Things I Hope Are In Mac OS X 10.5
Call me an early adopter.
I’ve used OS X as my main Mac operating system since 10.0 and haven’t looked back. I didn’t have a huge investment in legacy OS 9 (aka Classic) apps, so it was easy to make the jump.
Since those early days, when OS X seemed a lot more like its parent OS, NeXTStep, the Finder became slowly more Mac-ified, the rough edges were polished, the underlying system grew more stable. I (touch wood) haven’t had any serious crashes — the kind that bring your computer to a grinding halt — in years.
This summer, developers will get an extended preview of 10.5 Leopard. Details are scarce, but one persistent rumor is that the Finder is going to get a major makeover. Here’s my wishlist, if that’s true.
- Multiple Workspaces. While you can achieve this on the cheap now by merely creating multiple accounts on one Mac and using Fast User Switching, or by using some alpha-quality shareware, it would be cool to see this implemented officially, with the ability to switch workspaces using contextual menus, an Exposé-like keystroke and a “hot corner” of the screen.
- Make Finder more like Path Finder. Rewriting it all in Cocoa for speed, bringing back the NeXTStep Shelf as a place to “stash” aliases while dragging and dropping through nested folders, alternate-line shading in list views…
- Can we have an option to turn off drop shadows? Please? That whole pseudo-3D thing is so 1999. Ableton Live-style flatness seems much cleaner.
- And if you have to use 3D, why not just really emulate a 3D space - progressively blur, scale and lighten stacked windows the farther they recede into the background.
- In my opinion, the Dock shouldn’t overlap items on the Desktop, ever. How many times have I had to hide it manually to click on a file? It’s so annoying, I use Finder window navigation instead.
- For those Windows switchers: give them their Windows Explorer-style tree view. Sometimes MS does something right…
- On that note, does anyone use the Services menu? It would be nice if contextually active services were available from contextual menus instead — like being able to mail a file by right-clicking on it.
- Let us run widgets on the Desktop as well as in Exposé!
- Speaking of the Dock, I wish I could tear it off and reposition it at will (especially on different monitors), align it to corners, and in general, replace the kludgy folders-in-the-dock workaround with Folder Tabs, the way they used to work in OS 9.
- Speaking of the Desktop, how about the option to “hide the Desktop” like we had in 10.0?
- My PowerBook is smart enough to remember the orientation and placement of multiple monitors in different locations - when I’m at home or at the office, for instance. So why can’t it remember locations in the sidebar of the Finder? If there’s one folder I always have bookmarked there, why isn’t it persistent? Grey it out if it’s not present, but don’t make me have to recreate it every time….
What are your wishes for 10.5?
March 10, 2006 12:09 AM
Ken: yeah, that’s the alpha software I’m talking about. I’ll have to play around with it more, but it would be nice to see that built in. Might be more useful than the Widgets layer, anyway (I’m always hitting F12 by mistake).
Stu, as you noted in your own post, there’s plenty of arguments against including direct Windows compatibility. It might double Apple’s share as a maker of PC boxes, but it would remove any need to write OS X software from an economic standpoint. It would kill the OS. And it would never truly be compatible; WINE is a reverse-engineered instruction call mapper, basically, there’s no ‘Windows’ in it.
You can’t make up for things like the entire DirectX set of libraries which so many Windows game developers rely on, either.
The appeal of the Mac is precisely its closed-box nature: “Apple makes the whole widget,” therefore you can be assured that software works. Windows as a platform is incredibly fragmented - thousands of possible hardware configurations, at least six versions of the OS (from 3.1 to XP) still in use out there….why would you want all their headaches?
wrote AJ Kandy on March 17, 2006 1:49 PM