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Apple backtracks on Safari 4.0 tabs on top, ZFS

post #1 of 174
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Amid all of the new features highlighted Monday in Snow Leopard, iPhone 3.0 and Safari 4.0 were a few unpublicized retractions: Safari 4.0 has lost its "tabs on top" and returned to the old conventional tabs of the previous 3.0 version, while all mention of full ZFS support in Snow Leopard Server has been scrubbed.

When Safari 4.0 was released for free download yesterday, its provocative use of upward facing tabs was dropped along with its beta label. For users who just got used to having their window tabs tucked into the dead space in the menu bar, the change back might seem disappointing. After all, Apple promoted the idea of 'tabs on top' as a clever way to minimize the impact of user interface elements on the browsing experience, a key design goal of Safari since its first release.

Why have tabs dropped back down to consume an extra strip of interface real estate? Perhaps the company though it was too confusing to new users, or that it simply wasn't consistent or compatible with its own interface guidelines or those of Microsoft Windows, which the company is now trying to look native on with Safari rather than imposing its uniquely metallic Mac appearance.

Whatever the reason, the retraction of the bold design step by the typically safe, if not conservative, company is slightly disappointing and makes the new browser seem a big dowdy. Users might forgive this due to Safari's enhanced rendering speed. The new-old tabs also still work the same, featuring the intuitive drag to reorder capability and the option to drag a tab outside the current browser to spawn a new window, or to drag a tab into an existing window to make it a component tab. Apple claims 150 other features for Safari in its place.

Upward facing tabs under Safari 4 beta (left) compared to those implemented in the release (right).

The conspicuously missing ZFS

The announcement of new support for Sun's open source ZFS in Leopard drew a frenzy of attention that had pundits insisting that Mac OS X would quickly make the new file system its default in place of HFS+, a prediction that has not materialized.

Of course, while ZFS is positively dripping with easy to understand feature buzzwords, there's no desperate, impending need to replace HFS+ nor any likelihood that ZFS would really offer consumers, who make up the vast majority Apple's target market, any tangible benefits. For starters, the features of ZFS only really get started when you're using multiple disks, and most of Apple's users are now buying notebook systems, none of which ship with multiple drives.

Still, ZFS seemed to hold a lot of promise to Snow Leopard Server users, who might want to take advantage of the new file system's support for features such as flexible volume management, continuous data integrity checking and automatic repair.

ZFS was formerly listed prominently among the scant new details offered on Apple's next version of Mac OS X Server, but now the company's entire site seems to be purged of any mention. Sources have noted that the feature was pulled from the user interface of Disk Utility in recent developer builds.

While Apple probably isn't abandoning the technology, it has certainly slipped from the list of critical to deliver features for Snow Leopard. The only mention of ZFS in the search results of Apple's website is its inclusion as an open source project in Darwin. Well, there's always Mac OS X 10.7.

Sometimes, Apple drops an advertised feature when it is discovered that it simply isn't ready for mainstream users yet, as was the case with Time Machine backups to AirPort. In other cases, the company has dropped a planned feature to rethink how to implement it, as it did with Push Notifications for iPhone 2.0 last fall. In both of those cases, the technology was eventually reinstated for release. In other cases however, a dropped feature might never come back. Apple never revisited the idea of customized user interface themes, for example.
post #2 of 174
Just launched safari and noticed they'd moved the tabs again. Backwards step IMO. I preferred the 'tabs up top', maybe I was in the minority? How about just giving us the option to choose!
post #3 of 174
What about Resolution Independence? I want to buy a 3840x2400 monitor, but I need Resolution Independence for it to be useable.
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post #4 of 174
Me not wanting to know "why" tabs are no more on top. Me waiting for SJ to be back and to handle a bit his designers and presenters...

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post #5 of 174
As I mentioned in another thread. I vote for having the option to have tabs in the menubar, even if it is not the default.

