Yet More Leopard Observations

Monday, 2007-10-29; 20:53:00

More small Leopard observations: this'll continue until I don't have notes in significant numbers to warrant a weblog post. Today's notes:

  • Some of my Keynote documents don't show the contents of the presentation in Quick Look. Do you have to have the latest version of iLife for this?! Waaaah.
  • Another Classic icon is hijacking a Leopard icon. Mac OS 9 is punishing me for installing a different operating system, one on which it doesn't run.

    Classic icon in Automator

    (Seriously, anyone know how to rectify this besides erasing all traces of Classic and/or Classic apps on my computer?)

  • Automator can't save scripts that you can read in Script Editor, so sadly, it's Watch Me Do feature doesn't allow you to learn how to manually write UI Scripts. However, maybe that's not necessarily necessary. If you need to automate UI actions, recording it should suffice. Although, it would be nice to be able to modify those after the fact.
  • Speaking of which... holy crap UI scripts are not horribly fragile anymore!!! This is a ridiculously welcome change.

    In Tiger, you could almost never string UI script actions one right after another, because sometimes the UI required a few seconds before proceeding to the next step, and instead, AppleScript would report the action as completed almost immediately. So proceeding to the next UI action would cause the script to fail because the interface hasn't updated to perform that next action. For example, in System Preferences, it takes a second or two to change from one preference pane to the next. In Tiger, the next line in the script couldn't be a UI action in that pane, because it would immediately try to execute it and would fail because the preference pane hadn't revealed itself at that point. You would always have to insert "delay 5" or similar lines between each UI action, and worse, the delays would be different depending upon the state of the computer or even which computer model you'd be running the script on.

    That this is no longer a problem (in my limited testing) in Leopard is a huge boon to UI script writers.

  • The "currently running" lights of the Dock are annoying. It's hard to tell without a deliberate look what's running and what's simply in the Dock.
  • I'm forcing myself to use the new features: I've relegated 32 only-sometimes-used apps from my Dock into a faux-stack (of aliases to the apps). I've also completely removed Calculator from my Dock, forcing me to use the Spotlight calculator. So far, both changes are highly successful.
  • Looks like the Software Update mechanism has changed: once it finishes downloading and is ready to install, it wants you to restart first, and then when all applications have been closed and your Mac is all but shut down, then it installs the software update. (At least for ones that require a restart, probably.)
  • Also upon first shutdown: it wanted to update the "startup cache", whatever that means.
  • Cool: if a song file has embedded artwork, the Finder preview will show that artwork in the Finder. So that's what that iTunes note on black background was all about (for songs without embedded artwork).
  • There's a new savable format in Preview called "SGI", which is identified as a "Silicon Graphics image". Never heard of this format before, but I guess it's cool that Mac OS X now supports it.
  • The Console improvements make it an unfamiliar app, since it doesn't show the log files simply as text anymore, but as a list of lines. When you click on the log text, now, the entire line is selected, which is useful but unexpected. Also the way it format dates is annoying, because now it shows the date twice. (I've shoehorned the date into my localized time format so that it shows up in the menubar clock, so this is not an unexpected problem.)
  • Embedded audio files in iChats can now easily be saved wherever you want, including from chat logs. (In case you didn't notice from the ABF review of Mac OS X 10.5, this is bug CX.)
  • Ugh, the Safari shortcuts for "Next Tab" and "Previous Tab" have been changed yet again. Now they're ⌃⌘→ and ⌃⌘←, instead of ⇧⌘] and ⇧⌘[, and before that they were ⇧⌘→ and ⇧⌘←. Can we please standardize on a set of keys already? (⇧⌘] and ⇧⌘[ are now taken up by new [app name --> Services --> Insert --> Long Date] and [app name --> Services --> Insert --> Short Date] menu items.) Arg!! Apple, stop messing with my muscle memory!! (Yes I know I can easily change these.)
  • Oh, the perils of nice stay-out-from-under-my-Dock icons. Now that Finder icons respect the Dock, the simple act of launching an app, quitting an app, hiding or unhiding an app, or minimizing a window can all cause your Finder icons to re-wrap. (I have them set to auto-arrange on the Desktop.) Now that I've excised a lot of icons from my Dock, it's large enough that adding or removing an icon from the Dock perceptibly changes the height of the Dock. This, in turn, causes the usable area of the Desktop to change, which can force icons out of the way.

