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MBHockey
07-07-2005, 07:55 PM
I recently had to fix my parent's Windows PC. I formatted it, created two partitions -- one for the OS and one for apps -- and installed all their applications back on it, and put all their documents back on it.

As i was using it, i greatly appreciated MacOS X's far superior multitasking abilities. It truly is a pain, even on a Pentium 4 @ 1.8GHz with 512 MB of ram and a clean system install of XP Pro + SP2 to multitask more than 4-5 apps.

However, i was soon taken slightly aback. Despite Windows shortcomings (please, not trying to start an OS war here) the UI feels far faster, more responsive and crisp than any Mac i have ever used (up to a dual 2.0 GHz G5).

Has anyone else noticed this?

I'd seen it mentioned somewhere that on the dev kits, the UI felt much more responsive, so is this something that could possibly be remedied by future MacinTels (or whatever they will be called) simiply because of the processor change?

Or is it something you think will stay with OS X for the duration of its life?

Or do you not notice what i'm talking about at all?

Thanks for your input.

fat elvis
07-07-2005, 08:45 PM
I agree...and think that it's the Finder's fault. Hopefully Spotlight will remedy this. It's really fast and IMO a natural evolution of file management. I was sceptical before I used it, but after a few weeks I'm sold.

vancenase
07-07-2005, 08:49 PM
could it at all be that PCs have better graphic card drivers? a few graphics intenstive programs I use work much, much better on a PC vs. Mac.

pantherman13
07-07-2005, 08:58 PM
Could you be more specific about how the User Interface was crisper and more responsive than a Macs? In what instances did you notice this? (What were you doing to notice it?)

I truly understand what you meant when you say it is a pain to multi-task on XP. My family has a computer with a Pentium @ 1.60GHz with XP Home and it kill it to have more than 3, maybe 4 apps running at once.

My dads office computer if an HP with Media Center and 1gig of RAM. It runs fast, but he still encounters problems.

styrafome
07-07-2005, 10:00 PM
Windows doesn't currently attempt to do what OS X does in the UI, with all the intensive graphics effects like transparency and shadows and full-window dragging with smooth motion. All that stuff costs computing power and tons and tons of RAM for the required buffers. Will the Intel CPU switch help? I don't think so, since so much of Quartz Extreme is being pushed through the graphics card. You might see more parity when Longhorn comes out, because Microsoft is supposed to be adding some OS X-like graphics trickery to that version. It might slow Windows down to a more OS X-like level.

styrafome
07-07-2005, 10:03 PM
By the way, it's the same reason OS 9 feels so much snappier than OS X. No fancy composited special effects applied to basic desktop windows.

MBHockey
07-07-2005, 10:11 PM
Interesting. Is there any way to remove the special effects temporarily to see how it would feel 'bare-bones'?

pantherman,i noticed it in basically everything. closing windows, clicking menus, clicking icons. There just seems to be some kind of sluggish delay on OS X when doing these things -- a small trade off for a (IMO) superior operating system in many other aspects.

NB: The thread was motivated more out of curiosity than out of "Hey look, Windows does this better!"

Markle
07-07-2005, 10:58 PM
It might slow Windows down to a more OS X-like level.
...............

By the way, it's the same reason OS 9 feels so much snappier than OS X. No fancy composited special effects applied to basic desktop windows.

You guys ought to contemplate the implications of what you're recognizing here.

I know someone who aroused such ire and hostility among fans of OS X with his insistence that the excess of fancy interface was a reason that OS X was such a slug that he was more or less run out of other Mac forums. He went off and founded the infamous http://thalo.net that bursts so many X-bubbles.

Markle

fat elvis
07-07-2005, 11:31 PM
If you look at how much the GenieEeffect zaps system resources, this makes sense. I for one could do without the dock, genie or scale effects, chrome menu bar, bloated system prefs...I can't believe I'm gonna say this...but like Windows how you can choose to have the XP theme or Classic.


:( I gotta go wash my mouth out with soap now.

MBHockey
07-07-2005, 11:38 PM
Yeah, i'd love to have that option to turn off all the eye candy.

biovizier
07-08-2005, 01:19 AM
Of course, fancy graphics and effects will require processor cycles which might slow things down on an underpowered system, but then there are the effects themselves. Drawing the frames of the animation seen while opening a folder on the "Desktop" or having a "Save" dialogue "slide" out surely takes longer than it would to just draw the final the picture, but it would be difficult to gauge independently since eliminating the animation would also eliminate the load on the processor due to the animation...

For example, there was this hint to increase the speed of "sheets" which makes a noticeable difference in the time it takes for eg. a "Save" dialogue to appear:
http://www.macosxhints.com/article.php?story=2004051208143172
defaults write NSGlobalDomain NSWindowResizeTime .001
For the "Finder", this command turns off the animation for opening folders and manipulating disclosure triangles in "Get Info" windows and the preview pane in "column" view:defaults write com.apple.finder DisableAllAnimations -bool trueWhile playing with this setting on a slower computer (a G3 iMac 266), selecting 10 folders and doing an ⌘O, the times were on average 40% longer with the animation (measuring with a stopwatch from the keystroke to when the File menu went back to normal).

