This comment is my hero.
This comment is my hero.
So why doesn't everyone just use an IM client and talk to their friends using XMPP or AIM or YIM or anything else besides SMS? That's what I do. iMessage is nice but I don't understand why people go nuts about it and BBM when IM has been there all along...
They did this because of iMessage, almost certainly. They announced it right after Apple announced iOS 5's features.
Again, you really need to start distinguishing between your personal preferences and history. You are entitled to your own opinion, you are not entitled to your own facts.
No, I don't. You're just a raving nutter. Your entire comment was just completely bonkers and I don't even know where to start, and so I'm not going to tear it apart one point at a time because, frankly, you're not worth my time to educate. I was actually alive when these things happened. I doubt either of you were.
I omitted the part in the "misquote" about "window management" because it doesn't matter. Regular people don't care what a window manager is, and regular people don't want tiled windows or for windows to behave differently in different spaces. Regular people like consistency, not the absolute trash that Unix and X thrust upon us decades ago. X Windows was written to run three things: xterm, xload, and xclock. It didn't even have a window manager; they were grafted on later as an afterthought, and it shows to this day. You simply have absolutely no idea what you're talking about when you decouple "GUI" and "window manager" and the fact that you define a "GUI" the way you do makes it totally obvious you're just making it up as you go, as you please.
I don't need to differentiate anything, because the entire time I was arguing what my preferences were versus what yours (and whomever else was involved, I don't even care enough to read the usernames) are because it was actually you (or, again, whomever) that was arguing that your way was the best way and OS X sucks because it doesn't have the misfeatures that X did decades ago. When you say "OS X doesn't do things X did decades ago," you are right, but that does not mean that that is a bad thing. In fact, it is in pretty much any way I can imagine, an amazing thing. X is, and always has been absolute trash. Breaking away from what it offered and innovating is exactly what needed to be done, and it was. Because you are stuck in your decades-old workflow does not mean that anyone else gives a tap-dancing fuck.
Low end laptops run the exact same software as high end laptops. For the tasks you describe, Windows, OSX, and Linux are all just easy as on the iPad. Obviously your mother agrees.
It's amazing how I spent an entire comment saying the opposite of that, and you somehow came up with this? That's... wow. No, low end laptops run Windows or Linux, not OS X. Apple doesn't make low end laptops. No, tasks (at least the ones I defined) on Windows or Linux (or even OS X) are not as easy as on an iPad. I have no idea where you got the idea that my mother agrees with the opposite of that. I think you've probably just entirely stopped trying to make a rational argument and starting spitting out nonsense.
I never said I hate Apple. The fact that you think not declaring Apple products superior at every task means a person "hates Apple" puts you far into the fanboy realm.
I'm far from an Apple fanboy, but you can think whatever you want. You went out of your way on several occasions to try to say that Apple products are the same as a "low end laptop," which is just demonstrably false. This and other dismissals of Apple and its products clearly paints you as either anti-Apple or a staunch Linux/Android fanboy. This is Slashdot after all.
The fact that you think widgets are those things on the panel shows how far behind OSX is. Hint: the desktop itself is a widget (in non-braindead implementations of the desktop paradigm).
The problem wasn't what I thought they were, the problem was that you didn't define what you thought they were. Lots of DEs have various things named "widgets." You were, and still are, ambiguous.
A window list is any object which gives you a listing of open windows/applications. The dock is one, the windows taskbar is one. They can have many shapes and properties. Some are appropriate for many open windows, some are better for the case of few open windows. The separation of applications in activity groups with their own sets of widgets is the only way of covering all use cases (until brain-machine interfaces). In fact, if you do presentations frequently, it is idiotic that you need to adjust power management each time.
Yes, that's what I figured you meant by window lists. I find no use for them. I don't use the Dock. I have it on autohide. I use Mission Control and Exposé to do all my window management, and it works great (for me). I still don't know what you mean by "widgets," so I don't follow you there. You seem to have a habit of typing a lot of words without actually saying anything. I also don't have a damn clue what you're talking about with regards to "power management." How on earth do you need to "adjust power management each time"? What exactly are you adjusting, and what are you defining as a "time"?
Bottom line, OS X is not a good DE. It is OK and extra shiny. But it is in no way the epitome of user interface design. And the WM sucks donkey balls (no always on top, no per-application user-defined rule sets, no per-application transparency, no magnetic borders, no auto-maximisation, no window shading, haphazard window placement, dodgy resizing, absurd placement and size limits on windows). The menu bar on top? would be a good idea it it could deal with a second screen in a not-stupid way. Don't get me started on Finder and the Dock.
