Geek Panic!
July 20, 2011 10:55 AM   Subscribe

John Siracusa's (27,000 word) review of Mac OS X 10.7 Lion.

Previously.

A review of reviews: Public Beta, Cheetah, Puma, Jaguar, Panther, Tiger, Leopard, Snow Leopard.
posted by mazola (223 comments total) 22 users marked this as a favorite

 
Is it just me, or is the table of contents feature not working?
posted by Think_Long at 10:58 AM on July 20, 2011


You can also buy it for $5 for your Kindle.
posted by grouse at 10:59 AM on July 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm looking forward to downloading iTunes 10.4 (64-bit Cocoa!) when I get home, too.
posted by entropicamericana at 11:03 AM on July 20, 2011


WOW that's an extremely detailed write up.
posted by LoudMusic at 11:05 AM on July 20, 2011


Lion adds Emoji support to Mac OS X. So that happened.
posted by Horselover Phattie at 11:07 AM on July 20, 2011 [10 favorites]


SPOILER ALERT: Ur yvxrf vg.
posted by Zozo at 11:07 AM on July 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


Table of Contents doesn't work on mobile devices, in the grand tradition of second-rate webmasters putting in long and hard hours to degrade the mobile web experience. (Seriously, hash-bangs only belong at the top of script files, no good has ever come from putting them in URLs. You are not talented enough to make this work better than the web already works. Stop please.)
posted by Llama-Lime at 11:07 AM on July 20, 2011 [5 favorites]


TOC seems okay on my iPad, what's it (not) doing for everyone else?
posted by fragmede at 11:15 AM on July 20, 2011


Wow. 19 pages...[spoiler] "Even at Ars Technica, a certain percentage of readers just want to know the bottom line about a new operating system. Is this a good release? Is it worth the price and the hassle of installing it? Excluding the first few dog-slow, feature-poor releases of Mac OS X, the answer to all those questions has always been a resounding "yes." Lion continues this tradition, more than earning its $29 price with a raft of new technologies and a substantially revised interface and suite of bundled applications."

As a Mac user, that's good news.
posted by uraniumwilly at 11:16 AM on July 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


It seems nice and all but that linen shit needs to die fast.
posted by enn at 11:17 AM on July 20, 2011 [4 favorites]


TOC seems okay on my iPad, what's it (not) doing for everyone else?

It 404s. They use a completely different design for iPhone that is actually really good in general, but looks to be broken here.
posted by smackfu at 11:18 AM on July 20, 2011


tl;dr

(very impressive review)
posted by samsara at 11:18 AM on July 20, 2011


My god, 2,000 words about scroll bars alone.
posted by Fidel Cashflow at 11:18 AM on July 20, 2011 [5 favorites]


The lack of scroll bars is unnerving and silly. It's like the interface designers need to do something for every release, so they just start fucking with bits to justify their job.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:20 AM on July 20, 2011 [13 favorites]


The "Geek Panic" paragraph noted in this post's title was exactly what I pulled out to send to friends... Apple's message with this change is a simple one, but also one that the nerdly mind rebels against: "It doesn't matter if an application is running or not. You shouldn't care. Stop thinking about it." Geek panic!
posted by These Premises Are Alarmed at 11:21 AM on July 20, 2011


Christ, I just finally installed Snow Leopard. When did I get so painfully out of date with tech? (Oh right, when I stopped going to a school that issued us macs for the school year.)

So, what's new with this one? Who wants to give me the 27-word version?
posted by Eideteker at 11:21 AM on July 20, 2011


To me, the lack of scroll bars would be totally fine IF there was just some 'bottom of the page' UI indicator. Just double thickness at the bottom of the window, or something. Or the inverse. I think Android has some nasty orange bar to do this - Apple could find something more tasteful.
posted by These Premises Are Alarmed at 11:22 AM on July 20, 2011


These graphics are writing checks this interface can't cash.

Love that one.
posted by perhapses at 11:22 AM on July 20, 2011 [6 favorites]


Oooops. Their servers melted.
posted by perhapses at 11:23 AM on July 20, 2011


The server has been on-the-verge all afternoon. For me, a simple reload would usually bring it back. (Or buy the PDF...).

It's too bad Dan Benjamin wasn't able to get the rights to do the dramatic reading.
posted by These Premises Are Alarmed at 11:24 AM on July 20, 2011 [3 favorites]


What percentile is 27,000 words?
posted by Eideteker at 11:26 AM on July 20, 2011


If any one is interested, the author will be discussing the review (in depth) on Hypercritical this week.
posted by blue_beetle at 11:26 AM on July 20, 2011


Oops, forgot the link: http://5by5.tv/hypercritical
posted by blue_beetle at 11:26 AM on July 20, 2011


Lion? Whoever is naming the Ubuntu releases needs to be headhunted to Apple and paid in gold.
posted by klue at 11:27 AM on July 20, 2011 [4 favorites]


Oh my god, MY EYES THEY ARE BURNING.
posted by eyeballkid at 11:28 AM on July 20, 2011 [4 favorites]


Lion? Whoever is naming the Ubuntu releases needs to be headhunted to Apple and paid in gold.

Gods no. It'd be called Lugubrious Lion or somesuch.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 11:29 AM on July 20, 2011 [16 favorites]


Hacker News thread on Siracusa's review.
posted by gen at 11:29 AM on July 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


Oh my god, MY EYES THEY ARE BURNING.
posted by eyeballkid at 1:28 PM on July 20 [+] [!]


Ouch, must be especially painful for you!
posted by kmz at 11:29 AM on July 20, 2011 [14 favorites]


The lack of scroll bars is unnerving and silly. It's like the interface designers need to do something for every release, so they just start fucking with bits to justify their job.

Like it or not, the scroll bars are clearly part of the philosophy that Apple is following to merge the appearance and functionality of OS X and iOS, it's not just random tinkering (like the stupid chrome in Calendar and Address Book).

Lion? Whoever is naming the Ubuntu releases needs to be headhunted to Apple and paid in gold.

The last OS X release had to be named after the King of the Jungle. Given the trend, they basically had no choice.
posted by Rock Steady at 11:30 AM on July 20, 2011


It's... it's making my optical drive .... heal over.
posted by running order squabble fest at 11:31 AM on July 20, 2011 [8 favorites]


General 10.7 Lion HN thread here.
posted by gen at 11:32 AM on July 20, 2011


Like it or not, the scroll bars are clearly part of the philosophy that Apple is following to merge the appearance and functionality of OS X and iOS, it's not just random tinkering (like the stupid chrome in Calendar and Address Book).

Um, the "stupid chrome" is also "part of the philosophy that Apple is following to merge the appearance and functionality of OS X and iOS." It reflects those apps' appearances on the iPad.
posted by entropicamericana at 11:33 AM on July 20, 2011


Lion adds Emoji support to Mac OS X. So that happened.

Does this mean we can finally enable it on iOS without trying to find some app that exploits a loophole in the OS? Sure, it's silly and dumb. But sometimes that pile of poo icon is exactly what you need in a text message.
posted by Gary at 11:34 AM on July 20, 2011 [6 favorites]


I read that review earlier. Looking at some of the pictures of piles of desktops and apps and windows spraed across the screen made my head spin and hearing about four-finger swipes vs three finger vertical swipes and yikes!

The important thing is whatever works for you, but I don't really like the direction OSX is going in. After being able to configure every aspect of my UI I don't think I could go back to being told how to use my computer.

Also, NFS+ is still around?

