Leopard annoyances

I don’t have many, to be honest. Which isn’t to say it’s all sweetness and light — neither of my systems updated entirely smoothly, thanks mostly to errant video codecs (I’m looking at you, DivX), old Wacom drivers, or some other voodoo. But in general the fit and finish of Leopard is terrific. While you hear plenty of gripes around the web, my impression is that it’s an extremely solid point-oh release.

That said, here are my niggles:

  • Spaces is mostly terrific, but frequent switching between Spaces induces motion sickness in me. I wouldn’t mind a choice of transition in there — personally I’d pick a dissolve/slide over a slide, to maintain a hint of spatial relation without actually making me ill.
  • My Spaces issue is exacerbated by what appears to be a bug; some application window updates will pull that application’s Space foreground. That can just stuff right off — release notes for the latest OmniOutliner suggest that it’s Apple’s bug, and it’ll hopefully go in 10.5.1.
  • Say I have Finder windows in Space 1 and different Finder windows in Space 2. I’m working in Final Cut in Space 2, and I tab out of it to the Finder. Where do I most likely want to go? The Finder windows in Space 2, obviously. So… why does Spaces throw me back to Space 1? The practical upshot of this is that one has to assign Finder to all spaces, so its windows travel with it — which limits the utility of Spaces, for me.
  • Speaking of Finder windows: this new-fangled idea that new windows open in whatever view style the most recent previous window you opened was set to… that’s awful. If I set a Folder to Icon view, I want it to open to Icon view next time, and I don’t want to have to set that via a fiddly view preference thing. Reports suggest this behaviour was filed as a Bug with Apple, only to be closed as ‘expected behaviour.’ Not here it isn’t, mush. Put it back how it was. Now! QuickLook may rock way more than anyone expected, but having to operate the Finder with one hand hovering over command+1/2/3/4 is just shitty.
  • You know, I actually don’t mind the new Dock that much, despite the widespread grousing. Same goes for the translucent menu bar, though that’s partly because I have a grey texture desktop picture, so I don’t really notice the change.
  • Dock Stacks using composite icons needs to be a per-Stack preference. It’s plain silly for Applications and Documents folders. The trick here, incidentally, is to put an alias to the folder inside itself, and rename it ‘!Icon’ so it sorts first alphabetically. Then the Stack icon looks like the folder. Stupid work-around, though.
  • More on Stacks: command+clicking the Stack should open it in Finder, not reveal it in its enclosing folder. This was the old behaviour for folders in the Dock, and it saves a fiddly click if you really do want to open your Applications folder (which most of the time is what you want to do. My Applications Stack goes as far as Skype, thus missing Soundtrack, TextMate, Transmit and VLC. Each of which I use daily.)
  • Spotlight can search file names! Oh, happy day!
  • Sorry, this is a gripes list. I forgot.

Finally, I can forgive everything for the option to use an iPhoto album as a screensaver in ‘Matrix’ mode. That. Utterly. Rocks. Do make sure it’s running slowly, though, or you really will make yourself ill.

Conclusion: Leopard continues its wobbly march towards desktop nirvana. While I value Apple’s doubtless-painful decisions leading to the omission of preferences for most things, sometimes it’s possible to simplify too far. Overall there’s progress, and I’m not going back to Tiger… but damn, the Spaces and Finder view things hack me off.


  1. “this new-fangled idea that new windows open in whatever view style the most recent previous window you opened was set to… that’s awful.”
    Oh, you are so damn right on that. This was the worst idea the developers had in many years. It really is anoying and I still look for a fix for that.

  2. i second the motion, “really annoying!”
    [spammy-looking links deleted]

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