Though the magnitude of the effect may vary from system to system, what bothers me is that these are examples of delays that were intentionally added to the user experience for the sole purpose of providing a "special effect" (visual feedback vs. eye-candy, depending on your point of view).

pantherman13
07-08-2005, 07:56 AM
My Finder isn't slow. I think it is very responsive. On the family computer I described in my last post, I think Windows Explorer and the Start menu are the two most sluggish things. The my documents folder takes forever to load, and so do programs.

cwtnospam
07-08-2005, 09:03 AM
My Finder isn't slow. I think it is very responsive. On the family computer I described in my last post, I think Windows Explorer and the Start menu are the two most sluggish things. The my documents folder takes forever to load, and so do programs.
I agree. I've never even seen a Windows PC that I didn't consider to be sluggish. Using them makes me feel like I'm living in a big vat of molasses. I can't begin to count the number of times using a PC that I've clicked an item, waited for a response, started thinking that the computer may have crashed, when finally it begins the task! A simple thing like bringing up the Control panel comes to mind.
Maybe it's because I have a dual G5, but I could swear I had the same feeling back when I was using a Cube with OS X.

Phil St. Romain
07-08-2005, 10:26 AM
Compared to Windows Explorer or the Windows Start menu, I also find the the OS X Finder and Dock to be very responsive. It's more sluggish than the 9 Finder for the first time opening, but afterwards seems snappy. I also find the X workflow more effecient, with the toolbar shortcuts, multiple Finder windows, and the Dock. Its superior memory protection and multi-tasking capabilities also make for time-saving benefits.

NovaScotian
07-08-2005, 11:33 AM
When I make this comparison on a 1.1GHz G3 (upgraded B&W) 896MB RAM running OS X 10.3.9, and an IBM Thinkpad T30 1.8 GHz (Pentium 4), 250M RAM, WinXP Pro, I think the Mac, eye candy, bells & whistles and all, is significantly faster than doing the same operation on the T30. The most remarkable difference is how long it takes the Thinkpad to start (or to connect, or to log out and back in, or to pick up a WiFi access point) compared to the Mac.

SC_shooter
07-08-2005, 11:46 AM
I also find Windows to seem more responsive on a new or fairly new installation. But over time, Windows really slows down significantly. I haven't experienced that while using OS X. My Macs seem to run the same even after months and months. My work laptop (an ancient Thinkpad T23) seems to get slower and slower has time goes by. It needs to have Windows reinstalled.

Craig R. Arko
07-08-2005, 12:25 PM
I find it takes me about 5 minutes to effectively switch between two operating systems. The real differentiator for me is whether it is one that I have setup myself and therefor adjusted to my needs or it was setup by the hardware vendor or someone else, where it can always take some time to re-orient oneself.

Windows, with its somewhat Performa-like number of variations, is often more disorienting than any variety of the MacOS, in my experience. And generally any two factory installed versions of OS X are going to be pretty similar to use, unlike the differences between, say, Dell or HP or Sony.

Which is why I always like to do clean generic installs of Windows for my customers whenever feasible at the start.

pantherman13
07-08-2005, 12:55 PM
Sometimes, after I haven't used the family computer for a while and have only worked on my mac, I think the "Mac OS Experience" has rubbed off on me. This means that I start to feel like Windows XP isn't so terrible.

After this happens, one day, I'll need to go online for something, but won't feel like starting up my iBook. So I'll use the Family comp. The instant I try to start up IE I think to myself, "Ahhhhh! Why is this taking so long!?!?"

This hasn't happened in a while because now that i know about it, I don't fall for the PC's trickery. :D

Jacques
07-09-2005, 12:12 PM
..Finder's fault..

Pathfinder is a fast and speedy alternative, and much more powerful! Funny thing, the Finder is handled by a team of folks - and it's still slower buggier and less featured --THAN-- the ONE man project of Pathfinder.

Go figure.

I find Tiger speeds along just fine, Finder and all. As a matter of fact, I'd like to find a way (sometimes) to make the slowmotion effects (minimize/maximize for instance, while shift is held down) stick.

--

One thing that really let's me avoid any sluggishness is the excessive use of Quicksilver. It's amazing, really. It basically let's you avoid the Finder mostly! A great 'glue' tool for keyboard-centric users.

Great tips for intermediate and advanced uses of Quicksilver can be found on 43folders.com, a great niche website.

Jacques

NovaScotian
07-09-2005, 06:28 PM
One thing that really let's me avoid any sluggishness is the excessive use of Quicksilver. It's amazing, really. It basically let's you avoid the Finder mostly! A great 'glue' tool for keyboard-centric users.

Great tips for intermediate and advanced uses of Quicksilver can be found on 43folders.com, a great niche website.
And of course, the QuickSilver Forum is a great resource too. (http://forums.blacktree.com/index.php?c=2) I agree wholeheartedly: QuickSilver is absolutely a must!

AHunter3
07-09-2005, 07:10 PM
I installed the Classic Platinum theme and killed the Dock, which gives you an idea how much fondness I have for the gizmo'd-up GUI of OS X.

macmath
07-10-2005, 07:59 AM
I usually tend to fall into the minority, but while I agree that OS 9 seems snappier, I also find that OS X feels smoother. The 'slowness' displayed in OS X makes OS X feel like a well-oiled machine and the snappiness in OS 9 makes it feel jagged and rough. Things typically happen fast enough for me.

Those sheets which slide out happen a bit too slowly (referring to the biovizier's post on page 1 of this thread), so I set it to 0.1 (1/2 of default) and it feels a lot better to me. But setting it to 0.001 (as in the original hint which his link takes you to) makes it just pop up there suddenly and brings back that OS 9 jumpy feeling to me.

cwtnospam
07-10-2005, 08:20 AM
Those sheets which slide out happen a bit too slowly (referring to the biovizier's post on page 1 of this thread), so I set it to 0.1 (1/2 of default) and it feels a lot better to me. But setting it to 0.001 (as in the original hint which his link takes you to) makes it just pop up there suddenly and brings back that OS 9 jumpy feeling to me.
As the hint demonstrates, it's not OS X that's slow. It's the speed of some of the visual effects that some people don't like. When you realize that you could be doing other things on your Mac instead of watching the effects it becomes clear that the only thing the effect may be slowing down is the user. The OS is very snappy, slow visual effects or not. :)

ALT147
07-10-2005, 11:53 PM
Despite Windows shortcomings (please, not trying to start an OS war here) the UI feels far faster, more responsive and crisp than any Mac i have ever used (up to a dual 2.0 GHz G5).

