Engineering Manager | Trail Runner | Stockholm, Sweden

Leopard's sneaking up on us

Remembering that the WWDC is sometime around now I checked up on Apple’s site. Apparently they have redesigned the whole thing, getting rid of the old menubar with a much less clotted Safari-like one. And also… the whole site is about Leopard! Seven videos are there to present some of the new features of the soon-to-be latest OS X.

And it’s such a treat. They really made me smile and ooh and aah just by watching. Put your hand on your heart and say that Vista made the geeky kid inside giggle with joy. Did it really?

Have to admit, they had me from the very start, with the new desktop. The menubar will be transparent Beryl-style and the Dock will act like a mirror. Yes the mirror effect which has taken over iTunes a while ago and now is much frowned upon by the design community for being overly mainstream and unoriginal. But if someone can do it, it’s Apple.

Not to mention the file grouping, a.k.a. Stacks. How much cooler that is than a folder. Just an example what the new Core Animation can do…

Finder will be a lot smarter, and they implemented cover flow for, well, literally everyhting. Combined with QuickLook we might not even have to start up any software for most tasks. It does indeed make sense, after all we all know how we usually end up with ten to twenty open programs when just checking out various documents and pictures.

Time Machine has been extensively reviewed at the previous WWDC, the implementation however doesn’t cease to amaze me.

And of course Spaces, a much needed enhancement from the X-window world. The demo features four screens, one of them running World of Warcraft, with seamless switching between the desktops. Oh I know what you think, it won’t work like that, it will inevitably be slow. I know, my WoW in XP is like that, no matter that it runs 60 fps vsynced with maximum graphics settings, alt-tabbing still kills both other applications and 3D performance. (Don’t know about Vista.) In linux however I got to switch between desktops under the fraction of a second with absolutely no glitches in the game. So I have full confidence in Apple’s Spaces too.

iChat and Mail got mostly built-in toys. The stationeries however are very nicely done, easy to use with the ability to zoom pictures like in the Address Book. It might seem like a childish thing power users generally frown upon, but I’d rather have an email with OS X’s stationeries than the usual ‘oh let’s attach 5M pictures in 3000×2000’ ones.

Can’t wait for the Keynote to be up!

P.S.: Mac Thought Crime was right about WWDC being all about Leopard.
P.P.S.: There’s Safari out for the Lala landers, further info on Yummie.