Chilstrom's Profile

  • Dec 21, 2007
  • 5
  • 0

Latest comments made by: Chilstrom

  • The Finder, like some other OS X apps such as Mail, Transmit, Safari and FireFox, creates new windows the same size as the last sized window. I consider this a feature when a program respects my window sizing preference. There is a logic to how spring loaded folders work in List and Cover Flow views, as it is clearer to the user that you can escape the drop by moving outside the target folder window. This is equally true in icon view (by dragging the item outside the window), but it’s less obvious. Interesting idea about Cover Flow being a mode of the other views, though the current implementation seems a simpler solution. The path bar is more then just a path view and navigation aid. You can also drop an object on any folder in the path to move or copy it there. Tiger nicely groups items by type, but you can do the same in a Finder window by clicking the + button and choosing the file type you want to focus on. Arguably, the unique Spotlight window in Tiger is harder to grasp, as you lose the familiarity of the Finder interface that you gain in Leopard. Tiger is weird in that there are three Spotlight interfaces. At least Leopard cuts it down to just two. Unlike “Copy”, “Cut” is a destructive operation that is extremely prone to causing data loss. I suspect that Apple has rejected implementing cut for that reason. I’ll have to experiment with my XP machine to see what happens to a cut file when I perform another edit action which overwrites the previous action. Multiple undo?
    Chilstrom had this to say on Dec 21, 2007 Posts: 5
  • As with Arnie's cyborg, Automator is spelled with an "or" not "er." Mail is what I use for my modest email needs, so I'm looking forward to the many enhancements in that tool. Smart Folders, particularly, seem more appealing to me than using rules to route messages to folders.
    Chilstrom had this to say on Apr 27, 2005 Posts: 5
    Anticipating Tiger
  • I'm a big fan of Panther too, though I disagree with many points in this article. My biggest objection with the Finder isn't stability, but rather that it's not all that proficient at finding things, hence your advocacy of QuickSilver as a superior file finder. Between Smart Folders and Spotlight enhanced search in the Finder, we finally have a Finder with an elegant search capability. I wouldn't equate Spotlight with Quicksilver at all. There are several major innovations in Tiger around search. Full content and metadata indexing on the fly is big. Tiger does much more with metadata than Panther. When someone sends you an attachment (in Mail at least), metadata is attached to the file, including the sender's name. We have a whole new metadata type for the time a file was last viewed or opened. And Spotlight opens future possibilities of a GPS equipped laptop that would note exactly where you were when you read or created a file. Spotlight is like nothing else currently on any other platform. It's not just a little search icon in the upper right corner, it's the underpinnings of making the whole mac experience more user friendly. Heck, even Keychain Access in Tiger has a search field added to it. And, any developer can add Spotlight functionality to their email client, news reader or whatever. Including RSS in Safari is totally logical. The whole point of an RSS reader is to lead you to articles you want to read in a browser. To be at all adequate, this means including the browser in the reader or visa versa. I believe that Safari RSS will turn a whole new generation of users onto RSS, and it looks to be beautifully integrated in the browser. Dedicated news readers provide their own advantages, which will secure their place in the market. Mail is almost certainly the most dramatically improved application in Tiger. The entire (and anemic) search engine in Mail has been yanked out and replaced by Spotlight. Search in Mail (via Smart Folders) now offers all the search criteria in Mail rules. There are lots of nips and tucks in good places, and as for Panther Mail crashing a lot, maybe for you, but it's very very stable for me. Maybe it's all those Konfabulator widgets you're running :-) I've been a regular user of Mail because it was "enough" for my needs, but with Tiger, I can be unapologetic about my choice of email software. I'm not as ga ga about Dashboard as some (nor interested in the Konfabulator/Dashboard debate) but I would note that the underlying technology is quite different despite the superficial similarity. Dashboard widgets are significantly less resource intensive than their Konfabulator cousins. You failed to mention Automator, which is pretty geeky, but geeky cool. Automator isn't just Applescript for the masses, it's the Unix command line for the masses. What makes the command line so powerful is that you can take a file, have a little Unix application do some work on that, pipeline the result off to another application and so on. The pipe in the Automator icon's claws is a tribute to its command line heritage. I predict that we'll see a flurry of great (and free) Automator actions that could change the way we use our Macs.
