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OS X Businesses Operating Systems Apple

Panther Analysis Getting Underway 463

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the beware-the-symlinks-that-bite dept.
Durin_Deathless writes "Think Secret has posted their first article analyzing the changes from Mac OS X 10.2 to 10.3. In this first installment, they look at the changes to the Installation, System Requirements, the Finder, and some other things. They have some nice images available too."
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Panther Analysis Getting Underway

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  • by PhoenixK7 (244984) on Tuesday July 01, 2003 @10:38AM (#6339014)
    Translation: It'll only take 5 seconds to slashdot 'em.
  • by squiggleslash (241428) on Tuesday July 01, 2003 @10:40AM (#6339029) Homepage Journal
    While the format of a Places sidebar won't appeal to everyone, just as column view doesn't appeal to everyone, Apple is providing users with a number of ways to customize the look and function of windows. A user who simply wants a plain window with no toolbar or sidebar, with basic folder icons that open up new windows when clicked, like in Mac OS 9, can still do that.
    That's a real relief. It's not that Panther's new system isn't better (I don't know if it is or not), but when one's been using a particular, familiar, system since the Commodore Amiga, it's good to know that system is still available if I turn out not to like Panther's new way of doing things.

    That really was the only worry I had. I don't have strong views on Brushed Metal, I like the lower-key stripes I've seen, so I'll almost certainly upgrade.

    • The New Un-Aqua (Score:5, Insightful)

      by ihatewinXP (638000) on Tuesday July 01, 2003 @11:51AM (#6339660)
      It seems to me that the 'lickable' version of the Aqua UI was meant as a marketing promo for the new OS. I say that because with every new version (starting with Public Beta --> 10.0) the obtrusive and overly eye candy elements are being steadily removed. Looking at the new finder window theme _almost_ reminds me of Platinum OS9 - clean and simple (aside from the overuse of brushed metal). Not to say that OSX isnt the most beautiful interface ive ever seen or that 10.3 wont continue on that scale, but it does seem that after the initial fanfare the Aqua UI is evolving into what it should have been from 10.0..... Easy on the eyes, unobtrusive, easy to use and absolutely gorgeous to look at.
      • by Sudderth (146030) on Tuesday July 01, 2003 @04:13PM (#6342647) Homepage
        The original "lickable" OS X interface -- right down to the thin horizontal gray lines on menu bars and window borders -- almost certainly was designed to resemble the original iMac and Blue-and-White G3. The design aesthetics reinforced each other, and even extended to Microsoft's Internet Explorer, which gives you the choice of browser chrome to match your hardware (including the venerable Bondi Blue).

        Apple went out of its chromatic phase in a blaze of glory with the regrettable "Blue Dalmatian" and "Flower Power" iMacs. Ever since then they've moved in a more elegant direction, with no more dramatic change than the shift from colorful, purse-like iBooks to today's snowy variant. OS X has looked dated in comparison -- it did its job too well. It's no coincidence that as brushed metal themes are emerging more and more often, especially in the new Finder, that the new G5's following suit.
        • by commodoresloat (172735) on Tuesday July 01, 2003 @06:51PM (#6344343)
          I totally agree about the design aesthetic matching on the hardware and software. I do wish they would bring back the purse design laptop though, or make something new like it. The clamshell enclosure was great -- spacious; my fingers always feel cramped on notebook keyboards, but not that one. More importantly, it was rugged as hell. I've seen them dropped with no harm done; try that with a tibook. The new 12" Tibook is better in terms of being rugged but doesn't have that space. And I know everyone laughed at the purse thing but that handle was damn convenient for carrying your machine across the room! I would love to see a new clamshell enclosure from apple with a G4 or G5 in it. It doesn't have to be fruity looking; surely their designers can create an elegant but toned down design that retains the functionality of the clamshell....
  • by jkrise (535370) on Tuesday July 01, 2003 @10:40AM (#6339032) Journal
    Looks like reverse bio-engineering. Predators normally come after the prey!
  • Brushed metal (Score:3, Informative)

    by Bob Wehadababyitsabo (629809) on Tuesday July 01, 2003 @10:41AM (#6339040)
    I'm disappointed that Apple has forced the extremely ugly brushed metal on us. Aqua is beautiful; why dilute that beauty by replacing it with some ugly, unrealistic looking texture?

    Isn't Apple violating it's own HIG by making the Finder metal? I though you could only make programs that emulate physical devices metal.
    • It's not like all system running 10.2 will suddenly rm -r / themselves when Mac OS X 10.3 comes out. If you don't like it, you don't have to upgrade. Mac OS X 10.2 will still work when 10.3 is released.

    • Re:Brushed metal (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Mikey-San (582838) on Tuesday July 01, 2003 @10:48AM (#6339107) Homepage Journal
      It was supposed to be for apps that emulate or interface with real-world devices.

      But you know, the Human Interface Guidelines are just that--guidelines. They aren't scripture.

      Then again, where are we without rules to follow? UI consistency is worth the effort, right?

      I find these both interesting ideas, not really subscribing to the HIG as the Bible and not really seeing them as something to look at but not pay attention to.

      Thoughts? :-)
      • The real world device metaphor always works well. [libero.it]
        • by jeffehobbs (419930) on Tuesday July 01, 2003 @11:53AM (#6339694) Homepage

          Sure, QuickTime 4's UI was kind of bad, but have youy checked out Windows Media Player 9 lately? Talk about bad interface -- they didn't even include the ability to fast forward or rewind!

          ~jeff
          • Relax; it's only DRM (Score:3, Interesting)

            by yerricde (125198)

            Talk about bad interface -- [WMP9] didn't even include the ability to fast forward or rewind!

            Relax; it's only digital restrictions management.

