“Since the public unveiling of Mac OS X 10.3, codenamed Panther, during June’s World Wide Developer Conference, Apple has provided developers with a pair of updates for the forthcoming OS that remains under active development. The latest distribution, dubbed Panther 7B21, was frozen last week and was briefly distributed to developers over Panther’s Software Update module. Soon after, the release was made available via a 3 CD image set on Apple’s Developer Connection servers. Coupled with the 7A202 build released a few weeks earlier, the two seedings provide a number of speed and user experience enhancements over what was already made public in June,” reports AppleInsider.com.
Of particular interest in this report of Panther 7B21 (besides the “Quartz engine is said to be almost 40 percent faster than Jaguar’s on desktop machines”) is the mention that “the fate of Aladdin System’s StuffIt suite may be up in the air with Apple’s embodiment of Zip compression functionality built directly into the Finder’s contextual menu system,” AppleInsider reports.
The full article, with screenshots and small quicktime movies of new features, is here.