What Features would you like to see in Leopard?

RGrphc2

...InSaNe...
I'm surprised nobody did this with the announcement of Leopard at the WWDC, everyone was all caught up in the Intel switch. Well here's what i would like to see in OS X 10.5

1. More colors in the appearance pref pane. Getting sick of just Aqua Blue and Graphite.
2. If you've used Linux you know about the virtual desktops you can have up to 16, and Linux is based on Unix and OS X is based os Unix so i don't see why Leopard couldn't have these features too.
 

Decado

Kallikanzaroi
1) i want all graphics to be postscript so you will be able to zoom without jagged lines. if at least the text was resolution independent i would be happy.
2) i want proper voice recognition and pronouncification in a lot more languages than english. and better!
3) i want Susan to replace the metal in Finder and some other places (like iCal etc).
4) i want to be able to flip all my windows, not just the dashboard windows. (dont know why yet. :) )
5) i want there to be a toned down Aqua blue color for us that think the new spotlight blue is a bit to bright and graphite a bit to boring. if i could get graphite but keep the red/yellow/green buttons i would be pleased.
 

Mikuro

Crotchety UI Nitpicker
• I'd like to see far more multithreading in almost all apps. For example, I shouldn't need to wait for a page that's loading in a background tab in Safari to finish before I can scroll the page I'm actually looking at. Same goes for Finder windows and a LOT of things.

• A Finder rewrite, from the ground up. Thankfully, this will almost surely be done, since the Finder is currently Carbon and thus not very easy to port to x86. I think we'll finally get a pure-Cocoa Finder in Leopard. I just hope they don't @#$% it up even more, which is a distinct possibility. I mean, the Finder's a lot worse than it needs to be as it is, so there's no saying all its design flaws won't transfer right over to Cocoa. Specifically, I want the toolbar to stop popping up when I don't want and start popping up when I do. As it stands, it's utterly nonsensical (from a user's perspective) when it does and does not appear. I should be able to set this persistently on a window-by-window basis, and set whether I want it to appear for new folders and mounted volumes. And it should DEFINITELY NOT APPEAR when using spring-loaded folders, especially when I'm going through folders that would otherwise not have the toolbar.

• The return of popup windows in the Finder. It's been like 5 years now, Apple. It's time for OS X to catch up to OS 9. Please!

• Real Mac-like widgets. WHY, exactly, are widgets based on JavaScripts and PNGs? Who thought this was a good idea? They're bloated, ugly, and inflexible. I'd much rather have the actual Calculator app accessible through Dashboard. There's no reason the Dashboard paradigm couldn't be applied to real applications. And it would make it far more useful if it was!

• Smarter Smart Folders. A LOT smarter. At the very least, they should add an interface to access Spotlight's "hidden" features like nested boolean logic, and add some kind of caching system so that it doesn't perform the search all over again every time you open the folder. It should be smart enough to know when it NEEDS to update, and never update when it doesn't. Or at least make such updates rarer.

More to come when I have time. :)


Decado said:
1) i want all graphics to be postscript so you will be able to zoom without jagged lines. if at least the text was resolution independent i would be happy.
Good news: This feature is already under development in Tiger. It wasn't finished in time for the final release, but if you have the developer tools installed, you can play around with it using the "Quartz Debug" app. Most graphics are still bitmapped, but all text renders beautifully. It's still a bit buggy, though (which is why it's not a publically-available feature yet!).
 

Giaguara

Chmod 760
Staff member
Mod
And get it back to the SIMPLE ... if you select only selected languages for installation, keep only those languages for the updates too. That is, if you select to install your system in English only, you will not get all the updates in EVERY single language OS X install in.
 