            Rewind, and you view something several times that you paid to view only once, transforming a "public performance" of a copyrighted audiovisual work into a "public display". The streaming video provider may not have been licensed to offer public displays.

            Fast-forward, and you skip the commercials that you are obligated to have displayed by the TOS you signed

    • LOL (Score:5, Funny)

      by 2nd Post! (213333) <gundbear@@@pacbell...net> on Tuesday July 01, 2003 @10:49AM (#6339121) Homepage
      In case you didn't realize it, the Finder is supposed to be the computer, in a user-centric model.

      So the physical device the Finder emulates... is your computer :)
      • And we all know those lovely Macs are made out of translucent, multi-colored, brushed metal - don't we?
        • My PowerBook is a lovely titanium grey, my PowerMac is a similar silvery shade of Quicksilver, as are the Aluminum PowerBooks and aluminum G5. Heh, even the iSight.

          Oh, you mean the eMac, iBook, iPod, and iMac?

          Well, hrm, I guess the Finder is supposed to be 'pro' and not 'consumer'? I dunno, I guess the analogy has to break somewhere, and I guess it's with the consumer level hardware.
      • Re:LOL (Score:3, Funny)

        by Thuktun (221615)
        In case you didn't realize it, the Finder is supposed to be the computer, in a user-centric model. So the physical device the Finder emulates... is your computer :)

        So why not indicate that through a more appropriate name than "Finder".

        How about, say, "My Computer"...

        (ducks and runs)
    • I'm disappointed that Apple has shut down the creator of yZdock!
    • by mccalli (323026) on Tuesday July 01, 2003 @11:27AM (#6339424) Homepage
      I'm a fairly recent Powerbook owner (~1 month), and one thing I've noticed since using Safari is that brushed metal can be quite unreadable on a laptop screen.

      Specifically, unless your screen is fairly far forward, you can't read the metal tab title names in Safari. Those titles are just the system font on top of the metal look, so this hassle is not limited to Safari.

      Given that, I think this brushed metal is an odd direction to be moving in for a company proclaiming this their year of the laptop.

      Cheers,
      Ian

      • You might want to try calibrating the color on your laptop. The tab names are quite readable on my powerbook.
      • by ChuyMatt (318775) <chuymNO@SPAMmac.com> on Tuesday July 01, 2003 @11:58AM (#6339741)
        To get rid of that, i would recommend that you head over to http://www.haxies.com and get the APE program you see there and the deMetalizer offered there. They also have several other programs that are VERY nice for interface changes (making the dock clear for one). It is a great help, if you hate the metal thing so much. It can get rid of all metal on the desktop but iTunes and DVD player (there may be more, but i don't use them).
      • fix your Safari (Score:4, Informative)

        by switcha (551514) on Tuesday July 01, 2003 @12:23PM (#6339941)
        Get thee to lordofthecows [lordofthecows.com] and get Safari Enhancer. You can remove underlines, activate debugging menu, set minimum font sizes, give Safari a (very pretty) Aqua interface, and other maintenance and bookmark tweaks.

        A very useful "no need for getting under the hood" app and worth the donation just for the Aqua.

      • unsanity (www.unsanity.com) makes a little free utility that will switch the brushed metal look to the normal aqua look in any cocoa app. I use it for Safari and iChat, and it works like a charm.
    • by skti (584238) on Tuesday July 01, 2003 @11:48AM (#6339634) Homepage
      Apple has, uh, adjusted the HIG for Panther. Metal can now be used for apps that:
      1. Are part of the digital hub
      2. Emulate a real world device
      3. Use the "playlist paradigm"
      Therefore, Panther is #3, as it has the new sidebar.
    • Not quite (Score:3, Insightful)

      by ciryon (218518)
      The new Finder is metal now so it looks more like the other iApps, especially iTunes. I don't think it's a problem since most of the Finder is whitespace anyway. It's not there now, but I really hope Apple makes it easy to choose different interfaces in the full release.

      Personally I don't like the idea of having the "shortcuts" to the left like in windows xp. I'm pretty sure it's just something Apple created so windows switchers would feel at home. In windows the shortcuts are direly needed since everythin
  • by terraformer (617565) <tpb@pervici.com> on Tuesday July 01, 2003 @10:42AM (#6339046) Journal
    I just hope Apple makes the brushed metal window frames optional/themeable/skinable etc. Apparently (as per a recent /. article as this one's /.'ed) they are not customizable and more importantly they are not just limited to Apple apps the way that Safari, et al is today in 10.2. All apps pick up the new look and some of us are not into that new look as much.
    • by Arslan ibn Da'ud (636514) on Tuesday July 01, 2003 @10:47AM (#6339097) Homepage
      You can easily enable/disable the brushed-metal theme on OSX apps, Apple or third-party. See here [unsanity.com] for details.
      • You don't absolutely need a third party app, in general, at least not for Cocoa apps or some OS X only Carbon apps.

        Install the developer tools if you haven't already. Right click on the App you want to change, and select Show Package Contents. Go into Contents->Resources, and then look for .nib files both in that directory and the English.lproj (or whatever language you're using.)

        By opening the .nibs, you can edit all aspects of the windows relating to them. Use the Info window to select/deselect the

    • I'm running Panther and all applications do NOT use the brushed metal interface. Only apps that choose to do so, as it has always been. Give it a chance and I don't think the brushed metal look will bother you after 10 minutes or so. I think it makes the finder more distinctive and easier to use. My only complaint (and it's not a harsh one) is that there is a lot of wasted space in the finder window- they definitely could have made the design more efficient, but in the end it doesn't really matter, it's jus
  • by cuijian (110696) * on Tuesday July 01, 2003 @10:43AM (#6339053)
    I'm really excited about Panther. The finder screen shots make it look like they have really gotten file navigation right. Previous iterations were too geeky, exposing the average user to /Library, /System, and /Users when most people just want to get to their documents and applications.

