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The Aqua Letters

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OS X Postbag Our AquaRant™ provoked 180 emails in one day, and the total's heading for three hundred. Thanks for the kind words, stuff we hadn't thought of, and the useful tips. Less than a dozen were abusive, but one of these makes FoTW.

You can read Dan Gillmor's take here and AppleLinks' Charles Moore weighs in here.

So were we on-target or disastrously off course? Well, more than three-quarters of you have serious reservations about Aqua.

More than two thirds of you loathe the new UI, or find it supremely annoying. But probably a third of you are going to carry on and hope for improvements.

About 10 per cent of you think it's the fastest and most attractive UI ever. But even many of the Aqua defenders acknowledge that OS X is sluggish.

We've divided the responses into the Pro and Anti camps, interspersed with some tips. Let's roll...

Pro

Amen and Amen! Why would anyone take a UI with going on twenty years of use
and pitch it? Apple hasn't shot themselves in the foot, they've shot
themselves in the head.

Wilbur Nelson




Thank you. I thought I was the only one in the world
that hated the Aqua interface of OSX.

The first time I saw the first real demo, I was almost
in tears at what they had done to my beloved Macintosh.

They have removed/destroyed everything I loved about
the Mac UI, and have replaced it with Copycat Windows
knock-offs, that I don't particularly like on Windows, but
hate on the Mac (the doc, the minimize button, etc.).

Apple is dead; they just haven't realized it yet.

Dave Brudreck




I agree with most you say.

What keeps me going is the hope that OS X in its current form is the System 4 of what was and we are in store for a lot of improvement.

Hunter Chisholm




Ahh its like the Emperor's New Clothes! Your article expresses exactly what
I was feeling about OSX. I loved the stability and some of the obvious
improvements but I hated the Aqua interface. It was slow, clunky,
non-intuitive and just plain big. It seemed like an OS for the masses who
needed bright, big icons to find their way about.

I hope Apple rethinks this, as for me, I'm slap happy to be back in OS9 land
where things are fast and efficient (though I do crash every now & then.)

Stephen R Banks




I couldn't agree with your story more. One thing I have noticed though is the menu bar is bigger on X then on Classic. Take any Carbon app that remembers window positions, drag the window to the top in X, quit and boot into Classic, open the app, and presto, you'll notice the window is several pixels away from the menu bar. The same is true in the other direction, only it will depend on how the app deals with it as to how you see the difference. Most of the apps I use will redraw the window outside of the menu bar, sometimes far outside, so that test is not nearly as reveling.

Again, thanks for a great article.

Andrew Mitchell




Bravo! But I did better. I never even tried to work with OSX. Not beta and not releases. I understood very early on that this is going to be fiasco for main stream users. OSX might have appeal to the thousands of Unix or Linux users but not to the masses and masses is where you sell so masses is where developers will put their efforts into even if they develop their products on sophisticated OSs. So I made the following calculation.

Apple will obviously put all their efforts in OSX. So OS 9x is virtually finished. Windows 2000 Pro is VERY stable and has the most popular programs available on the Mac running in it and then some. So now I have on my desk a Mac 8500 with a Newertech G3 500mhz card running beside a Windows box with 1.5 Mhz sharing the same Monitor. In the beginning I was using 80% of the time the Mac and 20% the PC. Now it is 90% the PC and 10% the Mac. I use the Mac only for Digital Performer (the best sequancer and Digital Audio editor on the market) but I guess that MOTU will have to release Digital Performer for Windows in the future since MAC is DEAD.

Benjamin Muller




I have been trashing OSX's interface since the day I got it, and your article echoes my thoughts, in my role as an interface designer. I have switched back to OS 9.2.2 and it's so much snappier, easier to find thing etc. The only single benefit I found in OSX was that it never crashed. But all the apps I was running were classic, so they still crashed!

["I value my Apple technical support" - name and address supplied]





I agree with you that OS X is slow but I find it beginning to be more productive than OS 9. Mainly OS9 advantages nowadays is because of software. I still CAN'T DO a lot of stuff in OSX because of drivers and applications but the multitasking performance is a huge, HUGE welcome.

