Different strokes, I guess. It just seems odd to celebrate it.
In response to the heated discussion below, it's not just the launchpad that has me a little peeved about Lion and ML (I'm on ML now). Some of things that are being taken from iOS that I don't necessarily feel belong on the desktop: natural scrolling, skeuomorphication of interfaces, suggested words, "all my files", social media integration (yes, this is just me), etc.
But my biggest pet peeve is just the sheer dumbing down of things. iTunes 11 is pretty, but why put everything a click away? What was so bad about a sidebar that makes everything instantly accessible and only takes 80px? Why does the app now prefer to be run in full screen?
Meanwhile, by sticking to Snow Leopard, you miss out on:
* Robust full disk encryption (and the underlying filesystem improvements that allowed it to happen)
* Improved security (e.g. kernel ASLR, signed apps -- if you want them, sandboxing)
* Much improved user apps (Safari, Preview, QuickTime to name a few)
* Recovery partitions for improved disaster recovery
* Access to the App Store (edit: I'd forgotten you can get this on 10.6 too, though I couldn't speak to how many apps still support 10.6)
* For developers, there've been improvements to Objective-C, including the addition of ARC and simpler syntax
Snow Leopard is starting to look really old now, and as far as I can tell the only unavoidable difference is that Spaces acts differently. It's a big sacrifice to make just for that.
Makes about as much sense as designing all cars in the 50s for people who grew up with horses. While those people are certainly still alive, it is a business strategy decades out of place.
There are a ton of things that we assume are second nature, but are really learned skills. I think the notion that applications that aren't in the dock still exist (in the Applications folder) is starting to sink in, but installing software from disk images? You have to mount it, copy the program to the Applications folder, understand where it went so you can launch it, and then eject the disk image.
I knew people when I was in high school (granted that was a while ago, but it wasn't their first time using a computer) who would download software and just run it off of the disk image every time they wanted it. Unless the developer has put in an alias and a background image to explain things, there's no indication that there's a better solution.
Yeah, these people exist, but I think they are a dying breed. Children who grew up using computers are not going to have these problems. I think our obsession with this dying breed of computer users is very convenient, since it paints a narrative of "regular users (read: most users) are so much dumber than we are."
It strokes our ego to believe that dumbing down interfaces is necessary.
The question is how far can they push it without totally frustrating the power users. I think it may be inevitable that Apple eventually stops making machines that the majority of non-Apple developers can tolerate.
This part of ComputerGuru's post is what resonates with me:
> But my biggest pet peeve is just the sheer dumbing down of things. iTunes 11 is pretty, but why put everything a click away? What was so bad about a sidebar that makes everything instantly accessible and only takes 80px? Why does the app now prefer to be run in full screen?
Some things are legitimately being improved. Network configuration in all of the major operating systems is a great example of this. NetworkManager is wildly better than manually editing a wpa_supplicant file, and Windows/Macs have seen similar improvements. Not "Better for 'Regular Users'(tm).", just "Better.".
There seems to be a sort of schizophrenia in the field of "improving" computers. On one hand you have people who are honestly just trying to make things better (and are, for the most part, succeeding). It seems to me like you fall into this camp. You see value in changing things to improve the situation for everybody. I totally dig that attitude. However on the other hand you have people who are trying to make things better... for people who are perpetually trapped in the 90s. The improvements these people create are the ones that concern me.
Both are trying to improve things, but the attitude towards users is very different. I only mean to attack the second camp of "software improvement"; I think their motivation is flawed, outdated, and toxic.
Power users might not like some of the changes, but it's easy to provide them with advanced setting options to change them back (like scrolling or Gatekeeper)--or build the new features in such a way that they're easily ignored (like Launch Pad).
So why not take iPad design mentalities and slap it into a computer? Because the iPad experience was engineered for the iPad. Simple interfaces are necessary due to the nature of touch devices, and usage patterns are designed for the form factor of the iPad. Dumping all of that into a PC because "Users are dumb, but they are smart enough to use the iPad" is missing the point entirely I think. If the same people are involved in both efforts, then I think either they have lost their focus, or I am giving them too much credit to begin with.
iOS is good. OSX is good.
The attitude "OSX is too hard, we need to make it more like iOS" is my concern.
If you can create a legitimate case for making changes to OSX that look like iOS features, then by all means do so. Natural scrolling direction is a great example of that, I remember wishing I could make my touchpad in linux do it 5 years ago. "Users are dumb" is not a legitimate case though.