    Expose is a great example of the combination of Apple's design sense and what you can do with the Quartz compositing engine. Windows scale down so you can see all of your open windows, or all of the documents in an application. I don't think its even technically possible to do that on windows because they lack an alpha channel.

    I've used iChat AV and it is soooo much better than windows messenger. Unlike messenger, which forces me to a single postage-stamp sized video window, I can scale my video to any size and even go full screen. Audio conferencing seems to be pretty clear and will be great for when I'm on dial-up or talking to someone w/o a camera.

    I can't wait to see more.
    • by Brother Grifter (16318) on Tuesday July 01, 2003 @11:07AM (#6339256)

      Windows had an alpha channel since windows 2000. It's just not hardware accelerated like Jaguar (and soon Panther).

      From what I've seen of Longhorn, it has abilities similar to Quartz Extreme. For example, they have a rippling window demo they showed at MS's last conference.

      But how useful is rippling windows? I think in general, when it comes to technology, it's not a matter of who has the best tech, but who uses their tech in the most useful way, which Apple seems to do.

  • I see that they don't touch on the 64- vs. 32-bit issue. Not surprising, since the 64-bit G5s aren't available yet. I'm curious as to how much of an impact that will make.

    Also, as cool as Panther looks, I expect Jaguar to stick around for a while yet. I haven't seen anyone mention this, but I realized the other day that since Jaguar is fully 32-bit, you should be able to take 64-bit hardware and run two full instances of Jaguar on it in parallel. Give each instance its own CPU on a dual G5 system, and you
    • by platypus (18156) on Tuesday July 01, 2003 @10:53AM (#6339146) Homepage
      I haven't seen anyone mention this, but I realized the other day that since Jaguar is fully 32-bit, you should be able to take 64-bit hardware and run two full instances of Jaguar on it in parallel.

      Hmm, I'd like to know what kind of esoteric idea of "bitness" of cpus let's you conclude that.
      At least, you seem to share it with one moderator.

    • by MarcQuadra (129430) * on Tuesday July 01, 2003 @10:55AM (#6339161)
      I don't think it really works that way, but running two instances of any PPC OS should be easy with Mac-On-Linux. MOL is like VMWare for the PPC, you can open a full-speed non-emulated Classic session INSIDE Linux, you can also boot it to OSX. I'm pretty sure you could boot multiple sessions as well. With XFree you could even use a mac running linux as a multi-client Mac OS terminal server.

      So what you're asking is already possible with 32-bit PPC systems.
    • by avalys (221114) on Tuesday July 01, 2003 @10:57AM (#6339176)
      Ok, it doesn't work that way. That's like saying two arms is better than one because you can reach things twice as far away.

      Just like having two arms, having 64 bits is an advantage, but not for the reasons you state.
    • by moonbender (547943) <moonbender@gmai[ ]om ['l.c' in gap]> on Tuesday July 01, 2003 @11:00AM (#6339202)
      Also, as cool as Panther looks, I expect Jaguar to stick around for a while yet. I haven't seen anyone mention this, but I realized the other day that since Jaguar is fully 32-bit, you should be able to take 64-bit hardware and run two full instances of Jaguar on it in parallel. Give each instance its own CPU on a dual G5 system, and you have two fully functional OS X systems running in real time on a single boxen!
      Running two (32- or 64-bit) processes in parallel on a dual-CPU machine, okay. But running two 32-bit processes in parallel on one 64-bit CPU? Um, no, that's not how it works. In fact, it's so stupid an idea that I am willing to think that I am misreading your message and it's not even what you meant.

      I'm also not sure why exactly a typical user would want to run two operating systems on a single machine, especially not if it's the same OS in both cases and none is virtual. Meh.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 01, 2003 @11:21AM (#6339373)
      The only flaw with your idea is that each copy of OS X will only get to use half a mouse button.
    • Re:interesting (Score:4, Informative)

      by TheNetAvenger (624455) on Tuesday July 01, 2003 @12:23PM (#6339945)
      yet. I haven't seen anyone mention this, but I realized the other day that since Jaguar is fully 32-bit, you should be able to take 64-bit hardware and run two full instances of Jaguar on it in parallel.

      Based on your post, I am assuming you are new to the techie side of things, so I hope I don't offend.

      However, it doesn't work like this, a 64bit CPU is not two 32bit CPUS. Besides, running multiple copies of Jaguar would gain you what exactly?

      The architecture of OSX allows for multiple process and applications already, running OSX twice would be silly and redundant.
  • Expose! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by OmniVector (569062) <egapemoh ym ees> on Tuesday July 01, 2003 @10:44AM (#6339068) Homepage
    I've been using the Panther preview for about a week now. and I have to say that Expose is one of the coolest ideas in the past few years I've seen come out of apple.

    It basically eliminates the need for multiple desktops. I'm sure you're probably saying: "Well why not just use multiple desktops in the first place." The best answer to that is, apple likes to make simple/easy to use software. Multiple desktops are too much of a poweruser feature, and are confusing to use for the first time for many -- and that first time is KEY to adoption (afterall, the first impression you get about something is most likely to be the most important). Much like apple's aversion to tabbed interfaces, though tabbed browsing is one of those exceptions apple can't get past because it's too entrenched in browsers today.

    I can give you more info [otierney.net] but you're best looking at apple's preview [apple.com].
    • Re:Expose! (Score:4, Informative)

      by squiggleslash (241428) on Tuesday July 01, 2003 @10:48AM (#6339112) Homepage Journal
      One of the underdocumented features of the dock is that if you Option-Command-Click any of the icons, all other windows are hidden and that app's items are unhidden. Of course, it's probably less nice for people using a seperate mouse (I have an IBM trackpoint keyboard.)

