Friday, November 29, 2002

WHAT'S WRONG WITH MAC OS X? Pretty nearly everything, says John Gruber of Daring Fireball. Here's a sample:

The classic Finder is a paragon of consistency and intuitive design. In the OS X Finder, double-clicking on a folder produces completely different results depending on the visibility state of the current window’s toolbar. This is madness.

Many Mac users think the OS X Finder is merely ill, a nascent design in the still-new Mac OS X environment, and that with some elbow grease and Apple magic, it will someday soon be restored to its former glory.

But the Finder is not sick; it is dead, replaced by an entirely different application that’s been patched to bear a superficial, skin-deep resemblance to the real Finder.

And so we’re back to core question: Why?

Why replace the greatest and most beloved application in the history of the Macintosh with an ill-conceived “file browser”? The OS X Finder doesn’t just suffer from rough edges and poorly-worded error dialogs. It is broken from the outset — a poor design intended to replace a brilliant design.

The explanation is as sad as it is obvious. UI design decisions at Apple are now in the hands of people who do not understand good UI design.

As a business graphics professional, the nature of the beast requires that I be able to work cross-platform as needed — but my dirty little secret is that I've been favoring the Windows environment for years. Gruber's just barely scratching the surface here.

How much longer can the Mac platform possibly maintain any respectable market share when the hardware is being swifly rendered obsolete by circumstance, and the OS is crippled by design?