Yes, Tiger’s worth it – to developers


MC Brown seemed to ignite the wrath of a number of our readers, but I wish to offer the dissenting opinion: yes, Tiger will be very useful. Maybe it’s not so exciting for your average user, but the potential for the future should make them leap off of the wall in joy, like a kid on Christmas morning. In addition to the new Spotlight and various other APIs that we know are now open, there are some others that were previously undocumented/unavailable, but are now clearly ready for use. And, as I mentioned before, you’ll see that Apple has added some newer, easier to use methods to some of the more common file handling and general use objects in Cocoa. This makes it faster/easier to perform certain tasks now.

Apple has expanded the “bindings” system in Cocoa. As an old-style developer, these seem too much like voodoo to me. Though I read Hillegass’ book (the second edition of Cocoa Programming), I don’t quite understand bindings, so I just keep away from them. In Panther, they were quite limited, so I stuck to the regular routine.

The biggest change I noticed, and one that is really useful – QTKit. Even though it’s available and working well in Panther, the fullest extend of its power can be observed in Tiger. QTKit is the Cocoa cover for the antiquated QuickTime libraries. Sure, you could use NSMovieView to display a QuickTime movie, but QTKit allows you to use QTMovieView instead, whose properties can be picked within Interface Builder. It also has additional features that can be accessed programmatically. Rest assured that these new features, and more, will get developers pumped about making more apps – more than a crazy sweaty monkey jumping around shrieking “Developers! Developers! Developers!” at them.


Chris Holland

People are quick to underestimate/dismiss the benefits of Spotlight. Sure it highly depends on what one does with their computer, and how organized they are. I’ve been lugging files around from a laptop pc to 400Mhz TiBook to this 1.25Ghz AlBook over the last 6+ years, I use the laptop for personal and very varied work uses. I work on many fairly involved projects that require coordination between various departments, meetings, emails. Spotlight has already made my life easier a number of time, helping me track down requirements, notes and meetings, code fragments. Is this something I need and/or use every day? likely not. But when it is needed, it is incredibly handy on a hard drive that has over 600,000 files.

Also, those who have tried the Tiger version of Quicksilver, may have noticed how fast Quicksilver now builds its catalog? It’s virtually instant. I suspect it leverages Spotlight. Try it out, bring Quicksilver to the foreground, hit Cmd-R. blam. done.

I also find the Dashboard widgets incredibly useful. The Yellow Pages widget, and more specifically, its integration with the Address Book, rocks. I’ve got one for where I live, 90254, and another one for where i’m headed during WWDC, San Francisco, CA. Find a local plumber? Whip it up, click the + icon to add it to address book, so iSync can sync it to the sony ericsson t610, the iPod and .Mac.

Dashboard widgets’ ability to tie mini-networked applications to native OS X apps, user preferences and data, in my book, is an absolute golden opportunity to bring a major piece of the usability pie to web applications, give them a usable chance to move beyond the web browser.

As I’m barely scratching its surface, I’m finding Tiger to be very-much insanely cool.

But that’s just me :)


The only error Apple made is trying to market to end users an updated mainly aimed to developers and sysadmins.

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