Also, Safari has already crashed 3 times for me in the last day since I've updated. No-third party plug-ins or anything.
post #6 of 174
Well, new filesystems in operating systems is pretty hard stuff since it has to be right the first time. Just ask Microsoft. They still haven't delivered their new SQL Server-derived filesystem after how many years? And of course, Apple had a horrendous time when HFS was first introduced as a part of System 3 back in the Mac Plus days. That initial version routinely lost data until System 3.2 replaced it.

Still, it's very disappointing to see that ZFS just isn't going to make the light of day with this release. Sun has had ZFS available now for years and bootable since October 2008. My ancient 9 year old Sun Ultra 60 operates on ZFS exclusively now. Of course it's still possible to see it show up in later point releases. I hope we won't have to wait until 10.7 (2011?) in order to get this key business feature.
post #7 of 174
Tabs back where they belong! yay!

Hack to put them back on top coming soon.


Now we need a hack to keep the delete tab buttons visible.

I think it's a UI mistake to have them hidden like that, especially for newbies.

It's going to slow people down, because they have to "hover" to reveal the button, make a course correction an then click. Instead of aiming right for it to begin with.

I'm thinking Apple is desperate to make improvements, any improvements, even if it's wrong and poorly thought out.
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post #8 of 174
I don't know if we were the minority, but I agree. The tabs on top was my favorite improvement other then the speed. Everything else is kind of gimmicky to me.

I think it wrong that Apple make a bold design decision like that, let many users get accustomed to it, and then remove it all together without making it at least an option. Certainly there were enough people who like it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevwood View Post

Just launched safari and noticed they'd moved the tabs again. Backwards step IMO. I preferred the 'tabs up top', maybe I was in the minority? How about just giving us the option to choose!
post #9 of 174
Me too..I didn't like putting tabs again in the old fashion..they are really fine on top.
post #10 of 174
Quote:
Originally Posted by holywarrior007 View Post

..they are really fine on top.

No...they really aren't.
post #11 of 174
I liked the added space... but the tabs belong on the bottom. I'm glad they put them back down.
post #12 of 174
Well, this, pardon me, sucks bigtime. Last year it sounded as if we'd have stable ZFS on Snow Leopard (client). Now I'm not so sure anymore.

It's semi-BS that ZFS isn't worth it without multiple disks. You get checksumming, know exactly what files are broken if any, built-in compression, and SNAPSHOTS. I was planning on taking frequent snapshots and using zfs send | recv to my (also planned) FreeBSD server to take frequent snapshots and backups of my home partition.
post #13 of 174
I really loved the tabs on top, it made perfect sense. I can have up to 10 tabs open at the same and the top version made it much faster in terms of workflow. I can only hope that someone at Apple is reading this thread and make it an option in preferences.
post #14 of 174
The tabs up top were horrible. If Safari was not the frontmost application, it was a disaster. One click on a tab to bring Safari to the front, then a second click to choose which tab you wanted - but instead, it was interpreted as a menu-bar double-click, minimizing Safari to the Dock. Fantastically annoying.

There is a reason why the menu-bar (with its selection and movement properties) is distinctly separate from the rest of the program.
post #15 of 174
It now looks as if the toolbar is tabbed rather than the page. I thought the beta tabs had Apples famed elegant solutions.

I didn't realise that i use Top Sites all the time until it was talked about today. Great addition.
post #16 of 174
Tabs on top is a nice -option- to have. I wonder though how that breaks 3rd party apps like unsanity Windowshade, which I use all the time. (Never tried the Safari beta). Glad to see the UI guidelines are being followed though.
post #17 of 174
Tabs on top was alright. At least leave it in there as an option.

And I can understand the reasons for slow ZFS adoption. Fair enough.
post #18 of 174
YEAH no tabs on top! what a result, I detested it.
post #19 of 174
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Safari 4.0 has lost its "tabs on top" and returned to the old conventional tabs of the previous 3.0 version

I liked the tabs on top, but they're fine below where they're more consistent with other apps and most people's user experience. It'd be nice for users to have the option to put them above or below though.

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post #20 of 174
Quote:
Originally Posted by DanaCameron View Post

I liked the tabs on top, but they're fine below where they're more consistent with other apps and most people's user experience. It'd be nice for users to have the option to put them above or below though.

