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Apple's Illuminous (Aqua v2) to Compete with Aero

Hemos posted more than 7 years ago | from the the-rumour-mill-starts-twitching dept.

Software 377

tovarish writes "According to Apple Gazette Apple will replace Aqua with a new name (and hopefully looks) called Illuminous. Is Jobs scared of Aero?, does it make sense to go for a new UI now?, has Aqua run out of steam? The answers will probably come later next month(year)."

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Aero? (0, Troll)

B00yah (213676) | more than 7 years ago | (#17194522)

Ok, can we do something about these headlines that do absolutely nothing to explain what they're talking about? It might as well have said "Apple's new FSM (formerly Buddha) to replace Jeebus", because that would have just as much sense. I know we're supposed to RTFA, but the headline is supposed to at least explain it enough that we WANT to.

Re:Aero? (1)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 7 years ago | (#17194598)

It was assumed that you'd know that since Apple was competing against it, it was a Microsoft thing. As the only thing we talk about that has to do with Microsoft is Vista, that was assumed as well. Since everyone knows Aqua is the window style that Apple uses, Aero must be MS Vista's window style.

That, or you could read ANY article about Vista, there they talk about it like it's the best thing since sliced bread.

Re:Aero? (1)

jdray (645332) | more than 7 years ago | (#17196942)

What if you generally ignore articles about Vista because it's Microsoft's opertating system and you don't really care what features it has? OTOH, I'm interested in new Apple developments, so I was reading the article. The OP's point stands, to my way of thinking. And yeah, I picked up on your sarcasm.

Re:Aero? (3, Informative)

sottitron (923868) | more than 7 years ago | (#17194666)

I guess /. assumes you know about current technology since you are browsing its pages... Aero [microsoft.com] is a set of GUI features from Microsoft's new OS, Vista.

Re:Aero? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17195838)

OS?

Enough with the technical terms, Pointdexter.
Just say its the clicky thing that lets you do stuff on the whatchamahoo.

Re:Aero? (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17195296)

Do a Google search if you do not know the meaning of the technical term you encounter while reading Slashdot. That would be more productive than bitching. Thank you.

Re:Aero? (1)

Shea_Butter (810204) | more than 7 years ago | (#17196374)

Since when has posting on /. been productive?

scared? (4, Insightful)

toQDuj (806112) | more than 7 years ago | (#17194526)

I've never really considered Steve Jobs to be fazed by anything really.

He knows he has a decent group of followers, ever growing in these times, and he must bless his decision to stick with providing a complete solution instead of just an OS, every day.

All in all, I don't think he should be scared of this, because it is not only about the looks of the interface. It also depends on whether operations will continue to produce the desired result fast and reliable. Mac OS has the advantage there.

B.

Who's responding to who? (3, Insightful)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 7 years ago | (#17195716)

The really odd thing I find about this article in general, is that I had always assumed -- and I don't think I was alone here -- that Aero was really Microsoft's response and attempt to leapfrog Aqua.

Every screenshot I've seen of Aero looks remarkably...Aqua-ish. Not in the details, but I can't help thinking that someone at Microsoft took a look at Aqua, and decided that it was probably time to overhaul Windows' interface as well; not to mention doing the same sort of graphics-card offloading that Apple did with Quartz Extreme.

I suppose claiming that Apple's "Illuminous" is a response to Microsoft's Aero, and Aero is itself at least partially response to Aqua, are not necessarily mutually exclusive. It's sort of the way of these things to respond to each other, back and forth, over and over.

Boring and Unoriginal (0, Troll)

Nick Fury (624480) | more than 7 years ago | (#17194532)

What was that about MacOS being boring and unoriginal?
Seriously though.. I wouldn't be surprised if this was true. Leopard has a while to go and Apple will pull out "one more thing" before developement is done.

Re:Boring and Unoriginal (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 7 years ago | (#17196130)

What was that about MacOS being boring and unoriginal? Seriously though.. I wouldn't be surprised if this was true. Leopard has a while to go and Apple will pull out "one more thing" before developement is done.

