Apple has historically used Samba, an open-source implementation of the SMB file sharing protocol, to share files with Windows machines. First included in OS X 10.2, Samba also enabled Macs to both join and host Windows-compatible directory servers, increasing the then-fledgling OS’s viability in a business setting. However, the Samba team recently began licensing the software under the GPL3 license, which prohibits its inclusion in retail products, and rather than lose these key interoperability features, Apple chose to develop its own in-house implementation for Lion. What does that mean for you, the user?

Well, for starters, Lion’s new SMB implementation is SMB 2.0 only - this is a Microsoft-developed improvement of the specification that was introduced in Windows Vista and continued in Windows 7. This has one major ramifications for Lion users, and I suspect it will only impact a fraction of a fraction of them: Lion computers can no longer be joined to NT Domain Controller directories. These directories are quite old at this point - their successor, Active Directory, came with Windows Server 2000 in 1999, and has become much more robust with each Windows Server release since - but if, for some reason, you or your business uses new or newish Macs on an ancient domain, Lion’s going to break things for you (Lion does, however, remain compatible with Active Directory).

You never want to see an OS lose features, but I can’t say I blame Apple much for making this call, and it’s not a secret that Apple has historically been much less interested in backward compatibility than Microsoft. For people who absolutely need for OS X to have this functionality, Samba is definitely still around, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see someone begin maintaining an OS X-friendly fork of the software. Just know Lion won’t do it out of the box anymore.

SMB’s main use in OS X is for file sharing with Windows users, though, and I can say that file sharing with users of both Windows XP and Windows 7 (and, by extension, Windows Vista, for what it’s worth) works just fine once you set it up in System Preferences. I was able to copy files to and from a basic share I made without issue.

Anecdotally, I can also say that connecting to and browsing through an SMB share with many files and folders feels faster than Snow Leopard does on the same system connected to the same share. In Snow Leopard, I’d often have to wait for folders with a lot of data in them to populate - in Lion, things are more or less instantaneous. SMB2 was optimized to improve speed over high-latency connections, and I’m sure that accounts for at least some of the increased snappiness.

Farewell, Core Duo: 64-bit in Lion Performance: Similar to Snow Leopard
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  • rs2 - Wednesday, July 20, 2011 - link

    Okay, it makes sense on a touch device where your finger is actually making contact with the thing you are scrolling. But a mouse cursor is *not* a finger. It is not an analog for a finger. It is a different input paradigm entirely, and trying to make it behave as if the mouse cursor is your finger by making scrolling go backwards is stupid.

    It's good that they put in an option to disable the nonsense that is "natural" scrolling.
    Reply
  • name99 - Thursday, July 21, 2011 - link

    Not at all. The issue is simple : what is the metaphor?
    When I move my finger, am I moving
    - the window container? OR
    - the content?

    Claiming that one is more "natural" than the other is as stupid as claiming that English is more natural than Chinese. It's simply that you are used to one and, like a good American, you simply cannot imagine that the world could possibly be different --- after all, Jesus spoke English.
    Reply
  • rs2 - Thursday, July 21, 2011 - link

    Not at all. There is no "finger" when using a mouse. Touch and mouse-driven are distinct input paradigms. If a touch-based interface ever scrolled content in the opposite direction that the user moved their finger, then people would say that it was broken. And rightly so. Moving content in the same direction as the touch is the intuitive operating mode of a touch interface.

    And similarly, moving content in the opposite direction of the scroll (or more accurately, moving the scrollbar in the same direction of the scroll) is the intuitive operating mode for a mouse-driven interface. By your logic scrollbars themselves should also be inverted.

    As a side-note, a direct analog to touch style scrolling does exist in the mouse-driven paradigm, it is the drag operation. It is available in some things like Adobe PDF documents, and also work on any scrollbar. In this operation you choose an anchor-point, and then that anchor point moves in the same direction that you move, and it all makes sense. The problem with scrolling is that it has no anchor point, it is a distinct operation from a drag operation, and by conflating the two Apple has broken their interface. At least until they start incorporating touch into every computer they sell.

    Mouse-driven and touch interfaces are not the same thing, and just because a metaphor makes sense in one does not mean that it also makes sense in the other.
    Reply
  • Uritziel - Friday, July 22, 2011 - link

    Agreed. Reply
  • CharonPDX - Wednesday, July 20, 2011 - link

    On page 23 "Performance: Similar to Snow Leopard", you have a couple bar graphs comparing Snow Leopard to Lion performance. Unfortunately, you use a generic "compared to before as 1.0" metric, with no indication on a per-test basis whether higher or lower is better. In the Core 2 Duo graph, you talk about boot time skyrocketing, and the boot time graph for Lion shows Lion as "about 1.4" of Snow Leopard, yet you also talk about iPhoto having a "greater than 10% increase in performance", where the graph shows "about 1.1" of Snow Leopard. So in one line in the graph, higher is worse, in the other line, higher is better.

    You either need a per-test identifier (Higher is better / Lower is better) or you need to to standardize them all (so 'benchmark' ones would stand as-is, while 'timing' ones would use the inverse, so that both would be 'higher is better', or example.)
    Reply
  • Deaffy - Thursday, July 21, 2011 - link

    Did anyone check to see whether Apple has included a UI element to enable IPv6 privacy extensions for statelest address autoconfiguration?
    And did DHCPv6 to get IPv6 addresses from your ISP's cable via IPv6 finally make it's entry?
    Reply
  • Deaffy - Thursday, July 21, 2011 - link

    Oh yeah, and maybe the ability to query a name server via IPv6? Reply
  • kevith - Thursday, July 21, 2011 - link

    they are more and more returning to the Linux it came from. Who knows, they might even go bact to open source:-) Reply
  • Omid.M - Thursday, July 21, 2011 - link

    Anand/Andrew/Christian,

    If you right click on a YouTube video, does it say the rendering AND decoding is "accelerated" ? I thought Lion was supposed to bring that.

    If this is now the case, it'd be enough reason for me to buy Lion and a new MBP 15". I can't stand the fans on my 2008 MBP 15 going nuts every time I watch a 30 second YouTube clip. The laptop gets unreasonably hot right now.

    @moids

    P.S. I'm not a fan of the way buttons appear on the upper borders of windows. There's no typical button "design" to signify that the text is clickable, at least not from the screen shots I saw in the article.
    Reply
  • Omid.M - Thursday, July 21, 2011 - link

    I guess it's disabled:

    http://www.macrumors.com/2011/07/21/adobe-suggests...
    Reply

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