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Apple Unveils Extra Leopard-isms To Developers 181 181

devilsecret writes to point out that some of the new Apple capabilities for developers on Leopard have been unveiled. The most interesting parts appear to be the opening of more of iLife to other programs, and the inclusion of Ruby on Rails.
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Apple Unveils Extra Leopard-isms To Developers

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  • Anyone think Apple jumped on the RoR bandwagon a little too soon? The whole "movement" has lost a lot of steam and it doesn't appear to be the silver bullet everyone originally thought it was. Also, is this just part of the developer suite, or is RoR support somehow built in to the OEM OS?
    • Re:RoR bandwagon? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by nine-times (778537) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Monday October 30, 2006 @12:49PM (#16643417) Homepage
      Anyone think Apple jumped on the RoR bandwagon a little too soon? The whole "movement" has lost a lot of steam and it doesn't appear to be the silver bullet everyone originally thought it was.

      Wouldn't that mean they jumped on the bandwagon a little too late?

      Anyway, RoR isn't the solution to all programming problems, but it seems to have enough steam that it's going to stick around. OSX comes with Apache, and it's not hard to get PHP, MySQL, or whatever else installed. There's a ruby interpreter in the OS already, and a lot of the prominent people in the RoR community are OSX users.

      I can't RTFA to know what they've actually done, but why wouldn't they support RoR? In spite of not finding the meaning of life, solving world hunger, or finding hot women for me, it's a pretty good tool. Something can be useful without solving every single problem, you know.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by larkost (79011)
        A couple of notes:

        RoR is simply going to be included. Nothing more at the moment on that count. Apple already has a easy-to-use database solution for Objective-C applications in CoreData (though I wish they would make it multi-user/computer capable).

        And PHP is already included in the OS, you just have to turn it on. This is somewhat good from a security standpoint, but I wish they would put in a button to turn it on (next to the one to turn on Apache).
        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by joshorion (975797)
          And PHP is already included in the OS, you just have to turn it on.

          Minor correction, but, there's nothing you need to do in order to 'turn PHP on' with OS X. Pop open the command line and type 'php -v,' and, like any application, you'll notice it's always there for you to use.

          It's also configured with Apache by default, so you just have to start apache and you're able to serve PHP documents. It's PHP4, though.
        • but I wish they would put in a button to turn it on (next to the one to turn on Apache).

          I'm glad they don't. If someone can't figure out how to turn it on without a simple button shouldn't be using it.
    • by mblase (200735)
      Anyone think Apple jumped on the RoR bandwagon a little too soon? The whole "movement" has lost a lot of steam and it doesn't appear to be the silver bullet everyone originally thought it was.

      So, did they jump on too soon, or too late?
    • by suv4x4 (956391)
      Anyone think Apple jumped on the RoR bandwagon a little too soon? The whole "movement" has lost a lot of steam and it doesn't appear to be the silver bullet everyone originally thought it was. Also, is this just part of the developer suite, or is RoR support somehow built in to the OEM OS?

      Do you have concrete links and facts to support your observation? I'm working (for a few months now) on a slightly RoR-like extension to PHP5 (and later), and I've also noticed some weaknesses of RoR which I'm trying to av
      • by mblase (200735) on Monday October 30, 2006 @01:00PM (#16643551)
        Do you have concrete links and facts to support your observation?

        This is Slashdot. What do YOU think?
        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          Do you have concrete links and facts to support your observation?

          This is Slashdot. What do YOU think?

          Sure. If he's anything like me, he probably just doesn't remember what they were. He could find them with Google, but doesn't feel like it and suggests you go Google it for yourself.
    • by el_womble (779715)
      It might not be all things to all web developers and its far more of a paradigm shift than a casual glance at the syntax would have you believe. As a Java developer I expected to jump into Rails and be competent almost instantly. The reality was that there was a very steep learning curve when you wanted to stretch the framework away from a SOA portal or yet another blog, but IMHO it was well worth it. There are many things in Rails that make you start to wonder why J2EE wasn't designed in a similar vain.
      • by nuzak (959558)
        Sorry, but requiring integer surrogate keys and failing to support composite keys is not "good practice", it's a design limitation of ActiveRecord.

