The first, and biggest, story at the Worldwide Developers’ Conference (WWDC) this week was the forthcoming OS X. Walk through a weeks’ worth of coverage with
Before the conference, MacWEEK’s
Raven Zachary made some predictions about WWDC
and what developers could expect on the OS X front. His column also provided several helpful hyperlinks to previous WWDC coverage; the links alone are worth checking out if you want to trace the evolution of OS X.
The kick-off event for the conference was
Monday’s keynote presentation. Apple CEO Steve Jobs introduced the improvements to Developers’ Preview 4 (DP4): implementation of platinum size controls, a more Mac-like Finder, a smaller and more refined dock, a new QuickTime player and better Quartz integration. Quartz, for the codename-impaired, is the new imaging system based on Adobe’s Portable Document Format.
DP4 eased a lot of developer complaints about OS X, namely that it was too radical a departure from the current OS. As MacWEEK reporter David Read’s article noted,
OS X looks like a Mac. To see the new and improved OS X, check out the
WWDC photo gallery.
That was the good news: the bad news was that the final, shipping version of OS X would be delayed until January 2001. Reactions among columnists were fairly uniform: MacCentral’s Dennis Sellers wrote that
so long as the delay guaranteed a more solid final product, it would be justified. MacWEEK’s Tony Smith contends that
a lengthy beta period will help work out any system knots
before the final product is installed on new machines or purchased by well-meaning users. Stephan Somogyi wrote for Macworld that the delay ”
didn’t surprise anyone who had been paying attention.” And our own Jason Snell noted that
Apple’s biggest surprise was modifying Aqua
(the user interface, for the jargon-impaired) in response to unfavorable feedback.
Apple’s business partners were also unfazed by the OS X delay. The only
people who appeared less-than-sanguine about the delay
were the developers attending the conference. While
some took the delay in stride, others fretted
that “Mac OS X will ship with about 85 percent of what you have now in OS 9.” Perhaps the
new OS X section on Apple’s Web site