When did Apple become MolassesWare

MacRobert10

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Nov 24, 2012
287
46
I'm sitting here right now on an old system using Snow Leopard.

This is disgusting. Everything's fast. The system is hauling. I have no bugs. I have no delays. I have no spinning beach balls. I'm using next to no memory. It just works.

My question is why? How did Apple go from producing a tight, high performance OS to the type of stuff we're getting from them now. Last night I was using El Capitan and doing nothing more than e-mail and I think I had this site open in Safari, and the system was using over 4GB or RAM just for that, and as usual, it was creeping along like cold molasses.

Where and why did Apple go wrong? Bad or sloppy developers? Are they spitting out code so fast to keep up with their new "annual release every year" program that they don't have time to fix or optimize anything?
 

pickaxe

macrumors 6502a
Nov 29, 2012
760
284
Apple used to have fantastic optimization people. They were able to achieve smooth 60fps animations on the now laughably-specced original iPhone. Sure, it came with some sacrifices and clever misdirections to hide the loading and lag, but they did it. Where are they now? Probably scattered to other companies along with Bertrand Serlet.
 

Mr. Buzzcut

macrumors 65816
Jul 25, 2011
1,037
487
Ohio
First, RAM is meant to be used. This does not mean it's tied up and cannot be reallocated. All modern OSs do this. Second, they don't write a new OS every year. There is no reason feature changes and optimizations can't be done together, i.e., not mutually exclusive.

I do agree the OS may get busy doing things you don't necessarily care about. As it is today, EVERY Mac should have SSD storage. Long term, I'd like to see a control panel that lets you remove unwanted packages. This is stupid simple in Linux. Just make it clear what you are turning on / off and let the customer choose. There is your Snow Leopard experience.
 

IowaLynn

macrumors 68000
Feb 22, 2015
1,556
356
Not using RAM is wasted RAM.

A clean install would be essential.

I went from 4-core i7 3.5GHz (16GB) to this, was pleasantly shocked how well it runs. Fast SSD interface, 8GB and love finally having absolute quiet. I do find ethernet preferable to wifi as I feel it handles dozens of web windows and tabs better.

4GB RAM is minimal though and has been so yes. Remember when ppl complained about needing 64MB to run OS 9.0? So if you can, and you have 2011 or later with SATA-3 and other features, upgrade the RAM to max and an SSD
 

oneshotpro

Suspended
Aug 13, 2014
192
92
since they started growing at a massive rate, they had to hire engineers from blackberry and other tech companies who may have had hate for apple in the past and thus do not put the same high level care and effort as a apple born engineer.

tim cook also isn't a software guy vs steve jobs.
 

fisherking

macrumors 604
Jul 16, 2010
7,210
2,142
ny somewhere
neither tim cook not jobs does (did) programming. and every version of OS X is built on the previous versions. am running el cap here on my macbook pro, and it's (at the very least), the best OS X moment i've had since snow leopard. but everyone's experience isn't the same. it's that experience that should be discussed. these 'absolute' threads are ridiculous....
 

ZVH

macrumors 6502
Apr 14, 2012
381
51
I'm sitting here right now on an old system using Snow Leopard.

This is disgusting. Everything's fast. The system is hauling. I have no bugs. I have no delays. I have no spinning beach balls. I'm using next to no memory. It just works.

My question is why? How did Apple go from producing a tight, high performance OS to the type of stuff we're getting from them now. Last night I was using El Capitan and doing nothing more than e-mail and I think I had this site open in Safari, and the system was using over 4GB or RAM just for that, and as usual, it was creeping along like cold molasses.

Where and why did Apple go wrong? Bad or sloppy developers? Are they spitting out code so fast to keep up with their new "annual release every year" program that they don't have time to fix or optimize anything?
Both Mail and Safari launch web processes that are memory pigs. Try using Firefox and see if the problems continue.

I believe Apple has had some personnel hits. Reports started surfacing after Steve Jobs died that a number of senior people seemed compelled to think the party was over and then retired. Possibly they had no faith in Tim Cook as the new leader. Additionally, during what I call the "Ive purges" some very senior OS people, like Scott Forstall were forced out apparently because Jony Ive didn't get along with them. Steve Jobs could keep people working together even if they don't like or can't tolerate each other, but clearly Tim Cook can't. Personnel loss at the high end has to be filled by someone, and that someone might just be less skilled.

I can't explain the "annual release every year" logic.