        There are many things in Rails that make you start to wonder why J2EE wasn't designed in a similar vain.

        Because J2EE was designed for people that demanded things like clustering and distributed transactions. I'm not saying J2EE's initial iterations weren't a complete clusterfuck, but they did have different design goals.

        I have an app that requires submitting con
      • by shmlco (594907)
        Now if it only had a decent high-performance cross-platform engine beneath the hood...
      • by RAMMS+EIN (578166)
        ``There are many things in Rails that make you start to wonder why J2EE wasn't designed in a similar vain.''

        I think part of the answer may be that Java and Ruby are very different languages. Java is fairly static, rigid and verbose, with lots of redundancy in the code. Programs are typically designed top-down, along language features, so that the program is made to fit the language.

        Ruby is almost the opposite: it's very dynamic, very succinct, and there's virtually no redundancy in the code. Programs can be
      • by tacocat (527354)

        There are some interesting features of RoR that do represent a shift. But there are some disadvantages to RoR as well.

        It is important that people start rethinking the codebase for web sites and web applications to split the backend and frontend a little cleaner. This makes it easier for teams to develop and easier to debug. RoR makes this pretty much mandatory.

        When it comes to their database practices - primary keys and such -- they pretty much suck. The approach they have here is one of over simplifi

    • Anyone think Apple jumped on the RoR bandwagon a little too soon? The whole "movement" has lost a lot of steam and it doesn't appear to be the silver bullet everyone originally thought it was.

      Normally, I demand facts and evidence to back up assertions, but because you wrote it so eloquently and described something shiny, I think I'm going to let it slide this time and simply believe everything you say.
    • by jcr (53032)
      Apple's not on the RoR "Bandwagon". It's just another of the the widely-used UNIX apps that they include on the OS X disks, just like Python, Perl, Apache, BASH, PostFix, etc, etc.

      -jcr
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Fred_A (10934)
        But since they name all they releases after large cats, they had to go "RoR!"

        Ehm. Ok, I know the way out...
  • slashdotted already? (Score:5, Informative)

    by qw0ntum (831414) on Monday October 30, 2006 @12:43PM (#16643331) Journal
    Here's the link to Apple's page describing the developer features: http://developer.apple.com/leopard/overview/index. html [apple.com]
  • Some working links: (Score:3, Informative)

    by mblase (200735) on Monday October 30, 2006 @12:51PM (#16643439)
    VNUnet article [vnunet.com]
    Apple Insider post [appleinsider.com]
    Apple's Developer Overview site [apple.com]
  • These development tools look great. Particularly Interface Builder and XRAY. I've never used Mac development tools, so it's possible that looks can be deceiving ... but seeing this really makes me wish that MS would start to push their IDE forward rather than adding minor enhancements with each .NET release.
    • by soft_guy (534437) on Monday October 30, 2006 @01:01PM (#16643573)
      I use both XCode and Visual Studio. I much prefer XCode and Interface Builder. There are also a lot of other very nice tools that Apple bundles for free. They are nicer to use than what Microsoft gives you, plus there are a lot of things that you get for free on Apple that you would have to buy third party on Windows such as the coverage tool (gcov) and the profiler (Shark). So, yes, Apple's tools ARE as nice as they appear to be.

      Unfortunately, today I have to use Visual Studio and I'm trying to figure out how to get my program to run in a Release build. It runs OK in Debug, but for whatever reason I'm getting an error dialog about not having a manifest file to load the C++ runtime DLL (?). I wish I could use XCode to write Windows apps. Or alternatively that our Windows users would just all buy Macs.
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by tconkling (658345)
        I'm a die-hard Mac user at home, but I write games for Windows (using MS's dev tools) for a living. As a Mac development hobbyist, I spent years using Metrowerks' CodeWarrior IDE, and -- more recently, and to a lesser extent -- Xcode.

        Although I prefer the look and feel of Apple's dev tools to Microsoft's, I find that I get work done more quickly with Visual Studio than with Xcode. More accurately, I get work done more quickly with Visual Studio and the excellent third-party plugin Visual Assist [wholetomato.com], which pr
        • by soft_guy (534437)
          It sounds like the company isn't planning on a Mac version, which is a shame...

