopard.”

  1. Mark Says:

    > Anyone feel like serving up The Guardian a heaping shovel full of haggis? Here’s their email addy…

    Oi! I like haggis! Haggis is great, in fact I had some for my dinner only the night before last.

    As for the Grauniad, I gave up reading that ages ago.

    You’re right about apps though, it’s the third party developers who will entice people over to Leopard rather than the features of the OS itself. Developing on OS X is great and is much better in Leopard (although Interface Builder took a step backwards IMHO)

  2. Charles Says:

    “I bet Charles Arthur couldn’t cite the top two innovations from the upgrade from Panther to Tiger!”

    I did, in the article: “It’s very different from the buzz ahead of the launch of the present version, Tiger, at the end of April 2005. People were excited about the Spotlight search facility, the Dashboard widgets system, Smart Folders to create dynamic views of files or emails, and RSS detection built into the Safari web browser.”

    I’d have said more but I’m constrained for space in print. You did /read/ the article, yeah?

    “BTW, how did a non ‘early adopter’ get the gig for writing drivel like this for The Guardian’s Technology Section?”

    Well, this “non early adopter” has done opening-day reviews of Panther and Tiger having had exclusive access to the code before release (see – search on the name – and ). But you know that, because you do your research first and write later, right? You found my review of the OSX beta wayy back in 2000. (Actually, even I can’t now. Cursed Independent website rejigging itself.) Etc.

    Actually, tell me if there’s any points you’d disagree with on the Tiger review. Seems to me it holds up quite well.

    My piece is pointing up how I’m just not seeing the same level of interest in Leopard going through my feeds or past my desk. And wondering why. Maybe it is the enforced silence on developers. It was certainly a lot noisier the previous two releases. But – 64-bit software? Minority interest. HTML email? Got that (or near enough) already – and does the world need more HTML email, with all the security holes that implies? And OK, I won’t get you started on Leopard Server, because the majority won’t be using it.

    So what was the BS part again?

  3. gwhiz Says:

    @Charles – No, it really is BS. I’m only a slightly above average Apple fan. Leopard’s FAR from ‘meh’ to me. So, your headline is rubbish. I give you points on the technicalities, though. For instance, I can’t coax any of the Leopard features out of my coworkers. They just know it’s going to be “faster” and “better”. Do they care? No more, no less than they did with Tiger. They just know, one day before long there will be a new interface and the sun will rise, as it always seems to manage to do, from the East.

    But, gauging from HARD numbers… Leopard is getting a huge amount more interest here at this blog. I’ve had the same nice, early access to the seeds as an ADC Select developer as you seem to have had as a tech writer. I blogged about it excitedly (and generically in accordance with my NDA) and didn’t have nearly the interest then despite having great search engine position on all the right terms. There’s tons MORE stuff in Leopard to be had. Particularly on the server side of life. This round is no less private than the Tiger and Panther leads ups. In fact, it’s been a fair bit more open with the two WWDCs now we’ve had to preview the beast and all the leaked pics and such.

    It’s fairly obvious why Leopards not on ‘everymans’ radar… iPhone and before it AppleTV were sucking all the oxygen out of the reality distortion field. Just as Jobs would have it.

    So, working from memory… 64-bit, the Alex voice, Safari 3, Core Animation, HTML email, iChat and screen sharing, RSS in, new dock, what’s that preview’ish technology…? Teams on server, Podcast Producer, XCode 3, Ruby on Rails built-in, MySQL upgrade… it’s pretty serious stuff. Again, I’m only slightly above average on the Mac foodchain.

    And, what would you have an operating system do exactly? EXTRACT features and start rolling back the versions? NEW! IMPROVED! OS X 9!! Less of the features you’ve grown to know! Buy it now at a retailer near you!

    Even Jobs couldn’t pull THAT off. Ballmer’s kinda perfected it. Not in the cards for Apple though.

    Rather than characterizing the audience as “meh” why not give them something to get excited about? (Hell, you could make a Zune look exciting with much more of that writing)

  4. Charles Says:

    “I give you points on the technicalities, though. For instance, I can’t coax any of the Leopard features out of my coworkers.”

