To Panther…

…Or not to Panther? That is the question, at least for me. While it seems that many other bloggers already have the new cat by the tail, I’m undecided. Of course, like any good geek, I want the newest toys. But is it really USD 129.00 worth of new toys?

Mark Pilgrim has published a rather detailed overview of Panther. Reading through the article, I don’t see much I would need on a daily (or even monthly) basis. Not to poo-poo these features, they just don’t really apply to me.

For example, the new Activity Monitor and System Profiler look like tools I’d rarely (if ever) use. The new Disk Utility seems nice, but I doubt I’d need it. The new printing features should have been in a prior OS X release; but I’ve had my Powerbook successfully printing to a shared Samba printer for nearly a year. The multi-user and security features look nice, but I’m the only user of my machine, and I’m really not concerned about my encrypting my files.

There are some new Panther features which do pique my interest, however. The improvements to Finder are much needed. Expose looks like something invented for me… I always have dozens of windows open at once. And a feature Mark didn’t mention, but which Apple has been touting, is threaded-discussion-view in Mail.app (perfect for mailing lists).

I have yet to write a native OS X application, or to even look very hard at Objective C. Nevertheless, this MacDevCenter.com article about the new XCode IDE (ships with, and only available for, Panther) has got me to thinking.

All in all, I think OS X 10.3, “Panther”, will make a fine addition. To my Christmas list.

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