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Tim O'Reilly: I am really starting to hate Mac OS X. (plus.google.com)
491 points by antidaily on Nov 12, 2011 | hide | past | web | favorite | 445 comments



I prefer Lion to Snow Leopard.

I find myself appreciating the more controversial changes, like reversed scrolling and hidden scrollers. I followed Gruber's advice and suppressed the impulse to switch the defaults back to Snowpard behaviors and find that I'm less happy when I have to use Snowpard now.

Meanwhile:

* Mail.app under Lion is the best mail UX they've ever shipped. It's not a small improvement over Snowpard; it has a more reasonable layout now that makes Smart Folders make more sense, and search seems to have been completely rebuilt and actually works now.

* I find myself liking Mission Control enough not to mind not having vertical virtual desktop arrangements.

* Preview can sign documents now!

* The Filevault fix is huge for me (Filevault is now a bona fide block level FDE), since it means I don't have to use PGP WDE, which was a debacle.

My sense of it is, there is zero opportunity for someone to compete with Apple and Microsoft on conventional desktop operating systems, and the problems O'Reilly has with OS X are not generally going to be shared by people like my dad, who are (a) the only people Apple really cares about because (b) they're where all the money is.


I was ok with hidden scrollbars at first, and then I started running into websites with scrollable areas that were padded by non scrollable whitespace. Without a scrollbar, there's no indication that the area is even scrollable, unless you're lucky enough to see some partially cut off text. Even then, it's hard to know where the scroll pane begins and the padding ends. Maybe web designers should either stop using seamlessly pad scrollable panes, or indicate scroll ability some other way, but in the meantime I've turned scrollbar visibility back on.


> Mail.app under Lion is the best mail UX they've ever shipped.

Totally agreed; I have been using Gmail web interface for years reluctant to switch to a desktop client, but switched immediately after installing Lion and checking out the Mail app.


Same here. The Show Related Messages feature is even an improvement over Gmail's conversations. Now I want that on my iPhone.


People hate change. That's what it all boils down to. I've used a Mac since 10.4 and Lion was the first upgrade that annoyed me slightly. I only have one complaint though: Mission Control. I liked my old spaces. I want to arrange my spaces in a grid again.

Otherwise I'd say that if you're open to it and give the changes a chance they'll grow on you. The scrolling feels natural to me now and I have a Mighty, not Magic, Mouse. Traditional scrolling now feels strange. For reference, I do frequently use a second computer running Crunchbang Linux so it's not like I'm used to it because it's all I use.


For those criticizing- He has given one example of what he thinks is wrong. Not all posts are meant to be essays...

Briefly though, (as another user who switched from Mac OS X), I can certainly give examples of what he says:

Not all of these are specific to OS X, its the overall hardware and software that is getting frustrating.

More user-hostile

- If you replace your SuperDrive with another drive, you CAN NOT boot any operating system (other than Apple's) off usb drives or even external DVD drives plugged into usb slots. So with two hard drives, you can not install Windows or Linux. [1]

- Batteries are not considered user-swappable anymore. [2]

More buggy

- Battery life degradation when moving from SL to Lion. Apple forums are full of examples. [3] (78 page thread, no confirmation or fix from Apple).

- We all know how annoying the switch to Mission Control was, right?

[1] http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1125135

[2] http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1756

[3] https://discussions.apple.com/thread/3194235?start=0&tst...

[Edit: formatting]


Worst parts of Lion over OS X:

1) Removed "Save As". You now have to duplicate and then save the file.

2) Smaller resize/minimize/"maximize" buttons.

3) The green maximize button still doesn't maximize.

4) Switched default behavior with mouse scrolling.

5) Generally slower and more resource intensive, noticeable on older (2009) Macbook Pros.

6) Terrible, lengthy switch over from the previous version of FileVault, if you had that enabled.

7) Crashed a lot of programs initially, especially Chrome. Now not as much, but very crashy a few months ago.


Seriously, wtf is up with removing "Save As"? I had to copy the text from a file I was working on and paste it into a new file because the "Save a new version" option wasn't doing anything.

One you missed: really horrible auto-correct feature Apple added. It will replace a word when you're in the middle of typing it. Completely broken and totally transparent. At first, I thought that WriteRoom was just buggy.

Oh, and the "Home" folder isn't exposed under the Favorites section of Finder by default anymore. You have to go to "Go > Home". Took me a little while to figure that one out.


The new "Duplicate" then "Save" paradigm is not making me particularly happy.

It must be so automatic to me to go to Finder >> Preferences >> Sidebar and check / uncheck stuff that I didn't know Home wasn't checked by default.


Save as doesn’t make sense if the app auto-saves.


"Save as" is usually used when you want to save it as a different file somewhere else, and most people have cmd-shift-s ingrained in their mind.

This no longer exists and there's no excuse. Autosaving doesn't even do the same job.


I don’t think you understand. This is about paradigm shifts.

Here is how it used to work: You open this old document because you want to create a new one and use the old one as a template. You either Save as right away or (much more likely) you edit for a bit and do a Save as at some later point.

If you do this with auto save you are fucked. (Well, not really. There is now Versions, so starting with Lion this is finally a recoverable mistake.) Editing your document for a bit before doing a Save as with auto save is the same as mistakenly saving your document – overwriting your old document – instead of doing a Save as. That mistake is catastrophic – I know it, I used to make it often enough myself – and users would make it all the time had Apple left Save as in.

Now when you open an old document you will be asked – as soon as you start editing – whether you want to edit the document or duplicate it, thus avoiding that catastrophic mistake. You can also duplicate documents at any time.

The transition period will be painful, that’s for sure, but the end result is pure bliss. It’s worth it.

A lot of changes with Lion are just like this. Sometimes some pain while transitioning is the price for awesomeness.


And what if my workflow involves making multiple files based off the same document? Say I making png buttons in Photoshop. I change the test to "Order" pick save as, type "order.png", change the text to "Cancel" pick save as, type "cancel.png", change the text to "Help" pick save as, type "help.png".

It sounds like that work flow just got massively tedious.


Duplicate → Save, Duplicate → Save.

One step turned two. Worse? Yes. Tedious? No. It’s worth it given the other conceptual changes and the fact that this is very much an edge case.


Here's my work flow when I'm writing a long document: - Create/open "Master copy". - Regularly Save/enable Autosave. - When I have completed a chapter/segment, or before for lunch/supper, I Save and Save As on my backup HDD with a time-stamp/chapter number.

Like this I have one copy that I can edit and is always up to date on my main HDD and I have a whole record of copies on my backup HDDs. If I want to see how I edited chapter 3 whilst I was writing chapter 6 (they're related in the plot) I can.

I can't imagine this being something unknown of in the use of other applications. A franchisee that tracks various performance metrics each hour/day on a rolling database (month/year) sends a copy at regular intervals to the franchise owner/manager so that general franchise performance can be evaluated will have the same problem.

I can see how Duplicate -> Save is "only one click more", but the one-click solution worked well. If the "paradigm shift" is related to auto-saves, why not simply have the auto-saves create a new hidden file by default. Either the changes are saved (cue overwriting of the opened file), or the changes are saved as. If the user exits without saving, the hidden file can be marked for auto-delete in X days/hours, making erroneous exits recoverable. If there's a crash/loss of power, the hidden file is prompted for recovery at the program's next start.


A lot of programs have some kind of auto-save, here is how it works in Microsoft Word. While editing your document, it is auto-saved, but as a new, hidden file. When you manually Save, this new file overwrites the old, and a Save As does the same, but with the new name, not wiping the old document. You can argue that this is messy, and only a hack to get around the paradigm. It all depends on how people want to work, giving the program the responsibility to handle it.


Thanks for the clear explanation of the rationale.


Personally I miss my Save As and I am not a fan of auto-save, but I think it's horseshit that someone downvoted this.


Sure it does, it just auto-saves to whatever your last "Save As" was.


It’s possible to do but it would confuse. It doesn’t make sense conceptually.


I've not used lion so am not familiar with it, but going from what someone else is saying above, you need to 'duplicate' then 'save'. If it's autosaving, this doesn't make sense conceptually either. Why would the app not be autosaving once the duplicated document has been created? Why do you need to save separately?


You still have to save one first time, else the OS wouldn’t know where to put the file and how to name it. Lion only auto saves after that. That is irrespective of whether your create a new file or duplicate a file. (Apple could have been a lot more radical here, I’m unsure whether they should have been. That certainly would have meant a lot more work and it would have been an even more complicated transition.)


I would have thought that the duplicate function would have had 'duplicate it where?' in it.

The only reason I can think of for not having this is so you could make temporary changes to a document and not have them saved - which just seems to be a different way of arranging the cart and horse compared to the 'save as' workflow. With the Save As workflow, temporary changes are simply not saved. With the Duplicate workflow, you have to dupe the document first to avoid unwanted saving, then make your temporary changes. I don't see much of an improvement overall.


The new behavior protects from the following scenario (which I think is very common): Someone wants to use an old document as a template and in the process overwrites the old document. That’s data loss and the user likely becomes unable to even find the new document since it’s saved under the name of the old document.

It used to be the case that users had to actually make a mistake in order for this to happen (i.e. they had to forget to do a Save as and do a Save instead – that happened to me way too often, though), with auto save they would make that mistake automatically and every time.

I think what Apple could do is add a “Duplicate and save” function, I don’t think Save as is salvageable with auto save.


8) Strange full screen behavior.

I get where they're going with this (iOS-y) but this is just a horrible neither-here-nor-there solution. Dual monitors makes it a true joke.


    3) The green maximize button still doesn't maximize.
This isn't and has never been a "maximize" button. It's supposed to zoom the window to fit the content as best it can without scrolling. It's up to the developer to implement it properly with their own logic.


But very, very few apps ever get it right, and most people seem to just want minimize and maximize.


Have you ever used a 30" display? Maximizing windows does not make a whole lot of sense there, especially considering the difference in window contents on Windows vs Mac (ie. self-contained menubar, etc).


What proportion of OSX users use 30" displays?

Hell, what proportion of them use desktop-variety computers?


1440x900 screen, absolutely can’t stand maximized windows – hate them, actually.


It's still not an argument to optimise OSX for the use case of 30" monitors though.


27" iMac is pretty popular


That's where the newer Microsoft Windows method of maximizing into 1/2 the screen works well. I'd prefer if it were customizable to work in thirds, though.

I maintain that people think of multi-windowed UI in terms of windows first. Resizing a window to fit the content makes less sense than resizing the content to fit the window. People also seem to get really upset when UI interaction isn't consistent, and the Mac approach means that it varies wildly between apps.


You can drag a window to a corner to get it to fill a quarter screen. Kind of hard to hit the lower corners (it is not the screen corner but the top of the taskbar).


If you're going to criticize it, at least do so in a constructive way. In your list of 7, I see 2 real complaints.

1) Agreed, this can be annoying.

2) The buttons are visually smaller, but have the same target click area.

3) It behaves the same way it did before, so this isn't any worse.

4) The new scrolling takes a day or two to get used to, and then is better. If you really don't like it, there's an option to toggle it off. This isn't an issue.

5) Agreed, it is arguably slower and tends to drain the battery faster. It's also doing more. It sucks, but that's the price of progress.

6) As I see it, FireVault is a huge plus and not at all a drawback. Was there anything 'terrible' about the process other than that it was lengthy? And really, a one-time conversion cost for such a huge improvement to this feature was a problem for you?

7) This happens with practically every desktop OS upgrade ever and, as you mentioned, isn't a problem anymore.

So besides #1 and #5, are there other real complaints?

I'd personally add "really botched multi-touch gestures" to the list, but I'm genuinely curious if it's actually that much worse or people are just piling onto this rant.