Also also, what's up with Apple OSs and texture flavors? Brushed metal and now faux linen?
posted by fuq at 11:35 AM on July 20, 2011


I'm kinda excited about version saving. Always wanted some kind of document version control without having to roll my own.
posted by eyeballkid at 11:37 AM on July 20, 2011


Is there a single-page version?
posted by Eideteker at 11:37 AM on July 20, 2011


So, how's performance for you guys? (I'm only on page 6 right now.) As silly as some of the features are, overall, I'd like most of these features. But not at the cost of it being slower than Snow Leopard, which feels fairly screaming.
posted by ignignokt at 11:39 AM on July 20, 2011


So with the OS living in its own little partition is there any reason anymore to have a separate, pristine Admin account separate from one's everyday user account?
posted by digitalprimate at 11:39 AM on July 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


What big cat are they going to go for after lion? They have run out of the impressive cat names. 10.8: Pallas Cat. 10.9: Geoffroy's Cat. 10.10: Maine Coon.
posted by jeather at 11:39 AM on July 20, 2011 [4 favorites]


The licensing of this version of OS X seem extremely lenient:

"Putting it all together, Apple says you're allowed to run up to three copies of Lion—one real, two inside virtual machines—on every Mac that you own, all for the low, low price of $29. Not a bad deal."

Indeed.
posted by splatta at 11:39 AM on July 20, 2011


Hey, you can embiggen windows from any corner now! About time.
posted by sauril at 11:40 AM on July 20, 2011 [4 favorites]


Time to switch to canid names!
posted by Wolfdog at 11:41 AM on July 20, 2011 [4 favorites]


The lack of scroll bars is unnerving and silly. It's like the interface designers need to do something for every release, so they just start fucking with bits to justify their job.

Not their job, their Jobs. The Steve has decreed that iOS and OS X are to share interface design wherever possible. Therefore my scroll wheel shall henceforth work backwards. I am not making this up. Do not question The Steve.
posted by The Bellman at 11:42 AM on July 20, 2011


(Although... I admit, Smilodon would be an excellent parting shot.)
posted by Wolfdog at 11:42 AM on July 20, 2011


What big cat are they going to go for after lion? They have run out of the impressive cat names.

10.8: Liger
posted by jamaro at 11:43 AM on July 20, 2011 [7 favorites]


What big cat are they going to go for after lion?

The end of big cat branding likely means the end of OS X branding. Whether that means OS 11 or iOS Mac or whatever, I don't know.
posted by middleclasstool at 11:43 AM on July 20, 2011


OK, it's an awesomely detailed review, but was Siracusa being paid by the word?
posted by zarq at 11:47 AM on July 20, 2011


What big cat are they going to go for after lion? They have run out of the impressive cat names.

There's plenty. Hello Wikipedia for Family Felidae.
posted by Mister Fabulous at 11:47 AM on July 20, 2011


First error. Lion is not just at the App store. Lion will be available for purchase on a thumb drive at The Apple Store. Also people can go to an Apple store and download it there if they have a slow connection at home.
* Users without broadband access can download from an Apple Store.
* In August, Lion will be available on a USB thumb-drive for $69.
posted by Gungho at 11:48 AM on July 20, 2011


I've been getting random 404 errors at Ars Technica in Chrome all day. They seem to be having server problems.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 11:48 AM on July 20, 2011


What big cat are they going to go for after lion?

Pixie bob.
posted by COBRA! at 11:50 AM on July 20, 2011


The lack of scroll bars is unnerving and silly.

Mac user here. I haven't use a scrollbar in years. Some people/apps will continue to use and require it, but the days of actually using one to navigate a page or view should be soon coming to a close.
posted by jsavimbi at 11:51 AM on July 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


Automatic Termination is garbage collection on the application level. No more closing apps.
posted by blue_beetle at 11:52 AM on July 20, 2011


Whether that means OS 11 or iOS Mac or whatever, I don't know.

First it'll be OS XX. Then, when Steve finally loosens restrictions on content, the long-awaited OS XXX will come to fruition.
posted by kmz at 11:53 AM on July 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


I never use the scrollbar on my Macbook, and I get incensed when I'm on a Windows machine and am compelled to use scrollers. I HATE them. Good riddance.
posted by Mister_A at 11:55 AM on July 20, 2011


Mister Fabulous: "What big cat are they going to go for after lion? They have run out of the impressive cat names."

Mac OS X: Sabretooth
posted by zarq at 11:55 AM on July 20, 2011


What big cat are they going to go for after lion?

Smilodon, of course!
posted by TedW at 11:56 AM on July 20, 2011


I'm holding out for OS XII 'Feral Housecat'
posted by weezy at 11:56 AM on July 20, 2011


Missed it by that much! (/maxwellsmart)
posted by TedW at 11:57 AM on July 20, 2011


jsavimbi: " Mac user here. I haven't use a scrollbar in years. Some people/apps will continue to use and require it, but the days of actually using one to navigate a page or view should be soon coming to a close."

Man, I hope not. I've always found them helpful when doing highly zoomed-in photoediting, and can't stand working with a touchpad or magic mouse.
posted by zarq at 11:57 AM on July 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm wondering how Chrome's use of the scroll-bar to highlight found search items is going to work.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 11:57 AM on July 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


Nah, since it will be a 2012 release, it will be dubbed "Mayan Jaguar".
posted by Horselover Phattie at 11:57 AM on July 20, 2011


What big cat are they going to go for after lion? They have run out of the impressive cat names.

There's plenty. Hello Wikipedia for Family Felidae.


I swear before you all, here, now. I will buy my first Mac when OS XI Flat-Headed Cat is the operating system on it.
posted by BeerFilter at 11:57 AM on July 20, 2011 [6 favorites]


The GOOOOSE! TL; DR though. I'm sure I'll upgrade eventually, but I don't think I'm in a rush. Stupid Quicken (though I picked up MoneyDance on sale today).
posted by Admiral Haddock at 11:58 AM on July 20, 2011


First it'll be OS XX. Then, when Steve finally loosens restrictions on content, the long-awaited OS XXX will come to fruition.

You mean the SF Apple Store Goatse Attack was just a leaked preview of early R&D for a later OSX build?

That Jobs, always ahead of the game!
posted by yeloson at 11:58 AM on July 20, 2011


So with the OS living in its own little partition...

Unless I'm reading this wrong, that partition is a separate one for when the main installation is hosed.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 11:59 AM on July 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


What big cat are they going to go for after lion? They have run out of the impressive cat names.

Mustafa.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:00 PM on July 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


I like the fix for WebOS's lack of scrollbars in the browser. I get a non-dragable indicator that tells me how far down the page I am when I scroll, that then fades. The default behavior is asinine (how long is this page? Do I have time to finish this MeFi thread on my lunch or should I stop reading now and save it for later?), but I like the indicator.
posted by Eideteker at 12:00 PM on July 20, 2011


Huh. It tooks Windows Vista to drive me to a mac. This looks like it will propel me to Ubuntu or back to Windows. Well, it'll save me some money, either way.

The first thing I did once I learned my system well enough to use it was to disable as much as the automation as possible. I have a widget that allows me to manually manage my fan speed if I think things are running too hot but my mac does not.

Then again, this is all moot- I'm on one of the last 32 bit machines. So the switch to something that I'll never put on this machine is moot.

Am I the only one who really dislikes the look of iOS and thinks the moves in that direction are like viewing a three year old's candy vomit after a halloween binge?
posted by Hactar at 12:00 PM on July 20, 2011


...the long-awaited OS XXX will come to fruition.

I hear the internal codename for that one is "Operation Hot OS."
posted by griphus at 12:03 PM on July 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


I, too, share concerns about how successful grafting iOS UI elements onto the desktop will be.

On the other hand: 64-bit iTunes!
posted by mazola at 12:04 PM on July 20, 2011


There are a lot of nice things to like in Lion.

On the other hand: 64-bit iTunes!
posted by blue_beetle at 12:05 PM on July 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


64-bit iTunes!

I'm noticing a lot of people celebrating this. Can anyone explain, using the smallest words possible, what practical difference a 64-bit application will give me vs. its 32-bit equivalent?
posted by Zozo at 12:06 PM on July 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


(For that matter, 64 bits of what?)
posted by Zozo at 12:07 PM on July 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


10.8: Hobbes
posted by jimmythefish at 12:07 PM on July 20, 2011 [8 favorites]


I have a widget that allows me to manually manage my fan speed if I think things are running too hot but my mac does not.