      This was the final "I really don't need multiple desktops" shortcut for me. But you're right, it looks like Expose puts another nail in that coffin.

    • by WIAKywbfatw (307557) on Tuesday July 01, 2003 @10:58AM (#6339188) Journal
      I've not seen it in action, but Expose strikes me as being the kind of feature that we want to see in our operating systems and applications - like most real software innovations, it's quick, simple and does something useful.

      Features like tabbed browsing, mouse gestures, show desktop, context-sensitive help, tooltips, etc don't add to what you can acheive with your software but they do add to the richness of your user-experience by making software more flexible and user-friendly.

      Very few computing tasks are truly intuitive - if you want proof of this, try putting a novice in front of a PC and watch them struggle with even the most basic concepts - but adding nice touches like this really do help users feel more at ease with their computers and more productive in the long run.

      It's not earth-shattering stuff but it's stuff like this that's made today's software so much more accessible to the masses than it was 20 or even 10 years ago.
    • I use multiple desktops so I can quickly switch between completely different tasks(eg. programming / graphic design). I may have 5 windows open for one task and 5 for another, so I keep them on separate desktops. Expose would not be a suitable replacement for that.

      OTOH, don't get me wrong, Expose looks very, very nice, and would be very useful to me I think. I wish I had Expose for GNOME :)

    • Re:Expose! (Score:5, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 01, 2003 @12:13PM (#6339855)
      Expose yourself, buddy. The friendly people at the ISO toiled for years just so we could type Exposé on Slashdot.

      (PS Slashdork hackers: fix HTML entities. Thank you).
  • Images (Score:4, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 01, 2003 @10:45AM (#6339079)
    "They have some nice images available too."

    had
  • by Dark Paladin (116525) * <jhummel&johnhummel,net> on Tuesday July 01, 2003 @10:46AM (#6339093) Homepage
    1. Since the filesystem is journaled by default, can you turn it off later for a speed increase, or is this part of Panther's necessary tweaks?

    2. The searching system - does it maintain some sort of small database in the background to keep things fast, or just start off with a "find" style command?

    3. Right now, you can't seem to drag documents onto the Application Icons on the left side to have them open automatically - any chance of that changing?

    Otherwise, the OS is looking pretty good. I still spend most of my time in either a development tool or the command line, so I'm not that big into Finder and the like. (A good old ~/do[TAB]/pro[TAB] gets me to my ~/Documents/Projects folder quite fast enough).

    But I do like the idea of when you select an icon, the entire square around it highlights. I've had too many times I've selected image files, and since OS X makes little thumbnail images of the picture the icon symbol, sometimes it's hard to tell if you've selected it or not (especially if the picture is already composed of dark shades).

    And labels - I never used OS 9 before (I'm a Linux2OSX convert), so I never got the big deal. But if they're bright and noticable like that, I can see using them to color code my personal/work/Gameforms.com stuff for quick picking.

    The one thing I'm curious to look into is the Xcode development program - from the preview, it looks pretty quick and useful. Think Secret doesn't cover that here, and probably won't, but the Xcode is the #1 thing I'd like to play with.

    I'd also like to see the "auto-encrypt your Home directory" talked about. From a security standpoint, I'd like to know just how that works, how much processor power it takes up in the background (hm - explains why we may need a G5, ne?). I have a group of guys at the place I work at who are into Penetration Testing, and they're thinking about going OS X - and this Encrypted Home Directory system might be useful to them. (Especially if you can tell the OS what other directories other than /User/username to encrypt.)
    • by SuperKendall (25149) * on Tuesday July 01, 2003 @10:56AM (#6339172)
      Here's [macosxhints.com] at least one way do encrypt your home directory in Jaguar - a little less tricky is encrypting only particular directories like you speak of. I believe it is done by mounting an encrypted volume, so if you don't log in no other user will be able to see the directory contents.

      I think in Panther they just made this feature accessible "to the rest of us" with no trickery to make it work. Perhaps they wanted to wait for a journaled file system to make this feature official, lest people accidentally corrupt a whole encrypted directory bundle...
    • I've installed Panther onto 2 different boxes and during both installations HFS+ (not journaled) was an available option, and that is what I chose... I don't see how everyone is being forced to use HFS+ with journaling, because that was not my experience at all. On one box, I formatted the HD, and I installed onto an existing partition with the other. In neither circumstance was a journaled FS required..
    • Did anyone else snicker at "penetration testing"?

      No, I have no class.
    • >2. The searching system - does it maintain some sort of >small database in the background to keep things fast, or >just start off with a "find" style command?

      This probably uses the same mechanism that was used in OS 9 and was still used in OS X for Find By Content....Indexing. While indexing the entire hard drive was a real performance drag, in OS 9 you could schedule it to run when the computer was likely not being used (as is 2am on Sunday morning). In OS X, the Find By Content (FBC) indexin
    • by henele (574362) on Tuesday July 01, 2003 @11:36AM (#6339516) Homepage
      ..Can be found in a forum thread here [funmac.com] (linked from a MacRumors article [macrumors.com])

    • Disk Copy has supported encrypted partitions (eg: files that mount as drives when you open them) since 10.1, which is what I've been using.

      I have not noticed performance issues with using them, except for when I occasionally copy a 20-50 megabyte movie onto them. Then I go "oh yeah, that's encrypted" ... but its not painful, just a little noticable.

      I'd prefer more than AES 128, and hopefully the keychain will be removable (Eg: you can put it on a flash USB device so that absent of it, the computer has no
  • by klyX (116477)
    have word from apple that the reason G5's aren't being rolled out yet is that Panther won't run on them. The machines are ready to go but there's no OS to run on them.

    The version of OSX that will ship with the G5's is 10.2.7, which has backwards hacks of 10.3 stuff like expose ... which is an incredible trick btw.
  • by dereklam (621517)
    I was surfing around MacRumors and ThinkSecret today, and I hit the ThinkSecret article. The article didn't come up, and I thought ThinkSecret was down.

