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Ten Things for 10.14

Simple stuff, actually. That's what elegance is all about.

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RTP (Rixstep) — macOS 10.14 is right around the corner, say the folks at Macworld.


And, true to fashion, they offer suggestions how to improve the OS. Note: the OS. And what do they mention?

Mail, Calendar, iTunes, and QuickTime Player.

Gentlemen. Those are applications. They're not the operating system.

So OK, in lieu of a salient article on the operating system, let's offer a few suggestions of our own.

  1. APFS. File deletes have to be speeded up. Our suspicion is this is something endemic with the overall design. We still haven't seen the specs that were long since promised, so we can't know. But the agonising waits on deletes from SSDs are unlike anything seen on HDDs in the past twenty years (or more). Let's not call APFS a fail. Let's just get it up to speed.

  2. Colons and slashes. Perhaps it's time to recognise we're on a Unix system, with a Unix filesystem, and
    Just maybe?

  3. Clean yer caches. macOS has caches all over the place. macOS with the developer tools has in excess of 500 (five hundred) directories dedicated to caches or something related. And that's not counting the mutant monstrosities under /var/folders. This is not a mainframe system FFS! It's supposed to be a personal system. But it's more complex than VM, MVS, or VMS!

  4. Container chaos. We don't need containers - at least not with the current implementation. This is getting more chaotic than AppleTalk. Over 6 MB in over 1,300 hundred files on a fresh boot is just hysterical. Think up a better scheme or just forget about it.

  5. Put static developer info under root, not in user home directories. There's no reason to duplicate these ginormous hives for every user on a local machine. And if there's only one user on that machine? So what? Put things in their proper place, period.

  6. Reimplement functionality you once scrapped for no good reason. That Carbon developers can't use some Cocoa features is no reason to scrap parts of Cocoa, yet it's been done. And as you're building your OS on the world-famous Rock-Solid Foundation™, stop being paranoid that every Maccie and his cousin are going to find ways to Oompa-Loompa your brittle world. Stop running so much background code in your launch services (and in this new Gojira defaults system) to guard against who-knows-what. You're doing your users a disservice.

  7. Stop hiding ~/Library. That's a user directory. Are you completely off it? There are places you can put things that are both out of the way and more secure. So use them.

  8. And while you're at it: reserve /Applications for apps meant for anyone using the machine, and not a dumping ground for every piece of software that passes through town. If your stuff is super-sensitive, put it in /System.

    macOS High Sierra still recognises the following paths, but it seems your iOS developers are unaware of this.

  9. Find somewhere else to put these blasted things. Stop cluttering the system. This is supposed to be elegant simplicity, not what it's become.
        /.HFS+ Private Directory Data

  10. Consider using a few good engineers full-time to curate the OS. Pick people with good industry chops who really care about standards and architectural beauty. Do this before your entire OS collapses.

Happy holidays.

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