Unless your fan sensor is broken, I promise you that your computer knows more than you about when it is "too hot."
posted by neustile at 12:07 PM on July 20, 2011 [9 favorites]


Sadly, I'll have to wait for Lion. I do some side-work for a client, and the app I have to use is Java-dependent. Unfortunately, the developer has yet to be able to get their app working in Lion. So, I'm stuck for mow.
posted by Thorzdad at 12:07 PM on July 20, 2011


The Steve has decreed that iOS and OS X are to share interface design wherever possible. Therefore my scroll wheel shall henceforth work backwards. I am not making this up. Do not question The Steve.

You can change this setting in your preferences.
posted by brain_drain at 12:07 PM on July 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


64-bit iTunes!

But I have like, 2^67 songs I want to put in my iTunes library. Not that you'd know any of them, I'm sure.
posted by kmz at 12:09 PM on July 20, 2011 [4 favorites]


Am I the only one who really dislikes the look of iOS and thinks the moves in that direction are like viewing a three year old's candy vomit after a halloween binge?

I reckon you aren't the only one, but the majority seems to be voting with their dollars in favor of candy vomit (including myself, I suppose).
posted by fusinski at 12:09 PM on July 20, 2011


Unless your fan sensor is broken, I promise you that your computer knows more than you about when it is "too hot."

He said I. "I have a widget that allows me to manually manage my fan speed if I think things are running too hot but my mac does not." I, because Hactar is a computer.
posted by Eideteker at 12:12 PM on July 20, 2011


Lots to love - but Big Hate for the scrollbar nonsense. Some visible indicator of how big a field is covered by any given window is kind of essential. It doesn't need to be scrollbars, per-se, but give us something. Thank crhist I can turn that shit off.

Also, HFS+? Really? Is it electric start, or do you still need the handle to crank it?

The lack of visible "running" indicator is something of a deal, because if you go to switch to Excel, and it bounces instead of bringing up a window instantly, you get all pouty. Likewise if you're scanning to see what resource hogs you're running when you're in a hurry to Handbrake that torrent into something the Roku can play, it's annoying to have to bring up all the windows in Expose and hunt thru them.

Grooving to the new document paradigm, tho - version control for the masses! That's the Apple I know and love. Makes a lot of sense in a land of 1tb notebook drives. Also, launchpad gives me a happy.
posted by Slap*Happy at 12:14 PM on July 20, 2011


Makes a lot of sense in a land of 1tb notebook drives.

Except, the MacBook Air is proving to be their most popular machine and maxes out at 256 GB. I am interested to see how much space will be taken up by backups, and if you can set a limit on this. Especially considering that I will be venturing down the path of the 256 GB limit myself.
posted by fusinski at 12:17 PM on July 20, 2011


First error. Lion is not just at the App store. Lion will be available for purchase on a thumb drive at The Apple Store. Also people can go to an Apple store and download it there if they have a slow connection at home.

This is all mentioned in the article, you know.
posted by reductiondesign at 12:19 PM on July 20, 2011


Re: Scrollbars, as a Mac user at work I'm stuck using them or page up/down for quick navigation for the simple reason that the scroll-balls on the Macs we have are utter crap and there isn't a single one in the building that was still working a year after we bought our machines.

But then we're also still on OSX 10.4, so it's not like I'll ever actually use the scrollbar-less version.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 12:20 PM on July 20, 2011


I am another one of the people who has not used a scrollbar since the multitouch trackpad. I doubt I would even notice if they were gone. Also, if I'm moving around a photo in Lightroom, there's already no scrollbars. I don't think Apple are the only ones to realize that scrollbars aren't that useful anymore.
posted by snofoam at 12:22 PM on July 20, 2011


What big cat are they going to go for after lion?
posted by jeather


OSX 10.8: Maru

It will package itself.
posted by George Clooney at 12:22 PM on July 20, 2011 [66 favorites]


As far as naming goes, I'm hoping they'll work through the Thundercats and then move on to Voltron.
posted by activitystory at 12:23 PM on July 20, 2011 [4 favorites]


The SSDs that Apple ships are crap in comparison to the competition.
posted by gen at 12:24 PM on July 20, 2011


I am another one of the people who has not used a scrollbar since the multitouch trackpad.

Personally I never use the scrollbar to actually scroll, but I use it all the time to determine the approximate length of the page, my relative position, etc.
posted by kmz at 12:29 PM on July 20, 2011 [13 favorites]


your computer knows more than you about when it is "too hot."

My Mac must just like giving my thighs 2nd degree burns (yes, with blisters) every time I play a game that renders 3d. I'll say this, though - it's possible the fans are maxed out at that point, and the designers just didn't care how hot the bottom gets. Even with heavy jeans on, it is a problem.
posted by bashos_frog at 12:32 PM on July 20, 2011


I had no expectation that I would like the iOS-like features (I don't use an iPhone), but it turns out that I really like the full screen apps and launchpad. I say give it a shot before you decide you hate it. It seems particularly optimal for an Air or MBP.
posted by feloniousmonk at 12:32 PM on July 20, 2011


I'm noticing a lot of people celebrating this. Can anyone explain, using the smallest words possible, what practical difference a 64-bit application will give me vs. its 32-bit equivalent?

(For that matter, 64 bits of what?)

Brace yourself: several years ago processors started being able to natively support 64-bit values and memory addressing. This means supporting RAM beyond 4GB, and more registers to work with (human equivalent: growing two extra arms).

However, both your operating system and your programs have to be recompiled specifically to take advantage of this. It is long, long past due in something as video-centric as iTunes.

Basically? It runs faster, hitches less, and better supports those big juicy memory upgrades at the cost of taking up very slightly more memory.
posted by Ryvar at 12:37 PM on July 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


> Lion? Whoever is naming the Ubuntu releases needs to be headhunted to Apple and paid in gold.

Hardy Heron?

Gutsy Gibbon?


No.
posted by mmrtnt at 12:38 PM on July 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


Man, I hope not.

I believe that for some applications it may makes sense, but even now as I double-checked in PS whether I use them or not, zooming in to pixel size and navigating the image with two fingers on the touch pad incurred no discernable complexity; matter of fact, I do it all with the touchpad and MBP keyboard even though I've spent the money on peripherals. I guess it all takes getting used to through repetition, but looking at Apple's earnings breakdown, peripherals and even Macs didn't make a dent against the ~60% of cumulative earnings that iOS brings in. So, taking a step forward, it's clearly visible to me that the mobile web is on the rise and Apple is going to do what it takes for now to integrate the desktop with that environment. I've already begun to design my apps mobile-first, eliminating any vestiges of Web 1.0. Like people who still require themselves to announce that a certain piece of content is "below the fold" and refuse to believe in new-fangled on-demand pagination.
posted by jsavimbi at 12:39 PM on July 20, 2011


OS X 10.8 Nyan Cat has a certain ring to it.
posted by scruss at 12:39 PM on July 20, 2011 [15 favorites]


I was hoping for Ocelot. I suppose Aslan still has a chance.
posted by iotic at 12:41 PM on July 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


My Mac must just like giving my thighs 2nd degree burns (yes, with blisters) every time I play a game...

The moment this happens more than once (yes, with blisters) the problem stops being solely with the manufacturer.
posted by griphus at 12:43 PM on July 20, 2011 [8 favorites]


I was hoping for Ocelot. I suppose Aslan still has a chance.

Revolver Ocelot? Apple should totally take the naming convention from Metal Gear. I cannot wait for Solid Jobs to unveil Max OS XI: Vulcan Raven.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 12:44 PM on July 20, 2011 [4 favorites]


Hey, thanks, Ryvar. I actually understood that.
posted by Zozo at 12:46 PM on July 20, 2011


> Gods no. It'd be called Lugubrious Lion or somesuch.

Chatty Cheetah?
posted by mmrtnt at 12:50 PM on July 20, 2011


err... Cheerless Cheetah?
posted by mmrtnt at 12:52 PM on July 20, 2011


I wanted to make a "Cougar" joke here, but I couldn't come up with one.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 12:53 PM on July 20, 2011


The SSDs that Apple ships are crap in comparison to the competition.

