Topics include: programming, Apple, Unix, gadgets, large-scale web sites and other nerdy stuff.

A Critique of Mac OS X, as a unix flavor

2005-11-28 17:19:00

Thomas Driemeyer at has a nice critique of Mac OS X as a unix implementation. (thanks julie for the link!)

On the whole, I would agree with his technical criticisms of Mac OS X, especially regarding the "spinning rainbow of death." The rate of its appearance has seriously stepped up, for me at least, since tiger. I feel like I am back on a crappy Windows machine waiting for floppy drives to spin up, whenever I open a file dialog.

His UI criticisms are on softer ground: I would say they are mostly a matter of taste, and the same old thing: either you like menu bars attached to windows, or you like them on top of the screen. I used to be a big fan of having them inside the windows, because that's what I was used to from Vax VWS, X11, Motif, and Windows. But there are distinct usability advantages to having the menu in one place on the whole screen, specifically:

1. You can be a lot less precise with your gesture to get to the menu bar: you just "slam" the cursor up to the top of the screen, and only have to fine-tune the horizontal position.

2. there is that much more screen real estate  in each window for the application.