Wait- they removed "Save as"? I am so glad I chose to ignore Lion.


Only in Apple-produced apps like TextEdit. Microsoft Word, etc. still have it.


Oh my god, so it's inconsistent and it's a step in the wrong direction?


They removed it for all apps that auto save. Save as doesn’t really make sense if an app auto saves and only serves to confuse.

You now duplicate and then save.


When I saw the previews for Lion I thought autosave seemed like overkill. When I'm working on anything I "autosave" by reaching over slightly and hitting CMD-S every time I make any small amount of progress. The last time I experienced significant data/progress loss was probably about 3 years ago before I developed this habit. I don't see what problem they're trying to fix.


The problem is: Most people don't do that, especially new computer users. (Or, these days, people who are used to web apps, which don't use command-S.)

They don't learn until they've been burned, probably quite badly. If the computer doesn't HAVE to burn them in the first place, why should it?


> When I'm working on anything I "autosave" by reaching over slightly and hitting CMD-S every time I make any small amount of progress . . . I don't see what problem they're trying to fix.

Um, that?

The concept of "save" was good for a time, but having everything autosave is absolutely forward progress.

My Macbook Air just kernel panicked about 20 minutes ago (which, admittedly, shouldn't happen). I had to hold down the power button, and then turn it back on. Less than one minute after the crash my laptop's state, opened programs, tabs, files, unsaved progress, was restored.


Like you, I also have a tic of hitting command-S. However, I don't think requiring the user to develop a tic to keep their data safe is very good usability.


Well, then you haven’t met my parents. (I also hit Cmd-S frequently but sometimes I honestly forget.)

Auto save is an obvious improvement. The whole saving paradigm sucked and I’m so happy that Apple is tackling it.


"When I'm working on anything I "autosave" by reaching over slightly and hitting CMD-S every time I make any small amount of progress."

I would say this is exactly the problem they are trying to fix.


Hahah, maybe, but I'm happy doing it. I have control that way. I can't tell the computer to stop auto-saving can I? That way I can take risks when I'm coding etc and always revert what I did if it was a mistake.


Lion is the first OSX version I've used, and it's really hard for me to understand these complaints.

1) Removed? It's still in there for office and photoshop

2) Never really need to minimize, use mission control

3) Have no use for that green button, use full screen apps

4) Coming from Windows, learned reverse scrolling in 15 minutes, now the other way feels strange

5) Can't really address this, this macbook air is by far the fastest computer I've used

6,7) Haven't noticed these


6 - It has to un-encrypt all of your data and re-encrypt it.

This is always going to be slow, especially if it is on a single spinning disk.


“We all know how annoying the switch to Mission Control was, right?”

No, we certainly don’t. I love Mission control and I think it’s an improvement over Exposé. Don’t pretend I’m agreeing with you.

For me personally Lion has been a solid improvement. Quite a few things that used to suck about OS X still suck but I have seen nothing but improvements or neutral changes with Lion. (Yeah, I have some minor quibbles, but mostly about apps I hardly ever use anyway.) I had no technical issues at all. Again, that’s for me personally.


The thing about mission control is that they could easily have left the old expose intact as an optional alternative, but nooooo they had to remove it completely and fuck up thousands of users' workflow habits. I mean you have to admit the way mission control stacks windows on top of each other for each application is pretty ridiculous. Other than that it's fairly useful.

But there was no good reason to remove the 'all app expose' feature, leaving only the within app expose. They either just overlooked it or want to brainwash users into some sort of app centric paradigm.

It reminds of when they released the magic mouse and you could no longer have expose mapped to a third mouse button. Surely wasn't the only user dependent on such a useful feature.


I like the way Mission Control stacks windows. As for leaving unstacked windows in: Yeah, well. That’s not how Apple rolls. Love it or hate it.


> But there was no good reason to remove the 'all app expose' feature, leaving only the within app expose. They either just overlooked it or want to brainwash users into some sort of app centric paradigm.

Do you mean the "Show all Windows for the current app"? I'm pretty sure it's still there. Might have a different gesture tho.


No I mean there used to be two forms of expose - show all within app, which I almost never used (it would only be useful if you had a truly ridiculous number of windows open, really), and show all windows across all applications including the finder. They've taken away the latter, which was the useful one.

Most times I hit expose in the past it was to go to a window of another application. For instance switching between the code I was editing in Coda or Textmate to the webpage I was building in Safari, or the graphics I was manipulating in Preview. In fact I did this constantly. Now it's a two step process: select the app in mission control, and then do expose once you're in the app. It wouldn't be so bad if the way Mission Control stacked the app windows wasn't so useless - when you expand them they should at least fill the screen so you can see everything, instead they become just slightly less bundled together, forcing you to footer about with the pointer to get what you want.

Expose was one of the best GUI innovations ever, IMO, and they've bloody ruined it.


Totally agreed. To add more reasons:

1. I don't have money for an SSD right now, and Mission Control can take up to 10 seconds to start, presumably because some stuff on another Space had been swapped to disk. I just used a friend's 800 MHz iMac G4 at a party and damn, Exposé was instant!

2. I don't even want to see stuff on another space. I move apps on spaces to FOCUS, not to see my unwritten report at the top of my desktop when switching apps on one space.


> He has given one example of what he thinks is wrong.

Most of it being... not smart?

> Right now, since I've switched to Gmail, I'm trying to back up and remove from my machine years of accumulated mail storage from mail.app. First obstacle: a user's library files are now hidden.

No, the ~/Library folder is now hidden, you can see it via Terminal, by opening the Finder's Go menu with an option-click or browse it because you know the path (cmd-shift-G, for instance). This change is sensible: how often does a user need to go into the Library folder?

> Finally find them (thanks Matt Silver), back up the files to an external disk, and then delete them. But then when I empty the trash, an ungodly number of files--going back years--claim they are "in use" and can't be deleted. So here I am having to click "continue" every few thousand files (if I'm lucky) as I page through more than 400,00 files to be deleted. I know this is actually an old mis-feature - but why the devil wouldn't they give you an "ignore" checkbox or a "delete whatever you can checkbox"? This has been a problem for years, but never fixed, while they add new gloss all the time.

He hates OSX now because of something which has been there forever? Like the trash refusing to delete open files you moved there?

There are issues with OSX and there are debatable changes, but his post is simply nonsense.


I wouldn't be surprised if the mail files were 'in use' due to Spotlight indexing.

The workaround for that would probably be to tell Spotlight to not index mail.

Or else, perhaps, to delete them from within Mail.app?


Battery life degradation when moving from SL to Lion. Apple forums are full of examples. [3] (78 page thread, no confirmation or fix from Apple).

Wow! 78 page thread! Almost all are saying me too. And no sound in blogosphere! Just imagine if same thing happens in microsoft discussion forum. Tech bloggers really cut some slack for apple.


I currently use OS X for all my work and for personal/home use. But I have to agree with the sentiment. I have had nothing but praise for Apple and OS X up until Lion release. But this year has been a major turning point. End of XServe, end of Apple java, talk of end of Mac Pro and the whole post PC world thing, turning OS X into fisher price phone OS. Honestly, at this point I have to re-think my future and make a platform switch. I have invested well over $30,000 into Apple so far, but going forward I will most likely end up with Linux for software development and Windows for Photoshop and video editing (personal use).

I'm really just waiting to see what post-Lion OS X looks like, and if they keep moving towards iOS/iPhone, then I really don't want anything to do with Apple. I don't need a computer/OS from a phone company.


Completely agreed.

I dont see why valid criticisms of what Apple is doing get such a negative response. A lot of us love Apple software and hardware, and have invested a lot of money in various parts of the ecosystem. We are not windows fanboys who are making a fuss without having ever used Mac OS.

A lot of changes I can understand; moving forward may mean annoying a portion of your users. But a lot of these changes do not change anything for the better. There are no reasons for them at all, as mentioned elsewhere in the thread.


Have you seen the new Windows? Microsoft is steamrolling down the "new world" path faster than Apple.


TBD. Incorporating user feedback and giving users options are pretty fundamental to Microsoft's standard operating procedure, so my guess is that the next public preview or beta of Win 8 will force a lot fewer changes on the user.

Really, the desktop mode of Windows 8 doesn't change all that much for power users, it just replaces the utterly broken Start Menu with a fullscreen start screen. It also makes this start screen the default environment for unsophisticated users, which is probably a reasonable move.

Aside from (IIRC) not letting you set a preference to default into the desktop mode on launch, the biggest problem with the start screen for power users was the low information density. This should be a setting, just like the default for Explorer is these giant icons and tiles for files, but you can easily switch it to use "Details" if you like to get real work done.

I think the end result for power users on traditional systems is likely to be that they deliver a desktop mode with only modest differences and a start screen that serves as a much more usable replacement for the start menu (and possibly the option to turn it back off). The start screen also provides a better replacement for some other ambient things like the desktop widgets that nobody ever sees because their apps are on top.

Meanwhile, that start screen, set to a lower information density (as was previewed), should be a pretty nifty base interface for tablet users and basic/new desktop users.

I'm sure there will still be some people up in arms, and possibly rightly so if there are some things they don't fix between now and the final release. But Win 8 has the potential to be a significant step forward without being too coercive on people who already have a good workflow in Win 7.


Same with Ubuntu unfortunately.

Seems like one of the smaller Linux variants will have to save us. At the moment, I'm quite taken with Fedora/Gnome 3. Although Ubuntu+Gnome 3 and the upcoming Linux Mint with Gnome 3 are solid options...

Yes. I like Gnome 3. Gnome 3.


Just installed Linux Mint - I love it! A real improvement over the bloated Ubuntu 11.10 release and Unity. It's fast to startup and shutdown, responsive and has a lovely UI.


Judging from what Apple's done so far, if they really wanted to turn the Mac into an iPad, they would just quit selling Macs and try selling more iPads.

Does it actually affect you that Apple isn't selling XServe anymore? It made some sense when Macs had PPC chips and PPC had a performance advantage, but nowadays I can't think of a good use for a rack-mounted Mac. Likewise, I'm going to miss the Mac Pro too, but have you gone to spec one out? It used to be you actually needed a Power Mac to run Photoshop fast enough, or to compile. Now they're just overpowered and overpriced, and Thunderbolt obviates the need for slots.

Yes, Apple is consciously conceding the server and raw CPU markets, probably to Linux. I myself would choose Linux over Mac for those applications, too. But when I want to SSH into that server, or Skype with my girlfriend when I'm away from home, or write some code, it turns out my MacBook works just fine for that.


Thunderbolt doesn't "obviate" the need for slots. Do you have 10k plus invested in pro audio or video gear that requires pci-e? All those guys are going to switch to Windows...


There are PCI-E enclosures that connect to Thunderbolt:

http://www.magma.com/thunderbolt.asp


>If you are a PCIe adapter manufacturer and want to make your product compatible with Express Box 3T, please contact Marketing(at)Magma.com to join our Partner Program or Join our Interest List and let us know that you're a developer.

And how many PCIe card makers have patched their drivers to work with this thing?


So it's a software problem rather than a hardware problem. Fine, maybe it's not a finished solution yet--but Apple hasn't stopped selling Mac Pros yet, either.


> end of Apple java

I'm not sure why that would be seen as a problem. The situation where Apple were maintaining their own Java implementation was at least slightly anomalous; returning responsibility to Sun/Oracle and OpenJDK makes a lot of sense.


I came from a windows background, tinkered with Linux for a few years on and off, and when I started my current job I was given a Macbook Pro. After a few months of using it I as so frustrated, and found myself spending more and more time in my Ubuntu virtual machine, that when they were ordering new MBPs for the design team I offered to give mine up to a designer and buy a ThinkPad, thus saving the company over $1,000. I've been running Ubuntu (and recently Linux Mint) full time for both work and personal use for a year and a half.

