TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Dec 95 Crabbs Apple
Volume Number:11
Issue Number:12
Column Tag:Crabb’s Apple

Copland, Where Are Thee?

By Don Crabb

Dateline: May, 1994. Apple promises developers at WWDC 94 that the next generation operating system, Copland, will be in their hands as DR1 by year’s end for testing and released to their customers by mid-1995.

Dateline: May, 1995. Apple promises developers at WWDC 95 that the next generation operating system, Copland, will be in their hands as DR1 for testing by the fall of 1995 and released to their customers by mid-1996.

Dateline: October, 1995. Apple figures it’s high time to tell us all the truth: they don’t know when Copland will ship, save to say it surely won’t ship in 1996 and might ship in early 1997.

With this kind of product development cycle and advance planning it would be safer for all of us if we simply read the entrails of slaughtered farm animals to predict the availability of Copland. Maybe we could bring the Oracle at Delphi out of retirement? Or blow a call in to Jean Dixon?

My point, of course, is that our friends in Cupertino have done it again! They have mismanaged a development project that only has the fate of the company and its loyal developers’ lives hanging in the balance. If it weren’t so serious, it would be hysterically funny.

I don’t imagine, however, that any of you are laughing. I know that I am not. In fact, I imagine that you’re probably even more pissed than I am. Not because Apple is behind in its Copland development efforts, per se, but because they have deliberately misled us and our customers.

The Truth Hurts

Apple knew months ago that they wouldn’t make any of the 1995 and 1996 Copland dates. They knew they were very late in Finder and microkernel development. They knew they were even later in the development of other core technologies, including OpenDoc, Open Transport, and PowerTalk 2.0. They knew all this and they didn’t bother to utter a peep. Nary a nod in our direction. And that, folks, is wrong.

It’s wrong (as well as stupid) for Apple to mislead its developers, much less its customers. It’s wrong for Apple to mislead its tool developers. And it’s wrong for Apple to mislead itself - a problem clearly evident when you start talking with any of the PowerMac engineering teams. Many of these folks were floored when they heard the news about Copland slipping yet again, since they were recently told things were right on schedule. It’s bad enough when Apple lies to us, but it’s bonehead city when it lies to itself.

What We Know

This means, of course, that you will not be getting your DR1 release this fall as you were told in May. If you work at Symantec, Metrowerks, or one of the other tool vendors, you will get something that Apple’s calling the Copland Tools Development Release, a DR0 CD with very early versions of the Finder and microkernel on it, as well as Copland APIs.

DR0 might be enough for Greg Dow, Greg Galanos, Jean Belanger, and the ultrasmart braintrust at Metrowerks (hell, it will have to be!) to produce the CodeWarrior for Copland release, but it’s nowhere near enough along for us to do anything with it seriously (besides, we’d still have to wait for CodeWarrior, anyway).

All this means we might get our DR1 in March of 1996, but that release will only interest those of us doing device drivers and some extensions. DR2, which will have more general utility for the bulk of Mac developers, won’t grace our CD-ROM drives until at least May of 1996 (and that’s probably another overly positive scenario - some engineers on the Copland team are saying DR2 won’t hit until October of 1996).

Speculating Onward

This puts a DR3 or more robust DR2 into our hands maybe by the end of 1996, but more likely early 1997. This release might also be made available to large Mac sites for testing. Finally, by mid-1997, we’d have the released Copland 1.0 - only two years later than were told we’d get it at WWDC 94, and a year off the schedule given us at WWDC 95. And all of this speculation assumes no further serious slippage, which we all know just isn’t the case when it comes to very complex operating system development.

What Might Have Been

All of which makes me wonder why the hell Apple didn’t collapse some of this development cycle by buying or borrowing some of its basic services for Copland. Certainly the experience of moving from System 6 to System 7 must have taught them something. And the move to Copland from System 7.5 is a couple of orders of magnitude more complex than that transition was, making it all the more important to get a boost on the process.

I keep wondering if we all wouldn’t be well on our way to System 9 or 10 by now if Apple had only used the Pink (Taligent) kernel from IBM as their point of MacOS departure, rather than building the Copland microkernel from the ground up.

Hoping for the Best

Of course, all of this is water under the bridge now. And we are still stuck in the same position we’ve always been: hoping that Apple is telling us the truth and being honest to itself about its own development cycle.

Given that Copland requires the integration of complex existing and developing Apple OS technologies (QuickDraw GX, PowerTalk, OpenDoc, just to name three) into a code base that’s still not an alpha, the betting money is on Copland’s release date to customers slipping even more than the latest Apple prognostications would allow.