Er, that's not what your links shows...
posted by polyhedron at 12:56 PM on July 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


Nevermind, I can't read.
posted by polyhedron at 12:59 PM on July 20, 2011


I heard they were working on features that would determine the content of image and video files and also automatically enable the built-in webcam based on the type of file the user is viewing, but apparently these features have been delayed until 10.8 Ceiling Cat.
posted by snofoam at 12:59 PM on July 20, 2011 [6 favorites]


The Server version is $50, the regular version is $30. That's incredible, it almost makes it seem crazy not to get the Server version, just to mess around.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:02 PM on July 20, 2011


The SSDs that Apple ships are crap in comparison to the competition.

Yeah but there are diminishing returns. It really doesn't matter how fast your SSD is. They all feel really damn fast compared to platters.
posted by fusinski at 1:03 PM on July 20, 2011


Can someone tell me how the scrollbar business works when you are using a stylus? Then do they appear? Do you have to set the preference somewhere?
posted by dame at 1:11 PM on July 20, 2011


Don't forget to stretch out before reading.
posted by ZeusHumms at 1:13 PM on July 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


The loss of Rosetta overbalances any possible benefit I'd get out of Lion. It isn't cheap to replace Adobe CS, and I'm at the uncomfortable level where I use a lot of the tools but don't need all the new features badly enough to go and replace it.

The merging of iOS and Mac OSs is completely irrelevant to me. My preferred OS X was Tiger, it did most things right for me. Perhaps if I used a lot of iApps that would be different, but they seem like bloatware and an unnecessary obfuscation of directory trees. ("Trust me! If you forget about the file structure, in return I will give you access to all kinds of iProducts!") Perhaps I am a terminal prunecake about stuff like this, but I -like- dealing with the file, not an iApp-mediated "file experience".
posted by jet_silver at 1:22 PM on July 20, 2011 [4 favorites]


Well, Mac OSX Cougar is just young hipsters running System 7.
posted by George Clooney at 1:22 PM on July 20, 2011 [5 favorites]


I promptly reversed the touchpad scroll direction, re-enabled scrollbars, and tweaked a couple of gestures. I find Launchpad to be silly but Mission Control works fine. I'm not a big fan of the low contrast color scheme for widgets, especially scrollbars. The moving part of the scrollbar really needs to be about 3 or 4 shades darker. It seems to me like they are darker on iOS, actually.

I agree with Siracusa that iOS-style scrolling makes perfect sense on a touch device yet feels deeply wrong when using a trackpad. I don't know how that got out of testing. I felt the same fundamental confusion I do when I try to play an FPS without inverted mouse. I wonder if there's a correlation?
posted by jedicus at 1:24 PM on July 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


I wanted to make a "Cougar" joke here, but I couldn't come up with one.

Here you go.

posted by Kabanos at 1:32 PM on July 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


10.8: Liger

Ta-da.
posted by Kabanos at 1:33 PM on July 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


Basically? It runs faster, hitches less, and better supports those big juicy memory upgrades at the cost of taking up very slightly more memory.

That's not really true. 64-bit iTunes will have none of these advantages. Running a 32-bit app on your 64-bit OS is not going to be slower or flakier than a 64-bit app. You're correct that a 64-bit process can access more memory, but iTunes is not (at this point) going to be using 4GB of RAM by itself.

People get excited about 64-bit versions of applications on Linux because it means they no longer need to keep copies of 32-bit libraries (reusable code used by many programs) around. They get excited about 64-bit browser plugins because it means they can start running a 64-bit web browser. But I'm not sure if there's much non-geeky reason to be excited about 64-bit iTunes on MacOS X. Unless there are QuickTime components or something that are optimized for 64 bits?
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 1:34 PM on July 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


Lots to love - but Big Hate for the scrollbar nonsense. Some visible indicator of how big a field is covered by any given window is kind of essential. It doesn't need to be scrollbars, per-se, but give us something. Thank crhist I can turn that shit off.

The scrollbar works just like it does in iOS. You scroll down the page and the narrow scrollbar is there. It disappears when you're not scrolling. I've been using Lion for a few hours now and don't miss the scrollbars at all. You still have the visual cues. You can still drag the bar to your heart's content. On Metafilter, the little indicator is a paler shade of Metafilter blue.

The reverse scroll took time to get used to and it would be easier if all apps did it already. I suspect Adobe and Microsoft apps will add this in 2015.

I like the gestures between spaces/the dashboard and the autocomplete is a nice (once you get used to it). Mail.app is a great improvement. I like how when you copy multiple items in Finder, a the number of files shows up in a little red circle like iPhoto.

iWork was updated today for the full-screen and versioning. It was weird to close Numbers and not be nagged about if I wanted to save something. I open the app up again and it the spreadsheet was right there where I left it.

I love how "look up" replaced "dictionary" in the context menus. Instead of just the dictionary view, you get the dictionary, thesaurus and Wikipedia entry. ¡Me gusta!

I agree with the article that iCal looks silly with the pleather look.

It took me longer to read the Ars review than it did to download and install Lion. It is a great review, as usual.
posted by birdherder at 1:35 PM on July 20, 2011 [3 favorites]


I've been dreading the moment I have to give up Rosetta. I use Eudora (only available through Rosetta nowadays) to manage my 10-year-old PBEM because it has some features that aren't available in Mail, specifically the ability to change the account for reply emails in filters. I think I'm going to have to make the GM account, which my husband and I share, into a real IMAP account and use it as a storage account on our server, and just start using Mail or maybe Sparrow.

I'm kind of dreading it but I'm kind of excited, too.
posted by immlass at 1:38 PM on July 20, 2011


OS X 10.8 Nyan Cat has a certain ring to it.

OS X Nyan: The return of Aqua!
posted by JHarris at 1:58 PM on July 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


10.8: Peter Criss
posted by mosk at 1:59 PM on July 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


It disappears when you're not scrolling.

That's kinda the point - it can hide that there's more to the window than is immediately visible. You have to poke and prod the window to see if covers more real-estate, or if that's all there is. This is annoying and counter-intuitive and panic inducing if you expect to see something in a window, and it's absent, and there's no indication it's hiding above or below what you're looking at.

This is OK in a tablet environment, where you're interacting with interfaces that command the entirety of the display. On an desktop or notebook, where you will have multiple windows running multiple tasks, a scrollbar is a visual aid to keep track of what's going on in the window. The loss of this visual cue is grarr-making, as it doesn't serve to make the interface easier to use, and actually makes it harder to use and more confusing in some everyday instances.

But, I can turn it off, so it's not all that grarr-making.
posted by Slap*Happy at 2:01 PM on July 20, 2011


All this points up that Apple is more design centered than user-experience centered. Either that, or they expect all their Mac sales to come from iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch converts.
posted by ZeusHumms at 2:03 PM on July 20, 2011


All this points up that Apple is more design centered than user-experience centered.

One and the same to Apple.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 2:04 PM on July 20, 2011


I've been dreading the moment I have to give up Rosetta. I use Eudora (only available through Rosetta nowadays) to manage my 10-year-old PBEM because it has some features that aren't available in Mail, specifically the ability to change the account for reply emails in filters. I think I'm going to have to make the GM account, which my husband and I share, into a real IMAP account and use it as a storage account on our server, and just start using Mail or maybe Sparrow.

I'm kind of dreading it but I'm kind of excited, too.


I've been dreading moving my parents off Eudora. Fortunately, we won't have to get there for a bit, but some day ...
posted by ZeusHumms at 2:04 PM on July 20, 2011


OSX 10.8: Maru

Still comes in a box!
posted by ignignokt at 2:13 PM on July 20, 2011 [7 favorites]


OS X 10.8: Cheshire

OS X 10.9: Meow!
posted by VikingSword at 2:19 PM on July 20, 2011


In Mail, can you still command-click on two folders (e.g., Inbox and Sent) to view a merged list of the messages in both? If so, how does the new non-columnar mailbox view show you who each message is To and From?
posted by nicwolff at 2:20 PM on July 20, 2011


>I've been dreading moving my parents off Eudora. Fortunately, we won't have to get there for a bit, but some day ...