No, the bottom line is that, in your opinion, OS X is not a good DE. Lots of people, including me, disagree with you. What is that you find so superior, then? I've used a lot of DEs and WMs, and nothing has ever come close to OS X. Let's go through your list of stupid little things and try to figure out what you're on about, shall we?
Yes, that's true, but I'd be willing to bet you 99.9% of people don't give a shit. I know I don't. I find it endlessly annoying, actually.
No per-application user-defined rule sets
What? Rules for what? Position and sizes stay the same. Which Space they're located in is remembered. I don't know what you're talking about.
No per-application transparency
Yes, there is. I don't know where you got this notion. OS X has always done this.
No magnetic borders
I'm guessing you mean window snapping? Some apps do it, and it's a standard Cocoa feature; you can download small tweaks that enable it system-wide.
I'm guessing you're referring to the Zoom button. By default, it makes the window the size of the content within it. I don't know why anyone would ever want to make a window take up more space than it needs, but all you have to do is hit Zoom twice.
No window shading
You mean the thing where it rolls up into the title bar? People seriously use that still? Why?
Haphazard window placement
What does this even mean? You can put windows wherever you want, and unless you set it otherwise, it will stay there and be restored there even between application restarts. Seems like something you added just to add, but which doesn't actually mean anything.
What? What's wrong with the resizing? How is it any different from any other DE? It works fine for me, and everyone else, since 1984. The lower right is the standard place to grab, but you can do it from any edge or corner. This is exactly the same as every other thing I've used, or better.
Absurd placement and size limits on windows
Didn't you already say this? "Haphazard window placement"? How is this different? What're the size limits? I've never found any.
So, to summarize, some of them are just plain wrong, some of them really have no merit and/or meaning, and most of them are eye candy things that don't actually add any functionality. It sounds like you're 16.
As for the menubar on top, it's a matter of taste. Fitt's law prefers it since it's always in a known location; you can just throw the mouse to the top of the screen and you're at the menubar. I prefer the top menubar, and most switchers I've met either prefer it or don't care either way. As for multiple monitors, I use dual monitors on a Mac every day at work, and it's just fine. The menubar stays on the main screen, just like the gnome panel has always done for me in dual monitor Linux setups. But again, this is clearly a preference. You can't speak for anyone except yourself.
The Finder is just fine these days. It had bugs, like every other app ever, but I haven't had any problem with Finder since Tiger. As for the Dock, well, it is what it is. I don't think it's a particularly good "window list," but I don't want one anyway. It work just fine as an application launcher though.
So, bottom line is that you don't like OS X's GUI in general, and that's fine, but you certainly can't argue that as an objective point of view against some universal laws of Everyone Prefers What SomeKDEUser Prefers. You have your likes, and everyone else has theirs. End of story.
The is nothing about those tasks that cannot be done 100% on a sub $300 laptop and none of them are easier on an iPad. Email reading is equivalent on both, writing is easier on the laptop. Browsing is equivalent on both platforms as long as you are not trying to do things like post to forums, at which time it is easier on the laptop. Casual gaming is a wash. There are certain types of casual gaming that works better on the tablet, and certain types of casual gaming that works better on the laptop. On either platform casual games will be generated faster than any human could hope to play them all, so the specific game becomes largely irrelevant.
I totally disagree. The iPad is simply easier to use than a low-end laptop, period. Maybe you don't think so, but the vast majority of end user polls say that regular people much prefer an appliance-type device like the iPad to a complicated device like a laptop.
P.S. Using inflammatory adjectives like "low-end" and "shoddy" only makes you look petty. The low end laptops are way more powerful than the high end iPad, and there is nothing "shoddy" with the vast majority of the laptops.
No. Apple makes high-end things. I was distinguishing them. A low-end laptop is going to have mediocre hardware (for a laptop, not for a tablet, which is apples to oranges), and it's going to be running a hard-to-use software system (from a regular person's point of view) like Linux or Windows. iOS is hands down easier to use than either of those interfaces for the tasks I defined.
So, you agree, laptops are useful. You just think they are only useful if they are made by Apple.
I prefer Apple's high-end hardware, build quality, and software. I never said laptops weren't useful. I prefer Apple laptops because they provide quality hardware and software that I prefer. My argument was that an iPad was easier to use, more intuitive, and would be more efficient at the tasks I defined. Just as I (and my mother, and a lot of people) find value in Apple's software and hardware over cheaper alternatives, I (and my mother, and a lot of people) find value in an iPad over a $300 low-end laptop. Can they both accomplish the same tasks? Yes. In my view, the iPad is easier to use for everyday people than a low-end laptop, and thus they are going to readily accomplish those tasks in a preferable manner. If you and your family prefers to struggle against poorly designed GUIs on a disappointingly-built machine, then by all means, save yourself a couple hundred bucks. My argument was that normal people value ease of use, and so they'll pay the extra couple hundred bucks.