Finally the number of processes launched by El Capitan is much higher than what Snow Leopard launched. Even if they're things you don't use, they're still using memory and they still get pinged by the kernel once in a while even if they're not really doing anything.
 
Last edited:

simonsi

macrumors 601
Jan 3, 2014
4,850
734
Auckland
Snow Leopard does less than El Cap. Its as simple as that. Adding functions and features takes resources. Not sure why that concept is hard to understand.

If I was happy to carry on using machine code directly it would load pretty fast and be very responsive and use a tiny amount of memory...
 

haginile

macrumors member
Dec 13, 2006
55
11
Apple used to have fantastic optimization people.
Have you guys even used older versions of OS X?
  • 10.0 was so slow it was basically not usable. It was barely functional and optimization probably not something engineers even thought about.
  • 10.1 was the first main stream release, but it was also dog slow. Just try resize a window – you'd wait 5 seconds for a window to catch up to your mouse.
  • 10.2 and 10.3 were quite a bit better in terms of performance, but still had many ugly issues (resizing windows, for example, continued to be an issue, and good luck connecting to a shared drive in Finder).
  • 10.4 was the first release that I actually felt performance was finally up-to-par, but when it was really buggy when it first came out. In fact, high-profile reviewers such as John Siracusa called it the buggiest release ever.
  • 10.5 seemed to have worked out well for many people (if memory serves), except for the famous "blue screen of death" issue caused by 3rd party plugins. But personally, I ran into so many issues that I couldn't believe it was shipped – it didn't even have the color profile for a new Macbook I bought at the time so that everything on the screen was blue.
Anyways, I really think the reason why we think OS X quality has declined is just that the ".0" releases are much more frequent. We had over two years to recover from 10.4.0, a year and a half to recover from 10.5.0.
 

Queen6

macrumors G3
Personally I believe that there are many reasons;
The demand on the OS from both Apple and the general user is now far higher. Apple has shortened OS X `s development cycle due to aligning OS X with IOS releases. This has clearly resulted in OS X being released to the general public with more issue present, equally the OS is also now more complex. This directly results in the OS requiring numerous updates to resolve the issues, if ever. My own opinion is that Apple should revert to a 24 month cycle for the desktop OS as for many there is little advantage to a shorter update cycle, that may or may not break the users workflow.

To some extents Apple is now relying on it`s hardware specifically the high performance SSD`s, 10.10 or 10.11 on a spinner can literally be a drag at times, especially if the system has the minimum RAM. Like it or loathe it Windows 10 is highly optimised for lower level hardware, OS X is simply not, nor does Apple have any compelling reason to do so. As Apple`s solution is already in place IOS.

Apple`s target user base for the Mac has significantly changed, therefore Apple must also provide accordingly, rearranging the priorities, for both hardware & software. Ultimately Apple wants to sell more units, some users will fall by the wayside, equally the general uptake of the Mac & OS X is growing, and that is Apple`s focus.

Q-6
 

Fishrrman

macrumors Core
Feb 20, 2009
19,652
6,845
If you want a Mac to run quickly on Yosemite or El Capitan, you need:
1. an SSD
2. at least 8gb of RAM

If you're still having problems, you can try this:
a. disable spotlight
b. disable VM page ins and page outs.

I boot and run a late-2012 Mini from an SSD mounted in a USB/SATA "dongle adapter".
It boots quickly and runs fast.

It DOES NOT CRASH.
It -DOES NOT- experience any memory-related problems, even though I've DISABLED VM disk swaps (as mentioned above). I also have disabled compressed memory, spotlight, "hibernation", etc.

Runs great!

My opinion only.
Others will disagree.
Some will disagree vehemently.
 

fisherking

macrumors 604
Jul 16, 2010
7,210
2,142
ny somewhere
If you want a Mac to run quickly on Yosemite or El Capitan, you need:
1. an SSD
2. at least 8gb of RAM

If you're still having problems, you can try this:
a. disable spotlight
b. disable VM page ins and page outs.

I boot and run a late-2012 Mini from an SSD mounted in a USB/SATA "dongle adapter".
It boots quickly and runs fast.

It DOES NOT CRASH.
It -DOES NOT- experience any memory-related problems, even though I've DISABLED VM disk swaps (as mentioned above). I also have disabled compressed memory, spotlight, "hibernation", etc.

Runs great!

