Linked by Eugenia Loli on Mon 17th Mar 2003 22:49 UTC
Graphics, User Interfaces So many operating systems and so many graphical desktop environments... This article is a comparison of the UI and usability of several Desktop Environments (DEs), that have been widely used, admired and reviled: Windows XP Luna, BeOS 6 (Dano/Zeta), Mac OS X Aqua and Unix's KDE and Gnome. Read on which one got our best score on our long term test and usage.
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a few things
by Satchel on Tue 18th Mar 2003 07:28 UTC

I do not work with Beos or Linux, but on the windows-OSX sides I wanted to express my humble opinion:

- On OSX, command-W closes tabs in Safari:
That is the expected behavior in most (all?) tabbed programs on OSX/OS9. On macs a tab window is considered like a regular (nested) window. command-w closes the front tab/window. command-alt-w (dont know if it is implemented in your build of safari) should close all windows/tabs. No inconsitancy here.

- Usability and performance: Frankly, multitasking appears to be much better on OSX, and for me it is the biggest usability issue with computers (I guess we all have different needs). Throw heavy computation (saturating ram, making a large use of I/O and network) at a XP/2K/NT system and you get something close to a unusable user interface, user space slows down to a crawl, and intermittently freezes. While Aqua is not the zippiest on a system without load, its responsiveness remains practically constant when heavy loads are thrown at the system.

- I find the Mac finder in column mode to offer the a better file browser experience than the windows counterparts. Simple, efficient, elegant, flexible.

- the (OSX) dock IMHO is superior to the taskbar, offering more flexibility, spatial arrangement, user configuration..

- I agree that XP/2K are more malleable and configurable, but the control panels on windows is really the weak point: not explicit, barely readable, multi hidden tabs, options, surprise pos up, inapropriate labelling, etc... The OSX system preference app is something my grandma can actually use: easy to read options, well organized and labelled buttons, text fields, icons and toggles.