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OS X Businesses Operating Systems Apple

Detailed Reviews of Mac OS X "Tiger" Preview 467

An anonymous reader writes "AppleInsider has been publishing some very detailed articles on Apple's new Mac OS X 10.4 'Tiger' operating system, which include numerous screenshots of the system. So far the publication has discussed overall installation and Spotlight search technology, Safari with RSS, a new Mail revision with Smart Mailbox technology, and a websearch enabled Mac OS X Help application."
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Detailed Reviews of Mac OS X "Tiger" Preview

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  • by OrangeTide ( 124937 ) on Thursday July 08, 2004 @01:23PM (#9644250) Homepage Journal
    From the appleinsider link:
    Interestingly, sources noted that while the Tiger Finder interface contains no noticeable changes from Panther, Spotlight uses its own sleek window interface design, which is only accessible from windows that are spawned from Spotlight searches. The interface features windows with a smooth, grey-colored titlebar, with sharp webpage-like table results on one side, and an html-style control bar on the other. Details of these new webpage-like Mac OS X windows were first report by sources in an earlier report, though sources described them as Mac OS Finder windows.

    If you look at the screen shots you will notice weirdly blue colored bars, but just in that one application. Honestly I thought Macs were supposed to have a consistent UI. If I wanted a mish mash of colors and widgets I would just get a Windows PC.
  • Re:Why?! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bsartist ( 550317 ) on Thursday July 08, 2004 @01:25PM (#9644278) Homepage
    Why would you pay premium for a closed source operating system and handicapped hardware (one button mouse)?

    It's cheaper than XP, it's mostly open (it's not Free, but that doesn't bother me), and my three-button+wheel mouse works just fine, thanks.

    Oh, and by the way - 1994 just called. They want their FUD back.
  • by shawnce ( 146129 ) on Thursday July 08, 2004 @01:29PM (#9644318) Homepage
    These are screen shots from a developer release of an OS that will not be release until some time in 2005 (Apple is targeting first half of 05). So what you see may have no reflection on the final look of things nor show a complete implementation of any particular look.
  • Re:v^HsmartFolders (Score:3, Insightful)

    by BasilBrush ( 643681 ) on Thursday July 08, 2004 @01:34PM (#9644381)
    The short answer is that it is a development of the "Smart Playlists" in iTunes. Thus "Smart Folders" means something to Mac users.

    The deeper answer is that the Mac UI is designed so you don't need to be a geek to understand it. Joe Sixpack knows what smart means but not what virtual means, let alone know that the v in vFolders stands for virtual.

    BTW, I've never heard the term vFolders before so I suspect it doesn't have that much mindshare. It looks like a Linux thing.

  • by Sanity ( 1431 ) * on Thursday July 08, 2004 @01:34PM (#9644385) Homepage Journal
    It seems that Linux has been playing catch up for some years now in terms of user interface, and with the advent of OSX - it now has a whole new mountain to climb.

    Where are the free software projects investigating next generation UI concepts? Is Linux too wedded to the old ways of doing things to compete with commercial vendors like Apple? It seems to me that the Linux UI community has been very busy trying to emulate the functionality of yesterday's commercial desktops, when it should be pioneering new approaches and UI innovations, thus leap-frogging Apple and others.

  • by ChilyMack ( 720195 ) on Thursday July 08, 2004 @01:36PM (#9644409)
    Lots of people talk about how the Windows version of iTunes is a trojan horse idea, i.e., it gives Windows users a taste of the usability and flexibility of software designed by Apple, and so inspires them to switch. Looks like Apple's been using iTunes as more than a switching device, though - they've been training their user base. Everything's going to be smart in the Tiger, and it won't matter where the files are - just what you want to use, when you want to use it. iTunes is already like this - I can say I want all the movie music by John Williams, in addition to including all the classical titles he ripped off, and it will give it to me in a playlist. So, no massive shift for Mac users or Windows users who have iTunes - they already know exactly how to speed through and take advantage of this UI. Smart.
  • Re:v^HsmartFolders (Score:3, Insightful)

    by bogie ( 31020 ) on Thursday July 08, 2004 @01:37PM (#9644424) Journal
    Shold have known better than to joke about Apple. The mods here who like apple don't appear have much of a sense of humor.