    Chilstrom had this to say on Apr 20, 2005 Posts: 5
    Pretty Pleased with Panther
  • It is ironic that on the day that Apple unveils Dashboard the developer of Watson announced that the product has been sold and development will cease on the program. I'm a regular user of Watson and I am sad to see that groundbreaking program retiring too soon. At the same time, I'm glad that Apple "borrowed" concepts from Watson and incorporated them in Sherlock 3. Sherlock is a much more useful utility and now all OS X users can take advantage of the innovations first introduced in Watson. I have no idea what proportion of OS X users own Konfabulator, but I doubt it is even 10%, so if the idea has merit, incorporating it into the OS is the best way of increasing adoption. What is at issue is Apple's strategy of making no effort to license the work of others, but instead recreating very similar functionalities in core OS X applications. Rather than increasing goodwill amongst the Apple developer community by acknowledging the contributions of others through the highest compliment of purchasing a technology, there is a serious undermining of developer trust and good faith through this aggressive strategy of acquiring the ideas of others and calling them your own. Others have pointed out that the developers of Konfabulator didn't invent the concept of Desk Accessories or widgets, and certainly Watson wasn't the first program to retrieve and present data from web sources. Yet Apple's own implementation of these same concepts bears such a striking resemblance to both products as to be nearly indistinguishable from these prior works. This is an ethical issue, more than a legal quibble of what is protected by copyright, and I come down firmly on the side of saying that Apple's behavior here really stinks. While I appreciate Apple's obligation to its stockholders and its users, it also has a contract of trust to maintain with its developer community and that contract is looking rather hollow at the moment. Perhaps most sad is that the developers at WWDC applauded Dashboard rather than booing it off the stage. There is plenty of shame to go around. Undoubtedly having Dashboard as part of the core OS is preferable to its being a third party product. This is a win for users, but while we may benefit from the blatant copying of the work of Mac developers, we do so at the expense of the emotional suffering and the financial harm caused to others. The world of business is often cruel and exploitive and it will remain so as long as we consumers tolerate unethical behavior simply because we too benefit from the screwing over of the little guy by big corporations.
    Chilstrom had this to say on Jun 30, 2004 Posts: 5
    Apple: Innovate Doesn't Mean Stealing
  • The point of Spotlight is not to eliminate the usefulness of search in individual applications but to supplement it with a global search capacity that incorporates data from disparate sources. As you know in your web work, a project can easily have parts generated in many applications, and some times you just need to bring up everything; files, correspondence, invoices, etc. to find the pieces across different applications for resolving an issue about a particular project. While expert users, such as yourself, may be able to keep track of whether the desired information is in an email, a Word file, or a Quark document, believe me the average user often needs all the help they can get to track things down. Microsoft and Apple are both investing considerable energy in this area because it is a major usability issue on every platform. The key for application developers is to expose as much "free" metadata to Spotlight as possible so that "fuzzy" searches may be made such as finding all Photoshop files with five or more Adjustment layers, or Illustrator documents with objects colored in Pantone 239 or iMovie projects that utilize a checkerboard transition. While these may seem like weird queries, any metadata about a file is potentially valuable, especially for graphic files where text may be absent or minimal. My dream file system is what I call the "big bucket" where everything gets dumped. No folders, no file hierarchy, no endless hours of organization, and a powerful search tool that can find anything everywhere. The Mac originally borrowed the metaphor of files and folders because of its real world familiarity, but the metaphor breaks down badly when information is stored across applications in multiple and unrelated locations. Spotlight transcends the limitations of the Finder and utilizes a simple search approach familiar to most folks who have used a computer. It's a very, very good thing.
    Chilstrom had this to say on Jun 30, 2004 Posts: 5
    Is Spotlight actually Tunnelvision?