Originally Posted by Red Rogers
As for OS X Yosemite, I see mostly interface gimmicks or extensions of existing capabilities. In five years, half will vanish or be renamed. "Tick-tock" is becoming a worn-out cliché in the industry. As the article points out, many features are still inconsistent in implementation. You would expect Apple to have finally settled the OS down in the tock cycle, if that is what Yosemite is supposed to be. iOS 64-bit - different article, mate. OS X Mavericks huge performance tweaks - not really. More hyperbole than substance, I fear.
For a "cynic" you sure sound like the marketing department at Apple. I do want to ask you one question:
Just how many Computer Science Departments at US universities (or reputable international ones) will actually offer accredited classes in Swift as part of a CS or Engineering degree curriculum? Yeah, I seriously doubt it.
Dev tools, new APIs, this trick or that - in the end, if they sell more Macs and iPads, then great. Still, the core technologies of what an OS is supposed to do seem to have been neglected yet again.
What helped Apple reestablish itself and regain credibility and mindshare in the industry was its enthusiastic embrace of Unix and Intel. In recent years, they seem to be drifting back to the candy store mentality of the 90s with more proprietary technologies and a walled-garden approach.
Where is Apple's centre of gravity? No matter how big Apple may be presently, it still doesn't have the gravitational pull of the entire industry.
I hope I'm wrong, as I have a lifetime (and small fortune) invested in Apple tech ....
Well, I might not be serving my nickname any justice by posting as positively, however this is simply because I am truly psyched by those announcements. That's the only reason, and yes, the language itself is -that- great and I have to work with those things every day.
First off, no university offers Swift courses yet, because the language is completely new and has just been announced by Apple. It does not matter how many universities (I don't know about US, I'm from Europe here) will teach Swift classes and how many accredited courses you get. This is not how this particular part of the industry works.
I for one wouldn't care what you got in your CV or how many so called accredited courses you made for a specific language. Universities teach programming. If you've understood those concepts, picking up a new language should be a breeze, especially if you can keep on using existing, well established frameworks, which are much harder to get used to an learn over a language in most cases. What really matters is what you can do. And hostly, I haven't seen any known iOS or Mac shop actually caring much for paper qualification when looking for talent.
However, if we play out your logic, iOS should have failed. The App Store should have failed, simply because no University was really caring about Objective-C nor offering any accredited courses for that. Neither is Apple, in comparison to Sun/Oracle, etc. By that logic, everyone should be developing for Android first and Android's app quality should be much higher, because they use a language that is being thought at Universities for over a decade. And still the opposite is true.
Regarding Apple's credibility and Unix... I partially agree, because I'm coming from this field originally as well and I just love the fact that OS X is a certified Unix. However, I am not so sure this fact has anything to do with Apple's comeback. NeXT itself, while technologically brilliant and advanced, wasn't very successful and only serving a tiny niche of the overall enterprise market.
I believe Apple managed to come back as strong as it did, because even so many years later, NeXT's tech was still as good and because Apple managed to integrate it and come up with a system that could actually compete. Also note that OS X, while being built on top of UNIX, wasn't UNIX certified until Leopard. So again, official accreditation is a nice thing, but I doubt it actually had anything to do with Apple's success.
In fact, if we take a look at Apple's presence in the enterprise market and recent decisions such as axing the Xserve clearly show that Apple never really managed to penetrate enterprise in a noteworthy way, except for creative professionals.
And yet, funnily enough, after failing in the enterprise, axing their only server model, refocusing their professional server OS into a small business server OS, Apple finally became dominant in enterprise, with mobile devices. Devices that were intended for consumers originally, tablets, which judging by some voices weren't even meant for content creation or "real work", devices which were supposed to be crushed by Android or tablet offerings meant for "real work" (Surface). None of this happened, enterprise and educators keep adopting iOS devices like crazy, despite the fact that you won't find any "Apple Certified Developers", despite using a language that is as old as PCs and nobody really teaches at large scale.
What I am trying to say, and this applies to the file system theory as well is:
People often take what currently exists and project those thoughts to Apple. People have been asking themselves why apple kept on using ObjC for a long time now. Why didn't Apple switch to something already established out there? Why not one of those many nice managed languages? The same goes for file systems. Sure, HFS needs an overhaul and there are probably more than a dozen better and more advanced file systems out there. However, considering all the ground work Apple has been doing and is still doing in terms of technology, I believe it would be foolish to assume Apple to just use ZFS or anything established out there. Apple sure knows HFS has its problems better than we do. I'm sure they're working on something new, perhaps along a more revamped OS core. At the same time I am sure that when Apple announced their new filesystem, which might not be similar to how we think of one these days, it will be as big a bang as their new programming language and it will make other filesystems out there cower in fear.
But hey, that's just my personal opinion. :)