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15 Things Apple Should Change in Mac OS X

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the twitching-the-tiger dept.

OS X 936

richi writes "Two of Computerworld's top operating systems editors, a Mac expert and a Windows expert, compare notes on what Apple should reconsider as it develops Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard. Mac OS X 10.4, or Tiger, is (in their opinion) a noticeably better operating system than XP or Vista. But it is not perfect. OS X has its own quirks and flaws, and they set out to nail down some of the 'proud nails' for the next release." From the article: "7. Inconsistent User Interface. Open iTunes, Safari and Mail. All three of these programs are Apple's own, and they're among the ones most likely to be used by Mac OS X users. So why do all three of them look different? Safari, like several other Apple-made apps such as the Finder and Address Book, uses a brushed-metal look. iTunes sports a flat gun-metal gray scheme and flat non-shiny scroll bars. Mail is somewhere in between: no brushed metal, lots of gun-metal gray, and the traditional shiny blue scroll bars. Apple is supposed to be the king of good UI, and in many areas, it is. But three widely used apps from the same company with a different look? Sometimes consistency isn't the hobgoblin of little minds."

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936 comments

Window Management (5, Interesting)

MECC (8478) | more than 7 years ago | (#17254480)

11. Managing Window Size.
. . .
Here's a thought that's simple and solves about 80% of the problem. What if Apple made both lower corners of Mac windows draggable? What if all four corners were? Either of those minor improvements would be quite welcome.


How about regular click an edge to move the entire window, and control-click-drag anywhere on an edge to resize? (or vice versa)

Re:Window Management. Maximize? (5, Insightful)

TeacherOfHeroes (892498) | more than 7 years ago | (#17254712)

One of the things thats always bothered me when I use OS X is the way that the maximize button behaves. I can see how its behaviour under OS X makes sense in a certain way (Only enlarging to be 'big enough'), but I maximize a window to hide the clutter behind it as well as to see some more content in the foreground window.

I've dug around in the system preferences a bit, and looked on google as well, and can't seem to find any way of changing this behaviour. Would an option to change behaviour be so hard? As silly as it may sound, its been one of the few annoying things thats really been keeping me from using OS X in any serious manner.

Re:Window Management. Maximize? (3, Informative)

eldepeche (854916) | more than 7 years ago | (#17254832)

It isn't a maximize button. The last time I owned a computer that primarily ran Windows was in 2001, so I'm used to it. I use the "Application -> Hide others" command to get rid of the clutter of other windows.

Re:Window Management. Maximize? (1)

admdrew (782761) | more than 7 years ago | (#17255078)

What makes you think the parent was referring to Windows specifically? My KDE in FC5 *also* has a maximize button.

Re:Window Management. Maximize? (1, Insightful)

Tombstone-f (49843) | more than 7 years ago | (#17254958)

I'd have to say that ever since I started using the Mac the Fullscreen button on Windows really pisses me off. I wish it would work more like the Mac.
I prefer to be able to see all my open windows at a glance and fullscreen mode blocks that. I can see how it might useful on a small screen (like on small laptop screens or older displays) but on larger screens it just hogs up all the screen space.

Re:Window Management (5, Funny)

Total_Wimp (564548) | more than 7 years ago | (#17254834)

Oh thank god this has finally come up. As a PC user that sometimes uses a Mac, I've found this frustrating. But any time I've brought it up in casual conversation with Mac people, they've treated me like it's my fault for not understanding the superiority of the Mac UI. I was actually starting to justify in my mind that there must be something wonderful about only using the bottom, right corner and I just had to try harder to understand what it could be. Meditation wasn't helping. Seeing this on the list might save me years of therapy.

TW

Re:Window Management (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17255166)

Absolutely,

Its bloody crazy and annoying to go all the way to the bottom corner if all you want to do is move the top edge, drives me nuts.

Re:Window Management (-1, Flamebait)

milimetric (840694) | more than 7 years ago | (#17255108)

how about reading the article and noticing that this issue is covered in it?
how about posting on livejournal if you don't really care about what other people think and just want to have a monologue?
how about clicking to resize a window is teh suxors and simply pressing a key while moving your mouse in a direction should resize the window in that direction?
how about I stop being dry and rhetoric and an asshole?
fine!

see? I can do it so can you. Wait...

three words (1)

tritonman (998572) | more than 7 years ago | (#17254492)

more video games supporting windows directx binaries would be a great start

That's good and all... (4, Insightful)

XxtraLarGe (551297) | more than 7 years ago | (#17254504)

But OS X 10.5 is pretty much in the can. Right now, Apple is focusing on bug fixes/performance tweaks. Some of these are good suggestions, maybe they'll take them up for OS X 10.6 guys...

Not sure all of these are correct...exactly (5, Informative)

owlnation (858981) | more than 7 years ago | (#17254510)

Can't put widgets on the Desktop? Um, you can actually - but you need a widget to do it. The Devmode widget for one.

And that solves the whole "no date on the desktop" one - and probably some of the others too.

Re:Not sure all of these are correct...exactly (4, Informative)

Col. Klink (retired) (11632) | more than 7 years ago | (#17254926)

And that solves the whole "no date on the desktop" one - and probably some of the others too.
Just run ical and today's date appears in the calendar icon.

Re:Not sure all of these are correct...exactly (1)

Thumper_SVX (239525) | more than 7 years ago | (#17255184)

Well, there's a date on my desktop... I have my iCal in my dock, and I launch it on logon because I use it quite a bit. When the program's active, the icon displays the date. Where's the problem?

Re:Not sure all of these are correct...exactly (5, Informative)

wumpus188 (657540) | more than 7 years ago | (#17255224)

No additional widgets required. Just open Terminal and do this

defaults write com.apple.dashboard devmode YES

After that, press F12 and start dragging widget.. then (while still dragging) press F12 again and drop widget on the desktop.