    Now I know the real reason...

  • XCode Screencaps (Score:5, Informative)

    by evil carrot (669874) <<ten.elbakcil> <ta> <torraclive>> on Tuesday July 01, 2003 @10:50AM (#6339130)
    This Funmac.com thread [funmac.com] has a bunch of shots of the new XCode development package. Both Project Builder and Interface Builder are featured at great length.
  • by A moron (37050) * on Tuesday July 01, 2003 @10:51AM (#6339133)
    I haven't found the answer to these questions regarding panther:

    I've seen no mention of specifics related to VPN support in Panther. Apple claims IPSec support. However, 10.2 has IPSec support, just no front-end. Is there a front-end for establishing an IPSec tunnel in Panther? It sounds like maybe this is integrated into the Internet Connect app?

    Jobs touted updates to Mail.app but didn't mention whether you can actually do a more advanced search. The current search functionality stinks in comparison to other email clients which allow you to give any number of criteria. Has the search in Mail been improved?

    Is X11 still a stand alone application in Panther or is more integrated with the OS?

    The Apple Panther page says "support for popular Linux APIs". Any indication of what this means?

    Is NetInfo still used as the centralized database for all OS resources or have they finally replaced it with LDAP?
    • Yes, there is a frontend, and the GUI for PPTP and IPSec both support SecurID. However, it appears that NAT-T is *not* supported.

      Don't know about the search in Mail.app. But the threading support is half-baked. It only groups based on subject, so all those emails you have with a subject of "RE: hey" get grouped together, whether they are part of the same conversation or not.

      X11 is still as standalone as it was before. It would be nice if it started automatically if it detected a program trying to use
    • Ok, well I should be able to answer the mail one. When I was poking arround with it, the only thing I *noticed* that changed was that the spam filtering, threads, and how they did the preferences (atleast it stood out to me as different). I didnt notice anything different with searching, but then again, I didnt try either.

      X11 was a seperate install just like it is now. How well it is intigrated is a different thing which I didnt get a chance to play with.
  • by hrbrmstr (324215) * on Tuesday July 01, 2003 @10:58AM (#6339180) Homepage Journal
    As the rest of the song goes "that don't impress me much".

    I'm a recent "switchbacker" (used Mac from Plus to early PowerMac's and just got a dual G4). Since it's a ".#" release, I wasn't expecting a ton of major changes (since that should be a "#." release). However, this is the second review I've seen that spends the majority of it's time on the Finder. Wow. A new Finder.

    I know things are different in Mac land (one reason I switched back), but not being an insider or able to attend the conference (hence, no preview copy), I'd really love to start seeing more authoritative articles on what kinds of 64-bit goodness is there for the G5's or a thorough coverage of what cool parts of FreeBSD 5 made it into Darwin/X.

    Granted, it's a different perspective (I'm perfectly happy cd'ing and ls'ing from a terminal). Perhaps most Mac folks will be cheering a decent upgrade to their main view of the system.

    I can't help thinking, tho, that alot of Mac /.'ers will want the inside skinny as opposed to hearing that the Finder can't be skinned (tho that's a fun complaint since I'd rather not stare at brushed metal all the time either).
  • 1 WEEK WITH PANTHER (Score:5, Informative)

    by zensmile (78430) on Tuesday July 01, 2003 @11:08AM (#6339259)
    I have been using Panther for a week and have found many good improvements.

    1. File browser (a la windows) is fast and can be changed back to a "normal" window.

    2. Expose is brilliant. Though it may conflict with the screensaver settings when corners are used. I personally like using the f-keys for expose and the corners for the screensaver (activation and deactivation).

    3. Faxing is as easy as printing and saving as PDF. You can also have received faxes mailed or printed. Faxing is very very easy in 10.3.

    4. Preview.app is faster and works in a similar fashion as Acrobat Reader. Nice.

    5. Fast user switching is just brilliant (graphically). It will be very useful when you have a shared machine.

    6. Secure "Empty Trash" is a nice feature. I am not sure if I will use it...but someone in my office thinks it is the Holy Grail. I am not that excited about it...but it is probably useful.

    7. Color Coded Folders/Files (the text is color coded in actuality) is nice and saves me time when digging for a file or group of files.

    8. The "eject" menu icon in the right hand side of the menu bar is interesting. But it only worked with the drive tray. It would be nice if it would eject mounted items and servers.

    9. User customization of desktop pics and colors is refined and much friendlier.

    10. The print center is much improved.

    This is the bad stuff...

    1. The fax feature did not integrate well with the address book. BUT...you can have one machine as the dedicated fax machine and all other computers in the office can fax through it.

    2. Some photoshop filter controls did not draw correctly on the screen or didn't show up at all.

    3. There seemed to be some cut and paste clipboard errors. It seemed to show up in Safari and the Address Book.

    4. Quicken 2003 seems to have strange behavior when used in 10.3. But it is usable.

    Features that will hopefully show up in the actual release:

    1. Piles. I know they seem trivial. But I would like it.

    2. Themes. I really like the idea of customizing my OS and maybe tone down Aqua a bit.

    3. Multiple docks. One for office apps. One for games. One for graphical/web apps. And in the darkness bind them... ;-P Just being silly.

    I know this is a preview release...but it is very stable and usable. I cannot wait until the actual release. The fax sharing and abilities are worth the price of the upgrade. The rest is just gravy. My $.02.
    • 2. Themes. I really like the idea of customizing my OS and maybe tone down Aqua a bit.

