Re: First thoughts on Lion
- From: Daniel Johnson <danieljohnson2@xxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Thu, 21 Oct 2010 05:59:18 -0400
On Wed, 20 Oct 2010 16:06:54 -0700, Snit
While it is perhaps too soon to know, I think I may be able to add
10.7 Lion to the list of treading-water OS X releases that show how
Apple just doesn't care about the Mac anymore.
This makes me glow inside. Or maybe that's the dark side of the force.
Does not care? It has been growing very rapidly for years. Clearly they
Perhaps they care about the money, but they sure aren't putting a lot
of visible effort into the Mac. Three dud OS X releases in a row? And
they've been leaving their hardware to stagnate for long periods too:
consider how long the original Air was left unrefreshed.
They got people to use their app-store on iOS by forbidding anything
else. They might try something more subtle than that here, but I doubt
it. Why change what (from their point of view) worked?
Why try this when it is not likely to work? I see no reason to think they
are heading this way.
There have been a lot of signs of the iPodification of the Mac; too
many to ignore in my view.
I think the direction Apple is moving is prety clear.
Not really like the Start menu at all... close to the Start menu is adding
aliases to a folder for the dock, I guess. This is almost exactly like iOS.
If it's not a Start-menu-like list-of-all-installed apps, what is it
Well, so is the Applications folder... hardly Start-menu like. And the
Start Menu does not list all apps.
The start menu is meant to list all apps, and it does so well enough.
I don't think Apple's start-menu-alike will be perfect, either.
Still, I ask again: If this Launchpad is not a master list of apps,
what is it for?
Why would you use it instead of the dock? What's the attraction
Easier grouping... full screen so more room for organizing... different
screens for other grouping.
Is it hard to group things in the dock? Is there some reason to want
"other grouping", or is that just more gratuitious inconsistency?
I mean, it's not like "folders" are some shocking new innovation!
No? What is the difference? Just the full screen mode thing?
And the whole UI. Other than the idea of launching an app, how is it the
same as anything on Windows? I do not see it at all.
It looked to me like it included all apps you have, where on OS X
otherwise only lists subsets. I do see value in that.
It's a global mode. There was a time Apple knew that was a bad thing
How is it bad. Just saying it is a a global mode does not make it bad... it
is not like it stops you from doing other things.
This is a pretty basic UI principal from way back. It's been
researched to death. I really shouldn't have to prove this to you.
And that's for *well done* global modes, with consistent UI
conventions. If you have to learn a new way to exit each new mode,
it's just a new level of terrible. And that seems to be what's
Also isn't very consistent with the Finder or the Dock, which provide
similar functionality. Does it not smack of gratuitous inconsistency
to you? I know you care about that.
What is it inconsistent with? There is nothing else like it on the OS.
I just said: the dock and the finder. The other program launchers.
What else are you going to be doing as you open an app?
Using some other app, naturally.
Hmmm, I think you would have to open it again (or use a different way of
opening the app). We will have to wait and see though.
Well, we can at least hope that the launchpad 'mode' will close while
the new app launches. If it doesn't, that would be really awful.
Multitasking is pretty commonplace, and even I'm not so cynical as to think
Apple will take that away from the Mac!
People serial task... and this does not diminish that. Even enhances it
(makes jumping to other tasks easier).
No, it really doesn't. Launchpad looks like a terrible way to switch
between tasks, and you still have the dock to use for that.
Maximize is full screen. Yeah, most apps do leave you with a title bar
still, and the taskbar.
IE has full screen and maximize modes. They are different.
Yeah. The 'full screen' mode is little used and not very useful, since
it hides all of the UI pretty much. Normal maximization is almost
always preferable, and that goes for web browsers.
But when its appropriate, the maximize button will take an app "all
the way". Maximize a Remote Desktop window, and it will occupy the
whole screen, and cover your taskbar too. It even takes over various
window-control keyboard shortcuts. That's pretty extreme: even games
don't go that far.
So Windows is inconsistent with its maximize button... much as OS X
currently is with its green button (though Windows is not as bad)
Just a little; outside of games (which are indeed totally inconsistent
with everything), it's very rare for any app to do this.
Normal maximization is almost always what you want. It lets you use
your whole screen for one app, but leaves you with enough UI to switch
apps as normal, or to unmaximize again. It doesn't take away all your
familiar UI landmarks.
I should note than when I wrote that I hadn't seen the demo yet. I
have now, and good lord it's awful. What they showed is not
maximization done badly. The apps switch to a whole different UI, with
different (non-standard!) widgets and everything. You don't just lose
your familiar UI landmarks from the OS, but those in the app as well.
It looks the the actual full-screen UIs they have are actually
designed to 'look like an iPad', which is to say they are designed for
a small screen. This means the 'full screen' UI is optimized better
for small windows than the 'small window' UI, which is completely
It's a huge step backwards in UI design. It's like a timewarp back to
DOS, where every app has a different (full screen!) UI with nothing in
What the heck were they thinking?
Most apps don't do that, because ditching the title bar is just
gratuitous inconsistency. But sometimes it is appropriate to go all
the way, and Windows apps use 'maximize' to do that.
Well, some do. IE and other browsers have both modes.
Yeah, some things have both modes. This is because maximize is usually
preferable, but occassionaly you will want "real" full screen. It
doesn't make much sense for IE, but it does make some for WMP.
Note, however, that you still don't want a whole new app UI just
because you've gone full screen. A full screen WMP still has the full
screen toggle button in the same place, for instance.
It is a plan... but they have not promised it will be out by then. They are
working on it. I expect they will keep to their plan, but they might not.
Has any OS vendor ever "promised" a release date? If so, what wording
did they need to use to do that?
Jobs made it pretty clear the features he was showing were set. If they were
removed that would be a breaking of his word in my view... though an
understandable one. If the release date slips he is not going against his
I don't understand how "summer 2011" isn't "his word" just as much.
So far as I know, nobody ever says more than "this is when we plan to
Often companies set future release dates. Heck, Apple set the release date
of their app store for the next 90 days.
So the difference is, The Steve and his many understudies didn't give
an exact date, but only a season?
The best part: it shows how Apple's new priorities hurt the Mac! You'd
have had this built into iChat, but no, can't hurt the iPhone for the
Hurt the iPhone? I do not follow. Sounds like they are working to build
maximum compatibility with Windows, OS X and iOS.
They can't hurt the iPhone by making FaceTime favor OS X; that would
reduce its appeal.
Seriously, if Apple thought window thumbnails were a good idea, they'd
do it. They'd find some way to say it wasn't copied from Redmond. I
don't think they want it.
Perhaps because it's not iPhone-like.
They would have to find an "Apple" way of doing it... not sure how they
could alter it and keep it much the same. Heck, MS might even have it
protected (likely does).
I'm sure, but do not Apple and MS have cross-licencing agreements in
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