          If you are talking about my case (the GPP), then yes, actually I am doing a Qt application that ships on Mac, WIndows, and Linux. And Windows is a fscking pain in the ass. What I meant was that if the WIndows users would just switch to mac, I wouldn't have to screw with Windows and could just do Mac :-)

          Today (and I literally mean today), I am working on a specific issue in Visual Studio. But we DO have a Mac version.
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by sofla (969715)
        This is admittedly off-topic, but...the fix for the "error dialog about not having a manifest file to load" is to generate a manifest (linker setting and also the new "manifest tool") and use the new "assembly" based deployment model. The release builds of CRT in VS 2005 have a runtime check which throws an exception if you don't have either a manifest resource (embedded) or .manifest file (detached) for your application. In other words, M$ is FORCING you to use their new deployment model now, whether you
  • BOOM!
  • Ruby on Rails was announced back in August [rubyonrails.org], and I (et al) added details about the rest of the dev overview to Wikipedia 5 days ago [wikipedia.org]. Personally, I thought the most interesting new part was Mandatory Access Control.
  • by Channard (693317) on Monday October 30, 2006 @01:17PM (#16643821) Journal
    Maybe I'm missing the point here, but why would anyone pay the asking price of just under a hundred quid for a minor revision? No, this isn't intented to be flamebait - I'm a new Mac Mini owner myself and it's getting way more use than my PC. But I can't understand how Apple can charge for what is a pretty damn small upgrade. There were some major major differences between XP and 2000, and I can understand Microsoft paying for these. I can also understand Apple charging for the jump from 9.x to 10.x. But from 10.4 to 10.5? What am I missing here?
    • by MustardMan (52102)
      Uh, the changes in leopard are pretty huge. I'd pay a hundred bucks alone for something like Time Machine, not even counting the huge additions in developer tools and whatnot. I gladly forked out the cash for tiger, and the add-ons like spotlight, which made my life a whole lot easier. Plus, leopard will be truly 64-bit capable, from top to bottom, so that's a huge change. No, not all people will see enough value to upgrade, but then again Apple isn't a software company now is it? I personally will be
    • by 2nd Post! (213333) <gundbear@pacb e l l . n et> on Monday October 30, 2006 @01:29PM (#16644021) Homepage
      In the jump from 10.4 to 10.5 you get:
      You get built in backup and restore software
      You get automatic backup functionality
      You get virtual desktops
      You get built in remote presentation and remote control software
      You get new Widgets plus the ability to turn any webpage into a widget
      You get a new mail program with increased planning functionality
      New group management functionality in Mail and in iCal

      Under the hood you get:
      New animation libraries
      New 64 bit CPU optimizations
      New resolution independent ui

      You pay for this stuff because you find it useful.
      • by NivenHuH (579871) on Monday October 30, 2006 @02:14PM (#16644927) Homepage
        You forgot a biggie...

        Now in Leopard, the Objective-C runtime has been updated to include a thoroughly modern and high performance garbage collection system, making memory management a thing of the past.

        Garbage collection is included as part of the Obj-C 2.0 runtime... Say bye bye to most memory leaks.. :) I think this is turned on by default and is an opt-out option for your code.
        • Does this mean Safari will finally stop eating memory like a Langolier?
          • No. Safari's memory leaks are in the C++ code (which is, in turn, a fork of the KHTML code). The only Objective-C in Safari is the Cocoa wrapper.
        • by AhtirTano (638534)
          Never has your sig been more appropriate.
      • by Llywelyn (531070)
        A couple of things that were missed that are more developer specific:

        - Xcode 3.0, which has a lot of features I've been missing.
        - Xray, built off of DTrace (this looks incredible).
        - Dashcode, a widget development environment.
        - Image Kit.
        - OpenGL improvements.
        - Code signing.

        Then a few other things for end-users (and we don't even know all of what's in leopard yet) :
        - Additional iChat features and integration.
        - Resolution independence.
        - Improved voice synthesis.
        - Improved features for searching. ...and the li
      • You get new Widgets plus the ability to turn any webpage into a widget

        I have a little web-app, so I didn't much care for the sound of this. A trip to Apple tells me more:

        Clips and flicks

        Create your own Web site widget using Web Clip in Safari for Leopard. Just visit your favourite site and click the "Open in Dashboard" button in Safari. Dashboard launches a new clip of the site in a customisable widget. From there, you can resize your Web Clip and choose from a handful of window themes. And since you

        • by 2nd Post! (213333)
          Yeah, you don't click the "Open in Dashboard" button and then OS X will NOT do this.