      Waaay back when OS X was under development and hadn't shipped yet I read a blurb about themes on one of the reasonably reliable (haha) rumor sites. It seems that themes was something they were actually planning on but Steve played with Kalieadescope (themes for OS 9) to try the idea out and *hated* it with a passion. He thought 99.9% of the themes were amateurish, ugly and big steps backwards in terms of usability and t
  • by Arslan ibn Da'ud (636514) on Tuesday July 01, 2003 @11:08AM (#6339271) Homepage
    The new Finder layout is also present in open/save dialog boxes, providing a consistent interface throughout the system.

    I *really* want to see a screenshot of this! (would y'all please stop /.ing the article? :) One pet peeve I've had with Macs is the disparity between the Finder and the open/save dialogs you get from regular software. Course this problem exists on Windows and Linux too, but the Mac finder is much nicer, and so the disparity is more pungent on a Mac.

    I've just had too many stints where a newbie saves a file (using a save dialog) and then can't find it. Because the finder looks different. Heck, I've used these things for 20 years and I sometimes lose files myself (must be getting senile).

    I REALLY want better integration with open/save dialogs so my mother can find any file she happens to save!

  • Piles? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by rleyton (14248) on Tuesday July 01, 2003 @11:13AM (#6339309) Homepage
    What happened to the "piles" document management system [slashdot.org] that was mentioned previously?

    Anybody know? I was looking forward to hearing more about this, but fear it's fallen by the wayside...
  • Saddening (Score:5, Insightful)

    by wackoman2112 (685339) <.moc.oohay. .ta. .2112namokcaw.> on Tuesday July 01, 2003 @11:13AM (#6339310) Journal

    It saddens me to see such so much anti-Apple sentiment in this discussion. I am mainly a PC user, and I probably will always be a PC user, for reasons I won't bring up here, but I've used Apples before and they aren't bad computers. For example, the video and multimedia capabilities on MacOS can be matched nowhere else. And my short encounters with MacOS X have been very enjoyable.

    So take this anti-appleism elsewhere. You're ruining the experience for others.

  • by Brat Food (9397) on Tuesday July 01, 2003 @11:13AM (#6339313) Homepage
    Ill paste in my letter to macintouch:
    Potential connection between the advanced file system developed at Be Inc. (BFS) and Apple's new Finder for Panther:

    Reference these two URLs for some background:
    Tales of a BeOS Refugee [osnews.com]
    Windows on a Database - Sliced and Diced by BeOS Gurus [theregus.com]
    I think, in terms of the new Finder, it's time for a paradigm shift. First, note that Apple hired the guys mentioned in the articles above. Second, realize that the demo of "live" searches is most certainly because of the efforts of the BFS people. Third, realize that you could, in theory, never have to look thru another folder again. If you take some of the ideas the BFS people had, everything would be context-based. Having a database back-end to your Finder, with unlimited "meta data" (actually, the start of this, I beleive, was shown, in the form of labels), could provide, as one of the engineers put it, a kind of "google" interface to your data. Just some things to chew on while we watch the new Finder evolve.
  • by mog (22706) <alexmchale.gmail@com> on Tuesday July 01, 2003 @11:18AM (#6339353)
    I am posting this from a late 2001 iBook running Panther. It's the last iBook with the crappy 8mb Rage video (so no Quartz Extreme). I like Panther. I like it a lot. Some nuggets:

    * Expose rocks. It's awesome. I couldn't imagine working without it again.
    * Mail.app has been made a little bit prettier, and a little bit more functional.
    * Terminal.app has become usable as my primary terminal. You can now configure it to send Page-Down and Page-Up to the session instead of to Terminal.app's scrollbars.
    * I don't like the milky look. I want the pinstripes back.
    * The new finder is 2048X better. It's great.
    * I really wish they would either go with all brushed metal or all not - at least for the instances that go against the user interface guidelines. Either way, give me back the pinstripes.
    * The activity monitor is cool. You can change the colors on those graphs we saw - why they default it with those colors that look like ass, I don't know.
    * iTunes rocks. I don't know that much has changed, but that just had to be thrown out there.
    * Safari 1.0 (also available for Jaguar, I know) is the best browser I've ever used. They've made some great speed improvements.
    * The OS in general just feels a little bit snappier. With my aging iBook, any speed improvements get huge ++'s from me.
  • dock (Score:3, Interesting)

    by austad (22163) on Tuesday July 01, 2003 @11:22AM (#6339392) Homepage
    When are they going to make the dock useful like the windowmaker dock? It has some neat visual effects, but all it really does is act like a half-assed task bar right now.
  • by Alcimedes (398213) on Tuesday July 01, 2003 @11:28AM (#6339445)
    To me this was the best part of the Panther update, after Expose.

    I have a lot of drives that have been formatted as NTFS. If a computer pukes and dies, it's great to be able to back up the data to my laptop (mac) rather than having to take the drive to a PC to pull the data off.

    As of yet the drives are read only, although it does have a non-functional (as of yet) authentication option so who knows.
  • My Panther Notes (Score:5, Interesting)

    by themexican (245083) on Tuesday July 01, 2003 @12:19PM (#6339906)
    Overall the enhancements make Panther a must have upgrade. I'm especially keen on the Finder's live sorting and the overall speed (even when dealing with huge folders).

    Exposé is so good that after only a day or two of using panther, I now find myself reaching for it when I am back on jaguar (or on windows/linux machines).

    As always I have a few notes.

    The Finder

    1. The metallic interface should be optional.

    2. Column view still lacks sorting by anything other than 'name' in column view. I would suggest adding sorting options via a contextual menu.

    3. Fonts, HTML, EPS and any file handled by quicktime should be previewable right in the finder.

    4. Contextual menus need to be smarter. For example if I click on a font or a saver file I should be able to send it to it's proper folder.

    5. Lack of customizability is still a major complaint. There is still no way to change the font, to set the style of the desktop font, or to control grid spacing. Also we are limited to 10 point minimum font size.

