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10.5.2 promises to be a whopper of an update but can Apple fix enough to restore consumer confidence in the company? Here are some of the more glaring defects to watch for.
- Safari's 'empty corner' in the lower right. Flawed from build 48 and still flawed.
- Safari mucked up the text source window in 10.5.
- Safari has no clue what it's doing with services. It allows in place editing of web pages (how long is it going to take before malware exploits this) and totally screws up on services where they should work.
- Mail still can't make the Drafts folder visible. Users can move files to this folder and still can't get at them.
- Mail too is totally screwed up when it comes to services. It's been this way since Tiger nearly three years ago and it's still not fixed.
- The services engine is royally screwed. It doesn't allow empty objects and it seems to monitor inodes and prevent use of providers if the inodes of their binaries change during a session. Only solution seems to be to copy updates onto the old inodes and zap the cache in 'ByHost'. Things would of course be better if Apple documented what the F they're doing but that would be asking too much.
- Signed apps with gobs of features and bloat no one wants can't be cleaned if they're in contact with the web. People can't clean their services menus.
- Preview is no longer WYSIWYG: it crops one pixel more on the right and possibly on the bottom than it shows. Also it doesn't show the cropped sizes until the file is saved. Also it allows the user to drag the cropping rectangle outside the image area.
- Inodes are wasted for who knows what reason. Again: Apple could document this but don't hold your breath. This is a secretive company and don't think otherwise.
- Very strange - not to say unwieldy - temporary directories. For what purpose? Again no one will know because Apple aren't putting that information out there.
- Cocoa's document controller overrides file system permissions without authentication. This simply can't stand. Someone in Cupertino has their head up a dark moist cavity.
- Safari still leaves remnants on the menu bar. Something dating back to Tiger is still wrong with the system's rendering engine.
- Mail still gets mighty confused if it's dealing with plain text or rich text, unindented or indented text, and so forth. Colours and font systems are blended willy nilly.
- Preview leaves tonnes of junk in one of those inaccessible 'temporary' places.
- 'Desktop DB' and 'Desktop DF' are still around even though this is OS X.
- HFS is still around even though this is the 'New Millennium'.
- Network Utility is still a lame wrapper for command line Unix programs and the slowest pinger and tracer going with absolutely no usefulness as a whois client etc.
- NSTextView is sluggish.
- NSTableView is down for the count: it takes several seconds for a selection to change and it accepts a double click without clearing the selection. How code that once worked perfectly could get so terribly mucked up is a mystery. Or maybe it's not.
- NSTableView selections simply do not work anymore. They used to work beautifully. Better than Microsoft's. Now there is no way to select separate groups of rows.
- NSOutlineView masks key modifiers incorrectly. Again: this used to be perfect. Now you can't hold down the command key if you want to 'expand all' - even though you're used to doing this and have been used to it for half a dozen years.
- /home and /net remain mysteries and /net seems to screw up Finder fantastically.
- Xcode (what a name) leaves something called '.XcodeSCMTemp' in one of those exotic locations as well as the ne'er to be forgot 'pb-man/Documentation' which is always empty and never used.
- Xcode insists on creating the directory '.Xcode' in user root for SCM purposes even if it's not being used and crashes if it can't.
- Finder is the piss poorest excuse for a file manager ever. It doesn't have to be blazing like Xfile but it does have to do everything in some way. Finder can't do shit. It can't even control executable bits on files today. This is a crisis. Professionals are laughing at Apple.
- Active Directory was broken in a classic way.
- QuickTime 7.4 is breaking apps left and right.
10.5 Leopard wasn't ready when it was released. Apple knew it and released it anyway. Two updates later and they're going to have a hard time winning back consumer confidence in - and respect for - the company.