Has anyone else noticed this?

Or do you not notice what i'm talking about at all?

I agree with you. I'm not a Windows user at all, I want to make that clear now, but on the rare occasions when I have no choice but to use a PC I am surprised at how clean and responsive it is.

One of my pet hates is OS X mouse clicks and keyboard strokes getting completely lost or ignored. If you don't know what I mean, create a folder on your Desktop, put another inside it, and another inside that one and so on, until you've got a nest of folders five or six deep. Then, go back to the Desktop, select the folder you created, and hit: command-down arrow, down arrow, command-down arrow, down arrow, etc. as fast as you can.

This is how I normally navigate from folder to folder in Finder. But you end up having to hit that sequence of keys about twice as many times as you should. This annoys me no end. Try it yourself some time. Just because the Finder wasn't ready for my keystrokes, it completely ignores them. I don't know much about this stuff, but shouldn't it at least try to store them in some kind of buffer, and execute them once it's finished working out what's in the folder that I opened?

Also, disclosure triangles are notorious for not accepting mouse clicks. That annoys me too, especially in Get Info windows etc.

I don't think this can all be blamed on the Finder, as I've noticed unresponsive UI elements in interfaces that I've created myself in IB. And before anyone says it, my computer is 933MHz with 640 RAM. OK, so it's not the best thing available, but I'd expect more.

I still like my computer, and I'd never dream of switching to a Windows box, but that's mainly because I know how to use my Mac quite well, and I enjoy mucking around with it. I don't like everything about it.

Enough ranting...but thanks MBHockey for giving me a chance to vent my spleen. :p

cwtnospam
07-12-2005, 08:27 AM
This is how I normally navigate from folder to folder in Finder. But you end up having to hit that sequence of keys about twice as many times as you should. This annoys me no end. Try it yourself some time. Just because the Finder wasn't ready for my keystrokes, it completely ignores them. I don't know much about this stuff, but shouldn't it at least try to store them in some kind of buffer, and execute them once it's finished working out what's in the folder that I opened?

You're doing it wrong, so you can't blame the OS. Trying to hit command-down arrow, then down arrow quickly and repeatedly practically guarantees that you'll hit the wrong one and then the OS should ignore you. There are at least a couple of better ways to do what you're trying to do:
1. Use List mode, select the folder you want and press option-right arrow.
2. View as columns and use right arrow.


Also, disclosure triangles are notorious for not accepting mouse clicks. That annoys me too, especially in Get Info windows etc.

I've noticed this too, but it seems more to do with the size of the triangles than the OS being responsive. They're so small it's easy to miss them.

Markle
07-12-2005, 09:39 PM
it's not OS X that's slow. It's the speed of some of the visual effects that some people don't like. .... The OS is very snappy, slow visual effects or not.
...........
You're doing it wrong, so you can't blame the OS.

This is the sort of thing that drives X-skeptics crazy. Blame the user, blame third-parties, blame everything else except the OS itself, which is perfect in every respect.

Sorry, but the OS has to function in the real world of human users. Dismissing every problem as being solely their fault is not only insulting to the person with the problem, but it's not in synch with the actual experience of many people.

The visual effects are inseparably part and parcel of OS X. If they're slow, the OS is slow. Saying, "The OS is very snappy, slow visual effects or not" makes no sense. It's like saying, "It's a nice warm day, ice storm and blizzard or not."

biovizier
07-12-2005, 09:41 PM
You're doing it wrong, so you can't blame the OS...[ALT147's method]...practically guarantees that you'll hit the wrong [keys]...There are at least a couple of better ways to do what you're trying to doWell, those other ways are "better" only because the way posted by ALT147, which is completely legitimate, suffers from a bug. The issue has nothing to do with accuracy while pressing keys rapidly. Using the same scenario as above, with each of a series of nested folders only containing a single folder, the alternative key combination of ⌘O to open and "O" to select the next folder works as expected. On my system at least, as quickly as I can hit the keys, the system keeps up. It is only with the "command+down-arrow" combination in "icon view" (with folders set to open in the same window) that keystrokes are sometimes lost.

The "command+down-arrow" method works if a given nested folder's icon is positioned lower on the screen than its enclosing folder. If each successive folder is at the same vertical position, or higher than the previous folder, the "down-arrow" may fail to select it if the keystrokes are entered rapidly.

However, if the keystrokes are entered slowly enough, then they will register. If the "Finder" preferences are set to "Always open folders in a new window", then the keystrokes get stored in the buffer, and every nested folder opens, usually some time after entering the keystrokes, while the "Finder" animates each opening folder.

If there is actually a reason of which I am unaware for the different behaviours under the subtly different conditions, then it is just a bad UI inconsistency, but I suspect it is a bug. Either way, it's going to slow the user down, and I think it's fair, if not to blame the OS, then at least to criticize the abomination that calls itself "Finder".

cwtnospam
07-12-2005, 10:33 PM
Sorry, but the OS has to function in the real world of human users. Dismissing every problem as being solely their fault is not only insulting to the person with the problem, but it's not in synch with the actual experience of many people.