Having a real keyboard is going to be useful to people for the foreseeable future. Having a large monitor is going to be desirable for a long time to most people. The uses for them (even for your mom) are not going away anytime soon, and pretending like they are is just self delusion.
I don't recall ever making this argument, but... okay.
Clearly what our discussion boils down to is that you believe using a $300 for the aforementioned tasks is easier or equally as easy as using an iPad. I disagree, and most regular (i.e.: non-techie people that wouldn't have as much difficulty using an iPad versus using a $300 laptop with a complex interface) people that I've had a similar discussion with agree with me. You are, of course, free to save yourself $200 since you hate Apple and don't mind using low-end machines. I prefer to have a better computing experience, and because I put value on that, the extra $200 is justified, for me (and tens of millions of iPad users).
P.S.: On a few visits to big box retailers like Best Buy, when I've been browsing the non-iOS tablets, the sales people inevitably tell me not to expect them to replace a laptop. They say people buy them expecting them to replace a laptop for their needs, and the vast majority ends up returning them. Then I ask if this is also the case with the iPad, and they again, inevitably, inform me that people expect to replace a laptop with the iPad, and they do not return them.
As for the majority of your comment, you are intermixing: a network protocol and hardware abstraction layer (X), the windowing manager (not sure which ones you used), and the GUI (stuff like gconf). You original claim was about virtual desktop management on OSX vs. Unix. Virtual desktops on Unixes come well before there were any GUIs. Here is an example of configuring exactly what you are excited about from a window manager that is essentially unchanged for the last 18 years virtual desktops in window maker [maketecheasier.com].
If you want to look at one that's more modern (only about 5 years old): x-monad tour [xmonad.org].
I've used WindowMaker, AfterStep, Enlightenment, Sawfish, XFCE4, KDE, Gnome... just about all of them. For me, none of them hold a candle to OS X.
I also think your use of "GUI" is... not right, or at least, not what most people would think. A desktop itself is a graphical interface, and thus a GUI, so how can you argue that multiple desktops came "before GUIs," when a desktop is a GUI itself? The Lisa and the Macintosh introduced the concept of the desktop with the first two consumer GUI computers.
For enjoyment I don't think you can beat OSX. That is a different question than "most power". I may enjoy using OSX more, but OSX window managers don't hold a candle to modern tiling window managers, where each virtual desktop can have different window management behaviors. OSX barely even has behaviors that are configurable.
That's your preference. You can't say that "OS X doesn't hold a candle to tiling window managers" and expect it to apply to anyone but you. To me, a tiling window manager is an arcane and insanely outdated by just about anything else.
I ended up writing all of this before I realized you're not using Lion, and thus your post is almost entirely irrelevant. Lion totally overhauled Spaces/Exposé and they do basically everything that "hyperspaces" app does. In fact, it's broken on Lion. Since I took the time to write it, for your viewing pleasure:
On Unix / X, I'm lucky to get notifications to work at all, let alone show up on the right desktop / monitor. No apps are "space-aware" in X, and every app uses a different notification mechanism. Apps don't need to be "space-aware" on OS X, that's the point. The only app I've ever had a problem with was Twitter, which was a bug in Twitter, not in OS X or Spaces. Every application using notifications on OS X uses Growl, and I've also never had a problem with it with regards to multiple desktops. If by "notification windows" you don't mean things like Growl and instead mean dialog windows, I've never had this problem. An app in another Space will pop up an alert/error in its own Space and bounce the Dock icon. Works like a charm.
Mission Control / Exposé / Spaces / whatever you want to call it on OS X is useful. I can organize windows, get to whatever window I need, specify which apps stay in which Space so that they can be task-oriented (which is exactly how I work, and I work well), see every single window I have open at a glance, zoom in on one by mousing over, etc, all the while everything is live instead of images.
The hyperspaces thing looks out of date. In Lion, you can basically do everything it offers. Different wallpapers, different hotkeys, etc. I've used solutions like that before, and they've all been buggy and flakey. Spaces doesn't work the same way in Lion as it did in [Snow] Leopard, so this tool is probably broken and/or irrelevant.
[Yeah, I just looked at the site, and the first thing they say is that it doesn't work in Lion. *plonk*]
I've never used a multiple desktop solution on X that offered anything besides "here's another desktop, with a separate task bar." Boring. If the solution involves digging around and installing a bunch of different solutions and figuring out which UI toolkit they use and thus which DE they work best with, which WM they work best with... it goes on and on. How is each configured? Dotrc files? System config files? A custom GUI? A gnomeconf thing? A KDE konf (or whatever) thing? Who knows! It's a new adventure with every one! And that goes on until I find one I prefer? I don't know about you, but my time has value, and if the solution that comes with the default environment isn't sufficient, then the environment itself isn't sufficient. I want my computer to work well. I want to enjoy using it. I don't want to tolerate it, and that's exactly what I have to do when I use Unix / X / Windows.