How soon Apple forgets its past... (1)

Old Man Kensey (5209) | more than 7 years ago | (#17255252)

Back in the day, there was one gotta-have-it Mac control panel: SuperClock, which let you monkey with the time and date display in the menu bar. I had mine set up to display the time/date in dd-MMM-YYYY HH:mm format. For System 7.5, a large part of the update from 7.0/7.1 was the addition of a whole bundle of third-party extensions that had come to be recognized as essential, and SuperClock was at or near the top of that list.

Somewhere, the SuperClock author is crying his eyes out.

Noooooooooo (4, Funny)

Frankie70 (803801) | more than 7 years ago | (#17254560)

But it(Tiger) is not perfect.

Noooooooooooooooooooooooo.

What I think they should change... (2, Interesting)

garcia (6573) | more than 7 years ago | (#17254570)

I come from an OS/2, Windows, and Linux (some X but mostly CLI as of recent) background. I have a Mac (because of the Mini) and I just cannot get used to using it. In fact, I dislike it in almost every single way. The only reason it continues to be my desktop machine is because my SMP box has a bad CPU fan on one of the chips and I'm too cheap to replace both.

* I hate the fact that I can never find *anything* I'm looking for. I spend entirely too long searching around for applications, their support files, and system configuration options. I realize that Apple designs these things for people who aren't familiar with computers, but fuck, it makes it hard for someone that is quite comfy with Linux and Windows configurations.

* I hate the fact that I have no idea what the fuck is going on behind the scenes with the Mac. Yeah, XP has gotten to this point but I guess because I have a basic idea built up over the years from other versions of Windows, I don't mind as much. Being built on Unix, I would expect to understand more about what OS X is doing -- but I don't.

* I really don't like the fact that I *could* do stuff on the CLI but I can never find out how. The files aren't in the locations I would expect.

As I said, I use it as my desktop (which is basically web browsing) but that's because I don't have a choice. I have a friend that is amazed as how often mine "pinwheels". I have a 1.42 with a GB of RAM and it still pinwheels constantly. "That's just not right," he says. I agree.

While I don't think Apple should be like Windows or Linux or OS/2, I really do think that they should reconsider their design choices or make some easy to find options that would change their design to fit the needs of everyone if they so choose (like putting the minimize and close options on the "correct" side of the window ;))

Re:What I think they should change... (5, Insightful)

QuoteMstr (55051) | more than 7 years ago | (#17254682)

All your points will apply to any modern operating system, not just Apples. Computers have a certain unavoidable complexity, and if you don't bother to learn how they work, they won't.

If you don't like OS X, why not install Linux on that machine? Then at least your configuration files will be where you expect them.

Re:What I think they should change... (1)

garcia (6573) | more than 7 years ago | (#17254730)

If you don't like OS X, why not install Linux on that machine? Then at least your configuration files will be where you expect them.

I have a Linux machine already and from what everyone says, Macs are the best. I'm trying, I really am but I just can't see why everyone is so excited about them when it just isn't any different from any other OS.

Re:What I think they should change... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17254978)

Because it's not Microsoft. That's the basic reason.

Re:What I think they should change... (4, Informative)

Wudbaer (48473) | more than 7 years ago | (#17254700)

Regarding the beachballing of death: Give your Mini a real harddisk if you still have the stock drive in it. The stock drive at least in the first series G4 MacMinis is an atrocity. Put in some faster 2.5'' drive and it will be a new machine (at least that did it for mine, before it was excruciatingly slow, now it is really fine).

Re:What I think they should change... (1)

Lobster Quadrille (965591) | more than 7 years ago | (#17254722)

Maybe it's just me, but I've found the CLI to be extremely useful and intuitive. Granted, I like it better on linux, and most of my CLI interaction takes place there, but OSX is familiar enough.

Likewise, maybe I'm oversimplifying it, but it's not too hard to tell what is going on behind the scenes. It feels to me a lot like KDE- a GUI with a powerful OS hiding (not too far) behind it.

Re:What I think they should change... (0)

z-kungfu (255628) | more than 7 years ago | (#17254764)

The files aren't in the locations I would expect. uhhhh... locate it's a command, there are man pages, google is you friend, move on

Re:What I think they should change... (1, Insightful)

yelvington (8169) | more than 7 years ago | (#17255058)

The locate utility exists in OS X, but locatedb is not built or maintained by default, so it doesn't work. This is just one of hundreds of examples of how Apple has done a half-assed job of embracing the power of the underlying toolkit. Yes, you can fix it yourself, eventually, but the whole point of the Mac is that things are supposed to Just Work. If I wanted it to be broken when delivered, I'd be using Windows.

Re:What I think they should change... (3, Informative)

Recovering Hater (833107) | more than 7 years ago | (#17254830)

I realize that Apple designs these things for people who aren't familiar with computers, but fuck, it makes it hard for someone that is quite comfy with Linux and Windows configurations.

Seriously, I'm not trying to troll, but Linux is not really like the flavor of unix Apple has built their OS up from. Maybe you could try delving into the way Darwin and FreeBSD organize their file system.

Here are some links that might be a jumping off point:

http://developer.apple.com/documentation/Darwin/Co nceptual/KernelProgramming/BSD/chapter_11_section_ 3.html#//apple_ref/doc/uid/TP30000905-CH214-TPXREF 103 [apple.com]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Darwin_(operating_sys tem) [wikipedia.org]

Re:What I think they should change... (0)

jbssm (961115) | more than 7 years ago | (#17254840)

I have a 1.42 with a GB of RAM and it still pinwheels constantly

Yeah, your friend is right, I think you messed so much with OSX trying to gain control of what you really didn't needed to, that you ended up messing with something you shouldn't.
I have 1.5Gb myself and it practically never pinwheels (using your term), even when I'm using demanding apps like Photoshop.

Also, I come from XP and I also tried Linux (Debian, Gentoo, Suse) ... but sorry to say folks, Linux it's just not ready for desktop, someone that uses their computer at work for more than programming just wants his computer to work, I don't want to have to configure everything with some strange files at /etc (yeah I know, read the documentation you say ... well while I'm reading the damn documentation I could be working, so, no thanks). I also don't want to be re-installing my operating system every 6 months in order for it to behave ok (I'm talking about windows).