The visual effects are inseparably part and parcel of OS X. If they're slow, the OS is slow. Saying, "The OS is very snappy, slow visual effects or not" makes no sense. It's like saying, "It's a nice warm day, ice storm and blizzard or not."
But the OS does function properly for the most part. The fact is that while a visual effect is taking place you can be doing other things with the system. You may not like the visual effect, but that doesn't qualify it as a problem. You can't claim that the OS is slow just because it has hypnotized you into watching the effect. What matters is that you could issue another command and get a response while the effect is taking place. That's what makes it a fast, responsive system, and that's why your analogy doesn't apply.

I'm not saying that the UI is perfect. I don't think that's possible because everyone has their own idea of how a given task should be accomplished. I just wouldn't say that it is slow. Certainly not when compared to Windoze, where it's possible to click an icon and get no response for so long that you begin to wonder if the system crashed.

cwtnospam
07-12-2005, 10:52 PM
Well, those other ways are "better" only because the way posted by ALT147, which is completely legitimate, suffers from a bug.
It probably is a bug, but the fact is that the OS provides at least two better ways to accomplish the task.
If you choose the slowest method, should you blame the OS for taking too long? You can drive from Maine to Florida along Rte 1 or I95. Rte 1 has lower speed limits and lots of traffic lights. Would you blame the car for taking too long if you chose to drive using Rte 1?

nkuvu
07-12-2005, 11:21 PM
Sorry, have to pipe in and toss in my two cents on Windows.

I use Windows at work, eight+ hours a day, five days a week. Is the UI ugly? Hoo boy, yeah. Is it fast? Yep. Is it unstable? No. Do I click on icons and wait for them to open? Yes, on Windows and OS X. Any problems multi-tasking? No.

The Windows machine in question has a sub-2 GHz processor (don't remember the exact number at the moment) with 512 MB of RAM. Most of the time, the taskbar is nearly full of programs*. Switching from program to program may take a second, but that's because I'm overworking the RAM. The machine would do much better with more. Once the program is brought to the front, however, it's quite speedy.

Both OS X and Windows have little "quirks" that drive me batty. In OS X, for example, if I plug in my iPod, iTunes comes to the front. But I don't want iTunes in front, I want to keep typing in the window that is now hidden by iTunes. In Windows I can't drag documents onto the task bar, I have to wait until it brings the application to the front, then drop the document onto the application window (even though it's totally clear what I want to do). Gahrggrl.

But to answer the original question, yes, in some ways the Windows UI is faster than OS X. Personal opinion, I haven't done any benchmarks.

* Note that I align the Windows taskbar vertically, so it takes about twenty apps to fill it up -- as opposed to the normal horizontal orientation, which takes about four apps.

Markle
07-13-2005, 02:20 AM
The fact is that while a visual effect is taking place you can be doing other things with the system.

I'm having a hard time picturing this. The visual effects are integrated into the UI. The UI is the face of the OS. How is the user supposed to be using the system outside of the UI? And even if you could somehow run behind the UI's "back," I think you're asking a lot of the average user to try to work at odds with what's in front of them on the screen.

We never had to discuss problems like this with the pre-X Mac. Just as Unix used to run on computers with less computing power than my cell phone, the Mac ran a fast, responsive UI on computers that were a bump on the road compared to the Mount Everest of the G5.

Markle

cwtnospam
07-13-2005, 08:28 AM
I'm having a hard time picturing this. The visual effects are integrated into the UI. The UI is the face of the OS. How is the user supposed to be using the system outside of the UI? And even if you could somehow run behind the UI's "back," I think you're asking a lot of the average user to try to work at odds with what's in front of them on the screen.
It's called multi-threading or multi-tasking and it's one of the biggest advantages of OS X over OS 9. It's what allows you to run a Quicktime movie and have an iTunes song playing while you run a photoshop filter at the same time and still bring up other apps. That's snappy, and it requires little of the user. They only need to recognize that they can begin another task while waiting for one or more to finish. It has nothing to do with running behind the UI's back, since pre-emptive multi-tasking is part of the UI, as well as the core of the OS.

Phil St. Romain
07-13-2005, 08:36 AM
I'm having a hard time picturing this. The visual effects are integrated into the UI. The UI is the face of the OS. How is the user supposed to be using the system outside of the UI? And even if you could somehow run behind the UI's "back," I think you're asking a lot of the average user to try to work at odds with what's in front of them on the screen.

We never had to discuss problems like this with the pre-X Mac. Just as Unix used to run on computers with less computing power than my cell phone, the Mac ran a fast, responsive UI on computers that were a bump on the road compared to the Mount Everest of the G5.

Markle

Markle, you don't even use OS X, so you don't know what its performance is like at all. Ordinary users don't have to run the system "outside the UI" (i.e., through the Terminal). And the UI is pretty darned responsive, even though not as snappy as OS 9. We're talking fractions of a second here, which is negligible, and more than compensated for by stability, multitasking capabilities, and a whole host of other features.

