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macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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17,361


Monster.com is advertising a job for Apple Computer with the Mac OS X User Interface Group.

They are seeking a senior visual interface designer "to conceive, design and develop future enhancements to Aqua, the dynamic user interface for Mac OS X". The interested should candidate should have the following experience:

- B.S./M.S. in Interactive Media Design, Animation or related field.
- Demonstrable understanding of user interface design principles.
- Must have demonstrated experience with prototyping tools and environments such as Director and Lingo.
- Experience with other tools such as 3D Modeling applications is an asset.

While this job opportunity may simply represent the filling of a vacated spot, however, with Window's upcoming Vista release borrowing heavily from the Mac OS X user interface, Apple will need to continue to extend and improve future versions of Mac OS X.

The first look at Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard is expected to be previewed at WWDC 2006 this summer.
 

d_and_n5000

macrumors 6502a
Oct 6, 2005
631
0
Heh. Well, Apple has gotta do something to differentiate it a bit more from Vista. A new designer for the OS helps. C'mon, Apple, make Vista look so...2005.
 

steve_hill4

macrumors 68000
May 15, 2005
1,856
0
NG9, England
I was finishing off reading the linked article on Tiger vs. Vista and the missing features from Tiger that Vista will have, along with the features Vista will improve on from Tiger. I see quite a few of these being improved in time for Leopard and then added upon with "eye-candy" and new features that will amek Vista look quite old in its concept.

Then another 5 years of Vista looking old and OS X continuing to be updated every 18-24 months and Microsoft will have to admit they can't keep up.
 

Arnel

macrumors member
Jun 23, 2003
69
0
Vancouver, BC
I'm wondering if the "3D Modelling" thing is an indication of how Apple are planning to get interface widgets to work in a resolution-independant environment. If they build the widgets as 3D models, they can be rendered into bitmaps at any resolution.
 

mj_1903

macrumors 6502a
Feb 3, 2003
563
0
Sydney, Australia
Mike Matas was recently hired into a similar role so it looks like they are definitely focusing on Mac OS X with the aim of keeping that interface edge.
 

rockthecasbah

macrumors 68020
Apr 12, 2005
2,395
2
Moorestown, NJ
I honestly didn't see the potential of tablets until i saw that multi-touch whatever video thats been floating about the web, supposedly running on OSX. IF Apple could produce something like that, it could totally give a kick start to the less-than-stellar sales of tablets, possibly gaining more of an edge with the pro/business end of the computing landscape. :)
 

rendezvouscp

macrumors 68000
Aug 20, 2003
1,526
0
Long Beach, California
andrewm said:
Does anyone else find the '3D modelling' thing to be curious? 3D desktop, anybody?

Not particularly. From what I've read, Apple does most, if not all, of their icons in a 3D program; it wouldn't surprise me if most of the interface is made in 3D as well, and then compressed to a single dimension (or, "two dimensions").

A "3D interface" would be interesting though, as long as they could make it easier than our current one.
-Chasen
 

Caitlyn

macrumors 6502a
Jun 30, 2005
842
0
I'm really excited for Leopard. I love Tiger and think it can't be much better, so I'm anxious to see what awesome features Apple adds to prove me wrong. When is Leopard being shipped? I want to buy my iMac with Leopard pre-installed if possible.
 

nagromme

macrumors G5
May 2, 2002
12,546
1,196
Apple has done some GREAT things with UI recently--like Exposé--but at the same time they've allowed some odd visual inconsistencies, like different variations on the Metal theme (iTunes 6 vs. Safari) and toolbar icons (Mail vs. the World). Things that I wouldn't even blink at coming from any other company... but from Apple, in the middle of such a slick, well-crafted, thoughful UI... they stand out like glaring problems. They bug me!

Now, having BOTH metal and white doesn't bother me, as long as they get to just ONE version of each. I like the variety, and Apple's moving more and more toward a consistent pattern of how they are used: white for document-centric "workspace" apps (ones where File-Open, and File-Save are central), metal for compact "viewer/manager" apps (ones where your data is always open and always saved).

And I don't mind widgets having their own colorful "plastic" theme: widgets in a sense ARE their own icons, and so visual variety is a vital UI cue for Dashboard. I see that now. And this doesn't confuse or harm others apps since it takes the whole screen anyway.