          It's a tool, and if you don't want to use it, then don't use it.
    • Just because it's out, doesn't mean you have to buy it.
    • by Graff (532189)

      here were some major major differences between XP and 2000, and I can understand Microsoft paying for these. I can also understand Apple charging for the jump from 9.x to 10.x. But from 10.4 to 10.5? What am I missing here?

      Apple uses a different numbering scheme than most software manufacturers, at least for the Mac OS X releases.

      You see, the "X" in Mac OS X stands for the number 10. When Apple does a major release they don't want to have to go to Mac OS XI, Mac OS XII, etc. What they do instead is Mac OS

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by ckelly5 (688986)
      FWIW, I also have to mention that the upgrade from 2000 to XP was also technically a minor revision (2000 is Windows NT 5.0, XP is Windows NT 5.1).
    • Skip it then if you got a problem and wait for Lion.
    • why would anyone pay the asking price of just under a hundred quid for a minor revision?

      I don't know... I don't normally bother upgrading unless I need to, I'm still using Panther at home and the only reason I upgraded from Jaguar was that I bought new hardware.

      There were some major major differences between XP and 2000

      I'm still using 2000 because I've yet to find anything in XP that I actually need. The only thing that I've even missed is Bluetooth support. If they'd put a full Citrix server in there inste
    • by shmlco (594907)
      There are quite a few things like Time Machine, Spaces, significant upgrades to Mail, iCal, iChat, Dashboard, resolution-independent interfaces, plus a lot of under-the-hood enhancements like 2D Extreme, Core Animation, 64-bit, and so on.

      Go to the OS X page on Apple's site to see most of the announced "user-side" improvements, and here [apple.com] to see the developer stuff. Just simple stuff like the iCal store can mean lot's of nifty little utilities being generated for that system.

      And to reiterate, those are just th
    • by RAMMS+EIN (578166)
      Well, say what you like, but OS X is a very good system, and you get a lot of value for your hundred quid. Lots of applications and tools are bundled with the OS or available at the cost of a registration and a download, all of it made for and/or packaged for OS X. Try to get a GNU/Linux or Windows system up to the same level, and see how much that costs you in money and effort. Apple is also a major innovator in the desktop OS sphere, which means some features they offer may not even be available for Windo
    • Maybe I'm missing the point here, but why would anyone pay the asking price of just under a hundred quid for a minor revision?

      Because it's not a minor revision. Maybe you should take a look at some [arstechnica.com] Arstechnica [arstechnica.com] reviews [arstechnica.com] to see how much changes in each OS X release.

      You also have to remember that Apple doesn't reveal their products until just before release, and we've only been given a developer API peek at Leopard. MacWorld '07 will be the big Leopard reveal.

      There were some major major differences between XP

      • by Quila (201335)
        There were major differences between XP and 2000?

        Upgraded UI, symmetric multithreading, better security (if you count SP2), CD writer support, Remote Desktop, firewall, fast user switching, system restore, DLL backup, etc. Plus if you count Server 2003 you get the very re-worked IIS 6 and some more toys.

        IOW, Windows 2000 to Windows XP is about the same jump as a dot release in OS X, and both cost money.
        • Better security doesn't count because SP2 which came years later. DLL backup was in 2000, as was symmetric multithreading. CD writer support was in 2000 (I assume you mean built-in CD writer support, which is a minor feature). The firewall was in 2000, and System Restore came from Windows ME and is hardly a major feature by itself.

          Basically, aside from the goofy Luna theme that was hacked in after Apple revealed Aqua, everything you listed could have been in a Microsoft Plus! pack.

          IOW, Windows 2000 to Wi

          • by Quila (201335)
            Better security doesn't count because SP2 which came years later. DLL backup was in 2000, as was symmetric multithreading. CD writer support was in 2000 (I assume you mean built-in CD writer support, which is a minor feature). The firewall was in 2000, and System Restore came from Windows ME and is hardly a major feature by itself.

