Got Leopard? Here’s what didn’t work for me…

Leopard's Stacks in Grid format
Yes I know, it’s bloody messy. As you can see, that’s my applications folder in Stacks (Grid mode)…

With Leopard (Mac OS 10.5) already upon many of us, there is much rejoicing in the Apple community as we breath new life into our freshly aged Intel Macs. With 300+ new features to the operating system, some purely aesthetic (e.g. 3D dock), some pretty darn neat (e.g. Time Machine which I concur with Paul on boosting HD sales), some under the hood for developers (e.g. Ruby on Rails), delightfully positive reviews have come in hard and fast.

In particular, Walt Mossberg of the Wall Street Journal made a comparison to Microsoft’s Vista, where he noted how “[E]very piece of software and hardware I tried on two Leopard-equipped Macs – a loaned laptop from Apple and my own upgraded iMac – worked fine, exhibiting none of the compatibility problems that continue to plague Vista.”

From what I’ve experienced with the new operating system, this cat seems to be faster and mightier. Still, expect to face hiccups at least for the first few weeks where developers will have time to fix the apps to play nice. Being a blogger, I tend to use quite a number of open-source and social applications, a few of which have failed to work in Leopard.

So far, Pukka (a quick bookmarker) crashes upon login [no longer as Justin just released version 1.6.2 which has Leopard compatibility!], and the standalone player (build doesn’t want to launch at all. Having a Sony LocationFree TV base station, my Mac client no longer works as well (think “TV to Youtube” captures). Granted, for a major OS transition like Leopard, this trade-off is close to nothing since everything else works as before, if not more efficiently. I’m still looking out for apps that don’t work in Leopard (and no, Armor Alley was sweet, but doesn’t count). If you know of any, holla back.

Oh, I do have one more gripe though… it’s got to do with Stacks.

Leopard’s new Dock has folders of files organized automatically in a neat stack. One click and the stack springs open, revealing items in an elegant arc or an at-a-glance grid. Looks good right? But notice something unproductive about this… there is a limited number of items that actually gets displayed in the arc as well as the grid.

To explain, I’ve mentioned the following over at TUAW:
“If you think that’s bad, what about how you can’t default to simply popping up a folder hierarchy in the dock to show all your items, rather than to have stacks (or the grid option) offer you a smaller selection of your files, only to have you click once more on the “Show in Finder” arrow just to see what you could in your folder back Tiger? It’s simply unproductive and downright silly not to give the old option back!”

In Tiger, I could keep a folder in the dock and in one-click browse the folder’s hierarchy to open what I want. In Leopard, dragging any folder to the dock forces it into a stack, so I’ve to click once to span it out, then once more to search the folder in the Finder.

I’ve tried looking for a way to not activate a docked folder as a stack, but no dice. Any takers?

16 thoughts on “Got Leopard? Here’s what didn’t work for me…

  1. Leopard was a huge change in its infrastructure. Its now unix certified, so I suppose some stuff will break. Also, i think they completely killed carbon off along with the java bridge, so cocoa is much needed here.

    give it some time.. its still a 10.5.0 release… 10.5.1 will fix the bugs… as it always does… 😀

  2. So far, Pukka (a quick bookmarker) crashes upon login…

    Kevin, I just released Pukka 1.6.2 which provides Leopard compatibility. I know it was down to the wire, but hopefully this solves your issue — send me a mail if not.

  3. Windows XP has a Restore function. Maybe Leopard has a function that allows you to go back to Tiger. Try it.

  4. Hey Kevin! Went to take a look at the comment you posted on TUAW, and someone replied! He said:

    “for everyone who still wants to be able to click on a folder icon in the dock to view the folder, just hold down command while clicking and it will resort to the folder”

    I’m waiting for my next pay to get leopard…

  5. Hi Kevin
    News from downunder. Installed Leopard last night. I had backed up earlier in the day and did a clean install. Did not install all the printer drivers or language kits. It was a relatively fast install on the MacBook Pro at less than 30 minutes. A few times nothing seemed to be happening and then it kicked along a bit more. Better feedback needed.
    Anyway, iMovie would not launch at all. I am installing the latest update now. See what happens. I am going to install the earlier bersion of iMovie as well. the version in iLife 08 is a backward step.
    As well, a nice little app from Rogue Amoeba software called Sound Source does not seem to be functioning. It puts a nice item on the menu that allows you to quickly switch between audio inputs and outputs.

  6. I completely agree with Kevin. STACKS is completely USELESS if you used folder contents in the dock for TIGER.

    And pressing cmd (thanks for the tip) is one more finger of work…… stacks is a mess…. i hope they get rid of it or make the changes.