My opinion only.
Others will disagree.
Some will disagree vehemently.
if that works for you, cool. but it should not be essential to run either OS. the ssd will open apps faster, it will not change your experience running apps in ram. 8 gigs should be fine, 16 is even better.

el capitan should (and for most people) run fine; there are usually specific issues when someone is having a problem, problems worth investigating...
 

colourfastt

macrumors 6502a
Apr 7, 2009
906
747
If you want a Mac to run quickly on Yosemite or El Capitan, you need:
1. an SSD
2. at least 8gb of RAM

If you're still having problems, you can try this:
a. disable spotlight
b. disable VM page ins and page outs.

I boot and run a late-2012 Mini from an SSD mounted in a USB/SATA "dongle adapter".
It boots quickly and runs fast.

It DOES NOT CRASH.
It -DOES NOT- experience any memory-related problems, even though I've DISABLED VM disk swaps (as mentioned above). I also have disabled compressed memory, spotlight, "hibernation", etc.

Runs great!

My opinion only.
Others will disagree.
Some will disagree vehemently.
Apple should release an OS that should, at minimum, run well on it's own hardware (a HDD is standard in some models' configurations).
 

colourfastt

macrumors 6502a
Apr 7, 2009
906
747
Because Steve Jobs isn't driving the party van anymore, there isn't anyone over there who will tell them that the perfect application they are working on is complete crap and crunch already miracle innovations into a timeline that is a miracle in itself.
His tantrums were legendary. Jobs didn't run Apple like a bean-counter; he ran it like an artist.
 
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Partron22

macrumors 68030
Apr 13, 2011
2,573
760
Yes
Where and why did Apple go wrong?
When they started adding more network connectivity, after Snow Leopard, they had to make decisions about what needed to be done synchronously, and what could be done asynchronously.
They optimized for some particular working style and network connectivity. Sadly, what they picked isn't the best solution for everybody. So some of us pay for it with reduced speed/productivity.
That said, it's not at all clear how they could have chosen better than they did, and they had to make some decisions if they wanted all their inter-device syncing and cloud and store stuff to work at all.
Personally, I could live without automatic inter-device syncing and cloud, but Apple creates the universe our Macs inhabit, and we have to live with that, or switch to Debian.
 
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shijan

macrumors newbie
Jun 29, 2010
18
0
I'm also use 10.6.8 with few UI tweaks as all day system, but for work i need to use a newer powerful hardware and apps so i have to use El Capitan and i hate it.
- OSX became like Windows now - ununified, buggy and with ****** UI.
- They made important things and fonts smaller and duller with thinner font and same time made secondary elements and info bright and large. Its all not user friendly and it damage my eyes.
- Transparent UI is too dumb Windows mimic and non transparent UI is too white and flat.
- They always rape and redesign Expose in 10.7, 10.8 10.9, 10.10 and in 10.11 they back it to same arrangement style as it was in 10.6, 10.5 and 10.4)))) Miss my hood UI elements and square spaces.

Its also not very comfortable to keep 2 different OS versions and different software for them. Must say that there are few small good new things in this system, like batch file rename or put selected files in created folder in one click, but overall its full of ****.
I also try to move to Windows 10 but it also became even more evil os than older ones and than El Capitan.
Very disappointed. No future. jonyiveredesign KILLS PERSPECTIVE.
 

ZVH

macrumors 6502
Apr 14, 2012
381
51
Another thing to try is to boot into safe mode, see if it's faster, and if it is, get a process listing, then boot back into normal mode, get a process listing, and compare. I've been toying with the idea of disabling some processes from starting up because I don't need them. An experiment like this would probably best be done on an external drive in case something gets messed. Examples of things I don't need:

  • The mds process, but I suspect it's too integrated into the system, but might be worth trying. It can be both a CPU and memory hog at the same time.
  • iCloud support. I use it but could live without it.
  • Anything related to AddressBook
  • Anything related to Calendar
I'm sure I could think of more, but I'm not on an El Capitan system now so I can't check. IMHO some of these things should be loaded on demand, not on start up. Needless to say, you'd have to do all the unloading manually by modifying what launchd starts, and SIP would have to be disabled.
 

Ebenezum

macrumors 6502a
Mar 31, 2015
782
259
I'm also use 10.6.8 with few UI tweaks as all day system, but for work i need to use a newer powerful hardware and apps so i have to use El Capitan and i hate it.
- OSX became like Windows now - ununified, buggy and with ****** UI.
- They made important things and fonts smaller and duller with thinner font and same time made secondary elements and info bright and large. Its all not user friendly and it damage my eyes.
- Transparent UI is too dumb Windows mimic and non transparent UI is too white and flat.
- They always rape and redesign Expose in 10.7, 10.8 10.9, 10.10 and in 10.11 they back it to same arrangement style as it was in 10.6, 10.5 and 10.4)))) Miss my hood UI elements and square spaces.
Agreed. I have no idea why Apple has to constantly change things that already work (example: Expose in 10.6) without any logic or reason.