The one thing that really annoys me in OSX is that it won't remember my printer's page size. Every time I print I have to tell him that it's not Letter size but european A4.

Oh yes, it's sticky alright...

Users should be able to switch off most of the candy in exchange for speed. OS9 redraws windows through an outline. That works pretty much better for me on this CPU than the full redraw. And I still don't know what's the purpose of those semi-transparent title bars...

In general I agree with you and what you wrote in the article. On the other hand I feel that OSX is a good step forward but should be really be considered a beta-stage UI. User testing is being done right now by everybody working with a Mac.





Thanks for the OS X piece. It summed up a lot of my own experiences of
trying to use X.

The huge icons are a pain and more suited to Sesame Street than my desktop,
but at least I was able to eventually find a slider to globally shrink them.

Having heard the howls of anguish from system 6 users when 7 came in,
I was expecting difficulties, but the level of (visible) change looks to be
an order of magnitude greater. The new interface -may- be fine for new
users, but it's the hoards of people who like their Mac looking 'just so'
who are really going to balk at X.

As to using it everyday Nooo! One of the reasons I run my own business is
because I don't like being told what to do!

Keith Cooper




you pretty much summed up why I don't use X full time (only when I need access to certain unix apps). X is just too slow UI wise on my computer. But there are other problems:

- can't turn off the dock

- the application switch menu is gone

- the open/save dialog boxes are completely unusable compared to OS 9

- The finder completely stinks. I get the beach ball sometimes on the most mundance tasks

- The finder does not give me the classic MacOS experience.

- Many of my most common tasks take additional time or mouse clicks to get to.

- Who put the window widgets on the left? It is pretty stupid.

Your conclusions were a little soft on Apple. I would think that Apple should do the following:

- Give us a MacOS 9 finder, written in cocoa, that takes full advantage of X. There should never, ever, be a spinning beachball again.

- Fix the 2d graphics acceleration issue. Scrolling etc needs to be fast, as fast as MacOS 9 on the same hardware

- rehire some of Apple's UI experts back. They were the people that made the MacOS so great. They can again make X great, and give us new features of usability that have been thought up over the yerars.

- drivers. Apple promised a development environment that would make writing device drivers easy and fast. Yet after 9 months people STILL can't synch up a palm pilot with release quality software.

Michael Porter





I liked your article, I am a Mac user and completely agree with everything
you said about the OSX interface, but hopefully it will get better. I can't
see myself ever working on a Windows related machine which is a lot worse.
Maybe OS 9.X will never really die or OSX will morph back into some of the
features of OS9. Funny you said you had to increase your monitors resolution
in order to match what you had on OS9, I had to do the same thing, only I
also have a second monitor which is 15" and now dragging something from one
to the other is like using a magnifying glass. That's really annoying.

Fabio Cunha





Straight up!

I don't even want to touch the monstrosity and 100-percent on the "dumb" look thing. It immediately turned me off and still does - looks like a kiddie UI or something.

I'm at 9.04 and will hold off until the bitter end, and yes even though I have been Mac since 1987, I am really considered going Wintel when I make my next purchase this spring. (Or WinAMD)

For more reasons than the UI - though I will have to use Mac for majority of work in the beginning of the transition. I don't want to, but if Apple is going towards the dark side, why not go with a company that has had a lot of practice?

Michael Tripper




Well said!

I feel like Mac users are expected to like OSX despite the slow speed and
clunky interface.

We Americans, have the same problem with George Bush.

James Babb



I am still hopeful that they will eventually
see the light. Steve may have been able to force Apple
to come out with the rather useless Cube, but he
couldn't make the public continue to buy it, so I
imagine that on a similar theme, useful features will
gradually make their way out of hiding as it becomes
obvious that the natives are still restless.


Eric




There's another thing you left out. In the Mac environment you had a disk repair tool that covered the entire Mac environment. The tool is still there but it does not cover the Unix disks, only the Mac disks. This wouldn't be so bad except that, to run fsck on your boot volume, you need to have a single user boot mode. MacOS X doesn't appear to provide this capability and you need to run it after EVERY crash (of which there seems to be as many as you'd expect from Micro$oft.)