So, bottom line is, OSX is a very good operating system, it's not perfect ... but it's likely the better one out there right now (just like democracy).

Re:What I think they should change... (4, Insightful)

admdrew (782761) | more than 7 years ago | (#17255258)

I don't want to have to configure everything with some strange files at /etc
I also don't want to be re-installing my operating system every 6 months in order for it to behave ok

Funny thing, I've had to do neither, and I know I'm not alone in that.

Re:What I think they should change... (3, Insightful)

bobalu (1921) | more than 7 years ago | (#17254930)

I have the same background, but let's face it, it's just a different system and there's a lot in there. It's frustrating because you know all this stuff and think you should be able to dive right in, but it takes a good deal of spelunking to actually get it together.

I'm going through the same thing. I've been using my Macs to do video editing and as a user I'm fine, but getting down to the system can be a little confusing. Just roll up your sleeves and let go of your preconceived notions of how things should be. Eventually you'll get it. I've actually had more luck with the Java examples than some of the other system stuff, but mostly because I'm not that familiar with Apache.

Re:What I think they should change... (1)

Chief Camel Breeder (1015017) | more than 7 years ago | (#17254970)

For finding stuff, applications in particular, try installing Quicksilver [blacktree.com] .

Re:What I think they should change... (3, Informative)

russellh (547685) | more than 7 years ago | (#17254972)

Might I recommend the book Mac OS X for Unix Geeks. Try the System Overview [apple.com] at Apple (that doc is a PDF so I linked to the search results instead). And check out Darwin guides [apple.com] .

Re:What I think they should change... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17254990)

So what you are saying is that osX is bad because it isn't linux?

Re:What I think they should change... (1)

zuricher (957151) | more than 7 years ago | (#17255002)

did you try quicksilver? http://quicksilver.blacktree.com/ [blacktree.com]
just hit ctrl space and most of your problems are gone

Re:What I think they should change... (1)

Night Goat (18437) | more than 7 years ago | (#17255024)

The key is to train yourself not to fuck with OSX. In Windows and Linux, it's fun and beneficial to tinker with various config files to try and optimize things, but in OSX you really don't need to in most cases. I had to wean myself off of digging around in the operating system's directories and get back to just using my computer for what it was I got it for. Things have been going quite well! I do run a program called MacJanitor once in a while to tidy up the logs, and sometimes I repair the permissions with Disk Utility, but beyond that I let the computer do what it needs to do.

Re:What I think they should change... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17255064)

Thanks....I couldn't agree more. I teach in a Mac dominated school and am continuously frustrated by how difficult it is to find the simplest of things. There is also a definite lack of feedback with certain actions; nothing happens....no sound, no evidence of a program opening, and no visual cues until the program actually does open (five times over with impatient students).

More than anything, I'm amazed at how much time gets wasted by students playing with zooming icons in the taskbar/dock and the dashboard. I'd love to make these go away once and for all, but I don't have the power to do this for 500+ students, and the IT dept doesn't have the resources to be customizing installs.

Re:What I think they should change... (-1, Flamebait)

Goaway (82658) | more than 7 years ago | (#17255146)

So basically, you hate OS X because you are ignorant?

Re:What I think they should change... (4, Insightful)

Abcd1234 (188840) | more than 7 years ago | (#17255148)

I hate the fact that I can never find *anything* I'm looking for.

This is because you're unfamiliar with OSX.

I hate the fact that I have no idea what the fuck is going on behind the scenes with the Mac.

Also because you're unfamiliar with OSX.

I really don't like the fact that I *could* do stuff on the CLI but I can never find out how.

Also because you're unfamiliar with OSX.

Here, I'm gonna let you in on a little secret: OSX isn't Linux or Windows. It works differently. As a result, you might actually have to *learn something about it*. Clearly what you want is for OSX to be exactly like Linux or Windows. But the very fact that it *isn't* is what makes it attractive to so many people. So get your learn on and quit bitching, ffs.

PS. I'm not an OSX user. But people who bitch about a product because it isn't what *they* want it to be really tick me off, especially if it's clear they haven't bothered to try and adapt. I'd have the same problem with a Windows user who switched to Linux and then whined about how they couldn't use regedit.

Re:What I think they should change... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17255262)

So the problem is that you're unfamiliar with it? Weren't these problems with OS/2, Windows, and Linux when you first started using them? I'm willing to bet money that more people have your (unfamiliar => poor design) problem with linux than with OS X. -jV

Re:What I think they should change... (5, Insightful)

Pope (17780) | more than 7 years ago | (#17255318)

I hate the fact that I can never find *anything* I'm looking for. I spend entirely too long searching around for applications, their support files, and system configuration options. I realize that Apple designs these things for people who aren't familiar with computers, but fuck, it makes it hard for someone that is quite comfy with Linux and Windows configurations.

Applications live in the Applications or Utilities folders. Support files? Depends on how much of a sadist the programmers were, but they're generally bundled within the .app bundles, or show up in ~/Library/Application Support/ Preference files are almost always in ~/Library/Preferences/ like you'd expect. It's far better than Windows' insistence on *hiding* user files in %AppData%.

System Configuration options? You mean the ones that are accessed from the always-available System Preferences? You seriously didn't look very hard, did you? Hell, for deeper hacking go READ osxhints.com.

I hate the fact that I have no idea what the fuck is going on behind the scenes with the Mac. Yeah, XP has gotten to this point but I guess because I have a basic idea built up over the years from other versions of Windows, I don't mind as much. Being built on Unix, I would expect to understand more about what OS X is doing -- but I don't.

Why do you care what's going on "behind the scenes" so much? Go get a $free developer account at Apple, download all the Developer Tools, and start READING.

I really don't like the fact that I *could* do stuff on the CLI but I can never find out how. The files aren't in the locations I would expect.

Which files? Again, do some READING.

Honestly, almost all of your objections stem from the fact that you haven't put a single bit of effort to educate yourself about Mac OS X. You claim you're "quite comfy" with Linux and Windows, but you sure as hell didn't get that knowledge from osmosis. I only use Windows at work, and I know q bit more about some of the guts of the way it works because I did some READING.

