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OS X Operating Systems

Tiger's 200 New Features 903

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the spotlight-is-still-to-slow dept.
An anonymous reader writes "If this hasn't already been posted, Apple set up a page listing, by software section, all of the new features for OS X.4, or Tiger. Given that every upgrade touts over a hundred features, it is interesting to see all of the enhancements to this upgrade to see what adopters get out of the box. There are a lot which are tweaks, some new non-Spotlight oriented features and a few that are interesting, mostly security related features. 2 words: stealth mode. "
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Tiger's 200 New Features

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  • Burnable folders (Score:2, Interesting)

    by digidave (259925) on Sunday April 17, 2005 @08:55AM (#12261347)
    Looks like they took the burnable folder feature straight out of Gnome.(eg. the burn:/// folder in Gnome)
  • by Jugalator (259273) on Sunday April 17, 2005 @08:56AM (#12261349) Journal
    It's essential for any respectable firewall, and both e.g. Kerio and ZA even for Windows should have this, and both are available in free versions.

    And firewall log?? Hmm, excuse me, but is the news Tiger just got a standard quality firewall or what? That's be more reason to blush than be overjoyed IMHO.
  • by doon (23278) on Sunday April 17, 2005 @09:07AM (#12261426) Homepage
    From the list:

    Use command line file commands on HFS+ items with proper results -- utilities such as cp, mv, tar, rsync now use the same standard APIs as Spotlight and access control lists to handle resource forks.

    Being both a Mac User and a Command LIne Junky. This makes me happy.
  • Re:Burnable folders (Score:3, Interesting)

    by remahl (698283) on Sunday April 17, 2005 @09:07AM (#12261429)
    Except Apple used this model before. When you insert a CDR, it gets mounted on the desktop and you add to it like you would with any other disk. When you eject it, the contents is burnt.

    The new thing is that "burnable folders" can be at any location in the (user's view of the) file system. At least that's my guess. I'm not familiar with burn:///, but it sounds like it is always in a specific location?
  • by daviddennis (10926) <david@amazing.com> on Sunday April 17, 2005 @09:13AM (#12261466) Homepage
    I could have sworn there was a firewall in previous releases of XP, they just tightened up the rules a bit and confused the heck out of everybody.

    More than anything, XP SP 2 was designed to relieve a huge embarrassment to Microsoft, the security issues. MacOS X has security issues fixed at no charge through software update, so it's really no different.

    If early accounts are any indication, Tiger will have significantly improved speed yet again. My ancient 400mhz PowerBook G4 is already faster under Panther than it's ever been and I'm looking forward to further improvements. In the same time period, MS has gone from 2000 to XP, and enormous increases in bloat and dramatic reductions in performance have been the result.

    Spotlight is a feature Microsoft was trying to create in Longhorn, and it looks like their version might be cut from the Longhorn release so MS can make its deadline. Again, this is clearly something both Apple and Microsoft were planning to charge for.

    Finally, features have been added to Tiger that will allow programmers to substantially speed up their processing of video, which will help applications such as Final Cut Pro. It's pretty cool to see them in the OS so that third-party programmers can use them, not just FCP. So even though buying Tiger + FCP is more expensive than getting FCP alone, I'm confident that these changes will improve third-party software to the extent that it's worthwhile.

    So in conclusion I certainly don't think Tiger is in any way comparable to SP2. It's nice that something's free, but it doesn't have the comprehensiveness, new features or speed increases Tiger brings to the table.

    D
  • Entourage/Spotlight (Score:5, Interesting)

    by dimer0 (461593) on Sunday April 17, 2005 @09:21AM (#12261523)
    One of the new features is that Mail.app supports Exchange servers - but I have a feeling this is just imap support and won't handle meeting invites, etc.

    So, I'm stuck using Entourage. Does anyone know if Spotlight will be indexing Entourage emails, etc? I sure hope so! My corporation has ignorantly banned Google Desktop search on the windows machines, so I no longer have a way of finding emails I need in a snap. Entourage + Spotlight puts me back in the game on that front.
  • ACL (Score:4, Interesting)

    by 3770 (560838) on Sunday April 17, 2005 @09:24AM (#12261542) Homepage
    I'm surprised that they have Access Control Lists as one of the features.

    I mean, that is something I've been wanting standard on Linux for a long time (I haven't used Linux in a while now so let me know if it is standard now).

    I'm also surprised that the /. community isn't all over that feature.

