Leopard Unready

EDITED TO ADD: IMLocation now runs on Leopard.

I thought maybe it might receive more attention if you, the Mac OS X software-buying public, were aware of the situation. The third-party software that you’re paying for, depending on, and hoping to run on Leopard, we cannot test on the final release build until we can run down to the Apple Store and pick it up, hopefully at least a few minutes before you do.

Our only two other options for quality assurance of our software on the final Leopard build are:

1. Cross fingers and hope nothing that affects us has changed between the most recent seed and the one that went to production.

2. Something illegal.

One of the most negative things about Apple is their secrecy. But they get a lot of milage out of the buzz it generates, it’s difficult to quantify exactly how much. They wouldn’t be the Apple we know and love without it. They operate on a strictly need-to-know basis, even internally. I wouldn’t be surprised if GM builds are withheld from some software developers inside Apple until after they’d been publicly released.

It makes an interesting contrast with Microsoft, which is a much more open company. As an intern, I got to actually play with a prototype of Surface (then known as PlayTable) a couple of years before it was announced. At Apple many interns can’t tell their friends what their working on until it’s out.

I believe the indie developer situation is more a symptom of Apple’s secretive culture, then a case of them thumbing their noses at the little guy. But I agree with Steven Frank that the public should understand the implications of Apple’s decision here. Leaks still happen, so I think Apple is making a mistake by not letting indie developers give the quality-assurance their (and Apple’s) customers deserve. It would make upgrading to Leopard a better experience for Apple’s customers.

So is IMLocation ready for Leopard? *shrug* maybe. The truth is, I haven’t tested on any seed of Leopard, because the Student ADC membership does not give me access to it, and I don’t have the cash to shell out for a “premier” membership.

My educated guess is that iChat support may break, because it’s experiencing a major revision. There is also a chance that everything will break if Apple has changed the private libraries I use to find the MAC address of wireless access points. But support for Adium should be unaffected.

We’ll know for sure in a few days.
EDITED TO ADD 2007-10-26: It turned out that IMLocation v0.27 was NOT Leopard ready. An issue with the new version of iChat caused a background process to silently deadlock, meaning nothing worked. So I was right about iChat breaking, but wrong about it’s scope, and right that everything could break, but wrong about the cause.

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Explore posts in the same categories: Bugs, Leopard, MacOSX, Programming, Usability

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