    6. Finder windows still take up too much screen real estate. If apple used small scrollbars it would save a significant # of pixels per window.

    7. The finder still does not respect drag and drop locations when something is dropped on the desktop. This is a major sin in my book.

    8. Minimization of fields in list view is still one of my pet peeves.

    Why minimize 'Date Modified' to 'Dat..fied" when it could be "Date"
    Why minimize 'Size' to "..." instead of 'Size' or 'kb'
    Why does 48KB go from "4..b" to "..b" to "..." instead of "48k", "48", "48"... and so on. The kind field is especially dumb.

    Also why doesn't the text get more condensed as it did in OS 9 when the field gets narrow.

    9. Labels for items that one does not have permission to label should be handled more gracefully. Right now if you try to label something out of your permission range the labels are simply not selectable. This will be confusing to many users who don't understand permissions.

    10. The way labels are indicated in column view is extremely confusing. Especailly if your highlight color is similar to a label, labeled items appear to have been selected.

    11. The admin should be able to control what kind of finder window a user sees and they should be able to control which drives/folders are available within the finder window.

    12. A new (better) folder design would be appreciated.

    13. There should be an option to turn disk images into folders (this is what users normally want to do with downloaded images).

    The Dock

    The current dock is great for computer newbies and casual users, but it quickly breaks down when power users are in production on a big project.

    1. Exposé is fantastic, but it still does not solve the problem of minimized windows (it does not show windows minimized to the dock although it probably should). While minimized windows will be used less often when users get the hang of Exposé, there is still a need for some sort of windowshading that allows for speedy one or two click window swapping. I personally miss having windowshade from OS 9 and had a haxie installed to add this behavior. Even better is minimize-in-place hack from unsanity which recently became available. I have found shading invaluable in production. The standard OS X minimize/maximize simply takes too long to swap between windows and windows get lost in the dock. Also exposé, does not solve the problem of window clutter (many of our designers are clean desktop sort of people), while some sort of shading allows for clean desktops and efficient production. 3rd party hacks are great, but having it built in would be better.

    2. Grouping would really help the power user. I currently have 80 items in the dock and can never find anything. I use all my apps frequently so I want easy access to them. If instead of having them all minimized, I had springlloaded tabs in the manner of O
    • by Mikey-San (582838) on Tuesday July 01, 2003 @01:34PM (#6340814) Homepage Journal

      I agree with a good deal of what you've said, but I have several major complaints (this IS Slashdot, after all):

      2. Column view still lacks sorting by anything other than 'name' in column view. I would suggest adding sorting options via a contextual menu.

      No. You should never have settings or options available only via contextual menus, which a TON of users never even see. If they're in a contextual menu, find a place elsewhere for them, as well.

      3. Fonts, HTML, EPS and any file handled by quicktime should be previewable right in the finder.

      I don't agree with this, either. Perhaps QuickTime, but why everything else? Why not let the Finder do what everyone has bitched about the Finder being bad at since the beginning of OS X, and be a good navigation tool? (I like Jag's Finder, but nothing is ever perfect.) Concentrate on making the Finder let you find shit first and foremost. It doesn't need to be a Swiss Army Knife, it just needs to pass font files to the FontBookThingy app. Bing, done.

      4. Contextual menus need to be smarter. For example if I click on a font or a saver file I should be able to send it to it's proper folder.

      Same thing as the first point. Contextual menus should only provide a convenient grouping of commonly used commands that pertain to the object you've clicked on to generate the contextual menu you're looking at.

      This may also confuse more people, since you have your font folder and the system's font folder. How do you distinguish between the difference(s) for the average (non-geek) user?

      6. Finder windows still take up too much screen real estate. If apple used small scrollbars it would save a significant # of pixels per window.

      The scroll bars and window title bars are the same size in OS X and OS 9. For example, the window title bars are 22 pixels tall in both 9 and X.

      11. The admin should be able to control what kind of finder window a user sees and they should be able to control which drives/folders are available within the finder window.

      Hmm . . . I agree with the second half of that, as long as you're not restricting items in someone's home folder (duh), but that first part is an interesting point. Should a user be forced to see certain styles of windows for different folders? I dunno.

      Perhaps only if the admin couldn't screw with the window of a folder that belonged to them. I think that's how Jaguar does it, but I'm really not sure.

      12. A new (better) folder design would be appreciated.

      What's wrong with the current folder icon? Get a system icon replacement thingie from ResExcellence or wherever.

      13. There should be an option to turn disk images into folders (this is what users normally want to do with downloaded images).

      Apple does something similar with "Internet-enabled disk images". I think they're shitty, though, since I can't look at a .dmg file and tell that it's going to delete itself once I double-click it. Some of us like to back up the things we download, and self-trashing .dmgs totally screw that up.

      1. Exposé is fantastic, but it still does not solve the problem of minimized windows (it does not show windows minimized to the dock although it probably should). While minimized windows will be used less often when users get the hang of Exposé, there is still a need for some sort of windowshading that allows for speedy one or two click window swapping. I personally miss having windowshade from OS 9 and had a haxie installed to add this behavior. Even better is minimize-in-place hack from unsanity which recently became available. I have found shading invaluable in production. The standard OS X minimize/maximize simply takes too long to swap between windows and windows get lost in the dock. Also exposé, does not solve the problem of window clutter (many of our designers are clean desktop sort of people), while some s

  • by BAM0027 (82813) <blo@27.org> on Tuesday July 01, 2003 @12:25PM (#6339967) Homepage
    I don't have the bandwidth to flushout this problem, but, after running Panther (and LOVING IT!), I lost a two drive RAID partition.

    I'm posting this for posterity, not to be critical. Hopefully this will be modded "informative" if anything.

