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Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard: Cocoa Finder and 64-Bit Changes

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With the broad seeding of Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard, a few more details have been revealed about the direction Apple is going with Snow Leopard. According to the seed notes, Apple is migrating more towards Cocoa (rather than Carbon) and continues the transitioning of Mac OS X to 64-bit operating system. AppleInsider recently explored some of the details surrounding the changes.

Apple states that almost all user-facing applications in Mac OS X have been written in Cocoa with Finder being the notable exception. Apple will finally be migrating Finder to Cocoa in Snow Leopard. Despite Cocoa having a reputation amongst end-users that it is "better" than Carbon, AppleInsider notes that both will continue to coexist.
For users, the move to Cocoa means that applications will have more consistent appearance and behavior. Apps that make use of standardized interface controls rather than building their own will not only be more familiar, but users will also benefit from the code exercise and reuse, which removes bugs and allows for centralized optimizations. In other words, Apple can address user interface problems that in turn impact all apps.
Apple is, however, focusing on Cocoa and is now requiring 64-bit applications to make the switch from Carbon. This new requirement announced at the 2007 WWDC caught some developers off-guard and is why Adobe's Photoshop CS4 remains a 32-bit application, while Windows CS4 already offers 64-bit support.

According to AppleInsider, Snow Leopard will deliver the first 64-bit kernel for Mac OS X. The benefits of 64-bit support are most apparent for applications that require large amounts of memory, and likely do not directly affect the majority of consumers. Apple's Mac OS X has already been able to provide support for 64-bit applications.


Article Link: Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard: Cocoa Finder and 64-Bit Changes
 

themoonisdown09

macrumors 601
Nov 19, 2007
4,319
15
Georgia, USA
I'm so ready for Snow Leopard to come out!

AppleInsider said:
On Mac OS X Leopard and in Snow Leopard, Apple designed the kernel to run both 32 and 64-bit software natively with no compatibility layer running, and all supporting files and libraries can be organized in the same application bundle. That means developers can distribute a single installer that works on any Mac, and that users won't need to make sure they've obtained the correct binary for their machine. This promises to go a long way in making the transition to 64-bit Mac software very smooth and virtually invisible to most users.

I think this is something that will make Snow Leopard so awesome. Having only one installer that works for any Mac will make the transition so much easier. If you take an average consumer, they wouldn't know if they're running a 32-bit version, 64-bit version or whatever. So when they go to install an application, they have no clue what version to use.
 
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smokestack

macrumors member
Feb 12, 2008
82
14
yeah. it will likely be great.
but you know what i'm really in to? free updates that make my computer run better! come on 10.5.6!
 
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Eidorian

macrumors Penryn
Mar 23, 2005
29,094
299
Indianapolis
I'm more concerned about GPU hardware acceleration and decoding of video right now.

h.264 showed up n Tiger with a lot of fanfare but we're still on our CPUs to decode it.
 
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thesheep

macrumors regular
Mar 27, 2006
125
6
I don't really understand the difference between having a 64 bit kernel, and just allowing some applications to run as 64 bit... what difference will it make?

Snow Leopard isn't 10.5.6...

He knows that. Snow Leopard won't be free either. I think he's just waiting for the next Leopard update.
 
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iMacmatician

macrumors 601
Jul 20, 2008
4,249
55
This can only be good news.

I hope to see more details - maybe a few that are obvious to the end user? - at MWSF 2009. :cool:
 
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840quadra

Moderator
Staff member
Feb 1, 2005
8,204
3,492
Twin Cities Minnesota
I'm more concerned about GPU hardware acceleration and decoding of video right now.

h.264 showed up n Tiger with a lot of fanfare but we're still on our CPUs to decode it.

I am interested in that and support for 8GB of RAM for all generations of Core2 MacBook Pro.

https://forums.macrumors.com/image.php?u=47064&dateline=1165207334&type=profile
 
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highjumppudding

macrumors 6502
Mar 1, 2008
314
0
snow leopard has been running well for me. great build, good future ahead. running a mac pro 2.8 8-core over here.
 
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dizastor

macrumors 6502a
Dec 27, 2001
617
10
Los Angeles
Hopefully they'll manage to throw something new and flashy on top of all of these stability improvements.

Maybe they'll just create features out of the improvements... like "Exposé 2.0 or Finder X"

They have to give something for the marketing machine to work with after all...

Here's hoping they start taking more of John Siracusa's advice on systemwide ui improvements as well.
 
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nick9191

macrumors 68040
Feb 17, 2008
3,351
166
Britain
I am interested in that and support for 8GB of RAM for all generations of Core2 MacBook Pro.

https://forums.macrumors.com/image.php?u=47064&dateline=1165207334&type=profile

That has absolutely nothing to do with the OS.

Its a hardware limitation. Leopard already supports 100+ gb of RAM.
 
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koobcamuk

macrumors 68040
Oct 23, 2006
3,190
9
I use wavemetric's IGOR Pro and that is a memory hog. 64 bit would have helped hugely. I know I am in a minority, but this just gives Windows users the edge and frankly, pisses me off!
 
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snejj

macrumors newbie
Oct 28, 2008
2
0
I'm so ready for Snow Leopard to come out!
I think this is something that will make Snow Leopard so awesome. Having only one installer that works for any Mac will make the transition so much easier. If you take an average consumer, they wouldn't know if they're running a 32-bit version, 64-bit version or whatever. So when they go to install an application, they have no clue what version to use.

Um, all of that already exists in Leopard! If you have a recent Core 2 Duo Mac, you're probably running 64-bit apps right now without realizing it :)

The only new bit in Snow Leopard (according to this report) is that the kernel itself will be 64-bit. That probably will not make any noticeable difference to apps, apart from improved speed of the overall OS.
 
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akac

macrumors 6502
Aug 17, 2003
475
67
Colorado
I am interested in that and support for 8GB of RAM for all generations of Core2 MacBook Pro.

https://forums.macrumors.com/image.php?u=47064&dateline=1165207334&type=profile

You won't ever see that. Only for the new gen. This is because the hardware chipset on older MBPs simply do not support more than 4GB. The new gen MBP has a chipset that supports 8GB, but at the moment it seems the OS driver for that chipset is not setup for it.
 
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koobcamuk

macrumors 68040
Oct 23, 2006
3,190
9
My 2.16Ghz Core2Duo MBP will never see more than 3GB RAM, correct?

I am looking forward to Snow Leopard for my Mini and MBP, but my PowerBook is being left out here... might even downgrade to 10.4.11 as that was the most stable OS I have ever used.
 
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mkrishnan

Moderator emeritus
Jan 9, 2004
29,776
12
Grand Rapids, MI, USA
Since Finder lock-ups, beachballs, and crashes are not quite yet a thing of the past, who knows? Maybe, whether it has anything to do with Cocoa or not, the re-write will mean Finder will be more robust than it is now.

EDIT: And yes, correct, there's nothing the OS can do that will allow older chipsets to see more memory.
 
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snejj

macrumors newbie
Oct 28, 2008
2
0
Hopefully they'll manage to throw something new and flashy on top of all of these stability improvements.

Not likely. The whole rationale of Snow Leopard, as repeatedly stated by Apple, is to prioritize improvements under the hood, instead of adding any new user-visible features. New features are great but they destabilize the OS and take resources away from other important tasks, so I think it's great that Apple is taking one release cycle to do this.

Marketing may be tricky; but consider the example of System 7.6, which was also all about performance and stability without any new features, and sold like hot-cakes anyway.
 
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