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Mac OS Tempo (pre-release)

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The Mac OS code named "Tempo" was originally numbered as 7.7 and included the visual elements of the cancelled Apple Copland project, but later became Mac OS 8.0 in part for legal reasons involving Macintosh clone vendor licenses.

Tempo will provide a beautiful, more responsive user interface that will make Mac OS users the envy of their PC friends. Building upon Apple's legendary ease of use, Tempo dramatically improves ease of everything - for computer novices who want to connect to the Internet for the first time, or power users who want to quickly browse through thousands of files.

Among its list of new features, Tempo includes a multi-tasking, PowerPC-native Finder, so users can launch applications while copying files in the background. Tempo's Finder will also include folders that can automatically open and windows that pop-up from the bottom of the screen to help everyone get more organized. All the best Internet services will be integrated so customers can connect, browse and share information around the world, all with the industry's best ease of use.


Release Notes for Tempo a2

General Disclaimer

This software is prerelease and is subject to change. This early release is designed to give you an idea of what's coming within the next few months; some APIs may change. Two examples of this that we know of follow.

Special Notes on Modifier Keys in Menus

If you attempt to use extended modifier keys in menus, for example the option or shift keys, the glyphs will not be displayed correctly although they will work correctly.

Special Notes on Changes to Dialogs and Alerts

This release uses a different mechanism for implementing Appearance-savvy alerts and dialogs than future versions will use. The documentation accompanying this release of Appearance has the documentation on the future mechanism, and should be understood for future expectations, but mostly ignored if you want to start playing with this stuff now.

The version of Appearance released with this seed of Tempo uses two new resource types for dialogs and alerts: 'dlog' and 'alrt'. They were designed to replace the old DLOG and ALRT types, while adding extended information necessary for Appearance features to be implemented. The formats for these resources are in the Appearance.r file, which is included with this seed. You can leave your existing 'DLOG' and 'ALRT' resources intact and add the new resources to start seeing how Appearance works - you don't have to remove or modify the 'DLOG' and 'ALRT' resources you already have. The Dialog Manager will see the new 'dlog' or 'alrt' resource and use that one instead of the 'DLOG' or 'ALRT' resource.

The 'dlog' and 'alrt' resources contain flags which tell the Dialog Manager how to treat dialogs: should it get a theme background, do we want embedding turned on (explained in the documentation), etc. These flags are actually described in the documentation and will continue to work in the future.

The next release of Tempo will implement a slightly different approach to dialogs and alerts. This change was made for compatibility reasons. The 'DLOG' and 'ALRT' resources still stay put, but there are two new resources ('dlgx' and 'alrx') which contain the extended information from the 'dlog' and 'alrt' resources. The 'dlog' and 'alrt' resources will become obsolete after Tempo a2.

Special Notes on StandardAlert

The Appearance extension implements a new routine to make creating alerts easier, while guaranteeing that they'll meet the Human Interface Guidelines: StandardAlert. This routine allows you to programmatically create an alert with up to three push buttons, plus a help button. You'll get the whole scoop from the documentation. The help button portion of the API is in the process of changing, so we wanted to make you aware of that. Currently it only supports one method of bringing up help. We want to make it more flexible, so we are currently evaluating how to improve it.

General Caveats

Here are a few general caveats while using the system:

  • Some third-party extensions changing the appearance of the system may not function properly
  • Utility programs modifying the behavior of the Finder may not work properly
  • Some publishing applications may be incompatible with the Truth system font
  • Some screen savers may not function properly

Some Known Problems

Here is a list of some of the known problems in Tempo a2. The number refers to a bug report in Apple's internal bug tracking database.

1316466	Cannot boot the machine without extensions.
1626594	Size for files and folders not always displayed in Finder's list view
1327674	Attempt to spring item on remotely disconnected server causes crash
1602530	Duplicating large file in low memory situation causes crash
1622090	No more than one OpenDoc document will open at once
1616156	Disconnecting a user while copying causes a forced restart
1630381	Crash on startup on 68k if Users & Groups Data File not in Prefs folder
1628162	Users & Groups crashes when opening many users at once
1630726	Can not print to Desktop Printers that have been made Launcher items
1369984	Impossible to stop rebuilding the desktop
1605909	Desktop: View as Small Icons, Large or small buttons not persistent on restart
1612514	Memory usage in About This Computer window not always accurate
1614882	Springing open the System file causes crash
1621775	Trash can jumps to top left corner on reboot after clean install
1621778	Opening text clipping on desktop causes hang
1626723	Windowshaded windows do not auto-unshade with springloaded Finder
1630357	Crash at startup when keep arranged is on for the desktop
1630821	Can't use the tab key to move between fields in the Get Info window
1630212	Date Created column header button/label not drawn
1626787	Disclosure triangles don't print
1601387	Text Control Panel v.7.1 is missing both pop-up menus
1615949	Network activity icon on top left corner of desktop appears as colon, not arrows
1614897	Cannot use mute button in Alerts in the Monitors & Sound Control Panel
1625259	Auto Shutdown alert being displayed over a different alert causes hang
1626084	Scroll bar freezes in Desktop Pictures after using windowshade button
1373887	Balloon help misidentifies the Windowshade collapse button as an inactive window
1375756	Balloon help describes all of windows' borders as their "title bar"
1603897	All Finder Balloon Help with tag [IP] need final wording

