Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 15th Jul 2009 21:38 UTC
OSNews, Generic OSes It's time for another "OSNews asks" item. This time, I want to focus on something that I've been wanting to talk about with you all before, but never found the time for. The question is simple: which feature(s) from other operating systems would you like to see in your own main operating system?
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Comment by Kroc
by Kroc on Wed 15th Jul 2009 21:50 UTC
Kroc
Member since:
2005-11-10

I use OS X as my primary OS.
Things I would like to see:

• OpenSolaris’ Time Slider (ZFS snapshots). Time Machine is just too slow over the air, and the one folder-one view blinkers on Time Machine make it less effective. Also the detatched UI is just outright odd. Having to click a dock item, or menubar item to access Time Machine for iPhoto / Mail.app / &c. is so odd I more often than not forget that the functionality is even there.

• RISC OS’ save panel. Instead of a file picker, it presents you a proxy icon of your file, and you drag it to where in the file system you want your file to be. Totally magical and elegant.

• Windows’ Task Manager. When the system locks up, there’s just nothing as low-level as Ctrl+Alt+Del in Mac OS X. There’s Cmd+Opt+Escape, but to be honest it has never once worked when OS X has locked up badly on me.

• Amiga’s shutdown. Power button, done.

• BeOS’ do-it-with-meta approach to filing. iTunes DB die die die! All of that should be done entirely at the filesystem level.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Comment by Kroc
by alexandru_lz on Wed 15th Jul 2009 22:10 in reply to "Comment by Kroc"
alexandru_lz Member since:
2007-02-11

If you can live with putting your computer to sleep, I think that's already around. I use this with my Mac Mini -- the power button simply puts it to sleep and it's more convenient for me, instant-on, no boot times and the computer is like I've left it. It also allows me to bitch about the output of the uptime command.

What I do miss from OS X is a unified package manager. The problems are not just in updating applications; Gentoo's portage and FreeBSD's ports collection are a great way for me to keep all the libraries I'm working with up to date. Right now I have to rely on a bunch of scripts I've hacked by myself to download the latest versions and compile them, which feels rather shaky and requires some intervention from me.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: Comment by Kroc
by phoenix on Thu 16th Jul 2009 15:31 in reply to "RE: Comment by Kroc"
phoenix Member since:
2005-07-11

What I do miss from OS X is a unified package manager. The problems are not just in updating applications; Gentoo's portage and FreeBSD's ports collection are a great way for me to keep all the libraries I'm working with up to date. Right now I have to rely on a bunch of scripts I've hacked by myself to download the latest versions and compile them, which feels rather shaky and requires some intervention from me.


Are you manually compiling Unix apps? Or open-source OS X apps?

There's a couple of different ports tree available for MacOS X (fink, macports, I think darwinports, pkgsrc). Why aren't you using those?

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: Comment by Kroc
by bralkein on Wed 15th Jul 2009 22:57 in reply to "Comment by Kroc"
bralkein Member since:
2006-12-20

• Windows’ Task Manager. When the system locks up, there’s just nothing as low-level as Ctrl+Alt+Del in Mac OS X. There’s Cmd+Opt+Escape, but to be honest it has never once worked when OS X has locked up badly on me.


I love on KDE that xkill is by default bound to ctrl-alt-esc. When a program is misbehaving, press that magic combo and the cursor turns into a skull and crossbones. Click the window which is being bad and BAM! it dies instantly, with none of the waiting around like on Windows!

Okay so it doesn't work on console apps, but for that you can just do run command and killall -9 foo.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: Comment by Kroc
by Wowbagger on Thu 16th Jul 2009 07:15 in reply to "RE: Comment by Kroc"
Wowbagger Member since:
2005-07-06

More than that I'd love to have a "restart X" or in OS X's case a "restart Quartz" keyboard shortcut (as you have with X11 or Xorg) to simply kill the GUI and restart it.

Whenever OS X locks up on me (rarely enough, though) it's always the GUI only the underlying system keeps on running nicely.

Sometimes I can login via ssh and kill the GUI from there so it'll log me out and go back to the login window, but I don't have ssh remote login enabled all the time on my box.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: Comment by Kroc
by google_ninja on Thu 16th Jul 2009 12:54 in reply to "RE: Comment by Kroc"
google_ninja Member since:
2006-02-05

The waiting time in windows is because it tries to shut it down gracefully first, so if the process has any cleanup it is able to do it. If you don't like/want the timeout, killing it from the process tab instead of the applications tab will not wait.

Also, the equivilent to killall on the commandline is taskkill /F /T /IM <executable name>. taskkill is sort of like kill and killall in one app, which is why you have to specify all those flags to tell it what exactly you want to do.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE: Comment by Kroc
by phoenix on Thu 16th Jul 2009 15:34 in reply to "Comment by Kroc"
phoenix Member since:
2005-07-11

I use OS X as my primary OS.
Things I would like to see:

• OpenSolaris’ Time Slider (ZFS snapshots). Time Machine is just too slow over the air, and the one folder-one view blinkers on Time Machine make it less effective. Also the detatched UI is just outright odd. Having to click a dock item, or menubar item to access Time Machine for iPhoto / Mail.app / &c. is so odd I more often than not forget that the functionality is even there.


Having something like this available for all the OSes that support ZFS would be nice. Especially if it was incorporated into more than just Nautilus.

ZFS and Time Machine seem like they were made for each other. It's strange that they haven't been melded together yet.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: Comment by Kroc
by mlankton on Thu 16th Jul 2009 16:35 in reply to "Comment by Kroc"
mlankton Member since:
2009-06-11

Re.: OSX having nothing that functions as well as Windows Task Manager:

Nonsense. Use top from a terminal.

Edited 2009-07-16 16:38 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 0

RE: Comment by Kroc
by sumone on Sat 18th Jul 2009 18:47 in reply to "Comment by Kroc"
sumone Member since:
2007-02-11

I could trade any other app for OS X's Automator.

I use Windows and something as easy to use as Automator for Windows but based on PowerShell is sorely needed! By all aspects (completeness, ease of scripting, time saving age of Web 2.0, GUI power), this is way overdue, since Apple already has it for quite some time now.

Reply Parent Score: 1