    Oh good, starting to be right for me. The interest here doesn’t indicate much; you’re talking to other developers. I’m going on what’s on the rumour sites, Macsurfer, in general release, whether we talk about it in the office (the Gdn is on OSX Macs).

    But let’s see your list..
    64-bit: most users won’t notice because the apps won’t be.
    Alex voice – most people don’t even know their computer can talk.
    Safari 3 – is so very different how? It’s still a browser.
    Core Animation – that could be interesting, but it’s the apps that will do that. It’s not like Spotlight or Automator or RSS in Safari.
    HTML email – security hole, and not going to radically change peoples’ lives. (And that’s an app – not like, say, Smart Folders.)
    iChat / screen sharing – great, I can be the IT department.
    RSS in Mail – might be good, but is that the OS?
    New Dock – has been dissed up and down the web. My Dock lives on the left. 3D Dock will look peculiar.
    Quick Look (or whatever) – see, we can’t remember its name. Excited? (And don’t start on CoverFlow for files. Total CPU eye candy waste.)
    The other stuff – RoR, Xcode etc – is totally no use to most people. At all.

    I suggested one possibility: strip back the OS and let people download apps. But, I pointed out, that’s what Linux does – so no go. Instead Microsoft and Apple have to go on adding stuff in.

    You /did/ actually /read/ the article, did you? Read the sentences? The words? Tried to follow the argument? The more you protest the more I think you didn’t. And the irony is that we’re having the argument here on a blog, via a browser. Hmm, did I say that “all the fun is on the web”, or something? You’d have to read the article, wouldn’t you?

  5. gwhiz Says:

    I’m not French… so I’m just not going to give into this. 😉 Maybe there’s one thing we’ll agree on… Maybe. Besides, you’re good for traffic. I’m up already five visits for the day. Or, is that your editor visiting from Amsterdam? Hmm…

    Nah, still BS. I’m not talking to developers at the blog. Although, I am one. Sort of. Simply poking a hole in your “average” user spiel about not being able to go beyond two features. Here’s one such average user who CAN cite several more than two you say people might be quick to recall. In fact, I totally forgot about Spaces and the Safari Widget for creating little tear away doohickeys. Which I’m actually rather looking forward to. Not to mention Bootcamp… just because. Not that I’d ever load up anything other than OSX.

    As for recall equating to excited… I couldn’t remember the movie title of 300! But I was excited as could be as it was coming out.

    Why are we so hung up on /reading/ an article. Charles, I read the article. Early this morning I /read/ your article. And thought it was BS right off the top. Gave you a full link to boot and lessee… 3 whopping click-throughs even. It’s not the end of the world. We disagree on this. But, again, I think we might agree a French man might have given in to you by now.

  6. Charles Says:

    “Here’s one such average user who CAN cite several more than two you say people might be quick to recall.”

    You said before that you think of yourself as “an above average Apple fan”. Make your mind up. Seems like you’re average when it suits one argument, above average when it suits another. You haven’t rebutted my points above about 64-bit etc. If you can’t rebut them, it doesn’t do much good to say “I don’t give in.”

    You might have scanned the article, but I pointed out how you didn’t seem to comprehend its arguments (which were *not* that Apple should strip down OSX). Again, you haven’t rebutted me on that – unsurprising, because you had misinterpreted what I said.

    Meanwhile, Macsurfer right now – a month ahead of Leopard’s release – has exactly 1 item about it. And dozens and dozens *not* about it, but about iTunes, iPhone, iPod, patents, iWork, and tons of other existing stuff. A blog search I have running in NetNewsWire for “Leopard” brings up perhaps one item per day related to OSX. There is no buzz. I rest my case.

  7. gwhiz Says:

    Right. It’s settled then. I am officially a ‘slightly above average’ Apple fan.

    As for 64-bit… the perception isn’t how it will address many more multiple threads, or more static RAM, or paging or any of the stuff it’s going to bring to the table (if it even does any of those things… because, again, I’m only barely above average in my understanding of these things). The perception is it’s faster.