  7. @jer: Thanks for the input. Death of Classic (Mac OS 9)… it’s been nice while it lasted. Whenever I review a new OS, I try to load it with all my usual addons to stress-test the system. I must say with 2gb max on my Macbook Pro, it’s got less HD paging than before, much more efficient than Tiger. That alone speeds things up a plenty.

    @Justin: You’re a lifesaver. Bookmarking on is enough work already, so as a heavy user like myself, Pukka shaves minutes off my social bookmarking habit. I’ll add this update as an addition to the blog post.

    @Numental: Clever. Ah, you’re referring to Time Machine. Unfortunately going to a time before time machine was invented creates a paradox. Not very safe. 😉

    @Daniel: I just tried it, and it does pop the folder in the finder, but not the contextual folder hierarchy as seen in Tiger. Back to the drawing board…

    @John: Thanks for sharing your upgrading woes. Yeah, some of the lesser known apps are going to be a challenge. Will developers spend time updating them? We’ll see.

    @Dillinger: Nice blog you have there! Word up on the stacks design issue and thanks for the terminal command. Do note that this retail version of Leopard renders the sideways dock as a translucent 2D dock instead of a 3D glass one, so it looks more sensible now.

  8. yeah.. there were multiple behind the scene enhancements to the memory management, multicore support and most of all 64bit support…

    those are so important man…. still the most overlooked features imo… just can’t wait for ars technica’s review

  9. The under the hood unix changes are quite nice!

    Apache2 is now the web server, and comes with php 5.2.4 installed (you will have to edit httpd.conf to turn it on though) but they don’t seem to have included pear :/

    Ruby 1.8.6 is installed, along with gems and rails and (finally!) built in readline support and Python is 2.5 if you’re into that sort of thing. They even have Xcode templates for writing Cocoa Ruby Applications *squee*

    Almost the apps that I use on a daily basis are either updated (Quicksilver, TextMate, PathFinder) or have updates coming soon (Candybar, Transmit). Not sure about cisco vpn client but thats always been a piece of crap in my opinion.

    The one big change that I don’t like so far is the windows-esque protected files and the “nagging”. Previously on OS X, if i want to bring in all my music from say an external back up, i just dragged the Music folder to my home directory, and it happily overwrote everything. Not so any more. “This folder cannot be overwritten because it is used by OS X”. Same with movies. It’s a small thing to be sure, but it’s just enough to be irritating.

    In the same vein is the new “You have downloaded this application from the internet” nag screen. The first time you run a downloaded app it tells you “You have just downloaded this application from the internet” Gee….. ya think? Probably one of the most useless “security enhancements” I can think of. I’m going to root around in the preferences and see if I can’t turn that off.

  10. dillinger, can you explain to me why stacks sucks. I consider them the next best thing to sliced bread, even though I buy unsliced bread. 🙂 I find your comment interesting because the guy I was in line with to buy Leopard said stacks was dumb too.

    Just curious, not being defensive.

    I’ve always hated having 30 icons in my dock when i only need about 3 that I use every day. I rearranged my Applications folder and put all Multimedia programs like DVD players, Art programs … etc in a stack called Multimedia and the same for my Office oriented programs … etc. Doesn’t that sound like a good idea.

    Can you guys explain folder contents in the dock for Tiger. I’m probably just missing something I didn’t know about. Maybe stacks aren’t as good as I thought.

    I’m a linux guy, so I’ve always like “Drawers” that gnome provides. Stacks seems like a direct rip off of that.

  11. Weldon,

    what I think Dillinger et al are referring to is the way in tiger that you could put a folder in your dock, then right (or ctrl) click the folder and instead of opening you would get a context menu showing all the items in that folder. If you moved over a subfolder it would expand ad infinitum.

    This was really useful – I use a fair few things often but have loads, so I had a few things in my dock then a folder for my ‘Documents’ and another for my ‘Applications’ – i could then open any doc without going into finder at all – same for my applications.

    I totally agree that stacks suck because they only display a single level of hierarchy; I have my applications folder divided into several subfolders so I would need about 7 stacks to have all my apps to hand. Apart from this they seem to take icons at random from their content rather than using their own icon (irritating), and I can’t find a way to make mine even show as arcs – they are only grids…..

    My only other gripe is that Office didn’t play well after, thinking that it was being used on another computer on the network with the same key (it isn’t) – in the end I had to get a script to close the ports it uses to check that on startup 🙁

    Apart from that Leopard is great and no looking back!

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