    You should have saved the comment for the next piece of KDE software named Kxxx. Long rants about how OSS sucks at naming software always get modded +5 Informative.
  • by System.out.println() ( 755533 ) on Thursday July 08, 2004 @01:37PM (#9644425) Journal
    ....which is why you also use's insanely great (cough) spam filter. I haven't seen a spam in weeks - and this is while using an address that I've used for over 3 years, signing up on tons of websites.
  • by billstr78 ( 535271 ) on Thursday July 08, 2004 @01:39PM (#9644452) Homepage
    There is a good reason for this lag. Most Linux users (1% of all PC users) don't require slick UI to get their tasks done. Linux users primarily still use the terminal window and considering that KDE is ahead of Windows, I'd say they are doing pretty well.
  • by shawnce ( 146129 ) on Thursday July 08, 2004 @01:39PM (#9644453) Homepage
    I just wanted to note that Tiger has a lot of very cool stuff under the hood that is taking place that will be a boon for developers and by extension customers (of course this stuff is still currently under NDA).

    It will be a great OS release... one that I feel will become a must have for every Macintosh user (with supported hardware). At least I hope it will be a must have because I really want to use some of he features that will exist to help speed the development and richness of applications.
  • Re:Why?! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Too Much Noise ( 755847 ) on Thursday July 08, 2004 @01:40PM (#9644462) Journal
    It's cheaper than XP

    This one is not entirelycorrect, if you want to stay up to date. The yearly upgrade cycle so far made OSX quite more expensive than XP if you started with the first released version on both. And if you're talking OEM, XP might be actually cheaper now.

    Granted, if the software would be the only difference, OSX would have XP beat hands down. However, if you're out to buy a cheap and reasonably fast computer, Apple is not exactly in the top 10 choices (emphasis on both cheap and fast).

    Adapting the old saying: cheap, fast, cool - pick two.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 08, 2004 @01:42PM (#9644484)

    Apple also continues to improve Safari's compliance with web standards, fixing a number of Cascading Style Sheet (CSS) and rendering bugs and supporting more of the recently approved CSS 2 standard.

    For all the talk of "web standards", CSS is actually a recommendation, not a standard. Tim Berners-Lee makes it very clear that the W3C was founded to produce recommendations and not to be a standards body in his book, Weaving The Web.

    Furthermore, the CSS 2 recommendation was approved over six years ago [], and the CSS 2.1 specification [] has not yet been approved as a recommendation (it's still in candidate recommendation stage).

  • Re:Can't Wait (Score:5, Insightful)

    by daviddennis ( 10926 ) * <> on Thursday July 08, 2004 @01:45PM (#9644514) Homepage
    There's only one upgrade a year, if that. The last upgrade was in late 2003 and the new upgrade is in early to mid 2005.

    Six year cycle at one upgrade a year is $774. However, during that time you're likely to buy at least one new Mac, which would eliminate the need for one of the upgrades.

    If you're really keeping your computer for six years, that's a solid testimony to the quality of the Mac platform. You really need a new PC for every new major version upgrade since the system requirements change so radically. It's torture running Windows XP on a low-end machine designed for 2000. I bought a used two year old 400mhz PowerBook G4 about a week ago and am very impressed by how well it runs in Panther. It was a slowpoke in the version of MacOS X available at the time, but now it's a more than acceptable performer for most things I need to do with it.

    The reality is that the Mac platform's pretty cost-effective if you want to keep your machine running well. The horrors of dealing with Windows virus attacks easily make up for the price difference between Mac and PC.