I am convinced Apple will finally bring OS X into a higher level of consistency with Leopard. Reasons:

1. We know Apple knows better--and cares.

2. iTunes has a new metal look and iLife 06 has used it too. This must be the future of metal.

3. This job posting!

4. Resolution-independent GUI! A TRUE, fully-scalable, resolution-independent interface, with everything scalable as a whole by a single global slider. See everything (menu text, apps, toolbar buttons, everything) larger OR smaller than we see them now. Show more detail or fit more windows? It will be YOUR choice, and you can change your setting at will. That means everything from window borders to stoplight widgets must be redrawn by apple at much larger bitmap sizes (and some vector images).

How do we know Leopars will have a res-independent UI?

* Because higher-res displays will increase the need for it, and because Vista will have it (I believe).

* Because some Tiger UI elements (not just text, but buttons) are already vector, even though they may look just the same as their bitmap-based fellow GUI elements.

* But mainly because a res-independent UI is already IN Tiger--but half-finished and hidden. The developer tools can enable it for testing (use Quartz Debug, which Pacifist can extract if you don't want all the tools). And Apple has told developers clearly and publicly to get their apps ready for this.

Here's a sample image (with Safari at 200% scaling--BUT imagine that the window borders/buttons were redrawn to be as nice as the fonts are):
http://arstechnica.com/reviews/os/macosx-10.4.ars/20
(Search for "Scalable User Interface" and click to zoom the image to full size.)

And here's Apple's page on the matter:
http://developer.apple.com/releasenotes/GraphicsImaging/ResolutionIndependentUI.html

Pretty clear :)

Now, if they are re-building EVERY element of the UI anyway, to work at larger sizes... why re-make half a dozen slightly-different themes? That makes no sense. Apple will re-build ONE version of metal, not four.

So the process of adding a res-independent UI also implies more visual consistency I predict.
 

thejadedmonkey

macrumors G3
May 28, 2005
8,748
2,203
Pennsylvania
axello said:
Do you have a URL of that video? It wouldn't happen to be the 'Knowledge Navigator' video from 1987?

How cool would that be to own...it's voice recognition, and iSight, and a touch screen in one. It would never happen...want to know why? Because to use the answering machine feature would require a modem!!! AHA
 

bousozoku

Moderator emeritus
Jun 25, 2002
14,560
627
Lard
andrewm said:
Does anyone else find the '3D modelling' thing to be curious? 3D desktop, anybody?

That goes along with using Director for prototyping. There is already some depth to Finder. It's also important to realise that Quartz Extreme is 3D-compatible, using OpenGL to display the interface. It would be a little silly, but they could change things a bit and show some real exaggerated staggering of windows.

It'd be really nice if they could design a 3D desktop but no one has come out with an intuitive handheld positioning device.
 

mac-er

macrumors 65816
Apr 9, 2003
1,452
0
From the article the compares Vista to Leopard:

security in Vista is more sophisticated than in Tiger.

Ya, right. That is why Vista already has a virus written for it.
 

Panu

macrumors regular
Mar 31, 2005
102
0
Virginia suburbs of DC
andrewm said:
Does anyone else find the '3D modelling' thing to be curious? 3D desktop, anybody?

Windows Vista is going to have a 3D desktop.

mac-er said:
From the article the compares Vista to Leopard:


Ya, right. That is why Vista already has a virus written for it.

That turned out not to be true.
 

ctachme

macrumors member
Dec 22, 2003
48
0
nagromme said:
* But mainly because a res-independent UI is already IN Tiger--but half-finished and hidden. The developer tools can enable it for testing (use Quartz Debug, which Pacifist can extract if you don't want all the tools). And Apple has told developers clearly and publicly to get their apps ready for this.

Here's a sample image (with Safari at 200% scaling--BUT imagine that the window borders/buttons were redrawn to be as nice as the fonts are):
http://arstechnica.com/reviews/os/macosx-10.4.ars/20
(Search for "Scalable User Interface" and click to zoom the image to full size.)

I just really hope that Apple makes a true resolutions independent interface (meaning 100% vector based UI elements), instead of just a "scalable" interface with just big bitmaps. It's like this "App icons can be 256px means scalable interface" crap. The only truly scalable App icon is an SVG one.
 