I did that for my mother when she bought her flat-panel iMac a few years ago. It worked out all right, but she's not a power user, more like a "I read my email twice a week" user. Upside: no metric crapload of power user filters. Downside: explanations have to be aimed extremely simply.
posted by immlass at 2:22 PM on July 20, 2011


Will Lion allow me to send photos from iPhoto and links from Safari directly from my gmail account instead of calling up the dreaded turd that is the Mac email program? As it stands now, everything I send from the Mac has to be URL-copied and pasted into an open gmail pane, or else a photo copied to the desktop and uploaded to gmail. Probably too much to hope for, but on my iPad it works great with Gmail.
posted by docpops at 2:40 PM on July 20, 2011


One and the same to Apple.

Not, however, to users.
posted by kenko at 2:44 PM on July 20, 2011


This is OK in a tablet environment, where you're interacting with interfaces that command the entirety of the display. On an desktop or notebook, where you will have multiple windows running multiple tasks, a scrollbar is a visual aid to keep track of what's going on in the window. The loss of this visual cue is grarr-making, as it doesn't serve to make the interface easier to use, and actually makes it harder to use and more confusing in some everyday instances.

That actually reminds me, I was browsing some website on a friend's iPad and in fact did get confused several times on whether or not there was more content to get to. There was some frames issue making two-finger scrolling act weird which compounded the issue.
posted by kmz at 2:45 PM on July 20, 2011


Installed Lion this morning on my MacBook Pro. I had major issues with Microsoft Office for Mac 2011. Finally got things squared away by rebuilding the Office database, but 'Notes' will not sync onto my iPhone4 or iPad2. Anyone else have similar problems?
posted by ericb at 2:50 PM on July 20, 2011


Well, doc, I like Mail, but it's gotten quite an overhaul in Lion, so it might be worth a look.
posted by flaterik at 2:52 PM on July 20, 2011


As it stands now, everything I send from the Mac has to be URL-copied and pasted into an open gmail pane, or else a photo copied to the desktop and uploaded to gmail. Probably too much to hope for, but on my iPad it works great with Gmail.

Am I missing something important in why you can't just upload the file from whichever folder iPhoto puts them in?
posted by dame at 2:52 PM on July 20, 2011


dame - mostly because there are thousands of image files and locating the one I want in gmail would be nearly impossible unless I renamed it.

flaterik - I liked mail as well, but web-based email is much better for my needs, and for reasons out of my grasp, on both my Macbook and iMac I started getting server errors with Mail after a year or two. I finally gave up and moved to the web.
posted by docpops at 2:55 PM on July 20, 2011


docpops, if you use firefox or chrome I'm pretty sure you can change the default mail program to gmail.
posted by sauril at 3:05 PM on July 20, 2011


Docpops
Will Lion allow me to send photos from iPhoto and links from Safari directly from my gmail account
See: Making Gmail your default e-mail handler. This is not exactly new.
posted by adamrice at 3:07 PM on July 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


Thank-you.

I have grown old.
posted by docpops at 3:13 PM on July 20, 2011


I guess this is finally the end of GoLive for me. Not that I'm attached to it, but I'm not sure how the sites will migrate, and the built in FTP server has always been a handy crutch. Maybe this will help get me off my ass about that, though. I'm mostly stoked about the window resizing, when I look over the list of new features. Air Drop sounds interesting, though if it works like all their previous file sharing efforts, then eh.
posted by Devils Rancher at 3:13 PM on July 20, 2011


or do what adamrice says...
posted by sauril at 3:18 PM on July 20, 2011


Zozo: Can anyone explain, using the smallest words possible, what practical difference a 64-bit application will give me vs. its 32-bit equivalent?

From a vague theoretical point of view, if an application's memory needs fit within the 32-bit boundary (2 gigs, as implemented on most OSes, rather than 4), 32-bit code will run faster than 64-bit code, because the instructions and data pointers are smaller. It has less overhead.

However, in actual practice, the Intel architecture in 64-bit mode is usually faster than in 32 bits, mostly because it has twice as many 'registers', tiny lightning-quick memory storage areas. Further, any 64-bit application can make a lot of assumptions about features being available, like SSE2, because all 64-bit chips have them.

And, if your OS is in 64-bit mode, you don't have the constant switch back and forth between 64- and 32-bit modes as the program makes calls into the operating system, and you don't have the 'thunking' impedance layer to extend those 32-bit calls to talk to 64-bit OS functions. Thunking is fast, but when you're doing it hundreds of times a second, it can add up.

On Snow Leopard and earlier, however, the OS kernel was in a special 32-bit mode that supported 64-bit guests. I assume, though I don't know for sure, that you'd then have the thunking problem in reverse, which would sap overall performance a little. Siracusa's review doesn't say whether Lion's kernel is in 64-bit mode.

iTunes is a bit of a bloated pig, so a 64-bit binary could improve snappiness. If the OS is in true 64-bit mode, it should be at least a little quicker. If it's still running in the hybrid 32/64 mode, I don't think you'll see any practical difference.

I think a lot of people getting excited about 64-bit native code are stuck in the simplistic mindset that more bits must be better, because, hey, there's more! On saner chip architectures, 32-bit is better for a very large range of problems.
posted by Malor at 3:18 PM on July 20, 2011 [4 favorites]


A very tl;dr way of putting that: 64-bit isn't better because it's 64 bits. It's better because 32-bit Intel chips have brain damage. :)
posted by Malor at 3:25 PM on July 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


Devils Rancher...What version of GoLive are you using. GL9 should work in Lion, since it was a Universal version, released as a standalone app. You should be able to find a copy out there somewhere.

Even though I have CS5, I've been working in a combination of GL-CS1 and GL9, because Dreamweaver CS5 is an abomination. It's exactly the WYSIWYG app developers who hate WYSIWYG apps would write, just to prove themselves right.
posted by Thorzdad at 3:31 PM on July 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


I would take care of as many updates to software before upgrading to Lion as possible. Part of that is based on the suspicion that many updaters themselves won't run in Lion, or may rely on one last run of the original non-Lion compatible software.
posted by ZeusHumms at 3:44 PM on July 20, 2011


Anyone got a list of apps that AREN'T compatible?
posted by dobbs at 3:51 PM on July 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


For an exact figure of 64-bit vs 32-bit performance, the most CPU intensive Mac app I know of (Handbrake) gets a 10% speed up in 64-bit mode vs 32-bit mode (measured around the 0.9.4 release in late 2009, it might be faster or slower now). Think of that as an upper bound.
posted by SirOmega at 3:53 PM on July 20, 2011


Can anyone explain, using the smallest words possible, what practical difference a 64-bit application will give me vs. its 32-bit equivalent?

Well, it's four bytes faster, isn't it? It's not 32. You see, most blokes, you know, will be playing with 32 bits. You're on 32 bits here, all the way up, all the way up, all the way up, you're up to 0x1000000000. Where can you go from there? Where? What we do is, if we need that extra push over the cliff, you know what we do? Put it up to 64 bits. Exactly. Four bytes faster.

These go to 64.
posted by Joe in Australia at 4:36 PM on July 20, 2011 [6 favorites]


I upgraded, and only had one issue. For whatever reason my computer seemed to forget that I had updated iTunes before installing lion, so I ran software update to get it again. At the same time, I launched intellij, which told me I needed a java vm, and I let it try to launch software update at the same time. Having two instances of it made things.... unhappy, and that didn't get resolved until a reboot. Rebooting and doing those two things one at a time worked fine though.
posted by flaterik at 4:38 PM on July 20, 2011


GL9 should work in Lion, since it was a Universal version, released as a standalone app. You should be able to find a copy out there somewhere.

I'm using CS2, since it was the last one bundled with the whole suite. I did not know about the standalone update -- thanks for the tip.
posted by Devils Rancher at 4:43 PM on July 20, 2011


Siracusa's review doesn't say whether Lion's kernel is in 64-bit mode.

I read somewhere that Lion is 64-bit only.
posted by JHarris at 4:45 PM on July 20, 2011


Anyone got a list of apps that AREN'T compatible?
I honestly don't think anyone really knows.

