Man, after reading through this post, I have mixed feelings (I had them before, but, decided to share after reading through this post) as well as some random thoughts. And this is rambling, but you might find something insightful, or wrong, or whatever, that you feel the need to respond to. So please do share your thoughts if you have any.
QTY 1: iMac 2GHz Intel Core 2 Duo / 2G RAM / OS 10.4.11
QTY 1: MacBook 2GHz Intel Core Duo / 2G RAM / OS 10.5.6
QTY 1: MacBook Pro 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo / 4G RAM / OS 10.5.6
The first two listed are work computers (I am a LAN Engineer, so most of my work is in web browsers and terminals, who needs windows! Um... me sometimes, so I keep a crappy GX280 with XP around and just use RDC).
The Macbook Pro is my home laptop.
"What's your point, Scott?" Well, I see mixed performance results. I have to say, there are a couple of features in Leopard that I want (like the current XCode, Spaces, and Time Machine). But performance-wise, my very long-running experience between 10.4.11 and 10.5.X has this conclusion:
10.5 screwed some things up.
I am horribly bored in my current job as a LAN Engineer, but have so much debt (thus risk) I don't want to try changing jobs within my field. I graduated B.S. Computer Science, M.S. Information Science; I do have programming skills, but am rusty. It has been years since I screwed around with PThreads, sockets, anything.
That said, I still really do understand a lot of memory management concepts. What I've observed is:
1. Terminal in OS 10.5 is just teh suxx. I hated it so much I copied the Terminal.app from OS 10.4.11 to my 10.5 systems. I don't have time right now to elaborate on what exactly "teh suxx" means, but trust me, I hate it.
2. Firefox 3.0.1 and Safari 3.2.1, when simply opened to about:blank, take more memory on OS 10.5 than they do on 10.4. Um...
I don't know what's been done, but before I upgraded my Macbook Pro to 4G, I was really getting low on memory. Running VMWare Fusion was just impossible (even booting a box like a vanilla OpenBSD with 256MB of RAM wasn't feasible). And yet, I have just tons of apps open without regard to memory on my 10.4.11 system - and it's fine!
3. When the desktop crew upgraded my Macbook from 10.4.11 to 10.5.6, it became so frustrating to use, I just wanted to fill it with double-0 buckshot. Some of the things I observed ranged from the system randomly putting itself to sleep, or hanging on log in for indefinite amounts of time, or randomly having a broken TCP/IP stack (openVPN just disconnected again, and there we go I have a self-assigned IP address...) .... man, NONE of this stuff was present in 10.4.11.
....Which is why I haven't let them TOUCH my iMac. The thing is the most solid, stable system I have ever had. The only reason it is EVER rebooted is for security/OS patches. That's it. That, and power outages (happens here..)
*sigh* I really hope they fix some of this stuff in Snow Leopard.
I still love OS X and wouldn't trade it. But when comparing Tiger to Leopard, I really have to wonder if the new features were worth the memory leaks. It has to be a framework that is used, something in Cocoa that was changed... otherwise, the OS would be unstable and it isn't. It's just the memory the programs use.
I'm pretty sure that FF3 isn't coded differently for OS X 10.4 than 10.5... pretty sure. Not completely.
Maybe I'll find out more when I actually have time to write some Cocoa-based apps.
Okay, end of rambling.