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. ;)