Gilles Vandenoostende

Hi, I'm Gilles Vandenoostende - designer, illustrator and digital busybody with a love of language, based in Ghent, Belgium.

Sick of making excuses

I feel as though I’ve been ragging a little too much on Microsoft these last few weeks, so to offset, here’s a valid critique of OS X’s flakiness from David Chartier:

Exhibit A: Open Mail, find a message with a zip attachment, and double-click it. Nothing happens? Oh something happened. Archive Utility opened to work its magic on the zip file, but you missed its appearance in the Dock if you blinked. Don’t see anything else? Of course you don’t, because Finder opened a new window to reveal the spoils of Archive Utility’s victory behind Mail and didn’t bother to tell you. No Dock bounce, no Finder brought to the foreground to show you the folder.

To add a personal perspective on this, I’ve found that since Lion, OS X’s windowing has gotten increasingly buggy and annoying, with apps or Finder windows either stealing focus, or refusing to gain focus until I cmd-tab to them. I upgraded my personal laptop to Mountain Lion and it’s improved upon these issues (although they’re still there in certain situations), but my work laptop is still stuck with Lion and some days it can get very frustrating indeed.

Part of me is thinking that Apple is closer to making iOS as powerful as OS X than it is at fixing OS X to be as user-friendly as iOS. Which is scary, because iOS’ closed nature wouldn’t make it a very good platform for professional creators and developers… hopefully by the time iOS reaches critical feature parity with OS X Apple will have introduced a pro-sumer line of iOS devices to prevent that critical segment of their ecosystem from leaving to another platform. Although it’s hard to imagine another platform to leave to, with Windows having jumped the shark, Android having many of the same problems iOS has, and Linux being pretty much a non-starter for people who just want to do work with their tools, and not embark on a never-ending quest to find just the right distro and configuration.

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