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Leopard interface tweaks continue in latest builds

post #1 of 78
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The most recent pre-release build of Apple Inc.'s Mac OS X Leopard operating system began making its way into developers' hands this past weekend, carrying with it a number of interface tweaks and a lengthy list of recommended testing suggestions.

Screenshots and video clips taken of the new build, labeled Mac OS X Leopard build 9A527, show Apple to have reduced the transparency of the Mac OS menubar from previous builds, making it more opaque. Some developers had argued that level of transparency in previous builds gave the software -- and Mac OS desktop in general -- a cheaper, more rugged look.

Meanwhile, Apple also used build 9A527 to introduce both a new startup movie (below) and desktop picture. Both pieces of media sport a galactic motif that coincides with the theme of the company's Time Machine backup software -- one of Leopard's trademark features.

Other interface changes apparent from leaked Leopard screenshots include a refined toolbar in Preview.app and new preference pane icons for Appearance, Desktop & Screen Saver, Sharing, and Parental Controls.

Developers who install the latest build are being asked by Apple to test the release rigorously. For instance, the company asked that new features -- such as .Mac syncing of Dashboard widgets, Dock items and preferences -- be evaluated alongside such common and long-established functions as printing and Spotlight Mail searches.

In addition to any quirks that may be discovered in build 9A527, Apple also informed developers of nearly a dozen known issues with Leopard that they hope to isolate in the coming weeks. Those weeks, however, are numbered; the Cupertino-based company has said it plans to release the software in the October timeframe.



In order to meet the self-imposed deadline, Apple in the next six weeks will need to completely rid Leopard of known issues, then seed several final candidate builds before declaring one Gold Master. Once declared Gold Master, Leopard will be released to manufacturing for duplication and retail packaging.

Alongside Friday's seeding of Mac OS X Leopard build 9A527, the company also seeded Mac OS X Leopard Server build 9A528a.
post #2 of 78
It's getting close to release! Yeee!
Glad they reduced the transparency of the menu bar again. That was possibly one of Apple's strangest GUI desicions in recent history... Transparent menu bar... so that you can see the freaking background behind it better? Thanks for taking it back.
post #3 of 78
Have they fixed the strangely off-center (too low) icons in Finder?



Judging from this screenshot, it looks like the arrows are too high now. \
post #4 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

In order to meet the self-imposed deadline, Apple in the next six weeks will need to completely rid Leopard of known issues

Not really, that'll be 10.5.1. They just need to make it 95% workable and remove all kernel panic issues; the rest will get worked out over the next two or three months.
post #5 of 78
can't wait for the .mac syncing of my widgets between my laptop, iPhone and Apple TV. This is going to be cool.
:-D * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
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post #6 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by psychodoughboy View Post

Not really, that'll be 10.5.1. They just need to make it 95% workable and remove all kernel panic issues; the rest will get worked out over the next two or three months.

They had better do much better than 95%. That would be unusable. 99.99% is closer to usable.

10.5.1 won't fix too many of the remaining issues.

Maybe by 10.5 5.
post #7 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

They had better do much better than 95%. That would be unusable. 99.99% is closer to usable.

10.5.1 won't fix too many of the remaining issues.

Maybe by 10.5 5.

And yet we'll all still buy 10.5.0 on release day
post #8 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by psychodoughboy View Post

And yet we'll all still buy 10.5.0 on release day

Yup!

And complain, and complain.
post #9 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

Yup!

And complain, and complain.

I'm already writing a few complaint posts and keeping them saved in a Word document to paste in when Leopard is finally released. For example, "WHAT HAPPENED TO MY INPUTMANAGERS"
post #10 of 78
I wish they would change the Apple logo in the "About This Mac" box. I've always thought it looks out of place and I could never understand why they designed it that way.
post #11 of 78
Not sure about the "rugged" look. Hope it isn't in the final release. Users want elegant functionality, thank you very much.
post #12 of 78
/sigh...

I guess no Tabs in finder..... ugh. Why was that so hard to bring in? So many people requested the feature. Guess they had too much on their plate. Anyways, as long as I can get my development environment up and running immediately on Leo (web dev with perl, php, c, gd, etc), I'll be on it that day. It is going to chage how i work with spaces!

 

 

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post #13 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by emig647 View Post

/sigh...

I guess no Tabs in finder..... ugh. Why was that so hard to bring in? So many people requested the feature. Guess they had too much on their plate. Anyways, as long as I can get my development environment up and running immediately on Leo (web dev with perl, php, c, gd, etc), I'll be on it that day. It is going to chage how i work with spaces!

Or they decided it didn't work in real world use for their design principles.
post #14 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

... then seed several final candidate builds before declaring one Gold Master.

Oh, what I wouldn't give to be declared a "Gold Master"! Isn't that like two or three
steps above fifth-degree Black Belt? No wait . . . maybe that's something else.

Even if this thing has a dozen bugs in it, it'll still beat Vista hands-down.