I think this is just an example of bad analysis. After all, we can only guess at the motivations of a decision of another unless that person(s) divulges their reasoning. And Apple is notorious at being secretive so we'll never really know why Apple is replacing Aqua.

My take on this is different. Aqua is over 5 years old. Apple was going to replace it eventually. If it is going to be shown next month, that means Apple has been working on it already (possibly for years). So in my view, this isn't a reaction to Aero but a pro-active enhancement to Aqua. Just my 2 cents.

It helps (2, Insightful)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 7 years ago | (#17194548)

If you're a computer newbee, the only thing you can judge a computer on is how it looks.
So just like with the iMac craze a number of years back, updating the look and feel of an OS every now and then, is a good idea from a commercial point of view.

New Name (3, Funny)

DLG (14172) | more than 7 years ago | (#17194550)

I believe the new name is really going to be Nullity.

Or maybe Aquality.

Or Aquainess.

This could be the least content of any story I have read.

Pinstripes (4, Funny)

ahknight (128958) | more than 7 years ago | (#17194564)

NO MORE PINSTRIPES!!! For the love of Steve, PLEASE kill them. And brushed metal. Dead, dead, dead.

Oh, how I hope it's true...

Re:Pinstripes (4, Funny)

SydBarrett (65592) | more than 7 years ago | (#17194696)

Just make everything transparent. Windows, scrollbars, pointer, and fonts. All transparent.

Re:Pinstripes (3, Funny)

jbrader (697703) | more than 7 years ago | (#17195382)

Huh, but then wouldn't you just be looking at the inside of the monitor?

Re:Pinstripes (4, Interesting)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 7 years ago | (#17196468)

Nah, it'd look like this [blogspot.com] ! : )

(Of course, a wallpaper showing the circuitry on the inside of my iMac would be really cool... I wish I could find one.)

Re:Pinstripes (5, Funny)

hullabalucination (886901) | more than 7 years ago | (#17194964)

NO MORE PINSTRIPES!!! For the love of Steve, PLEASE kill them. And brushed metal. Dead, dead, dead.


The new look will be translucent fur.

* * * * *

You can't depend on your eyes, when your imagination is out of focus.
--Mark Twain

Re:Pinstripes (1)

phorest (877315) | more than 7 years ago | (#17195206)

I'm still partial to faux-bamboo.
Loungie-retro ROCKS!

Re:Pinstripes (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17195350)

And brushed metal.

Brushed Metal is nonexistent in recent Leopard seeds. Even the WWDC build hinted at this with iChat now sporting the 'unified toolbar' look. Now iCal is the same way, and certain other apps are either unified or iLife-style unified.

There aren't any massive sweeping changes -- just an evolutionary move -- the kind where you can tell from a screenshot whether someone is running Leopard, Tiger, Panther, Jaguar, or Puma. Pinstripes are still there, but for fuck's sake they're like 90% white anyway, and if you notice them you're paying too much attention.

Re:Pinstripes (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 7 years ago | (#17196210)

I'm not sure if you were joking or not (I'm also on the "please no more pinstripes!" side), but always look at iTunes to know where OS X is heading. It's not brushed metal, it's more of a clean, extremely streamlined look with no textures, only lines, colors and shadings.

Aqua (2001-???) (4, Insightful)

richdun (672214) | more than 7 years ago | (#17194580)

Is Jobs scared of Aero?, does it make sense to go for a new UI now?, has Aqua run out of steam?

How old is Aqua? Perhaps they're just wanting to update it to add new features, take advantage of dual/quad/bajillion core CPUs, etc., etc. A lot has happened since Aqua debuted, and Apple has rarely been one to simply sit on a good product and not try to continue to make it better/newer.