Panu

macrumors regular
Mar 31, 2005
102
0
Virginia suburbs of DC
bousozoku said:
That goes along with using Director for prototyping. There is already some depth to Finder. It's also important to realise that Quartz Extreme is 3D-compatible, using OpenGL to display the interface. It would be a little silly, but they could change things a bit and show some real exaggerated staggering of windows.

It'd be really nice if they could design a 3D desktop but no one has come out with an intuitive handheld positioning device.

I saw a demonstration of a 3D monitor on a Windows XP machine. I don't remember which company it was, but it was a well-known brand. When I viewed the monitor from an angle, the picture was 2D, but if I sat facing the monitor dead on, everything was 3D. Some objects appeared to be floating in the air between me and the monitor and others seemed to be behind the screen. Videos were incredibly realistic. (No special glasses!)

Most people had to look at it for a while before they saw the 3D, but there are individuals who could see the effect from 20 feet away.

It was stupendous.

Add that monitor to a 3D display and it would be fantastic.
 

savar

macrumors 68000
Jun 6, 2003
1,950
0
District of Columbia
andrewm said:
Does anyone else find the '3D modelling' thing to be curious? 3D desktop, anybody?


My guess is that there will be more open GL effects in leopard...like flipping widgets, etc. I see more controls using depth to present extra information. I doubt Apple's planning anything like the Looking Glass demo.
 

nagromme

macrumors G5
May 2, 2002
12,546
1,196
ctachme said:
I just really hope that Apple makes a true resolutions independent interface (meaning 100% vector based UI elements), instead of just a "scalable" interface with just big bitmaps. It's like this "App icons can be 256px means scalable interface" crap. The only truly scalable App icon is an SVG one.
I disagree. Vector imaging isn't better in all situations. A combination of BOTH methods makes the most sense. The vector elements already in Tiger are a good sign that they will be a big part of Leopard. But my understanding is that for some things, bitmaps (if neatly anti-aliased the way OS X already does) can look just as good as or better than vectors, BUT can expend much less processing power.

Look at the detail level found in many OS X icons. Trying to re-create that on the fly with vector elements and generated gradients wouldn't always be possible, but where it IS possible (it depends on the icon's style), it would still waste processing power rendering hundreds of elements for each icon. (For example, listen to your processor fan spin up when rendering complex Flash--which almost never reaches the level of detail seen in OS X icons.) Giving up detail and visual quality would be a shame, but slowing down your computer too would be worse.

Now compare to a bitmapped 256x256 (or larger) icon: it's rendered as a single OpenGL textured polygon by the GPU--very fast and efficient. Scaled at 100% or smaller it looks very clean and high-quality. The only thing it CAN'T do well is scale much larger than its max. Then it starts to get a soft look lacking in extra detail. But larger than what? If Apple plans for a really LARGE maximum size, then it's a non-issue. We already know Apple is calling for icons at least 4x the area that Tiger even makes possible to view--which is already bigger than most people ever use. So those are BIG icons, and will look just great on high-res displays. (And the higher-res the display, the less you could even see the effects if someone DID scale the icons bigger than the max.)

What is your objection to using both vector and bitmap elements, taking advantage of the strengths of both? Is the "problem" of using high-quality, really large bitmaps worth the price of giving up visual detail (in many cases) and slowing down your computer?
 

bousozoku

Moderator emeritus
Jun 25, 2002
14,560
627
Lard
Panu said:
I saw a demonstration of a 3D monitor on a Windows XP machine. I don't remember which company it was, but it was a well-known brand. When I viewed the monitor from an angle, the picture was 2D, but if I sat facing the monitor dead on, everything was 3D. Some objects appeared to be floating in the air between me and the monitor and others seemed to be behind the screen. Videos were incredibly realistic. (No special glasses!)

Most people had to look at it for a while before they saw the 3D, but there are individuals who could see the effect from 20 feet away.

It was stupendous.

Add that monitor to a 3D display and it would be fantastic.

It sounds great. I'm ready whenever my wallet is but I'm still waiting for HDTV to be properly sorted. :D

I'm really concerned about a device to manipulate 3D space. I've seen various devices for CAD but they're not exactly intuitive. Until we have some sort of gloves, how easy can it be?
 
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