Home > Mac OS X > Inside Tiger: A Look at the Finder and SystemInside Tiger: A Look at the Finder and System Eugenia Loli 2004-07-21 Mac OS X 29 CommentsThis is the third installment of our “Inside Tiger” series, covering Mac OS X Version 10.4. Check back frequently for more Tiger coverage. Click here to jump right to the images. About The Author Eugenia LoliEx-programmer, ex-editor in chief at OSNews.com, now a visual artist/filmmaker.Follow me on Twitter @EugeniaLoli 29 Comments 2004-07-21 8:47 pm Could be me, but all the buzz surrounding Tiger makes me wanna yawn, and it has on occasion. I mean, you get a few “search” tweaks in the Finder, a re-hashed Konfabulator, and that’s worth $129? Crazy cuz I’ll have to deal with people who will call on this, and let’s not forget the joy that is iPod customers:) Anywho’s, just my 2 cent. 2004-07-21 8:53 pm “you get a few “search” tweaks in the Finder, a re-hashed Konfabulator, and that’s worth $129?”Two things there, one is if you pay $129 than you didn’t look around much, and two is that there are a lot more new features than that. Don’t rip on it until you try it. 2004-07-21 9:58 pm I see the lack of “wow” in Tiger as an essentially good thing. Every other version of Mac OS X, up until now, has been sometimes radically different from the previous. How many different Finders were we given before they settled? Its now mature, and Tiger represents a highly tweaked Panther, not something radically different. I see that as good. For the 64-bitness alone I’d purchase Tiger, but for 32-bit machines I see far less reason. 2004-07-21 10:10 pm i’ll be running it on my G3s regardless. every update to OS X has had such a dramatic improvement in performance, i’m really excited to see how tiger performs on the ‘ol ibook. 2004-07-21 10:25 pm if you’ve used BeOS, you know the search almost justifies the cost. if you haven’t used BeOS then you won’t know what you’re missing until you try spotlight. file searches that return instantly without having to manually index the FS is truly a treasure to behold.we’ll see about some of the other features, but core video (or whatever its called) is going to be another awesome feature, which (hopefully) will provide some performance enhancements to the desktop.basically, its paying $129 to get a lot of the BeOS features (mail as individual files, meta-data FS, media oriented, user-centric and faster with every release) in an operating system that’s still under active development. if that’s what it takes to get back to a zen-like desktop experience, i’ll pay it. 2004-07-21 11:04 pm “if you’ve used BeOS, you know the search almost justifies the cost. if you haven’t used BeOS then you won’t know what you’re missing until you try spotlight.”I would try and have even tried BeOS, it’s like a god on this forum, but it doesn’t boot on XP. Until that happens, I won’t be trying it. Plus, Apple has BeOS people working for them, so I will be able to try Tiger and see thier influence on it. 2004-07-21 11:22 pm I was pretty skeptical about Tiger myself. I mean a search tool? Big deal. But…Speed. The WWDC revision was *faster* than Panther. Disk operations were painfully quick. Repair permissions took a tiny fraction of the time it takes in Panther. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a chance to get any actual numbers, but the difference was well beyond the “I *think* its faster” point.I’m looking forward to Tiger. I don’t know if I want to shell out $129…I’ll try to weasel it out of the boss. 2004-07-21 11:28 pm I’m really looking forward to Tiger, mostly because i decided to skip panther on my home machine, now i’ll be getting 300+ features for the 130 dollars.Spotlight will be sort of nifty to have around, likewise with dashboard, likewise with iChat and most of the other features shown off at WWDC, what has got me excited about tiger speficily are the new technologies shown off to developers, like CoreImage, CoreVideo.. all the new technologies apple is putting in for developers to come along and make really great apps with.. The Apps that require 10.4 will be what drives its adoption rate for a good number of people i imagine. 2004-07-22 1:45 am The WWDC Tiger seed is absolutely awesome, especially for Cocoa developers. Many new powerful APIs in all domains, from object persistence with core data to image processing with core image. They will still have a hard time to compete with Microsoft .Net’s object system and frameworks, but what I can tell you is that it is extremely fun to develop on Mac these days, especially on Tiger. They really have a cool object technology and toolset. Frankly, Linux and the other Unixes out there are completely out of the equation right now with their old and clunky C++ based frameworks and tools. Maybe Mono will mature into something interesting, but we are far from that right now. Maybe the other Unixes should actually license Cocoa from Apple in order to finally offer a good application framework. 