    I would have expected apple to bang the drum a lot more on that feature. But I guess that apples target group aren't that enamored with technical points.
  • by CoffeePlease (596791) on Sunday April 17, 2005 @09:39AM (#12261653) Homepage
    ..as advertised. This is what graphic artists have been waiting for, a font manager that's STABLE with thousands of fonts. Suitcase is, but the interface is pitiful. FontAgent is easy to browse, but unstable with lots of fonts and if you turn on WYSIWYG in some views. There's been a big hole in the font management area for a long time now. http://www.apple.com/macosx/features/fontbook/ [apple.com]
  • Re:OK, how about... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Mr. Underbridge (666784) on Sunday April 17, 2005 @09:40AM (#12261655)
    A bit like Powercalc for XP? Recommended if you're after free graphing calc stuff on a PC (not sure about the 3D graphs though).

    I'd guess it's better. Sounds better, anyway.

    Sidenote: MS really need to do more about making their Powertoys part of the OS. All this 'unsupported' nonsense is really childish. They could throw a small amount of cash at some of these apps and get a lot more bang per buck. I kind of wonder what other neat tools are kicking around in MS that never see the light of day, especially now that Apple seem to be adding whistles and bells left, right and center. It's almost Extreme Programming in it's nature - lots of small iterations over time...

    You're absolutely right. I was looking for a "Multiple windows" manager for XP (my new job came with a windows box - I'm used to Mac OS and various unices) and I couldn't find a decent one. FInally I discovered that MS actually makes one! It's not great, but it works OK. Might want to advertise that?

    I've said it before on here, I think Apple's development model works better than MS's. Apple makes improvements, and ships them. MS makes some imporovements, sees them become obsolete, reinvents them, repeat, and eventually 5 years later they release a completely obsolete OS. Yeah, I'm talking to you Longhorn. Little widgets like powertools don't make it in the core OS with the next service pack....why?

    Even when they announce a good new feature, they can't win. Like their version of Spotlight - which as I recall they announced before Apple, though neither company invented it. MS announces first, Apple is first to market. By the time MS gets it, it's like "Oh. great." It seems there isn't much new in Longhorn anymore, and for an OS 5-6 years in the making by the time it comes out, that's not good.

  • by EvilStein (414640) <.spam. .at. .pbp.net.> on Sunday April 17, 2005 @09:46AM (#12261704) Homepage
    RSS feeds as a screen saver. It's actually pretty cool. :)
  • by mbaciarello (800433) on Sunday April 17, 2005 @10:07AM (#12261823)

    One thing sorely missing from Panther was the ability to AppleScript power management features. It would come in handy for putting your Mac to sleep after a long task, or to wake it up upon certain conditions.

    In order to do that, IIRC, you had to buy a third party extension/dictionary/API. A workaround was also to script at the UI level and simulate clicks in the menus - very inelegant, prone to failure and useless for waking up the machine.

    The new features list in TFA doesn't cite this addition. Does it mean users will still have to resort to third-party software for this basic ability? Automator might help, but still it's not the same as a full-fledged AppleScript dictionary...

  • Re:Coincidence? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by justsomebody (525308) on Sunday April 17, 2005 @10:09AM (#12261830) Journal
    Never argued how integrated it is, it probably is very well, that's one of the features of closed software. But it is still not client/server, which it makes desktop and as such much simpler piece of code.

    M$ is making WinFS client/server capable, which is a lot bigger plan.

    Reindexing constantly is not needed, that is why kernel hooks for watching file system serve. You just hook on notifications and process when and where changes occur.
    Second whing you need is that filetype is supported and provides possibility to describe it self.

    Having everything working on client/server is a completely different case. You have to take case of privileges, network locations and client cooperation. If you do something on neighbours computer and store there?
  • Re:200+? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by not_anne (203907) on Sunday April 17, 2005 @10:13AM (#12261860)
    Before Tiger, you could not import tab-delimited or comma-separated files into Address Book. Since most mail programs and address book programs could export as these two formats, this is a big step forward for Address Book.

    These two new features may be minor to you as compared to Spotlight, but for a lot of users, including switchers, these are very important features that they've been waiting for for a long time.
  • by guet (525509) on Sunday April 17, 2005 @10:19AM (#12261902)
    Well, regardless of how far you can count, you obviously didn't look very hard for changes. The improvements to web-kit alone [mozillazine.org] are major, and have also been back-ported to OS 10.3.9 for free (the latest minor release). The features you list

    Spotlight
    Automator
    Core Video

    Are not currently available in any other desktop OS (though Linux has beagle). In fact Longhorn won't now have WinFS (perhaps a more flexible solution than Spotlight but unfortunately vapour-ware).

