Visionary Apple approaches to Mac OS X: past, present and future

Discussion in 'macOS' started by grahamperrin, Aug 16, 2014.

  1. grahamperrin macrumors 601


    Jun 8, 2007
    Whilst this topic begins with some focus on pre-release builds of Yosemite (discussion), I expect to revisit after 10.10.x becomes outdated or legacy – so I'm posting to the broader OS X area.


    My argument

    From Yosemite, to date, I get the sense that Apple no longer has a single, clear, shared vision for OS X.

    There may be multiple visionaries, and each personal vision may be awesome, but the sum of the visions – the mash, if you like – lacks the coherence and taste to which we have become accustomed from past releases of the operating system.

    Thoughts and observations

    Mac OS, Mac OS X, OS X – all are operating systems for Mac hardware and (beneath the surface) OS X is still Mac OS X:

    sh-3.2$ sw_vers
    ProductName:	Mac OS X
    ProductVersion:	10.9.5
    BuildVersion:	13F14
    There's a sense of constancy. Appearances may change but we continue to enjoy, in Mavericks, many of the features that were added either:
    • in the Mac OS era; or
    • before Mac OS X became familiarly known as OS X.

    For many Mac users, these features are as relevant now as they were years ago. If you benefited from using proxy icons in 1998, you probably continue to benefit in Mavericks. And so on.


    In parallel with the constancy: a sense of using a visionary operating system. The product of the clear vision of one person, or a vision without ownership that is clear and shared.

    Vision that is both clear and successful

    Apple's 2000 demonstration of single window mode. The implementation was criticised by John Siracusa (discussion) and others, but as a vision it was great enough for Steve Jobs to make it part of his showcase to the world.

    Fourteen years later:
    None of that strikes me as weird. It's not single window mode by name, but it's single window mode by nature, and it's not detrimental to other modes of working. It's highly complementary.

    That's excellent realisation, by Apple, of a great and clear vision.

    Vision that is clear but ultimately unsuccessful

    The first example that comes to mind: Cocoa and the Death of Yellow Box and Rhapsody


    Yosemite is Beautiful

    Yosemite looks terrible!

    – please make appropriate use of those topics, and others.

    Suggested guidelines for discussion

    In addition to the customary rules, just three guidelines.

    Respect – for each other here, and for Apple people.

    Jobs was famously described as visionary, so it's natural to think of him in this topic, but I should avoid speculation about what Steve Jobs might think now. Speculation about the deceased will touch nerves. R.I.P..

    Many other Apple names, past and present, may come to mind. Treat these people as if they are your friends, or maybe your in-laws. If you disagree with what you think a person does, or did: aim to base your argument on the software more than on the person.


    If something about Yosemite is generally available to the public but you're unsure about the legitimacy of that thing becoming available, think twice before discussing that thing.


    OS X on Mac hardware.

    Obviously we have the potential for interaction with different operatings systems on very different hardware. If you discuss iOS here, please don't lose sight of the focus: OS X.

    Thanks …
  2. grahamperrin, Aug 16, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2014

    grahamperrin thread starter macrumors 601


    Jun 8, 2007
    Apple, past: getting things right

    (I'll edit this post, occasionally, to add links and quote from topics elsewhere.)

    Macintosh in 1984

  3. grahamperrin thread starter macrumors 601


    Jun 8, 2007
    Apple, future: speculation and more

    (I'll edit this post, occasionally, to add relevant information.)


    Speculation: development of Yosemite runs parallel to development of an Apple operating system to be licensed for use on non-Apple computers
    • not to be confused with OSx86 (Hackintosh) as it is currently defined
    – hacking, in its nicest senses, might continue – with or without license from Apple – on a foundation that is essentially licensed when not hacked.

    Visions of OS X with that possibility, in their midst, could explain the some of the similarities between:
    • popular or deprecated operating systems for non-Apple hardware; and
    • Yosemite
    – a vision of easing potential switches from Windows, and so on.

    (Apple support for running an Apple OS on third party hardware? That's not currently on my mind … speculation upon speculation.)

    Retrospective: Apple chose to make Mac OS X the default for all Mac hardware products in January 2002. In June 2002 Apple began its original Switch campaign.
  4. grahamperrin thread starter macrumors 601


    Jun 8, 2007
    Different designers

    Icons may be rationalised with not too much difficulty. Expect recovery before release.

    Some of the other changes in Yosemite clearly disrespect Apple's "timeless principles". Recovery from a poorly-principled release of the operating system will be much more difficult.
  5. grahamperrin thread starter macrumors 601


    Jun 8, 2007
    Partron22 is not the first person to express a similar concern.

    Cam West, Creative Director, Apple Inc.. I should not target that person with complaints; at a glance, there appear to be other creative directors …

    Who is Hiroki Asai, Apple's Executive Creative Director. - Quora

    – and so on.
  6. grahamperrin thread starter macrumors 601


    Jun 8, 2007
    Yosemite: a small hack later …

    "… Je suis 100 % certain que ce « naufrage » esthétique (n’ayons pas peur des mots) et les innombrables incohérences graphiques de Yosemite (mélange de « flat » et de « non flat ») sont le fruit de rivalitées entre diverses équipes chez Apple… En l’absence de Steve Jobs, personne n’a su prendre les bonnes décisions. Si, si ! Se suis certains que c’est ce qui se passe en ce moment chez Apple depuis iOS7 ! …"​


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