Another reason we can't wait for Snow Leopard

Ah, a clean install of Mac OS 10.4. Loverly. Think I’ll just download the latest nightly Minefield build and… MOTHER OF GOD!

This is one thing I simply cannot stand about OS X: the sheer size of almost every single application. If something is available for XP and OS X, it is almost guaranteed to be at least twice as big on the latter. VLC? 15MB on XP, 30MB on OS X. Dropbox? Same thing. And third-party apps aren’t the only ones: iTunes is infamously gigantic to download, along with every system update being apparently a complete reinstall — 80MB for a Java update? Give me a break! I have to stick to micro-sized free and open source apps just to avoid going over my bandwidth cap.

One of the big promises of Snow Leopard is that it will unify architectures (the universal binary is a start, but they’re going to nail it down further) and remove demonstrably unnecessary components to keep applications small in both download and install size. Hot damn will that be a relief.

And as long as we’re talking about Snow Leopard, it seems that the OpenCL spec, finalized in a hurry and presented to the partner companies, has been approved and released to the wild. Good times! Another reason Snow Leopard will be actually worth purchasing.

Update: Commenter MBob notes that the above filesize is due to a glitch on Mozilla’s side. I’m keeping the screenshot, though — it may be misleading, but it’s evocative!