Craig R. Arko
07-13-2005, 09:29 AM
I think folks have become so accustomed to passive entertainment they feel obliged to sit and watch each effect every time it occurs. Sort of similar to reposting the same post across multiple Internet forums year after year after year. ;)

Every computer OS (and it must be around 100, including variants) that I've ever worked with had at least several things which annoy me. All of these pale in comparison to some of the traits in people I know which annoy me, and I'm sure my traits which annoy them. Fortunately we manage to get along anyway. Mostly. :D

Markle
07-13-2005, 02:12 PM
It's called multi-threading or multi-tasking and it's one of the biggest advantages of OS X over OS 9.
Yes, I understand what preemptive multitasking is. I didn't understand that is what you were referring to. The way you were talking about people being able to do something else while the graphic effects were taking place made it sound like it was a way for them to kill time while waiting for the animations to finish!
:cool:

cwtnospam
07-13-2005, 02:22 PM
Yes, I understand what preemptive multitasking is. I didn't understand that is what you were referring to. The way you were talking about people being able to do something else while the graphic effects were taking place made it sound like it was a way for them to kill time while waiting for the animations to finish!
:cool:
If the animations are fast enough for you, then you don't need to "kill time" or begin a new task. The point is that if the animations aren't fast enough, you can kill time or begin a new task. The choice is yours, and only because the OS & UI are fast and responsive.

I'll say it again, and hopefully more clearly: I believe people who complain about the OS being slow are really complaining about the animations, and animations don't really slow the system or the user unless the user gets sucked into just watching them.

Markle
07-13-2005, 02:29 PM
Yes, Phil, I don't use OS X on my personal Mac, and things like this are the reason why. But as we've been discussing for the past 5 years, that doesn't mean I'm living in a cave without any exposure to it.

And the UI is pretty darned responsive, even though not as snappy as OS 9.

Don't you ever ask yourself why, with G5 supercomputers, it's not any better than that?

As to whether preemptive mutitasking, better memory management, etc., are worth what's been lost in the transition from Mac to X, that's simply a matter of individual opinion. YOU, Phil, have been such a fan of X from the start that I think you could have happily lived the rest of your life with the Public Beta!

This has been a rare debate for me because I'm totally aware that the ship has sailed. It's just that sometimes, when I think I'm seeing the sort of denial that seems to be blaming everything and everybody but the OS itself for its own shortcomings, the old fires can light up a bit. Anyway, the conversation is always interesting!

Markle

Markle
07-13-2005, 02:43 PM
animations don't really slow the system or the user unless the user gets sucked into just watching them.
True in principle, but it's a distraction that cuts productivity and makes the system seem slower than it may otherwise be. People have to make a conscious effort to avoid them. So long as they are as conspicuous as they are, it's poor interface design. Users should have more control to dial it back. But since the boys from NeXT took over Apple, there has been a strong bias against user choice in OS X and making it as customizable as the Mac was.

Markle

cwtnospam
07-13-2005, 02:47 PM
Don't you ever ask yourself why, with G5 supercomputers, it's not any better than that?
But it is better. Much better than you realize. As I write this, I have just installed Tiger. My system is running two versions of www.d2ol.com and Tiger is indexing Spotlight (3 minutes remaining). I've got Mail running in the background, logging into two mail servers every 5 minutes. I'm playing around with Widgets and I'm checking this site and a few others on occassion. My system is still very snappy. I could watch a video if I chose and it would still be snappy. There is just no way that OS 9 could do all of that without feeling like a slug, assuming it didn't crash.

Phil St. Romain
07-13-2005, 04:34 PM
Don't you ever ask yourself why, with G5 supercomputers, it's not any better than that?

As to whether preemptive mutitasking, better memory management, etc., are worth what's been lost in the transition from Mac to X, that's simply a matter of individual opinion. YOU, Phil, have been such a fan of X from the start that I think you could have happily lived the rest of your life with the Public Beta!

LOL! Well, as I've shared with you before, I hardly used PB and didn't even discuss it on any forum anywhere because it was . . . well . . . Beta!

The difference in responsiveness is fractions of a second, at best. Hardly noticeable! And when you consider all that you can do in the X Finder that you can't do in the old Classic Finder, it's no contest, really.

Debate all you want over here, however, but I don't think you'll make many converts. ;)

MBHockey
07-13-2005, 04:39 PM
I'm just so curious to see how OS X would feel if we had the power to turn off all the superfluous (subjective) GUI effects.

Craig R. Arko
07-13-2005, 05:12 PM
Debate all you want over here, however, but I don't think you'll make many converts. ;)


At this rate, this thread will have more posts than a certain other site has members. :D

Markle
07-13-2005, 05:23 PM
Right, Phil! I'm coming to THE MACOSXHINTS Forums looking for "converts!!"

Converts to what? Yes, let's all get into the Wayback Machine and return to 1999 and the days of OS 8.6. That'll work......

But I do enjoy batting it around from time to time.

:cool:
Markle

Markle
07-13-2005, 05:28 PM
At this rate, this thread will have more posts than a certain other site has members.
Ha! Of course the same is true at "a certain other site."

We're very prolific. (Some write essays that could support their own websites.) But in terms of membership, we go for quality rather than mere quantity.........

;)

Markle
07-13-2005, 05:38 PM
I hardly used PB and didn't even discuss it on any forum anywhere because it was . . . well . . . Beta!
Huh? Then what was it we were talking about in those early days at MFI/OS X Talk?

cwtnospam
07-13-2005, 05:57 PM
Yes, let's all get into the Wayback Machine and return to 1999 and the days of OS 8.6.

Ok, lets do that! Your argument for OS 9 is similar to the DOS/Win 3.1 argument against OS 6,7, and 8. DOS heads used to claim that the Mac OS was slow to boot, and not as responsive. Just as now with OS X vs OS 9, the Mac OS of the time was doing lots more for the user than DOS/Win 3.1 could even dream of doing.

Who cares if the machine responds 2 milliseconds sooner if you can't get it to do what you want?

Huh? Than what was it we were talking about in those early days at MFI/OS X Talk?

