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John Siracusa's OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion Review (arstechnica.com)
497 points by thisisblurry on July 25, 2012 | hide | past | web | favorite | 135 comments


"In some ways, Mountain Lion is a refinement, enhancement, and yes, a major bug-fix for Lion. But the changes and additions are significant enough that they will inevitably come with their own set of bugs. Let's not forget Snow Leopard, which promised no new features but still brought plenty of bugs in its 10.6.0 release."

I hope they fixed memory management - Lion is too swap happy and slow on a decent 3Gb RAM Core 2 MBP. Windows comparatively flies on the same machine but of course suspend resume is flaky and other Win-Mac integration annoyances mean it's not a win-win.

In my n = 1 study, I can (sadly) report that memory management is the same as it was in Lion. Some people are reporting that it's improved, but I'm not sure they ever had the evil beach ball spinning as much as I did on an early 2011 MB Pro with 4 GB of ram. Terminal, Chrome with ~12 tabs, iTunes, Spotify, Dictionary, Sublime Text, Transmission, and Notational Velocity will bring my laptop to a grinding halt. There's no reason for this. I used to be able to have three times as many applications open in Snow Leopard, Ubuntu, and Windows machines before. Mountain Lion still requires me to reboot about twice a day to be usable. I'm not sure what the hell Apple has done to its OS's memory management recently, but it makes me sad.

8 GB of RAM is really cheap, your 2011 MBP can handle it, and it's stupid simple to install. Not that that mitigates any of your points about memory management, just offering a suggestion to make your life better; my same-era MBP felt like a new machine after upgrading.

Ha, funny that you suggest that. I literally just popped in my two modules less than an hour ago. I ordered an 8 GB kit off NewEgg for $40 shipped. I have no complaints anymore since I pretty much always have 4 GB available at all times. I just wanted to make due with what I had and have it work decently since I'm thrifty.

Is memory management the key to why Linux always seems to handle much better than OS X on the same machines? I'm puzzled this problem still exists (with 10.7).

3GB, my word, son...crucial.com is your friend!

The machine supports a maximum of 4GB, and believe me it only gets marginally better with the added 1GB.

I guess Crucial also sells SSDs and Apple sells new MBPs with 16GB RAM :) - but at this juncture I hate to spend money on anything when the other supposedly more bloated OS named Win 7 works just great with 3GB - that seriously ought to be more than enough for browsing, email and occassional Word/PPT stuff.

As for the swappiness - it seems to be at least somewhat better than Lion - hasn't used up swap after 20 minutes of doing normal stuff. But the Apple ID/Password annoyance is still there - I still had to enter Apple ID / password several times during and after the installation! The last time hopefully was for iTunes. Why can't they use one single sign on?

I'd strongly recommend getting that extra 1GB if you're looking for a cheap way to boost performance (even if you have to buy 2x2GB sticks). It's not marginal by any means if your OS is swapping - it will probably be a dramatic increase in performance!

Also, regarding doctoboggan's comment about SSDs: SSDs are still an order of magnitude slower than system RAM. The reason they're so nice is because they're an order of magnitude faster than traditional HDDs, but that doesn't mean you can get away with skimping on RAM.

If you're on any of the Aluminum MacBooks (2008 included) the specs are actually under-representing what the machine can handle. My Core2 has 8GB RAM and I have yet to feels the need to upgrade other than coveting the new high res display of course. Then again I'm also still using 10.6.8 and with the issues I've heard of there's no compelling reason to upgrade yet.

Agreed. I finally bit the bullet and upgraded my 4GB MBP to 16GB of memory. Officially unsupported, but it works like a charm.

May I ask what MBP you have?

Any 2011 15" MBP or newer will take 16gb of RAM, unofficially. You can check OWC for a full compatibility guide.

May I ask which brand you bought and for how much?

Even my Late 2009 Macbook White is able to handle 8GB of RAM (unoficially) and that's what I've done.

Also, I've installed a SSD.

Win-Mac integration annoyances mean it's not a Win-Win

I laughed

Ha! (Unintentional tbh)

I am not an expert but I would guess Apple doesn't care too much about repeated memory swapping because they are trying to switch to SSDs. I have a SSD in both my personal and work computer and I have no problems with memory management.

