A few things I would have liked to read about in John Siracusa’s Lion review

Yesterday we saw a few things that John Siracusa didn’t mention in his Snow Leopard review but that I think could have been in talked about in there. Today we will do the same with his Lion review.

The same disclaimer applies: John can’t know everything or mention everything, so do not construe anything I say here as being any sort of criticism of his work, much to the contrary in fact.

First, since Lion requires a 64-bit Mac, I was wondering whether built-in executables actually were 64-bit only, as it would cut short any attempt to run this release of Mac OS X on anything older than its baseline requirements (some earlier releases of Mac OS X could be massaged to do so, to an extent). As it turns out, most executables do have a 32-bit slice, with the exception however of the Finder, which therefore prevents Lion from meaningfully running on a 32-bit machine.

Then, the specific system requirements for AirDrop made me wonder what was the deal here, and whether there was any relationship with Wi-Fi Direct. Unfortunately, I do not know much here (besides that there is indeed a relation), so John covering this would have been all the more welcome. Ah well.

The addition of the AVFoundation APIs (originally released on iOS) to Mac OS X raises an important question that I haven’t seen addressed: what about QTKit? Does it turn out not to be the way forward (even though QTKit is pretty recent), or are they meant to integrate, or is QTKit more for a certain class of needs and AVFoundation for others, or something else altogether? I have no idea, and that’s one of the of the first things (admittedly, as an iOS multimedia app developer, I am a bit biased) I wanted to know. Maybe in the next review John will make a return to covering video technologies at length…

Lastly, I’ve been very intrigued by the rise of SSDs (though I don’t use one myself) and the impact on how storage devices are abstracted, and so a word about Lion support for TRIM would have been nice. Apparently Apple is quietly and selectively enabling it for some drives, but this comes from sources which aren’t very authoritative, while on the other hand with John this would have been coming, not from the horse’s mouth, but pretty much the next best thing.