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Author Topic: Leopard is the New Vista, and It's Pissing Me Off  (Read 9458 times)

zridling

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Leopard is the New Vista, and It's Pissing Me Off
« on: November 30, 2007, 04:10:52 AM »
Oliver Rist brings us the latest crank on Leopard not being as rock-solid as Tiger. Been there, done that, although the comparison brings out some good things about Vista you may have overlooked. Leopard is the new Vista. All the way. And here are five examples.

  • Vista Similarity 1: Wait for a Service Pack — Perpetually
  • Vista Similarity 2: Needless Graphics Glitz
  • Vista Similarity 3: Pointless User Interface "Fixes"
  • Vista Similarity 4: Nuked Networking
  • Vista Similarity 5: Bundled Apps as New Features That Suck

apple-mac-os-x105-leopard.jpg

Okay, I probably had a little too much coffee this morning, but Leopard really is just one big popped balloon of disappointment. Let's get it straight, however: I'm not any more against Leopard than I am against Vista. Both of them got too much wrong. I'll close with a little tidbit for that pudgy PC guy in the Apple commercials who's so sad because his users are "downgrading" to XP. Well, maybe they are — I know I did. But I'm writing this on an XP workstation right now because my Mac is busy reinstalling Tiger. Leopard can keep its glitzy crash-prone spots. I'll stick with the OS that really "just works" — for now.

zridling

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Re: Leopard is the New Vista, and It's Pissing Me Off
« Reply #1 on: November 30, 2007, 04:12:40 AM »
Are big operating systems reaching exponential levels of complexity? I'm beginning to wonder.

justice

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Re: Leopard is the New Vista, and It's Pissing Me Off
« Reply #2 on: November 30, 2007, 04:18:01 AM »
Any article that starts the way that one (2 sentences) does is not journalism, and that on pcmag.com. Between that and the sidebar enty "social networking stinks", they must be needing some extra sales at the moment but mudthrowing like that. No thanks Oliver Ristard

MrCrispy

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Re: Leopard is the New Vista, and It's Pissing Me Off
« Reply #3 on: November 30, 2007, 04:33:54 AM »
Microsoft has great technology, bad UI and user experience, and tries to be everything to everyone, as a result they end up being beige.

Apple has so-so technology, absolutely fantastic user focused design and marketing, and only caters to those who buy into the the Mac cult and Steve Jobs RDF, and thus they have 'teh shiny'.

Most people don't like beige. They might buy beige because they can't afford shiny aluminum. A lot of them realise that the beige can easily be changed in the control panel. And these days the beige comes with translucent borders. So what's better is all a bit gray!

Have I abused the color metaphor enough :)

zridling

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Re: Leopard is the New Vista, and It's Pissing Me Off
« Reply #4 on: November 30, 2007, 05:13:21 AM »
Like Windows' users, when Apple fails its flock, they revolt. Many of them are tired of being early adopters, feeling shortchanged lately.

nontroppo

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Re: Leopard is the New Vista, and It's Pissing Me Off
« Reply #5 on: November 30, 2007, 07:23:52 AM »
Crashing: Leopard is as stable as Tiger here (my sample is smaller than his, two weeks and a bit). Number of crashes requiring reboot since my switch nearly a year ago: 1 (in Tiger, probably caused by Parallels as other users reported the same issue with that beta build). I don't have a meta-analysis study of crash frequency of Tiger vs. Leopard, but neither does he. it is a rant so I don't think he is claiming objectivity.

Similarity 1: it is common OS-agnostic advice to not be an early adopter, it is hardly something unique to Vista. Yup, the move files across drives bug should have been fixed before 10.5.0. ever surfaced, but the fix at least came quickly. Ideally bugs should not exist in any OS. Tiger also had "issues" when it was 10.4.0, requiring several bug fixes to get more stable. To claim that Leopard is now like Vista, but Tiger was different is revisionist ranting.

Similarity 2: OS X has shipped with transparency effects since 10.0.0. This is a non-similarity, and weak rant material (note the utter lack of sharp comedic wording here).

Similarity 3: Apple really pissed off a lot of users with the change of the Dock and the opacity of the menu bar. Reflections in the Dock actually do have solid perceptual benefits (symmetry detection aids visual search), but the blue lights to indicate an open app really are too low contrast. The old arrow was neither ideal (arrows indicate toggle state normally, so the metaphor is misconstrued). This was fixable a few days after Leopard came out via changes to preferences. But the depth of antagonism of such small changes was pretty spectacular on forums, and a chunk of that really was "This looks different I don't like it". Nevertheless, Apple would have saved a lot of bad blood by having a UI checkbox:

[ ] Old dock style.

