inessential by Brent Simmons


Last night I watched Steve Jobs' Macworld keynote.

I went into it already knowing what my dream workstation is. It's a Linux machine with a great desktop. As much as I like KDE -- and would prefer it to Windows in a heartbeat if it had a web browser as good as IE 5 -- neither KDE nor GNOME are great desktops.

Mac OS X is BSD, not Linux, but that works for me, it's close enough.

But is it a great desktop? I don't know, not having used it. It might be, it might not be. I liked the non-modal Save dialogs; the dock; the use of color and transparency (I'm an unapologetic sucker for great eye candy); large and resizable icons; the display of a window's contents while moving it; the new Finder.

Perhaps the new Finder is what I liked best -- the ability to browse in place, without opening lots of windows, is something I want, a feature I've liked in other desktops but felt was poorly implemented. (I used to use Greg's Browser on my Mac years ago, a Next-ish style browser, which was pretty nice.)

The thing I liked least was the Apple logo centered at the top of the screen. The first thing I thought -- no joke -- was that it was like when you get a pimple on your nose, right between your eyes. It hurts. Could I learn to look at it without feeling phantom acne pain? If not, it's a deal-stopper.

Switching gears... iTools sucks. It's all about lock-in and control. At best, I'm neutral about it, because I wouldn't use it by choice anyway. But really, no, it sucks, and I wish Apple would drop it. I also wish Microsoft didn't do this kind of stuff.

My wife, who watched the keynote with me, had this to say about iTools: "Well, none of it's cool like Manila anyway."

Other news

Mark Cidade writes about typos: "I wish I was managing editor of the whole Web (which would all run on Manila-based technologies) and just press the Edit This Page button on any page I go to, to fix it up. That would be nice."

Here's my favorite WebLog ad:

Atlanta Braves pitcher John Rocker to undergo psychiatric testing, as ordered by major league baseball. Look -- this makes political correctness a health issue. How very Brave New World of baseball. You want to give him a test, give him an IQ test.

Manila editors can now make their members list private by clicking a radio button.