I hate Mac OS X 23 Feb 2008
cocoa opinion software development

Hate is such a strong word, but I think I can verifiably say that I hate Mac OS X (Leopard). In a past life I wrote Mac software on Mac OS X (Tiger) and everything was wonderful, I enjoyed using Mail, iCal, Xcode, Safari and even iTunes sometimes. I liked using my computer, I enjoyed using the tools handed to me by the gods on high in the mountains of Cupertino.

Now a couple months since upgrading to Leopard certain that everything was going to be even more awesome than before, I type this from my openSUSE 10.3 workstation, running Opera, Thunderbird, Sunbird, Banshee and Gnome Terminals open all over the place. The tipping point was an afternoon at a coffee shop with my lovely MacBook Pro (code named "cherry") when I closed Safari entirely because it was leaking memory, only to open it again for about an hour, and notice that it had started leaking again and in the course of an hour had a memory footprint of 1.3GB.

Using in Leopard has been nothing but a complete and total nightmare, somehow's internal IMAP implementation can lock up the entire machine causing the Finder, Safari and Terminal all to beachball while takes 15 minutes only to end up crashing. Too many stack traces I've watched emit have all been rooted in their IMAP support. Thunderbird is also a miserable piece of software, I'm convinced that everybody except the one engineer I know at Mozilla is a complete and utter idiot, but when Thunderbird locks up, I can still use the rest of my system. Somehow Apple has munged the lines between userland and kernel space so much that userland applications can take control of the machine leaving the user on the sidelines while applications compete for resources and bicker amongst themselves.

Time Machine, and Spaces are the only two redeeming features in Leopard for me, but after losing multiple modal dialogs in Spaces and watching iChat or Adium steal focus and rip focus from one space to another became too much to handle. Somehow every window manager on the planet has gracefully supported multiple workspaces for well over a decade and Apple was able to do it wrong.

I really like Apple's hardware, I own a 20" iMac, 13" MacBook, 12" PowerBook and have a 15" MacBook Pro at work, but either Apple let go, or lost some really good engineers in their famed deathmarches up to releases, especially up to the release of Mac OS 10.5. I'm sure the iPhone is a great revenue stream, the Apple TV is "cute" and iPods are still my preferred portable media devices, but I never realized that when "Apple Computer, Inc." became "Apple, Inc" that it was going to have such an effect on the quality of their products.

Now I have a split partition on my MacBook Pro, and I intend on putting openSUSE on the machine this weekend. My trust in the open source community, as low as it is, is now higher than my trust in Apple to release quality software. Grrrr.