BRING IT ON! WE'RE READY!
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post #15 of 78
Just come out and say it... It looked too much like Vista. Scalling back on the transparency just helps to make it less like vista. When I have used Vista, the transparency has always bugged me.
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post #16 of 78
What I'd like to know is if you can turn OFF the Menu bar transparency. Frankly, I think a transparent menu bar is a ridiculous idea.
post #17 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by psychodoughboy View Post

I'm already writing a few complaint posts and keeping them saved in a Word document to paste in when Leopard is finally released. For example, "WHAT HAPPENED TO MY INPUTMANAGERS"

Security happened to them.
post #18 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by p2rjade View Post

When I have used Vista, the transparency has always bugged me.

For me, Vista's transparency bugs me so much that the first thing I do when I sit down at a Windows Vista terminal is to scale back the GUI to the Classic (Win95) theme just to get rid of the transparency effects. It also makes everything run faster.
post #19 of 78
Does anyone know who wrote the music for the initial MacOSX startup?
I guess they're going to change it, doesn't really fit well with the flickering splattery things that they have now on the startup video.
post #20 of 78
I'm very glad to see the overly-busy, distracting green grass give way to something softer that lets your work take the visual foreground.

For nostalgia's sake I might have liked blue instead of purple, but this contrasts nicely with all the blue in OS X. It will look pretty cool for the login screen too.
post #21 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lafe View Post

Oh, what I wouldn't give to be declared a "Gold Master"!
Isn't that like two or three steps above fifth-degree Black Belt?

only if you're Bruce Leroy...
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post #22 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by initiator View Post

What I'd like to know is if you can turn OFF the Menu bar transparency. Frankly, I think a transparent menu bar is a ridiculous idea.

No, there's no option for that.

What you can do, however, is bring your desktop picture into photoshop, scale it to your current screen res, and put a white bar the same height as the menu bar up at top. It'll make the menu bar look solid white.

The only problems with that are that you have to do it for each desktop picture you use, and that if you change resolutions the bar will either be too short or too tall, making it look bad.

There's also a 3rd party app that makes it opaque. Frankly it's pretty lousy, but i'm sure better ones will come in time.
post #23 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by age234 View Post

Judging from this screenshot, it looks like the arrows are too high now. \

I think this will be a symptom of the new vectorized interface. If you resize a PDF, the lines of text wobble about but if you do this on a bitmap of text, it doesn't. Maybe vectorized images only use whole pixels whereas bitmaps would just get more blurry on non-whole pixels.

Are there screenshots of the new menu etc?
post #24 of 78
After watching the Youtube of the new intro video, it reminded me of The Doctor Who titles...

Link


Is it just me???
post #25 of 78
I've given a lot of thought to the transparency they've added to the menubar, and my conclusion is that it actually makes sense.

1. We know the menubar is at the top of the screen. That's obvious.
2. When compared to pre-10.5 interfaces, it becomes clear that menubar adds visual clutter to the workspace. Making it transparent helps it to disappear into the background without detracting from its usefulness. See Point #1.

I think as people use 10.5, they'll grow to prefer the transparent menubar.
post #26 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by sandau View Post

can't wait for the .mac syncing of my widgets between my laptop, iPhone and Apple TV. This is going to be cool.

Shhh!!! Spoiler alert!


Geez!
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post #27 of 78
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Originally Posted by Capt. Obvious View Post

only if you're Bruce Leroy...

Who's the master?!
Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
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post #28 of 78
Oh nevermind.
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post #29 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by coolfactor View Post

I've given a lot of thought to the transparency they've added to the menubar, and my conclusion is that it actually makes sense.

1. We know the menubar is at the top of the screen. That's obvious.
2. When compared to pre-OS X interfaces, it becomes clear that menubar adds visual clutter to the workspace. Making it transparent helps it to disappear into the background without detracting from its usefulness. See Point #1.

I think as people use 10.5, they'll grow to prefer the transparent menubar.

Not really, whether or not it helps to disappear into the background, it doesn't physically disappear so all you are left with is an odd colored bar inside all your running applications, which is distracting.

If they wanted to improve it, they could just have made it smaller or better yet, allow the user to specify the size. Some programs I use take up the entire width of the menu bar and I'd happily shrink their menu down to 0.5-0.75 the height to fit more in.
post #30 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by coolfactor View Post

I've given a lot of thought to the transparency they've added to the menubar, and my conclusion is that it actually makes sense.

1. We know the menubar is at the top of the screen. That's obvious.
2. When compared to pre-10.5 interfaces, it becomes clear that menubar adds visual clutter to the workspace. Making it transparent helps it to disappear into the background without detracting from its usefulness. See Point #1.

I think as people use 10.5, they'll grow to prefer the transparent menubar.

I can't agree at all.

First, I don't see it adding clutter. If anything, this new transparency will add clutter.

Right now I have both safari and Mail open. You can hardly notice the menubar. Mail is in the background, and the bar just blends in. the white is not distracting from the grey of Safari's window.

But, with a green background, as Apple is now using, it will be very distracting. Even though you can change the picture, unless you change it to a neutral color, the bar will always be distracting.

