Why I’m not upgrading to Snow Leopard (yet)
[Update 10/28/09, I’ve upgraded to Snow Leopard and Lyx works fine if, as a commenter suggested, you “get info” then click the “Rosetta” option. I’ve had no other issues with Snow Leopard and can recommend it, even for people who use Lyx a lot].
[Update 12/7/09, The current version of Lyx works fine running as Intel native].
| Gabriel |
Snow Leopard was primarily aimed at cutting out the kruft and both speeding up key apps (e.g., a much faster Finder and Mail client) and providing opportunities for application developers to get even more juice out of it in the future (e.g., Grand Central and OpenCL). I think it’s totally laudable that Apple (and for that matter, Microsoft with Windows 7) is taking a step back from the relentless march of bloatware to emphasize core performance issues and take advantage of new hardware architecture (esp. multicore and big GPUs). Unfortunately this low-level stuff can create some incompatibilities, especially if there is a debate between the OS and app developer over API standards or the app developer just decided to ignore API standards.
The issue that kills it for me is that Lyx is unstable under OS X 10.6. So my choices are to a) give up Lyx and write raw LaTex b) run Lyx in a Ubuntu virtual machine or c) hold off on upgrading to Snow Leopard until Lyx gets patched, which should take a few months because this is low-level stuff and their team doesn’t have many Mac people. (Note that I’m not complaining, the Lyx team is generally very good about providing up-to-date Mac binaries rather than the usual thing of just directing you to the gruesome twosome of Fink+X11). Although it breaks my geeky heart, the obvious answer is “c, stick with 10.5 for now.” I’d consider the virtual machine work-around for something I use once in awhile, but I use Lyx several hours a day and that’s just too much hassle / performance hit to deal with.
Fortunately Stata (10 and 11), TextWrangler, TextMate, Smultron, R, and Crossover are all reported to work perfectly. If you don’t use Lyx (or anything else that’s buggy under 10.6, like SPSS 17), it’s probably a good idea to upgrade as it looks like a great version of the OS. However if it would break your favorite app, just wait it out. This especially makes sense given that all you’re getting right now is fairly small things like a faster Finder, better VPN+Entourage support, and snazzier QuickTime — the really amazing features of 10.6 (OpenCL+GrandCentral) won’t actually do anything until application developers rewrite their code to take advantage of them.