    Macsurfer is also, by no means, a Royal Measure. Try TUAW or MacWorld. But, OK, let’s play that game for a second… Go to google, paste in the following and tell me if you see more than the one article you’re talking about… leopard (for crying out loud they have a SHERLOCK plugin!!! That’s pitiful!)

    I see 756 hits and can easily see there are LOTS of headlines (which seems to be what they specialize in anyway). Now do the same Google thing as above only substitute Tiger in there. If our mileage is the same (kilometrage?) you’l see only 266 hits. Panther… 143.

    I dunno. I think I may have at least put you in check. Possibly mate. I know, I know. RIGHT now they only have THE ONE item… For Chrissakes Alexa says TUAW trounces the snot out of Macsurfer. TUAW has 178 THOUSAND hits on Leopard as opposed to a meager <20,000 on Tiger.

    Your move.

  8. Charles Says:

    Try this: “Largely I think he’s about right. There is more innovation on the web, and in web services, than in desktop apps generally and operating systems in particular.”

    Which is the point I was trying to make. But you went straight past it because you were so eager to disagree you just zoomed through and thought I was suggesting a stripped-down OSX. (You haven’t acknowledged getting that wrong, by the way, though the article and your blog still demonstrate you were.)

    As for Google/Macsurfer/TUAW – you can play the “how many” game, but it isn’t indicative of anything. The announced delay to Leopard probably makes up a big proportion of those headlines, wouldn’t you think?

    Macsurfer tends to be sort-of indicative, from day to day, because it just pulls in headlines from all over the Mac place.

    You still aren’t landing any punches. You retracted the bit about “non early adopter” yet, by the way?

  9. gwhiz Says:

    Whatever link you intended to enlighten us with… isn’t resolving to anything. Wow. That was brilliant copy/paste work. Lemme guess… Vista did that for you! [EDIT: oh, never mind, it’s down the screen. VOX is just doing stupid stuff with a link that should work.]

    Now, presuming someone did put it in those words to your good… and further presuming it was the point you intended to make… How does that make Leopard = “meh”? There’s a lot of good kit in there! Look, I’ve read your article! READ IT! Bloody hell I’m probably the sole reason The Guardian went up on Alexa yesterday I visited that page so damned many times!

    Put another way… How many people do you know who buy a device WITH an operating system on it that DON’T augment it with some other 3rd party application, utility or service? That’s what a platform DOES! Of course an operating system alone is going to add features and (hopefully) speed.

    And, actually, I will INSIST on playing the ‘how many’ game. It’s the only bit of your article that can actually be measured and proven off kilter. Macsurfer tends to be on the decline if you read their Alexa stats for the past year. Google suggests Macsurfer is (at best) not indexing well for Leopard and at worst not keeping up with the Mac industry while other places (such as TUAW) have chatted Leopard up/down/sideways.

    I’m landing punches. Your thick head just isn’t registering! 🙂

    (I bet we’d get along better over a pint. Whadya say? I’ll buy.)

  10. tink Says:

    Well you guys all I can say is I am very excited about Leopard and I am very hungry for news and articles about it. I read Macsurfer daily and there isn’t much on it. I do believe that this release is much more hush hush then previous releases. There were a plethora of up to date leaked dmgs all over the web… Not so this time round

    That being said I think there are probably more then a few Mac users as myself who were starting to imagine what those “Secret Features” were……. and are now scratching our heads (trying to scratch that itch).

    It looks to be more of a major under the hood release that will enable a bunch of very cool Apps in the future.

    I’d be happy with more info on what is going on with all the “Core” Api’s and what that mean in the development of the OS. But that info is sparse as well.

  11. hornbeck Says:

    I would like to point out that many of the rumor sites have had Leopard articles pulled down because of breaking NDA. Apple has held pretty tight on this release and is making sure that not much is exposed beyond what they say.

    I am very excited about Leopard and am using it daily on a Macbook, I will upgrade all six macs that we own right when it is released.

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