Obviously, any PowerPC apps that ran in Rosetta under Snow Leopard are toast.

I traded email today with Canon regarding their CanoScan Toolbox scanner software. It's a Universal app, but, for whatever reason, Mac OS sees it as a PPC app. Thus, they can't get it to work in Lion. Luckily, Canon says you can still run their CanoScan scanners in ImageCapture. I suspect there are going to be tons of little drivers and support apps that are going to fail.

I am still using Office 2008, for instance. And, while the suite is Universal, System Profiler seems to think that a couple of small supporting apps in the suite are PowerPC. Lord knows how that's going to pan-out.

I use an app called GenogramMaker. Again, it's a Universal app but the developers tell me they cannot get it to run in Lion. It uses Java, and I think that whole issue is what's giving them problems.

Personally, I'm going to wait a good while before jumping to Lion. I want to give things some time to settle and see what the fallout is, app/driver/whatever-wise. Y'all can be the guinea pigs.
posted by Thorzdad at 4:57 PM on July 20, 2011


...the long-awaited OS XXX will come to fruition.

I hear the internal codename for that one is "Operation Hot OS."


The first operating system to be Refused Classification in Australia.
posted by tumid dahlia at 4:59 PM on July 20, 2011


I have to wait to install Lion as the makers of one of my most often used apps warned me that their software would crash under Lion and take Photoshop with it.

Until they release an upgrade I'm stuck with Snow Leopard.
posted by bwg at 5:08 PM on July 20, 2011


bwg...Care to share with us which app that is? It would be helpful information for us.
posted by Thorzdad at 5:12 PM on July 20, 2011


"Operation Hot OS."

Hot OS, Michael.
posted by running order squabble fest at 5:14 PM on July 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


.. Apple's message with this change is a simple one, but also one that the nerdly mind rebels against: "It doesn't matter if an application is running or not. You shouldn't care. Stop thinking about it.

No...
No. -No.
I understand simplicity is smart but too smart is dumb.
posted by uni verse at 5:18 PM on July 20, 2011


uni verse... if you know enough to need to care, you can still find out.

Also, of note... I still have the running indicators. It didn't turn them off by default, at least not for me.
posted by flaterik at 5:21 PM on July 20, 2011


The thing I'm most excited about is that I can finally get rid of the damn scrollbar in Terminal again.
posted by Venadium at 5:24 PM on July 20, 2011


As per usual, Macintouch has excellent user-side coverage of the latest OS. On the whole, mostly positive, it seems, with a few bumps here and there.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 5:28 PM on July 20, 2011


Does command+tab not still give you the heads-up app switcher thingy? That's how I keep track of what's open, most of the time. I only resort to the dock to launch something that's not already running.
posted by Devils Rancher at 5:29 PM on July 20, 2011


One of the nicer things about iOS is the transient nature of the apps. Compared to a netbook, even the newest iPad is a bit lacking in memory, but because programs that aren't in focus can be exited to free up memory at any time, their state saved and restored nearly instantaneously, it remains impressively responsive.

From what I read though, Lion isn't quite there yet. OS X software is not generally developed with such fast load times in mind, at least not yet.

Not to mention... isn't all this what virtual memory is for?
posted by JHarris at 5:34 PM on July 20, 2011


I think this will be the first Mac OS since 7 that I don't rush out to grab. Everything I hear about it makes me cringe. To quote a programmer friend of mine: "They reversed the way the OS identifies files -- if you move a file, it creates a symbolic link instead of moving it. And there are tons of programs that don't support symbolic links. It's kind of like the main Ubuntu fork suddenly changing to a different file structure that's incompatible with every other fork of Linux. And for what? So your interface can be dumbed down to work like iOS? Ug."
posted by Aversion Therapy at 5:41 PM on July 20, 2011 [3 favorites]


Not to mention... isn't all this what virtual memory is for?

I was recently put in charge of a department that hadn't had a manager since February. The Mac Pro in there had been quietly chugging along for some months. When I sat down at it to see what kind of shape it was in a couple weeks ago, it had 73 gigabytes-worth of swap files on it. I did a spit take, but virtual memory was basically consuming about a third of the boot drive. People begin to wonder where their drive space is going after a few gigs, and your average user isn't going to know where ./private/var/vm is to even look.
posted by Devils Rancher at 5:46 PM on July 20, 2011


They reversed the way the OS identifies files -- if you move a file, it creates a symbolic link instead of moving it.

Is that right? I didn't see that in the Ars article.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 5:49 PM on July 20, 2011


What big cat are they going to go for after lion? They have run out of the impressive cat names.

Mr Tibbles!
posted by the noob at 5:58 PM on July 20, 2011


What big cat are they going to go for after lion? They have run out of the impressive cat names.

I'd suggest "Big Electric Cat", but Adobe nabbed that one ages ago.
posted by Thorzdad at 6:03 PM on July 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


Toonces the driving cat?
posted by blue_beetle at 6:09 PM on July 20, 2011


They reversed the way the OS identifies files -- if you move a file, it creates a symbolic link instead of moving it.

This is not true.
posted by xmutex at 6:23 PM on July 20, 2011 [3 favorites]


Roaring Apps App Compatibility Table. Can be filtered as desired.
posted by ZeusHumms at 8:01 PM on July 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


OS X 10.9: Meow We're Talking
posted by sourwookie at 8:39 PM on July 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


Devils Rancher, I have no idea what the use was on that machine but it sounds grossly abnormal. I wouldn't discount OS X because of that, there is almost certainly some weird special circumstance there.

Aversion Therapy, this is the first time I've heard that. If it were hard links, which should be completely transparent to applications, it might make sense, except, as the article informs us, HFS+ handles hard links in a bonkers kind of way.
posted by JHarris at 9:21 PM on July 20, 2011


Not to mention... isn't all this what virtual memory is for?

Well, and that's a good question - is it faster to page the application out to disk when you run out of free pages, or is it faster to tell the app to piss off and die and relaunch it with the application-resume feature they added when the app is needed again? I'm willing to believe that it's not a regression until I see otherwise. Lord knows I've had some bloated apps get all kinds of thrashy until I kill and restart them in every OS known to man.

I suspect the biggest win will be switchers who expect that closing the window closes the app. Since there's no visible UI anymore (as the window is closed), the app will be ripe for reaping and invisible to the user who doesn't know any better anyway.
posted by Kyol at 9:22 PM on July 20, 2011


So I'm not a Mac user, nor have I read the OP or the thread. But I was talking to a dude the other day who swore up and down that the next version of OS X will be called Sea Lion.

Sea Lion!
posted by miyabo at 9:48 PM on July 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


And to follow up to myself, there's a change I hadn't considered - writing pages to a SSD is at least theoretically destructive, even if really really slowly. So why write them at all? Kill the app that has no UI and read the data back off of the disk when you need it again. The document the user was working on had to be written (and the new autosave system is doing that for them), but they're not thrashing a scratch file and generating failed blocks and and and.
posted by Kyol at 10:41 PM on July 20, 2011


Business Cat, Ceiling Cat, etc.
Awesome Cougar images Kabanos!
posted by jeffburdges at 11:01 PM on July 20, 2011


The countering argument to that, Kyol, is that restoring a fully initialized application from SSD should be nearly instant, where relaunching it will require whatever setup time it needs.

Invisibly killing things like, say, Terminal or Notepad isn't going to matter, because their setup times are so nearly instant, but I think that could be a substantial drag for a big, heavy app like Photoshop. Of course, I think the apps have to be specially written to be eligible to be invisi-killed at all, so maybe it'll never be an issue in practice.
posted by Malor at 11:59 PM on July 20, 2011


And I think that's the hitch - the apps that will be written to take advantage of it are going to be the kinds of apps that tuck into a tidy little corner of your memory and don't bother nothin'. On the flip side, the list of criteria for being automatically reaped is pretty strict - if you have Photoshop open with all your windows closed and it's a sad little puppy that hasn't been touched by the user in 8 hours, would you rather take a few more seconds restarting Photoshop when you get back around to it or have your system be just ever so slightly slower for those 8 hours?