Same could be said about the user interface and fonts but you covered that part already.

As for the bugs I am less than impressed that it took 4 updates before Mail is reliable, not to mention other things that should work but are still broken such as USB, Disk Utility, Spotlight, Preview and Time Machine. At this rate Apple might be able to fix them just before next OS X is released. Maybe I am too pessimistic and last 10.11 update will miraculously fix all the remaining bugs but I am not holding my breath... I have lost hope that Disk Utility will be fixed in minor 10.11.x update, maybe in 10.12?

I am not saying that 10.11 doesn't have any improvements (SIP and Metal) but they aren't worth the bugs.
 
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Queen6

macrumors G3
Agreed. I have no idea why Apple has to constantly change things that already work (example: Expose in 10.6) without any logic or reason.

Same could be said about the user interface and fonts but you covered that part already.

As for the bugs I am less than impressed that it took 4 updates before Mail is reliable, not to mention other things that should work but are still broken such as USB, Disk Utility, Spotlight, Preview and Time Machine. At this rate Apple might be able to fix them just before next OS X is released. Maybe I am too pessimistic and last 10.11 update will miraculously fix all the remaining bugs but I am not holding my breath... I have lost hope that Disk Utility will be fixed in minor 10.11.x update, maybe in 10.12?

I am not saying that 10.11 doesn't have any improvements (SIP and Metal) but they aren't worth the bugs.
Very much agree, I fail to understand how a 2014 Mac can go from zero issue on 10.10.5 to near unusable with Apple own applications on 10.11 and subsequent updates (clean installs, not looked the .4 release as yet) I rely on my Mac`s for work purpose, should 10.11.4 not resolve I will likely opt for Windows based systems. It will be completely academic how "awesome" the next iteration of Mac`s will be if the OS, and or integrated applications fail to work as expected. I rather fear that Apple in it`s drive to capture the average user is settling for 80% as it`s good enough..

I am reluctant to use Windows 10 for primary systems as it involves a far more careful setup and maintenance, equally after trailing Windows 10 for several months it presents no issue, even on very low level hardware. OS X 10.11 completely borked my workflow. I am paying premium price, for premium product, however currently OS X is not part of this equation. Apple has no excuses given it`s vast resources and financial status, other than being cheap, lazy & greedy.

Since 10.10 the readability of OS X has significantly diminished, to what purpose? Keeping up with Google? I have no idea. Personally I am not in the camp of reverting all to Snow Leopard, equally the evolutionary steps of the OS should be positive, the flattening, lack of contrast, and choice of font has only resulted in an OS that is harder to live with, albeit more uniform.

Projecting forward, I see my professional work being conducted in Windows, and OS X relegated to purely recreational tasks, equally maybe that`s exactly what Apple wants as one demands far more than the other, one requires far more investment than the other...

Q-6
 
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pat500000

Suspended
Jun 3, 2015
8,523
7,512
I'm sitting here right now on an old system using Snow Leopard.

This is disgusting. Everything's fast. The system is hauling. I have no bugs. I have no delays. I have no spinning beach balls. I'm using next to no memory. It just works.

My question is why? How did Apple go from producing a tight, high performance OS to the type of stuff we're getting from them now. Last night I was using El Capitan and doing nothing more than e-mail and I think I had this site open in Safari, and the system was using over 4GB or RAM just for that, and as usual, it was creeping along like cold molasses.

Where and why did Apple go wrong? Bad or sloppy developers? Are they spitting out code so fast to keep up with their new "annual release every year" program that they don't have time to fix or optimize anything?
It was because of Tim Cook as a CEO. Do you remember the time when Tim Cook and the company decided to be more "friendly" type of a company? Everything got too relaxed...and so this is how it became....the apocalypse.
 

pika2000

Suspended
Jun 22, 2007
5,587
4,896
Although I don't think it's the end of the world, I do think Apple should and could do better. Apple already enjoys the limited hardware it had to test its software on, compared to Windows. Yet the recent OS X releases did feel sloppy (especially Yosemite). Latest el Capitan is okay for me though.

I do agree that Safari needs some attention. Actually there was an article indicating that Safari is the IE of today. It is even behind the likes of Chrome in terms of adopting HTML standards.
 
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