Repeated swapping to an SSD wears it out faster.

Mountain Lion does in fact swap less than Lion due to some VM improvements.

If a machine is at all usable with a mechanical swap disk, then there's not enough swapping happening to worry about the effect on the longevity of an SSD.

Sometimes I'm not sure which side of the "at all usable with a mechanical swap disk" line OS X is on. It certainly tested the boundaries of my personal threshold of "usable", at least. Spinny beach ball, spinny, spinny ball.

Switching to a MacBook Air and thus solid-state storage made OS X an entirely new operating system for me. I'm in no hurry to ever use it on a spinning platter disk again.

I've suggested this before (and not done much about it), but that is not going to stop me suggesting it again.

How about a crowd-sourced 'Siracusa style' review of Ubuntu 12.04? Or Debian Wheezy, or Fedora (large integer, preferably 18 because that is the version that RHEL 7 will be based on)? Or the safe and conservative CentOS/SciLi/PUIAS version 6.3, now being targeted by Oracle. Or your favourite GNU/Linux, or BSD?

So many of the free software reviews are shallow.

I think the Penguins have done enough work to merit something with depth

> How about a crowd-sourced 'Siracusa style' review

I don't think a crowd-sourced review could ever be that, as it most likely won't be a cohesive work and will have a hard time finding talented writers (which I hold Siracusa to be). And will probably fail to balance the emphasis (at all) between features of differing importance and levels of interest. Furthermore, Siracusa's reviews are also the result of more than a decade of writing these things.

Don't aim to write "Siracusa-style" reviews, aim to write in-depth reviews which are not complete dreck. That will probably work better. Or work at all, for that matter.

"Don't aim to write "Siracusa-style" reviews, aim to write in-depth reviews which are not complete dreck. That will probably work better. Or work at all, for that matter"

OK, challenge still stands, even this would be an improvement in what we see in Linux reviews

Maybe there could be a kickstarter to just pay Siracusa to write 26,000 words about ubuntu?

Even if you could raise the money, I doubt that he would do it, or that it would be comparable to his OS X articles.

If you listen to Hypercritical (his weekly 5by5 podcast), you'll have heard that he struggles just getting the OS X reviews out the door. Since Apple is trying to move to a yearly release cycle, that’s just going to get harder. When’s he going to get the time to write an Ubuntu review?

It’s also worth considering that, “He has been a Mac user since 1984” (from his Ars bio). Part of what makes his reviews so good is his deep-rooted knowledge of the Mac platform, and having watched OS X (and previous versions of Mac OS) “grow up”, so to speak. I don’t know how much experience he has with Ubuntu, but I bet it’s not as extensive as OS X.

And that’s putting aside all the arguments of whether it’s a good thing to do, or whether the Ubuntu community would want him to write such a thing.

That is touching my open source nerve, the penguins ought to be able to assemble something like this themselves.

This is hilarious. Mythical man ymonth applied to writing. Let's crowd source some more Tolstoy novels while we're at it.

A review of a computer system is hardly a major work of art. Brooks' n(n+1)/2 won't kick in until we exceed five or ten people I think.

A crowd sourced review for a crowd sourced user experience.

OK, upvotes are occurring, so what do we do?


for an inadequate and partial outline for the 12.04/unity gui

Challenge: put your suggestions/contributions on dropbox or githib or wherever and post here and I'll attempt a synthesis.

They (Ars) did a massive in depth review of gimp 2.6 including fair positive and negative points. Now that gimp is finally close to getting 16 bit mode after all these years(in the upcoming 2.10 release) it would be cool if they could do a followup.


Suite freedom: a review of GIMP 2.6.4 Ars brings you a massive, in-depth review of one of the most popular cross- …

This is almost the best part of every OS X release.

I have to agree - I love all the technical details in these articles so much that I used to read them in detail long before I switched to the Mac... It was probably the biggest thing that convinced me to change (that, and I wanted a laptop that didn't look and feel like cheap plasticy rubbish, which apart from Apple products were few and far between then).

Has anyone here tried any of the macbook air clones?


This isn't really the right place for that question, but all of those have bad resolution screens, as do all of the linux-able ultrabooks. I'm not saying that they should be Retina, but 768 vertical px is unacceptably regressive.

The Asus zenbook prime 11" and 13" are shipping with full hd ips screens.