  • Re:Why?! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by kannibal_klown ( 531544 ) on Thursday July 08, 2004 @01:57PM (#9644654)
    Let's see here. The yearly upgrade cycle of Mac OS versus the every-other-year upgrade cycle of Windows. Granted, the next windows (desktop) version won't be out for a while now, but Tiger is in 2005, when Panther was 2003.

    Windows retail is pretty dang expense (for the full NON-oem version). Likewise, the hardware requirements seem to go up quite nicely with each Windows release. Panther runs pretty well on hardware thats a few years old already (so long as its a G4 or later G3).

    Don't get me wrong, if you want to constantly upgrade with either system, it's going to cost you a pretty penny. But why upgrde so often? Jaguar is still supported now, and Panther will still be supported when Tiger comes out.

    But I agree that Mac OS needs to slow down a little. While they throw a LOT of stuff in each revision, it gets pretty pricey.
  • Re:v^HsmartFolders (Score:2, Insightful)

    by furball ( 2853 ) on Thursday July 08, 2004 @01:58PM (#9644660) Journal
    vFolders isn't a linux thing. It's an XEmacs VMail thing. It was a concept popularized with Linux via the Evolution mail client which borrowed heavily from the earlier work of VMail and it's approaches.

  • One of the few things that are totally customizable in OS X is the highlight color. There are 6 or 7 apple made ones and then an option for "other" where you can pick any ugly color you want. Those blue bars are probably taking their color from a user's prefs.
  • Re:Why?! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by falcon5768 ( 629591 ) <> on Thursday July 08, 2004 @02:07PM (#9644768) Journal
    can vouch for this, my G3 systems ( a b/w and a iBookSE) work GREAT with panther and the fastest one is a 466mhz with a 66mhz buss
  • by Gannoc ( 210256 ) on Thursday July 08, 2004 @02:12PM (#9644826)
    There is a good reason for this lag. Most Linux users (1% of all PC users) don't require slick UI to get their tasks done. Linux users primarily still use the terminal window and considering that KDE is ahead of Windows, I'd say they are doing pretty well.

    I don't require a slick UI. I also don't require air conditioning, diet cola, or a high speed internet connection, but they sure make my life nicer and easier.

  • by Have Blue ( 616 ) on Thursday July 08, 2004 @02:33PM (#9645129) Homepage
    There are 2 ways for an application to "support" Spotlight:
    • Use the Spotlight SDK to write a plugin that parses the app's file format and metadata. This allows the global Spotlight feature to index and search the contents of files created by that app.
    • Use the Spotlight API to integrate Spotlight into its own interface, letting the user search from the app directly.
    As to how many apps will support this, I'd guess that plugins will be far more common that built-in searching, since they are not an integral part of the app and could even conceivably be written by third parties if the original developer doesn't bother to.
  • by One Louder ( 595430 ) on Thursday July 08, 2004 @02:48PM (#9645351)
    However, when I use Safari (which I thought was loosely based on the Mozilla project's browser engine), I see even more rendering problems than in the other two browsers.
    Safari in not based on Mozilla, but rather KHTML [].

    My suggestion is that you run the "problem" pages through the W3 Validator [] before suspecting a particular browser's implementation.

  • by davechen ( 247143 ) on Thursday July 08, 2004 @02:56PM (#9645459) Homepage
    It's not an either/or proposition. I use tcsh and vim and all the other *nix goodness all the time on OS X. The problem with the GUIs on X11 is their lack of consistency and most of them are butt ugly.
  • by falcon5768 ( 629591 ) <> on Thursday July 08, 2004 @03:20PM (#9645781) Journal
    its only too bad I posted, cause your post deserves to be modded up!

    This is exactly a lot of peopls points, the idea is simular, but Apples execution of the idea is well beyond what they did with konfabulator. It may be simular in idea, but in the end Apple did it much better....