It should really be included as an opton. I was beginning to quite like tabs on top. Either way, it's not really a deal-breaker. It's one of those luxury problems. Atlantic Lobster instead of King Crab. Oh well.
post #21 of 174
Meanwhile - Safari 4 is faster than ever. Sorting through RSS feeds this morning and it is noticeably faster.
post #22 of 174
For now, I'm still using the beta. I thoroughly enjoy my tabs on top, and hope they make a reappearance in an upcoming update. Does anyone know if the beta has an expiration? If not, I'll continue to use it as long as I can.
post #23 of 174
ZFS is more than just a multi-disk thing...one of the great benefits is that you can have corrupt data on your disk (single disk) that automatically gets corrected using checksums. With large hard drives, this is a real feature for all users who have video/music/photos all over the place.
post #24 of 174
I used Safari 4 since the beta and I could not stand the upward-facing tabs. If your desktop color is too close to the color of the tabs it was a real pain in the ass to find which tab I wanted and I made sure I complained about it.
post #25 of 174
Quote:
Originally Posted by ALthemal View Post

I really loved the tabs on top, it made perfect sense. I can have up to 10 tabs open at the same and the top version made it much faster in terms of workflow. I can only hope that someone at Apple is reading this thread and make it an option in preferences.

I'm with you there. it took maybe an hour to get used to reaching to the top for the tabs and now it looks cramped and dingy having the tabs under the bookmarks bar again.

There have been a few problems with crashes.. in my case the problem went away when I trashed the contents of the InputManagers folder (having already having tried zapping the plist files etc.). Odd thing is that the problem didn't come back after I put the various trashed files back into the IM folder (one bit - SafariBlock- being too useful to do without).
post #26 of 174
I didn't get the beta because of the tabs on top, so I'm glad they're gone. I think they may have broken Apple's rules on HCI too.
post #27 of 174
The day the top tabs came out, I wrote Apple suggesting they put them back on bottom. Although you loose viewing space, bottom tabs are a shorter distance from the bookmark bar. And when top tabs opened, the cursor would have to travel have the distance of the page just to get to the right tab. I think a lot of activity happens at the upper-left corner of the screen, where the navigation arrows are, and where many people keep their favorite bookmark on the bar. With the top tabs, if you tried to moving the window somewhere, you risked accidentally closing a tab, if you grabbed the window in the wrong place. Those were the reasons I suggested they revert to bottom tabs. But I concede it does lose space.
post #28 of 174
Tabs on top is a nice option to have. It gives me more room to read, but moving tabs on top is sometimes a really annoying thing to do. I have to be really careful of which spot to drag so as to move tabs rather than to move windows. On top of that, it is not quite a cool idea to change the length of tabs based on tabs' numbers IMO. It gives me a feel of inconsistency.
post #29 of 174
as a fan of NOT using tabs I couldn't care less, I thought the ideas of the tabs using the top a great way to maximize the available real estate for the actual webspace if you use tabes and I totally get the point about the function of the menu bar to hide the window.

Although I probably would hardly notice, I looked forward to ZFS as it holds a lot of new features that sounded great to me as an IT professional. Too bad it's postponed. I can see that Sun being acquired by Oracle made a difference there.
post #30 of 174
I was getting used to tabs on top, and either that or the Safari 3 way would have been fine going forwards. What we've ended up with is not so great. The close tab buttons being hidden is unintuitive, not to mention it seems to have made actually getting those close buttons to respond, even harder than it used to be. I still dislike the refresh in address bar thing, and the new loading thing is just nasty. Bring back the filling blue bar IMO.

Interesting the point about maybe trying to look fully native in Windows. I found that the tabs on top looked more at home in Windows than on OS X! Mainly due to the new tab button being right next to the minimise, etc. widgets, I guess. Haven't loaded the final version on Windows yet; hopefully it will have fixed the bug with Outlook Web Access, which just said "enable cookies" in the beta.
post #31 of 174
- Tabs: moving them to the top the way they did was not the best way to handle the UI. Reduced usability. Better ways to gain space.

