Cambridge, MA Ð Even though users are generally satisfied with NeXTSTEP 3.0, developers are reporting a variety of bugs in the final version.
"PR2 was far more stable than 3.0 Gold," said one developer. "Obviously, they made some last-minute changes that they didn't take the time to verify."
NeXT acknowledged the bugs. "We are working to identify the most critical ones, so we can address them in the near term," said Margaret Chan, manager of software product marketing. She said that NeXT has not yet decided how or when to take corrective action.
Users have reported problems with NeXT's new connectivity features, especially AppleShare networking support. Although new servers appear in the File Viewer when they come on-line, servers do not disappear when they shut down. Furthermore, files modified on the AppleShare servers do not immediately appear changed on the NeXT.
Large multizone AppleShare networks are especially troublesome. "We just don't have the resources to test large networks," said one NeXT source, adding that due to inconsistencies within the AppleTalk protocol, large networks do not function the same way small networks do.
Sources inside NeXT said the decision to ship 3.0 in mid-September was a marketing one. In the rush to get 3.0 out the door, a conscious decision was made to fix bugs that would affect users. But many bugs that affect only developers were left in Ð especially bugs that had workarounds.
An added problem with 3.0 was the large amount of code that came from outside sources: Much of this code is written in C and tends to be more complex and bug-ridden than NeXTSTEP's Objective-C core.
While some developers have refused to upgrade their PR2 machines to 3.0, since code generated under PR2 will run on 3.0 systems, Objective Technology (OTI) is running 3.0. "The core of NeXTSTEP is more stable than it ever has been," said Eric Bergerson, OTI's managing director.