    Running a PowerMac G4 450MHz/1GB/2x78GB+1x28GB. The (2) 78GB drives were RAIDed to a single partition with 10.2.6 running smoothly even with heavy Classic operation. Some admin duties include Macintosh Manager and Workgroup Manager.

    Installed Panther on the 28GB drive and booted onto that OS. Things were running very smoothly and fast(!). Logged into Workgroup Manager and exited. Logged into Macintosh Manager and this is when trouble started.

    My theory is that, because Macintosh Manager auto-mounts the shared volume of the server you are connecting to, this set up a peculiar scenario that Panther was unfamilar with. The next action that I performed was to access a different shared volume (which had been previously mounted and operating fine). That is when I got the wheel of death.

    Thinking it was Just Another Wheel, I continued working (Excel, Classic apps, and more) with little trouble. After waiting long enough, I began Force Quitting apps (including the Finder) until all that remained was the Wheel.

    Rebooting didn't help, nor did Shutting Down, zapping PRAM, or Disk Utility (which consistently responded with Unknown Error (-9998).

    Various efforts were fruitless. Ended up reinstalling 10.2.2, upgrading to 10.2.6. Things are back to normal less data loss.

    My bad. I should be more careful.
  • by irving47 (73147) on Tuesday July 01, 2003 @12:28PM (#6339994) Homepage
    "We call it aqua because it looks so good, you want to lick it." -Steve Jobs. MacWorld San Francisco Keynote. OS X's first big demo.

    So what now? We lick the metal-brushed windows? They'd better be nice and smooth or I'll get metal splinters in my tongue. Wait... What if they're not warm enough? I don't want to get those things frozen stuck on my tongue!
    Give me my aqua, por favor.
  • by wo1verin3 (473094) on Tuesday July 01, 2003 @12:38PM (#6340153) Homepage
    A quick glace of Apple's Panther Preview Page [apple.com] reveals to me the level of techical ability that Apple sees in its target market.

    -------
    Panther will include a final X11 window server for Unix-based apps, improved NFS/UFS, FreeBSD 5 innovations as well as support for popular Linux APIs, IPv6 and other important acronyms.
    -------

    I wish they'd lay off the acronym support until they get those vowels working properly!
  • by xyrw (609810) on Tuesday July 01, 2003 @01:01PM (#6340388) Homepage
    I've seen several comments about how the new interface isn't as pretty as Aqua, and also how Panther feels snappier than Jaguar.

    I'd like to suggest a reason for this: the new interface seems to lack some of the transparency that was present in Jaguar. This could make it much faster, since transparency, even as handled by Quartz Extreme, still takes a bit more time than no transparency-- especially with fade-in effects.

    Try it on Jaguar: Use Unsanity's Fruit Menu to turn off transparency in the menus and see that they drop down instantaneously rather than fading in.

    Of course, I could be horribly mistaken...
  • by nystagman (603173) on Tuesday July 01, 2003 @05:14PM (#6343459)
    Is anyone else bothered by the loss of such basic interface clues such as grayed-out icons for open folders, or the highlighting that we used to see when clicking on the proxy icon (the mini in the title of a window) when preparing to drag it?

    They don't sound like such a big deal, perhaps, but they truly convey a great deal of valuable information when implemented.

    Also poorly done is the abysmal internal truncation ('...') of text in narrow fields when in list view. (Also applies to long file names in icon view.) I really miss the condensed type that 9 used in these cases.

    "Get Info" functionality is limited, as it doesn't tell you how many items are in a folder, and I find it pretty useless that getting info on multiple items can not open multiple windows, to allow for easy comparisons.

    And WHY do removable volumes NOT remember open windows when remounted? If I log out (or even restart!) with the drive connected, the windows are remembered. So why not when they are manually un/remounted? This is really inconvenient, since I routinely modify the contents of many directories during a normal working day, and would like those windows to remain open when I transfer my Firewire drive between computers.

    I also hope the zoom-to-fit function is less broken than it currently is. Ditto for windows correctly remembering their settings. I am tired of that damned toolbar reappearing again and again in windows where I had turned it off.

    And today I narrowly averted disaster, almost overwriting the wrong file, because its modification time will not update until I click on it. Ditto for adding files to a folder with a process other than the Finder. The window must be manually brought to the foreground (or actively selected if it is already there) before the files show up. Once again, this is a disaster waiting to happen.

    So, rant aside, are ANY of these things addressed in Panther? I am resigned to not being able to turn off all the cycle-stealing eye candy (including the excessive use of translucency which is anathema to visual clarity), but since my next computer will be a G5, I suppose I'll just have to live with it... But I'd be greatly appreciative if more attention was paid to fixing the broken stuff than adding more new features to debug.

  • by gklinger (571901) on Tuesday July 01, 2003 @08:51PM (#6345222)
    I installed Panther on my iBook last week and everything worked fine although I had a few iChatAV and Safari crashes (I don't think Safari is ready but they wanted something to release at the WWDC). I then installed it on my Power Macintosh (dual G4 450MHz aka "gigabit ethernet") and everything worked fine except the ethernet. No matter what I tried, I couldn't get the networking up. I'm going to see if I can get m friend to try it on his Powerbook (which also has gigabit ethernet) to narrow down the problem.

    The only other odd thing was that I couldn't find the drive/folder encrytion feature. It was talked about at the WWDC but not shown and I don't believe it has been implemented yet. Oddly, GNU Chess was also missing. I grabbed the source code from Apple and used the new XCode to compile it and it worked flawlessly. XCode is great. Two clicks and I had a working binary. Very nicely integrated and well thought out. Kudos to Apple.

    Bugs aside, Panther is an improvement. The only reservation I have is that Apple expects users to shell out another $129 to get it. Yearly OS updates at $129 are not going to be popular. I know Apple spends a lot on OS development but if they keep going back to the same well, the well will run dry.

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