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Pouncing on Snow Leopard

I’d like to welcome guest blogger Ken Atwell from the MATLAB Technical Marketing team this week to talk about running MATLAB on the newly released Snow Leopard.

If you are a Mac user, you’re probably as excited about the recent release of OS X 10.6 (“Snow Leopard”) as we are. We’ve been testing MATLAB with developer seeds of Snow Leopard for some time and we’re happy that everyone will now get to use it. You can expect our formal system requirements to be updated in the next several days.

We’re especially happy that Snow Leopard is being introduced at (almost) the same time as our R2009b release, which includes a shiny new native 64-bit version of MATLAB on the Mac. This will be a boon to anyone working with large data sets in MATLAB. On the user interface side, you can expect to see new features that Mac users will find especially agreeable – stay tuned to this blog over the next several weeks as we talk about the new UI features in R2009b. We also busily continue to remove the last vestiges of X11 from MATLAB. While it will take a couple more releases to completely expunge it, MATLAB is, for the most part, now free of its X11 heritage.

For those migrating to Snow Leopard, you can expect to see the resolution of a couple of irritating UI quirks:

  1. MATLAB correctly interacts with OS X’s Spaces feature (previously, application focus had never been set correctly).
  2. Application switching with the keyboard (Command-Tab and Shift-Command-Tab) also sets focus correctly.
  3. Figures have improved graphics performance.

Finally, we also have a few small things to look out for if you’re adopting Snow Leopard. We are working with Apple on all of these issues:

  1. There is a problem in R2007a and R2007b where the Command History window will not be displayed. While this may be addressed in a future OS X update, if you are still on these older MATLAB releases, we strongly encourage you to upgrade… MATLAB has come a long way on the Mac in the last two years.
  2. Data tips (the yellow pop-ups you see when you hover the mouse over a variable in the Editor) may show stale values.
  3. We have noticed that buttons at the bottom of some dialog boxes are clipped by a few pixels (see screenshot below). This is a cosmetic defect only.

  4. We expect these issues to be resolved very soon in an Apple software update.

    We look forward to hearing about your MATLAB experiences on Snow Leopard. Will you be upgrading to Snow Leopard in the near future? Do you plan on adopting 64-bit MATLAB?

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