The usability of that $300 laptop is a lot less than that of the $500 iPad. That's why it's worth more. My grandmother is not going to be able to use some $300 Linux- or Windows-based low-end shoddy laptop. She can and does use an iPad, though.
When I said "regular people" I defined what i meant: email, browsing, and games like Bejeweled. You definitely don't need a laptop for out and about work or a desktop for sitting and doing serious work, because under my definition, those things don't exist. Most of my family (and a whole hell of a lot of America) are people whose work does not involve computers, at least in the home. For these people, the computer is an appliance, and the iPad is much better suited to be an appliance than a laptop or a desktop (or a netbook, which are stupid and serve no purpose anyway).
As for the future of computing, who knows. Keyboards definitely have to stay around to get real work done today, but I see future interfaces being mostly touch based, not mouse based. Manipulating the computer directly with your body is just much more intuitive, and I wouldn't doubt if we see a "MacBook Touch" from Apple that involves a hardware keyboard and either a more powerful (that is, less restricted) version of iOS or a version of OS X with a touch UI layer, like Windows 8 is doing. For regular people I see the mouse going mostly away. You only need a pixel-perfect pointing tool when it's exactly that: a tool (Photoshop, CAD, etc.).
Sounds like you're determined to be set in your ways and never try out a new workflow. When I got Lion I was hesitant of the changes with Mission Control but it was only because my old workflow didn't work anymore. Now I have a new one, and I'm more efficient that I was before. It just takes a few days of getting used to.
Exposé is a sad excuse to compensate for a dysfunctional dock. Multiple desktops have been available since forever. Things like "always on top", tiling, proper control of windows placement are still lacking. NeXT had better WM capabilities than OS X (ironically)!
The Dock is the Dock. I'm not its biggest fan, but I don't really use it much. I use Alfred (a modern QuickSilver clone) to do app launching and a lot of other tasks, and I never minimize windows. I don't want tiling, and I don't know what you mean by "proper control of windows [sic] placement" as, especially in Lion, windows appear exactly where they last were in the right Space. I personally hate "Always on Top," but whatever floats your boat.
The only thing retarded here is the names given to stuff which already existed. "places" FFS.
You're seriously going to quibble about names? Who cares? OS X calls them Spaces, most Unix DEs call them Workspaces, so what's the difference? We both know what virtual/multiple desktops are. And sure they've been around forever, but what's that matter either? Most of your arguments are off-topic points that have nothing to do with the features available.
I have exposé under linux. It works very well. I never use it. Because a good window list and a non-braindead implementation of multiple desktops obviate the need for it. One recent improvement is KDE's activities: sets of applications themselves distributed on multiple destops, associated to their own collection of panels/widgets/powermanagement policies.
I use Exposé daily. Not constantly, but usually at least a dozen times. What is "braindead" about OS X's multiple desktop implementation? It gives you multiple desktops. You can live-preview them, move them, drag windows between them. What's missing? It's way nicer than any Unix DE implementation I've ever used. Also not sure what you mean by "a good window list." A list of open windows sounds like a terrible way to manage windows to me. I don't care for the 'Windows' menu item and I don't care for panels/taskbars. They get far too cluttered and unmanageable. I've never found myself wanting to see a list of windows. In Lion I can activate Mission Control and see every single window I have open, with live-previewing. Not to mention if you mouse over a window in Mission Control and push the space bar, it enlarges just that window.
You can set what Space an app belongs to. If by "widgets" you mean stupid little things in the panels, in OS X you can have them in the menubar, but you don't get a new menubar for each Space. I wouldn't really want one. Why would I want to see the CPU utilization in only one Space? Of course, to each his own. Your way seems to be stuck in 1990, but if that's what you prefer that's okay. You shouldn't lambast OS X because it doesn't do things the way they were done in 1990.
Yes, absolutely. LG announced the Prada in Dec 2006, and the iPhone was announced less than a month later and shipped less than six months later. You're totally right. Apple stole the Prada design, wrote an entire operating system that acted in totally different ways than that on the Prada, and shipped a breakthrough industrial design that blew away the bulky Prada all in six months? *And* they had a functional demo of it working less than a month later, for MacWorld?
Do you people even read what you write?
Adding features does not necessarily increase functionality -- it just makes the manuals thicker.