I'd also like to know why MacOS 9.2.x comes with so many M$ libraries. I disable all of them so that I don't have to worry about scriptkiddies. If you delete M$ Internet Exploder prior to registering you'll find out that it won't fall back to Netscape.

For the UI, I dislike the placement of the resize and close buttons. The classical Mac interface put these on opposite side and gave you one that would resize to fit.

Finally, the requirement for file extensions and the loss of file creator information is a pain. You'd think that M$ had some influence in designing the UI.

Ron Skoog




I enjoyed your article on abandoning the Mac due to OS X.

I used a Mac since the Mac Plus first came out. In fact, I still actually HAVE my old Mac Plus, sitting on top of a filing cabinet. I did tech support for quite a while and was known in the office as the "Macintosh Jedi." But after I played with a beta version of OS X on my Blue & White G3 (I gave it an honest chance and just couldn't cope), I decided to call it quits, and for pretty much the reasons you described.

Sure, it's pretty. But who cares? I LIKED the Mac UI. And, as it turned out that I'd pretty much have to replace all of my software anyway, and as Windows suddenly became more Mac-like than the Mac, I decided to abandon ship.

As far as I'm concerned, OS X simply isn't the Macintosh anymore. End of story.

Frank




Thank you Andrew!

I've been using Apples OS X as my main OS for about 3 months now. I've had to boot into 9.x for a Firmware update.

I was not able to put into words what exactly has been buggin' me with OS X, thank you. You've done a good job.

The few times I have had to use 9.x it felt almost foreign, I suppose I am transitioning faster than others. This might be because

Keep up the good work.

Tem Kuechle




Just for the record, I thought you wrote a good article. I want to differ with you - because I'd love to see Apple succeed, and I hate having Windows shoved down my throat - but I really don't disagree. I like X better than you do, it would seem, but there are lots of things that are annoying as hell.

Funny thing, and this is the strangest part for such an "innovative" company, the biggest problem with OS X is how, well, OLD it is. It's not much more than prettified NEXTStep, which is what, more than a decade old?

Apple/Jobs wants to force an OS on users rather than give them the OS they want/need. Shoot, even M$ lets you choose a "classic Windows" look for XP.

Jim Trebilcock




Agreed!

I have ranted about every one of your points, and have been very surprised
that people are willing to accept these things.

I'm a very long time Mac user. I've done just about everything from the
prosaic to CAD, DTP, web development, 3D, video, databases, etc. I was
really looking forward to OS X, and I have been very disappointed. Every
time I try to use it, I just get so frustrated at all the little things that
just aren't "right."

The desktop real-estate issue is a huge one, just as you say. Not being able
to turn off that annoying anti-aliased text is another problem. I simply
can't stand to look at OS X for very long simply because of that. Turning it
"off" generally results in even more unreadable text in many apps. The fonts
in OS X aren't very good.

I have been stunned at the reviews of OS X. It is so painfully obvious that
there are still too many things wrong with current Finder/Desktop.

I won't even go into the dock -- that's been covered.

No springy folders?! The most useful thing added to the Mac OS since the
development System 7, and they left it out? Then they left it out of 10.1
too? Egads.

No Labels. I'm a highly visual organizer. Not being able to color code
folders is a major loss for me. That would also have helped the dock and
toolbars from holding folders all lined up like clones.

10.1 is better, but icons also still move around in windows. Unacceptable.

Huge icon grid. I have to open windows the size of the whole flippin' screen
just to see 20 or so icons. Abosolutely ridiculous that the icon grid does
not scale with the size of the icons, or at least have a tight / wide option
like OS 8/9 had.

Many of the most common control-click options are missing. I can't access an
alias's original icon, and other such actions that were already available in
OS 8/9.

Default window display options don't stick. Instead of being applied when a
window is opened (like was done in OS 8/9), I have to manually set it every
time. When reviewing new volumes of info (for DTP, web sites, servers, etc).

I could go on with the little details.

In my case, I have not abandoned OS X. I've never been able to get over the
bumps to even start using it as my main OS. I have a server set up on OS X,
so I do it use OS X every day, but I could never do real productivity work
on OS X in its current form. I sure hope the next six months see major
improvements.