But the change from Tiger->Leopard is pretty minor overall visually (note Leopard got slammd elsewhere for not being radical enough!), and the largest valid criticism is 1 PNG image whose contrast is reduced. This is not the case about XP->Vista. I must iterate also that Leopard draws to screen as fast/faster on the same hardware as Tiger (including old hardware). This *really* is not the case for Vista at all. Personally? I like the new dock, but have simply edited the offending PNG image to enhance its contrast and change the colour.

Similarity 4: Windows networking sucks irrespective of OS! Machines appear or disappear on Network neighbourhood depending on the menstrual cycle of humpback whales as far as I can tell. From Tiger->Leopard, I've lost one named machine, but gained another on our work network (a draw). I gave up long time ago looking for named shares (in XP pre-switch) and have used IP addresses since, that way networking works identically on XP, Leopard and Tiger. What that has to do with Vista I'm not sure.

Similarity 5: Haven't used Time Machine, I'm personally happy using bootable clones. The fact they don't do block-level is the major technical limitation (probably they hoped to use ZFS for this then hit roadblocks). I think apple pulled the network sharing at the last minute (as it was advertised then just vanished). Apple could have delayed the whole OS until whatever bugs got worked out, and then pundits would have cried how "Leopard is the new Vista". Irony huh? But as Darwin points out, comedic gold was mined best for this similarity so I like this one best!

Leopard == Vista? Nope. Apple should have properly described the application firewall on release (stopping the  confused Heise report coming out), and should have found the data loss issue in testing. They should have not underestimated how many people would have moaned that the dock looks different (even if a block of it was really just aesthetic subjective conservatism). They absolutely should have tested with logitech drivers (which had old versions of a a heavily-discouraged kernel hack) to stop the upgrade freezes wrongly linked to the BSoD. There are serious issues that have surfaced that need quick fixes still (wireless is flaky in 10.5.1 and 10.4.11 for some users). I'm pretty happy to see Apple get slammed, but this rant wastes energy on making comparisons that don't really fit.
FARR Wishes: Performance TweaksTask ControlAdaptive History
[url=http://opera.com/]
« Last Edit: November 30, 2007, 07:27:21 AM by nontroppo »

nontroppo

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Re: Leopard is the New Vista, and It's Pissing Me Off
« Reply #6 on: November 30, 2007, 07:37:53 AM »
Are big operating systems reaching exponential levels of complexity? I'm beginning to wonder.

This is a fascinating point I've oft discussed. Being a brain scientist, complexity and non-linearity is a given for my system of study. I wonder what software engineers can do to model system complexity to predict where weak points and non-linearities will appear? Imagine a testing framework in which random permutation in a large-scale virtual machine tested every concievable conjunction of possibilities. Legions of non-linear virtual users would download software in all manners of ways, surf malware sites, plug peripherals in and out, turn off machines at the wrong time...
FARR Wishes: Performance TweaksTask ControlAdaptive History
[url=http://opera.com/]

nontroppo

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Re: Leopard is the New Vista, and It's Pissing Me Off
« Reply #7 on: November 30, 2007, 11:44:07 AM »
Oliver Rist wrote in August (before Leopard, emphasis mine):

Quote
But Apple users ... make a big point out of how OS X and its applications "simply work" and "never crash." Sorry, but that's crap. Not only have I crashed both Mac apps and OS X, I've watched when Venezia did it. On the crash issue, the question isn't whether it can crash; the question is whether it crashes more often than Windows. ... I've crashed more Vista apps than Apple apps, no doubt. But post-shrink Vista has locked up on me a grand total of once in six months, while OS X has died on me twice
http://www.infoworld...-35OPenterwin_1.html

Yet in his rant 3 months later:

Quote
Let's see, Tiger crashed—oh yeah, NEVER. Ten months and I'm installing everything from production-level Office for the Mac 2004 to 0.x releases of VLC, Seashore, and Ecto—even betas of Firefox and Parallels. Whatever my nerdy little heart desires. I've had those early apps crash, but Tiger never faltered.


Hmm, does it smell as if his narrative depends on what his argument is?
FARR Wishes: Performance TweaksTask ControlAdaptive History
[url=http://opera.com/]
« Last Edit: November 30, 2007, 11:50:04 AM by nontroppo »

Darwin

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Re: Leopard is the New Vista, and It's Pissing Me Off
« Reply #8 on: November 30, 2007, 11:50:42 AM »
Heh, heh, nice bit of detective work, nontroppo  :Thmbsup: Anyone else watch the video rant as well?
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

Ralf Maximus

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Re: Leopard is the New Vista, and It's Pissing Me Off
« Reply #9 on: November 30, 2007, 12:28:41 PM »
Truly, if "how often you crash" is THE golden measure for operating systems, then Unix wins hands down.  I mean, geez... if it crashed every day, that'd be something to bitch about.  But twice a year?