Inconsistent User Interface -- just use UNO (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17254602)

If you want a consistent interface in Tiger today, use UNO, Aqua4iTunes, TigerMail (make Thunderbird into a Mail that works), and UNO GrApple (make Firefox into a Safari that works). Seriously, these 4 apps/themes together will make Tiger much nicer to look at.

Finder ... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17254604)

5/15 points talk about Finder.

Why not ditch finder (which is a pain to use when you've used Konqueror, Windows Explorer and even Nautilus) once and for all and replace it with a modern and easy to use file manager (Konqueror would be the best candidat IMHO) ?

Re:Finder ... (1)

x3rc3s (954149) | more than 7 years ago | (#17255242)

You should check out Path Finder [cocoatech.com] . It is way beter than Apple's finder!!

12. Documents and App Instances on the Dock (2, Insightful)

XxtraLarGe (551297) | more than 7 years ago | (#17254646)

This one would be a complete disaster. The dock is cluttered enough as it is. That's what they made Expose' for.

Re:12. Documents and App Instances on the Dock (3, Insightful)

el_womble (779715) | more than 7 years ago | (#17255150)

Agreed. Its like the authors have never used windows. Within 10 minutes of sitting at my desk at work I have 20 or so application instances running from cmd and textpad to Eclipse. It renders the bottom of my screen useless. You might say "Ahh, but XP collates them into a single button!", thats worse!!! The only system I've found that manages 20+ windows effectively is Expose.

As for the comment about printer support... plug printer into Airport, press print in any application on any computer on the network and then select printer from the bonjour printer list. Easy. Want a direct connection, skip the part about the Airport.

They had a point with the look and feel, but to be honest it doesn't bother me as perhaps it should. And cut and paste is just not the mac way of doing things... we drag and drop EVERYTHING and Expose makes that easy.

I'm sure given time I could come up with 15 things that annoy me about OS X, but their gripes seem trivial at best. How about disconnection from network drives slowing down the WHOLE system? Or the way the firewall settings are in 'Sharing'. Trivial things that annoy me are that fink hasn't been absorbed into the default install and X11 is still concidered an optional extra - being able to install quality free software like Scribus/The Gimp from a Synaptic like interface could really open peoples eyes to OSS.

WTF ? No F2 ? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17254652)

"2. Renaming Isn't Easy. The process of renaming files is highly mouse-centric on the Mac. There's no F2 option (as there is on Windows) that lets you select the file and press F2 to expose the filename-editing mode. The mouse process requires very precisely timed mouse clicks. Anyone who has ever been forced to rename a long list of files under both Windows and Mac operating systems will likely agree that the Windows way is easier. --Michael Cullison"

Well, pressing the 'Enter' key does precisely that.

Re:WTF ? No F2 ? (3, Informative)

Divebus (860563) | more than 7 years ago | (#17254706)

Highlight the file/folder and hit return.

Re:WTF ? No F2 ? (1)

Divebus (860563) | more than 7 years ago | (#17254800)

oh... you said that...

Biggest problem with switchers is they try to use their Windows chops.

Widgets on the Desktop (1)

Divebus (860563) | more than 7 years ago | (#17254654)

Yes, widgets can be put on the desktop but it's not that graceful.
  • Invoke the "manage widgets" bar.
  • drag one (calculator?) into the widgets field.
  • Keep holding the mouse button and hit F-12.
  • Let go.
All the widgets disappear except for the one stuck to the end of your mouse pointer. Just be ready to have the widget float on top of everything and let it be swept away next time you look at all your other widgets. It's good for temporary use but I agree with the premise of using widgets as apps.

Not just looks (1)

Henriok (6762) | more than 7 years ago | (#17254672)

A good user interface does not just look good but it behaves good, the positioning of controls, orderig of menues, behaviour in execution and, choice of language in describing functions and so forth are perhaps more important. Safari, Mail and iTunes behaves very consistently even if they might look somewhat different.

This is why Windows ports and many Java-applications get the cold hand from Mac users. They might look like Mac applications at first glance. The have all the right graphics in all the right places and they might even have a nice icon (but they rarely do), but they usually behave quite differently. Dialogs that pop up in unusual places, ordering of controls, unfamiliar language, exotic install procedures, strange toolbars, Window behavior that's odd and menuers that doesn't contain what one would expect. Everything that might excite a Windows user but makes a Mac user get on the defensive immediately.

It's not just "look" it's even more the "feel". Mail, iTunes and Safari feel the same.

This cuts both ways.. iTunes and QuickTime Player does not behave like Windows applications.. and that's propably one very powerful reason why these applications are shunned to a large extent.

Re:Not just looks (1)

nostriluu (138310) | more than 7 years ago | (#17255128)

Do you mean the way the delete, esc, cursor and other keys work consistently in all Mac dialogs/apps, including Apple ones? Oh, they don't?

Do you mean the way Apple breaks the great rule of only putting important things on edges (which are easiest to reach) when they meanwhile put the Eject and Front Row buttons in these key positions on the MBP?

Oh, probably there is a boatload of $10 add-ons that will fix these issues.

Actually, what I really think Apple should do is replace the lollipop/beachball "oh, I've run out of system resources *again*" indicator to something that at least has some useful information. It's kind of dumb otherwise.

Multiple Docks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17254690)

I've only been using the Mac for about a year, and my biggest complaint is that the dock is kind of useless as compared to Gnome or Windows XP's interface. I'd really like it so that it's possible to have a different dock on the left, right and bottom of the screen.

What i thought sucked about OSX... (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17254698)

Was the fact i couldnt maximize the windows. Only by placing it on the top-left and dragging to full-screen. Im used to having an option to maximize my windows.

Also i really missed a quick and simple way to start programs with keyboard. In windows i can do start->run or navigate the start menu easilly, in OSX i had to resort to third-party tools for this (quicksilver).

Also the fact that during the 6 months i had my mac mini it crashed about 4 times didnt help my mac experience either...

Its been a few months since i've last used OSX though so im not sure if any of the UI options i missed are currently available in plain vanilla OSX.

