macnews.net.tc
2006-07-07
Leopard's coming. Was Tiger good?
Yes, this will be a rant. A small one. Someone asked me what I expect from Leopard. Actually, quite a few people did. And before I answered, I thought to myself: "It's important to look at what Tiger gave us, really, first."
And the short answer is: Dashboard and Spotlight. If you've read these pages at the time Tiger was new, you have seen that I don't really like Spotlight. Well: I do like it in Mail.app, but I don't like it as the "Finder"'s finding tool. It's just not good. From not finding "sideration" in "consideration" to opening a very bad choice as the default when you hit Cmd-F in Finder to not giving users the choice to search by file-name by default (or rather: not at all, really) - it certainly wasn't all it wanted to be. And Dashboard: Yeah, it's nice. I never use it. Well, sure, I do. I have my Calculator there. But 50% of the time I actually open Calculator.app and only afterwards remember that I would have had a Dashboard widget for that. So... Actually, Tiger was bad. It needs more RAM than Panther, generally runs slower and its main features take away some of my productivity. Don't get me wrong: There are a lot of little things I prefer in Tiger which wouldn't let me go back to Panther, anyway. But overall, I think it was the first big OS X update which didn't deliver. If you look at the earlier updates, it was like this: Puma (10.1) was faster and had better/more features than Cheetah (10.0). Jaguar (10.2) was faster ad had better/more features than Jaguar. Panther (10.3) was faster and had better/more features than Jaguar, although giving the Finder "Brushed Metal" was a bad idea in my opinion. And then Tiger... It wasn't faster. And its main features simply weren't that good.
I'm aware that under the hood, many important things were done and that Spotlight was an important first step towards a mature operating system's search technology.
So Leopard's coming. What do I want to see? I want to see a fixed Finder. Actually, I want to see a really, really good Finder. Tabs are in? That's okay. But please also fix the many shortcomings already there. More importantly: Fix Spotlight. Give users a choice, too. I want to be able to fire up Spotlight, enter "sideration" without the quotes and get a list of files that contain "sideration" in their file name. And no I _don't_ want to see Photoshop files with text layers that have the word consideration in them. Because _my_ default, if I had a choice, would be that Spotlight only searches in files' names. Of course a _little_ more flexibility would grant my wish. And it's still my main beef with Tiger.
Oh and yeah: If you include over 400 funny widgets with Leopard, please do *not* bloody count them among the "500 new features" in Leopard, m'kay? I rather want to hear it's got 10 new features, and that those 10 are really, really useful features. You may even count "stability and performance improvements" as 2 among those 10, Steve. ;)
Comments:
I've installed Tiger on my old iBook, and it feels better than Panther on this G3 500!! Ok it seems to be odd, but maybe it's just Safari and Mail that are feeling more responsive.
(But my main machine is a Mini 1,42ghz)
But it's true Spotlight sucks sometimes. And maybe Tiger should have been branded as 10.3.9.9 ;)
A lot of users are also crying out loud for better image browsing in the finder. the preview in finder column is clearly not enough.
but in the end Stability should remain Fix number one...
 
I'd never go back to Panther!
 
Me neither. (And can't. Panther doesn't run on my current intel Mac.) Doesn't mean that Tiger actually was such a good update..
 
Completely agree with your Spotlight comments. All I ever want to do is search by name only and they made such a chore. I don't use Dashboard either. Not worth the time. Easier to just open an application. Takes less time to load as well. I would still like more speed. I haven't played with intels much but When I can navigate windows almost faster than an iMac G5 can display them they need to work on speed.
 
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