In OSX you can only resize a window in the bottom right corner, in Ubuntu I can resize from any corner, or I can hold Alt and middle click anywhere near a corner of a window to start resizing it. No more hunting for the resize sweetspot.

When I click the Maximize button on OSX, it doesn't actually maximize the window 99% of the time, it just picks a seemingly random size. I saw an app a while ago that would let you control how your OSX apps are resized when you maximize them, but if I have to buy an app just to make my OS do what it should do anyway, there's something wrong.

I need 10 different apps on a Mac just to do what I can do out of the box in Ubuntu. Nautilus can access Windows network shares, SSH/SFTP/FTP access, and can mount NTFS, HFS, and pretty much any other filesystem type there is.

On a new linux machine I can apt-get most anything, but if I do need to compile something I just apt-get build-essentials and I'm ready to go, on OSX you have to download a DVD just to be able to compile stuff from source.

I just want to see hidden files in Finder, why is that so hard? Why do I have to google it and use a 3+ key combination to enable showing hidden files? I'm all for keyboard shortcuts, I'm a keyboard man, but until I learn and memorize them, you should put them in the menu where I can find them with a little hunting.

And that reminds me, why can't I type a path in Finder? I prefer an address bar, where I can type a path to a directory I want to view, but noooo, I have to click around, and if it's a really deep folder I'm trying to get to I'm screwed.

I like Home and End keys. Where are they?

In the default Terminal app, there are no shortcuts (at least none that I could figure out) for moving around the text I'm typing quickly, like going forward and back a whole word, or going Home or End, you have to hold down the left or right arrows for a while.

Maybe for some people this locked down, dumbed down environment works for them. Maybe some people love learning the myriad of keyboard shortcuts needed to get stuff done on a Mac, but I prefer Ubuntu, I can get stuff done a lot faster and without wanting to kill myself.


Suum cuique but some of your concerns really aren't:

> In OSX you can only resize a window in the bottom right corner, in Ubuntu I can resize from any corner, or I can hold Alt and middle click anywhere near a corner of a window to start resizing it. No more hunting for the resize sweetspot.

They changed that in Lion to every corner, every side. And you don't have to press ALT to do it.

> When I click the Maximize button on OSX, it doesn't actually maximize the window 99% of the time, it just picks a seemingly random size.

There's now a full-screen mode that takes care of that.

> Nautilus can access Windows network shares, SSH/SFTP/FTP access, and can mount NTFS, HFS, and pretty much any other filesystem type there is.

One of these might be for you: http://mac.appstorm.net/roundups/utilities-roundups/5-altern...

> On a new linux machine I can apt-get most anything, but if I do need to compile something I just apt-get build-essentials and I'm ready to go, on OSX you have to download a DVD just to be able to compile stuff from source.

Darwin ports? Fink?

> I just want to see hidden files in Finder, why is that so hard?

  defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles TRUE ?
Or just use the terminal ?

> And that reminds me, why can't I type a path in Finder?

CMD-Shift-G

> I like Home and End keys. Where are they?

Erh, fn-ArrowLeft/ArrowRight ?!

> In the default Terminal app, there are no shortcuts (at least none that I could figure out) for moving around the text I'm typing quickly, like going forward and back a whole word, or going Home or End, you have to hold down the left or right arrows for a while.

The keyboard tab in Terminal's preferences? Or switch from Emacs-like to Vim-like navigation in the terminal?

> Maybe for some people this locked down, dumbed down environment works for them.

As I said, to each his own and there are valid concerns/tradeoffs about OS X. But in this particular case, the only thing "dumbed down" here is your rant.


>> On a new linux machine I can apt-get most anything, but if I do need to compile something I just apt-get build-essentials and I'm ready to go, on OSX you have to download a DVD just to be able to compile stuff from source.

> Darwin ports? Fink?

I've used both for the past near-decade (fink for 4 years, now macports for the past 3), along with a Debian desktop, and they're much worse imo. They do the job sort of, but it's a mess. Stuff just outright breaks much more often than even in Debian 'unstable'; you'll install a package and it'll fail to compile, fail to link, a script will die, etc. Dependencies are a mess, especially as regards versions of interpreted languages (python/perl/etc.), and anything that interacts with X11 tends to be flaky. And the use of binary packages is still very spotty, so a simple install, if it pulls in big library dependencies, might spawn an hour or two of compilation, rather than a few minutes of installation.

It gets the job done somewhat, but I'm not really happy with the situation overall; for many things I prefer to use a Debian VirtualBox install, despite that also having some awkwardness.


Dump both macports and fink and use Homebrew instead: http://mxcl.github.com/homebrew/


I fail to see how anyone can recommend homebrew as a viable solution to package management on OS X. You have to compile everything.

Coming from apt-get or yum makes brew, port, and fink look like a joke.


Building from source isn't necessarily a bad thing: some Linux packages have the same behavior (e.g. Portage, on which MacPorts is based). There are pros and cons to both approaches.

Package management is definitely a disaster on OS X, though. Regardless of whether you use Homebrew, Fink, or MacPorts, packages tend to break often. Some of this may be unavoidable: there are enough differences between Linux and OS X that compiling programs developed for Linux for OS X is bound to cause problems.


I'm using both Linux and OS X regularly. Apt is awesome, without a doubt, particularly for the breadth of software available. And on the whole, I agree that Homebrew is considerably inferior. But there is one aspect I'm liking better about the Homebrew/Mac approach. With Homebrew I can have the latest software without a problem, because the OS itself is not so hooked in to the web of package manager dependencies. In many cases on Linux I just wait until the next OS release to upgrade software - because toying with the huge dependency graph is not worth it. Maybe I should switch to a rolling release distro? I haven't tried that. But I do like the ability to upgrade software without so many inter-dependencies.


In many cases on Linux I just wait until the next OS release to upgrade software - because toying with the huge dependency graph is not worth it. Maybe I should switch to a rolling release distro? I haven't tried that.

When I most recently used Linux on the desktop, in 2010, I finally grew frustrated enough with Ubuntu's screen management setup (there was no way to get it to respect my wishes for it to turn off the screen completely, until I finally killed the power manager entirely) that I switched to Arch. That was superficially better (stuff mostly worked as advertised), but the rolling release means either keeping up to date and dealing with constant breakage ("Oh, look, the new kernel has a broken driver for my audio card", or "Oh, another update, another few hours troubleshooting Wine. Yay"), or waiting a while and having the update become riskier and riskier.

Linux will be ready for the desktop when updating doesn't mean near certainty that something breaks. I realize that things used to be more broken, but when I used Linux as my primary desktop back in 1998-2003, my expectations were lower. Being a Mac user for 5-6 years seriously reduced my patience with troubleshooting random problems just to get all the functionality that the system I'm using claims to provide.


You want to use a distro with an LTS release. Switching to Arch and being surprised that pacman -Syu causes occasional breakage is not a failure of Linux at large.


I was more resigned than surprised. Annoyed, perhaps. Anyway, an LTS release would be guaranteed not to work with newer software, from my experience with them. Apologetics centering on users being prepared for normal updates to break random things do not forward Linux, in my opinion.

It's not clear to me that there's any way to get the level of polish needed for a major desktop OS without at least an army of (very critical) testers and developers, and maybe without forking most of the packages in the distro. Nevertheless, if OS X continues down the apparent path it's on, I'll be switching back again in a few years.


Yes, you should try switching to a rolling release distro. Arch is great. I've been using it for the last five or six years now and have had no desire to switch to a new main distro, though I try out the major ones periodically and install them for certain applications.

Arch is definitely the best workstation for a developer. The convenience of binary packages, the flexibility of PKGBUILDs (analogous to Gentoo's ebuilds, but much more reasonable), vanilla packages and quick releases make it a dream workstation for a developer, despite a rare wonkiness here or there. It works much better than Ubuntu et al for a development box.


If you're installing that many large UNIX packages I'm going to go out on a limb and suggest that there are probably a lot of reasons you'd be better off on Linux.


I have been using HomeBrew on Mac OS X and it is miles ahead of where MacPorts and Fink are. Definitely worth a try.


Miles ahead how? It's the same thing, but written in Ruby instead of Perl (Fink) or Tcl (MacPorts).


Homebrew tries to use the default libs and utilities that come with OS X / Xcode.

MacPorts and Fink try to create their own little microcosm of a Linux system complete with all libraries and utilities. They generally seem to fail at this because major packages are broken all the time and conflict in a million little ways with the system ones.


MacPorts and Fink try to create their own little microcosm of a Linux system complete with all libraries and utilities.

That's more like a philosophical (and failure prone) difference that both Fink and MacPorts intentionally abandoned through experience, not really a "miles ahead" difference.

Not reproducing Apple's OS dependencies is a nice idea, but let's say I want to use python2.7 with openssl 1.0. Apple only shipped openssl 0.9.8 in Lion. If I mix modules that use OpenSSL 1.0 and OpenSSL 0.9.8, weird stuff happens. Now what?

(The answer is: now you have to start reproducing OS dependencies. This only gets worse as the OS dependencies grow more stale).

They generally seem to fail at this because major packages are broken all the time and conflict in a million little ways with the system ones.

I haven't observed this.


They changed that in Lion to every corner, every side. And you don't have to press ALT to do it

He meant, you can click anywhere in the window and use Alt. If you left-click, it moves the window. If you middle-click it (apparently - I did not know this) will resize the window.

Mac OS X has oddly small targets for many of the Window management things. You have to be careful with the mouse when finding a resize corner (Lion makes it a little better) and the traffic light buttons are such a frustration that I'm led to believe they are not really meant to be used in an efficient work flow. You're better off enabling double-click-to-minimize or using Cmd-H to make a window go away.

There's now a full-screen mode that takes care of that. But that green button is still there and still behaves strangely. It's funnily called the zoom button. Naturally when you click it in iTunes you expect the iTunes window to.... shrink down to a compact size. I know the purpose of it is to 'change the window size to fit the content' - a nice concept but doesn't seem intuitive or easy to grasp for everyone.

Darwin ports? Fink?

Haha. I tried to get rdiff-backup or duplicity installed using MacPorts on Lion - it started by trying to install python2.4. And failed.

Anyway, this is not much of problem with Mac OS X - but despite being a Unixy system, I found it odd that certain tools are actually easier to run on Windows that on a Mac (not all but some)

Overall I like Mac OS X - it has great boot/shut down/sleep times, it can run a bash prompt as well as Photoshop and Word. But I'm skeptical about its usability being, on the whole, better than a Windows 7 system.

It's better in certain ways but worse in others.


> Mac OS X has oddly small targets for many of the Window management things.

I actually like this about OS X. When i heard that Lion added resize-from-any-side, i was annoyed, because i feared it would be Windows 7-esque (in that on W7 there is this 20- or 30-pixel dead zone around the edges of every window where you can't get anything done except resize). I found the final implementation on OS X to be surprisingly good.

> Naturally when you click it in iTunes you expect the iTunes window to.... shrink down to a compact size. I know the purpose of it is to 'change the window size to fit the content' - a nice concept but doesn't seem intuitive or easy to grasp for everyone.

iTunes and Finder are outliers when it comes to what the zoom button does. To Apple's credit, a few versions ago they did try to make iTunes more consistent by making the zoom button work as described. However, there was an ENORMOUS backlash from people who liked the former behaviour and found the keyboard shortcut (OpenApple+M i think — it's in the menu somewhere, but i never use the mini-player because it's stupid) too excruciating to use instead, so they switched it back around for the next version.


The mini player is back?! Great.

I was one of the vocal complainers when CMD-Shift-M didn't do what I expected it to do in iTunes. And I know it breaks the HIG but having the controls tucked in a corner was better than having the entire application disappear to the Dock.