Re:What i thought sucked about OSX... (1)

eldepeche (854916) | more than 7 years ago | (#17254888)

You can use Spotlight as a primitive launcher. Works for me. Command space, the type the first few letters.

Re:What i thought sucked about OSX... (1)

Divebus (860563) | more than 7 years ago | (#17254928)

Maximizing windows is, well, a Windows thing. That's probably the first habit to break for new Mac users coming from Windows. If Windows didn't maximize everything, new Mac users would "get" drag and drop faster.

Re:What i thought sucked about OSX... (2, Informative)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 7 years ago | (#17255186)

Drag the Applications folder into the Dock, next to the Trash can. (Be careful not to trash it!) You should get a shortcut on the Dock that's easy to access. The three ways are:

1. Click on the icon to open the Applications folder.

2. Right click to get a popup menu.

3. Hold down the left button (or single button if you're using a stock mouse) until you get a popup menu.

That's what I use, and it works exceptionally well.

New features or better documentation for old ones? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17254714)

Renaming Isn't Easy. The process of renaming files is highly mouse-centric on the Mac. There's no F2 option (as there is on Windows) that lets you select the file and press F2 to expose the filename-editing mode. The mouse process requires very precisely timed mouse clicks. Anyone who has ever been forced to rename a long list of files under both Windows and Mac operating systems will likely agree that the Windows way is easier. --Michael Cullison

Select the icon. Hit Return. Type. Done.

. Backspace and Delete Keys. The world holds millions and millions of computers that have Backspace (delete left) and Delete (delete right) keys. Most editors and writers who've been exposed to Windows notebook keyboards that have both of those keys can tell you that moving to a Mac notebook that has only a Backspace key (called "Delete" on the Mac) can be frustrating. Yes, yes, we know that Fn-Delete performs a delete-right operation. But that's not a good solution for touch typists.

Try Control-d. Most text input supports emacs key bindings (yes you can override this to use other bindings)

NUmber 10 is flat out silly (3, Insightful)

Moby Cock (771358) | more than 7 years ago | (#17254726)

I must take exception to their: 10. Accessing Applications discussion. Having a second tier of apps or whatever on the dock, would, I think ruin the minimalist elegance of the dock. Finding lesser used apps is what Spotlight if for. Click the button (or Apple+Space, which is much simpler) and type what you want. Done. No expanding submenus a la the Start Menu.

Re:NUmber 10 is flat out silly (3, Insightful)

phillymjs (234426) | more than 7 years ago | (#17254886)

I gave Spotlight a chance, but IMHO it couldn't match the speed or configurability of LaunchBar for launching apps (among other things). I think Apple should just buy LaunchBar or QuickSilver and integrate it into the OS.

Re:NUmber 10 is flat out silly (3, Informative)

varmittang (849469) | more than 7 years ago | (#17255050)

Or better yet, drag and drop the Applications folder to the right side of the dock, then right click on it and you will get a drop down menu like display of all the apps in the applications folder. That is what I do.

No suggestions from the Microsoft camp! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17254742)

Actually, I like the suggestion about making the resizing of windows easier.

Other than that, my wife and kids (11,7) have absolutely no problem using their iMac. They just want a computer they can use. Apple has accomplished that goal.

I really don't know... (5, Insightful)

spikev (698637) | more than 7 years ago | (#17254760)

...if we should trust someone to give design interface advice who spreads their article over four pages.

looking different (5, Insightful)

MarsDude (74832) | more than 7 years ago | (#17254782)

"Open iTunes, Safari and Mail. All three of these programs are Apple's own, and they're among the ones most likely to be used by Mac OS X users. So why do all three of them look different? "

Maybe because you don't want to click 'reply' when you want to buy a song? ;-)

Application instances and open documents in Dock? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17254784)

Noooooooooo!

Screw that-- it's my most hated feature of Windows. Perhaps it's finally been addressed in Vista, but there was nothing worse in XP than having, say, 10 IE windows open and minimized, along with enough other apps that your taskbar buttons for everything only contained the application icon, with no other information. Okay, so which IE window is one is the one I want? Let me just open them all up until I find it!

I much prefer Apple's method of having a single Dock icon for each application that produces a menu with all of that application's open windows listed.

UI (in)consistency? (5, Insightful)

stivi (534158) | more than 7 years ago | (#17254788)

Many times I read about UI inconsistency in Apple applications, such as those mentioned in the post: Mail, Safari, iTunes. I note it as well, that they look different. However, I realize that I do not feel the inconsistency whle working with them, I do not notice it. Strange, how come? How it is possible, that I was feeling the inconsistency on my Linux machine even there was unified look of all applications and I am still feeling inconsistency on any Windows machine where is unified look as well? I found out, that it is not about the look, but more about the feel, more about the behavior of applications, more about expectations how the applications will react to your commands, how the applications understand your intentions.

I agree, UI look in Apple applications is not consistent, but the behavior is in majority cases consistent. And that is what counts. While working, you do not notice whether the app is brushed metal, Aqua or grayish plastic.

It is just my observation...

The actual quote... (4, Insightful)

MarkusQ (450076) | more than 7 years ago | (#17254790)

Sometimes consistency isn't the hobgoblin of little minds.

IIRC, the actual quote they were going for is "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds" and the point he was making is that small-minded people tend to get bogged down worrying about consistency where it doesn't really matter. In other words, if your list of biggest gripes includes items like this, get a life.

--MarkusQ

this is why engineers design shitty UIs (1)

Uksi (68751) | more than 7 years ago | (#17254808)

The complaint from these experts is that the look of the UIs is different. Brushed metal here, but flat gun-metal gray here! OMG, that's so inconsistent!

And, sure, that is inconsistent.

But who gives a flying dog! The key is that the applications really are easy to use. What is consistent is that excellent flow of interaction, where each of those interfaces is simpler than Windows apps, much less frustrating than Windows apps. It's the reason why Apple users stays loyal to Apple: they design the user experience well.

Hell, if my Windows apps were as straightforward, I wouldn't care if each one was the color of the rainbow!

