Five undisclosed features of Apple's Mac OS X Snow Leopard

Posted:
in macOS edited January 2014
Although Apple is marketing Mac OS X Snow Leopard as an operating system update with "no new features," under the hood improvements will actually translate into a slew of new enhancements, five of which are described herein.



Citing sources, RoughlyDrafted is offering of an overview of some of the big new features that are due to make an impact when Snow Leopard drops next Spring. Among them are previously disclosed or well known additions such as SproutCore, the LLVM Compiler, the CUPS printing engine, native exchange support in Mail (as well as iCal and Address Book), and self-contained Web apps.



However, the technology publication touches on a few additions that haven't received widespread attention, such as a new multi-touch framework, file size reductions, text-processing features, auto activation of fonts, and full ZFS support:



New multi-touch framework



With all Apple notebook systems due to ship with multi-touch enabled trackpads following this summer's MacBook and MacBook Pro design overhauls, Apple is putting the finishing touches on a complete multi-touch framework that will ship as part of Snow Leopard.



It will consist of code libraries and functions that ordinary developers can use to enhance their applications with the same multi-touch capabilities currently available in Apple-born apps like Safari and iPhoto, and do so with ease.



Slimmer applications



Another goal of Snow Leopard is to reduce the overall footprint of Mac OS X so that it can be scaled to a growing array of mobile devices that will rely on lower capacity solid-state Flash RAM drives, like the upcoming Apple Newton Web tablet.



As such, Snow Leopard applications have been put on a weight loss regiment that has already translated into the standard Mac OS X Utility folder dropping from 468 MB to 111.6 MB in size. Mail has also seen its heft shaved by two-thirds, from 287MB to 91MB. Similarly, iChat is down from 111MB to 52MB, and iCal from 89MB to 48MB.







Among the technologies believed to be aiding the downsizing are Resolution Independence, which substitutes bitmapped raster graphics with smaller vector graphics files, and Localization, which extracts the plethora of localized language files from each individual application and instills them into a centralized container accessible to each application.



Text processing features



Taking a page out of Redmond's handbook for once, Snow Leopard will also leverage text processing features originally conceived by Microsoft as features for Word.



Mac OS X already includes some of these fancy functions, such as red underlining to highlight spelling mistakes and the green squiggle for grammar errors. Those still missing -- such as word auto correction, smart dash insertion, and text replacement features (such as typing TM to get the ? character) -- will arrive next Spring.



Auto Activation



Apple will also build out its Data Detector technology with Snow Leopard. In addition to extracting contacts and events from Mail as it does in Mac OS X Leopard, the technology will be used to help expand upon Font Book to provide full Auto Activation of any fonts requested by any application, using Spotlight to track them down.



ZFS Support



Finally, Snow Leopard will also be the first version of Mac OS X to boast full support for the much ballyhooed ZFS file system, originally designed by Sun Microsystems for the Solaris Operating System. (This was suggested in a report by AppleInsider last October.)



Mac OS X Leopard debuted read-only ZFS features, but Snow Leopard and Snow Leopard Server will provide both read and write support for the new 128-bit file system. It won't, however, replace HFS+ outright.



Among the advantages of ZFS are storage pooling, data redundancy, automatic error correction, dynamic volume expansion, and snapshots -- technologies that apply primarily to servers and higher-end workstation users who deal with multiple disk drives.
«1345

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 98
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,408member
    Let it go, already! Don't report it as fact, when it's not fact. It's a rumor.



    Quote:

    Another goal of Snow Leopard is to reduce the overall footprint of Mac OS X so that it can be scaled to a growing array of mobile devices that will rely on lower capacity solid-state Flash RAM drives, like the upcoming Apple Newton Web tablet.



  • Reply 2 of 98
    boogabooga Posts: 1,081member
    RoughlyDrafted is a fun site to read sometimes, but in technical accuracy they're up there with Rob Enderle and friends. They enjoy "debunking" things that are actually true, and their technical knowledge seems like a thin veneer over some sort of pro-Apple political campaign.



