Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 29th Apr 2013 21:14 UTC
Mac OS X "OS X 10.9, which is internally codenamed 'Cabernet', will focus on various 'power-user' enhancements and take core features from iOS, according to our sources. Unlike operating system updates such as OS X Leopard and OS X Lion, OS X 10.9 will likely not be an overhauled approach to how the operating system feels and functions." Features for power users and features from iOS? Seems like an oxymoron. Still, if they manage to finally fix the Finder and Spaces, I'll be happy.
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I've lost all faith
by Moochman on Tue 30th Apr 2013 19:37 UTC
Moochman
Member since:
2005-07-06

I've stopped believing in Apple's ability to deliver a new OS that doesn't either seem half-baked or simultaneously break everything that used to be good. The last two OS X releases have been more or less bombs (or more accurately, Mountain Lion marginally fixed a couple of the things that were horribly wrong with Lion, but it's still much worse than Snow Leopard - unbelievably slow all around and LaunchPad still feels like a hack they wrote overnight). At the same time I've been quite unimpressed with many of the changes to iOS in the last couple of versions. They had all the time in the world to make multitasking better than anywhere else, yet they just hacked it on in a way that's simply laughable and obviously inferior compared to any other smartphone platform. And the fact that modal dialogs are the default for notifying about wireless hotspots, or in fact are anywhere to be found in a modern OS, when there are plenty of alternative notification options they can just copy from other OSes, boggles the mind.

Anyway, back to OS X: Here's a list of third-party apps I need/use to "pimp" my OS X experience and why. (Please note the why!!) If Apple had any sense they would implement these basic things first and stop this hype madness machine that they've been sucked into feeding the past few years:

1) BetterSnapTool: Lets me tile windows side-by-side just like Windows 7 "Aero snap" does. I couldn't live without it and honestly, I don't know how anyone else does either.

2) TotalFinder (or XtraFinder): I *do not* primarily use these for the tabs (are you listening Apple?). I use them because they give me back logical features I enjoy in other file managers on other platforms, such as putting folders on top, showing hidden/system files, *cutting and pasting*, auto-resizing column width, bringing back colorful icons in the sidebar, copying file path to the clipboard, and opening a Terminal window anywhere.

3) Default Folder X: It lets me right-click and take action on files/folders within Open/Save dialogs! Need I say more? It also lets me open Finder windows from within these dialogs, or transfer path from Finder to the dialog. I'd be much happier having this functionality built right into the OS, but instead I've got to settle for this proprietary kludge.

4) SecondBar: Because I want a menu bar on my second monitor. It just makes sense, no?

5) NTFS-3G (with OSX FUSE compatibility layer): I need to be able to write to external NTFS drives. I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one who wants to be able to share files larger than 4GB with my Windows-using friends.

6) Time Machine Scheduler: I don't want my Time Machine running every hour. It spins up the hard drive and distracts me with the loud noises all the time. Why isn't there a built-in way to manage how often backups are made?

7) iPhoto Library Manager: because iPhoto itself seems incapable of maintaining a non-corrupt library, even though I barely use it.

8) Enqueue: because iTunes doesn't let me play files off a network share.

9) TextWrangler: Because TextEdit lacks any sort of syntax highlighting. (Yes I could use Xcode, but it's a pain to have to open that beast when I just want a quick look at something.)

If Apple were to implement even 1/10 of these features I would be ecstatic! But I'm not holding my breath. The current short release cycles model seems decidedly slanted toward new and visible flashy features, not on adding basic functionality to features that are already there.

Edited 2013-04-30 19:46 UTC

Reply Score: 6

RE: I've lost all faith
by darknexus on Wed 1st May 2013 07:32 in reply to "I've lost all faith"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

Just want to comment on a few of these:

2) TotalFinder (or XtraFinder): I *do not* primarily use these for the tabs (are you listening Apple?). I use them because they give me back logical features I enjoy in other file managers on other platforms, such as putting folders on top, showing hidden/system files, *cutting and pasting*, auto-resizing column width, bringing back colorful icons in the sidebar, copying file path to the clipboard, and opening a Terminal window anywhere.

With you on most of these, except cut/paste. You can cut and paste in the Finder, though I'm damned if I know why Apple made it so difficult to find. You copy, then move (either hold the option key down when choosing paste from the menu, or press command+option+v). They call it move, but it's cut and paste. Of course why they even bother to *show* the cut command in the edit menu is beyond me if they aren't going to do a damn thing with it.

5) NTFS-3G (with OSX FUSE compatibility layer): I need to be able to write to external NTFS drives. I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one who wants to be able to share files larger than 4GB with my Windows-using friends.

Not to quibble, but this one isn't really Apple's doing. Microsoft is damn near unwilling to license NTFS to most companies. There have been a few over the years, but Apple's not one of them and incorporating ntfs-3g, or otherwise reverse-engineering NTFS themselves, would open them up to a potential legal minefield. As we saw with the Tomtom FAT32 incident, Microsoft is exactly the opposite of unwilling to sue over filesystem patents when the profit is high enough, and oh boy could the profit be high if they managed to sue Apple over that. Of course, ExFAT is always an option if you want to share large files equally between Mac and Windows (they both support that fully out of the box, though XP requires an update to support it) though it's not well-suited to large, non-flash media. Ms is not shy about licensing ExFAT, I suspect this is mostly to make sure ExFAT remains the standard filesystem for SDXC media. They have no similar motivation to license NTFS, and have always kept that one as close to the chest as they could.