Those experts can't see the forest for the differently colored trees. Yet, I bet they are patting themselves on the back about their insightful analysis of differences.

Re:this is why engineers design shitty UIs (1)

Pope (17780) | more than 7 years ago | (#17255076)

But who gives a flying dog!

Microsoft, apparently. It shows up by default every time I try to do a goddamn file search!

Hidden Folders (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17254814)

Dear Apple:

Make hidden folders viewable in finder, I don't care if I might break anything. I don't want to have to go to bash any time I want to work with /usr

While you are at it, the putting the date on the desktop thing is a good idea.

Re:Hidden Folders (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17255070)

They had it right in "Panther" and broke it horribly in "Tiger".
In "Panther", with 'AppleShowAllFiles" enabled, normally invisible items would be visible, but "ghosted" so you could tell that they were normally invisible.

In "Tiger", everything looks washed out. It's stupid.

Re:Hidden Folders (1)

Dog-Cow (21281) | more than 7 years ago | (#17255204)

You can do this yourself, using SetFile (IIRC).

Re:Hidden Folders (1)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 7 years ago | (#17255322)

Dear Anonymous Coward,

Your Mac has some great features that already allow you to access these folders! To access /usr, click "Go" -> "Go to Folder" in Finder. Then type "/usr" and click on "Go".

While you're at it, consider adding the Calendar Widget to your Dashboard. This will allow you to check the date with a simple "F8" keypress.

Oh f*** (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17254818)

Out of all of these suggestions, about one or two actually made sense, but it's a freaking disaster that these geniuses trying to transform OSX into something that would most likely only fit THEMSELVES perfectly haven't thought about one very annoying aspect:

Why the HELL doesn't the Finder allow the user to sort files with FOLDERS ON TOP, instead of mixing the cursed things in an unholy and undistinguishable mess together with files? It's completely messed up navigation, contanstly forcing the user to switch between Type-sorting and Name-sorting just to find what the user wants, instead of neat and tidy putting all the damn directories SEPARATELY.

Idiots. Both the writers and the chumps at Apple.

Re:Oh f*** (1)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 7 years ago | (#17254998)

I'd like to see that, too, at least as a Finder preferences option.

I just put a leading underscore or space in my folder names. Sorts them to the top. It's a kludge, but a relatively simple one.

Maybe it is just me (2, Interesting)

Nick Fury (624480) | more than 7 years ago | (#17254824)

The person or persons who wrote this article seemed to be in a hurry to come up with 15 items. Three of them are all about how to view things sorted in Finder and even then they seem to relate back to resizing the window, which is also one of the items listed.

I think they were rushed to meet a deadline and were really just wanting to cause a ruckus with an editorial piece about how Apple is not to their personal liking. I don't think they actually put much effort into writing this article.

The shutdown thing is laughable. It actually takes me less key presses to shutdown on my Mac than on my windows machine. If the person writing the article had patience they could also wait the 25 seconds it takes the machine to shutdown automatically once the shutdown button has been pressed. Personally, I use that time to get up and stretch for a few seconds.

One more thing... (1)

Secret Agent X23 (760764) | more than 7 years ago | (#17254826)

More options for resizing windows is the item in the article I'd most like to see implemented. But I'll add one more of my own: I'd like to have a button I could click on to go up one level in the hierarchy of folders.

Re:One more thing... (1)

je ne sais quoi (987177) | more than 7 years ago | (#17255256)

I agree. There is a workaround though. I use the Finder in column view, and then instead of using the sidebar I use the old (10.1) style shortcuts on the Toolbar. Here's the hint I submitted from this place [macosxhints.com] .
Okay, let me preface this by saying this is a shameless two-bit hack. I finally got around to buying 10.3 yesterday, and the lack of a horizontal scroll bar in the Finder windows has consumed several hours of my time trying to fix/break this bug/feature. The "feature" goes like this: if I click on the Home folder, which is a special folder (like Applications, Documents, etc.), the Finder roots me at that place and pulls the horizontal scroll bar from the bottom of the window. (Someone here already pointed out that a work around is typing "command-up arrow" a few times). My solution is a bit different, I discovered that clicking on non-special folders doesn't cause this rooting "feature" to activate. So what I did was make aliases of all the special folders that I was interested in, and put them in a directory out of the way someplace (e.g., in folder in my Library). Now after a little icon management to get the aliases looking like the original directories (see other tips on this site), I put the aliases in the Toolbar and Voila!, the horizontal scroll bar has returned in all its hierarchial glory. One thing though, I haven't figured out a way to get this to work with the Sidebar. When I try the system decides that I really mean the special folder itself and not the alias. This isn't a problem for me because I'm not using the Sidebar at the moment."

Re:One more thing... (1)

mallardtheduck (760315) | more than 7 years ago | (#17255300)

Ctrl/Right-Click on the Finder's toolbar, click "Customize toolbar...", add the "Path" item.
Now, you can click that button to go anywhere in the path above the current view. Yes it takes two whole clicks, but it's pretty much what you asked for.

Click to friggin front... thats whats wrong. (1)

McNihil (612243) | more than 7 years ago | (#17254850)

The very bad "Click to front" and the lack of "auto mouse focus" makes usage crippled. Heck even Amiga had layers back in 1986 and was capable of doing it.

Looking forward to virtual desktop on 10.5 though.

I'll stick with gnome thank you very much.

Re:Click to friggin front... thats whats wrong. (1)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 7 years ago | (#17255028)

That's very subjective. I use Unix a lot at work and I hate auto mouse focus. I don't want something getting the focus unless I tell it to.

But then again all this proves is that it would make a good prefence selection for the Finder.

Re:Click to friggin front... thats whats wrong. (1)

also-rr (980579) | more than 7 years ago | (#17255264)

Do you use focus follows mouse (Linux way) or focus under mouse (Solaris way)? The difference is that the former gives focus to an application when you move over it (so if the mouse is over no app the last one you moved over has focus), the latter is much stricter.