2004-07-22 1:48 am I’m not trying to start an argument but, I think my screen name is all the response needed to your statement about me “trying it.” I probably “tried” it before you. Secondly, my point was merely from the average end user perspective, not those Mac OS “geeks”…….that being said, the average person is going to have a hard time finding reason to cough up $129 (THIS is the RETAIL price, I know you can get it cheaper elsewhere:) for faster searches, the ability to repair permissions faster, and other minor tweaks. From my perspective that’s what it’s about. I wasn’t “ripping” on it, just offering my opinion. If you want it, go nuts. I do not think it’s worth the retail price. All this stuff could’ve been achieved through a simple update. Hell, you can find third party apps for Panther that will do the majority of this stuff. Again though, if this floats your boat, by all means go get it. 2004-07-22 2:17 am so Apple should stop developing an OS? or should apple stop selling an OS? oh I know they should sell it for 20 dollars. 2004-07-22 3:37 am Actually, the changes to the system are much more than the minor “tweaks” you keep referring to. Spotlight is decidedly not a minor feature, and the reputed performance improvement will make Tiger attractive to many. Please be so kind as to refer me to some third party apps for Panther that can give me the functionality of Spotlight, or improve my system performance. And please explain to us how a “simple update” can add the 64-bit enhancements of Tiger. 2004-07-22 5:02 am If you can’t see the value, that’s fine. I won’t argue with you. I don’t pay for every new version of s/w either, only the ones that I think are worth it. In the Windoze world, there are people out there still on 95…There are those here who like what they see in Tiger.I think this release will actually have some very impressive features in it, but they are under the hood, and for me, that’s a long term benifit. Developers can include amazing features that Core Image/Video/Data and of course Spotlight will bring. This means that by the time Tiger comes out, there should be some really cool things going on that only Tiger will run.Should Apple have included these core technologies (some/all) into Panther? Yes and No. I guess if I were Apple, the answer would be a No 😉I guess the argument is null (nil if you use Delphi 😉 and void, so Tiger it is, and Tiger I will pay…Actually one thing I hadn’t really thought of, a lot of us Mac users may be “forced” to upgrade because software we do need will be Tiger only… For those people there is no way out I guess… But this is the case for all comercial OS’s out there… 2004-07-22 5:47 am CoreImage is going to have a big impact on the design world. It will change the way image editing applications are created, and developers like Adobe will have to grab onto the new technology quickly. The problem will be cross platform support. CoreVideo just puts Apple one more step ahead of the game. All in all these two technologies are putting an incredible amount of power into the hands of smaller developers. 2004-07-22 12:08 pm CoreImage is going to have a big impact on the design world. It will change the way image editing applications are created, and developers like Adobe will have to grab onto the new technology quickly. The problem will be cross platform support. CoreVideo just puts Apple one more step ahead of the game. All in all these two technologies are putting an incredible amount of power into the hands of smaller developers.Yes, I hope Adobe uses as well as Macromedia. I just hope if both decide to use it say in the next big update of their appilications that they have two versions, one using their old engine and one using CoreImage and CoreVideo. This way those who are running Mac OS 10.1-10.3 can still run the latest release of their appilications. Just my two cents. 2004-07-22 2:06 pm *Who said they should sell it for $20? Funny, I don’t recall saying anything like that. I said ” The majority of this stuff could be a simple update, but Apple decided not to. Simple enough answer? I never said I knew it all, that’s why Steve Jobs runs Apple and I don’t. Apple stop developing an OS? What are you talking about? Moving on…*Secondly, check around version tracker, you can find many useful search apps that generally are faster than that built into the Finder, though I personally do not recommend any. I do not consider the arrival of Spotlight to be an earth shattering moment, however that’s your opinion and I respect that.