Tog's OS X Panther Review

Discussion in 'Mac OS X 10.3 (Panther) Discussion' started by jxyama, Jan 14, 2004.

  1. jxyama macrumors 68040


    Apr 3, 2003
    as always, excellent observations from Tog, this time on OS X.

    it's slashdotted and kinda slow right now, but worth a read.
  2. Westside guy macrumors 603

    Westside guy

    Oct 15, 2003
    The soggy side of the Pacific NW
  3. ShadowHunter macrumors regular

    Sep 27, 2003
    His dock arguments are kinda silly and overly critical. Many of his complaints are easily and quickly changed in system options. The others might be genuine complaints depending on the user, but it's still lightyears ahead of any other program manager available.
  4. Duff-Man macrumors 68030


    Dec 26, 2002
    Albuquerque, NM
    Duff-Man says......I don't know why some people take this guys *opinion* as if it is some kind of gospel. His anti-dock rants have just gotten a bit old and tired.....oh yeah!
  5. virividox macrumors 601


    Aug 19, 2003
    Manila - Nottingham - Philadelphia - Santa Barbar
    hehe i guess thats just his deal, maybe he had a horrible experience as a child witha dock hes trying to repress
  6. jelwell macrumors member

    Jan 31, 2003

    Let me just nit pick a little:
    DONE! It's called "Secure Empty Trash" however it's in the Finder menu rather than in the context menu for Trash, for no good reason.

    sounds like the app he installed purposefully hid it. Or something did. I don't recall having to open that chrome.

    I'm sorry, System 9.0 blew even if you "fully decked [it] out". One poorly written app, that you needed - like perl - and you were in cooperative multitasking hell.

    Except that you got rid of ALL the chrome which cut out all sorts of functionality, like quick access to common locations. Don't get me wrong though, I'm not certain that functionality was needed anyways though. It's true he mentioned that there was too much chrome and not enough car, but just the same you did lose functionality.

    Someone please explain this header and the following paragraph to me, "I have met the enemy, and he is us—Pogo". Is he saying that the mouse should be developed for just as much as the keyboard? Is he trying to rationalize why he thinks his beloved method of using finder isn't receiving enough attention?

    Not to criticize, but tell him to turn on the Debug menu item. Import is there, but not export. My guess is import doesn't exist in Safari normally because they figured .mac syncing would solve any importation issues much more smoothly and prevent users from screwing up their bookmarks. *shrug* I didn't say it was a good plan.

    Windows does this because it has more frequent issues that need to be fixed, yes? Also, I like that I control when and how updates get downloaded. But yeah, pause throwing away partial downloads is bad.

    No comment on the whole dock opinion piece, except to say that it could indeed use some improvements. And YES it is a selling point. Everyone I know goes, oooOOohhh when they see it. But they do that for Expose too, so there are middle grounds between fireworks and usefulness.

    Let me finish by saying that his opinion pieces was a good set of reads, so that no one thinks I'm totally riding the guy.
  7. true777 macrumors 6502a


    Dec 30, 2000
    California, Austria, Arkansas
    I have to say, I agree with Tog for the most part, especially with his valid comments about the dock. This is not about a gut dislike feeling, it's about violating established design principles that make sense. My feeling is that OS X has done some similarly unfortunate things to Mac users as we've complained MS has done to Windows users (though fortunately on a MUCH smaller scale): Make users accept/even defend a usable, but far from ideal interface just because it is "good enough".

    Yes, Mac OS X is great for the most part, no question. But that's not to say that people shouldn't criticize it for all that it's NOT, and suggest improvements (it is still lacking in many aspects in a big way, IMHO). Apple has a wonderful usability team, and I think they're capable of making it much better than its current incarnation, but are now "stuck" in the current iteration because it's been hyped so much by Apple.

    The truth is that creating a new operating system is an immense task even for the brightest and most talented minds around, especially with Apple's high standards and the public's expectations from a company like Apple (sure, NEXT etc., but doing a Mac OS really is a different beast). So obviously, lots of unforeseeable things creep up, many little (and big) mistakes are made, etc., even by the best.

    But to display truly superior, user-focused, best-of-class design practices (as compared to those of a company like Microsoft), Apple should constantly question its own design from the bottom up - not top down - and fix the things that are sub-ideal, even if they are big issues, rather than sticking with them come hell or high water.

    Tog's comments are valid from a person who knows all about interface design best practices. Rather than snobbishly putting them aside, I think Apple should take them seriously and either confirm or disprove the issues brought up by means of large-scale, scientific user research and usability testing - something that - surprisingly - is not a big part of Apple's interface design efforts.
  8. movabi macrumors member

    Jul 24, 2002
    Iowa City, IA
    the finder...