FYI, I just installed duplicity and rdiff-backup through Homebrew and it worked flawlessly. Agree that MacPorts is crap. But Homebrew is actually pretty good.


I just ran: sudo port install duplicity sudo port install rdiff-backup

Worked flawlessly, too.

MacPorts isn't crap just because it isn't -- for whatever reason -- what you want.


Last time I looked, Homebrew wasn't even trying to deal with conflicting dependencies, or any of the other hard corner cases of package management. MacPorts at least makes a decent effort on that front.

Has it improved recently?


Thanks. Will try it.

Edit: Yup, flawless installation and fast. Thanks again! I wish I had found this when I was trying to re-install Python Imaging Library after upgrading to Lion. I might have saved half a day.


I think some of the points are valid; there may be solutions but they are so obscure that people obviously never discover them. I've had a MBP for nearly a year now and never knew that Fn+Left/Right substituted for Home/End (thanks for the tip, btw). I can't see myself guessing Cmd+Shift+G to type paths into Finder either... They're valid solutions but normally Linux is (not unjustifiably) castigated for requiring obscure wizardry to do things, I don't see why OSX should get away with it either.


Actually, I liked text manipulations shortcuts in native text input fields. They are very consistent and easy to get used to.

Option (Alt) means "word". Opt+Left — move one word left, Opt+Right — move one word right.

Cmd means "all". Cmd+left — move to beginning of line, Cmd+right — move to the end of line, Cmd+up — move to the beginning of the text, Cmd+down — move to the end of text.

PgDown/PgUp/Home/End mean the same thing as in other systems, but without moving the cursor. All this might be a little frustrating at first, but it's muscle memory and you can figure the logic out in a couple of days. Don't fight the system, embrace it.

As for cmd+shift+g, you can look these shortcuts up in the menu, if you are not sure where to look, use help/search, type go to and the top item will be what you are thinking about. That said, finder still sucks.


As a relatively recent Mac convert, the whole "Option (Alt)" thing still gets me. I regularly see shortcut hints and then have to sit there for a few seconds thinking "Which one's the Option key again?"


The confusion is in part perpetuated by Apple, who can't seem to make up their mind on the matter.

My UK MacBook Pro keyboard has "alt" and doesn't mention "option" at all. They have also shipped keyboards that just say option (no mention of alt). Many of their keyboards have both printed on them.

In most of their user-facing documentation it is referred to as the "Option" key. In Cocoa, it is the "Alternate" key.

The menus don't mention either: they use the ⌥ symbol. Which is on some, but not all of their keyboards.


I can only imagine you were downvoted by accident...


One handy thing is that because OS X uses Command for most of its window-management and application hot-keys, control + key is almost always unmasked by the application. Why is this important? Control-A and Control-E work in almost any text input! They work in Adium, they work in Chrome for the location bar and this textarea, and I'm sure many others.

I was pleasantly surprised because the Windows/Linux systems tend to mask Control-A for select-all.


All native text inputs support Emacs keybindings. The only rub is that you need to use Ctrl + Option to Meta.


To me I think of it as Bash bindings, because that is where I learned them. For text editing I've been using vim bindings, but I never found the vim mode to work quite like I want it to on the terminal. I should look into that more.


I was pleasantly surprised because the Windows/Linux systems tend to mask Control-A for select-all.

Linux maybe. I have never had it fail in windows and think you may be misremembering how it works.


I mean they mask control-A to select all instead of moving the cursor to the beginning of the line.


That's because control-A is supposed to select all on Windows.


They work in every Cocoa text field. Ctrl-[abefnp] ... not sure if I missed any. Those are the ones I use daily.


Yeah, the only reason I knew about Fn-arrows was because my old MacBook actually labelled them: http://www.notebookreview.com/assets/15837.jpg For some reason the labels are not part of the new design (no numeric keypad emulation either). I guess they thought it was too busy a design?


It’s no less obscure than other operating systems in this regard. I can’t see the difference.


Are you sure? On a windows box, there's a key with "End" written on it. Much more guessable than fn+right arrow.


End? What does that mean? Does it quit the current app? Does it shutdown? I’m really confused! And this strange Home key, what’s that for? Going to my start page? Showing the desktop? Start menu? What’s going on?!


It's pretty easy to push a key and find out what it does compared to imagining a key combination and trying to figure if that key combination even does anything


Not only that but, as a new mac user, it seems like there are several common keystroke types. Fn+x, ctrl+x, alt+x, cmd+x, cmd+shift+x; maybe there's some logic behind it but i can't find any. It seems like the windows system is a bit more understandable.

(if there's something obvious that i'm missing someone please tell me!)


Cmd: this is an important command we expect you to use a lot.

Shift-cmd: wow this program has a lot of commands that people want shortcuts for.

Shift-ctrl/alt: holy shit this program has a lot of commands.

Shift-ctrl-alt: this program is probably old enough to vote, and has a huge ton of commands

Alt: rarely used alone outside of terminal

Ctrl: see alt

Fn: NOT ON ALL KEYBOARDS. Used to force f-keys to output f-key codes instead of doing media control stuff, or to change cursors into page-up/dn/start/end.


That’s typical Windows chauvinism.


I think learning that 'end' means 'end of document' is a lot more intuitive than fn+right.


The canonical shortcuts are Cmd-left/right/up/down, which move the cursor to the absolute left, right, top, and bottom of the document, respectively. This makes perfect sense.

Home and End behave differently, they move the viewport to the beginning or end of the document but do not move the cursor. They are like scrolling in that you don't lose your position. I'm not sure, but I think that page up and down (Fn-up and Fn-down) behave similarly. I never use these though.


They way I learned it is, I pushed it to see what happened. Voila, it means end of line.


There are home and end keys on a full-size Mac keyboard, too. They're not there on the compact keyboard layout, but many Windows laptops have home/end mapped to other keys, as well. Granted, that's usually is indicated on the keys, whereas it's not on the Mac, but you still have to go hunting for them the first time you need them and one time is all it takes to learn their location.


...those home and end keys unfortunately don't take you to the beginning or end of a line like on Windows or Linux...they take you to the top/bottom of the document! one of the more painful parts of my switching process was un-training myself to hit home to get to the beginning of a line (these is no way to remap system wide either, you need to do it on a per app basis)...you're almost better off without having those keys.


Late to this, but...

> these is no way to remap system wide either, you need to do it on a per app basis

That isn't true. OS X actually has a very powerful and easy-to-use (but NOT easy-to-discover) method of controlling key bindings, and it applies instantly to ALL Cocoa applications (which, now that Finder and iTunes are Cocoa, means every common GUI application except Firefox).

This isn't my link, but here is an excellent site that describes the Cocoa text system:

http://www.hcs.harvard.edu/~jrus/Site/Cocoa%20Text%20System....

And, if you're interested, here is the DefaultKeyBindings file that i've use on every OS X-based Mac i've ever had to fix Apple's default Home/End/PgUp/PgDn implementation:

https://github.com/ohkine/configs/blob/master/KeyBindings/De...


Funny, on older Macs it was written on the key. It's so ingrained now that I hadn't really noticed they'd taken it off.


The issue there is that coming from a Windows environment the terminology isn't exactly the same. The command is called "go", hence Cmd + Shift + G.

It would be useful if one could enter keystrokes into the search bar in the 'Help' panel. That would solve a lot of keystroke identification issues and familiarize them with OS X fairly quickly.


It is wizardry because it is baked into the OS that people will use the mouse or they will dive in and learn the incantations.

What to go to the end of a line? Click there. FWIW, I prefer ctrl-e and the other emacs bindings myself.


> They changed that in Lion to every corner, every side. And you don't have to press ALT to do it.

You don't have to hold down ALT - you can do it without, holding down ALT increases the window edge hit area to make it easier to resize it.

> There's now a full-screen mode that takes care of that.

And makes using multiple monitors even more pathetic on OS X by effectively disabling other outputs - on top of the age-old problem of the menu for a window on a secondary monitor being displayed on the primary monitor, etc, etc...


the age-old problem of the menu for a window on a secondary monitor being displayed on the primary monitor

That sounds very easy to fix when talking in a forum, but I bet there are a million corner cases. Worse, real users (as opposed to people who can look around a web page when a button moves) would have a hard time. "I have two file menus now, I'm scared!"

OS X isn't perfect, but, for the problem it's trying to solve, it does a really good job. I still don't have a better alternative for my needs that range from scripting and compiling through photoshop and sales presentations. Especially one that works so reliably in a consumer environment.

I'm about to buy a new laptop. I've been putting a lot of thought into it, and Linux just isn't there yet (mostly 3rd party apps I need) and Windows lack of unix underpinnings means fighting Cygwin or running a VM all the time (though I'm finally starting to get the mid-to-late 90s taste of Microsoft out of my mouth :).


> And makes using multiple monitors even more pathetic on OS X (the menu for a window on a secondary monitor being displayed on the primary monitor, etc, etc)...

Yes, that's one of my gripes too. Note that I didn't say OS X was perfect. I took issue with this pompous litany of faux issues.


  > I took issue with this pompous litany of faux issues.
You are either accusing the poster of out-right deception in order to make OSX look back, or you are attacking the user for real issues that he/she came up against. Which is it?

(If it's the later, then I view this as the Mac version of the Linux literate telling new users to 'RTFM' instead of being helpful.)


Weder-noch (neither nor)!

I'd take the "pompous" back if I could. But yeah, "RTFM" (Mac edition); it's a good idea to put in some minimal search effort before writing a long list of pseudo-issues. There are real issues that could have been discussed instead and compared between systems to learn sth.


>> I just want to see hidden files in Finder, why is that so hard?

> defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles TRUE ? > Or just use the terminal ?

You just proved his point.


Perhaps it is better to answer the "why is that so hard?" question instead.

I expect that it is because most people don't need or want that option. You could make an argument that there should be a checkbox for it in Finder preferences like in Windows, but even that isn't as straight forward as it sounds. Microsoft has split "hidden files" into multiple levels with UI checkboxes for two levels, "hidden" and "hidden system" files, though there are other files which are more hidden and never appear in Windows Explorer. Even people who want to see some hidden files probably don't want to see them all. And we've not even gotten into files which are backed by multiple file streams - you could make an argument for making it possible to show them too, since you might want to save disk space by deleting one stream but not the other.

But the real answer, I think, is that it is hard because these are the sorts of things you should probably be doing in the terminal in the first place, where ls -a works just fine.


> You just proved his point.

Granted, it's not candy-color obvious. But for a developer working on Linux, "hard" should represent a different barrier than for Joe Sixpack, yes?


There is a distinction between "doable" and "usable".

I should switch to Terminal every time I want to toggle hidden file visibility?

Or write a service to install on my Finder toolbar. (I did this, because I'm not Joe Sixpack, but it's still annoying. If I wanted to write my own UI, I wouldn't have gone out and bought one.)


Apple has decided that regular users should never see hidden files. I can see how this might be annoying to you, but I don't think I can be convinced that it's a bad justification.


>I should switch to Terminal every time I want to toggle hidden file visibility?

You only need to run that command once.


Someone wrote a little app that toggles it, but honestly, if you care that much about it to ask, just leave the hidden files visible all the time. I've found it to be the path of least confusion.


This widget works great for show/hide hidden files:

http://www.apple.com/downloads/dashboard/developer/hiddenfil...


Homebrew is far superior to Macports or Fink IMO. In some ways I prefer brew install'ing to apt-get'ing. The packages are often far more up to date. I am not a fan of the transition from spaces to mission control. At least you can rearrange windows in mission control, before that update I was pretty unhappy with OS X.


I think your comments just highlight the user unfriendlyness. Am I really supposed to enter some cryptic shell command I copied from the internet to be able to see my hidden files?

