07 Aug 2006

wwdc candy

(note: wwdc = apple's worldwide developer conference) there's going to be enough snarkiness about what apple didn't release, and how bluetooth and airport isn't standard on a mac pro. but there are some really cool things that was announced:

first off, why aren't the rumour sites scouring webkit changelogs

there are at least three things in the keynote that were actually hinted at in the webkit changelogs, dashcode, web clips and mail todo. not that those two things are huge, and not that i follow webkit's development closely, except once in a while i like to see the code. slightly on a tangent, there's a branch or fork of code that has been ported to S60 (nokia phones) and also apparently a win32 and linux port of the code. so that is interesting enough for me to follow.

virtual desktops (spaces)

spaces? anyway, since desktopmanager and virtue, it was pretty obvious that apple had hooks to implement virtual desktops. i mean these open source projects were practically just giving a UI to hooks and implementation already in dock.app's code. the presence of the code there means they were always thinking of putting in an interface to it, but never got around to doing it until now. i won't be able to see this in action until i hop on to a mac, but i'm predicting it will exceed virtue and desktop manager in ease of use.

btw, this is one thing where apple has had to play catch up to the linux/unix x11 world!

screen sharing with ichat

this is pretty exciting. imagine helping you family on the other side of the world configure their mac or setup their printer on their home network. if they're behind a NAT, then apple remote desktop ain't gonna do you any good. what better than screen sharing plus ichat to be able to fix your parent's computer problems plus show them how to do it themselves next time. i'm looking forward to this one.

oh and the fact that ichat now has tabbed windows like adium? that's the end of chax then.

making backups look sexy

for 30 years, ever since computing, administrators have been looking at backups. just like these plusnet guys learnt a 700GB lesson about it. but backups are not sexy, and no one really understands them. but all it takes is some fancy animation from apple and now it looks like they invented version control. slap on a funny name like "time machine" and you've just taught mum and dad how to view backups. compare the way apple presents backups:

and the way windows vista presents backups:

and then the linux way of presenting backups:

rsync -avr


this was not really talked about in the keynote, but look at the awesome stuff in the intel xserves is going to bring in. my favourite is the remote administration via ethernet, meaning you can monitor the hardware, network and reboot the machine all through the ethernet cable, without the OS running and supposedly, anywhere in the world.

if i had a business and needed to run some servers, i would be very inclined to choose an xserve over a cheap dell 1U rack just purely on the management stuff alone.

spotlight over the network

for the home user, this probably means nothing. but for businesses, this might be the equivalent to google's search appliance. although i doubt it has enough smarts and indexing capability, i think the spotlight server will be a pretty neat middle-class-man's small office search.

of course, there are some "what the..?" moments

out of all the features, if i had the choose one to rain down upon, it would be mail stationery. but i can understand that. mail todo and notes ain't much of a hooha, unless they actually sped up mail, then i might be tempted to go back to IMAP rather than gmail for high volume mail accounts. of course, the other thing that was not announced, but featuring heavily in the screenshots is the fact that mail is now a psuedo RSS reader, just like safari. so maybe it will just become one of those things that they do that is good enough for the average consumer (maybe for photocasts), but nothing really for real consumers of RSS feeds.

one more thing.. (updated)

no there wasn't a one more thing in the keynote, but subtly, people noticed that in the screenshot, iChat had lost its brushed metal. so we're probably going to see brushed metal banished from osx leopard. also, the finder was not changed at all, not even a tiny bit, which may hint that the top secret thing that steve jobs was saying is the finder. then again, we can speculate on all sorts of other different things, but i believe the spring 2007 release will mean it will come AFTER windows vista launches -- so maybe something cool revealed at Macworld 2007. (which according to the rumours will be a touch-screen phone with bittorrent running mac os x embedded.)

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