Lt Major Burns

"Dicky" Charlteston-Burns
Decado said:
4) i want to be able to flip all my windows, not just the dashboard windows. (dont know why yet. :) )
How about app preferences? instead of in the program menu, flip the window?

i agree with more fleixble schemes - OSX is known for being amazingly customisable (to the point where most people can't use another's mac, as it is so different to theirs) and yet all you can change is 'BLUE' or 'GRAPHITE'

i also want to see them moving their idea of a file + folder-less computer further. my impression is, they want the whole OS to mimic iTunes and iPhoto - all files in the system sorted in one window, all searchable, all sortable by columns, with a source bar on the left with smart groups, a preview pane etc

this way, eventually, iTunes and iPhoto (and an iVideo etc) will be developed into it and they become one. in the source, you select "music", or "images" and it'd switch to the iphoto tiled images view, or the itunes audio tags artist album etc. Applications would also be in the source, as would be documents. spotlight is just a very early beta for this, i feel, as is the current finder (source pane, search area, looks like itunes already)
 

Mikuro

Crotchety UI Nitpicker
A couple more far-out ideas (hardly original, but never actually implemented in any OS AFAIK):

• Dynamic folder (and possibly file) icons. Generic folder icons are useless, and really cripple the usefulness of the Dock. Hardly anyone will (or would even know how to) go to the trouble of making custom icons for their various folders, and without custom icons, you can really only put one or two in the Dock before it gets way too confusing. Same goes for files.

There have been many ideas on how such dynamic icons ought to work. One obvious method is for folders' icons to have visible files popping out the top, and have the number (and maybe appearance) vary based on the contents of the folder. Another idea I've heard (sorry, I forget where; probably from either Bruce Tognazzini or David K. Every) is to have something like a spider web or "dust" accumulate on icons to show the time it's been since its last access.

Another logical idea is to have a folder's icon change depending on the TYPE of file it mostly contains. I admit it would be hard to make such a system really smart (for example, my Applications folder should certainly have an Application-related icon, even though the majority of files in it are not applications), but it certainly shouldn't be impossible. It also wouldn't be terrible to have an easy-to-use system that requires some user interaction.

• File tags. Labels have always been great, but the problem is that you can only apply ONE to any given file. I'd like to be able to create my own tags and apply any number of them to any file or folder. This would be similar to the way Gmail handles things. Apple has already begun implementing an infinitely-extensible metadata structure into the HFS+ file system (it works in Tiger, but only at the BSD level; there are still no high-level APIs for using it). I expect it to be complete in Leopard, and I really hope Apple uses it. A LOT. It has a lot of potential, and would make Spotlight all the more appealing.

If these tags could be represented on the file's icon, that would also help the issue I mentioned above. I'm imaging a little "stack" of labels hanging on the icon, and with a particular action, you could have than fan out so you could see the exact contents. It would be very useful, and would offer some great eye candy, to boot.

• Auto-naming of "untitled" files. This can't really be done completely on a system-wide level, but Apple could at least make it easy for Cocoa developers and blaze the trail with their own apps. For example, when I create a clipping, it's automatically given a meaningful name. The same should be true of all text files. I'm not asking for much — just a meaningful name in the Save dialog for newly-created files, based on the content of the file at the time of saving. As a programmer, I can already imagine the neat little hooks Apple could build into Cocoa to make this easy for developers, and it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. :)

• The return of WindowsShade, or something like it. The Dock-based minimization, while neat and useful in its own right, has NEVER been a true replacement for the OS 8-style WindowShade feature. I realize you can get it with WindowShade X, but the idea of paying for a feature I got for free 8 years ago is just sad. And Apple could take it one step further: Make the collapsed windows their own KIND of Window, not just a standard title bar. Make it so for existing apps, it would behave just like a floating title bar, but give developers the ability to use this collapsed-state window to show vital data about the window itself, e.g. a progress bar or status report.

• While we're on the subject of long-lost Mac features...what ever happened to tear-off menus? Like the Application menu in OS 8/9, or the Tools menu in HyperCard. This could be a standard feature for all menus (or at least provide the necessary hooks for programmers to do it themselves; AFAIK it would be very difficult, if not impossible, to do this in Cocoa as it stands). Sometimes I want quick access to my menus, and I know a lot of people avoid using menus like they avoid getting root canals, because for those with less mouse dexterity (like my mother), they're just painfully frustrating.

• A fourth Exposé mode: Scatter the current application's windows. A lot of the time when I'm in Safari, for example, I want to quickly check the status of, say, a video I'm encoding in QuickTime. It'd be nice to get Safari out of my face for just a second.

