Swimming with the Razorfishes

Sunday, October 28, 2007

p-ther

Some thoughts on Panther Leopard, having upgraded a couple of computers thus far.

  • Even though I don't think Panther Leopard ships with any must-have new features, the overall finish is much nicer than 10.4. For example, when safari encounters a page with meta tags for both RSS and Atom feeds, you cah select which feed to use. The AirPort menu shows which networks are password-protected. And many more. All the little improvements and refinements are almost worth the $129.
  • I like the new, more monochrome look. I've always wished that I could dial-down the saturation of all the UI elements.
  • Everything seems snappier, particularly in Safari. I'd still like some better bookmark management stuff in Safari, though. I'd particularly like an "alphabetize selection" function in there.
  • The Spaces app is great; I'm so happy to have virtual desktops. I'm also happy that I'm able to pin an application to a specific workspace.
  • Terminal is somewhat better than before.
  • The new dictionary is cool.
  • I find stacks surprisingly convenient. A very natural way to work with folders you need to quickly examine.
  • I don't find coverflow terribly convenient; a bit gimmicky, really. The beautifully-rendered thumbnails are really nice, though. I'm sure it will look great when higher-resolution displays are more common.
  • Yes, rather disappointed about Java. 1.6 has been out for more than an year. Get it together, Apple. Ship the bits.
  • I'm delighted that placing the dock on the side of the screen works well. I was concerned that Apple would screw that up.
  • Having dtrace is really cool, and all the interesting scripting bindings for Objective C APIs are pretty cool. Also cool are processor affinity and the garbage collecter available to Obj C apps. These might be interesting.

So nothing earth-shatteringly interesting, at least not that I've noticed yet. Just a tighter, more useful OS.

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