            I count through SP2 since it was free (like saying advances with 10.4.8 don't count).

            W2K hyperthreading didn't really work, it just saw two processors, meaning upgrading your 2xSM
            • I count through SP2 since it was free (like saying advances with 10.4.8 don't count).

              SP2 came out years after XP, and all it really did was update the firewall, add a Welcome Center, and recompile some DLLs using the latest Visual Studio. I'm not counting advances in 10.4.8 because those kinds of free minor updates from Apple are mostly bug fixes.

              W2K hyperthreading didn't really work, it just saw two processors, meaning upgrading your 2xSMP box to hyperthreading chips put you beyond 2K's two-processor limi

    • Yeah, you are missing something. Release versions have nothing to do with how big a release is in terms of new functionality. Keeping the Major version number the same signifies a level of binary compatibility for the API. If Apple were to radically change the API (like they did between 9.x and 10.x) you would see virtually all binaries breaking. Apple did get around this by providing Carbon as a bridge API but the native Cocoa API and related frameworks would not be backwards compatible to Mac OS 9.x nor w
      • by cerelib (903469)
        I am not trying to challenge your statements and I am not a Mac owner, but I find your omission of 10.0 and 10.1 to be rather convenient. If my memory is correct, most new applications for OS X usually put the requirement of 10.2 or greater, right? So it would seem that there is a bit of incompatibility between 10.x releases. What changed in 10.2 to leave 10.0 and 10.1 owners out in the cold?
        • When I was referring to backwards compatibility, I was referring to the ability of the new release to run binaries compiled against a previous release of OS X (ie applications compiled against 10.3 should run on 10.4). If a developer chooses to compile in and use features of an existing API or to use an API new to 10.4, it will obviously not run in 10.3 on earlier. When you see software requiring 10.2 or greater, that means they are using features not present in previous releases. I cannot think of what cha
        • APIs did often change in early releases of OS X. 10.0 and 10.1 were basically the foundations future releases built upon. It took Apple some time to get things stabilized. It wasn't until 10.4 that Apple promised "no API disruption for the foreseeable future." [arstechnica.com] OS 9 to OS X was a huge change, it's really not surprising it took Apple a few releases to nail down API stability.
        • cerelib asked:

          What changed in 10.2 to leave 10.0 and 10.1 owners out in the cold?

          The reason is mostly one of developer convenience, IMHO.

          The format of NIB files and the bundle structure changed in 10.2. For developers, this was a huge difference. Localizing an app (as I recall) under Puma (10.1) was time consuming. The binary-only NIB file format before 10.1 meant you either needed to localize your app in your code or by manually opening the NIBs in interface builder and changing things. 10.2 allowed f

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by lurch_mojoff (867210)

      ...No, this isn't intented to be flamebait - I'm a new Mac Mini owner myself and it's getting way more use than my PC. But I can't understand how Apple can charge for what is a pretty damn small upgrade...

      How is this not a flamebait? First, you bring up a question that has been answered about a jazillion times already - Steve Jobs is in lovez with the number 10 (or in Apple lingo "X") and from now on for Mac OS the major version number is the one after the first decimal point. And second, even if you ac

    • by kalidasa (577403)

      You do realize that the major change between 2000 and XP was in the user interface, right? And that 2000 was NT 5.0, and XP was NT 5.1? I'd argue that the real "major" OS change was from XP to XP SP2. Oh, and the charge for the 2000 to XP upgrade was $200; the charge for the OS X upgrades is usually $129.

      Apple charged for all X.Y changes under OS X except for the leap (and it was a leap) from 10.0 to 10.1. These changes are significant version changes (heck, 10.4 includes a whole new architecture).

    • by Tom (822)
      Maybe I'm missing the point here, but why would anyone pay the asking price of just under a hundred quid for a minor revision?

      Because Apple's minor revisions contain more updates and changes than a completely new windos version, for example.

      Check the list of changes, not the number that changes in the descriptor.
    • by SeaFox (739806)

      But I can't understand how Apple can charge for what is a pretty damn small upgrade.

      Because people will pay for it? As long as the majority of consumers are willing to pay the price then the price is not too high. That's how the free market works.