I can never remember keyboard shortcuts, even for screenshots I have to Google every time because I make them only infrequently.

Instead of buying an alternative file manager, why not just install another OS...


> I think your comments just highlight the user unfriendlyness.

More like I invested some time to learn the system I use.

But I'm curious, which system do you suggest is so "user friendly" that everything is instantly and intuitively discoverable without resort to documentation or google whatsoever? Or are you telling me that you learnt, I presume, Linux incantations from staring at the keyboard and deep breathing?

> Am I really supposed to enter some cryptic shell command

Yes, you are. It's a standard shell command. You can even look it up on Google in 5 secs. You want every option and contingency printed on the screen or keyboard?

> I can never remember keyboard shortcuts

My rule is, if I really need a shortcut, I'll remember it because I use it so often; if I only need it sometimes, I look it up in my notes or on Google; and if I only use it once or twice, what's the use of the shortcut in the first place? I disable it (if it's on by default) and save the combination for sth I might actually use.

> Instead of buying an alternative file manager, why not just install another OS...

Yeah right, and if a fly flies through your window, I assume you also pull out the flame thrower, yes? :-D


There are a lot of options that are modified by the plist mechanism ("defaults write ..."). They tend to be little things of a very unixy character that serious nerds would like.

It makes about as much sense as changing a .login or .profile or .ssh/config or .emacs or .exrc or .Xdefaults or ... . At least it's always the same tools and the same file format.

Like you, I don't remember the screenshot shortcuts. I know vi and emacs bindings backwards and forwards, but I don't much like remembering special-purpose bindings. So I just use "Grab", the screenshot app (comes standard with OS X).

Grab saves in .tiff. If you want .png, just use:

defaults write com.apple.screencapture type png

;-)


The full-screen mode is terrible. It leaves everything but your main monitor completely empty, making it essentially unusable for anyone with multiple monitors.

Homebrew is awesome but it should be way easier to compile from source without installing Xcode.


> Homebrew is awesome but it should be way easier to compile from source without installing Xcode.

If it was a real issue someone would have packaged up GCC or LLVM. There is absolutely nothing that prevents anyone from doing this. The truth is that nobody actually minds installing Xcode to get a compiler. Or at least the few who do don't actually care enough to do something about it.


As someone who works at a software startup where the engineers use Macs, trust me we mind when we have to dig around to find the correct Xcode installer for Snow Leopard or whatever. Just because Apple has decided Xcode 4 should be in the app store, does not mean that our developers running Snow Leopard (which has fewer bugs with our mission critical apps like vagrant, for example) should be SOL.

People who realize how stupid it is to install several gigabytes of Xcode for a C compiler also tend to get irked by other weird Apple policies, thus a significant percentage of them switch operating systems instead of packaging up GCC to try and change the Apple ecosystem.


> If it was a real issue someone would have packaged up GCC or LLVM

https://github.com/kennethreitz/osx-gcc-installer


And if you get Xcode, you also have Shark for performance optimization.


> > In the default Terminal app, there are no shortcuts (at least none that I could figure out) for moving around the text I'm typing quickly, like going forward and back a whole word, or going Home or End, you have to hold down the left or right arrows for a while. > The keyboard tab in Terminal's preferences? Or switch from Emacs-like to Vim-like navigation in the terminal?

Here's some Terminal editing text:

- `alt-left / right` skips a word in either direction (these work in the entire cocoa text system)

- `esc backspace` deletes an entire word

- `ctrl-a and ctrl-e` skip to the beginning and end of the line respectively (again, entire cocoa text system)

- `ctrl-k` deletes any character from the cursor to the end of line (ditto)

Also, learning how to use these bash tricks will make your life a lot easier too:

- `!!` will repeat the previous command, and you can prefix it. Say you forgot to `sudo` something, just type `sudo !!` to repeat it.

- `!whatever` will repeat the last command in the history starting with `whatever`.

- `!$` will evaluate to the argument of the previous command. so `ls Desktop` followed by `echo !$` will echo "Desktop."


"the only thing "dumbed down" here is your rant."

What are you talking about? Almost all of your rejoinders are poorly discoverable or require unexpected amounts of effort.


I count myself as a Mac power user, but I definitely learned something from your post.

Perhaps there should be a "power user FAQ", one that covers "how to make Mac OS X 10.X more like Max OS X 10.(X-1)".


> They changed that in Lion to every corner, every side. And you don't have to press ALT to do it.

But when you do press ALT .. magic! The window resizes on both sides! Awesome feature :-)


Try holding down the Shift-key as well (i.e. Shift-Alt-drag)

:-)


DarwinPorts/MacPorts, Fink, and Homebrew all require the OS X developer tools, so "you have to download a DVD just to be able to compile stuff from source" still applies.


fn-arrow left/fn-arrow right is a pretty pathetic substitute for actual home and end keys. I've never used a Mac for a prolonged period of time so can't speak to other points, but I am baffled at how people can do anything without those keys. When I try to debug some code on one of my coworkers' Macs I feel like I suddenly can't type anymore because of their absence, not bs'ing or exaggerating.


When I click the Maximize button on OSX, it doesn't actually maximize the window 99% of the time, it just picks a seemingly random size. I saw an app a while ago that would let you control how your OSX apps are resized when you maximize them, but if I have to buy an app just to make my OS do what it should do anyway, there's something wrong.

If you're going to judge it based on your existing preconceptions, of course it's going to come up short.

Windows: The button makes the open window fill the screen.

Mac OS: The button instructs the app to make the window larger to fit the open document.

With larger and larger desktop screens (27" iMacs, 30" Cinema Displays), the old idea that you'd want the one window to fill the screen doesn't hold as often. Then came the rise of the laptop and it does hold again. So Lion gained fullscreen.

This doesn't mean it wasn't frustrating, or badly done by many programs, but I object to you describing one way as "what should happen" as if there is a standard, or as if OS X < 10.7 claims to do fullscreen but fails to. You're buying an App to make it work like another system, because you prefer that behaviour.


If you're going to judge it based on your existing preconceptions, of course it's going to come up short.

Guilty as charged. I used a Mac for about 9 months, and I never got used to it, I never stopped being frustrated by the things that were difficult, annoying, or just plain Fisher Price dumbed down by default. I'm a developer, I could (and for a lot things I did) figure stuff out, tinker with stuff, but I just wasn't that in love with the whole package, so I didn't put forth that much effort to make it my home. If I had been moving from Windows, maybe I wouldn't have had as much of a a problem making the transition, but I found that I had been so spoiled by Linux, and fallen in love with the whole idea behind it, that I just couldn't cope. Is that the fault of OSX? Surely not, it was a personal thing, but I really love Linux, and I think I'm going to stick with it.

With that being said, the hardware is stellar. If I hadn't run into so many problems trying to dual boot I might have held onto the hardware.


I share your sentiments. Me too couldn't get used to OSX even after months of trying. While, with its underlying unix philosophy, it is close to Linux, it's never quite there, and what bothers the most is the obviously intentional decision to disable all kinds of UI customizations. Put a proprietary codebase on top of that and we, as regular Linux users, feel stuck and helpless most of the time.

What I do right now, as I didn't want to refuse the company's MacBook Pro, is dual boot Debian on it. Except for the fact that I couldn't get integrated GPU to work instead of the discrete one, I haven't had any problems with them working together. Excellent OS on excellent hardware (I wouldn't call it stellar though, I have few complaints there as well).


I went from being a total Windows junkie to loving OSX since I switched over in May. No regrets. My windows desktop is left sitting, while I use my MacBook Pro all the time. I don't know exactly what you consider dumbed down, while some parts are now hidden, they can easily be found with minimum effort.


It's certainly not dumbed down compared to Windows. Shoot, you've got a full bash shell included out of the box! It only felt dumbed down (or maybe I should say "locked down, and candy coated") when compared to my Linux desktop, which gives me a huge amount of customization freedom and built in power tools. I went from Windows to Linux, then to OSX, and I missed a lot of things about Linux while not feeling like I gained anything extra. I'd take OSX over Windows any day, but at the end of the day I want to be working in Linux.


"Mac OS: The button instructs the app to make the window larger to fit the open document."

As others have pointed out, the zoom button is completely arbitrary, and doesn't simply fit the open document.

--- Examples ---

Terminal: fills the entire screen

Safari: instructs the app to fit the open document. (what happens if you have multiple tabs open? which documents gets fitted?)

iTunes: SHRINKS the entire player to a mini player (how did they determine that a "zoom" button should shrink something is beyond me)

---------

These are all apps that come with the system, so there is really no excuse for such arbitrary behavior. There are numerous other 3rd party apps (firefox, filezilla, etc) that simply fill up the screen.

I call it the Surprise Button because whenever you click it, you have no idea what's going to happen.


>Then came the rise of the laptop and it does hold again. So Lion gained fullscreen.

So your argument is that Lion's fullscreen is a response to these newfangled laptop things?


Basically, yes. More specifically, they could have responded to Windows's fullscreen button years ago, or consumer griping years ago, I think it most likely that they saw iPad as a success in terms of doing one fullscreen thing at a time, and they built an OS X version 'for' the 11 and 13" MacBook Air with fullscreen.

I.e. I don't think they made fullscreen primarily for imac, mac pro, or 17" mbp users, or to copy windows or Linux for feature checklist purposes.


Upvoted for not taking offense at my snark :)


> In the default Terminal app, there are no shortcuts (at least none that I could figure out) for moving around the text I'm typing quickly, like going forward and back a whole word, or going Home or End, you have to hold down the left or right arrows for a while.

What? I don't think you understand how terminals work! The terminal commands (on every terminal I've used for the past 20 years) are interpreted by the server. If your terminal is connected to a unix machine then generally emacs key navigation is the default. This is true for Mac OS X. Meta-F and Meta-B go forward and backward by words. Meta-delete deletes a word. C-a (and the HOME key) will go to the beginning of a line. C-e (and the END key) will go to the end.

That being said there's a couple annoying (for powerusers) defaults in Terminal. I always use the "option is meta" setting so I can type Option-f when I mean M-f. Otherwise I have to type ESC-f which is harder for me. The other is that the naked HOME and END keys are by default bound to scrolling the terminal window and you have to press SHIFT-HOME and SHIFT-END to get Terminal to actually send the HOME and END character sequence through the terminal (same for page-up and page-down which are also stupidly backward). If you come from Linux and are used to using SHIFT-PAGE-UP for look at your scrollback then it can be annoying. But luckily those are easily fixed.


If what __david__ says is new to anyone, I suggest you become familiar with http://tiswww.case.edu/php/chet/readline/readline.html#SEC13

Terminals border on unusable without knowing these commands.


And those commands have to be interpreted by the shell (e.g., bash) and not by the terminal emulator, because power users expect the shell to jump in, in the middle of a line, and provide information -- such as in-place file globbing or variable expansion, or command completion.

The parent comment must not be used to this standard capability.


So you hate learning the "myriad of keyboard shortcuts needed to get stuff done on a Mac," but are praising the intuitiveness of "hold Alt and middle click anywhere near a corner of a window to start resizing it?"


Well, there are a couple of subtleties that are being addressed, that maybe need to be said better.

1) Mac keyboard shortcuts are confusing and inconsistent compared to other OSes. They're not as discoverable. Maybe this is why it seems like there are more of them or that they're harder to learn.

When I say they're confusing, I mean that they use those funky characters instead of the words Ctrl, Alt or Shift. Those characters are not on the keyboard.

When I say they're not as discoverable, I mean this: The menu system in Gnome/KDE/Win underlines the letter of the accelerator key for a menu item. This is the first type of keyboard shortcut and OS X doesn't have this at all. The other type with the key-combos is also less discoverable due to the confusing characters.