• Icon-by-icon size options in the Finder. I think there was a hack to get this done in 10.0, but I guess it's not possible anymore. It would be very cool to be able to make the really important or most-used items in a folder larger than the rest. There could even be some user-definable default rules for this. (Although I don't expect that, because Apple has become quite cowardly in recent years when it comes to interface design, and this would represent a real design challenge. But then again, I would have said the same thing about Automator before Tiger, and they did a pretty good job with that. Maybe things are turning around.)

• The ability to transparently open zips and other archive types like folders (or perhaps disk images). This would really not be that hard to do; they already do most of the necessary gruntwork with compressed DMGs, after all.
 

Ceroc Addict

Registered
Lt Major Burns said:
[b said:
Decado][/b]
4) i want to be able to flip all my windows, not just the dashboard windows. (dont know why yet. :) )

How about app preferences? instead of in the program menu, flip the window?
How about app preferences? instead of in the program menu, flip the window?
And why stop there? - I'd like to be able to flip the Desktop to get to Desktop pictures and Screensaver. :) :D

Kap
 

Sirtovin

Senior Switcher Tech Guru
Why can't they go to OS 11... why do they have to go from... 10.1, 10.2, 10.3, 10.4, and now presumably... 10.5... why not OS XI
 

MrNivit1

Registered
Lt Major Burns said:
i also want to see them moving their idea of a file + folder-less computer further. my impression is, they want the whole OS to mimic iTunes and iPhoto - all files in the system sorted in one window, all searchable, all sortable by columns, with a source bar on the left with smart groups, a preview pane etc

this way, eventually, iTunes and iPhoto (and an iVideo etc) will be developed into it and they become one. in the source, you select "music", or "images" and it'd switch to the iphoto tiled images view, or the itunes audio tags artist album etc. Applications would also be in the source, as would be documents. spotlight is just a very early beta for this, i feel, as is the current finder (source pane, search area, looks like itunes already)
Sounds like an (Internet) Explorer in Windows move. BAD IDEA. We don't want to have the same problems that Windows suffers from.
 

symphonix

Scratch & Sniff Committee
1. Straighten out keyboard shortcuts and hotkeys

Mikuro said:
• A fourth Exposé mode: Scatter the current application's windows. A lot of the time when I'm in Safari, for example, I want to quickly check the status of, say, a video I'm encoding in QuickTime. It'd be nice to get Safari out of my face for just a second.
This is an interesting idea and leads me to the first thing I would change. At present, there are four or five places in System Preferences where you would set a shortcut-key or hot-corner. Dashboard, Expose, Screen-Saver and Keyboard. There isn't much consistency between them either. You've got one method in Keyboard for setting system shortcuts, another method for Dashboard and Expose, and another still for Screen-Savers. I'd try and simplify the whole thing.

2. Consistent look and feel across Finder, Spotlight, etc.

I'd also try and bring a bit more conformity across interfaces. For instance, why do Smart Folders and regular folders have a different appearance in the way they display their information? Or spotlight, for that matter? Why not bring the Spotlight categorised view (documents, images, apps, etc) all the way into the Finder as a view type? For that matter, why doesn't spotlight search offer a view that matches the Finder's 3 viewing methods (icon, list, detail).

3. Fix Spotlight's interface quirks

Spotlight's interface is in dire need of some adjustments. Why can't you switch to a spotlight window with Cmd-Tab? Why don't spotlight windows "count" in Expose? why are there two types of search window, for that matter? I'd sit down with the UI team and insist that they agree on one consistent way that Spotlight appears to users.

4. Make the help button on the Apple desktop keyboards actually DO something useful.

... even if it is only as an alias for Cmd-?
 

Decado

Kallikanzaroi
command-clicking on a folder in icon-view could bring up a slider to change the size of the icons (relative to their current size). commandclicking an icon could bring up a slider to change only that icon.
 

HomunQlus

Artifical Lifeform
Flexible Theming
We should be able to use other Themes as Aqua, and this should be a built-in feature. Today you can do it with some programs, but they're not for free. Sometimes I get tired of the standard Aqua look.

Consistent Look and Feel
Either all Brushed Metal (please no), or NO Brushed Metal at all (I like that idea more).

Dock
The Dock should be able to be customized, too. Like what background color and stuff. This can also be done today with additional software already, but this should be a built in feature.

