Leopard just came seconds ago via FedEx

by Noah Gift

Anyone else just a copy of Leopard in the mail for Fed Ex? The delivery guy mentioned quite a few people were getting this same package. I have been running several Developer Versions of Leopard for about a year now, and I am excited to finally get the production release. I am also excited I can finally talk about what I think is cool, as the NDA is up.

Since I have been using Leopard for over a year, these are the things I could never live without again:

1. Tabbed Terminal Rocks

I am glad OS X finally fixed this, although this pretty much kills iTerm

2. Spaces is absolutely brilliant.

I use 8 spaces consisting of 2 rows of 4. I did a lot of experimenting and found this suites me best, although this is probably more than most people may want. I also assigned specific applications to specific Space windows...which makes it very handy.

3. Python is finally fixed.

Leopard ships with the bleeding edge, or newest, fixed version of Python 2.5.1, which is cool.

4. Python is a first class option for Cocoa and OS X Development.

I am very happy that Python can write both command line tools and Cocoa Applications using all of the libraries available to Objective C.

5. Many more standard Unix Tools are available like built in SVN support, and even Ruby on Rails.

This is very nice, and I hope OS X continues to add to the growing repository of command line tools it supports out of the box without resorting to using 3rd party package management.

6. Development Tools have a big upgrade:

There are some really cool features like built in Python and Ruby templates in XCode.

7. Mail is fixed

There are a bunch of fixes to Mail that are great improvements.

8. The Finder is hugely improved

I love the whole 3D finder deal. I find it way better.

9. Downloads go to Downloads directory.

Moving all default downloads to a download directory was a smart move, and keeps the desktop much cleaner. Good move on Apple's part.

10. AutoFS is finally fixed.....

Enough said. Thanks Apple.

That is what is cool on my end...what do you like so far, as you violently rip open your fedex delivered copy of Leopard......


2007-10-26 08:28:47
hmmm.. so hardly anything the average user would care about...

Michael Peters
2007-10-26 09:28:04
Tabbed terminals, multiple desktops, built-in python, ruby, svn. Sounds like Linux circa 2002 :)
2007-10-26 09:33:37
@Mike -- The average user may not care about the things that Noah cares about, but there's plenty of good stuff for the average user. Dead simple backup, easy browsing of documents with coverflow, a much improved safari web browser (although it will be available on Tiger too), improved email with simple todo lists, a more consistent interface, and parental controls. Nothing revolutionary, but solid improvements. With a release 2.5 years since the last, I don't expect dramatic changes. It's a solid OS that pretty much gets out of the way. That said, I'm pretty sure that I would be fine staying with Tiger, so you have a point.
2007-10-26 11:05:03
@Michael Peters:
It's quite true that Linux-based systems and programs had those capabilities for years, but remember that any discussions about what's "built-in" don't really apply to Linux installations, since almost everything (even the common *nix userspace command tools) is an "add-on". That's, of course, why good packages and package managers in Linux are so vital to keep from going insane.
2007-10-26 11:14:19
@Reedo, aren't the Mac OS X developer tools (XCode) also an add-on?
2007-10-26 13:28:58
I don't run OS X at home or at work, but if (the marketing at) this link is right, XCode is standard. http://www.apple.com/macosx/developer/
Todd Ogasawara
2007-10-26 13:33:45
Sigh, my copy is still sitting at the local FedEx sorting facility. BTW, I think Ruby on Rails ships as a part of the standard install now.
2007-10-26 13:39:51
@Reedo, the last time I ran Mac OS X (10.2, I believe), XCode was on a separate DVD and needed installation. Having 10.5 install XCode by default would surprise me.

I'm not sure that makes a huge difference either way (although I still personally find it easier to type aptitude install build-minimal valgrind perl-doc kcachegrind screen than to have clicked through the XCode license and installation screens).

Tim O'Brien
2007-10-26 14:00:39

This is strange, three weeks ago I would've agreed with the sentiment "hardly anything the average user would care about". But, there's a large shift happening right now when it comes to developers. All of the developers I work with who are not locked into the Microsoft stack are either moving or contemplating a move. Why? It's all about efficiency - my development stack on a 4 GB Dell Mobile Workstation with Vista is very sluggish. The same stack on a MacBook with 1 GB works fine.

