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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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  • Not much news... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by nordicfrost ( 118437 ) * on Thursday July 08, 2004 @01:15PM (#9644166)
    It seems like most of these features were explained at Jobs' keynote address at WWDC. The automatic knowledgebase search in Help was new tho. Can't wait until I get my hands on my developer copy.
  • by billstr78 ( 535271 ) on Thursday July 08, 2004 @01:20PM (#9644215) Homepage

    It looks like Apple caught on quickly to the Gmail label paradigm shift away from folders and has put "smart folders" into Mail 2.0 for 10.4.

    IMHO labels and smart folders are long overdue for mail. They've been usefull in iTunes for months and just make good sense data that does not belong in only one bin.
  • photocopiers? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Down8 ( 223459 ) <> on Thursday July 08, 2004 @01:20PM (#9644219) Homepage
    Just one of those pot-kettle-black things, I guess: ...websearch enabled Mac OS X Help application.

    You mean like Office2003? And even OfficeXP, I think.

    I'm just sayin'...

  • by gandalphthegreen ( 751209 ) < @ g m a i l .com> on Thursday July 08, 2004 @01:23PM (#9644255)
    ...and it's not that spectacular. The search service is cool, but nothing else is all that different. It's really disappointing actually.
  • Upgrade questions (Score:3, Interesting)

    by hotspotbloc ( 767418 ) on Thursday July 08, 2004 @01:29PM (#9644321) Homepage Journal
    Do you need Panther to use the Tiger upgrade or will any version of OS X work? Are the hardware requirements, both minimal and recommended, the same as Panther?
  • or in Evolution (Score:5, Interesting)

    by asv108 ( 141455 ) <asv@ivo[ ]com ['ss.' in gap]> on Thursday July 08, 2004 @01:31PM (#9644345) Homepage Journal
    I've been using "VFolders" in evolution for at least two years or so now. I wouldn't be surprised if outlook has had such a feature for a long time. Although Google is responsible for inventing a whole slew of tech, smart folders is not one of them.
  • by Hes Nikke ( 237581 ) <> on Thursday July 08, 2004 @01:38PM (#9644433) Journal
    ok, heres my way of redeeming myself (yes i know i'm also replying to myself)

    Apple had this feature (save searches for later use) in the ill fated Copland preview in the mid 1990's. in fact i got the impression that apple was resurrecting many features from Copland during the WWDC keynote (see Automator)
  • Fantastic Idea! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by CommanderData ( 782739 ) * <> on Thursday July 08, 2004 @01:39PM (#9644455)
    You know, that's a really smart idea! Of course it would need a few tweaks- Maybe calculate the percentage of mistakes and trash it above a certain value (for the friends who make the occasional spelling mistake).

    The best part is, if spammers start using spell-check and correcting their mail before sending (changing V1@gr@ to Viagra) it will be caught by the spam filters instead! It's a win-win situation, less spam and correct spelling...
  • Search, Indexing (Score:1, Interesting)

    by blunte ( 183182 ) on Thursday July 08, 2004 @01:43PM (#9644495)
    What I want to know is, how does Apple provide "instant" answers to searches?

    Are they maintaining frequently-updated indices?

    Will it be a constant drag on system performance, as with MS's old Fast Find, or their current full text indexing?

    Will all 10 Mac OSX applications support Spotlight?
  • "Smart" buzzwords (Score:3, Interesting)

    by SilentChris ( 452960 ) on Thursday July 08, 2004 @01:48PM (#9644555) Homepage
    I love it when marketing drones (or programmers) think adding "Smart" to reflect new technology is valid. The mail technology described isn't "smart".

    "Smart" would be a filtering system that recognizes senders based on last name, and realize that people named "Smith" are probably in my family. "Smart" would automatically recognize messages about the Bernoulli account after a few back and forths and organize them by sender and time (kind of like how I have my filing cabinets). When it matches a personal assistant, it's "smart".
  • Re:Upgrade questions (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Rude Turnip ( 49495 ) <valuation&gmail,com> on Thursday July 08, 2004 @01:49PM (#9644565)
    Apple doesn't have "upgrade editions" of OS X like Microsoft or other vendors. You buy the disk and the whole thing is on there. Personally, I get every *other* version of OS X because I don't want to spend $129 every year on incremental features. I'll probably pass on Tiger (got Panther now) and wait for OS X - "Big Pussy" in 2006.
  • Re:or in Evolution (Score:2, Interesting)

    by furball ( 2853 ) on Thursday July 08, 2004 @01:55PM (#9644620) Journal
    And if you knew your history, Evolution didn't originate vfolders. vfolders came out of VMail application that runs in XEMacs.

    A lot of people have been using the concept of search query defined foldering for a very long time now.
  • I have taken a look at it and currently own Konfabulator, and my honest impression is this.

    While dashboard might or might not be a konfabulator clone, it does it MUCH better than konfabulator could ever do it.