Spotlight
More accurate, and faster
 

Lt Major Burns

"Dicky" Charlteston-Burns
MrNivit1 said:
Sounds like an (Internet) Explorer in Windows move. BAD IDEA. We don't want to have the same problems that Windows suffers from.
windows suffers from inherent coding problems, shortcuts made early in development, never fixed fully. the explorer integration was a good idea, IMO, badly implemented, at a time when the monopoly lawsuits were everywhere.

i would love to see how they would actually shift the paradigm of a computers file system, in a big way, but i wouldn't want to be lumbered with it if it went wrong. also, i'd want them to do it in one big step. Spotlight seems to be dipping a toe into the water, whereas Longhorns implentation of it (if it ever arrives) seems a bit more ambitious, better implemented, and, well, more useful. SPotlight appears to Apple showing they can get the basic technology out there quicker.

i want big changes, not in 10.5, but in 11.

i want the postscript desktop to be a reality - i don't want to be bound to the hideously dated 72dpi standard - no graphic designer, unless they work for web design, would dream of working in anything as low as 72dpi, and yet their whole computer is this low. Tigers demo of a postscrip desktop, while buggy, and only showing type scaling, is interesting, but proves that the whole OS needs to go that way, not just type.
 

Mikuro

Crotchety UI Nitpicker
Lt Major Burns said:
i want the postscript desktop to be a reality - i don't want to be bound to the hideously dated 72dpi standard - no graphic designer, unless they work for web design, would dream of working in anything as low as 72dpi, and yet their whole computer is this low. Tigers demo of a postscrip desktop, while buggy, and only showing type scaling, is interesting, but proves that the whole OS needs to go that way, not just type.
I'm a little torn on this issue. On the one hand, it would be undeniably cool to be able to dynamically scale any window and have it look "natural". On othe other hand, ditching bitmapped images entirely would make the entire UI much slower than it already is (and it's already a lot slower than it should be). As long as text scales well, will it really matter at all if the close box and scroll bars are a little blocky?
 

AdmiralAK

Simply Daemonic
OK here are my items for the list:

1. folder tabs (finally getting something that we had back in OS 9!)

2. Window Shade (again we had it in OS 9!)

3. Fully cocoa based Finder (we know you have it apple! you just used carbon to lure devs!)

4. Handwritting recognition in inkwell that works better than it does now and supports at least all languages that are in the standard DVD install localization!

5. Widgets are a bit slow - please fix speed problems

6. Spotlight is cool - include more apple spotlight plugings

7. FULL Greek support, with every release you've been getting better apple, now lets put the cherry on the top :)

8. If the MacTel is out by then: a directX clone - make it easier to port games from windex

9. Include Yahoo! and ICQ in iChat (I know that asking for MSN is like asking to be crowned king)

10. iSync --> support more devices officially - get on the alliance path and get the Symbian Series 80 and Series 90 onboard, get Nokia Series 30 and 40 on board. Get the motorola linux and PalmOS on board! - as a matter of fact buy out PalmSource and get some stake in Symbian ;)

11. if the MacTel is out by then: An apple branded VM environment to install x86 OSes that are contained! I don't want to have to reboot. If not part of the OS I am willing to pay (man imagine if there were a PCI card a-la Orange PC but for today - running 2-3 OSes at the same time with NO performance hit! wow )
 

Mikuro

Crotchety UI Nitpicker
A few "old-idea-done-right" features I'd like to see:

• Speech synthesis (that Doesn't Suck™). Why has this not gotten any better in the past decade? C'mon, this is really not that hard to do with the power we have today.

• Speech recognition (that Doesn't Suck™), on a system level. It's been a long, long, LONG time coming.

• File/folder encryption. We actually had file encryption is OS 9. Just control-click any file, select "Encrypt", and there ya go. Why has this feature not made it to OS X? We can encrypt our entire Home folders, but that's a tad overzealous and presents more problems than it really solves. We can encrypt disk images, but....well, who wants to keep all their files in disk images?!? I want the ability to encrypt ANY file and ANY folder. And the encryption level should be adjustable. Currently DMGs use 128-bit AES. StuffIt allows for 256-bit AES. I'm not intimitely familiar with the AES algorithm, but I assume 256-bit AES encryption is enough of an improvement over 128-bit to justify it's inclusion as an option (at least).