That's nice to see, thanks, but at a 50% premium over an MBA (including Windows tax).

I'm not sure which model you looked at, but I believe the 13"/4g/128gb is priced at $1100 msrp vs. similarly configured air at $1200. Microcenter had it for $1000 a few weeks ago.

I think I was probably looking at list price.

I have a ZenBook from asus (UX21 with i7) and it is great: slim, fast, neat screen.

His reviews are what got me interested enough to Switch back in 2002.

Just don't put it on your development workstation yet; XCode 4.4 is blocking the install of Command Line Tools for some developers. This means Homebrew doesn't work, VIM doesn't work (no /usr/include for pyconfig.h), and things are generally horked unless you want to play end-user in the app store.

Welcome to release day, Apple style. :)

Yup, getting 403 on http://adcdownload.apple.com/Developer_Tools/xcode_4.4_21362.... This is really disappointing!!! Why is it taking Apple so long to fix?

Looking at my inbox? Because they are too busy declaring that they can't reproduce it.

Ugh, I would let them VNC into my computer to repo it if it would mean I could get the CLI tools. I see a lot of reports of it on Twitter as well. Can't they just look for the 403's in the server logs?

It WFM now. Hope you get it working soon as well!

Finally sorted itself out this evening. I just went back to Lion for the day and waiting for the #xcode rage to die down on twitter. :)

Not sure about 4.4, but at least the 4.5 preview works fine.

TL;DR full screen with multiple monitors is still broken http://arstechnica.com/apple/2012/07/os-x-10-8/18/#full-scre...

At least Mission Control has been fixed. New option that brings back Tiger/Leopard's all-windows Exposé:


How is this even possible ?

Do I even understand this correctly ? If you have multiple monitors, and an application goes full screen, the other two monitors go grey ?

I am still on SL on my mac pro, so I have yet to see this ... what the fuck do people working at apple (with multiple screens) do ?

I just don't use full screen mode. (I've got 4 monitors.) I assume that's what others do. Though there are some niceties to the dedicated mode, I figure that it's mostly important for my laptop (where I do use it, along with Spaces).

If you go full screen, the app in full screen mode gets to use all your monitors. It gains control over every last pixel available to you. The other monitors are not unavailable, they are greyed out because the app you are using doesn’t take advantage of them. It could if it wanted to.

That’s the decision Apple took. It makes sense† but it’s also utterly stupid. For some reason they stick to it. I don’t think it’s a big deal. Fullscreen apps suck anyway and there is no reason whatsoever to use them on a big screen, much less when you have more than one screen available to you. They might make sense on the 11" Air but certainly on no other computer or screen Apple sells.

Just use apps like you always did (before Apple introduced their stupid fullscreen mode) and they will work fine. Like before, like nothing changed. I have the sneaking suspicion that only maximize-crazy Windows converts run into this problem. On the Mac you don’t maximize. Apple only implemented fullscreen mode the really stupid way to make that abundantly clear to everyone.

† More than Apple just disabling other monitors, anyway.

How does DVD Player going full screen "not make sense" ? Don't you want movies full screen ?

And if you have other monitors, you want them to be useless while, say, Quicktime is full-screened ?

I have triple 30s on one side of the room, and a 60" on the other side of the room. With snow leopard (and presumably, any other OS) I can watch a DVD or other video output full-screen while other output continues to display on the three other screens.

Also, what about full-screening a guest OS in vmware on one monitor, while you do other productive work in your other physical monitors ? That must be a very common use case, right ? As in, all day every day for most vmware users ?

I'm not going to waste time talking about the "maximize" issue - even if I conceded every point of the maximize issue, there's still a problem with an inability to go full screen in one physical screen while working in another...

Why so angry? I totally agree with you. In all cases where Apple ported an already existing fullscreen mode to their new solution they fall flat on their face. It’s an awful experience if you have more than one screen. So that’s QuickTime and the DVD Player. Not a big deal.

Third party developers should just not use Apple’s stupid mode. Problem solved. (Though I don’t understand everyone’s sudden fullscreen love. It’s just goofy on a big screen expect for a select few use cases. Don’t use it. That has always been the Mac OS philosophy.)