Re:Aqua (2001-???) (5, Insightful)

Bastian (66383) | more than 7 years ago | (#17195042)

Indeed, Aqua has been tweaked at least a little bit in every release of OS X since 10.1. As you mentioned, Quartz has gone through some major overhauls. Apple tweaking Aqua yet again is not news. It doesn't indicate a response to Aero, it just indicates that Apple is doing what Apple always does.

Re:Aqua (2001-???) (5, Insightful)

squiggleslash (241428) | more than 7 years ago | (#17195216)

I don't know about that, but I do know that Aqua has been undergoing a lot of "enhancements" that, over time, have detracted quite a bit from the look.

Jaguar had the first "Brushed metal" windows. This looked "ok", but still a little strange. Panther then downplayed a lot of the pin-striped look, which helped make the UI a little less distracting, but at the same time also made the look rather less attractive. Tiger has gone further, with squared off windows and the (non-brushed) metal look.

Each iteration has undermined the over-all elegance of the visuals (though in Jaguar's defense, they did make the buttons look more elegant.) That's not to say they weren't necessary, early Mac OS X was so full of stripes and other distractions that it was even more horrible to use than the poor graphics accelleration resulted in. But there's little doubt that a simple comparison of Jaguar, sans-metal, and Tiger, shows the former with a much more attractive looking (whether usable or not) UI than the latter.

This rumour doesn't surprise me really. What'll be interesting is to see whether it's a complete break with Aqua, or just an upgrade. I seriously doubt this has anything to do with Aero though: Steve Jobs is going to be concerned with the look of Mac OS X regardless of whether they have ten competitors or none.

Re:Aqua (2001-???) (1)

ElephanTS (624421) | more than 7 years ago | (#17196628)

I agree with you that OSX has lost a little of the elegance - there seems to be some quite deep confusion about how the apps look now. I don't much like the new darker metal windows like iPhoto but thank god the pinstripes are fading away. If you look at 10.0 it was ludicrous how heavy they were. However, I do think it's to do with Aero, there's no point standing still waiting for Windows to catch up again. This way just as Windows is looking 21stC Apple will move it on again showing the market they're still ahead. It has to be this way when you think about it.

Re:Aqua (2001-???) (0, Troll)

KonoWatakushi (910213) | more than 7 years ago | (#17195630)

... Apple has rarely been one to simply sit on a good product and not try to continue to make it better/newer.
This may or may not be a good thing. Apple is also one to sit on a bad product, and let it stagnate. The Finder desperately needs attention, and improvements to it could profoundly improve the MacOS experience. Darwin (the core of MacOS) is also a similar case. I think most would agree that Aqua is very good already, and as such, Apple should focus its efforts elsewhere. (In the case of Darwin, they should embrace a successful open source *nix instead of wasting their efforts. However, I think they will stick with Darwin so that they have the opportunity to force DRM down our throats.)

Too many critical things have been ignored for far too long, while Apple implements features and eye-candy which often provide no utility. Features are not necessarily a bad thing, but Apple keeps on adding new ones without ever really finishing any of them. MacOS today is a mess, and has none of the consistency or polish that it once did. As a *nix, it is also half-baked, and severely lacking.

I keep telling myself, "I have had enough" with each release, but 10.5 may be the last. (Though, I hope not, since the Cocoa/NeXT dev model is excellent.) If Apple does not embrace a more OSS friendly (read: community friendly) development model though, I feel that they will relegate themselves to irrelevance. Similar things can be said about their hardware business--currently every computer they sell is priced outside of > 90% of the market. Not that they are not competitive on price; they simply ignore almost the entire market. This is not sustainable...

Re:Aqua (2001-???) (3, Insightful)

ObiWanKenblowme (718510) | more than 7 years ago | (#17196608)

Not to pick on you specifically, but just what is it people expect the Finder to do? Is it a performance issue, or just a dislike regarding the way the interface works?

I'd also question the need for Apple to embrace a more OSS-friendly dev model. They seem to be doing just fine the way they're going now, even better than they were when they released 10.1.

