A Not-so-deeper Look at OS X 10.5.8

Most of the time when Apple releases an OS update--like Wednesday's Mac OS X 10.5.8 release--I'll usually spend that evening examining the update package, trying to find information on what's included in the update that wasn't specifically covered by Apple and its release notes. It's become something of a tradition here at Macworld North--I've written detailed looks at 10.5.3, 10.5.4, 10.5.5, 10.5.6, and 10.5.7.

But no more, it seems--at least not for this update. Apple's own notes do a good job at covering the big details of the items it updated this time out. I did take my usual dive inside the update package's files to see what else might be hiding there. While there is a large list of files that have been updated, the majority of those changes seem to be minor, such as updates to language files.

I did manage to find a couple things that Apple didn't mention that I think are worth sharing:

  • The background of the Sharing tab in Address Book's preferences now has striped rows for easier reading. This is big. Huge news. Just remember you read this earth-shattering scoop here first!
  • The iDisk icon is now blue, instead of purple. I wasn't too keen on purple, so this is a welcomed change.
  • The following Dashboard Widgets were updated: Dictionary, iCal, Movies, Stickies, Stocks, Unit Converter, and Web Clip. I have no idea what's changed, if anything--consider this a challenge!
  • There's an updated version of the Apache (web sharing) manual in /Library/WebServer/share/httpd/manual.
  • The Ruby and Python frameworks were updated, for those of you who work with those languages.

There's also the usual assortment of updated frameworks, changes to time zone files, and minor updates to many Unix programs and/or their help pages. A long list of system extensions are also updated, but trying to figure out what's changed in those would be basically impossible.

Overall, I think Apple struck a good balance between providing too much information and not enough information about the 10.5.8 update; most consumers won't care about the things Apple didn't list, and those who do care probably have the tools to investigate the changes themselves.

I've installed the update on three Macs now, and all three are up and running just fine. If you've noticed any new behaviors, options, or (I hope not) bugs in OS X 10.5.8, please feel free to share in the comments.

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