Personally I accept the fact that computers are complicated (and getting moreso) all the time, so the occasional crash is expected.  It's all designed and maintained by humans.

My point: jumping up and down about this metric as if it's the only one is kind of silly.  Focusing on value, usability, performance... those are all more meaningful to me.

nontroppo

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Re: Leopard is the New Vista, and It's Pissing Me Off
« Reply #10 on: December 02, 2007, 08:45:00 AM »
Quote
Leopard the new Vista? No, but it's not manna, either
http://blogs.cnet.co...05_1-9826744-16.html

His rant is probably closer to my experience, there is more justification to say Leopard is too similar to Tiger than anything else. I still don't really fit in that boat either though, as Quicklook, Spaces, Spotlight refinements and the performance boost are clear tangible benefits.

Talking about the performance boost, I think I now know why. Leopard is using LLVM, a low level VM to compile OpenGL optimisations for older hardware and integrated graphics solutions (i.e. this technology makes older machines work better, has little effect on top-end hardware). This is interesting stuff, and possibly a critical future technology Apple will be using instead of traditional compilers like GCC:

http://arstechnica.c...s-x-10-5.ars/11#llvm
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DJMusic

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Re: Leopard is the New Vista, and It's Pissing Me Off
« Reply #11 on: December 25, 2007, 04:00:13 AM »
I don't think you can compare Vista and Leopard, because Leopard is so different. Sure it has some bugs (note: I don't have Leopard) but all OS's have bugs in it. When XP came out, it had several bugs. When Tiger came out, it had several bugs. When Windows 1.0 came out, it had bugs. Even programs like MCAfee have bugs in the initial version. Bugs are very normal because there is hardly any program without bugs. Just wait til' a SP comes out and you'll see a lot of improvement. After SP 2 for XP came out, it was really good. After Tiger 10.4.1 came out, it was much better than 10.4, right?

But still, you can't compare them because Vista is totally different than Leopard. I mean: how do you control Leopard? Not the same way as Vista, right? Because Vista doesn't work the same as Leopard ;)

f0dder

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Re: Leopard is the New Vista, and It's Pissing Me Off
« Reply #12 on: December 25, 2007, 08:20:23 AM »
Similarity 4: Windows networking sucks irrespective of OS! Machines appear or disappear on Network neighbourhood depending on the menstrual cycle of humpback whales as far as I can tell. From Tiger->Leopard, I've lost one named machine, but gained another on our work network (a draw). I gave up long time ago looking for named shares (in XP pre-switch) and have used IP addresses since, that way networking works identically on XP, Leopard and Tiger. What that has to do with Vista I'm not sure.

Is that using windows "peer-to-peer" networking, or with a proper domain controller?
- carpe noctem

nontroppo

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Re: Leopard is the New Vista, and It's Pissing Me Off
« Reply #13 on: December 26, 2007, 05:27:29 AM »
Our department network uses peer-to-peer IIUC. Our peer-to-peer Apple network works flawlessly on the same cable (AFP or bonjour-based). We now actually wish we could use Bonjour for windows networking too so machines didn't keep popping in and out as they please (we currently resort to sharing docs via an FTP server as windows networking is so unreliable)...
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f0dder

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Re: Leopard is the New Vista, and It's Pissing Me Off
« Reply #14 on: December 26, 2007, 07:47:18 AM »
Windows peer-to-peer networking never worked really well, and the SMB/CIFS protocol used isn't the best in the world (you'll realize that, with disappointment, as soon as you move to gigabit networking). But having a domain controller does help a lot, and perhaps having an always-on machine with a higher browse master priority might help (you could set up SAMBA if you have an always-on linux server at the company).

Anyway, if you're sharing stuff, it's best to do it on a central machine anyway, instead of relying on individual client machines to be online when a document is necessary :)
- carpe noctem

zridling

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Re: Leopard is the New Vista, and It's Pissing Me Off
« Reply #15 on: December 26, 2007, 02:22:54 PM »
Good detective work indeed, nontroppo. I respect columnists who change their mind on an application or OS and give it a second look — even if their second look confirms their feeling of "meh." But I read a lot of "audience-tailored" writing throughout 2007. This is apparently quite common to several of the bloggers at ZDnet who've been caught by their own words.

nontroppo

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Re: Leopard is the New Vista, and It's Pissing Me Off
« Reply #16 on: December 27, 2007, 10:28:50 AM »
But click rates are higher for controversial blog posts and thus they bring in more $$$...

Changing your mind is one thing, but changing your evidence is another  ;)
FARR Wishes: Performance TweaksTask ControlAdaptive History
[url=http://opera.com/]