Greg Willits




Apple took a step in the wrong direction in my mind and until I see a radical improvement I have no plans to return to the Mac machine, despite my misgivings about Windows, which is a great shame because I was almost there.

Anyway, thank you for an interesting and honest article

Jody Armstrong


Useful stuff we didn't know

actually, hfs+ supports an unlimited number of named forks (not just data & resource forks) and there is api available on osx to utilize these forks to store special attributes (check out CarbonCore/Files.h). unfortunately, this api is not completely implemented at every level and the relevant functions return error codes. my guess is that apple is trying to shy away from these features in order to maintain more compatibility with windows... which is a whole separate issue.

Rob Raquet-Schofield





Agree with much of what you say, as an old-time Machead (heck, I beta-tested the original beast), there's a lot of OSX stuff that annoys the heck out of me.

But I've found that a few add-ons make it bearable.

1) ASM - 'nuff said, in particular classic mode keeping the windows together.

2) Windowshade X

3) Can Combine Icons. I convinced the author to put in an option that lets you stamp text into the icons inside a box. This lets you put labels on icons. So I labelled my most used icons with names and put them in the dock.

4) Dock on the right. Agree with you here. I keep the silly thing open all the time, most apps don't get in the way.

My big peeves are:

1) Finder not spacial, and it doesn't remember preferred display modes for windows, or let me set a global preferred mode. Bleah. Old finder much better.

2) Tends to drop AFP volumes mounts semi-randomly.

3) Folders in the dock, when you pop up the listing, there's a delay as it builds the menu. Dock ought to be smart enough to cache this info and preload the cache, going several levels deep. It can be a background task.

4) Useless Apple menu.

5) Steve's still an egomaniacal asshole after 20 years.

I have hopes for fixes for 1-4. ;^)

Keep up the good work.

Robert Woodhead




Many of your concerns about the dock and switching between apps are
alleviated with a piece of shareware called Keyboard Maestro. I'm running
it; it enables me to use the Fkeys to launch apps or documents, and lets me
easily switch between running apps, just like I could do natively on OS9.
Keep in mind that it wasn't always that way under the Old World Order; I
had a piece of shareware called FunKeys that did the job until Apple
embedded Fkey functionality in OS 9.

Steve Freidberg




I feel your pain. I too had switched to OS X, but had to come back
to OS 9. Here is what made my life somewhat bearable:

You mention that you can't replace the shell. Actually you can! You can
use the old OS 9 Finder in OS X. Make a copy of it in OS 9, use ResEdit to
change the file type to APPL and creator to whatever you like. Then boot
into OS X and double click! It is good for a few things like ignoring file
permissions (security risk!) and launching Calssic apps. I haven't figured
out how to launch Cocoa apps.

Kamal Mubarak MD




You are right about the interface problems.

I found a couple of quick fixes you might want to try out, before
abandoning completely.

A haxie called FruitMenu, which allows you to customize the Apple Menu.
Brilliant. Set up is awkward at first, but put in an alias to your
Application and Utilities folders, whatever, and you can launch straight
out of the menu. Really sweet. Apple should look at this and make it
standard

LaunchBar. A drop down search menu. Start typing and it locates
everything and anything, including bookmarks. Double click, and off you
go. I use for finding my documents, myself. Leave Sherlock for web
searches.

From the moment I got these, I hid the Dock and use it only for quick
launching frequently used stuff, and voila, suddenly OS X is right there
with OS 9.

Once the spring-loaded folders kick in on 10.2, I will have nothing left
to complain about.

Except the speed, of course.

David Hester




Have you file your complaints on the feedback page with Apple (Under the Mac OS X tab, there is a button for feedback at the top right of the web page). They DO listen. When the beta was there, I complained about the problem that if you click in the middle ("white") of the e of the Internet Explorer icon in the Dock, the app wouldn't start up. Since 10.0 it does. I've complained about an issue involving comma's and points in floating points. Issue has been resolved).

Bert Alternberg




I read your Mac OS X piece and I agree with the horridness of the dock. I will stay with os x because classic suck as a development environment.

However, you could try out DragThing as a replacement for the dock. It's much superior
and even supports alt-tabbing in 'last-use' order.