Re:Aqua (2001-???) (3, Insightful)

eldepeche (854916) | more than 7 years ago | (#17197122)

Personally, I hate the way it drops .DS_Store files every-fucking-where.

Re:Aqua (2001-???) (1)

ElephanTS (624421) | more than 7 years ago | (#17196482)

Apple has rarely been one to simply sit on a good product and not try to continue to make it better/newer.

You weren't around in the 89-95 period then. Apple rested on it's System7 laurels as it was so far ahead for years. By about 98 even Widows had caught up. Just sayin'.

Re:Aqua (2001-???) (3, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#17196946)

You weren't around in the 89-95 period then. Apple rested on it's System7 laurels as it was so far ahead for years. By about 98 even Widows had caught up. Just sayin'.

Those of us who are not complete macintosh fanboys will have noticed that this is the time at which Apple dropped from having something like 11% market share to having about 3% market share. There were two reasons. One is that Apple computers were still running on 68k processors well into the age when the intel chips were whipping Motorola's ass. The other is that System 7 was a festering piece of shit. No Apple operating system has ever been as unreliable as System 7. While Windows was going towards protected mode all the time (NT did it already; ME doesn't use real mode, which is why compatibility was hurt; Windows 98 is MOSTLY 32 bit) Apple was still using their MMU (when present, which was not always) for virtual memory, and virtual memory alone. A lack of memory protection made MacOS as unreliable as AmigaDOS, with applications stepping on each other constantly. The difference is that AmigaDOS can be rebooted in just a few seconds, even from floppies.

If you remember Mac OS 7 with nostalgia then you clearly have some sort of memory disability.

lol punctuation (-1, Offtopic)

darkwhite (139802) | more than 7 years ago | (#17194590)

Do robots dream of electric sheep?, do bears really shit in the woods?, would a Slashdot editor recognize a proper English sentence if it hit him in the face? The answers will probably come when hell freezes over(pretty soon).

Tovarish! Pishi pravilno!

Re:lol punctuation *BITE* (0, Offtopic)

cloricus (691063) | more than 7 years ago | (#17196158)

Gorram it! I'm going to take the bait since the editors did such a bad job on this one.
 
Seriously, if you are going to cut some one else down on their sentence structure make sure your own is correct to start with. From a purely syntax based look at a sentence it is illegal (I've been coding C all day so give me a break) to put a comma after a question mark. You may how ever encapsulate a question mark inside quotations ('?') and then follow with a comma, exclamation mark, full stop, or even another question mark. In the context you were using the statements they were rhetorical questions which means unless they were inside inverted commas they would be a full sentence in their own right. Next, if you want to hit some one over English maybe you should replace your 'z' in recognise (I don't care if you are American) with an 's' to make the rest of the world happy first. And lastly there should be a space between 'over' and the opening bracket at the end of your last sentence.
 
Also as I rarely put with the grammar/spelling Nazi hat on I do not defend any errors in my own post. I'm simply defending the editors which is probably a better reason to mod me down than for being a Nazi. ;)

*whoosh* (3, Funny)

darkwhite (139802) | more than 7 years ago | (#17196826)

Do you hear that sound, Mr. Cloricus? That is the sound of inevitability. That is the sound of a joke flying over your head.

Please (2, Interesting)

captnitro (160231) | more than 7 years ago | (#17194592)

Let's do away with the files/folders/desktop/dialogs metaphor and system. It's served us well, but I'd really like to see a groundbreaking way to work with my data. One with an abstracted view system that could, as an example, bridge desktop and network applications, or let me perform actions via the mouse or via speech, or gestures, etc., without having to put any more work into the controller code. ::from back of room:: X11!

Shut up already! :)

Re:Please (4, Insightful)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 7 years ago | (#17195586)

I don't want anyone trying to implement a revolutionary new interface metaphor in my daily OS until someone demonstrates one that's actually useful in a research setting somewhere. It's easy to talk about abstracted views and bridging desktop and network applications, but what does that mean?