    Its funny but people pissed their pants about "oh apples copying this, apples copying that" but talk about copyrighting a idea and people go apeshit.... well thats all this is is a idea, the underlying implementations are totally different

  • by aristotle-dude ( 626586 ) on Thursday July 08, 2004 @03:24PM (#9645823)
    Umm.. what does the DC stand for in WWDC? Did you miss the guitar amp software demo which relies on low latency audio services provided by Core Audio? Did you miss the release of Core Image and Core Video which are built on tech from the soon to be released Motion? Those two knew Core services are really exciting to developers.

    Damn ungrateful end users always expecting flashy crap to get them excited. Why do you have a copy of the developer preview anyway? You don't sound like a developer to me.

  • by falcon5768 ( 629591 ) <> on Thursday July 08, 2004 @04:25PM (#9646589) Journal
    konfabulator is this java based package for the mac that displayed simular looking moduals onn the screen... it was given this big to do simply cause it used Java, and thus easy to program by anyone with a litle knowlage

    The problem was some of the reporters started touting about it like it was a new thing (it wasnt) and it gained this HUGE following from a lot of people who dont know the history of the app so they all think Apple ripped it off, which is not the case, it was the reverse, but apple stopped using it when it didnt see a market for it, as did microsoft.

    The biggest problem is the the guy who created it is now making himself out to be a shareware martyr whos fighting the man who stole his app.... which is bogus and just downright stupid cause he didnt make anything new, he just reused a old idea in a new package

  • by Radon Knight ( 684275 ) on Thursday July 08, 2004 @04:27PM (#9646619)
    seems that apple can integrate better and faster new stuff that M$?

    Given that so much of OS X is built upon the NeXTStep code base, and that the NeXTStep code base was (from what I understand) amazingly well-designed from a software engineering point of view, and that Objective-C really is an incredibly powerful, easy to use object-oriented extension of C, I wonder of the rapid output of new stuff from Apple research is just proof of what can happen when you've got well-engineered software libraries with good RAD tools in the hands of extremely capable programmers.

    That's not intented to read like an Apple fanboy post (although it does). But it does seem that Microsoft "innovation" moves more slowly than Apple. And some of Microsoft's innovation just, well, sucks eggs. (MFC, anyone? Bob?)

  • by Jeremi ( 14640 ) on Thursday July 08, 2004 @04:41PM (#9646775) Homepage
    Having the computer make clever guesses about what you probably want it to do (instead of just doing what you tell it to do) usually comes out as "really annoying". Remember Clippy?

    For example: People named "Smith" may well not be in my family, since Smith is a common last name. Furthermore, so what if they are? Maybe I don't want to have a "My Family" category, and a non-annoying program wouldn't assume that I do.

  • by Smitty825 ( 114634 ) on Thursday July 08, 2004 @05:34PM (#9647264) Homepage Journal
    Additionally, I challenge you to find an Apple-made program using brushed-metal that doesn't conform to the above guideline.

    Ummm...Let's see...


  • by wibs ( 696528 ) on Thursday July 08, 2004 @06:08PM (#9647543)
    Every time I get a new boyfriend, it won't take long before he's asking if I'd be willing to try a threesome with "some hot bi-girl he just met".

    And yet if some sheepish computer dork tried to ask you out, you'd call him a nice guy and say no way. If you go out with assholes, you get the asshole treatment. There's not a whole lot to figure out here.

    And no, I'm not posting this as some sheepish computer dork who's afraid of women. I'm posting this as someone who's tired of people complaining about their lot in life when they create the situations. It's not too hard to find a guy who at least pretends to care about you, ya know. If every guy you go out with has the same problem, perhaps it's time to start looking at other types of guys?
  • by hkb ( 777908 ) on Thursday July 08, 2004 @07:44PM (#9648304)
    No shit, where in my post did I say it wasn't for developers? I actually got that it was a developer release from the name "Developer Preview" and "World-Wide Developer Conference", that it was presented at, pretty nifty eh?

    You'll note that my post is about Tiger questions people will probably ask and your reply has nothing to do with my post.

The trouble with the rat-race is that even if you win, you're still a rat. -- Lily Tomlin