    One of the nasties of using konfabulator aside from the hideous amount of prossesor usage it seems to take and its tendancy to kill your system if your not online and using a widget that grabs online feeds, is the fact that well, every interface is different between widgets and sometimes they either dont work, or are hard to move around or close. The new version of Konfabulator fixed some of this, but its still bad. Apple has changed this, by not only making the moduals easy to close or move, and forcing them to keep simular preference interfaces, they also added the expose powered hide feature.

    Honestly I dont hate Konfabulator and wish it well, I think its creator is a ass as to the fact that he doesnt care about the fact that both Apple and Microsoft did it first and he was just reimplementing a old idea.... beleiving the PR all the media outlets put out about it being this amazing app, but he did create it and i think more importantly he renewed interest in a feature a lot of us didnt use back in the OS 6/7 Win98 days.... Here is hoping the modual makers can bring their work to Dashboard with minimal fuss.... cause honestly those are the people who made konfabulator shine, not the guy who made it.

  • Re:Only DVD? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by discstickers ( 547062 ) <> on Thursday July 08, 2004 @02:04PM (#9644723) Homepage
    Actually, the rumor is that Tiger will only be available on DVD.
  • by IronChefMorimoto ( 691038 ) on Thursday July 08, 2004 @02:08PM (#9644777)
    I should preface my comments with this -- I'm new to OS X (IT/developer working in creative environment), so my experience with Safari may not be totally up to snuff. Correct me if I terribly skew off track with comments about Safari.

    That said, I'm wondering if Apple has improved Safari to be more compatible with websites. And if not, why not before doing this RSS application?

    When I do testing of websites with Mozilla 1.x and FireBird 0.9 on my PC, I run into some "damn you Internet Explorer"-specific pages that limit the features that I see with these alternative browsers. 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.

    Do I just need to spend more time with Safari, or are there still major issues with how it renders some pages and code? And if the latter is true, was it wise for Apple to add another Safari-esque feature with this RSS application when they need to fix some rendering issues with what could be a really sweet browser?

    It's sad, but on many pages that work fine in Mozilla 1.x and FireBird 0.9 on a PC, I have to send designers who want to see their work BACK to IE for Mac so that the pages properly render what they designed. Of course, my code could just really suck too. ;-)

  • by pauljlucas ( 529435 ) on Thursday July 08, 2004 @02:17PM (#9644911) Homepage Journal
    Even though I run OS X on my desktop, I still run Pine in a shell because I've yet to find a GUI mail reader that has the feature in Pine whereby you can auto-set the From header (when composing a reply) based on other headers.

    For example, if I receive e-mail that contains at least one e-mail address containing, then I want the mailer, upon selecting Reply, to auto-set the From header to my work e-mail address rather than my home e-mail address. (All my e-mail routes my my home Linux server and is split into mailbox files by procmail.)

    Anybody know of a GUI mail client with rules like Pine's? (Oh, and it has to be able to support IMAP over SSL and SMTP AUTH too.)

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 08, 2004 @02:19PM (#9644950)
    What is bigger, M$ research or Apple research? seems that apple can integrate better and faster new stuff that M$?....perhaps M$ research is too busy making patents.

    Of course, all the "new" stuff is just evolutionary and nothing revolutionary....


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

    by callipygian-showsyst ( 631222 ) on Thursday July 08, 2004 @02:43PM (#9645281) Homepage
    Nonsense! I was up in Seattle for the launch party (with Jay Leno!) Bill Gates personally handed me a signed Win 95 box (which I have here on a shelf.)

    Apple had a billboard truck driving across the street that said C:\NGRULAT.ONS (making fun of the old DOS file length limitation. They shouldn't have been so cocky because Win95 had 255 character file names, while Mac was stuck at 32.)

  • Re:Search, Indexing (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Henriok ( 6762 ) on Thursday July 08, 2004 @02:45PM (#9645303)
    They do maintain indexes fot Spotlight serach and in file content search.

    It will drag the system somewhat since this file will be wquite large and there wll be frequent read/writes to it, but the OS seems to do this quite transparently and I havn't noticed any noticable drag. OSX does multitask quite good and my computer mainly sits idle anyway.

    Spotlight is an API that developeras can use istead of building theri own search tool. Old apps will not automagically benefit from Spotlight.

    Mor info on spotlight: ml
  • Re:Upgrade questions (Score:3, Interesting)

    by larkost ( 79011 ) on Thursday July 08, 2004 @02:47PM (#9645327)
    Well... you need to be a registered apple developer to have it at this point.

    As a general note: Apple has rarely sent out paid upgrades as anything but a combination of both a full and upgrade installer. They are almost always bootible media (CD's or DVD's) that have disk tools on them so that you can choose to erase/repartition the disk, and "clean" upgrade options (in MacOS X's case it offers to move the "system" folder aside and the option to migrate user folders and system settings).