- - - Apple, if you want help on the design, I have it figured out . Contact me.

- ZFS: - will be a missed feature. Many laptop users have one or more desktops. Mac Mini connected to the HDTV - big bonus. Backup server - huge extra. been waiting for this for two release now. Windows has a lot of the features.

- Microsoft Commercials.
-- Saw one last night, and now it is great that they appear to not know what they are talking about. Apple sells several laptops under $2,000 with 4GB of ram... . They made those commercials obsolete and the battery life of the laptops are better than those on PCs, yes/no?
-- Price drop, great, and if apple offered them with 8GB of ram for an extra $200
-- Firewire added back to the 13" - thank you Apple
-- New OS, $29 hmm.
-- I hear the gears working on some future ads (Sorry Apple, I tipped them off).

-Apple is going for market share now, and they are making a huge push to move everyone to an intel processor, Snow Leopard, and the latest iLife and iWorks suit. With their push on the touch devices too, I think they will recognize huge gains in market share and mind share and it will show in the numbers through the end of the year (watch January 2010 earnings report. will be huge, assuming Barry [aka barack] and Co. do not get us into a bigger war and worthless economy.
post #32 of 174
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aglaea View Post

...Too bad it's postponed. I can see that Sun being acquired by Oracle made a difference there.

I'm just contemplating out loud a little here - but in the end, ZFS could still ship in Snow Leopard or at a later date. Oracle's recent aquisition of Sun included a LOT of technology, from java to sparc chips to ZFS - there's THOUSANDS of patents that just changed hands. M&A activities list this usually just wind up delaying things even if there's no strategic barrier to market.

Just my 2 spacebucks.

Dave
post #33 of 174
Actually, there's one ZFS feature that would be very useful for desktop: snapshots. Using it, you can implement Time Machine-like functionality without Time Capsule, just by creating filesystem snapshots at regular time intervals. And because you do not need to copy any data to do this, it's even much faster. It's already implemented in OpenSolaris and I'd love to see it in OS X.
post #34 of 174
Tabs on top had big interface issues, at least in the Beta version:

They didn't CLICK correctly. Either you had to hold the mouse COMPLETELY STILL or else the click didn't register as a "I'd like you to open this tab, please" sort of command. Perhaps the tab was expecting to be moved around. Your click wouldn't have any effect, in which case you would click it again in frustration, sending the whole window sliding down into your Dock.

Good riddance!
post #35 of 174
Tabs on top was hard to use, but if you had a lot of tabs open, it made Safari look like Bart Simpson's hairdo.
post #36 of 174
Tabs on top was fine in theory, but the amount of times I selected a Tab only to have the whole browser window minimise drove me up the wall.
post #37 of 174
When using RealPlayer downloader under the previous version of Safari, the clip's name was shown (KimKommando.flv or whatever.) Under the new Sarari 4.0. the clip is shown as "Unknow.flv". Bummer. Why do "new" apps lose functions?

Edit: I spoke too soon. Lo and behold: the last KimKomando clip that downloaded was named. Hallelujah!

In case anyone wonders who Kim Komando is, she calls herself the "Digital Goddess". She has a website and newsletters that pertain to computers, software, technology, and other interesting topics: kimkomando.com
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post #38 of 174
I believe that the reason that they did not implement the new tab interface has to do more with them choosing not implement the new interface that they have been designing. Perhaps the tab interface is part of the new interface. Having it just in Safari would be inconsistent.

I am personally a little disappointed because I enjoyed how little real-estate it took. I loved it.
post #39 of 174
When only one site is open under Safari, the extreme left (only) tab doesn't have an x to delete the site. You have to use the red button and delete the whole page. Under FireFox, you can delete the site but leave the page open. I was hoping the new Safari would have that feature. No joy.
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post #40 of 174
Re: tabs on top

Maybe Apple didn't want to look like it was copying Google Chrome, and also because it didn't quite fit in with the overall UI (no other program uses it).
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