It's also true that it will be more difficult to read.

No matter how you like color, a white background will always be better for readability. a few points of grey is also fine, and dims the glare a bit. Otherwise, transparency is a big step backwards in usability.

This wasn't done to improve anything, just to make it look more "modern" and "new". It's part of the hype about how much Apple "improved" the finder. It's worse than the Downloads folder, which many of us have made for ourselves for years.

A bad idea.
post #31 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by Buck View Post

Does anyone know who wrote the music for the initial MacOSX startup?
I guess they're going to change it, doesn't really fit well with the flickering splattery things that they have now on the startup video.

It's Bytecry by Weevil. You can find it on the iTunes store, unsurprisingly.

10.3 had Eple by Röyskopp, and before that it was Sofa Rockers by Sofa Surfers.
post #32 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by ajprice View Post

After watching the Youtube of the new intro video, it reminded me of The Doctor Who titles...

Link


Is it just me???

Snap! Cupertino clearly loves Dr Who and HG Wells!
post #33 of 78
It seems strange that Apple would move back towards transparent menus. Early versions of Mac OS X were very transparent and over the years they drastically reduced the transparencies. So I don't know why they would go back. I hope there will be an option or a hack to turn off the menu bar transparency.
post #34 of 78
I wouldn't worry about not being able to turn off the transparency in the menu bar, there are already hacks for it

http://www.manytricks.com/blog/?id=10

Plus I heard that tinkertool will have control for it as well.

 

 

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post #35 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

No matter how you like color, a white background will always be better for readability. a few points of grey is also fine, and dims the glare a bit. Otherwise, transparency is a big step backwards in usability.

I agree with all your points Mel. Black on light grey is probably best for reading text.

I've hacked my Dock (using Clear Dock) so it has a solid gray, opaque background. It makes it much easier to pick out individual icons. <rant>Personally I'd like the Dock to be like the pre-Leopard menu bar, a solid, opaque region stretching entirely across the screen (bottom or side) that every application including Finder considers off limits. Then the Finder icon and Trash could be pinned to corners of the screen where they belong and the empty space (if any) would be in the middle of the Dock (like it is in the menu bar) instead of the stupid thing changing size when you add/remove anything./<rant>
post #36 of 78
The new menu bar is gonna be opaque. Opaque, not transparant! Just like in "Numbers" (from the iWork suite).

I think it is a great & subtle move. But I'd love to add two more things to it:

1/ One can alter the opacity of the menu bar in the "system preferences menu" from opaque to solid.

2/ No matter how much I am in love with the opaque menu bar, it would be great if the menu bar would disappear like the dock. It will appear automatically from the moment your cursor hits the top of your screen.
post #37 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by Capt. Obvious View Post

only if you're Bruce Leroy...

good one man
post #38 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bregalad View Post

I agree with all your points Mel. Black on light grey is probably best for reading text.

I've hacked my Dock (using Clear Dock) so it has a solid gray, opaque background. It makes it much easier to pick out individual icons. <rant>Personally I'd like the Dock to be like the pre-Leopard menu bar, a solid, opaque region stretching entirely across the screen (bottom or side) that every application including Finder considers off limits. Then the Finder icon and Trash could be pinned to corners of the screen where they belong and the empty space (if any) would be in the middle of the Dock (like it is in the menu bar) instead of the stupid thing changing size when you add/remove anything./<rant>

Sure. That's why Apple used black on white in the first place.

As far as icons on the menu bar go, There are several colors. Apple's keyboard icon, here in the Us is blur, white, and Red. The white is transparent, so the white of the menu bare shines through. It would look funky with green stripes. The Smart Reporter program for my HDDs has a green icon. Version Cue, from Adobe, is green and Red. Weather Pop Pro is an icon showing the time of the day, and weather, so it changes. iClock has the time set to red (my choice) so I can glance up and it will catch my eye, so that I don't have to look through the others for it.

With a transparent bar, all of this will be difficult to see, and so take more time to read. No matter what color companies change their icons to, there will always be some that won't be easy to see.
post #39 of 78
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Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Who's the master?!

Sho-nuff! Kiss my Converse
post #40 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by mr O View Post

The new menu bar is gonna be opaque. Opaque, not transparant! Just like in "Numbers" (from the iWork suite).

I think it is a great & subtle move. But I'd love to add two more things to it:

1/ One can alter the opacity of the menu bar in the "system preferences menu" from opaque to solid.

2/ No matter how much I am in love with the opaque menu bar, it would be great if the menu bar would disappear like the dock. It will appear automatically from the moment your cursor hits the top of your screen.

Opaque means that you can't see through it. The menu bar in Numbers is light grey. Is that what you mean?

Opaque to solid, therefore, means that you would be changing it from non-transparent to non-transparent.

You mean hidden to opaque (or solid)?

We need to see the menu bar, because it's small, and when we shoot our curser up to it, we tend to aim directly at the item we want. If it were hidden, we would miss, and have to slide the curser over. Too much.
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