Who am I kidding, it's not like Adobe will get a new version of Photoshop out before Apple kills the feature anyway. *coff*

And I think it's also a feature that's more beneficial to their lower end, to be honest. I would be surprised if your average power user with 8+ gigs of ram and huge cores sitting mostly idle will see much of it. But I can't wait to get it running on my Air to play around with it.
posted by Kyol at 12:08 AM on July 21, 2011


Thorzdad: "bwg...Care to share with us which app that is? It would be helpful information for us."

Oops, forgot to include that in my comment; I was rushing out the door and just dashed it off.

It in OnOne PhotoTools. They are working on a release for Lion but cannot say when that might be.
posted by bwg at 12:18 AM on July 21, 2011


Ceiling Cat
posted by jeffburdges


Wall Cat.
posted by George Clooney at 12:32 AM on July 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


Wall Cat intrudes upon your private time
posted by jeffburdges at 12:54 AM on July 21, 2011


I have no idea what the use was on that machine but it sounds grossly abnormal. I wouldn't discount OS X because of that, there is almost certainly some weird special circumstance there.

It was grossly abnormal usage. The machine had 5 gb of RAM in it, the entire Adobe CS 4 suite, Quark, iTunes, and Chrome had been open on it for weeks, and several (6 or 8?) 500+ MB Photoshop files were left open, probably for weeks, as well. It was being abused by a user.

That said, I've looked over the Ars article a little more thoroughly, and their new app management via sudden termination and automatic termination make 10.7 look very attractive from the standpoint of someone who's managing computers for users who don't want to worry about what's running and why. I think they're headed in the right direction with this. I'd also imagine that SSD drives will help substantially with the lag of page-ins from VM, as they come along.
posted by Devils Rancher at 6:24 AM on July 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


9 to 5 Mac: Lion disables Flash Player hardware acceleration (and other Adobe goodies)
posted by zarq at 6:34 AM on July 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


Also: MeFi's Own John Siracusa.
posted by zarq at 7:18 AM on July 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


Adobe promises to "investigate." Excellent. Who the hell is in charge over there?
posted by Devils Rancher at 7:20 AM on July 21, 2011


Apple breaks Adobe software, Adobe gets blamed for it???
posted by smackfu at 7:38 AM on July 21, 2011


Actually, I thought that the verbosity of Siracusa's article was appropriate, especially given that this is likely to be a somewhat controversial OS release. I thought that he was ultimately fair and just in the places where he praised and criticized Apple.

For starters, I think I will agree that the Finder is indeed the largest usability impediment to Mac OS users -- even as a power user. I find it far easier to locate and shuffle files around on Windows machines for whatever reason. (Even moreso for Linux.)

Apple's other mistake was using the Finder as a file manager and application launcher. The dock is a pretty good launcher, but I think I prefer the Win7 implementation, especially since I'm the kind of guy who likes to separate my workflow based upon windows instead of applications. The Win7 start menu is pretty great for the same reasons that QuickSilver was great on the mac. I was always disappointed that Apple never simply scooped up QS and made it part of the OS.

The new App Launcher is a bit too iOS for my tastes, but I think does the job. Like Siracusa mentioned, UI controls don't need to look identical everywhere. They need to be similar, and to make sense overall. I don't begrudge Apple for wanting to bring the two platforms closer together, but do think that they went way overboard there. (Then again, I may be biased, because I'm one of those weird Mac/Android users, who happens to really, really like many aspects of the Android UI)

Moving away from the traditional filesystem concept gives me heart palpitations, but may ultimately be the correct decision to make. The intelligent app killing/loading/saving thing is an absolute work of brilliance, and I cannot thank Apple enough for bringing version control to the masses.

That said, the new version control thing seems to depend on document-based applications to function properly, which makes enough sense. What doesn't make sense is that Final Cut X moved away from that paradigm. Ahh! WTF!
posted by schmod at 7:44 AM on July 21, 2011


smackfu: "Apple breaks Adobe software, Adobe gets blamed for it???"

Adobe uses undocumented/depreciated API calls, Apple gets blamed for it???
posted by schmod at 7:45 AM on July 21, 2011 [4 favorites]


The reverse scrolling thing intrigues me. Just yesterday I was scrolling through stuff on my old MacBook and I suddenly got the feeling of "wait, flicking down to scroll down is backwards." Of course, said MacBook is too old to run Lion so I'm still stuck in old school touchpad scrolling land.
posted by zsazsa at 7:54 AM on July 21, 2011


I don't want to start a holy war here, but what is the deal with you Lion fanatics? I've been sitting here at my freelance gig in front of a Mac Pro running Lion (a Quad Xeon w/32GB of RAM) for about 5 minutes now while it attempts to copy a 17 Meg file from one folder on the hard drive to another folder. 5 minutes. At home, on my netbook running Windows 7, which by all standards should be a lot slower than this Lion box, the same operation would take about 15 seconds. If that.

In addition, during this file transfer, Firefox will not work. And everything else has ground to a halt. Even TextEdit is straining to keep up as I type this.*
posted by porn in the woods at 8:34 AM on July 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


Moving away from the traditional filesystem concept gives me heart palpitations, but may ultimately be the correct decision to make.

I don't think that it is, not unless what it's replaced with is even more useful.

Files are easy to interact with, and easy to perform operations on, operations like copying or moving, either between folders, devices or over a network, finding, linking to, etc., operations that don't care what kind of data is in the file. A generic representation for data, that's a powerful concept. That very power, I think you'll find, is why some people don't get them. The solution is to educate these people, not restrict that power.

I don't want to start a holy war here, but what is the deal with you Lion fanatics? I've been sitting here at my freelance gig in front of a Mac Pro running Lion (a Quad Xeon w/32GB of RAM) for about 5 minutes now while it attempts to copy a 17 Meg file from one folder on the hard drive to another folder.

On Snow Leopard file copying is a little slower than Windows, but far from that slow. While I haven't used Lion yet I don't think it could be at fault there, that elephant would be too large to fit in the room I'd think. Maybe there is something else going on. Maybe you're using an older or bad USB cable? Maybe it's a slow or bad drive? Maybe there are disk errors?
posted by JHarris at 8:42 AM on July 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


Old joke is old.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 9:10 AM on July 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


Oh, the file system. A file system is simply a way of chunking information by metadata tags. It gets ugly and complex largely because many real-world tasks involve ugly and complex collections of data, so the challenge in my mind is how do design around progressive complexity that scales to user needs? And to what degree can we replace the generic folder method of clustering with domain specific views such as what's offered by Lightroom, iPhoto, or iTunes?
posted by KirkJobSluder at 9:26 AM on July 21, 2011


I don't want to start a holy war here, but what is the deal with you Lion fanatics?

If you don't want to start a holy war, calling people who disagree with you something less inflammatory than "fanatics" might be a good start.
posted by Zozo at 9:31 AM on July 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


...successful troll was successful. I'll show myself out.
posted by Zozo at 9:31 AM on July 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


I don't want to start a holy war here, but what is the deal with you Lion fanatics? I've been sitting here at my freelance gig in front of a Mac Pro running Lion (a Quad Xeon w/32GB of RAM) for about 5 minutes now while it attempts to copy a 17 Meg file from one folder on the hard drive to another folder. 5 minutes. At home, on my netbook running Windows 7, which by all standards should be a lot slower than this Lion box, the same operation would take about 15 seconds. If that.

I haven't used Lion yet, but is it possible that the OS is indexing the drive?
posted by zarq at 10:09 AM on July 21, 2011


I haven't used Lion yet, but is it possible that the OS is indexing the drive?

I sure hope so. I installed it overnight and my computer was really sluggish when I took it for a test drive this morning. Firefox took a full minute to open and I got the spinning colour wheel when I tried to do just about anything with the machine. It didn't look like anything was hogging the CPU.

File indexing seems a likely culprit, though. Even the reality distortion field isn't strong enough to hide a performance degradation like I was seeing.