The former is really useful. It lets you type in windows that are partially obscured and is a massive productivity boost for power users. The latter sucks ass and leads to the things that usually puts users off focus follows mouse such as moving the cursor out of the way onto the background so they can see what they are typing causing a loss of focus from all applications.

7. Motif is not user interface, etc (3, Insightful)

penultimateman (983800) | more than 7 years ago | (#17254856)

#7 is just silly. First of all, brushed metal and shiny scroll bars have nothing to do with user interface. These are surface elements which are totally seperate from functional (ie UI) elements. Secondly, why should all applications look the same to begin with? The rooms in my house don't all look the same. Each of these applications look different because they are different. All doorknobs don't look the same, but I still know how to use them. If an application is intuitive and responsive, like iTunes, Safari, and Mail, it should look different from other applications. It's called style. I suspect #7 was written by a computer with poor visual pattern recognition.

I don't want all my apps to look the same... (2, Funny)

Fysiks Wurks (949375) | more than 7 years ago | (#17254896)

From the article (and Summary): "7. Inconsistent User Interface. Open iTunes, Safari and Mail. All three of these programs are Apple's own, and they're among the ones most likely to be used by Mac OS X users. So why do all three of them look different?"

I don't want my apps to all looks the same . Just like I don't want all women to look the same; women all have the same basic framework and operating system. But I definatley want to be able to quickly distinguish between my wife and my mother-in-law! "Hey honey, I thought I'd join you in the shower.....DEAR GOD Nooooooo!"

I do want the menu bars, etc., to follow a standard so features are easy to find - like prefereneces, print, quit, etc.

The Finder and files (1)

azav (469988) | more than 7 years ago | (#17254938)

In OS 9, files in the finder uset to update as they were being created. As the file gets bigger, the finder entry updates. All too often, this only happens if the file has been clicked on in an open window. So a 1 G file looks like it is 128 K.

Yes, it completely sucks.

Also, often when copying files up to a volume on the Internet, the status says 5 seconds left, then writes "closing file" for the next 7 minutes.

Complete stupididy.

Finally, many times, files are written into folders that are open and they do not appear at all until the folder is "dirtied" somehow. It's really great to have a friend across the world, open a folder, you copy something into it and he can't see it at all.

Complete crap.

Where is the friendlyness of the PRE OS X Finder?

What happened to "put away"?

God, I hate the Finder.

UI (1)

Backus.Naur (951372) | more than 7 years ago | (#17254954)

Anyone who has spent a little time with Blend and Vista will realized that Apple has just lost its UI advantage. Last year I bought the Mac for my wife with few comptuer skills. Of course I raved about how easy her life would be. Well, it just aint true, Pages was harder for her to use then word. Print Shop on the Mac wasn't as complete. Websites stopped wokring on Safari. (Firefox was better) Attachments drove her crazy. ( No MS office, and the converting to Pages was far from perfect ) Only 1 of 10 kid's games were compatible. WiFi worked not as well. ( PC sitting right next to it got much better signal, surfing experience ) No Spider Solataire..( Ok that's funny but I had to find one for Mac ) iPhoto was the one highlight, but now vista's photo thing is close enough, and Picasa is also available. This Christmas she's getting a Dell with Vista.

You must hate your wife (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17255130)

If someone sends her Word files and she does not have Word, why is that the computer's fault?

My friend's 12 year old daughter pretty much taught herself to use Pages.

Do us all a favor and never breed.

Right on (1)

virgil_disgr4ce (909068) | more than 7 years ago | (#17254956)

Numbers 4 and 5 are right on the mark, as well as Finder refresh and file renaming. Also, keyboard navigation is still pretty half-assed. I managed to customize my MBP to have a semblance of windows functionality (in terms of keyboard nav) but dialogues still crop up with an element that can't be nav'd to. Infuriating. The article correctly pegs OS X as being far too mouse-centric.

It has always bothered me that macs are thought of as THE platform of choice for designers or those in some kind of professional graphic arts/design, because the vast majority of these people have never touched a PC, and thus aren't even aware of the tiny little details they're missing.

In the end, I don't give a shit what OS I'm using as long as it allows me to work faster and more efficiently. I can only pray that Apple realizes that they MUST continue adapting OS X towards "power users," an overstated name for someone who simply bothers to learn how to use their damn OS/computer. They have a great OS that works really, really well for people who have never used computers, and I'm happy about that--I've recommended new macs to many family members who don't need to (or won't) learn shit about their computer. But there's no reason Mac OS can't cater to REAL computer users.

--Tedb0t

os x is da man (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17254988)

os x rocks

My list (2, Informative)

also-rr (980579) | more than 7 years ago | (#17254992)

A while a go I posted my list [swifthost.co.uk] of things that I didn't like about OSX and I got some good responses that fixed [swifthost.co.uk] a few.

The good news (for me) is that now Linux on powerbooks is very, very good [revis.co.uk] - not only do all the key things like wireless (with WPA), suspend, sound, 3d acceleration etc work perfectly but with Beryl installed it actually looks far better than OS X. I was sitting in an internet cafe yesterday and people were being awed by OS X... except it wasn't OS X at all. I said almost two years ago that Linux was catching up with OS X for look and feel... well, now it has. Even with Gnome apps mixed into a KDE desktop the behavior (thanks to an awful lot of work by the Kubuntu/Ubuntu guys) is more consistant across applications than anything you will find on OS X or Windows.

Oh, and with MOL installed (so it's one button press to switch to/from full screen OS X almost as fast as on native hardware) there really are no downsides.

A Few More Ideas (1)

miyako (632510) | more than 7 years ago | (#17255000)

A few years ago, I got an iBook which was my first mac. I don't really regret getting it, as it certainly did what I need, but now that I'm in the market for a new notebook I'm not really considering apple at all, largely because there are a lot of things in the OS X- especially Aqua- that just really annoy me.
The biggest problem that I see with OS X is that it offers very little in customizability. Aqua feels like it was designed for someone who has never used a computer before. For a lot of people, I'm sure that this simplicity is a good thing, and I won't fault Apple for making something easy to learn. Unfortunately, Apple never seemed to consider that what is easy for a newbie is also woefully inefficient and infuriating for a power user. The best example that I can think of is not having the option to type in a path in the Finder. Certainly it can be done with 3rd party applications, but it seems extremely asinine to not support it by default.