The key point of the first two is that they Don't Suck™. :)
 

Lt Major Burns

"Dicky" Charlteston-Burns
Mikuro said:
I'm a little torn on this issue. On the one hand, it would be undeniably cool to be able to dynamically scale any window and have it look "natural". On othe other hand, ditching bitmapped images entirely would make the entire UI much slower than it already is (and it's already a lot slower than it should be). As long as text scales well, will it really matter at all if the close box and scroll bars are a little blocky?
it's only slow on older machines. my bottom-level g5 runs it perfectly. so, so fast, stable, and above all, it never, ever seems sluggish, in terms of the OS (intensive apps will always be slow).

EDIT: also, take a look at the scaling in tiger dev tools, i think it's in Quartz Debug. it looks terrible with bitmapped everything. really, check it out. the dev tools are on the dvd. it's still quite buggy though.

so, the bottom level machines from a year ago run the current OS (which has been around for 4 years now, and actually gets faster each update) perfectly. time to look to the future. like apple always does. they still support all the macs realeased in the last 6 years, and will continue to do so, and i think in the next 2 years, the base level powermacs will be able to run a post-script OS smoothly. it just needs a sense of ambition. a post scrip OS would blow the futurism of OSX out of the water.

it's not the scaling that counts, its the High Definition desktop that does - i want a massivly high res screen where the menu items, text and icons don't just disapper into too-smaller a size to be ledgible. like the 23" screen currently can display a full sheet of A3 in Photoshop, a 300ppi 23" would be able to show that A3 image in the resolution it should print at, realisticly - no more would you have to zoom in to correct the details visible by the human eye that are obscured by the pixels, that on todays computers are a quarter of that definition. i would certainly start saving for that machine now if i knew it were coming. also, with this in mind, intel et al should already be developing architectures, like altivec, that would make a postscript OS a breeze.
 

symphonix

Scratch & Sniff Committee
Another thing that occurs to me is to be able to use folders/drawers in the dock a little bit more neatly. Being able to have a drawer pop-up for your Adobe apps, another for MS-Office, etc would really silence those Windows users who criticise the dock (as if an "All Programs" view with 50+ items sorted in order of the name of the company that makes them is any more intuitive, huff grrr).
 

Mikuro

Crotchety UI Nitpicker
I'll second the request for themes. I've had a bit of a change of heart on this issue since OS 8.

Back in those days, there was Kaleidoscope, an awesome little control panel that let you customize virtually every aspect of your UI. It was soooo cool......but an enormous pain in my butt as an interface designer. It made my job so much harder, because I had no idea what my end user's system would look like. Any and all drawing I did had to be reworked to support the possibility of a different background color, or worse yet, a background PATTERN. AAAAAH! But hey, it was just a geeky little third-party extension, and anyone using it knew darn well that they should expect half their programs to look bad with it; I didn't need to beat myself up supporting it.

But if Apple had made such a feature standard (as they originally intended to with OS 8.5) then, I would have been forced to work with it. Everyone would have to. Older apps would look like crap, and it would increase development times of newer apps.

But that doesn't apply anymore. OS X already made my life miserable by changing my window backgrounds to patterns, and then made up for it by giving me double-buffering for free, so I don't really need to think about it at all (drawing is certainly a lot less efficient now than it was then, but it makes my life as a developer a lot easier, so I can live with that). Because of this, the potential differences probably wouldn't affect 99% of third-party apps at all.

It might be difficult to maintain a consistent UI if themes were introduced, but....c'mon now, Apple hasn't given half a dern about UI consistency in years. Brushed metal was the start of it. Now they're creating new window types that are barely even different, just for the heck of it — consistency be damned (I'm talking about the new "unified" window type used in Tiger by Mail, Xcode and a few others — it really serves no logical purpose except to look different). Consistency is a ghost at this point, and we don't need to chase it. Giving the user choice, however, is perfectly doable. So why not?
 

Reality

Registered
And I'll 3rd the request of themes. Its the one thing I would like to see the most. My XP friends have some pretty snazzy looking interfaces and I really like to get on that action without risky hacking.
 
Top