Erik Svensson




So...lets just get RID OF the dock. First put a Trash back on your desktop...there are a couple ways to do this...either get a 3rd party app, like Trash X.

Or there are several hacks to put the trash can on your desktop.

Then to stop the Dock from launching...do this:

Get into Terminal
type "cd /System/Library/CoreServices/"
type "mv Dock.app Dock.bak"

There, the Dock will now not launch. To fix, type "mv Dock.bak Dock.app" in that same place you were before.

I'm not trying to convince you of anything with this letter, and you are probably convinced of little having such firm opinions about the dock and such. But are the idiosyncrasies of other OS's, like Windows XP, so much more wonderful?

I enjoy MacOS X for how it is now...and what it lacks I add with 3rd party apps until Apple changes (if they change). But what keeps me here is that I deal with Linux (running KDE2 or Ximian Gnome), Solaris (with CDE or Gnome), and Window (98, NT4, 2000, and XP) on a daily basis...and MacOS X is IMHO the best UI experience compared to all those.

So, not my intention to offend...but I feel strongly about issue on this OS, just as you do.

Evan Marshall



Traitors! How dare we!

I was going to write a serious note to you, but I realized you are being a
baby about it, so I decided to just do something else.


Theo Maschas




Your recent article on why you switched back to OS 9 leaves me wondering where Mac users brains have gone. Apparently, switching to an OS with minor differences in UI features is too difficult for most to manage.

If you (and this is directed at all Mac users) cannot switch to OS X, then you will never, ever be able to switch to Windows or any Unix/Linux variant. My suggestion is to change along with your changing OS.

For once, the Mac community will have to accept change just like the rest of the computer-using world.

Christopher Weaver




all of your claims are ridiculous! I don't know what horrid things you have put your Mac through, but I
suspect, that you have not the slightest idea about how to use your mac properly.

not only do you make baseless claims about preformance that could only be true if the poor computer was woefully mishandeled, but you fail to bring to light the far greater failings of Windows XP.

You need to learn how to use your computer before you take a hammer to it as you have done.

William Colsher




It's a shame the Register has put you in a position to do so much damage and has allowed you to proceed without reasonable editorial oversight. Do the honorable thing: quit and find a job more suited to your abilities (hint: "Do you want fries with that?")

Bill Fancher




Most of your arguments revolve around the dock being such a bad UI idea, I don't know why Microsoft, and Next both use a form of this then? All your other arguments are opinion and such should be treated as that. I'll just say I respectfully disagree with all the rest of the crap you put on your web site to attract readers.

Dave Pfanner
"Open your mind, let yourself free"




That my machines have all (3 Macs) behaved flawlessly since loading X must mean nothing here, even though all that chewing gum seems to be holding up just fine.
There is a big difference between an article and a rant. What you are reading right now is a rant. What I just read was a rant.

Jason Wiley




What kind of crack where you smoking over the holidays ? I have never seen such a garbage article in all my life. You honestly must be bored and because we're only a few days into the New Year, nothing better to write about. Listen, do us all a favor, and don't waist our back button clicks because we've run into such garbage and write about valuable things, as you have no idea about OSX anymore than you know your ass from your elbow. Get a Life, Get a mac !

Dieter





Keep your grubby hands off my dock!

Read your anti OS X rant -- but it makes no sense to me.

Go ahead and point out all the things you don't like about OS X. But stop sounding like everyone else is in total agreement with you or that you have some handle on how an OS should work. On MY planet, OS X rules and I can't wait to see what's coming in the next update!

Tom Bonner




So old, so tired.

Tog is no more. Syracusa is a "smartypants"

Jesús Díaz Blanco




Not everyone agrees with you. Best OS, best UI, I've used. Hands down.
I've read John's rants (more proof that the only thing worse than an
idiot is a thorough idiot) and Tog's analysis (mostly whining that
they've changed his perfect little baby). You don't add much, but that
doesn't invalidate what is, after all, your opinion. Whatever. More
power to you, I suppose. That being said, why your opinion merits
printing in the Register is beyond me. Maybe the new year will bring
more op-ed from the Vulture. Maybe you can write about how much you miss
System 6.