When I say it's inconsistent, I mean that a shortcut does not always exist for what you want. In Gnome/KDE/Win I can always rely on the consistency of the Alt + Menu Acclerator keys.

2) The fact that you can "hold Alt and middle click anywhere...." in Linux, I think was a testament to how Apple only offers a limited feature set; not that keyboard shortcuts are bad in general.


Ah yes, OS X keyboard shortcuts sure do have bad discoverability.

I'm in Safari, I wonder how to see page source. I click the Help menu (or Cmd-?) and type in 'source'. It finds the 'View Source' menu item. I arrow down to it and not only does it open the menu containing it, but there's a big animated blue arrow pointing at the keyboard shortcut.

And what do you know, those funky symbols are in fact printed on my keyboard. Not that I have to look at it much, because the shortcuts I use are mostly consistent between apps.


>And what do you know, those funky symbols are in fact printed on my keyboard.

Some of them are not— at least for my MacBook. The caret symbol is for the control key (think caret -> control), and the slanted-looking T is the option/alt key (if you look at the graphic as though it's a path, you can see the path takes an alternate route).


My (UK) MBP has the Alt symbol.

Control doesn't have the caret, but it isn't used nearly as much as Cmd/Alt/Shift for shortcuts (mostly reserved for further modified versions of other shortcuts, and Unixy stuff). As it happens, I do have a caret of sorts on my Control key as it's remapped on to Caps Lock ;)

I had no trouble learning and coming to like how keyboard shortcuts are done on the Mac, and that's because I didn't consider my previous environment the authoritative way to use a computer just because I used it first. (See also users obsessed with maximising every window because that was the done thing on a 15" CRT)


The US keyboard is weird. The German keyboard also has the bathtub and a symbol on the shift key (also on tab), also symbols on the enter and return keys. No caret for shift, though.


...that's pretty slick but the discoverability on Windows is still better

first..you'd have to know to think about what the feature is named...

...on Windows...you can invoke any menu by pressing ALT and then the first letter of the menu or a designated letter on a menu option (or you can use the arrows)...all windows menus get this behavior by default, in addition to separate keyboard shortcuts that can also be defined in the application

...you can get to the menus on Macs through a rather inconvenient combo CTRL-F2 (CTRL-FN-F2 on Macbooks)...but you can only arrow through commands, there are no letter shortcuts in that case.

...I like OS X, but this is one area that Windows does much better (that and multiple monitors)...


What I understand you're saying is that the keyboard shortcuts may typically be more efficient to perform in Windows. That could be true but it's a different topic from discoverability, where straight up full text search is better than collision hampered and segmented expansion of menus.

Beyond the basics (cut/copy/paste/new/save/quit/...), there's a fair chance we don't know which sub-menu the function we're searching for resides in (and shouldn't have to care).


...good point, the point I was trying to make was not so much the discoverability of the FEATURE (I do agree with your points there)...but of discoverability of the SHORTCUT to the feature, which is what you referred to as efficiency.

the fact that I (and apparently many others) learned about some OS X keyboard shortcuts through reading this thread indicates that there is still a problem with "discoverability"


Yeah, see, Mac keyboard equivalents actually predate most other OSes. So no, they're not going to change to accomodate the newcomers. option- shift- and command- arrows have been there since the 80s. Not going to change because Windows decided to do it differently.

As for discoverability, it is worse today, but historically there were no keyboard equivalents that were not in the menus (by Apple's UI guidelines), so discoverability was better on the Mac.


Um, have you ever actually used a Mac? Like, since 1987 or so?

Mac keyboard shortcuts are:

1) Not confusing at all, the common ones date back decades and are largely similar to other platforms. 2) No, they don't use "funky characters". Command is a word. Do you have difficulty recognizing what "Command-S" means for save, or "Command-P" for print, etc? 3) I beg to differ. Command, control and option are on the keyboard. 4) Just a detail, but: "Ctrl" and "Alt" are not words. Just so you know.


He's referring to "the modifier key symbols you can see in Mac OS X menus". http://support.apple.com/kb/ht1343

Only 1 out of 5 appears on the Apple keyboard. http://store.apple.com/us/product/MB110LL/B


I tend to agree, but working out how to move a cursor around text, with various combinations of either character by character, or word by word, or to the beginning or end of the line, and either selecting or not selecting text, was pretty frustrating.

3) My keyboard has [fn][ctrl][alt][cmd][space][cmd][alt], there's no [option].


I always thought that the text shortcuts are intuitive and easy to remember. Shortcuts you are used to are always going to be easier to remember than new ones – that is always going to distort your view. I wouldn’t put to much weight on that.

You navigate text using the arrow keys on their own (characters and lines) or with one of two modifiers: Alt (words and paragraphs) and Command (lines and text fields). If you use no modifiers you are moving around one character (left, right) or line (up, down) at a time. Alt allows you to move from word to word (left, right) or paragraph to paragraph (up, down). Command navigates to the beginning and end of the line (left, right) or text field (up, down). As you can see there is a clear and straightforward hierarchy.

People are already used to using the arrow keys to navigate text. The modifier keys do nothing more than what they are supposed to do: The arrow keys still do similar stuff than before, it’s only slightly modified. This is an excellent example of picking awesome keyboard shortcuts.

You can add Shift to any of those combinations to select instead of just moving the cursor. Command-Left moves the cursor the the beginning of the line, Command-Shift-Left selects everything between the current position of the cursor and the beginning of the line.

Shift is used for selecting things everywhere, no matter the OS. OS X definitely picks the right modifier for selecting text and everything is still consistent with moving around in text. Anyone who knows how to move around in text can easily be taught how to select text: It’s exactly the same, only with Shift.

If you use Backspace and Delete (which is Fn-Backspace on keyboards without the Delete key) together with Alt or Command you can delete words or lines respectively (as you would expect).

Again, OS X remains consistent. Backspace and Delete work with exactly the same modifiers in exactly the same way as the arrow keys. This behavior is once again easy to teach.

This all seems crystal clear to me and I’m loving it very much. I think all the key combinations make intuitive sense.

I hope I could also explain why I think that OS X is so consistent and intuitive in this regard.


You do a nice job of explaining it, and I am grateful to you. Now that you lay it out it does seem a lot more consistent than I thought.

My only minor gripe (and this is cross OS, with many softwares and keyboards) is that it's harder for touch typists to use. Compare any shortcuts that require you to take your hands from the home keys with, eg, the shortcuts provided by Wordstar.


Should I upload a picture of my Macbook Pro keyboard? Because the funky characters are not on there. Just the words, Fn, Control and Alt/Option. Command is the only one that has a symbol as well as a word.


I don't think the environment is as locked down as you think.

Finder can access windows shares. Apple-shift-G lets you type in any path you want in Finder, and if you are at the command line you can do open <dir> to open a Finder window.

Ctrl-a and Ctrl-e at the prompt move the cursor to the beginning and end of the prompt, respectively. Someone who knows readline better than me can tell you how to move between words.

I come from a similar OS background as you, I've been using a MBP for 6 months and I love it. You just have to take the time to learn the different things with the OS, as you did when using Linux for the first time.

I will say though that I have been too nervous to upgrade to Lion from Snow Leopard.


> Someone who knows readline better than me can tell you how to move between words.

It's alt+leftArrow and alt+rightArrow.

Other useful ones which work in native text boxes:

    cmd+leftArrow and cmd+rightArrow to move to the start and end of lines in text boxes
    cmd+upArrow and cmd+downArrow to move to the very top and very bottom
    ctrl+a and ctrl+e to move to the start and end of paragraphs
    shift+ any of the above to move the current selection
    alt+backspace and cmd+backspace to delete the previous word or to the start of the line
There are more emacs-like keyboard shortcuts in the native text boxes, like ctrl+t to transpose letters, but I don't really use them that much.

Ctrl+backspace to delete the previous word in Windows always catches me out, since it works some of the time, but other times is just inserts a control character which I then also have to delete...


> Ctrl+backspace to delete the previous word in Windows always catches me out, since it works some of the time, but other times is just inserts a control character which I then also have to delete...

This is the single thing that prevents me from using Windows.

I dual boot with Windows on my iMac and I love the general appearance of Windows 7, much more than OS X. I feel like I can just get stuff done.

But then I try to work, and things just fail... A lack of common UI controls (Cocoa, OS X's killer feature) drives me insane when ctrl+a won't work, or a text field won't spell check for me, or I can't right click a word and get the definition of the word.

I find this is my problem with the iPhone as well. I got the iPhone 4 and 4S when they first came out as they are my best option out there, but I hate them so much. Other platforms are doing much more interesting things, such as Windows Phone 7's fresh interface, or the power of Android. However, all of these platforms lack the high level of polish and vibrant ecosystems the iPhone has.


alt+left or alt+right doesn't work for me in Terminal out of the box (I usually use iTerm2 where it doesn't work either) - do you need to change any settings (such as emulation, terminal type etc) to get at that?


Ah, my bad, I must have set that up myself.

According to this[1] stack overflow post, the vim key bindings for move back and forward work by default (which is news to me), or you can set up the alt left and right behaviour by following the instructions here[2].

[1] http://stackoverflow.com/questions/81272/is-there-any-way-in...

[2] http://blog.macromates.com/2006/word-movement-in-terminal/


1) Go to the Terminal menu > Settings, click the Settings pane.

2) Select your preferred theme (left). It's probably the one listed as "default."

3) Click the Keyboard tab.

4) Click the "+" button to add a new Key to Action mapping.

• Key: cursor left

• Modifier: option

• Action: send string to shell:

• In the blank blank space: \033b

  Note: This is the ESC key followed by a lowecase “b“.
• Click OK.

5) Click the "+" button to add a new Key to Action mapping.

• Key: cursor right

• Modifier: option

• Action: send string to shell:

• In the blank blank space: \033f

  Note: This is the ESC key followed by a lowercase “f“.
• Click OK.


Or just click the "option as meta" checkbox!


Thanks. Interestingly enough in iTerm2 this option is worded as "Left/Right option key acts as +Esc" rather than "Meta"


It works for me right out of the box on a brand new Lion install. No settings have been changed yet.


Didn't realize that "alt" here meant the "esc" key.


I am talking about the "alt/option" key on the keyboard. No "esc".


> Someone who knows readline better than me can tell you how to move between words.

In nearly every app (MS Office excluded for the most part), and in a terminal of course, Option+f/Option+b will move forward/backward one word at a time respectively.


>In OSX you can only resize a window in the bottom right corner, in Ubuntu I can resize from any corner, or I can hold Alt and middle click anywhere near a corner of a window to start resizing it. No more hunting for the resize sweetspot.

In Lion it's possible to resize from any window border.

I don't know what these other complaints are. Personally, coming from Windows & Ubuntu, I just fell in love with the way everything just works in OSX. I guess I'm not a "power user" though.


> In Lion it's possible to resize from any window border.

Holding down shift and alt while doing so is also quite fun, give it a try.


Wow, I had no idea that was possible. Many thanks! I could see this being useful for resizing my Finder window without losing the nice rectangular aspect ratio I have.


"everything just works". haha. I like your sarcasm

I hear that so often from Mac fans,... just after they get done telling me about their latest problem.

As an owner/user of 4 macs, 3 windows machines and 3 ubuntu machines my personal mac experience has had no more or less problems than my windows or ubuntu experiences.


That's the mantra we all repeat at work when somebody's Mac crashes or just generally makes life difficult in some way.

I've banished my Macbook to the corner of my office, where it will stay until the next time I go on foreign travel. For SC11, I brought along my Thinkpad X201 tablet with Debian and Stumpwm; it just works.


