Yes, I did get get a copy of Leopard on Friday. Do I like it? In short, I love it. I’m not going to go into an in depth review, I’m only going to touch on a few things.
First, data detectors are the shizzle. What are data detectors? Well, I’ll let Apple describe it:
Say you get an email invitation to dinner. What if Mail recognized the address of the restaurant and let you map directions on the web? Or let you click once to add the date to your iCal calendar? With Leopard, it does. Mail even recognizes relative dates (“let’s meet next Tuesday”) and keywords (“dinner tomorrow”), so you can act on information rather than enter it.
It is even better than sliced bread.
Secondly, I’ve had some trouble getting Time Machine set up. The reason is because I’m on a laptop so having a disk attached everywhere I go isn’t really an option. For some unknown reason (but probably due to the capabilities of the Airport) Apple yanked Time Machine backups to AirDisks at the last minute. I expect an update to the Airport firmware to bring this back. This still doesn’t solve the problem of what to do when I’m not at home. Grumble, grumble. Apple just needs to start including two internal disks with one configured as a Time Machine backup. Either that or just switch to ZFS already so we can start doing snapshots on the primary filesystem.
The firewall confuses me. I’ve turned on my firewall, but ipfw shows no rules. That means that something else is accessing the packet filter. An as yet unknown something. I’ve heard rumors (I don’t remember where) that even though ipfw doesn’t have a view of what that other thing is doing to the packet filter, if you add rules using ipfw they work. Meaning that multiple somethings can edit the packet filter and they all work. How do you debug what’s causing a problem if you can’t see the one that isn’t ipfw? I suspect that the other something is service level ACLS, or SACLS. I need to look into this more.
Ruby on Rails is part of the default installation, and is in fact a required component. w00t! Now I need to learn Rails. I already have Programming Ruby. I guess it’s time to pick up Agile Web Development with Rails. I’ve immensely enjoyed the little bit of Ruby that I’ve played with.
The new look is nice. Very nice. And although John Siracusa doesn’t like a lot of the new changes I disagree. He’s just complaining because it’s different, not because it’s inferior (which is the same thing he does with his FTTF non-sense, the three column Finder is way better than a spacial Finder). Here’s why Leopard’s UI changes are enhancements are better. First, the window theme. The dark grey for the active application is easy to see. The background applications that are a lighter grey give the same impression as greyed out menu items, that they’re inactive. Secondly, the Dock. It doesn’t warp my head with multiple perspective angles. In fact, the Dock shelf itself pretty much just fades away when I’m not looking at it. My Dock is now simply a row of icons and the Dock does it’s job perfectly by being there just enough and not too much. I played around with switching to the non-glassy dark grey transparent Dock with thick border and it was like “Dun, dun DUN! YOUR DOCK IS HERE TO SERVE YOU!!”. I’m much happier with a Dock that fung shui’s itself away when I’m not looking at it. Thirdly, the menu bar. Luckily I have two fung shui cards because I’m playing it again with the menu bar. It’s blissfully practically invisibile when I don’t need it and when I do, it’s right there. It’s not truly transparent, it’s kind of a white with about 70% transparency and a heavy blur. Yes it does look like it was drawn on there with vaseline, and it does it’s job perfectly. Fourthly the drop down menus. They’re white with about a 50%-40% transparency and an even heavier blur. Simply beautiful, and maybe it’s just the new font rendering techniques, but they are even easier to read than in Tiger. I dig the new UI. I dig it very much. Oh, and that Time Machine button wasn’t created just for Time Machine. Safari, Finder, iCal, etc. toolbars use it too.
Now for the things about the UI that aren’t quite what I had hoped for. One was the left over Aqua widgets. My iPhone has beautiful looking buttons and widgets that would blend nicely with Leopard, I thought they’d be included, since they’re already used in iTunes. I also am not fond of Mail’s capsuly buttons. I like Safari’s toolbar buttons much better. Sadly instead of fixing Mail’s buttons, those capsuls have spread to Preview (and possibly others) as well. I also freely admit the icons suck. Now, they aren’t all bad. In fact I quite like them, however the slightly differently shaded icon decorations (or Emblems for you Nautilus people) aren’t visible enough. I just look at the names, but since I’m pretty much a three column man the icons were never much help to me anyway. I’m undecided on Stacks, but I’m using the Downloads stack. The Applications and Documents stacks don’t display enough items for it to be useful, and I don’t want to look at them as a bunch of icons anyway. We’ll see if I’m using the Downloads stack by the time I’m married.
The new iChat is simply awesome. Every account gets it’s own buddy list window (as before) but now you can order them any way you like. So if you want Jabber to be your primary account, just move it to the top in your accounts list (in the preferences) and it’ll be your default window when clicking the icon. No more having to press different keyboard shortcuts to log in and out of different accounts. Cmd+L logs in/out of the frontmost account. Simple. I love it. iChat tabs co-rock my world. Infinitely better than Chax. I haven’t tried the conferencing features of iChat yet but I’m looking forward to it.
File sharing is much more powerful and at the same time simpler to use. As is screen sharing. Just click the computer in “Shared” and click the screen sharing button. Excellent. It makes my anonymous FTP post obsolete.
My hands down number one favorite feature? UNIX.