Charlie Rehor





My parents, grandparents, and sister ALL love the dock. They re technophobes and find it useful and easy to understand: Everything you need is in the dock . They also like the Home aspect of the finder -- Everyone has their own home .

Eric Johnson




I read your whining and sniffling and wondered how you got a writing job,
but then any one can post a web site...

I like the beautiful blue scroll bars. I am so sick of the gray MS WINDOWS
/ OS 9 flat scroll bars, especially since I have to use an NT machine at
work, that I could puke. At last some one has made a UI that looks
pleasing. If you like flat gray and boring, you must be an MS man at heart.

All I can say about your article in summary is quit your petty grumbling.
Gimme a break. OS X stomps OS 9. OS X is beautiful, fast and resilient.
OS 9 is a dinosaur. I have been using Macs since 1983 and this is by far the best UI they have
ever come out with. Hands down.

Kort Jackson




Your article was very brave, and mostly true. But as great as the OS 9 interface is, I just can t stop using X. The sturdiness of the thing is breath-taking.

As you note, putting the dock on the right fixes the dock problem, for the most part. In my view, the biggest problem with the dock is that we re not used to it. We like the app switcher from 9, the control strip, etc. But I have to believe Steve when he says that new users found the Dock more intuitive. Of course it is. You can put as much or as little as you like in plain view.

With respect to speed, OS 9 is miles ahead, but we all know why. Apple had to get a product out, and it will be some time before it s cleaned up. The real miracle is that OS X exists at all, and offers so much support for so many devices. In a time of dwindling sales and business failures, it s a wonder that Steve & Company were able to pull this off.

My own feeling is that the various APIs will be released when they re more mature. Customization will come down the road. Many of the complaints you mention are not meaningful to me, although I work all day on my Mac. I have numerous ways that I catch and categorize information on the fly.

It's slow and it's immature, but I love X.

Jeff Jay




Your loathing for Aqua is self-evident and in many cases justified, it is flawed and badly thought
out.

However, your logic with regard to Apple software technologies, what they
should do and what they could do, is flawed and ill informed.

Let me explain..

-OpenDoc

This was a failure. Developers did not want to develop for it. Waxing
lyrical about it does not change the fact that it had zero traction and as
such would never amount to anything. Killing OpenDoc was not a moment of
Jobsian pique but a business decision to cull an expensive development
sinkhole that showed no promise of yielding anything of benefit to the
company in the long term. Yes it was a good technology, but nobody cared
enough about it to write anything for it. The Apple developed Cyberdog being
the only thing using OpenDoc that springs to mind

-Carbon,

Everything carbonised inside OS X, comes from a single decision to deal with
developer concerns. The major ones balked when they were asked to develop
their applications using Cocoa, so Carbon was born to keep the developers on
side. It's a transition API and if Apple can help it, it won't exist the
moment they can bludgeon it to death without and of the large developers
noticing.

If people have issues with the speed at which carbonised applications run
or the level of immaturity that the API's display, then they should call up
the top ten Macintosh ISV's and shout at them. They asked for Carbon and we
are stuck with it, the Rhapsody project plan didn't have Carbon in it, that
came when lazy developers started whinging that it would take them too long
to re-write their app's using the OpenSTEP API's.

The meta-data issue is one that isn't going to go away, but it takes so much work to do correctly that it may take a while before it's resolved to many peoples satisfaction.

It bothers the hell out of me, and I want to see it resolved, but I'd prefer
if they fixed the performance issues in the OS first.

Finally, I knew a guy who didn't like the latest changes to the GUI of his
OS of choice, so he stuck with what he had too. I'm sure it must have been
pretty lonely being the only Windows 3.1 user in the office.

Mark Twomey





OS 9 is fast, elegant, and totally unstable. It gets work done fast, and crashes fast.

OS X is not as fast, not as elegant (yet), and completely reliable. I *trust* it. And that makes a big difference.

Ask yourself: which would you rather drive... a fast Porche that explodes randomly, or a medium-end BMW that lacks heated seats, but gets you there every time?

Ryan Hewson




I am never going back to OS 9, except through obligation.

