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Leopard networking problems stymie third-party apps as well as built-in features

Group Logic readies Leopard release, but says Apple will have to fix bugs

Monday, November 5, 2007

By John Rizzo

Bugs in the Mac OS X 10.5.0 client are affecting third-party applications well as Leopard's build-in features, according to cross-platform integration developer Group Logic. Other developers are also finding that their software has problems with Leopard. The issues include file and print sharing, Active Directory integration, and virtual private networks, issues that MacWindows readers have been reporting problems with for the past week. Some developers thought Apple shipped Leopard too soon.

"Despite our bug reports, they didn't finish the AFP client before they shipped it out," said Reid Lewis, President and CEO of Group Logic. "They fixed a lot of them right at the end, but it was too much to finish off in the time frame they had."

Lewis said that Group Logic is readying a Leopard update for ExtremeZ-IP, an AFP file and print server that runs on Windows. But Lewis said that Apple would have to fix the bugs in Leopard in order to restore full functionality. The bugs in the Leopard client affect connections to all AFP file servers, including Mac OS X Tiger Server, Microsoft Services for Macintosh, as well as ExtremeZ-IP.

Lewis said that within a few weeks Group Logic will release ExtremeZ-IP 5.1.1, which will deal with changes that Apple made to Leopard. As for Apple's bugs, Lewis said " We think all this will be cleared up in a few months."

Group Logic described a number of Leopard networking bugs and other issues related to AFP in a tech article at its web site. It included this about AFP access to Active Directory home directories:

A user logging in who has a home directory defined in Active Directory hangs completely with a Leopard client but works fine with a Tiger client.

"Home directories are broken," warned Lewis.

The article also describes several problems with the way the new sidebar connects to servers;

Connecting to a server using the new Leopard sidebar authenticates differently than using the Connect to Server menu. With the Connect to Server window if you mount a volume using an Active Directory account, a Kerberos ticket will be auto created. If you browse from the Leopard sidebar, a Kerberos ticket will not be auto created. This also means that if the server is set to only allow Kerberos logins, the connection will fail. Finally the sidebar also seems to default to using IPv4 addresses whereas the Connect to Server windows defaults to IPv6 addresses.

Some of the problems listed in the Group Logic article are not Apple bugs, but changes in Leopard, which developers can address by updating their software. At it's web site, Group Logic said that it and other developers couldn't do this before Apple shipped Leopard because developers received the final version only when end-users did.

Apple did not release the "Golden Master" release of Leopard to developers ahead of time. Group Logic received our copies from the Apple Store on Friday 10/26/07, the same day as it was shipped to everyone else.

Other cross-platform networking developers are also in the same situation, and are now the process of updating their software.

On the day of Leopard's release, Thursby Software announced betas of Leopard updates for ADmitMac and DAVE. Centrify just announced a Leopard-compatible version of DirectControl (see story in today's news).

Equinux said that its universal virtual private network client, VNP Tracker, is not compatible with Leopard, and that a Leopard-compatible versions is in beta testing. (See story in today's news.)

Mac OS X 10.4.0 Tiger also had bugs in the operating system as well as changes that required updates for third-party software. However, the problems with Tiger appear to have been worse than those with Leopard, as many vendors had to wait until Apple released 10.4.1 before they could release their own updates.

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