Re:A Few More Ideas (1)

benbean (8595) | more than 7 years ago | (#17255126)

Command-Shift-G - Go to Folder.

Re:A Few More Ideas (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17255218)

shift+cmd+G

Re:A Few More Ideas (1)

jpkunst (612360) | more than 7 years ago | (#17255276)

The best example that I can think of is not having the option to type in a path in the Finder. Certainly it can be done with 3rd party applications, but it seems extremely asinine to not support it by default.

That option exists by default: Go -> Go To Folder... in the Finder's menu bar, or type Shift-Command-G.

JP

Re:A Few More Ideas (1)

Dog-Cow (21281) | more than 7 years ago | (#17255302)

"The best example that I can think of is not having the option to type in a path in the Finder. Certainly it can be done with 3rd party applications, but it seems extremely asinine to not support it by default."

Apple+G.

1 Thing the Authors Should Change (1)

xneubien (628441) | more than 7 years ago | (#17255116)

2. Renaming Isn't Easy. The process of renaming files is highly mouse-centric on the Mac. There's no F2 option (as there is on Windows) that lets you select the file and press F2 to expose the filename-editing mode. The mouse process requires very precisely timed mouse clicks. Anyone who has ever been forced to rename a long list of files under both Windows and Mac operating systems will likely agree that the Windows way is easier. --Michael Cullison
I think its actually easier to do this on the mac Select the file and press the "return" key. Only problem with this, if you are used to launching apps in windows with the enter key, you may accidentally rename files while your at it.

Some stuff (1)

ppolitop (870365) | more than 7 years ago | (#17255122)

Generally very well put, but I have an objection with:

10. Accessing Applications.
The Dock offers a great way to show running applications and the programs you launch most often.
But what about those applications you use only once in a while? The way it is now, you can either jam
the Dock so full with program icons it's ridiculous or keep the Dock clean and then open a Finder
window and drill down into the Applications folder to launch lesser-used apps. The previous
generation Mac OS let you configure program launching on the Apple menu. While there are third-party
solutions that give you back a semblance of that functionality, Apple needs to recognize this user need.
(Reader Michael Cullison contributed to this pet peeve.)
The dock allows folders with aliases that act exactly like "start menus" not to mention that the best and
IMHO the intented way of launching those not-so-frequently-used-apps is spotlight... type first few letters
press down arrow and you got it!

Also, I would add a 16th thing that should change. Finder. Please make it better, make it not crash or hang so
easily, on every network drive disconnection.

the doc

Nitpicks (1)

Bastian (66383) | more than 7 years ago | (#17255140)

What I find most striking about these is that they're all total nitpicks. Even they seem to recognize it.

That, and they seem to have forgotten some far worse problems with OS X. For example, opening a save or open panel in an app requires waiting for external hard drives to spin up. It seems to poll every mounted volume on the computer ahead of time, whether or not I'm actually going to tunnel into that volume when I'm working with the save panel. On days when the network at work is being slow, this is particularly annoying - it's not uncommon for me to end up waiting well over 30 seconds for a save panel to appear.

And if you want to see a *real* example of inconsistent user interface on OS X, click the white pill on a Finder window and use it for a while. Notice how the Finder suddenly doesn't behave anything like the way it used to when you have the menu bar hidden?

One more (3, Insightful)

Bastian (66383) | more than 7 years ago | (#17255190)

2 mouse buttons on the notebooks, people! Physical buttons! Three would be even better!

I get the impression that the folks in Cupertino have never tried to use an X11 app with a one-button mouse. God damn that's a painful experience.

Must fix a Bluetooth headset flaw (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17255144)

I have an ibook G4 bought an year ago.
I have a bluetooth headset and i use it for voip calls, it's very esay to use with mac compared to widcomm drivers in xp.
However, every BT headset when turned on tries to connect to two devices: the first that has paired with and, if it fails, the last device it was connected to.
Since i take care of pairing after the mobile phones, my iBook isn't the first one, but often is the last one, for the headset, to be connected to the headset.

Since the BT is always on on my iBook because i use other devices, every time i turn on my headset it connects to the iBook, but isn't disconnected after few seconds.
Worse, if i use an app that has bt headset as default mic/headset (skype, iChat, X-lite), it hangs and freezes as soon as it tries to use the BT headset.

If i turn off BT on my iBook before turning on the headset, the first connection attempt fails and then evry software works fine with it.

I'm sure the problem is in the BT headset management on OSX, because i tested it with 3 different BT headsets (nokia, plantronics, motorola) with both BT v.1.1 and 1.2.

It's very boring turn off BT everytime i have to use a simple headset.

cla

Fix Spotlight? (1)

b0s0z0ku (752509) | more than 7 years ago | (#17255174)

Please, pretty please, make it work with network shares without dicking around with root's crontab and writing watchdog scripts. Also, remove the moronic distinction between mounting a share via the base BSD system and via Finder (only the latter will index via Spotlight at all!). This needs to be a unified OS, not something vaguely pretending to be OS 9 riding on top of BSD.

Cheers,
-b.

navigating OS X by keyboard :: #1 problem (5, Interesting)

bartlettdmoore (972179) | more than 7 years ago | (#17255210)

Apple continues to drop the ball on the keyboard issue. Many dialog boxes require mouse input when a simple 'arrow over then press enter or spacebar' would be most sensible. What's worse is that some of OS X's dialog boxes respond to keyboard input while others don't--very frustrating! Windows got this right way early (I'm talking version 3 or earlier) and their key bindings have pretty much remained constant (and thus predictable) since. I love the Mac OS, but this drives me--and other power users--crazy! Its time for Apple to get on board with the keys on the keyboard. I'm appalled that the Computerworld article missed this flagrent impediment to using OS X to get things done...

Better than Vista? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17255296)

Vista is so many light years ahead of OSX it's funny to think about. XP perhaps, but Vista no way.
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