    That being said, entertaining stuff to read about! Thanks!
  • Reply 3 of 98
    buckbuck Posts: 293member
    The real question is, will it support license activation over the internet!
  • Reply 4 of 98
    isomorphicisomorphic Posts: 199member
    I've often wondered why, in the age of multi-core multi-GHz processors and hash tables, why I can't have a font folder with four thousand fonts without slowing the whole system to a crawl.
  • Reply 5 of 98
    irelandireland Posts: 17,751member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Booga View Post


    RoughlyDrafted is a fun site to read sometimes, but in technical accuracy they're up there with Rob Enderle and friends. They enjoy "debunking" things that are actually true, and their technical knowledge seems like a thin veneer over some sort of pro-Apple political campaign.



    That being said, entertaining stuff to read about! Thanks!



    LOL
  • Reply 6 of 98
    dluxdlux Posts: 666member
    I'm all for trimming the fat out of application bundles that I'll never use. However, I've checked a number of my own apps (Intel) against the chart and they are already at the low end of the bar charts. There again, I always install from scratch and deselect every language except english, which certainly isn't the case for the default install.



    If Snow Leopard handles all this more efficiently and transparently for the user, great. But people shouldn't necessarily expect the dramatic size reductions listed here.
  • Reply 7 of 98
    Why are you guys obsessed with calling anything bigger than an iPhone and smaller than a Mac a Newton? I estimate a negative 38,743% chance that Apple will call such a device a "Newton." Why would you? (This is, of course, assuming the completely unsubstantiated rumor that Apple will come out with such a device.) Maybe they'll do so after Apple kills off the Mac Mini?



    Also: those size reductions aren't very mysterious: they're happening primarily due to the loss of PowerPC-native code in their apps.
  • Reply 8 of 98
    palplepalple Posts: 35member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by gmaletic View Post


    Also: those size reductions aren't very mysterious: they're happening primarily due to the loss of PowerPC-native code in their apps.



    Well, nope. The code is only a small percentage of the weight of an app, stripping out the PPC code would reduce the app size by no more than 10%. The big size reduction we are seeing, as big as 80%, must be due to a new way to handle the applications bitmaps, such as vector graphics, as told in the article.
  • Reply 9 of 98
    eaieai Posts: 417member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Apple will also build out its Data Detector technology with Snow Leopard. In addition to extracting contacts and events from Mail as it does in Mac OS X Leopard, the technology will be used to help expand upon Font Book to provide full Auto Activation of any fonts requested by any application, using Spotlight to track them down.



    That's not what the RouglyDrafted article says, nor does it remotely make sense... Data detectors say 'hey, this looks like an address', it has no relationship to fonts.



    The original quote that you've somewhat bastardized here was:

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by RoughlyDrafted


    On top of injecting Word features into its OS for the use of every application, Apple will also expand the use of its own Data Detectors, a technology it invented in the mid 90s for identifying useful bits of text and making it actionable. Leopard introduced Data Detectors in Mail as a way to extract contacts and events for use in Address Book and iCal, but Snow Leopard will expose Data Detectors everywhere it draws text.



    Sources also indicate Snow Leopard will expand upon Font Book to provide full Auto Activation of any fonts requested by any application, using Spotlight to track them down.



    Perhaps you should read the result when you précis an article to check you're actually saying what the original does?
  • Reply 10 of 98
    elronelron Posts: 126member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Those still missing -- such as word auto correction, smart dash insertion, and text replacement features (such as typing TM to get the ? character) -- will arrive next Spring.



    Please don't let this be true. Underlining misspelled words is good enough. Please don't correct them for me. Most of the time I mean what I typed, not what Word thinks I thought I typed.



    Why would anyone take UI cues from Microsoft Word? Are they going to introduce the line you can see but for some reason can't delete as well? Or the table that used to be there but isn't there anymore but for some reason you can't reclaim the space where it used to be? Maybe the image that looks like you can drag it where you want it but will really stay exactly where it is no matter what? So many features to copy, so little time.
  • Reply 11 of 98
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by palple View Post


    Well, nope. The code is only a small percentage of the weight of an app, stripping out the PPC code would reduce the app size by no more than 10%. The big size reduction we are seeing, as big as 80%, must be due to a new way to handle the applications bitmaps, such as vector graphics, as told in the article.



    That seems unlikely as well: most apps don't have very many bitmaps in them at all. (A few toolbar icons, an app and document icon, etc. We're talking about 200K here.)