That puts the release of Copland interestingly close to the release of the next version of Windows NT (Cairo), and likely several update releases into Windows 95 (and/or the Windows 95 release that migrates everyone to the new NT). And it pushes Gershwin out until perhaps the turn of the century.

I wonder if by then any Apple customers will care that Copland shipped sometime in 1997?

 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

MarsEdit 4.3 - Quick and convenient blog...
MarsEdit is a blog editor for OS X that makes editing your blog like writing email, with spell-checking, drafts, multiple windows, and even AppleScript support. It works with with most blog services... Read more
TeamViewer 14.2.2558 - Establish remote...
TeamViewer gives you remote control of any computer or Mac over the Internet within seconds or can be used for online meetings. Find out why more than 200 million users trust TeamViewer! Free for non... Read more
Chromium 73.0.3683.75 - Fast and stable...
Chromium is an open-source browser project that aims to build a safer, faster, and more stable way for all Internet users to experience the web. Version 73.0.3683.75: This update includes 60... Read more
Sublime Text 3200 - Sophisticated text e...
Sublime Text is a sophisticated text editor for code, markup, and prose. You'll love the slick user interface, extraordinary features, and amazing performance. Features Goto Anything. Use Goto... Read more
PopChar Family Pack (5 licenses) 8.6 - F...
PopChar helps you get the most out of your font collection. With its crystal-clear interface, PopChar provides a frustration-free way to access any font's special characters. Features Expanded... Read more
PopChar 8.6 - Floating window shows avai...
PopChar helps you get the most out of your font collection. With its crystal-clear interface, PopChar provides a frustration-free way to access any font's special characters. Features Expanded... Read more
Tor Browser Bundle 8.0.7 - Anonymize Web...
The Tor Browser Bundle is an easy-to-use portable package of Tor, Vidalia, Torbutton, and a Firefox fork preconfigured to work together out of the box. It contains a modified copy of Firefox that... Read more
MegaSeg 6.0.8 - Professional DJ and radi...
MegaSeg is a complete solution for pro audio/video DJ mixing, radio automation, and music scheduling with rock-solid performance and an easy-to-use design. Mix with visual waveforms and Magic... Read more
FileZilla 3.41.2 - Fast and reliable FTP...
FileZilla (ported from Windows) is a fast and reliable FTP client and server with lots of useful features and an intuitive interface. Version 3.41.2: Fixed vulnerabilities: Backport a security... Read more
Spotify 1.1.2.285. - Stream music, creat...
Spotify is a streaming music service that gives you on-demand access to millions of songs. Whether you like driving rock, silky R&B, or grandiose classical music, Spotify's massive catalogue puts... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