*Third, I never said anything about an update giving 64-bit capability, need I explain how stupid that sounds? Of course the exception being if you have a G5. MEANING, if you don’t have 64 bit hardware, a 64 bit OS pretty much means squat.Most end users I deal with don’t, and won’t for some time.Such was the basis of my point. You being the genius perhaps you can tell me all the 64-bit apps you plan on using when Tiger launches? O, that’s right, there’s next to NONE even close to being out. In the interest of you being extra critical I should note, a handful of apps will be coming that support 64 bits, within the next year maybe……happy?God, when will people take my opinion as just that. Thank you thavith, for actually reading my posts then responding with reason instead of the usual “I don’t agree with you, so you suck” argument. I appreciate your logic. If you (meaning anyone) wants Tiger, buy it. Hell, buy 5 billion copies.Trust me, I won’t be losing any sleep. Just saying that I do not think it is worth it AT THE TIME, no one here will change that.Understand, I’m just offering my opinion. I see I touched a nerve in here though……. 2004-07-22 3:28 pm I would try and have even tried BeOS, it’s like a god on this forum, but it doesn’t boot on XP.If you mean the BeOS 5 Personal Edition, it won’t boot if the BFS image is on an NTFS partition. Install it on FAT, there’s also a .tar.gz version of the image, and there’s BeOS DevEd and Max, which allow you to install to a real BFS partition, which i can only recommend. Get the BeOS DevEd from bebits.com, install it on a spare partition or hard drive (you only need ~500 MB), play around with it, enjoy.Sorry for being OT.Tiger: I didn’t know they are also storing e-mails as seperate files (Be style). Is this in the Tiger preview on the Apple website?And did HFS+ always have metadata support and Apple just started actually using it, or did the modify the file system? If they did, they could have also made it case sensitive. 2004-07-22 3:43 pm “Third, I never said anything about an update giving 64-bit capability, need I explain how stupid that sounds? Of course the exception being if you have a G5. MEANING, if you don’t have 64 bit hardware, a 64 bit OS pretty much means squat. “Umm…most of Apple’s hardware may very well be 64-bit by the time Tiger is released or shortyl thereafter.The iMac will go G5 in September. G4 PowerMacs are gone. As far as PowerBooks are concerned, there was an article on this site, including links to e-week and a few others that had interviews with an individual from the IBM G5 team. Guess what, the G5 Powerbook could be built and shipped today…they already prototyped it. The only problem is that it is “too-thick” for Apple’s sense of aesthetics at this time. They are apparently working rather agressively to resolve the heat issue which makes the powerbook G5 as think as evrything else on the market. We may see seomthing hit in the first half of 2005, when Tiger comes out.To further the issue of 64-bitness, Apple has already considered those without 64-bit hardware. They are using “fat binaries” to have what amounts to forked installers. If you are a software developer, when you make a product using the new Tiger developer tools, you can create apps that are 64-bit and 32-bit without altering any code. The fat binary installer taks care of the rest. So yes, those who have 64-bit G5 hardware, as they get upgrades for their software should notice marked improvements as developers wont have to do anything special to enable 64 bit support.Additionally, why do you think that Apple gave developers a copy of Tiger at the conference? Do you think it was just to be nice? No…they want to get the developers to take advantage of the new features of Tiger. Duh. By the time Tiger hits the stores, we will likely see (as has been done with other OS X releases) software from 3rd party developers that takes advantage of the new features.I do hear what you are saying about their not being much in “wow” realm as far as users are concerned. From a user standpoint, Dashboard is an awful lot like Konfabulator (though technologically they have little resemblance…that and Dashboard is very similar to a 1981 Apple product – “Desktop Accessories”). Automater seems very nice, but I am not sure how useful it will be to Joe Blow compy user.It seem as though Tiger is more of a devloper focused OS release. I don’t think that Tiger, in and of itself, will be important to users, but rather what the third party apps will be able to do with Tiger…that is something that might turn on users…third party apps with enhanced functionality for Tiger users.I do have to disagree with you on Spotlight though. I see people all the time having difficulty finding files. Perhaps you and I don’t…but then again we are more comp oriented. I actually heard requests out of people for Spotlight like functionality years ago. Spotlight is, whether you think it is good or not, adding functionality that people want. I alos don’t think you