And not I'm not trying to pick on you Markle, but does anyone out there know that the words 'then' and 'than' have different meanings? With the combination of poor grammar and poort spelling, it seems like reading posts is getting to be more a guessing game than anything else.

heluani
07-13-2005, 06:03 PM
I just don't understand the argument here. Some people boot Mac OS and spend their day typing in an Xterm which makes most things much faster than the windows UI. Some people like to drag and drop objects or to see Exposť even in slow motion. I think that the market in which Apple is the strongest dictates that the latter is convenient to have in a UI. Still, I just think this is a matter of taste.

R.

cwtnospam
07-13-2005, 06:09 PM
I just think this is a matter of taste.
I agree, but I think it's inaccurate to claim as some have, that the OS or UI is slow because they don't like the eye candy.

You could claim it gets in the way and slows you down, but it just doesn't slow the system down. Well, maybe if you're using an original iMac with 128 MB of RAM it does!

Markle
07-13-2005, 07:50 PM
does anyone out there know that the words 'then' and 'than' have different meanings?
An embarrassing typo on my part. I agree with you about how incoherent many internet posts are. I edit posts of mine to correct mistakes that I missed the first time around. If you're using that slip-up to discredit me, I defy you to find another.

Markle

P.S.
And not I'm not trying to pick on you Markle....
With the combination of poor grammar and poort spelling.....
Nobody's perfect, eh?

cwtnospam
07-13-2005, 08:41 PM
Nobody's perfect, eh?
LOL, Nobody!

Edit:
I hesitated to bring it up because I didn't want to insert it into the argument. I only decided to put it in because I've seen a lot of really bad stuff posted lately and I figured that pointing out one of them could start a flame war. Better to point out a minor mistake and let the egregious offenders take note. ;)

Phil St. Romain
07-13-2005, 10:11 PM
Huh? Then what was it we were talking about in those early days at MFI/OS X Talk?

There was a PB forum, but I was never in on it. I came along shortly after 10.0, and found you lamenting that Apple had taken away your Platinum "Precious". :p

You also stated that Apple would never have 10 million people using this dreadful Unixy thang. So, how do you like your crow cooked? ;)
- Sales of Macs are up, profits good -- holy smoke, the sky didn't fall.

(Regards to the gang at thalo.net. I gotta admire people who have such strong convictions, even if they're wrong about almost everything. :D)

Markle
07-13-2005, 10:22 PM
No problem for me, cwtnospam.

The internet reflects the general decline of literacy in this country (a pass for people posting from other countries). But I think the single biggest problem is people who click "Post" or "Send" without re-reading what they've just written. I read so much online where it's obvious the poster just wailed on the keyboard without the slightest attempt to proofread his opus before sending it out. It's not foolproof, as my own mistake shows, but it's simple and it helps. Take a look at some of the posts at MacNN, or the customer reviews at Amazon.com's DVD listings of the newer Star Wars movies: "There hiz moovyz, dood!" Come to think of it, there's more going on there than just a lack of proofreading....

Markle

cwtnospam
07-13-2005, 10:35 PM
Take a look at some of the posts at MacNN, or the customer reviews at Amazon.com's DVD listings of the newer Star Wars movies: "There hiz moovyz, dood!"

I agree. I guess I just have higher expectations for what I read on a Mac site.

Markle
07-13-2005, 10:41 PM
Phil, how could you have talked about OS X when it first came out in Beta the way you did if you didn't talk about your experience with it? I didn't know who you were at first, and I'm sure you remember that you were SO enthusiastic about it that I accused you of being a paid agent of Apple!!

You also stated that Apple would never have 10 million people using this dreadful Unixy thang. So, how do you like your crow cooked?
I don't recall that I, me, personally made any predictions about specific numbers. But the facts are that less than half the Mac user base in 2000 ever adopted OS X, and X failed in its mission to turn around Apple's market share slide. Although there have been little up and down twitches in the graph, the Mac's market share went from about 5% when X came out to around 2% now.

I have always been exclusively a Mac user, so I understand the mental toughness needed to be so far out of the mainstream. Your niche is just newer than mine. Don't expect miracles, though--computers are becoming a commodity and Apple clearly sees its future in things like the iPod rather than in computers running OS X. They'll tend to their computer business, of course, but that's not where they see their real growth potential.

Markle

P.S.
I gotta admire people who have such strong convictions, even if they're wrong about almost everything.
"Almost?" You're mellowing, Phil!
;)

Markle
07-13-2005, 10:44 PM
I guess I just have higher expectations for what I read on a Mac site.

A little time at MacNN should cure that!

Phil St. Romain
07-13-2005, 10:52 PM
But the facts are that less than half the Mac user base in 2000 ever adopted OS X, and X failed in its mission to turn around Apple's market share slide. Although there have been little up and down twitches in the graph, the Mac's market share went from about 5% when X came out to around 2% now.

Most computers running OS 8/9 in 2001 (when OS X came out) couldn't really run the OS -- not enough RAM, for starters. Also, there just wasn't much software to run on it for the first six months or so.

I don't think "increasing market share" was the measure of success. FWIW, that had been going down, down, down for years, even with OS 7 - 9. There was no way continuing that lineage would have reversed the trend, so if you're going to make a "market share" argument against OS X, you have to keep those kinds of considerations in mind.

The market share contest isn't over, however. Consider Intel Macs . . . running OS X and probably Windows, too . . . Not a bad move, overall.

At any rate, "profitability" is more to the point as the measure of success. Profitability is, and Apple has done well with OS X despite gradually losing out in the processor races. OS X has a wealth of software -- probably more than we had with OS 9 by now, and it's mostly of good quality. The user base is pretty happy overall, a few die-hards notwithstanding.

cwtnospam
07-14-2005, 12:08 AM
I have always been exclusively a Mac user, so I understand the mental toughness needed to be so far out of the mainstream.

