WebKit, the engine behind Safari and all of Mac’s other HTML needs, seems to be looking fairly far into the future. It looks as if they’re anticipating the imminent release of Mac OS X v10.6 (or whatever it may be called, details on that in a bit). Flickr user factoryjoe, famous for his screenshots, has a picture showing files deep in the heart of the most recent WebKit Nightly Build. In the picture, a folder is shown labled “10.6,” linking as an alias to “10.5” above that. Above that is the 10.4 folder.
When it all gets boiled down, I think there are two explanations possible for the situation. The first is the possibility of a preemptive strike of sorts when it comes time to start writing for 10.6. This method is not unheard of for developers. The second, and much more likely situation, is that the developers of WebKit have gotten wind of the new OS and have actually starting to develop WebKit for 10.6. This may be due to Apple’s possible need of an open source foundation for their 10.6 browsing needs. Although there is no date even rumored yet for a release, it should be here relatively soon. Let’s just hope there are no Leopard-esque delays with the next version.
As for the name, read on. Back in 2004, when Apple trademarked the names Tiger and Leopard, they also trademarked the names Cougar and Lynx. Thus, we have the two most likely names for then next iteration of the Mac Operating system, and heck, maybe the unused name will be saved for 10.7.