Leopard is the fruition of the move to BSD, you are looking at the product of years of efficiency. Note that no one at Apple has said anything like: "If you want to upgrade to Leopard, you'd better make sure you have at least 2 GB of RAM".

I've spent $400 on Vista upgrades, I've shelled out thousands in the last quarter on a laptop capable of handling Vista, and I have to tell you that a single day developing on a Mac convinced me that I might as well just put all of that money in a basket and set it afloat. There is an inflection point happening right now.

2007-10-26 14:13:00
My point was that while OS X--whether on a base disc, an extras disc, whatever--includes a particular set of Apple-released software that can be compared to the set of software released as part of another OS, Linux (a Free kernel) does not. Saying "Linux could do that" really means something more along the lines of "Free Linux-compatible software could do that". In fact, if the Free software is OS X-compatible, it can work the same on Mac OS X, too, but we wouldn't go around claiming those programs were an integral, comparable part of OS X.
Jonathan Wight
2007-10-26 18:03:45
Um "AutoFS is finally fixed…..
Enough said"

Apparently not "enough said" because autofs is new to 10.5 - are you mistaking it for something else?

Noah Gift
2007-10-26 18:53:00
Jonathan/I wrote a 3 part article on integrating Open Directory with OS X/Linux/Windows, it is under my profile if you are curious. AutoFS has been broken, and sitting there, for quite some time. On 10.2, if you changed the NFS startup script you by hand you could get autofs to mostly work. I personally think it was a conspiracy theory...but I digress....

Noah Gift
2007-10-26 18:56:19
If you are really, really curious read this google cached article:

Which used to be this link:

There are two different automounter standards that are used on Unix systems: amd and autofs. As Unix system of the BSD family, Mac OS X 10.2 and 10.3 ...

Unsure why this website went offline, but it had some killer info on it that taught me the black art of getting OS X to behave like *nix.

Noah Gift
2007-10-26 20:08:43
Just for good measure, here is a recipe for using autofs on leopard. I think the first article published?


Shannon -jj Behrens
2007-10-27 09:58:54
(tongue in cheek:)

I don't understand what FedEx has to do with downloading software?

Why would they use an NDA to prevent you from saying nice things about their software?

Tabbed terminals, "spaces", a working Python, working Python GUI bindings, svn, and autofs are all things that I've enjoyed in the Linux world for years!

Haha. Ok, I got it out of my system. Enjoy your Mac ;)

Donald Atkins
2007-10-27 11:00:27
Linux may have "had" these features earlier but it has never provided a good overall technology stack. I've found that if you like to tinker, Linux is good for you. If you want to just to use an OS, I think Mac is the only way to go. I think the tinkering people who don't care about apps working together, overall daily productivity, and enjoy having 6 different distros to get their job done aren't gonna get it (pun intended).

Noah Gift
2007-10-27 11:17:44
I think Shannon and Donald are correct, but OS X is Chocolate, and Ubuntu is Peanut Butter. I hope in 5-10 years we get a nice tasting Peanut Butter/Chocolate Bar with killer *nix features and Open Source Software, yet unbelievable usability, design. I think Ubuntu and OS X are both doing their fare share to make this happen in their own completely different way.

Donald Atkins
2007-10-27 11:29:09
Noah, Good point. I work in an engineering environment where we currently use all three (Windows, Linux, amd MacOS). All three have strengths and minus. However, the last few years the usefulness of Windows in my world is radically decreasing with the better networking capabilities of Linux and MacOSX (smart cards, etc). BTW, I didn't mean for my tone to be harsh but it's just a reflection of how there many types of users and one size doesn't fit all. Having two major unix type choices is a blessing.

2007-10-28 14:50:33
The cool thing about python 2.5.1 in leopard is that it comes with easy_install w00t
Noah Gift
2007-10-31 13:50:35
Nicholas/Good point! I so quickly install easy_install on a new build, that I didn't even notice. It seems obvious that Apple has been infected by a Python using crowd, as someone doesn't casually, just include easy_install, which is not even in the Standard Library. So, hurray to Apple, and hurray to Phillip Eby, it is a huge accomplishment to get an open source library distributed with a commercial operating system! Keep up the good work.
Dominic Mitchell
2007-10-31 15:15:16
Unless Leopard terminal has a "full-screen" mode, it won't be replacing iTerm for me…