Overall I don’t think it’s a big issue. A small minority of Mac users is affected by this problem in a tiny number of use cases. It sucks for them – but no need to whine for hours on end. That’s just annoying for the rest of us :-)

It seems like every single discussion about OS X is dominated by this stupid topic. It’s boring. Yeah, it sucks. Everyone knows it. Apple made a stupid decision. Can we talk about something more interesting now?

And there goes my spare time... Every OS X release I'm more eager for Siracusa's review than the actual disk (or now download) itself :-)

So glad I waited and am having a late lunch today.

Some info from Siracusa about the different ways to read the review: http://siracusa.tumblr.com/post/27978338524/about-my-mountai...

Sounds like if you buy the Kindle version when it comes out ($5), he'll get a direct cut, which is nice.

On twitter, he actually points to the Arstechnica subscription (5$) which will give you the review in pdf/epub/mobi

At least he seems to be fine either way.

"Once the OS has been out for a while, try asking a Mac-using friend who is not obsessively reading multi-thousand-word operating system reviews on the Internet if he has noticed anything different about scrolling in Mountain Lion."


Epic review as usual from John Siracusa. Dan Benjamin volunteered to do a reading of this for release in audio format, but I think John Siracusa ruled it out. Understandable as I think too many problems to overcome (images, footnotes, licensing etc), so just a dream really. Would happily have paid for that though. Hope they can sort out the Kindle release, definitely going to purchase that.

> Hope they can sort out the Kindle release, definitely going to purchase that.

Whatever for? It's interesting, I'll give you that, but why don't you just spend $20 on the OS itself?

Marco made a review of John Siracusa review ;) http://www.marco.org/2012/07/25/siracusa-mountain-lion-revie...

I find it fascinating that he "wrote" this piece using Dragon Dictate, a dictation program.

He has RSI.

The new iCloud support is interesting. I just edited the same iCloud document in TextEdit on two different machines, and I gotta say that is really damn cool.

On the other hand, this new iCloud support sadly highlights another unrelated new feature in Lion, and not in a good way: Automatic Termination.

You must use TextEdit to browse your iCloud documents, which is fine, but TextEdit keeps fucking disappearing on you because it has no open documents. Command+Tab away for a split second and it's gone, forcefully removed from your Dock and Command+Tab list.

Automatic Termination is a feature that is meant to serve only the most novice of Windows users who are coming to OS X for the first, while it breaks an existing feature of the OS that has been fundamental to Mac OS X and NeXTSTEP for the last 23+ years. And it's not even an option.

It is hugely frustrating and hugely disappointing.

I can't recall ever experiencing auto termination on Lion or Mountain Lion throughout the DP previews. My hardware is nothing fancy -- 2011 MBA /w 4GB of RAM. What are your specs? Do you often have memory hungry applications open? Most of mine are pretty modest. I'm just curious what would cause such different results. Auto termination should definitely be the last resort and most low memory footprint apps should be totally excluded.

Unfortunately, there two different and unrelated features called "Auto Termination", which only muddies the water.

One feature aims to preserve system resources during low memory conditions in way that's completely invisible to the user.

The other forcefully removes running applications from the Dock and Command-Tab list even though these apps remain running in the background.

My frustration is with the latter feature.

To be clear though - Auto Termination of the latter form only occurs if no windows are active. It's basically saying, "If the user no longer has any active documents, and has moved this application to the background, then close it down."

Siracusa does a good job describing his annoyance with this feature - and points out that while appropriate for IOS, which has the MRU task switcher, it doesn't work very well on OS X which lacks that metaphor.

Yes, that's how it's supposed to work. But there are a bunch of edge cases usability-wise that it fails to handle. It is incredibly thoughtless to automatically quit an app the split second the user switches away from it, particularly if that user explicitly launched the app and has been using it for the last hour.

It has always been perfectly acceptable to close all of your windows and then hit Command+N or Command+O to open a new document. And that's even more important now that you must use Command+O to browse your iCloud documents. But if something happens in between those steps, say an email comes in or you need to look something up, then it breaks in a really bad way.

It also has nothing to do with iOS. iOS never tries to guess that you've finished working with an app, never prevents you from switching to an app, never removes an app icon from Springboard or task switcher. Indeed, this form of Auto Termination is the exact opposite of how iOS operates.