Lion; It doesn't claim to be a maximise button; View->Go to Folder (Cmd-Sh-g); Cmd+Arrows; The emacs key bindings everyone has used since the dawn of time

You can't be bothered to learn an environment and are angry about it. Cool.


In the default Terminal app, there are no shortcuts (at least none that I could figure out) for moving around the text I'm typing quickly, like going forward and back a whole word, or going Home or End, you have to hold down the left or right arrows for a while.

What Terminal.app has to do with cursor movement??? Anyway, redline's defaults (and Emacs') is option+f / option+b (option is meta) for words and control+a / control+e for lines.


If you asked a friend or searched Google instead of writing your problems here perhaps you would have found the solutions. You took time to learn how to use Linux and the shell, why not take some time to learn how to use OS X as well before complaining that it doesn't do what you want? It does do most of the things you mentioned, and when it doesn't it's by design.

Resizing from any side: Legitimate complaint. Fixed in Lion but this was a big annoyance until summer 2011.

Maximize: It's not a maximize button. Your expectations don't make it broken. Managing expectations of a new OS is dangerous. It's a big reason why people dislike Linux as well, and it's kind of a shame that people expect everything to behave like whatever they are used to.

Finder can access Windows shares, FTP, NTFS, HFS, etc. as well. What are you getting at with this point?

You dislike how Apple distributes their build tools. Ok. Maybe some prefer downloading an installer to running aptitude. (I prefer the package manager way as well, but it's just that: a preference.)

Finder isn't supposed to be a power tool for people who want to know what's in /usr. Hiding that stuff is the right decision. You said you enjoy the keyboard, fire up a terminal and away you go. Or run the defaults command that enables hidden files in Finder if you really need to click on hidden files all day.

Cmd-Shift-G lets you navigate to an arbitrary path in Finder. It has tab completion. You can also run `open /path/to/folder` in terminal. `open .` is often handy.

Cmd-left and Cmd-right are beginning of line and end of line navigation commands. You can also use `Ctrl-a` and `Ctrl-e`, standard Emacs shortcuts just like you're used to in the shell. Home and End are Fn-left and Fn-right if you actually wanted Home and End, which behave strangely on OS X. (They go to the beginning or end of a document without changing the position of the cursor, as Cmd-up and Cmd-down do.)

Terminal navigation shortcuts: Legitimate complaint. Because option and alt are on the same key you have to use `ESC f`, `ESC b`, etc. to navigate by word. Being a Linux geek you should know that `ESC <foo>` is equivalent to `alt-<foo>`. If you want to go to the beginning or end of line again just use `Ctrl-a` and `Ctrl-e`. (Switch caps lock to control in the Keyboard preferences for maximum convenience and comfort.)

It's not locked down or dumbed down, you just didn't take the time or effort to learn it as well as you did Linux. Maybe because you had some preconceived expectation that it was locked down and dumbed down.

Linux seems dumbed down to me after 6 years of OS X because standard keyboard shortcuts for navigation in text fields doesn't work. (Ctrl-[abefnp]) And Xmonad and the like seem primitive compared to just adding tiling goodies (Divvy, SizeUp) to a standard WM to get the best of both worlds.

Honestly it mostly just comes down to managing expectations and what you are already familiar with. Approach things with a fresh and curious child-like mind and you'll be much happier. Never stop learning, never be afraid to ask how to do something even if it seems silly. Like trying to move the damn cursor to the beginning of the line.

Despite my snarky tone I experienced a lot of the frustrations you expressed here. I just dealt with them differently and am happier for it.


FYI, Terminal.app has an option to make Option work as the meta key, it's under Keyboard. Also, C-w deletes words.

You can also hold option and click to move within the line, although unfortunately this doesn't work if you have Option assigned as the meta key.


    And Xmonad and the like seem primitive compared to just adding
    tiling goodies (Divvy, SizeUp) to a standard WM to get the best
    of both worlds.
I don't use Xmonad and I don't know what you meant by "the like", but Awesome WM is vastly more powerful[1] than the OS X WM with any add-ons that I've encountered.

[1] http://awesome.naquadah.org/doc/


By "the like" I mean tiling WMs. "Primitive" was the wrong word, I should have said "intrusive".

I used tiling WMs almost exclusively for quite a while. My problem with them is that they tile by default, which is fine for some things but I find it much less intrusive to add tiling actions to a "regular" WM. So I can do things like "move this window there", "make this window occupy the left half of this display", etc. I found that I really only ever wanted a handful of these kinds of commands. Your mileage will almost certainly vary.


I'm afraid it would with such a plugin/script on Ubuntu Unity as the menu associated with each of the tiled windows would appear in the top bar of the screen, but I intend to play with this in Unity 2d...

http://markhansen.co.nz/xmonad-ubuntu-oneiric/


Thanks for the tip on Divvy! That's really nice.


>Your expectations don't make it broken.

It's not 1990 anymore. All operating systems manufacturers need to understand that the vast majority of users have used Windows and are used to Windows' UI conventions. At the very least, one should offer a way for the Windows user to discover what the new conventions are, rather than having to Google and find websites that other people have made when they made the same transition.

What makes this worse is that every windowing system appears to use different terminology for its UI widgets and behaviors. Sticking to a standard terminology (even if it's Windows' terminology) would make things much easier for a convert to figure out how make their machine do what they need it to do.


> All operating systems manufacturers need to understand that the vast majority of users have used Windows and are used to Windows' UI conventions.

That sounds like the worst way to innovate. I'm not saying that Apple's way is innovative but I say we are all better off if OS manufacturers try difference things to come up with better way of presenting UI.

For example, if apple followed the Window's way of displaying every single window in its Dock, then application based taskbar in Windows 7 would have never come about.

Trying different things should never be criticized for just being different. If that different way of doing things is bad, criticize it but don't point finger just because it's different.


> All operating systems manufacturers need to understand that the vast majority of users have used Windows and are used to Windows' UI conventions.

Umm, no. I've always tried to avoid windows and it's unbelievably annoying UI conventions. Well, at least until Win XP the last windows version I have used.

And after using Linux almost exclusively for 14 years OS X feels great. And the best part is: I don't feel like I have to spend days and days trying to figure out which of the myriad of available settings I have to change to feel at home.

And the missing maximize button: Big deal. So I have to pull some windows by hand to the size I want them to have. Most applications save the last window state.


They have of course spurned your counsel about catering to windows users throughout the last decade, all the way from "close the stores and give the money back to the shareholders" to somewhere in the neighborhood of the most successful company ever. All the while thinking it is still 1990 (the significance of which is a little hazy.)

If they didn't follow this advice when they were on life support, what would possess them to follow it now? It's hard to imagine that one could overlook the evidence (here, and everywhere) that if success is the goal, mimicking windows should be closer to a prohibition than a mandate.


> It's not 1990 anymore.

All the more reason not to have a maximize button. Displays only get more pixels year to year.


It's easier to have more windows on the screen, but it's still no easier to manage them. It's not a problem of pixels, but of cognitive load. For many people simply having more windows visible is distracting, even if those windows are in the background and can be ignored. Its the same reason that people would prefer a clean desk, with only one or a few things on it than one that has lots of things on it. A cluttered desk, no matter how well it's organized, is still harder to manage than a clean desk. A cluttered monitor is the same.


That's exactly what Cmd-h and Cmd-Opt-H are for. This is a solved problem on OS X.


There is probably more work to do out the box to change this perception though. OSX needs to introduce the user to this when they first open an app then make it dead simple to control.


OS X obviously isn’t for you.

OS X doesn’t have some features you would like it to have or you need. Looking at the features you are missing it doesn’t seem like they are central for most users. If a feature is not there you simply can’t use the OS. That’s fair enough. It just doesn’t seem like that’s really a problem OS X has.

Especially when you are coming from a different background it also can be hard to understand when an OS is doing something differently. This has nothing to do with it being better or worse, it’s just different.

Alt-Arrows will move you from word to word in Terminal (and also in every other text field), Ctrl-A and Ctrl-E will move you to the beginning and end of the line. That second set of shortcuts sucks because it isn’t consistent with the whole rest of the OS where Cmd-Arrows will move you to the beginning and end of lines and texts (depending on the direction of arrow you pick). As I said, those shortcuts work in every text field and you can mix them up with Backspace or Shift to delete or select whole words or lines. Many other vi keybindings work wherever you encounter text in OS X.

Shift-Cmd-G will allow you to type a path in Finder, just like in Terminal Tab autocompletes.

The green zoom button sucks and Apple should remove it. It is not supposed to maximize (so those 99% of all apps were doing it right), it usually tries to remove scrollbars (i.e. it grows or shrinks the window until there is no more space or until there are no more scrollbars). Some apps inconsistently treat it like a maximize button. Lion introduced fullscreen apps and the new fullscreen button should be treated as an equivalent (more or less) to Windows’ maximize button.

Lion allows you to resize windows from all sides.


Alt-Arrows - is that a Lion thing? Opening up a stock iterm, and hitting...

hrm... well "alt" is above the 'option' label, so I'm not sure how to invoke that. option arrows don't move by word. fn+option (which I'd assume give me 'alt' mode) doesn't work. What's the magic invocation to make that happen? Or is it Lion only? (snow leopard here).


I’m sorry, the German keyboard confused me – there the option key is labeled alt. You can replace every Alt in my comment with Option.

I’m not sure whether that’s new (I think other shortcuts for moving from word to word were also already commented on around here) but when I fire up Terminal in Lion I can move from word to word by pressing Option-Arrow-left or Option-Arrow-right.


Hrm. Doesn't work here (US snow leopard MBP early 2011), and I'm pretty sure it's not worked on earlier versions.

Some other comments indicated "esc/b" and "esc/f", and those seem to work, but are horribly unintuitive and difficult to type. Will need to map them. I've lived X years without that ability, so another few minutes won't hurt :)

thx


iTerm != Terminal. The alt-arrows works in Lion's Terminal; I just checked (although I use iTerm, where it doesn't work). iTerm appears to be the only app that doesn't respond to ctrl/alt-arrows. I use them quite frequently, and it always trips me up that iTerm works differently than essentially every other app.


That's because alt-arrow isn't a ANSI control sequence. What should it map to? You can see what your terminal is sending with this command:

    stty -icanon -echo; od -c
Hit your key sequence then hit return a bunch of times until the line comes out. You'll see some sort of ESC sequence.

When done, control-c then type "stty sane" (it will not echo).

For iTerm I get "\e[1;9D". Terminal, interestingly is giving me "\e\eD". When I turn off my "Use option as meta key" preference in Terminal it gives me "\eD". Which is the same as plain left arrow.

Also, neither of those escape sequences does anything in bash for me.


You're right, in that they're not the same - I use the terms interchangeably sometimes and shouldn't. That said, my snow leaopard Terminal doesn't have those keystrokes working either. :/

I typically use iterm2 now, and I mapped option/left and option/right to ESC-b and ESC-f, and all is well for me. Hope that helps someone else.


if in terminal options you select "use option as meta key" [1], then option-b and option-f move forward / backward on words as normal in bash. You can also remap caps-local to control.

[1] http://earlh.com/dump/hn/terminal_settings_meta_key.jpeg


This is exactly my experience of trying to use OS X, thanks for putting it into words! The Home and End thing is by far the most annoying one (for me, but only because it's always the first one I run into whenever I find myself having to use a Mac).

It's so ridiculous that there's this mentality (everywhere) that "power users" are bad people whose needs always contradict those good, "average" users. That mythical "average" users are more noble a target audience than "power" users and so software should be made to ignore the needs of "power" users, because that's what's required to satisfy the needs of "average" users. It's nonsense and doesn't help anybody.


Has it occurred to you that being a "power user" on one platform doesn't necessarily translate to another or that another platform may be signifantly different to what you are used to? This isn't a case of OS X being different for the sake of being esoteric or being aimed at the 'average' user; rather these shortcuts have existed in Mac OS since at least the early 1980's.