would be able to achieve this through software update. It is integrated into every part of the OS. If there is a third party app for this, it probably will not work as efficiently. Either way, if there are third party apps with the same abilities as Spotlight, fine, but Tiger is just including those abilities to combat Longhorn early on. Why not add new functionality if you are going to release an OS? Seems kinda silly not to.A lot of the reason that Apple has decided to release Tiger with Spotlight a year ahead of Longhorn was to take a jab at Micorosoft. Have you noticed the shear number of articles that were flying out with various Microsoft exec weenies talking about WinFS before the WWDC? As soon as the WWDC came along and Spotlight was shown off, now MS seems to have gone silent about WinFS. Spotlight was not just about adding functionality, it was also designed to shut MS up. 2004-07-22 4:16 pm Cool article, but I was rerferring to software designed to take advantage OF the 64-bit hardware, won’t be out for a bit, and when it does, it will be in very limited numbers. I’m well aware the hardware (for the most part) does exist, and more is to come. I work on it:). I also do not think it will be a very big splash into 64 bit apps because such a small portion of Mac owners have a G5. My apologies for the misunderstanding. 2004-07-22 4:52 pm I just don’t understand all the perpetual complaining about buying an OS for $129. It’s moronic.Seriously, think about it:1. Consider the alternative. Whether the features matter to you or not, you are getting a CHOICE of a better OS every year. Compare this with MS, where you get a major bug fix release and the promise of “we got security right this time” after 3 years.2. It’s a CHOICE. Upgrade if you want. Nobody is forcing you to do so.Personally, I think Tiger is going to be the best upgrade yet. There are a lot of underpinning changes which don’t look as cool as expose, but will fundamentally change how you use your Mac for the better. Saying, “$129 for search, so what” means you just don’t get it. Plus, I bet Tiger is going to be blazing fast given how much it is pushing to the GPU.Search will be like expose. Cool at first, then absolutely indispensable aftera week. 2004-07-22 5:28 pm HFS+ has always had some of the best support for metadata… Apple has used some of it, but not most of it.And NO, they should not make the file system case-sensitive. That is the most retarded thing for a consumer OS. This isn’t a geek’s UNIX. This is a usable and sellable consumer OS. 2004-07-22 6:03 pm And NO, they should not make the file system case-sensitive. Why not?That is the most retarded thing for a consumer OS.In your personal opinion. In fact it is a very useful feature. And while you most probably would hate it just because you know it’s there and you don’t like it for some (non-)reason, the average user or customer would’t even notice, because she/he uses the finder. It’s just a better experience on the Terminal.This isn’t a geek’s UNIX. This is a usable and sellable consumer OSWhile I – and I think most other people too – agree that Mac OS X is not very geeky, this is still just your personal opinion. You are not an instance to judge about the geekyness of an operating system.BTW, i think you implied that the BeOS is “some geek’s UNIX” just because its file system is case sensitive. Oh, you didn’t know it is? See, i already told you those who don’t need it won’t even notice.And Mac OS X is UNIX after all, therefore it would be nice to be able to run UNIX programs without having to rename files, changing configure scripts etc.ANd 4ll th0Se l33T 633Ks 4r3 n0T 4bL3 t0 wr1t3 case sensitive 4nyw4y. They only know random case with numbers mixed in. 2004-07-22 8:24 pm “In your personal opinion. In fact it is a very useful feature.”No, I think if you polled Mac users you would find the overwhelming majority support case insensitivity. It’s been shown before. It is useful to Unix users; it is confusing to everyone else.“And while you most probably would hate it just because you know it’s there and you don’t like it for some (non-)reason, the average user or customer would’t even notice, because she/he uses the finder.”It’s not a non reason. No, I wouldn’t hate it if I didn’t notice it, but I would. The average user would notice it. Why would using the finder negate that?In fact, it is there. And you can activate it. But by default it’s not enabled. YOU didn’t notice it.“While I – and I think most other people too – agree that Mac OS X is not very geeky, this is still just your personal opinion.”No, this is not personal opinion. You can get as geeky as you want to, but that doesn’t mean that Apple’s main intention, their main thrust and goals are dedicated around creating a consumer and usable OS. Are you claiming otherwise?