Tempo a2 Developer Seed Release Notes

Tempo a2 Fundamentals

Tempo a2 is the second alpha build. There are two future build stages: beta and final candidate. Apple will provide details of the build plans for these stages with later seeds.

Tempo Fundamentals

Tempo, scheduled for July 1997, is next in a series of regular Mac OS releases. Tempo will support all 68040 and PowerPC based Mac OS compatible computers.

IMPORTANT: It is still possible there are significant bugs in this build of Tempo. DO NOT risk critical data by exposing it to this build of Tempo. DO NOT install this build of Tempo on a machine which is critical to your business.

A Note on Component Versions

Some of the components in Tempo may be earlier versions than those shipping at the time of Tempo's release. This is because of the extensive, time-consuming integration quality assurance that is required to achieve the quality goals for such a large project. Integrating later versions of components after alpha would impact testing and compromise the quality of the Tempo release. In Apple's OS release strategy, the latest version possible of any given component will integrate into the next OS release, but those components will continue to improve and be distributed as appropriate in parallel to the OS releases.


In addition to a single multi-megabyte archive file, Tempo is also available in roughly megabyte-sized archive segments to ease downloading. Distribution of the seed is conducted via the Developer Seeding CD as well as two dedicated authenticated FTP servers in Cupertino, California, USA. These servers will be used to seed core system software releases only. Connectivity is provided by Apple's primary corporate internet feed.

Printing and Graphics Architecture Update

Prompted by our new dual OS strategy -- Mac OS 7.x and Rhapsody -- Apple has re-evaluated the graphics and printing architectures of Mac OS 7.x. Beginning with Tempo, Apple will be simplifying the user experience of printing by unifying the architecture and standardizing on the classic Printing Manager. The new implementation of QuickDraw GX will continue to offer our developers the advantages of superior graphic and typography features for Mac OS. For details, please find a document "Print/Grfx Architecture Update" enclosed in the seed archive which accompanies this message.


As required for Mac OS 7.6, MacsBug 6.5.4 is required for Tempo. You can obtain this version of MacsBug from one of our public FTP servers.

Improvements and Other Major Changes

A report of versions of all components will be enclosed in the seed archive. Hereafter we will attempt to provide under this heading a list of new versions of existing components. New or significantly improved components include:

  • Appearance Manager (Color and WindowShade control panels retired)
  • CFM-68K
  • Collection Manager
  • Color Picker panels
  • Connect to... Apple Menu Item and scripting addition
  • Contextual Menu Manager
  • Desktop Pictures (Desktop Patterns retired)
  • File Sharing control panels unified with improved interface
  • Finder 8 (Labels and Views control panels retired), (Clipping Extension and PC Card Extension retired)
  • Find File extension removed
  • FireWire (high-speed serial) support
  • InfoCenter
  • Install Mac OS
  • Internet access unified
  • Location Manager
  • Mac OS Setup Assistant
  • Mac OS Runtime for Java
  • MacLinkPlus 9
  • Open URL scripting addition
  • Personal Web Sharing
  • Software MPEG
  • Text Encoding Converters

Note that some of these new components are accessible only programatically. We are producing Inside Mac style documentation for these components, and this documentation will be made available as soon as possible. Draft documents will appear in the seed archive as they become available.

Known Problems

DO NOT boot with extensions off. DO NOT boot with the shift key held down. Tempo still cannot be booted with extensions off.

Important Information dialog still refers to "Installing Mac OS 7.6".

If the Finder is run entirely out of memory (not necessarily the same as a largest unused block of zero K), it will attempt to close windows to gain back memory. If this fails to help, the Macintosh will be restarted WITHOUT QUITING APPLICATIONS. Note this is just a temporary measure until the real low memory handling is finished (hopefully the next build).

Finder's Print Window: disclosure triangles in list view do not print yet.

Switching the font or font size in the Finder Preferences window to very large sizes causes some visual anomalies in the header region of windows

Due to the changes in the Mac OS graphics and printing strategy, the version of QuickDraw GX that is included with this Tempo seed is not the same version that will be included in the final product. Please do not focus testing efforts on this component at this time.

Install Mac OS does not recognize the 9150/80, but the system software install does; the user can open the software installer folder and launch the system software installer from there.

See Also