OS X Internals Book Update

This is a brief update to the last update that was given a couple of years ago.


What is this about?

For those that are unaware, myself and Gwynne Raskind have been contracted by Pearson to write the second edition of OS X Internals: A Systems Approach. This was a groundbreaking book that exposed many parts of the system to developers and to document things that never were before. Our goal is to hold true to that and deliver and updated edition of the book that can address modern systems.

When will it be done?

This is a common question we have recieved over the years. My answer to this has been and will always be:

The release date of the book and any deadlines related to it are strictly between Gwynne, myself, and our editor at Pearson.

If this answer is not good enough for you, and feel the need to ask us via Twitter or email I can assure you now that the answer we give you will be exactly the same.

Why is it taking so long?

There are a few reasons why this project seems to be going on so long:

  1. We are both people that have full-time jobs and personal lives. There were times were we couldn’t write at all due to other commitments.
  2. It is difficult to write a book. It is more difficult than you can imagine to write a book about things that nobody else has written about before.
  3. We have been intentionally delaying working on parts of the book. We made some educated guesses based on the last few public releases and deemed it not a viable to attempt to finish in sync with Apple’s release schedule. (If you talk to any Apple tech authors they will tell you how hard it is to write anything that will not go out of date within a year) We want to release something we can be proud of, and we don’t want to write this so it can fall out of date soon after release.

If you take umbrage with any of the reasons listed above, we honestly don’t want to hear from you about it. Frankly, I am very tired of hearing how entitled people feel about our work. We wouldn’t still be working on this project if we didn’t care deeply about it. Please consider that we probably care about this a lot more than you do before sending us messages about how unhappy you are it isn’t done yet. Thanks in advance! :)

What can I expect to see in the new edition?

You can expect to see an updated version. We are attempting to address all of the PPC specific material and get that updated for the modern x86_64 Intel architecture. Additionally we aim to cover a variety of new technologies that have been introduced in the last few years. You can probably expect to see more lower-level breakdowns and undocumented details than the original as per the style and backgrounds that Gwynne and I have. There may be some material relating to iOS, however, the book is titled “OS X Internals” (our primary goal is discussing OS X, not iOS).

Where are you now?

I will say that as of the day of this posting (March 1st, 2016), we have submitted half of the book to our editor. We are sharing this information because we are very excited about it and would like to make a statement about the work we are proud to have done so far. Also, as nobody else knows when our deadlines are there is nothing to use for speculation as to when the rest is expected to be done, apart from the fact it won’t be as long as it has taken to get to this point (we promise).

When will there be another update?

That is hard to say, probably will happen much closer to when the book is going to be released. We may talk about material related to we are currently writing about, but generally don’t discuss it outside of ourselves. If you get to ask me about the book then I will probably brush it off with a generic or vague answer like “it is going pretty well”. Talking about the writing process isn’t terribly engaging for either of us, so we tend to avoid it if we can.


Ok, that is all I have to say for now. Thanks to everyone that has been supporting us working on this for the past few years!



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