    I noticed he didn't say too much about the finder except the look being way too big. I thought he might talk about its performance. I don't have a g5 so i don't know how the panther finder behaves on it, but on my dual 1gig its like it can only do a few things at a time. copying large amounts of files causes it to stall. Anyone else have this problem? Opening large directories brings up the ball for minutes.
  9. snickelfritz macrumors 65816


    Oct 24, 2003
    Tucson AZ
    I agree with his assessment of the dock, and recommendation for Dragthing.
    It is possible with some creative configuring of Dragthing, to create "Expose-like" dock behaviors.
  10. billyboy macrumors 65816


    Mar 15, 2003
    In my head
    Is this guy clinging to the past or what?

    I read his articles and he certainly has some valid questioning points of view. It seems he is an OS9 refugee and to his credit he seems to be trying to adopt OS X, pinpoint the weaker aspects compared to OS 9 then find a 3rd party utility to achieve a work monster. That is a good approach IMO, rather than try and retro adapt every part of OS X to OS 9. But after reading the article, it seems to me that he sort of caved in to the urge and in point of fact he is trying to retro fit Panther.

    For instance I looked at his killer apps and to be honest I could see very little desktop management that Expose or command tab couldnt handle as well as ASM (which I have but dont use since Exposé) or Windowshade. I get the feeling that he pinpointed those two utilities because they reflected what he was used to in OS9. If you compare move for move what it takes to find out which apps are open, or what it takes to access every open window on your desktop, is there really anything in it? Just different, efficient ways and at best his suggestions are basically the other side of the same Mac OS coin, except Panther's side is a lot more glamorous, the features have potential for even greater efficiency- and the features come included in the price of Panther, not extra $.

    I was most intrested in the old chestnut of the Dock because I rate it big time, and when it is set up with folders and drives, it takes some beating. Tog seemed to say as much but put in the limiter, quite fairly, that it is only good for work productivity to the point of the average emailer, surfing the net and listening to music. After that, when you go big time multi tasking and OSX is excelling, the poor old dock loses a lot of its ease of use. So, it just seemed wierd to me, that after praising it up, he abandons the concept of Apple's dock completely and plumbs for Drag Thing which, apart from residing on the side of the screen, is almost nothing like the dock in terms of form or function. Am I right in thinking it was around before OS X? I just checked my hunch, and it was suitable for Macs running 7.5.5. Nothing surprising there then with his selection.

    He obviously knows loads about the theory and practice of how we best interact with a computer, and he can probably make his mac dance ten times faster than mine, but I wont be spending any money on his suggestions. Instead I searched the internet for a forward looking version of the Apple Dock he secretly likes, and blow me, the face of 10.4 looks like it is with us already. If there is anyone out there who rates the Apple dock in principle and in looks, and would like to see it in a more flexible state, check out an app called Dock-it, conceived in the lifetime of OSX by a Mac programmer who seems to be on the same wavelength as Apple 2004-2010. The second dock I use to launch and bring up my favourite 40 apps is as clean as a whistle and it actually looks like Apple made it, which is more than can be said for the drag thing thingy at twice the price.
  11. snickelfritz macrumors 65816


    Oct 24, 2003
    Tucson AZ
    Have you actually used Dragthing 5 in Panther?
    Some of the comments you made lead me to believe you have not actually used the latest version.
  12. billyboy macrumors 65816


    Mar 15, 2003
    In my head
    Not on Panther no. I have version 5 set up on a Jaguar partition so maybe I havent seen it at its best. Dragthing is a very extensive utility but I find it does not suit my way of working. I also didnt find it that easy to set up past the first levels, (which probably tells you how simple my ideal dock has to be) and I just dont get on with the tabs and drawers idea.

    I really like OSX, I like what Apple are doing with it, so I suppose I am a bit blinkered and the style of dragthing seems like one that doesnt go with the current Apple way. I like custom folders in a hiding dock and contextual menus . As they say, your mileage may vary. :)

    I have been investigating a few dock alternatives and just tried them on merit. I have dumped them on merit too. Dock-it does it for me and more to the point of the post, I feel like I am using a native Apple dock for Panther that complements exposé, command tab and Finder.
  13. j33pd0g macrumors 6502

    Mar 20, 2003
    Central NY
    I hated the dock for two whole months. That was almost a year and a half ago. I can't live with out it. My reasoning is this: I make the dock go into hiding until I need it. And then it's like a bunch of my favorite folders and aliases appear out of no where. In OS 9 and older, I had them on my desktop. Now my desktop is empty. I only clutter it up when I'm working on a specific project, and then when I'm done I put everything away. Much more efficient.

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