    You missed out:
    Dashboard
    Core Data
    Web Core (DOM API accessible in cocoa etc)
    xGrid
    PDF annotations and forms (plus various preview.app enhancements)
    Jabber, H.264 and multiple video IM
    etc,etc...

    Consider Microsoft's approach - renaming Windows 2000 to Windows XP (now with hideous colours), service packs for bug fixes, a monthly scramble by customers to install updates for remote vulnerabilities before they're exploited, and an attempt to move their customers to a subscription model (which looks like it's failed, but that's their goal).

    Compare and contrast with the consistent and regular updates to OS X - major updates which you can *choose* to upgrade to every couple of years, augmented by regular updates every month or so fixing bugs and adding minor features.

    I know which world I prefer to live in.

    Just why should Apple give this update for free to all its customers, they already update the OS around every month for free? Sounds to me like you're the one who is cheap.
  • by theolein (316044) on Sunday April 17, 2005 @10:37AM (#12262038) Journal
    I notice quite a lot of the usual complaining about Apple charging for a point release of an operating system where Microsoft would give it for free.

    While those people are right in that they are likely to get modded down by Mac fans, the complaints seldom offer much insight into what is a point release, what is a service pack and what is a full version number. To be fair, the OS vendors, both Apple and Microsoft, don't make it easy on the consumer either.

    Apple generally gives out their version of point releases (10.x.x) for free, but those point releases usually don't offer much or any new functionality. (Currently I'm on OSX 10.3.9) which includes a new version of the Safari browser (1.3) but that is unusual. Apple also usually gives out point releases of the various software accompanying the OS for free (iTunes, QuickTime, iSight, iPod, Bluetooth etc) and they provide specific security patches as new exploits become available.(although there are currently about two hanging security issues that Apple really needs to fix)

    Apple usually includes quite a lot of new extra functionality in the version upgrades (10.x). In the 10.3 Panther upgrade it was Expose, Fast User Switching, iChatAV and XCode and under the hood new APIs (Cocoa Bindings etc). in 10.4, it's Dashboard, Spotlight, XCode 2, Safari 2, Mail 2, Automator and a lot of new APIs (Core Data, Core Image etc.)

    Microsoft is a little less consistent with its OS upgrades, pathces and service packs, but also follows a certain strategy. Generally, Microsoft offers API changes and some minor functionality changes in service packs, but rarely major new features. For example, WinNT went from sp1 to sp6 and actually gained a lot of the functionality that was in the Win98 and Win2k userspace, and NT users got those for free. Active Desktop for example (one can argue about how useful that was). Moving from NTSP6 to Win2k would not have entailed major changes for the common user, but, obviously, there was a lot that changed under the hood. Better security model, more stable, some minor UI changes, better networking etc. Obviously, for a user, it was worth paying for.

    All the while, Microsoft also offered generally free upgrades to its bundled applications, such as IE, Outlook and WMP, although there was an outcry about the mp3 quality and MS' charging for better quality.

    But can the same be said for the Win98SE to WinME upgrade? WinMe had a terrible reputation and was seen by many as an excuse by Microsoft to generate revenue.

    And the Win2k to WinXP move, while also having some big under the hood changes (firewall, signed drivers etc), mostly had big UI changes (themes) and Fast User Switching, Automatic Updates (also in 2kSp3 onwards) etc. For the user, and the developer, it was probably worth the price. Since then Microsoft has offered two service packs, both free. SP1 had no visible change but fixed some glaring security and stability issues. During this time Microsoft has released literally hundreds of security patches, thankfully, free.

    Now comes the part to argue over. XPSP2 offers a new security center and a firewall on by default. It also upgrades IE. SP2 is free. BUT, the security enhancements for SP2, including the IE upgrade, are not available for Win2k. Microsoft was getting a terrible rap with WinXP up to SP1. It was almost impossible to install a new machine on the net (activation) without getting hit by some of the rabid attacks going on within a few minutes. Microsoft HAD to do something, and, if they had charged for SP2, there would have been an even bigger outcry by an extremely digruntled public.