Also its a quick defaults away to change back to the old way.
defaults write -g com.apple.swipescrolldirection -bool false
I find it amusing that on a site like Hacker News people are complaining about vastly simple things to change. If they remove the choice maybe then complain, but this is a vast non-issue compared to the tweaking I have to do on linux.
- Sandboxing non-App store apps
- obfuscating "active" icon for running apps
- daffy notification center
- hidden user Library
- focus on weaker iOS UI w/ fullscreen apps and Launchpad
- half-ass support for multiple monitors (fullscreen, auto-brightness)
- iTunes 11 dumbed down to iPad version
- Time Machine won't restore previous Apple apps
- massive Finder UI bugs (lists don't update, don't always order correctly, show as blank, coverflow view doesn't match list view)
- threading freezes when copying files
- device noise in audio port
- crash when connecting to Cinema Display
- MBP keyboard & trackpad don't respond after using external mouse & keyboard
- migration away from desktop view, can't see hard drive / files
- QuickTime X dumbed down from QT7
> Sandboxing non-App store apps
I thought sandboxing was only required for App store apps?
Don't use it.
You're like a person complaining about the addition of seat belts in cars that doesn't want to use one, or a person complaining about the addition of world time zones to your phone when you never leave your own timezone.
Don't use it.
And I think I won't be the only one. And I think we tech people are always the head of the wave. We are the early adopters. If Apple and Microsoft manage to drive us to Linux en masse, we might just create enough momentum to start a bigger migration.
But whatever. Linux is getting more and more interesting to me every year.
Honestly, I don't notice most of the changes. And full screen mode for apps is much better than expanding a window to fit the screen.
Granted all I really use is chrome/firefox/emacs/terminal but really I don't see why everyone continues to whine about the changes. They're minimal to non-existent to users like us.
Which doesn't work the way you expect if you have multiple monitors.
Is "number-of-clicks" really the best metric to measure usability? I can't imagine something like this being considered a good interface, even though everything is one double-click away: http://it.sheridanc.on.ca/images/cluttered-desktop.jpg
Overall, I prefer to use my old Macbook with Snow Leopard, than my new iMac. It is a sad state. Sometimes, I feel like I should not be "that" guy stuck in the past. But, I dislike the iOS-fication of OSX.
I have only one wish, that these same guys take over Xcode, and pimp it out!
I don't understand what the author is referring to here. The screenshot looks just like I remember iOS app icons looking -- they've always had that canned bevel+gloss look applied to them.
Overall, the new iTunes makes me think that Apple keeps inching towards the Metro look. Gradients, colors and embossing are gradually fading out, and one day there will be nothing left except various weights of Helvetica and monochrome icons on a pure white canvas.
I agree they're going that way; to a definitely more-modern, understated look. But I think the big difference is going to be that they hold onto visual contrast precisely where Microsoft has let it go and/or confused it.
The new iTunes UI doesn't have any mouse-hover effects either, apart from those that are part of the OS X standard window decorations. This suggests that the new UI is designed primarily for touch rather than mouse use.
The idea with that bevel is probably to make the icons look somewhat more three-dimensional when they are "stood up" on a perspective plane (like the OS X dock does with icons in its default position at the bottom). The problem of course is that the icons were not designed for this kind of pseudo-3D look, and that's not something that can be fixed by simply compositing a sharp dark shadow at the bottom edge of the icon.
And why is the iTunes icon a musical note? iTunes is more about everything else but music. It's apps/books/video/podcasts/radio/TV/device syncing/music. Something like this would be much more appropriate:
I'm a heavy playlist user and the changes are shockingly bad. For "normal" users there's a dozen different ways to navigate and sort by album. But for playlist users there's now only one view - a text list - and a demoted tool menu on the bottom. Even command keys (i.e. Cmd-N) have been changed. Instead of just making a new playlist it changes the entire app view and the only available action is adding full albums to a playlist.
The only part worse is that I can't restore iTunes 10 via Time Machine without restoring my entire system.
Anyway, its more than likely that I completely missed the entire point of the post. Also, downgrading doesn't need a full timemachine restore, the only bit that may be easier with time machine is restoring the old library file, but its apparently not entirely essential.
It looks like Cmd-N works differently depending on which sidebar you're using. Old sidebar it works in classic mode (thanks for pointing that out!). New sidebar it opens the newer New Playlist view.
You can't restore the iTunes app directly: you'll get an OS warning. Using "Restore to..." the Desktop will result in a corrupted app file on the desktop. Also, iTunes 11 changes the library file system a bit.
Also, I know everyone has their own opinion, but yikes, this looks just bad to me (from the article): http://theindustry.cc/assets/2012/11/mini.png (edit, maybe it's my high res monitor but that font is painful to look at)