8) Enqueue: because iTunes doesn't let me play files off a network share.

I don't understand this one. iTunes is a steaming pile of shit, but even it has always played files off a network share for me without complaint. I was using it to do just that not even an hour ago. Indeed, given that OS X mounts network shares to local directories (under /Volumes by default for the Finder) as every other UNIX does, I don't see how iTunes would even need to know if the files are remote or local. You've got me curious, can you elaborate?

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: I've lost all faith
by Moochman on Wed 1st May 2013 10:20 in reply to "RE: I've lost all faith"
Moochman Member since:
2005-07-06

You can cut and paste in the Finder, though I'm damned if I know why Apple made it so difficult to find. You copy, then move (either hold the option key down when choosing paste from the menu, or press command+option+v).

OMG, this tip alone made my day! ;) Can't wait to astound my Mac-using friends by telling them about this. ;)

Of course, ExFAT is always an option if you want to share large files equally between Mac and Windows (they both support that fully out of the box, though XP requires an update to support it) though it's not well-suited to large, non-flash media.

Another golden tip!! What is the disadvantage if I were to format a large hard drive with ExFAT?

8) Enqueue: because iTunes doesn't let me play files off a network share.
I don't understand this one. iTunes is a steaming pile of shit, but even it has always played files off a network share for me without complaint.

You are indeed correct, I stopped using it so long ago that I forgot the exact problem. The main problem as I recall is that if you absent-mindedly open iTunes without the network share connected and try to play a list of songs from the network, it starts trying to play each one and then marking each as missing. It becomes impossible to stop the process once it's started without quitting ASAP. And if I recall correctly the only way to fix the missing status afterwards is to replay or re-add all of the files. Needless to say I was not impressed by iTunes' handling of network files and was pleasantly surprised by how unproblematic Enqueue is in comparison.

Aside from that Enqueue is nicer than iTunes in many other ways - small footprint, fast, unobtrusive, full-featured yet simple, with an interface like iTunes but with all the cruft removed. It also plays FLAC and Ogg Vorbis if you're into that. The $10 price seems a little high it's true, but for anyone looking for an iTunes alternative I recommend it.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: I've lost all faith
by henderson101 on Wed 1st May 2013 09:47 in reply to "I've lost all faith"
henderson101 Member since:
2006-05-30

1) BetterSnapTool: Lets me tile windows side-by-side just like Windows 7 "Aero snap" does. I couldn't live without it and honestly, I don't know how anyone else does either.


The snap drives me mad in Windows 7! It works really poorly on dual monitors.

2) TotalFinder (or XtraFinder)


One day I might try it, but I have no issues with Finder personally. But then I didn't come to it expecting it to work like Windows/a Linux DE/BeOS.

3) Default Folder X: It lets me right-click and take action on files/folders within Open/Save dialogs!


That's actually one of the biggest security flaws in Windows. Lock down your system, restrict users access - then let them open whatever they like via the Open dialog. Yes, one can also prevent this hole - but it's amazing how frequently it isn't plugged!

4) SecondBar: Because I want a menu bar on my second monitor. It just makes sense, no?


No. Shortcuts. That and, in my workflow, the second monitor is used for more static content.

5) NTFS-3G


Just use network shares? Mounting any non native file system is icky.

6) Time Machine Scheduler


Agree

7) iPhoto Library Manager: because iPhoto itself seems incapable of maintaining a non-corrupt library, even though I barely use it.


It has been getting progressively worse.

8) Enqueue: because iTunes doesn't let me play files off a network share.


Google Music. I listen to my music at home or work with nothing more than Chrome.

9) TextWrangler


Textmate 2. Nothing less will suffice.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: I've lost all faith
by Moochman on Wed 1st May 2013 10:43 in reply to "RE: I've lost all faith"
Moochman Member since:
2005-07-06

The snap drives me mad in Windows 7! It works really poorly on dual monitors.

BetterSnapTool actually works better than Windows 7 on multiple monitors, and it's fully customizable regarding how wide you want the "snap zone" to be. By default it's very small but still big enough that it works on multiple monitors (with some precise mouse positioning). I have it set a bit wider, but not quite as wide as on Windows, and I find that to be perfect.

Btw, a free version of most of these features is available by installing BetterTouchTool and just disabling the trackpad features. ;)

2) TotalFinder (or XtraFinder)

One day I might try it, but I have no issues with Finder personally.

Since it's just a Finder extension and it's free, why not give XtraFinder a spin? It's got a lot of really nice features. And you can always uninstall it if you don't like it.

3) Default Folder X: It lets me right-click and take action on files/folders within Open/Save dialogs!

That's actually one of the biggest security flaws in Windows.

You're talking about the security of Windows' implementation, which has nil to do with how Apple might implement it. I am talking about the user experience when performing basic file operations (not including execute) - rename, copy/paste files and create folders - it's incredibly annoying to have to open a separate Finder window and browse back to the same place just to accomplish this.

@the rest of your comments, all I can say is it comes down to preferences. ;)

Reply Parent Score: 2