“BTW, i think you implied that the BeOS is “some geek’s UNIX” just because its file system is case sensitive. Oh, you didn’t know it is? See, i already told you those who don’t need it won’t even notice.”I did know. I did notice. And if BeOS is not a geek OS (I think there are plenty of arguments for it being so), it is simply a DEAD OS.“And Mac OS X is UNIX after all, therefore it would be nice to be able to run UNIX programs without having to rename files, changing configure scripts etc.”And you are able to… Duh… Haven’t you noticed yet?“ANd 4ll th0Se l33T 633Ks 4r3 n0T 4bL3 t0 wr1t3 case sensitive 4nyw4y. They only know random case with numbers mixed in.”Whatever… simply retarded. Apparently you are not l33t enough to know that you can enable case-sensitivity with HFS+. My argument is based on what the default install should be… and it should DEFINITELY be insensitive. 2004-07-22 8:26 pm That should have been:“No, this is not personal opinion. You can get as geeky as you want to, but that doesn’t mean that Apple’s main intention, their main thrust and goals are NOT dedicated around creating a consumer and usable OS. Are you claiming otherwise?” 2004-07-22 9:54 pm It is useful to Unix users; it is confusing to everyone else. Okay.The average user would notice it. Why would using the finder negate that? I can’t imagine how it would be noticable (to Joe Whatever). Please enlighten me. And i think the Finder would negate that because it’s a graphical Interface. You click the File and it opens. I thought you would just notice it on the Terminal, when you enter readme.txt to get ReadMe.TXT and are surpised when it replies “no such file or directory”.In fact, it is there. And you can activate it. But by default it’s not enabled. YOU didn’t notice it. Yes – I didn’t know this. Thanks. Actually, i hardly had any chance to notice, since i don’t own a Mac yet. I only know Mac OS X because i have to play with everything non-MICROS~1. I tried to compile cdrtools on my friend’s iBook and the configure script ran into problems because of case insensitivity. Whatever, if it’s there, it’s fine – no problem having to activate it manually.You can get as geeky as you want toThat’s not really what i am planing to do with my life. but that doesn’t mean that Apple’s main intention, their main thrust and goals are dedicated around creating a consumer and usable OS.Our views seem to differ here on a far greater basis than just computers. I don’t see why the manufacturer’s intention should – theoretically – have any more impact on the nature of the user base.Are you claiming otherwise? In this particular case, no, but i could. Mac OS X is a consumer OS, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be one just because Apple says it is. Man, COBOL was meant as a serious programming language.I did know. I did notice.In the shell, right?And if BeOS is not a geek OS (I think there are plenty of arguments for it being so), it is simply a DEAD OS. That’s exactly what i just wrote about Apple. Be never intended the BeOS to be for nerds, and it is very simple to use, but judging from the user base it is quite geeky.But it is definitely not dead. Be is dead. But alone on this site there are many users running BeOS on a daily basis (i am among them) and the community is alive. Haiku is progressing and looks very promising. We have got all kinds of software (except for a decent open source office suite – the AbiWord port is unmaintained) and applications are not only maintained, but even new ones are being written. That doesn’t look very dead, does it?And you are able to… Duh… Haven’t you noticed yet? You just told me. Thanks again.Whatever… simply retarded. Apparently you are not l33t enough to know that you can enable case-sensitivity with HFS+.Well, i didn’t find it anywhere on the Web. And i have no intention whatsoever to be l33t, since the in-depth computer knowledge of these pR0-64m3rZ usually doesn’t go much further than how to make a default Windows installation a little bit more secure and where to download the newest game patches. 2004-07-22 10:20 pm “Okay.”Are Mac users primarily ordinary users or UNIX geeks? They are normal users. Duh.“I can’t imagine how it would be noticable (to Joe Whatever). Please enlighten me. And i think the Finder would negate that because it’s a graphical Interface.”Why wouldn’t it be confusing to see 2 files with the same name no matter if they are in a list, a column, or icons?Why wouldn’t it be confusing to see files starting with “Z” sorting before “a”?What about if I dump a file into a directory with the intent to overwrite it with the one being moved… but instead it just sits there becase one letter is capped?These are assinine backward practices that only a geek would love.