    It was weird, though: I launched an app and then noticed something out of the corner of my eye. But I couldn't place what it was. It took about five of these out-of-the-corner-of-eye noticings (lol) before I could pin down what was causing it. (Occasionally, though, the icons start refusing to move out of the way -- a Dock restart seems to fix this.)

    I would show a movie of this, but (stupid) Snapz Pro X remains unregistered because Ambrosia hasn't gotten back to me regarding the renewal of my license code. (I can sporadically get it to attempt to register, but then it fails at renewing my code.) Both Snapz Pro X and iShowU blast notices over your movies if they're unregistered, so I'm not foisting that on anybody.

  • You know how you can store album artwork within a song file? And how when iTunes 7 automatically downloads album art, it stores it in an external file, not the song file itself? And how the Leopard Finder shows album art in the preview of song files? Well, the Finder seems to know about the external album art song files for the previews. You can have the bizarre situation where you duplicate a song file, and the preview on the original shows the artwork, while the duplicate's does not.
  • In open/save sheets, now when you attempt to save and there's an existing file with that name, the dialog that asks you to confirm the replacement is also a sheet. Since when did windows support multiple sheets at once? Is this a Leopard change?

    Leopard's Replacement Sheet
  • Very interesting: the typeselect mechanism also works in open/save dialogs, but here it's behavior is sort of unexpected. If you select an object, start typeselecting, and then press delete, the original item you had selected will now get reselected. Cool! However, perhaps not cool: if there is no item that matches your typeselecting (for example, you typed I-T-U-N-E-T), then the open/save dialog beeps at you! It's kind of annoying because if you start typing really fast to get somewhere, it blurts out a bunch of beeps, and those extra characters don't cause the selection to go past any result that matches the typeselection.

    Also: if you type a single character, then wait a few seconds, and then type that same character again, the open/save dialog will cycle through the items that match that typeselection. For example, say you have "Mail", "Memory Usage Getter", and "Mini vMac" in a folder. (You definitely do not have Microsoft Office in this folder. :P ) If you have this folder revealed in an open/save dialog, and you press simply 'm', Mail will be selected first. Now wait a second or two. Now press 'm' again, and "Memory Usage Getter" will be selected. Wait a second or two, press 'm', and "Mini vMac" will be selected. Another second or two wait and 'm' press, and "Mail" will be selected once again.

    I like the first and last changes, but the middle change is kind of annoying. Glad that typeselecting is getting a lot of attention, though.

  • Whoa. TextEdit defaults to auto-saving unsaved changes every 30 seconds. I had some non-essential stuff in an unsaved window, and force quit TextEdit. When I opened it, my unsaved work was there and I did a double-take. I also shortened the auto-save period to 15 seconds in prefs. :)
  • TextEdit's find feature also does the blorpy effect when showing the current search result like Safari 3. Sadly, it does not have a Safari-esque search bar that highlights all the search results at the same time.
  • Sadly, the little animation when you drop something in a sidebar folder in the Finder is gone. Before, it would kind of swoop in an arc over to the folder and gradually get smaller to show that it was actually moving/copying into that folder. Now, it's back to the old no-feedback-whatsoever way. :( I'm tempted to file this as a bug.
  • What's with the Archive and Install option leaving 0-byte vestiges of all my apps in the previous Applications folder (except the Apple applications)? Why not just move them entirely?

    Vestige Apps from Archive and Install
  • In the path bar, if it's too short to reveal the entire path, it truncates some of the folder names in the path. However, mouse over the path bar and the folder currently under the mouse reveals its full name. Sweet, and useful. It also nicely fades out the truncated portions of the path, and it smoothly reveals each portion (through a quick animation) as you mouse over them.

    Path Bar with Super-Long path
  • If the Console is an unfamiliar application, Interface Builder 3.0 is completely alien. The inspector window is completely revamped, the menus have all been moved around, all the icons have changed, views have changed, etc. There's so much changed here that I don't know where to go anymore. (For example, how do you instantiate a class in IB 3.0? And how do you delete an entire menu?)
  • If you have extensions set to always display in the Finder, pressing return to rename the item now doesn't select the filename extension.
  • iChat now has a Safari-esque downloads window for file transfers.

    iChat File Transfer Window

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