    What else could it be?
  • Reply 12 of 98
    zunxzunx Posts: 620member
    When ZFS will replace HFS+ on the standard Mac? That is the question.
  • Reply 13 of 98
    webheadwebhead Posts: 75member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Booga View Post


    RoughlyDrafted is a fun site to read sometimes, but in technical accuracy they're up there with Rob Enderle and friends. They enjoy "debunking" things that are actually true, and their technical knowledge seems like a thin veneer over some sort of pro-Apple political campaign.



    That being said, entertaining stuff to read about! Thanks!







    I really don't think Dan's technical knowlege is a "veneer". Do you have examples? Dan at RoughlyDrafted would never make that kind of statement without siting technical examples. Maybe yours is the veneer.
  • Reply 13 of 98
    jasonfjjasonfj Posts: 551member
    Text Edit is 22mb?!?
  • Reply 15 of 98
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,670member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by elron View Post


    Please don't let this be true. Underlining misspelled words is good enough. Please don't correct them for me. Most of the time I mean what I typed, not what Word thinks I thought I typed.



    Why would anyone take UI cues from Microsoft Word? Are they going to introduce the line you can see but for some reason can't delete as well? Or the table that used to be there but isn't there anymore but for some reason you can't reclaim the space where it used to be? Maybe the image that looks like you can drag it where you want it but will really stay exactly where it is no matter what? So many features to copy, so little time.



    Yes, please don't let this be the default setting. Nothing is more annoying than when Bill and crew think they know me better than I do. By all means add features, and by all means inform me of those features, but never make them the default setting if they make assumptions about the way I work. I remember way back when I got a new version of Word and I couldn't select part of a word, only the whole word. It drove me nuts. I think thats when I learned to peruse the preferences of new apps. Before then it was never an issue (for me) I think the introduction of that and all the other much hated auto correction features must have been the defining moment when I decided I didn't like MS! (I am being nice now) :-)
  • Reply 16 of 98
    webheadwebhead Posts: 75member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by elron View Post


    Please don't let this be true. Underlining misspelled words is good enough. Please don't correct them for me. Most of the time I mean what I typed, not what Word thinks I thought I typed.



    Why would anyone take UI cues from Microsoft Word? Are they going to introduce the line you can see but for some reason can't delete as well? Or the table that used to be there but isn't there anymore but for some reason you can't reclaim the space where it used to be? Maybe the image that looks like you can drag it where you want it but will really stay exactly where it is no matter what? So many features to copy, so little time.





    Absolutely! I organize may day around NOT using MS word. There's nothing there that needs to end up in the Apple OS!!!!
  • Reply 17 of 98
    allblueallblue Posts: 393member
    I take particular offence when I have just written a superb piece of prose only to find a green squiggle appearing under it. Grammar check tells me that Bill Gates thinks my 'sentence is too long'! The nerve! Harumph!
  • Reply 18 of 98
    rraburrabu Posts: 249member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by gmaletic View Post


    That seems unlikely as well: most apps don't have very many bitmaps in them at all. (A few toolbar icons, an app and document icon, etc. We're talking about 200K here.)



    What else could it be?



    Maybe they are comparing versions with all languages installed (default on new Mac) versus developer build which is most likely English only. That's quite a lot less nibs here folks...
  • Reply 19 of 98
    kim kap solkim kap sol Posts: 2,987member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by gmaletic View Post


    That seems unlikely as well: most apps don't have very many bitmaps in them at all. (A few toolbar icons, an app and document icon, etc. We're talking about 200K here.)



    What else could it be?



    It's most likely because of localizations (or lack thereof in the WWDC build) which is falsely being reported as 'trimmed fat'.



    I always remove all localizations that I don't use and my app sizes are pretty much inline with the sizes shown in this AI article.



    Localizations take a shitload of space...to the tune of almost 50% of the app's size in some cases.
  • Reply 19 of 98
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Booga View Post


    RoughlyDrafted is a fun site to read sometimes, but in technical accuracy they're up there with Rob Enderle and friends. They enjoy "debunking" things that are actually true, and their technical knowledge seems like a thin veneer over some sort of pro-Apple political campaign.



    That being said, entertaining stuff to read about! Thanks!



    Maybe Snow Leopard will be small as s***, have a slide-out keyboard, and two separate batteries.
Sign In or Register to comment.