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QotD: Least of X

Question: What is your least favorite thing about Mac OS X?

My Answer: My overall opinion is clearly very high. I had to stretch a little for my least favorite answer, but here it goes: the inability to run the installer from the CD while using the computer to do other things (and install onto another disk). You could do this in Mac OS 9… Granted, this is an installer issue, but I'll cut myself some slack: it's my blog. 🙂

You are encouraged to answer the Question of the Day for yourself in the comments or on your blog.

11 Responses to "QotD: Least of X"

  1. The field editor. I want that thing the inventor smoked when (s)he got that idea. It's a total break of the OO concept Cocoa uses.

    On the UI level? X11 doesn't support cmd-dragging background windows. Probably together with the existance of qt/Mac.

  2. Why are field editors so bad?

    Personally, the biggest problem with OS X currently is brushed metal =]. Get rid of that shit, and move towards a consistent platform, the likes of which have never been seen. Besides in OS 9 =]

  3. Steven: Field editors move the responsibility for editing the content of a control (NSTextField) from the control to the window.

    For example: you want to allow newlines in the field, but tab should move to the next view. How to do that? The only way I know of is to subclass NSTextView (implementing that behavior) and use that as the field editor for this specific NSTextField. However, the window delegate is responsible for defining the field editor for the control. Now let's use a System Preferences Pane as an example. The window delegate is in System, something I don't have access to. I just *can't* define the field editor without some severe hacking (replacing it with my own object, which forwards all other messages to the old delegate).

    Additionally, trying to change the content of an NSTextField that currently has focus is just ignored (because the field editor is the one with the focus, you just can't see that).

    Basically, I have yet to run over a single instance where that field editor design has any advantages at all.

  4. i'd have to say my least favorite thing about os x is simply that i haven't wrapped my brain around it as i don't come from a unix background. what i mean is that the system structure is new, there are three library folders (though i'm starting to "get" the seperation) and somethings that used to be obvious are now obscure.

    otherwise, the only other thing to complain about is other people complaining about it (can i be exempt from that one?)

  5. "Basically, I have yet to run over a single instance where that field editor design has any advantages at all."

    Because you've got one for a window$sIW's nicer on memory. I think that's the argument.

  6. "Basically, I have yet to run over a single instance where that field editor design has any advantages at all."

    TextViews are heavyweight. There's the View, and also the associated NSTextStorage, NSLayoutManager, and NSTextContainer.

    Textfields (or text cells) can proliferate quite a bit. Having all that TextView overhead duplicated for each field on a window would cause significant bloat.

  7. I'm not sure this is a "least favorite", but I wish the open panel had a text field in which to paste a file name and/or path.

  8. It's nice that they're doing optimizations, but they should keep them hidden to the generic programmer who doesn't care about that stuff. That's what OOP is about.

  9. Trying to navigate column view using the keyboard, either in Open/Save dialogs or (usually) in the Finder. Here's the situation: a folder is highlighted in column view. There are folders/files above/below it in the same column, and there are files within the folder itself, in the next column to the right. Now type a letter other than the one the folder starts with: quick - without trying it out - tell me if the new highlight jumps to a file in the _same_ column, or the one to the right. You can't, because it's not consistant. I'm always picking the wrong file trying to use the keyboard. This drives me crazy.

    I don't even know what a field editor is, but it sounds like a separate application, not Mac OS X itself -- the Finder/folder behaviour is something that I interface with every time I use my computer, and it's really bad.

    Also, what's with the weird colouring thing they implemented in 10.3? Highlighting the name of a file but not the icon? That's just wrong. And not carrying over the naming convention from OS 9? What were they smoking? I blame things like that on the NeXT mafia within Apple. These guys sometimes seem hostile to old OS 9 conventions for no reason other than that they _are_ from OS 9, often to the detriment of useability. All my old "In Progress" coloured files are now "Blue" and all my "Back Me Up" tagged files are now "Grey" (and who decided that Grey was a more useful colour than Brown anyway?). Blech.

  10. The field editor is part of Cocoa, so it's "in" every Cocoa-App (that doesn't include the Finder).

  11. Oooh here's one: anti-aliased text in Carbon apps.

    Especially when the text is highlighted or selected.

    Lordy but selected text looks craptacular in Quicken 2004 or Office.