It also has nothing to do with conserving resources. These "terminated" apps remain running the background, consuming memory. The OS simply prevents you from switching back to an app that you were previous using.

It is strictly a Windows UI feature, and a very unwelcome one.

Automatic termination can be disabled by a low-level preference:

    defaults write NSGlobalDomain NSDisableAutomaticTermination -bool true
It is one of the settings documented here: http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=4306573

Definition of a review, by ArsTechnica : http://imgur.com/RdohV

http://www.anandtech.com/ also has some pretty awesome reviews (for hardware).

Agreed, it's a reference, but I don't recall 20+ pages reviews. (Both had very well executed website redesigns too)

GeForce GTX 680: 20 pages http://www.anandtech.com/show/5699/nvidia-geforce-gtx-680-re...

Ivy Bridge: 21 pages http://www.anandtech.com/show/5771/the-intel-ivy-bridge-core...

I'm sure there are others.

The SSD series were not technically review but went well beyond 20 e.g. http://www.anandtech.com/show/2829/ is 27 pages.

You're right. It probably felt shorter because of the game testing parts.

Yeah, not all pages on anandtech reviews clock in at a thousand words, usually, and the number of graphs (especially for GPU reviews) make flying through much faster, almost slideshow-like in some cases.

The GTX 680 review clocks in at about 15k words, fwiw.

While they aren't usually quite this long, Ars Technica is known for its excellent reviews and feature stories.

Excellence indeed. I re-read some of Jon Stokes (http://arstechnica.com/author/hannibal/) reviews, low-level architecture (ppc970, ps2,..) ones especially.

edit: http://archive.arstechnica.com/cpu/03q1/ppc970/ppc970-0.html with the glorious old design


Neither do I.. truth lies in between I guess. Rare are articles that long, which I value, but it can be a bit "overwhelming" at first.

Am I missing an obvious single page link, or do they really want you to pay not to have to click through 25 pages?

> or do they really want you to pay not to have to click through 25 pages?

You can get Ars Premier, buy the ebook or use some sort of stitching reader.

Not that I have a problem clicking through 25 pages when each page holds 1000 words and is a self-contained section or a pair of sections. Siracusa pays close attention to pagination in order to pace the article, in my experience of his reviews the page breaks are actually welcome as they give natural "yield" points for doing something else before coming back

edit: in fact, Siracusa notes (on his blog):

> I actually like [pagination] for very long articles because it helps me keep my place across multiple reading sessions. I can remember I was on page 8 instead of remembering my exact position in a very long scrolling web page.

> [...]

> Some people think Ars Technica forces me to break my article up into many tiny pages. That’s not the case. I choose how to paginate the article. I like to break it up by topic, if possible, which means that the “pages” vary widely in length. This year, Ars Technica actually asked me to merge several pages together to reduce the total number of pages (and I did).

So not only did he decide the pagination based on his desires regardless of advertisement money, ars actually asked him to paginate less.

Apparently someone needs to do a 25-page review of the W3C HTML spec and link to the section on the Anchor tag for him.

You mean the thing he used in his table of contents and in every fucking section title of his review?

You should avoid blaming him for your own misreadings.

"I actually like [pagination] for very long articles because it helps me keep my place across multiple reading sessions. I can remember I was on page 8 instead of remembering my exact position in a very long scrolling web page."

Tell me why 'I can remember I was reading the section "A Cloud In Three Parts"' doesn't work?

There is a reason that sites that actually understand the medium put a mouseover on Section Titles and anchors so that the link is discoverable. If you don't put a link anchor next to it's respective title you really have no option but to think "Gee, pages are better."

The same reason it's easier to remember that something in a book was 3 pages ago rather than 14 paragraphs... or even sections. It's cognitively useful to have a physical measure for distance rather than a more abstract one; clicking a link on the web is (metaphorically) understood as a physical act of moving. Scrolling is physical, too, but it's more fluid while paging is sort of "integral".

Give it another ten years and the concept of knowing you were on page 5 will be the same as knowing you were listening to the b-side of a vinyl record. It'll be nice for nostalgia, but will cease to be a reference point.