It's nice to see XCode is free again, but it's a separate app in the app store and not an automatic update. It's another 3Gb download, but that's been normal for XCode updates.
posted by Gary at 10:31 AM on July 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


HOLY HELLFIRE they changed the default python to 2.7 and now I need to recompile my 2.6 modules. THE AUDACITY.
posted by xmutex at 10:40 AM on July 21, 2011


Gary: " File indexing seems a likely culprit, though. Even the reality distortion field isn't strong enough to hide a performance degradation like I was seeing."

When I first got my kindle, I immediately torrented and dumped over a thousand books on it. My battery died inside a day. Charged it to full capacity overnight, and it died again within 12 hours. Was convinced I had a faulty model -- the battery is supposed to last a month!

I then RTFM. It was indexing every single book and killing my battery. Took a couple of more days to finish.
posted by zarq at 10:45 AM on July 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


It's another 3Gb download, but that's been normal for XCode updates.

Allegedly they are moving to delta updates in the Mac App Store, so at some point XCode updates should be much smaller.
posted by jedicus at 11:00 AM on July 21, 2011


Um zarq, "I don't want to start a holy war here..." is a 13-year-old copy and paste attempt at trolling. Can't speak for Gary's problems.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 11:04 AM on July 21, 2011


Um zarq, "I don't want to start a holy war here..." is a 13-year-old copy and paste attempt at trolling.

Ha, I missed that the first time you pointed it out. My machine was honestly slow this morning, and I was worried that it was in some sort of "acceptable sluggishness" level for most people. It brought terrible flashbacks to the rows of Blueberry iMacs my university bought years ago that could barely manage to run a terminal window and web browser at the same time. (To be fair to Apple, the university bought these a few years past the iMac's prime and probably configured them poorly.)

But I'll give it some time to recover before I go hunting for my snow leopard install disk.
posted by Gary at 11:26 AM on July 21, 2011


KirkJobSluder: "Um zarq, "I don't want to start a holy war here..." is a 13-year-old copy and paste attempt at trolling. "

I'll take my "Clueless" badge in Blue, please.
posted by zarq at 11:30 AM on July 21, 2011


Personally I never use the scrollbar to actually scroll, but I use it all the time to determine the approximate length of the page, my relative position, etc.

Can you too flip open a favourite book almost exactly on the page of the bit you wanted, getting it right on first try 90% of the time? It's like the thickness of books is an ancient precursor to scrollbars.
posted by yoHighness at 11:53 AM on July 21, 2011


It's ok, it's rather obscure until you've seen it a half-dozen times.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 11:53 AM on July 21, 2011


Can you too flip open a favourite book almost exactly on the page of the bit you wanted, getting it right on first try 90% of the time? It's like the thickness of books is an ancient precursor to scrollbars.

Not only that (and I'm pretty good on dropping into videos in the same way, to be fair) but I usually know which portion of the page I'm looking for. I don't have a photographic memory, by any stretch, but I often as not know where on a two page spread something I'm looking for lives.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 12:01 PM on July 21, 2011


Let's not be too hard on porn in the woods - I suspect that the asterisk at the end linking back to the thread was supposed to link to Kottke's original "My Mac Sucks" post, thus making the joke explicit.
posted by running order squabble fest at 12:19 PM on July 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


Gary (and everyone else, I guess), if you click the Spotlight icon in the top right corner it will say if it's indexing and how far it is. My Mac was pretty sluggish for a few minutes (half an hour?) after I installed Lion and that was indeed because of indexing.
posted by sveskemus at 1:13 PM on July 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


Not only that (and I'm pretty good on dropping into videos in the same way, to be fair) but I usually know which portion of the page I'm looking for ...

I have an idea for a GUI with bars on each side! Ha ha but, but seeing as it's currently a scroll metaphor it will be neat when we digitally reach the age of the book.
posted by yoHighness at 2:09 PM on July 21, 2011


I derail because Lion did nothing for me except I had to edit Firefox about:config to get my swipes back
posted by yoHighness at 2:09 PM on July 21, 2011


yoHighness I have an idea for a GUI with bars on each side! Ha ha but, but seeing as it's currently a scroll metaphor it will be neat when we digitally reach the age of the book.

It's actually not a derail - one of the things Lion has done, along with replacing the iCal look and feel with a tear-off wall calendar, is to make the Address Book look like an actual book. Opinions are mixed...
posted by running order squabble fest at 2:55 PM on July 21, 2011


As a heads up to Office 11 users, there seems to be a glitch with Word and the whole "remembering previous documents that were open" thing. If you are having problems, try closing all open documents before quitting Word, so it doesn't try to re-open them on launch.
posted by neuromodulator at 5:43 PM on July 21, 2011


Um, where have Spaces gone? I used to have four virtual desktops, and now the only space I can have is the almost-as-useless-as-Dashboard Mission Control. Srsly, Apple, put it back, or I downgrade and hate you forever.
posted by scruss at 7:47 PM on July 21, 2011


They're all in a single row now, no more 2x2 or 3x3 virtual desktop arrangements. Bring up mission control and point to the right of the strip of Desktops and click on the + that pops out - voila, a new desktop! I got bored after I made 16 desktops. Admittedly, a row and column virtual desktop allows slightly faster routes if you're used to clicking to switch desktops, but it's just slightly different, not gone. They're also sort of dynamic - make an app fullscreen and boom, it's on its own desktop.
posted by Kyol at 8:02 PM on July 21, 2011


You can also still assign applications to spaces by right-clicking their dock icon and going to "Options" and you can customize keyboard shortcuts to act in roughly the same manner (i.e. move directly to a certain desktop or move in a certain direction) by going to the Keyboard preferences pane.
posted by ccrazy88 at 11:52 PM on July 21, 2011


one of the things Lion has done is to make the Address Book look like an actual book

... Aw man but it only does look like an actual book! I thought I could flip through pages with the trackpad but it really is just another scroll inside a book. Curse my imagination.
posted by yoHighness at 1:33 AM on July 22, 2011


Re: Scrollbars, as a Mac user at work I'm stuck using them or page up/down for quick navigation for the simple reason that the scroll-balls on the Macs we have are utter crap and there isn't a single one in the building that was still working a year after we bought our machines.

But then we're also still on OSX 10.4, so it's not like I'll ever actually use the scrollbar-less version.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 12:20 PM on July 20 [+] [!]


I was going to make the same point, but the little scroll nub thing on my mouse lasted all of 6 months (not to mention that the border between the left click side and right click side didn't seem to have a clear or consistent position.)

I had enough fun trying to edit a 250+ page document with only a scrollbar, I don't want to think about how good it would have been to have no scrollbar and a broken mouse!
posted by Hello, I'm David McGahan at 1:50 AM on July 22, 2011


I'm sure I'm not the first person to say this, but I just realized that those damned nubs are literally an attempt to reinvent the (scroll) wheel.

It's a cliche for a reason, people!
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 6:15 AM on July 22, 2011


http://💩.la -- (more info here)
posted by Gary at 1:50 PM on July 22, 2011 [2 favorites]


Well that's it, I give up - Apple has upgraded to the most recent of netatalk for Time Machine which broke my Ubuntu 10.04 Time Machine server. CURRRRRSE YOUUUU APPLE!

Maybe I'll be in the mood to compile netatalk from hand again next week. It was a nice couple of weeks where I was actually using the distribution version for a change, though.
posted by Kyol at 5:54 PM on July 22, 2011


Slight derail that may prove helpful to all you "my scroll nub broke" people... If you flip your mighty mouse over, press down fairly hard, and roll the nub around on the mousepad for a minute or two, it may clear out the gunk and start working again.. I've had a mighty mouse for about 4 years and it still works fine with these occasional fixes.
posted by Nutri-Matic Drinks Synthesizer at 8:51 PM on July 22, 2011


Also rolling it around on some rough paper works too.
posted by Gungho at 6:00 AM on July 23, 2011


Why IT won't like Mac OS X Lion Server
posted by jeffburdges at 11:35 AM on July 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


How to keep Snow Leopard when upgrading to Lion
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 5:12 PM on July 25, 2011


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