    My personal opinion about Microsoft is that Microsoft, in a way that only Microsoft does well, decided to use the opportunity to both garner some lost respect by including the new security features, but also enforce upgrades amongst its userbase by excluding Win2k. This, I think, is something that Microsoft specialises at, prodding its userbase with new features, but including a catch somew
  • by TempusMagus (723668) * on Sunday April 17, 2005 @11:05AM (#12262196) Homepage Journal
    I hope I'm not blasting my NDA saying this, but we've been using seed builds for a while and the one thing that I think many people will be pleasantly surprised with is the sense of responsiveness/speed. I'm using a spanking new G4 laptop and using Tiger on it makes it feel like I have an ever faster machine (which is what I said about 10.3!). Everything is more responsive; screen redraws, directory listings, quicktime videos, etc. It's on-par with my AMD64 box with XP in terms of GUI resposiveness now!
  • Re:2 words: (Score:4, Interesting)

    by 2nd Post! (213333) <gundbear@pacbe l l .net> on Sunday April 17, 2005 @11:05AM (#12262200) Homepage
    See, your bias shows. I didn't use the word innovation, and never intended that. I didn't use the word attribution, and never intended that.

    I even SAID that Apple doesn't necessarily deserve credit:
    It's not necessarily the case that Apple can get 'credit', so much as Apple was first to 'get it right'. If not Apple, then someone else would have, it was just the fact that Apple was first that it matters. Examples include:


    BeOS had their database functionality first, but they died. Xerox had their WiMP interface first, but they never released (licensed only to Apple of course!)

    Networking wasn't new, but it was experimental and Apple made it both easy and integrated.

    CGA counts as color, but Apple introduced 24 bit color to a consumer level device.

    3d acceleration was done first by SGI, in $10k devices, then by VooDoo Graphics in $600 video cards, but no 'common' or 'commodity' OS has implemented until Apple did in 2001.

    Perhaps you're bitter, but you have to also understand Apple HAS done things, just like Microsoft has, and SGI, and Linux, and all the other companies out there.

    The biggest thing people seem to have issue with is Apple's iPod.

    The iPod did three things that no other mp3 player did before:
    Density. 5gb in your pocket. Predecessors include Creative, with 20gb in a Mac mini sized device and the Rio with 64mb in a lighter sized device. Apple's was 5gb in a cigarette pack sized device.
    Usability. Apple's device could be used by one hand. Creative, with 13 buttons (maybe it was 11) could not. The use of iTunes and a database meant, also, you could access thousands of songs with only a thumb and a forefinger. Finally the adoption of Firewire, over USB1, meant you could fill the thing up in 5 minutes, instead of 5 hours.
    Style. Apple cared enough to make it look good. People don't like wearing ugly clothes, driving ugly cars, or wearing ugly watches, so why would they want an 'ugly' mp3 player?
  • by argent (18001) <peterNO@SPAMslashdot.2006.taronga.com> on Sunday April 17, 2005 @11:07AM (#12262211) Homepage Journal
    And the Win2k to WinXP move, while also having some big under the hood changes (firewall, signed drivers etc), mostly had big UI changes (themes) and Fast User Switching, Automatic Updates (also in 2kSp3 onwards) etc. For the user, and the developer, it was probably worth the price.

    Was it? I've eventually backed Windows XP out of every machine that came with XP installed, because it doesn't seem to have any useful functionality not already provided by Windows 2000. The big difference between 2000 and XP is the boobytrapped registration mechanism, and that's got negative value.

    I suspect I'm going to be forced to upgrade to XP at some point, and accept the increased hardware requirements and decreased reliability, but I'm damned if I'm going to let anyone tell me it's worth the price. It wouldn't be worth the price even if it was free.
  • Re:Too expensive.... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by CrazyTalk (662055) on Sunday April 17, 2005 @11:12AM (#12262240)
    I'm not advocating "cheating", but even if you are not a student you can still get the student pricing. I am a part time grad student and am elligible, but when I purchased my iBook and iPod at the student discount online, there was no real verification as to if I was a student or not - I just claimed that I was and told them what school I was attending. Looks like Apple is using the honor system for student pricing.
  • by Qbertino (265505) on Sunday April 17, 2005 @11:23AM (#12262328)
    I actually expect this release to be a milestone in GUI operating systems. Not only is inter-programm communication fully developed, it also gets a easy to use point-and-click interface to access these functions (Automator).
    What would really rock is if someday Apple had the guts to actually drop the desktop metaphor and introduce some non-overlaping full screen realestate using workspace and application management. Something like blender has - only more accessable of course.

