The Cycle of Life – Thoughts on Snow Leopard

Posted on by Larry

First, Apple releases the hardware. For instance, until the iPhone was released, the best App in the world had no where to go.

Next, Apple releases the operating system to support the hardware. Sometimes, in the case of the iPhone, the operating system and the hardware are released at the same time. In other cases, such as Snow Leopard, the operating system is released separately.

Finally, with hardware and OS released and available, developers – both inside and outside of Apple – can begin the process of testing, updating, or creating great new software. But only AFTER the release. The definition of beta software is software that continues to change. By analogy, you can’t build a house on a foundation that keeps shifting. The same holds true with software.

Apple needs to release Snow Leopard. Its under-the-hood enhancements promise a wealth of opportunities for developers to build on for years to come. And that’s the key market, initially, for an OS – developers. The rest of us should wait a bit.

As editors, we rely on our gear and software to work reliably to enable us to meet our deadlines. At this moment in time, we don’t know what software works and what doesn’t work with the new operating system. Every third-party developer is scrambling to test their products for compatibility, make necessary updates, and release, if needed, a new version.

It won’t hurt anyone to hold off upgrading for a while. Apple will survive as a company. Developers will have time to update their products. And we will continue to meet our deadlines using our existing software without worry.

Snow Leopard will be great. I’m looking forward to running it on my key editing systems. But not now. Not until a few months have passed and all the kinks are worked out of the system and third-party developers have all their plug-ins, drivers, interfaces, and hardware tested, updated, and working.

So take a deep breath. Force yourself not to install the update in the middle of a project. Wait. Because I’m really not looking forward to answering the email on Saturday that starts “I just updated to Snow Leopard and now I can’t open my project. What should I do?”

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