Holding alt and arrow keys will move the cursor to the next word (something I miss in every other OS). Holding command and the arrow keys is like the home and end keys. Also if you're on the last line anyway just press down arrow to move cursor to after the last character (also something I miss in other environments). Combine these with shift key to do selections.


On most other OSs, ctrl and arrow keys will move you a word at a time.


I'm very happy OS X, though not perfect, is the way it is.

Many switchers expect OS X to behave like their old OS's. It's like they get imprinted on the first OS they used and can't move on.

They just don't "get it". Maybe OSX is too visual for them and they don't understand the trade-offs made to keep it simple and consistent. They don't see the 30+ years of tradition in the UI.

On top of that, Apple stupidly doesn't have a manual for learning the cool tricks - like holding down the command key when you click on a window title in the Finder to see your path history.

Maybe you and O'Reilly need one of the many O'Reilly books on the subject. This one is one of my favorite.

http://shop.oreilly.com/product/0636920014553.do?green=CC950...


Looks like you gave up on it before trying. It can do everything you complain about.

Homebrew beats apt-get any day of the week.


   Homebrew beats apt-get any day of the week.
Great argument. I'm convinced.

By the way, apt-get is an inteface for APT, and one of many, so you should have stated that Homebrew beats APT. And of course, you wouldn't have needed to substantiate that claim either, because you are, after all, ricardobeat.


Should I add "IMO"? I use both Ubuntu 10 and OSX daily, and brew packages are always more up-to-date and more reliable.


I'm not hating on your preferences, but mac laptops are competitively priced. There's no way you got equivalent hardware for $1k less.

also, cmd-G lets you type a path in finder. That is, btw, on the first result page if you google "finder type path", without the quotes.


    I'm not hating on your preferences, but mac laptops
    are competitively priced. There's no way you got
    equivalent hardware for $1k less.
Lenovo offers sales, coupons, and other deals. Signing up for deal alerts at sites like SlickDeals and FatWallet can result in huge savings. The last ThinkPad I bought was nearly 60% under retail.

Many Mac users seem to be unaware that products can be sold for less than retail price. I can understand not wanting to waste time searching for deals, but signing up for a deal alert for the words "Lenovo", "ThinkPad" or whatever takes mere seconds.


Huh, thanks, I had no idea such large discounts were available for lenovo hardware.

I used to pay attention to fatwallet but I removed all that stuff from my life because I felt like I was buying a ton of crap I didn't really want or need, just because DEAL DEAL DEAL was arriving in my inbox / rss all the time...


Having had a "I really am starting to dislike Mac OS X, but Windows 8 looks pretty good!" revelation, I started to use Windows 7. I came back after about a week and told Mac OS X I'd never leave it again. I reinstalled Windows 7 about 2 or 3 times, lots of weird, inexplicable errors, one of which required a Microsoft FixIt program to run as there were some "corrupt registry keys". Gosh, it was not good.

That said, I agree that Mac OS X is not getting better. It needs to change. Everything since about 10.3 to today has been fairly incremental, and OS X is showing its age (ever wonder why Apple never changed to OS XI? It's because they're all the same...).

It's also showing that it doesn't have any real push at Cupertino to get better. No-one is driving OS X. Hardware is being driven by Johny Ive, software was arguably being pushed by Jobs, but it's clear that he was only interested in iOS for years. I'd note that iOS is going the same way as Mac OS X: stagnating in the face of competition that is doing more interesting things (amazingly, that competition is Microsoft!).

I feel like Apple is a company that rests on its laurels until the market practically forces it to change. The change that's coming for Mac OS X is that it will go away altogether. I think Steve hated it, and was waiting for the time when they could sell you iOS only. The only reason they keep Mac OS X around is for developers, and Apple aren't exactly known for making them happy.

Microsoft's dual-paradigm Windows 8 shows it's not that crazy. I think Mac OS X has an expiry date of about 5 years from now.


What on earth did you do to make Windows start having "weird, inexplicable errors"? And, why do I never have these problems?


I was trying to install Star Wars: The Old Republic, and the Visual C++ 2008 Redistributable flat-out refused to install die to "Error 1365" (if I remember my error codes right). Required a Microsoft FixIt to fix the registry keys.

And I have no idea how it happened.


That is quite curious... though can you really blame the operating system for a program running on it? (Presumably SW:tOR)


People like to blame everything on Windows, including "I dropped my laptop down the stairs and now it doesn't work right" type stuff. I think if Microsoft had replaced the blue screen with a message that instead said "Your $PC-MAKER computer is a piece of crap, buy a $OTHER-PC instead." nobody would actually complain about Windows.

[a general comment, not directly related to lewisham's problem.]


In some regards, they did. The crash reports from Windows XP indicated that around 20% of all OS crashes originated in the display driver (1). Vista introduced a new display driver model. One of its features is that the OS will now survive a driver crash. The screen just goes blank for a few seconds.

1) http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa480220.aspx


I can certainly blame Microsoft for Microsoft libraries that don't install on its own operating system cleanly, and requires a Microsoft-issued fix.


I don't know, but maybe SW:tOR didn't do proper checks and so it was trying to install something antiquated, and modified the registry beforehand?


I've never installed SW:tOR on a Mac, so I can't say for sure, but I've never corrupted my operating system by installing an application before. That kind of bullshit actually is the fault of the OS.


The guy does't sound like an advanced user and may be using a sledgehammer to pound in a nail. He's not complaining of bluescreens, he's complaining of corrupt registry keys, which can do as little as preventing the one app from installing the way he wants.

Reinstalling Windows is a sledgehammer here. Looking up his error code, all he needed to do was reregister the library. If he's not an advanced user and so doesn't feel comfortable using the CLI, then it's not surprising a tool would be used. But reinstalling Windows to resolve this is like rebooting your computer because you want to turn caps lock off.


The technology has existed for decades to install applications without having to make potentially dangerous alterations to systemwide shared state. There's only so much you can blame on app developers. In the year 2011, shipping an OS that allows an application to corrupt the registry is just as stupid, if not stupider, than shipping an OS that allows the application to grab or generate arbitrary pointers into memory allocated to other processes.

No one should have to know what "reregister the library" even means.


The problem here is that you think 'corrupted registry keys' means that the computer is unusable. A corrupted registry key just means that a setting hasn't been saved right - it could be as trivial as whether an app starts fullscreen or windowed.

The GP's statement did not say that the system was faulty, just that he was experiencing errors and he reinstalled. On enquiry, they weren't system errors, but errors around the installation of a program, for which he sledgehammered the result. You don't need the "Visual C++ 2008 Redistributable" to run Windows, or a great many things on windows. It wasn't the operating system blue-screening.

No one should have to know what "reregister the library" even means.

We're in 2011, no-one should have to know what 'engine oil change' means either, but someone still has to know how to do it.


> The problem here is that you think 'corrupted registry keys' means that the computer is unusable.

Well, this guy's computer threw errors when he tried to install an app. "Unusable", no, just shitty. I would call that broken, but as you demonstrate, Windows apologists have always had lower standards.

> We're in 2011, no-one should have to know what 'engine oil change' means either, but someone still has to know how to do it.

That wouldn't be a very good argument if there was only one carmaker that made a car that required oil changes, while every other carmaker in the world had been selling perfectly functional no-oil-change-required cars since the 1990's.


You'll also notice I never said I reinstalled because of the error I was having (I eventually found a FixIt to do it), but the reinstalls were for other things.

The corrupted registry is just indicative of a problem which really should not happen.

a) If a corrupted registry key is stopping something happening, then why doesn't it take any action to try and resolve it? b) If an error code has a documented fix online, why was I not taken to it, or, even better, the fix placed in the distributable? c) Why should I have to remember random error codes at all? Why doesn't it give me an error message I can understand and at least try and take some action on?

What I find a bit odd about this whole thread is that you seem to take issue with the idea that one of Microsoft's own libraries not working means the OS is otherwise fine. Why not take the view that it's a library that's not distributed with the main install, but is a part of Windows? The Visual C++ libraries are used all the time. I feel like if we were talking about Ubuntu, where the packages are always separated, we wouldn't be drawing this invisible line between what is and isn't the OS.


At the risk of showing myself to be the inexperienced user that I am, I have had the same problem but have not yet been able to resolve it. Lewisham, please could you tell me how/where you found the fixit? Thanks so much.


You got unlucky. I suspect that on a different occasion with a different machine you'd never encounter anything that required reinstalling or FixIt or anything like that.


There may be a good point hiding there, but I don't think he made it particularly well. He argues that OS X is getting worse.

His specific complaint was that he couldn't find the Library folder to delete his mail. Two things to keep in mind: first off, people who set up Mail extremely rarely will want to delete their email. So on the list of use cases to optimize for, that one lives near the bottom of the ladder. Secondly, the Library folder is, for all intents and purposes, something that should have been hidden to begin with. The kind of stuff that goes into a Library folder goes into hidden directories on other OSes anyway (think Application Settings on Windows, or .config, .gnome2, .kde on Linux). The fact that Apple only just now got around to hiding a folder that did nothing but clutter up the home directory for most users is significantly more surprising than the fact that it's hidden.

There was another complaint, which was that upon putting the relevant files in the Trash, attempting to empty it yielded file in use errors. That is indeed a problem, but he complains that he can't skip all of them, and that this is an old issue. So how this is related to OS X getting worse is unclear. It's definitely extremely annoying, but then I also don't think people find themselves deleting thousands of files of which several are in use very often. That said, one wonders what was using those files (unless he'd forgotten to quit Mail, but I doubt that).

Basically, “the latest frustration”, his leading example of something that is “worse in Lion than in Snow Leopard”, seems to not be a very good example at all. What's missing are the ”so many [other] things”. I want to hear them, because I haven't found too many, and I think it would be interesting to see what others genuinely think is worse. Some disagree with the changes in Spaces, for example, which is understandable. What else?


I was left wondering why didn't he just export his mailbox. Or add his GMail account to Mail.app and just drag and drop his old inbox into his new Google inbox. There is absolutely no 'lock-in' with Apple's Mail client.

The strangest part was the line about how there were 'many things worse in Snow Leopard than in Leopard.' There was hardly anything different about Snow Leopard from a user's perspective, the things that did change were pretty hard to complain about (smaller application file sizes, Microsoft Exchange support, and um... what else was there?). From a developer's perspective, Snow Leopard was a vast improvement. Just about the only 'bad' thing about it was the end of the line for the PPC.

Emotions about Apple run so high, it's hard not to think of this as trashing one product (OS X) because of negative feelings about mostly unrelated products (iOS, the App Store, the Apple brand in general).


Absolutely. I think people disliked the move away from the more “natural” exposé window sizing in SL vs Leopard. SL went with the equal-sized boxes approach. But that was one of the very few changes.


Overally I don't consider 10.7 being worse than 10.6, I'm ignoring Mission Control stuffs as I was ignoring Exposé. But there is one thing I find it maddening above all is the settings and behavior of Terminal.app, I understand _nothing_, this is insane. The behavior of Terminal.app is insane, it's even harder to explain since I fail to understand its logic.


Check out iTerm2 if Terminal.app isn't doing it for you anymore. http://www.iterm2.com/


Thanks for the tip will definitively try it out.

Edit: Wow I just put my shell command /bin/zsh and the default behavior seems to fit my needs without reading all the options. It closes all the tabs when I quit, it doesn't keep a kind of useless history displayed when I start a new session, the theme thing works right away. Thanks, I will be using it from now on.


What's wrong with Terminal.app behavior?


Terminal.app barely changed between 10.6 and 10.7. I have the same settings I've had since 10.5, actually.


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