That might be the case but it's irrelevant to the point I was making, that physical metaphors are cognitively useful to provide an alternative structure/index to experiences/information. Your example is a good one because we have lost this particular physical metaphor in the move towards CDs and more so regarding MP3s. But the web has its own set of metaphors, and web browsing as a journey is a pretty powerful and entrenched one.

His point about long scrolling web pages isn't actually valid. The way to do it is to have a table of contents, and fragment identifiers for each section.

> His point about long scrolling web pages isn't actually valid.

His point is perfectly valid, it's about mnemonics.

> The way to do it is to have a table of contents, and fragment identifiers for each section.

Considering his reviews have both table of contents and fragment identifiers, I'm going to go ahead and assert he knows about those.

That does not help remember where you are in the article.

I can remember I'm on section 13 just as easily as I can remember that i'm on page 13.

Good on ya mate, I'm sure you're really proud of yourself. How does that pertain to Siracusa remembering pages better?

How is remembering "I was on page 8" easier than "I was on section 8?"

Your browser history doesn't update itself when you scroll to a new section in a long page.

I would expect Siracusa to have read books in the past. Possibly more than a handful. Books tend to be indexed by page, teaching readers to remember their position through pages when not using book marks for whatever reason (or when said book mark falls out)

This would lead Siracusa to have an easier time remembering his position through page number due to his personal experience. Note how that's exactly how he worded it, that he preferred page breaks because he can remember it better? At which point "MatthewPhillips" asserted Siracusa was plainly and simply wrong?

What does help you remember where you are is putting a "link to this section" anchor or something similar next to each logical section. Many sites implement this with a mouseover.

FWIW, Siracusa works very hard on the pagination of these so it makes sense and provides a better experience than the un-paginated version, it's not just auto-split page view inflation on which your knee-jerk reaction has been conditioned.

Jesus. I dont know how many words are in the OP but I'm sure it's an astonishing number. And all made available for free. Are you really zipping through the piece that fast that a five second intermission is too much to tolerate for a free massive article?

Yeah, it's one thing to arbitrarily break up an article to get page views. It's another thing to break up a huge long page to make it more accessible.

> Jesus. I dont know how many words are in the OP

About 25000

edit: more precisely, from Siracusa's blog: 25935 words, 167 images, 206 external links

I agree that Ars deserves the page views, but if you really want a single page, use Readability:


Pictures seem to be stripped out, though.

I saved it in Instapaper, and read it there. It grabbed all 25 pages.

Pocket worked well for me too.

AutoPager (https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/mmgagnmbebdebebbcl...) for Chrome enables you to just scroll through the entire page, works great for me at least.

Why yes, you are missing an obvious single page link. It's the big blue button in the Safari URL bar, labeled "Reader". :-)

Indeed and if you click the printer icon you can save it as a pdf

There is no single page link for non-subscribers.

They often sell PDFs and ebooks for their major articles.

I find it sad that the state of content is such that we consider PDFs to be the premium content.

Any version without ads is the premium version. Often the first thing I look for in an article is the "print" link, even though I have no intention of ever printing it - for some reason sites make the print version nicer to read.

Yes, they do. Do you have a problem with that? Why?

Besides, the page breaks are not arbitrary (like on so many other websites), they actually make sense. They are basically chapters. I do not think there is anything wrong with those kinds of page breaks. (Though your personal preference may be different and if it is you are free to pay, suffer through the page breaks or not read the review. It's up to you.)

My biggest pet peeve with 10.7 (besides the loss of arrows on my scroll bars) is the dumbing down of the Network control panel. In 10.7 you couldn't configure your WiFi to connect to 802.1x networks (i.e. WPA Enterprise.) You had to download the iPhone configuration utility, build a config file, then import it. 10.6 would let you set the configuration in the network control panel. Even iOS doesn't require ICU to connect. I didn't see anything about it in the review so I assume 10.8 is still set up the screwy 10.7 way.

Siracusa really does an outstanding job with these reviews.

Is it just me, or did anyone else notice an increase in graphics performance? I did not measure, but it should be significant, as I am noticing it in normal usage.

I'll hook it up to an external monitor later to try and stress it a little bit more.

I have a Late 2009 Macbook White, with 8GB and an SSD.

I just want to know if it will be easier or harder to compile ruby and python libraries with native extensions that depend on, say, libxml2.

I upgraded to Lion and it took 8 hours off of the installation process for lxml. But nokogiri was still nearly impossible.

