Getting stacked on spaces.

Ok. I like Leopard on the whole, but here are my issues as per one day of use;

  • Firewall is just plain stupid: On installation it turns off ALL your previous security settings. And, here is my problem, hides the ones that are configured. I selected “Set access for specific services and applications” as there are some that I want to use. [Such as IM and iTunes etc].
    But where is the ability to set what protocol and range of ports an application can communicate on that existed in 10.4? This has been removed. For the casual user who does not know about ssh, vnc and port forwarding etc. this is great. It looks simple. But it’s simplicity is its failing. I want more transparency and control of my security settings.
  • Spaces not quite good enough: Don’t get me wrong. I am loving spaces. I keep my cli windows and vnc clients running in a space separate to my browsers and yet another for email and IM. Fantastic. BUT I would also like; a different desktop image for each space to make them easily visually identifiable, the ability to have different sets of desktop icons to be able to collate information specific just to each space and the ability to navigate spaces using gestures [command + (move mouse to right of screen) would be good way to navigate]. Overall a really nice feature, but not up to Apples previous standards of innovation.
  • Stacks hides content: This is another little annoyance with a cool new feature. I have a ton of applications and
    when I click on the Applications stacks all the applications appear in a grid. Good. But then you see a little icon in the bottom right saying “4 more in finder”. WTF? Why can’t I navigate within a stack grid to see ALL the contents of a stack? Why am I forced to exit the stack into finder just to find those hidden applications. This is just an annoyance for me, but I can see it being very limiting for others. How many documents do you normally have in your documents folder? Better just open it straight in finder and forget about using stacks. I can see how useful it is for a download folder where you only really care about the last few downloads [sort by date added] but for a folder with a lot of content where you are not sure what you want it is a bit pointless. Just having scroll arrows on the grid format would have made this feature more usable.
  • Network drive connectivity is counterintuitive: A big claim. It is actually a lot more integrated and easier to connect to a network drive. But for those who want to connect as a different user it is counterintuitive. 😦
    In 10.4 you would go to finder, select “GO | NETWORK” or ctrl + K, and then select the target networked computer and then you were presented with an option to connect as a particular user for that target computer. Great. makes sense, even if there are a lot of clicks.
    In 10.5 you go to finder, select “GO | NETWORK” or ctrl + K, and then select the target networked computer and then … It connects to the target computer as your login on this computer!! This means that if you do not have login permissions on the target computer as the present user you are presented with an empty screen. You then have to select the target computer in finder, which should now be in the places section, and then click “connect as” in the folder pane.
    So a simple and logical process has been simplified for those people who keep the same login information across all their machines.
    For the rest of us we just have to put up with a two step process, instead of the old one step process, to connect to a remote drive.
  • Interface unprovements: The new dock looks nice. Until you open an application. The active application notification is an annoying out-of-place looking blue led. I can’t place it, but it just does not look right to me. It does not seem to fit with the whole new 3D look. The menu bar is also a little strange. I am loving the opaque effect, it looks great, but what happened to the rounded edges??? The reason you know it is definitely Apple and not some skin for windoze is the rounded edges, and wasted screen real estate, on the menu bar. I would have preferred if they had rounded the bottom edge as well and then had the desktop background visible plainly behind it. Yes trifling, but then I have covered the few main annoyances already.

All in all Leopard is pretty good. As I use Firefox and Thunderbird I have not looked into the improvements in Safari and Mail.app, and as most the people I know use Windoze messaging I have not played with iChat either.
But it is not up to the high standard Apple set with 10.4, which was a killer release, and they need to go back and rethink some of their decisions on things.
I know that in reality Apple need only be slightly better than Microsoft to keep winning accolades, but I feel they should be competing with themselves as Vista has proven a total fustercluck and competing with it does not take enough effort on Apples part.

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