The best shooters on iOS
In case you missed it yesterday, Tencent and Activision announced they are putting out a new Call of Duty game for mobile. While details are pretty scant, they did put out a trailer (see above) and have a page where you can pre-register for the... | Read more »
The best games for iPhone - The definiti...
Hi there, and welcome to our ever-increasing list of the very best games for iPhone. We're going to be updating this regularly with new content, so make sure you check back often, because you're not going to want to miss out on even one of the... | Read more »
Everything you need to know to win in Sp...
Sure, Sprout: Idle Garden might be an idle game (we know, we know, it was pretty obvious from the name), but that doesn't mean there aren't plenty of hints and tips you can exploit to make sure you're getting the best possible return from your... | Read more »
Huge new update for fantasy RPG Final Bl...
The hit fantasy RPG Final Blade arrived on western shores last month to much acclaim, thanks in large part to its successful mix of vibrant visuals, rich storytelling, and classic RPG mechanics. Now, the game is set to receive a whopping new update... | Read more »
Everything you need to know to win in Pe...
Pet Rescue Puzzle Saga is the latest game in King's long line of sagas. It's a match-stuff puzzler, as you might expect, but it's got a few new twists on the already established formula that, while they do keep things fresh, are likely to come as... | Read more »
REKT! guide - Is the latest content upda...
When REKT! first came out, I was impressed with the game’s ability to channel the gameplay of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater in a small, streamlined package. Be that as it may, I was also pretty underwhelmed with the game’s lack of content. | Read more »
The best games for iPhone and iPad that...
Just like every Thursday, today we're taking some time to let you know what we think are the best games that have come out over the past week. We've had hands-on time with all of them, so you can trust us when we tell you that we're pretty clued... | Read more »
Mobile games you probably haven't p...
The App Store is bursting at the seams with all kinds of apps and games of varying quality, but one of the most consistent issues with it is discoverability. Despite having what seems like unlimited money and a full App Store editorial team, Apple... | Read more »
Get gorgeous characters and new skins in...
NetEase Games’s Onmyoji is reaching the last part of the crossover event with the classic anime Inuyasha. Once the maintenance on March13th is over you’ll be able to get Inuyasha, Sesshomaru, and Kikyo. You can get hold of these through any summon... | Read more »
Everything you need to win in Scorcher f...
There's no denying that Scorcher from Radiangames is a difficult game. It's the sort of game where, when you first start playing, you're going to die over and over and over again. There's a chance that those repetitive deaths are going to put you... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Apple drops prices on clearance refurbished 4...
Apple has dropped prices on Certified Refurbished 2017 21″ 4K & 27″ 5K iMacs with models now available starting at $1059. Apple’s one-year warranty is standard, shipping is free, and each iMac... Read more
Blowout sale! New 2018 15″ 6-Core Apple MacBo...
Amazon has dropped prices on new 2018 15″ 6-Core Touch Bar MacBook Pros with models now on sale for $500 off Apple’s MSRP, starting at $1899. These are the same models sold by Apple in their retail... Read more
New Verizon deal: Buy one iPhone Xs, Xs Max,...
Verizon is offering a free 64GB iPhone Xr, or $750 back on any other iPhone model, for those who are purchasing a new iPhone Xr, iPhone Xs, iPhone Xs Max, or iPhone X on their online store. Here are... Read more
Deal Alert! Amazon has the high-end 2018 15″...
Amazon, for a limited time, is selling the high-end 2018 15″ 2.6GHz Silver MacBook Pro (16GB RAM/512GB SSD/Touch Bar) for only $2299.99 including free shipping. That’s $500 off Apple’s price, and it’... Read more
Amazon is offering base 13″ 2.3GHz Dual-Core...
Amazon has new 13″ 2.3GHz Dual-Core non-Touch Bar MacBook Pros on sale for $250-$300 off Apple’s MSRP, with prices starting at only $1049. Their prices are the cheapest available for new 13″ MacBook... Read more
Apple drops prices on clearance refurbished 1...
Apple has dropped prices on Certified Refurbished 2016 9.7″ iPad Pros and 2017 10.5″ iPad Pros, with models now available starting at $419. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each iPad,... Read more
Apple announces new 2019 10.5″ iPad Air and 7...
Apple today announced an all-new 10.5″ iPad Air and 7.9-inch iPad mini. With the A12 Bionic chip with Apple’s Neural Engine, the iPad Air delivers a claimed 70% boost in performance and twice the... Read more
Sunday Sale! 13″ 2.3GHz/256GB Dual-Core Silve...
Amazon has the 13″ 2.3GHz/256GB Silver MacBook Pro on sale today for $1199.99 shipped. That’s $300 off Apple’s MSRP and the cheapest price for this model from any Apple reseller. This is the same... Read more
Find the best sales & lowest prices on Ap...
Our Apple award-winning price trackers are the best place to look for the best sales and lowest prices on Apple gear. Scan our price trackers for the latest information on sales, bundles, and... Read more
Breathe New Life Into Your Older iPhone With...
FEATURE: 03.17.19- iPhone owners wanting to replace the battery on their smartphone who missed last year’s special discounted $29 battery replacement program from Apple — which was the Cupertino,... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Practice Director - CompuCom (United...
…Join the team today by applying to the following role: Position Summary:The Apple Practice Director is dedicated to the Apple business and willcollaborate Read more
Geek Squad *Apple* Master Consultation Agen...
**680044BR** **Job Title:** Geek Squad Apple Master Consultation Agent **Job Category:** Services/Installation/Repair **Location Number:** 000308-Orland Park-Store Read more
Best Buy *Apple* Computing Master - Best Bu...
**677136BR** **Job Title:** Best Buy Apple Computing Master **Job Category:** Sales **Location Number:** 000417-Novi-Store **Job Description:** **What does a Best Read more
Best Buy *Apple* Computing Master - Best Bu...
**670898BR** **Job Title:** Best Buy Apple Computing Master **Job Category:** Store Associates **Location Number:** 001102-Jefferson City-Store **Job Description:** Read more
*Apple* Technician - Sentinel (United States...
…Motivated you can join our team and make IT happen! Learn more at www.sentinel.com/careers. Apple Technician As an Apple Technician, you will test and deploy new Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.