Thursday, August 11, 2011

Lion, king of the nannies

As I've said, I'm not very happy about Lion, Apple's newest desktop OS. My main reason is that the loss of the translation-ware Rosetta, by cutting off legacy software, will disrupt huge swaths of my daily routines, forcing me to get new software I didn't want, learn to use it, and try to get around or accept new limitations.

But it more and more turns out that there are other reasons for unhappiness with Lion. See for example Ted Landau's My Way Or The Highway article, or Matt Neuburg's Lion Is A Quitter article. Both articles talk about "nanny-state" behavior by Lion: it removes control from the user in problematic ways, and much worse, there are usually no way to revert this behavior to fit users who know what they are doing.

This is a very unfortunate trend towards the traditional Microsoft attitude, that the computer knows better than the user. Apple has always had much less of that attitude, and until new we have been proud and grateful for that.


Bruce said...

Matt found a flaw in the way command-tab works in the new OS. Do you doubt that Apple *can* make command-tab work better, or do you doubt that they *will* make it work better?

Note that at the end of his article Matt admits that he is not a typical user and that Apple's changes which he doesn't like may be beneficial to new users.

As far as the Ted Landau article goes, Apple has not been making computers for users like him for over 10 years. They have been careful to accommodate users like him, but OS X is not now, and was never been designed primarily for power users. From his article:

"Apple has changed the OS so that, what used to be under the user’s control, is now determined by the OS itself"

Hmm, couldn't that have been said about the original Mac?

"...some of these new features are not fully baked..."

Hey, it's 1984 all over again!

Some perspective: since the introduction of the iPad, it has sold in greater numbers than all Macs combined. This has been true in every quarter that the iPad has been on sale! Here's the breakdown at Asymco, entitled, "Apple has moved on."

You can see that most new Apple users are not Mac users. Extrapolating a bit, it appears that all Mac users are, or will soon be, a minority of all Apple users. Lion is for the majority of Apple users, not the majority of Mac users.

eolake said...

"Lion is for the majority of Apple users, not the majority of Mac users."

Yes, that's what I'm afraid of. That pro users will get ghettoized and become second-class citizens, or worse, at some point pretty much be dropped altogether.

Bruce said...

You have good reason to be afraid. Apple is always looking for newer, less sophisticated computer users to serve. Every time they find a new audience, some long time users discover that they no longer fit Apple's definition of "the rest of us."

Call it ghettoization, call it second class citizenship: whatever you call it, Apple sheds no tears for those they leave behind. You can adapt, make do, or ... "Welcome to Linux."

eolake said...

That's nice, hit a man when he's down! :-)

But seriously, I do suspect it's like that.

Bruce said...

Now you know why people like sad music! :-)

All you can do is put on something like "Lost Highway" by Hank Williams, wallow around in it for a while, then pick up the pieces and move on!

I have to admit, as I get older I don't think of adapting and adjusting as "fun," the way I did when I was younger.

One of the things that fascinates me about WordPress is the idea of moving web design software to the web server. Not having to buy *any* web design software for your (or my) computer seems like a cool idea. I'm sure it would take some tuning, tweaking, and experimenting to come up with a good, simple workflow.