    How long have knowledgable users of Windows, Linux and Mac OS dreamed of easy cross-program automation via visual graphical pipes. Once again it's OS X that's years ahead of anything else.
  • by ndunn (171784) on Sunday April 17, 2005 @11:41AM (#12262425)
    This is by far the biggest feature. Not having to write custom API's for using altivec is going to make this OS great, not only for performance of generic science apps, but for general application performance for apps that would require to much work to write custom loops for in Altivec.

  • Re:Typical (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 17, 2005 @11:56AM (#12262506)
    You mean that the "news" site that uses a shiny nice logo for Apple stories but a ugly, photoshoped Borgified Bill Gates for MS stories is biased?

  • by cant_get_a_good_nick (172131) on Sunday April 17, 2005 @12:04PM (#12262563)
    I notice quite a lot of the usual complaining about Apple charging for a point release of an operating system where Microsoft would give it for free.

    I think the flaw is right there.
    1) This isn't a point release, it is a major release. Consider the "10" as fixed, like the "2" in Solaris. Would you expect Sun to give Solaris 2.10 for free, since it's just a point release from 2.9 (or by extension, 2.0)?

    2) What goes into a release is arbitrary, what consitutes enoughto make a point release is arbitrary, the cost is arbitrary. The GUI subsystem is optimized and faster, which is rare for a Windows release to feel faster. How much is that worth? The real test is whether Mac owners agree with the cost of the upgrade, Windows upgrade costs are to a great point, comparing Apples and oranges and somewhat irrelevant.
  • by ceejayoz (567949) <cj@ceejayoz.com> on Sunday April 17, 2005 @12:08PM (#12262599) Homepage Journal
    XP Pro was able to do that upon release.

    I just switched to Mac, but let's not be making stuff up about PCs to make 'em seem better - they already win in many other ways.
  • Re:Coincidence? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Durandal64 (658649) on Sunday April 17, 2005 @12:11PM (#12262624)
    Never argued how integrated it is, it probably is very well, that's one of the features of closed software. But it is still not client/server, which it makes desktop and as such much simpler piece of code.
    What do you mean, it's not "client/server"? Metadata can easily be transferred among machines running Tiger.
    M$ is making WinFS client/server capable, which is a lot bigger plan.
    And currently, a plan that is vaporware.
    Reindexing constantly is not needed, that is why kernel hooks for watching file system serve. You just hook on notifications and process when and where changes occur.
    Which is exactly how Spotlight works. There is an initial indexing period, and that's it. Applications which support Spotlight directly will write metadata automatically when saving their files, and plug-ins for applications that do not (like Word) will be notified when that app saves a file and then write the appropriate metadata out.
    Second whing you need is that filetype is supported and provides possibility to describe it self. Having everything working on client/server is a completely different case. You have to take case of privileges, network locations and client cooperation. If you do something on neighbours computer and store there?
    Of course you need supported file types. The operating system isn't psychic. In the case of unrecognized types, only basic metadata (like Date Created, Date Modified, etc ...) will be written out. But I still can't decipher what this "client/server" rambling of yours actually means.
  • gcc 4.0? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by tidewaterblues (784797) on Sunday April 17, 2005 @12:19PM (#12262670) Homepage
    I am more than a little surprised that Apple decided to pack gcc 4.0 into the package. I'm not entirely convinced that gcc 4 is ready for prime time, and I am not sure if any other *nix distros are shipping with it this early.
  • by Vandil X (636030) on Sunday April 17, 2005 @12:37PM (#12262760)
    When the Blue & White G3s [lowendmac.com] came out in 1999, people were shocked that it lacked a 3.5" floppy disk drive. They provided a workaround, though: use a USB floppy drive.

    Apple did it again when they released Macs that can no longer boot into OS 9. The workaround: use Classic.

    And again with Panther, which requires a G3 with built-in USB, forcing many legacy Mac users to use XPostFacto as a workaround.

    Then came iLife '04, which refuses to install certain iLife applications if you don't have a G4 processor. Third-party processor upgrade cards were the workaround.

    Considering that all of Apple's current lineup of computers have optical drives that support DVD-ROMs, perhaps Apple is also, in its own way, gently nudging it's market to move away from data CD-ROMs to DVD-ROMs.