My first memories of the Mac are of reading about the Lisa and what the Mac would likely be when it came out. I loved my girl-friend's (now wife's!) 512KE and the first Mac I owned was a IIci that I went all out and bought 8MB of RAM for! In 1989 that was enormous, since the average PC was still using 640KB.
My point is, I thought that the Mac OS, regardless of the version, was far superior to the competition at the time. I liked it, too. That said, I think OS X is so much better than OS 9 that the gulf is greater than that between OS 9 and Win 3.1! You really need to spend some significant time (a month or more) using it to understand just how much more you can do with it.

ALT147
09-01-2005, 07:58 AM
I'm going to chip in here again (several months after the last post :-D) and make a comment that is actually on topic. I've been thinking about this ever since I first posted in this thread, wondering why I feel that the OS X UI is slow. I've finally found a concrete example: I just hope it works on other people's computers too!

Try this: click and hold the icon of a unopen app in the dock (something simple like TextEdit that won't take forever to load up if this doesn't work). After a while the menu will pop up, with the 'Show in Finder' item. When this happens, release the mouse button. Now try clicking the mouse several times, rather quickly (say 4 times a second), and see what happens. Be careful not to move the mouse at all during this procedure; in fact, its better not to have your hand on it at all.

If your computer is like mine, nothing will happen. I can click on the icon upwards of 50 times and the thing still won't open. If I wait more than, say, half a second between clicks, or move the mouse slightly, it opens. But otherwise I can sit there all day clicking and my mouse clicks are completely ignored.

( Disclaimer: This was tested on an 800MHz eMac running 10.3.9. I give no guarantee that this will occur on your machine. If not, don't bite my head off about it. I'm sure it will happen to someone. )

I find this "small" "bug" amazingly annoying. And I believe that it is small things like these that contribute to a sense of the UI being somehow less responsive that it should be.

Any comments? Does it happen to anyone else? Anyone know why it happens?

Phil St. Romain
09-01-2005, 09:16 AM
When I do what you suggest, the Finder is up before the second click. iBook (1.33 Ghz, 60 G, 768 RAM) running 10.4.2.

What's your CPU usage? Sounds like you might have some active process hogging the works.

cwtnospam
09-01-2005, 10:48 AM
Phil,
I don't think he means that you should select "Show in Finder"

ALT147,

If I'm correct in my assumption, then what you're seeing is that the Mac is expecting you to select something in the popup menu. You need to click-off it first to tell the OS that you're doing something else. Rapid clicks are an indication that you haven't clicked where you want yet, so the OS keeps the popup there, waiting for you to get it right. It's similar to clicking on drop down menus, but the menu here is smaller so user error is more likely. It really is more a feature than a problem.

biovizier
09-01-2005, 10:54 AM
I don't think ALT147 intends the "Show in Finder" item to be selected - click and hold to bring up the contextual menu. At this point, optionally, you could let go if you wanted to and the contextual menu will stay up. Clicking once will dismiss the contextual menu, and the icon becomes deselected. Clicking again at this point would be expected to launch the app, which it will, but not unless a certain amount of time has elapsed (ie an apparently unnecessary delay). And as ALT147 points out, continuing to click without allowing a pause between clicks could go on indefinitely and no further clicks on that area will be recognized. This affects all "Dock" contextual menus. Try control-clicking any folder in the "Dock". While the contextual menu is still up, pick any other "Dock" icon and start clicking away - the second item will not activate unless either the mouse is moved for some arbitrary distance (it seems to be 5-6 pixels in either direction) from the point where the second item was first clicked, or a pause occurs between clicks.

Such a delay can serve a purpose - in "Finder" column view for example, two quick clicks on a filename will open the item, but a click with a pause then a second click will allow the filename to be edited. A third click immediately after the second counts as a double click, but a delay between the second and third clicks will change the insertion point. Once the insertion point is positioned, the fourth click will either do nothing (if it comes after a delay), or it will highlight the word under the pointer in the filename (and a fifth click will either deselect the word and reset the insertion point, or select the whole filename).

In the case of the "Dock", I can't think of a reason behind the inclusion of the delay which makes the resulting slowdown all the more annoying.

hayne
09-01-2005, 01:00 PM
In the case of the "Dock", I can't think of a reason behind the inclusion of the delay which makes the resulting slowdown all the more annoying.

It is interesting to note that ALT147 had said
something simple like TextEdit that won't take forever to load up if this doesn't work
This is interesting because I think the reason for the delay in the case of the Dock is to avoid the user launching an application unintentionally - when all they wanted to do was to get rid of the menu.

Here's what happens on my iBook G4 1.2 GHz (10.4.2):
- press and hold on Dock item until menu comes up
- release mouse button without moving mouse
- menu stays up
- start clicking rapidly
- menu goes away at first click, subsequent clicks are ignored until I stop clicking so rapidly (i.e. until there is a certain minimum delay)

This seems reasonable to me since it avoids the application getting launched in the case of a user whose response to the appearance of the menu is to rabidly (not a typo!) start clicking.
I.e. it follows the principle that UI actions should result only from user actions that are clearly intentional. If the user goes into a mode where it seems that he/she is clicking irrationally, the UI is correct to patiently wait for the user to come back to reason.

biovizier
09-01-2005, 02:17 PM
Ok, that doesn't sound unreasonable, as it guards against the "rabid" clicker. But think about it this way - if you do know what you want to do and your intention is in fact to dismiss the contextual menu and launch the app so you click twice (which is acceptable at low speed), the system has the gall to assume that you didn't really want to click twice.</anthropomorphism>