“Actually, i hardly had any chance to notice, since i don’t own a Mac yet. I only know Mac OS X because i have to play with everything non-MICROS~1. I tried to compile cdrtools on my friend’s iBook and the configure script ran into problems because of case insensitivity.”This is exactly the problem… You have no depth of use, very little knowledge, and no perspective… You tried to treat OS X like it was Linux when it is not. If you want to try out something, learn about it. Don’t make it bend to what you expect.“Our views seem to differ here on a far greater basis than just computers. I don’t see why the manufacturer’s intention should – theoretically – have any more impact on the nature of the user base.”Of course, it should. Why would a company design a product that the userbase doesn’t want, and why should a userbase buy a product that it wants to use differently than the intention of the company producing it. You must definitely sound like a geek.But the point being: Apple is trying to make an easy, user-friendly OS… To say the average user would have no problem with case-sensitivity is just lacking basic common sense.“Mac OS X is a consumer OS, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be one just because Apple says it is.”Still don’t get it… I said it doesn’t have to be… You can geek out on it as much as you want… But you want them to be as geeky as you can imagine… Why should they do that if that’s not their goal?“In the shell, right?”Everywhere. Desktop, command line… Anywhere you access the file system.“But it is definitely not dead.”Oh, yes, it is.“That doesn’t look very dead, does it? ”Yes, it does… My greatest sympathies go out to the BeHeads becasue they just sound and look and act so pathetic.“Well, i didn’t find it anywhere on the Web. And i have no intention whatsoever to be l33t, since the in-depth computer knowledge of these pR0-64m3rZ usually doesn’t go much further than how to make a default Windows installation a little bit more secure and where to download the newest game patches.”Dude, trust me… you are a geek. A geek you apparently does very little research or self-educating, but a geek nonetheless. 2004-07-22 10:25 pm Type ” case sensitive OS X ” in GoogleResults: http://www.google.com/search?sourceid=navclient&client=REAL-tb&q=ca…Every article for 10 pages addresses it. Maybe you have bigger problems to address before you recommend how a multibillion dollar, 25-year old company should build their filesystem. 2004-07-22 11:45 pm “Cool article, but I was rerferring to software designed to take advantage OF the 64-bit hardware, won’t be out for a bit, and when it does, it will be in very limited numbers. I’m well aware the hardware (for the most part) does exist, and more is to come. I work on it:).”I think the key is that you have to start somewhere. That is what Apple is trying to do. That is why Tiger is geared more towards developers to begin with. Sure, the masses can give a crap about 64-bit processing. But we all know (those of that really understand computers anyway) that more things become possible and easier to develop with greater bits available. Thus, the release of a 64-bit verision of Mac OS X is nothing fantastic by itself – it is what will come as a result of it as a function of time. Bottom line is that they have to start somewhere, especially since the competition is trying to (though failing in some aspects) to migrate towards 64-bit processing. Apple has the hardware in place, with more to follow. The only thing that remained was the OS, something that developers and users alike complained about G5s was that they had essentially bits going to waste.I, like you, am not sure that the masses will think Tiger is a must have. But I do think what will become possible as a result of Tiger, its development tools, and the current hardware migration path to 64 bit all hitting a point of convergence (first half of 2005) says that there will be more things to come as Apple moves more into the 64 bit realm. Most people wont care about Tiger itself, just what they will be able to do with it, or what comes after it, will be what people will think is great. But in order for any of it to happen, they have to start somewhere; Tiger. 2004-07-22 11:57 pm Apple is currently sellinf about 200,000 G5s a quarter desptie massive supply constraints.That means that over a million will be in the market by the time Tiger arrives. And this is only counting XServes and PowerMacs.And the iMac will be G5-based by then as well… possibly for as long as 2 quarters or more.So this could still be only .5-2% of the overall userbase, but we may also see a PowerBook by then as well.So the entire current line of Macs (except iBooks and eMacs) will be G5s, they will have already sold 1-2 million G5-based systems, and (as Jason points out) developers can begin to exploit the new developer tools….Sounds like the 64-bit additions will in fact affect a large number of users.