    Especially when you consider the installation scheme for the retail version of Panther -- 3 CDs must be swapped if you want to install everything and iLife '04 & Classic aren't even included.

    The retail version of Tiger may likely need only the one DVD (since iLife '05 isn't included) for the OS + XCode2.

    While the "Apple Store visit for CDs" may be an inconvenient workaround, at least there is one. It beats buying a Mac-bootable Combo- or SuperDrive and installing it.
  • Re:Spotlight (Score:2, Interesting)

    by taskforce (866056) on Sunday April 17, 2005 @01:35PM (#12263114) Homepage
    Meta data is a great idea in principal, much like Communism. Unfortunately there are few real life problems which we're faced with when impelenting it.

    My bible for this argument is basicly here: Putting the torch to seven straw-men of the meta-utopia [well.com]

    People are lazy, People are stupid and the system is not scalable to larger enterprises without problems.

    People being lazy is possibly the greatest problem: Very few people are going to sit down and add descriptions to all their photographs, documents and video footage. Currently Metadata is common in Music only. I don't claim to know why this is, but my best guess is it's probably because it is not a visual file and there's no way of previewing it without watching. (As opposed to seeing a thumbnail of a document/movie/picture.) If the system is incomplete and any single file doesn't have metadata added, the system is effectively useless because as with anything which is unreliable, it will fall into disuse and there will be less incentive to add metadata to files, so less people use the feature due to decreased reliability and the sitation continues to snowball.

    People not knowing everything about their content is also a problem. Meta data can only identify what we know as it is added by humans. If i was confronted by Java Source Code for a program, I wouldn't be able to read it and I would not know what to describe it as.

    A Meta data based system also scales up badly to network/internet size solutions. Not only is the first problem amplified the larger the system is (more people being lazy, also less confidence that everyone will do their bit in adding metadata) but an inherent problem is that in a webwide Meta data system, people have hidden agendas, and they lie. The largest web-scale meta data implemantation we have at the moment is META tags in web page markup. I don't think I need to explain why these are often ridiculed - people lie. META tags are often abused by sites to get more hits: adding Britney Spears, XXX, pr0n etc will boost a page's rank. (This is often misguided, as more hits may occur, they they will not be relevant and leave the site straight away, however this is besides the point - they still input incorrect metadata into the system.) The problem has got to the stage where Google really doesn't pay all that much attention to META tags in comparison to the page's actual content and a monitoring of it's popularity with visitors searching for a certain subject.

    This last point might not be a problem with Spotlight currently, as a systemwide index it's not affected by it - however on an enterprise level there are instances where it could be a problem even over a LAN or WAN and afterall, the Internet is just computers connected together so this metadata is really useless on a larger scale in the same way that METAtags are now almost redundant in HTML, or or the RIAA has been able to spoof meta data on P2P networks to fool fileswappers.

  • Re:200+? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by telbij (465356) on Sunday April 17, 2005 @02:42PM (#12263562)
    By including this type of thing in the list it threatens to swallow all of the real new features like Dashboard and Spotlight.

    If you read the overview page or read any of the thousands of reviews around the net you'll get the major features. Of course, everyone here already knows them...

    This is exactly the kind of detailed list that geeks should appreciate. All the Apple haters want to spin it as propaganda, but those of us seriously considering the upgrade might like to know these things. For instance, I don't consider OpenEXR support in Preview to be a major feature by any stretch, but it's something I'll use every day.

    Now if they said 200+ new features and didn't list them then there would be a problem. Let the people judge for themselves I say.
  • Re:Typical (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 17, 2005 @05:36PM (#12264594)
    Even if you are keen advocate of other platforms, isn't it just barely possible that the reason for the Slashdot appreciation for Apple's products represents not an elitism, but an educated choice by an especially educated and specialised community for tools they consider to be the best? Isn't it also possible that the (perhaps true) Slashdot-Apple bias represents the very strongest seal of approval?