The user is forced to wait out this arbitrary delay before they can proceed, or they must use less efficient methods like moving the mouse slightly between clicks, or using the escape key to dismiss the contextual menu. If protection against unintentional app launching by irrational clickers is the reason behind the delay, then at some point the decision must have been made that the system was more likely to encounter an irrational user than an efficient one. The limiting factor determining how quickly a user can work then isn't how fast the system is capable of responding, or how fast the user can think (rationally), but rather the unconfigurable time delay built in to the GUI. I think it is those sorts of decisions or the presence of such behaviours in the GUI that contribute to the impression of slowness alluded to in the title of this thread.

hayne
09-01-2005, 02:41 PM
Note that the enforced delay is a consequence of the user choosing a UI feature (the menu) and then deciding to back out of it (not wanting to use the menu). I still think it is reasonable to ignore subsequent clicks (after the first one that dismisses the menu) until a delay has occurred.

It is not all that uncommon for users to click multiple times when they only should click once. Many naive users double-click on everything - even links in web pages!

And most power users don't inadvertently trigger the Dock menu. This delay should therefor be a rather rare occurrence for them.

It's a matter of tradeoffs and greatest good for the greatest number.
If the delay were to be removed, some percent of naive users might experience a somewhat longer loss of time as an unwanted app launches (and then needs to be closed). If the percentage is high enough, this loss of time is likely to be far greater (when totaled over all OS X users) than the smaller and much less common delay incurred by power users backing out of a mistakenly triggered menu.

It might be a good idea to have this delay configurable. But each such configurable parameter requires testing and (at least internal) documentation. Such things increase the cost of development. There is no free lunch.

cwtnospam
09-01-2005, 05:10 PM
Not to nit pick, but the Dock is just an application that runs in OS X, so it being slow at something (or not) doesn't mean that the OS is slow.

ALT147
09-01-2005, 11:39 PM
Sorry, I tried to make clear what I meant, but I think you all worked it out anyway. I don't mean to select the 'Show in Finder' item, I mean to click 'out' of it, somewhere else on the app icon.

The limiting factor determining how quickly a user can work then isn't how fast the system is capable of responding, or how fast the user can think (rationally), but rather the unconfigurable time delay built in to the GUI. I think it is those sorts of decisions or the presence of such behaviours in the GUI that contribute to the impression of slowness alluded to in the title of this thread.
Exactly what I mean. Very well put: I wish I could have said it like that :D

Note that the enforced delay is a consequence of the user choosing a UI feature (the menu) and then deciding to back out of it (not wanting to use the menu). I still think it is reasonable to ignore subsequent clicks (after the first one that dismisses the menu) until a delay has occurred.

It is not all that uncommon for users to click multiple times when they only should click once. Many naive users double-click on everything - even links in web pages!

And most power users don't inadvertently trigger the Dock menu. This delay should therefor be a rather rare occurrence for them.
All valid points, and I confess that they hadn't actually occurred to me. Now that you and others mention it, I see that there most likely is a logical reason behind it. But without actually having seriously thought about it, it's little things like this that, probably subconsciously, contribute to my sense of a sluggish UI.

Does anyone know if a similar delay exists for any UI elements on Windows, and, if it does, how long it is?

ALT147
09-01-2005, 11:41 PM
Not to nit pick, but the Dock is just an application that runs in OS X, so it being slow at something (or not) doesn't mean that the OS is slow.

True, I suppose. But given that it is an important part of the OS X UI (or at least I would argue that it is), any subconscious suggestion of slowness on the part of the Dock rubs off on the rest of the OS :p

cwtnospam
09-02-2005, 09:36 AM
Does anyone know if a similar delay exists for any UI elements on Windows, and, if it does, how long it is?

Yes, there are many. All those popup windows telling you that your network connection is now available... no longer available, etc. Those things are not just useless, they're annoying, distracting and any time spent moving the mouse to click the close box is a complete waste.

Phil St. Romain
09-03-2005, 03:00 PM
I find the ui on XP much slower than on any v of OS X I've run, including OS 10.0. Windows open slowly, Windows Explorer navigates slowly, moving through the Start menu is slow (1.7 Ghz, 40 G, 512 RAM -- no viruses or spyware). It was all very snappy at first, but has slowed steadily through the months. I don't find OS X slowing down like this.

NovaScotian
09-03-2005, 06:55 PM
I find the ui on XP much slower than on any v of OS X I've run, including OS 10.0. Windows open slowly, Windows Explorer navigates slowly, moving through the Start menu is slow (1.7 Ghz, 40 G, 512 RAM -- no viruses or spyware). It was all very snappy at first, but has slowed steadily through the months. I don't find OS X slowing down like this.
I agree with conditions. I have an IBM Thinkpad running XP Pro (1.18 GHz, lots of memory) and over the last year it got successively slower and then began to fail without ever having been exposed to the open internet (absolutely no viruses or spyware, and I checked). I don't even use it for e-mail. Eventually, a complete restore and climb back through all the updates brought it back to life.

In the meantime, besides my regular machine, I ran 10.2.8 on on an old Beige G3 (XPostFacto) and it was still snappier at the end of a year. My regular machine, a goosed up B&W G3, running 10.3.9 is too.

Moral of the story. For a few weeks, XP Pro is snappier, but it's all downhill from there as every upgrade slows the machine down a bit.

One of the reasons XP Pro is so snappy now is that I have not installed any of the service packs. Instead, I've just committed myself to using it behind my own firewall and those of my clients (for whom I have the machine in the first place).