A few notes on Tiger:
Ooooh. Search. Search has been one of my big things lately, and I like what I’ve seen of Tiger so far, but it’s too early to tell how well it’ll work. Fundamentally, searching seems to scale better then strict hierarchical organization. For instance, with a good search tool, it’s faster to search through the 100,000 or so old email message that I have laying around then it’d be to change folders and skim through a couple dozen messages by hand. The big problem is that search tends to be resource-intensive–I’ve been playing with Zoe, QuckSilver, and HistoryHound, and they each end up wanting over 100 MB of RAM. Fundamentally, there’s no real need for this, and we’ll see how Apple does with Tiger. I’m hopeful, but I’m used to disappointment. Specifically, I want to see what Mail.app lets me do with smart folders; Can I tag messages with tags like ‘Important’ or ‘To-Do List’ and get smart folders that show me all of the ‘To-Do List’ items? There’s no real indication that Apple is going to let us add generic metadata, and that’s a pity; it’ll have to wait for ‘Lion’ or ‘Tabby’, or whatever comes after Tiger.
64-bit application support. This isn’t a huge thing for most people today, but for some types of applications, it’s utterly critical. Anything that wants to use more then 4 GB of RAM needs it, and it starts getting useful around 1 GB, generally. It’s the way of the future, and it’s nice to see that it’s showing up now; in another two years, it’s going to be important to all of us.
cpunderstands Mac OS resource forks. Finally. Files are files; the fact that copying Mac-specific files with Unix tools tended to destroy bits of them was kind of irritating.
Safari has an RSS reader. After watching Apple’s RSS movie, I’m not really sure about this one–it’s a neat feature, but it pales in comparison to NewNewsWire. Frankly, RSS belongs in Mail, not Safari.
Real-time video effects using the GPU. Cool, but not terrifically useful to me, particularly with my underpowered PowerBook 550.
iSync SDK. ABOUT FSCKING TIME. The Zaurus people have been trying to write an iSync plugin for years, but haven’t had any documentation. Personally, I’d love to see what happens one you graft bits of MultiSync into iSync–you should end up with free calendar and address book synchronization between Macs, Linux systems, PocketPCs, and whatever else MultiSync supports now.
iChat supports conferencing. Yeah, but does it support non-AIM SIP servers? It’s totally unusable for me right now, between generic NAT problems and Asterisk wanting port 5060 on my firewall. It’d be really nice if I could use iChat as a softphone with Asterisk.
Apparently, it’s all shipping in 1H2005, or up to a year away. It’ll probably end up being February-ish, if they follow their Jaguar/Panther shipping trend. That’s a long time to wait for the handful of features that I’d really like to see (mostly the Spotlight search tools), and as always, there’s the $129 question–is the upgrade really worth it?