    I am not a geek, but a supervisor of geeks. I buy what they recommend. I skim Slashdot now and again to see how you - the expert computer community thinks. More and more, they (you) recommend Apple, for more and more applications and situations. Why would I pay their salaries if I didn't pay attention to their expertise? If a car engineer told me that yes, Mercedes DOES build their cars tremendously well, woudn't I listen?
  • Re:gcc 4.0? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by menace3society (768451) on Sunday April 17, 2005 @05:59PM (#12264732)
    They did this with gcc 3.? a while back, too. Everyone said, "Oh, no, stick with 2.95.2, 3.x isn't ready for primetime" but Apple switched, had no major problems, and the rest of the Unix world followed suit no long after. They are, as always, ahead of the game.
  • Re:Automater! (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Mechcozmo (871146) on Sunday April 17, 2005 @06:24PM (#12264861)
    In Tiger AppleScript will now auto-complete stuff that you type in the Script Editor app. That way, you can "learn as you go" by typing.
  • Re:Spotlight (Score:5, Interesting)

    by As Seen On TV (857673) <asseen@gmail.com> on Monday April 18, 2005 @12:56AM (#12266911)
    We're talking about highly advanced stuff here. It exists only in labs. So it's way too early to talk about specifics.

    I don't want to blow anything out of proportion, but think of Spotlight as being kind of like the first bitmapped graphics. What we're doing with it right now is cool. But what's really important is what it enables us to do in the future.

    GPS-based locational metadata is just one example. Automatic speech-to-text transcription for audio recordings is another. (You wouldn't believe what vector processing can do for speech-to-text. I saw a demo where a high-quality, noiseless audio recording of an unaccented speaker was transcribed at 20x real-time on a single 2.0 GHz G5.)

    Example: You're doing a multi-party teleconference. A recording is made of that teleconference (each angle), and separate audio tracks are recorded for each participant. In real time, your computer transcribes each voice track and stores it as ancillary content on the recording, content that Spotlight indexes for you. At any time, you can type "meeting in San Jose" into Spotlight, and it'll take you right to the angle and track on which your co-worker Laurent talked about next week's meeting in San Jose.

    Think about more detailed logging. Right now your computer logs only the most rudimentary events, stuff that is of no interest to human beings. What if it could log everything? Right now you can say "Show me that file I worked on yesterday at two o'clock." But what if you could turn that around and say, "When and for how long did I work on this file?" That's vitally important to anybody who does billable work. Imagine if, through metadata and logging, your computer could automatically produce your time sheet for you?

    Another type of automatically generated metadata we're experimenting with is relational metadata. Let's say you've got a picture of your dog on your computer. You e-mail it to your sister Jan. Your computer notes this as metadata on the photo so later you can ask your computer to show you what pictures you've sent to Jan.

    Address Book is one area where relational metadata is pretty important. In Address Book, you put Jan and your brother Harry into a group called "Family." Both Jan and Harry, in their contact records, get metadata describing them as being members of the "Family" group. So later you can ask your computer to show you what pictures you've e-mailed to members of your family. Or received from members of your family. Or what pictures you've e-mailed to SOME members of your family but not ALL.

    Let's say you take that picture of your dog and drop it in a Pages document, then export the document as a PDF and mail it to your sister Jan. The computer records, as metadata, the fact that that picture of your dog is related to Jan. It knows that put associated the picture with that Pages document, that the Pages document was associated with the PDF file, and that the PDF file was associated with an e-mail to Jan.

    Now combine it with a gestural interface. Take two files, any two files. Say it's a PDF representing an invoice and a Photoshop file representing a poster you designed. You drag the invoice over the Photoshop file and a marking menu appears, giving you the option of establishing a relationship between the two files. If you want you can annotate the relationship. If you don't, you don't have to. The computer will simply note that a relationship exists.

    Now extend that idea. Instead of it being two files, it can be two ANYTHING. Drag a contact from Address Book to a Pages document; up pops a marking menu asking you if you want to establish a relationship. Or an song from iTunes to a picture of your girlfriend. Or your daughter's birth certificate to her birthday in iCal.

    The possibilities that Spotlight opens up are pretty inspiring. It's not just a desktop search tool. Yes, it makes that possible, but bleah. That's 20th-century thinking. That's you working in the way the computer wants. What's more important about Spotlight is the fact that it's an enabling technology that lets the computer work in the way you want.

    There's some pretty exciting stuff coming in the next few years.
  • by bar-agent (698856) on Monday April 18, 2005 @04:41AM (#12267564)
    One of the new features that Apple did not mention, is that all built-in text fields, including the editing areas of TextEdit and (presumably) Mail, allow discontinuous selection now. That is, you can select a word here, a word there, a rectangular chunk somewhere else. You can then copy, cut, paste, etc.

    Maybe it is just me, but I like being able to do that!

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