"You can pry my OS X front my cold dead hand"

Duane Deal




While I won't argue OS X's foibles, my limited experiences using it with Lightwave and Illustrator 10 have been positive. Both apps feel snappier and performed well. Especially, Illustrator 10. Adobe's latest incarnation is a real pig in OS 9 when you start asking it to run complex styles with tterns, rastering, transparencies and envelopes. Screen redraws, program boots and scrolling were faster in X.

Lightwave Open GL previews were smoother as well and rendering sped up around 20%.
Unfortunately, though, my biggest gripe is a dearth of audio support for the apps and hardware I use. So, at present, I'm still doing most of my work in OS 9 and waiting for everything else to catch up to OS X.

Jeffrey Henning





I too thought that Aqua was the culprit of much of the slowness of OS X until I tried to remove the wondows shadow with the freeware ShadowKiller (http://www.unsanity.com/), on my computer it did nothing, Aqua was slow and from what people use to say about Next, PostcriptDisplay was slow so my guess would be that it's Quartz that drain the power. I could probably live without Quartz but i'm getting really used to it, making PDF just by printing... without extension... :-)

- "...a port of the OS rue the loss of unique NeXT features, principally services"

Remember that Apple said that Carbon is only a way to make the transition... Services are still there and if you look at AppleScript Studio, you can see that it dont even work with carbon, what you make with is is only Cocoa base AppleScript applications.

It would have been cool to have just a rework of Platinum but Aqua is not the big bad wolf, give it some time, it's only version One.

Stephane Curzi




I think OS X is just simply a new system. Your point I agree about most is the 'hybrid' nature of it... I think that has been their biggest mistake, but on the other hand, Apple has traditionally been known for managing to bridge the gap between disparate technical platforms (68040 to powerpc for instance). Most Mac users have not made the transition to OS X yet and Apple knows that. Most Mac users probably won't have switched for another year or two. I think they still have time to work out some of your minor grievances. Hopefully, they'll be able to make it 3x as fast too, but I'm not going to hold my breath for that...

Anyways, I enjoyed reading your article.

Dallas Bethune



Quartz isn t so much what needs to be documented for this... It s Aqua: both carbon and cocoa are written to Aqua... Aqua is responsible for drawing a window or a button. Even fully documenting this API is only the very beginning of what needs to be done to get a wonderful peace of craftsmanship like Kaleidoscope for OS X... Indeed Kaleidoscope was so successful because it was able to use the hooks provided by the AppearanceManager architecture designed into the Mac OS, itself; a software architecture YEARS in development.


As fantastic a technology as Cocoa is, its time is still about 2 to 3 years off before a majority-approaching number of titles ship built under that API.

GNUStep might make a big case for this in the upcoming years, if Apple helps them maintain parity. See http://www.gnustep.org for more details.

Although, I must say that the already-mentioned Launch Bar is a great glimpse of what s to come from the power of the Cocoa API.




I accept that Aqua may not be right for you. But that doesn't make it a news story.

I couldn't help but think that your article was written by the type of person who labels something as crap if it doesn't work exactly as he is used to. It was as if you were hunting for things to complain about, because I certainly noticed few of your problems on a day-to-day basis

So, while your article may be accurate in stating that Aqua isn't the interface for you, it does a disservice in stating or implying that Apple will founder as a result, without first analyzing the impact of Aqua on the 98% of us who aren't interface fanatics.

Dan Neuman




Please consider taking your criticisms and reformulating them into a cohesive, convincing argument. Don't you think there are enough people making knee-jerk rants about this or that thing that bugs them? And when has it helped? There are two ways to get things to go your way: argument or force. Ranting is a way to feel better. I don't see how it helps to do it in public, aside from vicarious emotional expression, but then I suppose that the commonness of opinion columnists suggest that "the voice of the little guy" needs to be heard, even if it continues to get ignored by those in power. At least it gets readership. And who can argue with popularity?

Brent Gulanowski




The Mac OS X interface is the best there is. Go back to your
PC. If you were a true Mac user you would never go back to 9.

Kenny Stillman

So we may not see Mac users set themselves on fire, after the example set by Buddhist monks, as a protest against Aqua.

But Cupertino, we have a problem... ®

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