      And not to nitpick, but there's no such thing as an OSX "upgrade". There's only two boxed verions (client and server). The disks you buy contain the whole OS, you don't have to give the license key from a previous version or have a previous version installed on you

    • So you think 10.4 to 10.5 will be a minor upgrade? How do you know? Apple is not telling us what will be included in 10.5 except for a few features they are previewing to developers. The best features ar being kept secret. You may be right but we won't know untill spring 2007.

      Why pay? you don't have to. If you like Tiger (10.4) then stick with it abd if you buy a new computer in 2007 the newer OSX will be included for "free".

  • Has anyone figured out if Quartz 2D Extreme is enabled by default on the Leopard edition? Does it work any better than the Tiger version?
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Quila (201335)
      Ars Technica said Quartz 2D Extreme was there and possible to use, just not enabled because it probably hadn't been completely worked out by Apple yet.

      But given fact #1, that Ars said that Q2DE is basically like running your whole desktop as an OpenGL scene, and fact #2, that Leopard will have "resolution-independent interfaces," I'm betting that Q2DE is fully running and implemented in 10.5.
  • People in these discussions keep moaning about how various changes "are only really any good for the developers"... That's kind of dumb. Developers, duh, develop the applications end-users rely on. The under-the-hood changes in Leopard are bound to benefit everyone. Garbage-collection, better debugging, 64 bit, a crazy animation toolkit, etc. (if you don't know how that impacts the user, try this for example: http://www.discoapp.com/ [discoapp.com] . It's a new disc-burning application with one of the most interesting wor
  • become 1st class languages on OS X. Apple is adding the ability to write cocoa apps in Ruby and Python. Sure, you could do it in the past, but Apple wasn't very supportive to the PyObjC [sourceforge.net] and the RubyCocoa [sourceforge.net] projects. But from what I saw on the demo's, Apple has been working hard to make Ruby and Python a legitimate choice for cocoa development. So now you'll have 3 choices: Objective C, Ruby, and Python. By the way cocoa development with Java is canned.
    • Don't forget F-Script, which lets you write Cocoa applications in a Smalltalk-like language and environment.

      F-Script [fscript.org] is free and open-source.
    • Well, Apple used to support writing Cocoa apps in Java. They pulled that support as of 10.4. Do you really want to rely on Apple continuing Cocoa support in any language except Obj C?
      • by bnenning (58349)
        Well, Apple used to support writing Cocoa apps in Java.

        Which they realized was a lousy idea because of the large impedance mismatch between Java and ObjC. Java has to know everything at compile time, which makes bridging to other languages a pain; for example you have to explicitly create stubs for every method that could possibly be called. More dynamic languages like Python and Ruby don't have those limitations, and are much easier to support.
      • by LizardKing (5245)

        Apple haven't pulled support for writing Cocoa apps in Java with 10.4, however they do discourage it. If you work through the tutorial with XCode 2.4 on Tiger, it still works.

  • by 99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) on Monday October 30, 2006 @06:38PM (#16650019)
    Ruby on Rails and iLife integration? The former is for 10.5 server (which most people here don't care about) and the latter was announced months ago. I submitted a link to this information four days ago, but with focus on some more important features:
    • OpenGL 2.1
    • Automatically spawning a thread for OpenGL programs that feeds the GPU, allowing those programs that are CPU bound up to two times the performance when using multi-core systems, without any more work on the part of developers.
    • Application signing to determine trust levels
    • Mandatory Access Controls, for sandboxing applications like SELinux does

    It is these last two that are of real interest. Individually they are just adding more security features under the hood, which most people will never notice. In that case it is great, but nothing too new. Together, however, they could be the groundwork for just the type malware/spyware defense some security people have been hoping for for years.

    Imagine a system where all unsigned code runs in a sandbox by default, without access to any files it does not create, the internet, or any important parts of the system. Realistically, people want to run software they don't trust. They will run it. Most people don't understand the idea of multiple users as a security mechanism. It does not make sense to them that you need to create a new user account to sandbox an application and it is painful from a usability standpoint.

    This announcement could be the first indication of the first real, usable desktop that has the benefits of some of the most secure workstations on the planet. Who cares about RoR tools in OS X server?

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