> I upgraded to Lion and it took 8 hours off of the installation process for lxml.

Am I misreading this? It took 8 hours to compile libxml2, libxslt and lxml?

Surely that's not possible and I missed something, I just tried making a full static build (to ensure I'd have to build libiconv, libxml2 and libxslt as well) from the current HEAD, on 10.6, using the stock gcc 4.2 on a 2.4GHz 2010 MBP and it took 3:48 total including downloading the tarballs for libiconv, libxml2 and libxslt and cythoning lxml.

Could you elaborate on your issue? I've not run into this and am interested.

If you need to properly prepare for this review checkout this video: http://patdryburgh.com/blog/preparing-for-john-siracusas-rev...

For me, the update to the messages beta app alone was worth it: iMessage on the Mac is so useful to keep in touch with friends, and the beta app was buggy as

The review doesn't say how long it takes to install once downloaded. Is this a lunch break install or a "wait-till-evening" installation?

I did it during my lunch break ;) "Preparing to install" took 10 minutes (you can still use the system during this time) and the install itself took ~30 minutes on a 2011 MBA. Rebooted right to the desktop with no fuss.

Perfect! Did you have any services like postgresql or redis or anything that needed to be reinstalled?

/EDIT I just rebooted and my services were still present with no change. They had been installed with homebrew.

What's with his obsession with iOS? He makes it sound like iOS is the quintessential operating system.

It's not his obsession with iOS at all, it's Apple's obsession with iOS leading to that being by far the most logical explanation for why something has changed in OS X if the answer isn't immediately obvious. Last time I checked the only iOS device Siracusa owns personally is a 2nd generation iPod touch.

Why does a button now look like that, or a feature now work that way, why is that app renamed or that texture changed? The answer is usually "because that's how it works in iOS". You're making a mistake in assuming that because he's trying to explain Apple's motivation behind it that he agrees with it.

As for why Apple is obsessed with iOS, it's probably because it has made them tens of billions of dollars, has vast and focused mindshare, and it's wildly popular. iOS makes tons of hard decisions in the name of making a device that users can pick up and run with.

Our opinions on it (you, me, and Siracusa's) are basically irrelevant. The key is Apple thinks iOS is the quintessential operating system and it has the sales to back it up. That's why ML is the way it is. Acknowledging that when trying to write a review about it is important.

Why is it when you enable dictation it needs to send your contacts to Apple?

I'm assuming this is so that if you speak the name of one of your contacts, it understands the word. Names can be weird, especially last names, so they're bound not to be in the standard list of words that can be used. This way you can name your contacts when dictating without the system freaking out.


The quickest/easiest way is to subscribe: http://arstechnica.com/subscriptions/

You can pay $5 for a month and then cancel it. For the amount of work Siracusa puts into this thing, it's worth it.

Yeah, i just saw the link on the side to buy it for my Kindle (which is what I wanted anyway), so I deleted the comment.

Apparently decades on the internet have made me immune to advertising, even for things I want. :)

Isn't there a TL;DR;TL;DR;TL;DR^25 somewhere?

Here you go: "Better"

Don't you mean "one step away from a walled garden"?

No, else that's what I'd have typed.

The walled garden thing is interesting. I (and a couple of other people I know) instantly reacted to Gatekeeper with "fantastic, I can lock down my Dad's machine and keep him out of trouble".

One step towards a walled garden doesn't place you inside a walled garden and in it's current form Gatekeeper is a good thing. Disabling it was the first thing I did when I installed Mountain Lion and it took about 15 seconds (including me not knowing where the option was). In this version of OS X I honestly think it's a non-issue.

The big question is whether this is the first step on a journey into the walled garden or just an individual step that happens to be in that direction.

Personally my feeling is that they won't ever take that final step. I think they get that OS X isn't iOS and that you can't apply the same standards for any number of reasons, both practical and political. Taking something away from people (which is what this would be) is a whole different thing to never having given it to them in the first place (which is what has happened with iOS).

But for now no-one knows. As I say, for now I don't see it as any issue with 10.8. Whether there is an issue with 10.9 or 10.10 or whatever, time will tell.

> But I walked my dog briefly in the middle.

Don't take the article too seriously. If you did, you probably missed the point.

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