OS design decisions

The Daring Fireball (aka John Gruber) comments on Avie Tevanian‘s Mac OS X design decisions in the recent years in his piece called The Good, The Bad, and the Avie in the light of Tevanian‘s move to a new job at Apple.

He is repeating some critique that has been expressed by other people in the recent months (most notably John Siracusa in his excellent essays on Mac OS X at Ars Technica). There is some truth to it. While Mac OS X has succeeded in many ways by adopting UNIX as its core OS, some features of classic Mac OS were axed without any good replacement (like file IDs instead of fixed path names, file system meta data and so on).

I am also waiting for a new version of Mac OS X that gives an answer to the Metadata question. Now that so many old BeOS engineers are working for Apple I have still hope that Apple might one day come close to what BeOS has shown to us so many years ago: a super-fast GUI with a super-fast metadata driven filesystem. Today, every dual PowerPC G4 running Mac OS X still lags behind the good old BeBox (a dual PowerPC 603 system) in UI snappyness und file find performance. It‘s a shame.

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