    Next year when this is available for sale you will undoubtedly be able to move any computer capable of using 10.4 to the new OS, probably from MacOS 9.2 onward (since all of the computers that meet the minimum requirements would not run lower anyways).
  • by foregather ( 578505 ) on Thursday July 08, 2004 @03:04PM (#9645563)
    I was rather swayed by this piece (with the most interesting point summarized below for the mentally slashdoted) on fabulator

    "Konfabulator = (Custom XML format) + (Custom JavaScript engine)

    Dashboard, on the other hand, is based on WebCore, the underlying open source layout and scripting engine behind Safari. Dashboard gadgets are indeed scripted using JavaScript, the same language used by Konfabulator, but Dashboard uses the JavaScript engine that's built into the system. And for UI layout, Dashboard gadgets are specified using HTML and CSS -- using the same rendering engine as Safari.
    . . .
    Do you see how huge this is? How it opens the door to gadget development to anyone with web design experience? Indeed, I've read the preliminary Dashboard developer documentation (generously provided by a source attending WWDC), and it is outstanding from the perspective of making gadgets easy-to-create.

    The idea that Dashboard is derivative because it's scripted via JavaScript is missing the point. Dashboard isn't using JavaScript just to use JavaScript -- it's using JavaScript because Dashboard gadgets are little floating Web Kit views."

    The article also argues, and offers documentation in support of the position, that you can trace the idea for such widgets all the way back to the first "desk accessories" like the puzzle and calculator from 1984. Then combines both points to paint Dashboard as a natural outgrowth of fundmental Apple ideas.

    While Konfabulator is an implementation of similar concepts, they were not the inventors of them and their chosen means of implementation makes their software practically useless to Apple from the buy-and-incorporate perspective.
  • Re:or in Evolution (Score:3, Interesting)

    by moongha ( 179616 ) on Thursday July 08, 2004 @04:05PM (#9646361)
    'Smart Folders' are to normal folders what SQL Views are to normal SQL Tables.

    I suspect that is the origin.
  • by fupeg ( 653970 ) on Thursday July 08, 2004 @04:37PM (#9646718)
    One of the most interesting things in the articles:
    But lets not forget that Mail 2.0 is also 100% compliant with Apple's Spotlight search technology. Spotlight searches instantly search not only Mail headers, but the complete contents of Mail messages as well, displaying results to the user in a matter of seconds.
    This is one of the great strengths of GMail. Searching through thousands of mail messages is trivial and useful. Seems like a great addition to Mail. You get great email searching without the ads...
  • by Cloud K ( 125581 ) on Thursday July 08, 2004 @06:59PM (#9647992)
    I don't know... I just ordered a Powerbook, my first Mac ever (though I used a Classic back in school) and aside from much research afterwards, iTunes and the iPod I got recently were major factors in making me take Apple seriously.

    Of course, I'd heard all about its Unix base, awesome interface etc but it was the sheer elegance of both iTunes and the iPod that triggered me to take serious action.
  • by bnenning ( 58349 ) on Thursday July 08, 2004 @08:27PM (#9648591)
    Press Command + Option + B. Note the source list to the left.

    That's *really* a stretch. The purpose of a web browser is to browse the web, not manage a list of bookmarks. That reasoning can be applied to just about any app (Mail uses a source list of mailboxes; Xcode uses a source list of project files, etc). Safari and iChat are metal because Steve wanted them to be; then the HIG were retroactively changed to make it a vaguely justifiable choice.

  • I challenge you to find an Apple-made program using brushed-metal that doesn't conform to the above guideline.

    Apple Remote Desktop v 2.0.

    Good pic [] if you haven't seen it yet. I think it's 100% stupid, too, and I don't mind the metal on most apps, really; but for an Enterprise Admin tool, it adds "pretty" when you really need better efficiency.
  • Higher utility? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by CreateWindowEx ( 630955 ) on Friday July 09, 2004 @02:09AM (#9650022)
    My feeling is that it probably won't be too hard to integrate (I haven't looked at the API yet), but the main difference is that Spotlight is a feature that regular people will use and probably start to expect, whereas AppleScript was really only for a smaller group of "power users". Perceived utility is often a stronger factor for developers when selecting features than ease of implementation (unless they're wimps! ;)

    Also, for applications that just use files, Spotlight will still be able to find these documents based on filename and other metadata. For my personal use, I predict that I will use Spotlight all the time for searching files, contacts, e-mails, and maybe songs/photos (which will all be supported since I just use the Apple applications for these tasks), and so whether or not 3rd-party apps support it will not be a big factor to me.

    I don't know much about Automator, their new GUI-based batch system, but I'm guessing that it will be much more widely-used than AppleScript. You'd think there would be a way to write shims to let Automator talk to apps that have AppleScript bindings and leverage that capability for more users.

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