As for gestures and speech, OS X has had speech from day one (I don't know anyone who uses it, except one guy who turned it on then tried to give a presentation that way -- hilarious). You can have gestures too, but they don't seem to be very practical. They usually get turned off after the initial wow factor wears off as well.

Re:Please (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17195720)

I use a terminal and shell for my file manager you insensitive clod.

Re:Please (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 7 years ago | (#17195746)

Let's do away with the files/folders/desktop/dialogs metaphor and system. It's served us well, but I'd really like to see a groundbreaking way to work with my data.

if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

Re:Please (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#17196992)

Let's do away with the files/folders/desktop/dialogs metaphor and system. It's served us well, but I'd really like to see a groundbreaking way to work with my data.
if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

Well, throwing it away completely would be a bad idea. There are many ideas there that work well and discarding them would be stupid. At the same time, I think it is long past time to do away with a hierarchical file system.

It's not that it shouldn't allow you to define hierarchies, but that shouldn't be the only way to go. I'd like a more "node" based system where each node was a file itself, and each node could be the parent to several other nodes. A directory node would simply be a node with no content of its own.

I do realize that using links you can place files in multiple hierarchies, but does it make sense to sort content that belongs to multiple categories in a hierarchy? Or does it make more sense to simply tag them?

Is this the new theme for iTunes 7? (5, Interesting)

jZnat (793348) | more than 7 years ago | (#17194602)

Since iTunes 7 doesn't follow the rest of the Tiger application themes, this might have something to do with that theme. Maybe they're going to make all the apps consistent regardless of use? Or maybe they're going to introduce even more categories to use when designing the UI for your app so that you Windows themers can't copy the OS X theme? :P

Re:Is this the new theme for iTunes 7? (1)

FFFish (7567) | more than 7 years ago | (#17197002)

Maybe they're going to make all the apps consistent regardless of use?

God, I hope so. I *hate* the inconsistencies.

Or maybe they're going to introduce even more categories to use when designing the UI for your app so that you Windows themers can't copy the OS X theme?

Vista is going all Aqua, so it makes perfect sense to upgrade OSX to a new look. Vista has many features first implemented in OS X; the new Leopard release of OS X will have a ton of stuff Vista lacks. The Aqua UI is the "old" look for the "old" OS; thus the need for a "new" UI for the new OS, once again leaving Microsoft playing catch-up.

Poor ol' Microsoft. Years late, as always.

Aqua (2, Insightful)

El Lobo (994537) | more than 7 years ago | (#17194604)

Aqua is not a perfect UI even if some rabid mac fans would say so. The Mac Os has always had a very elegant UI and UI components. This is the strong point of the system, but the usability of it left much to be desired. MacOS is a pointer oriented system , even if you can use shortcuts for almost everything, it doesn't feel "native".

The single main menu at the top is a thing that you love or hate, but it can feel very strange to change the focus of the application to just access a menu. Yes, I'm aware of the fact that it's "easier" to just point "right" this way, but it is more complicated and "verbose" as well.

Hell even the single fact that when you are presented the logon screen, the pointer is on 10,10 and not at screencenter as on Windows, KDE or Gnome is an inconvenient. A little one but just a little thing here and a little thing there does a lot.

Well, here went my karma again, just like always when a post doesn't screm how perfect Apple is

Re:Aqua (1)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 7 years ago | (#17195058)

The single main menu at the top is a thing that you love or hate, but it can feel very strange to change the focus of the application to just access a menu.

You have to do this on Windows too, you know. Even though you can see the menu of another application, when you try to click on it the first time it focuses the app rather than accessing the menu. Now, some Unix window managers (with focus-follows-mouse), on the other hand...

Re:Aqua (3, Insightful)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 7 years ago | (#17195422)

... also focus on the window, they just focus on it before you click the button.

I do wish they'd have an option to duplicate the menu on multiple monitors, but other than that I like it MUCH better than every window having it's own menu.

Re:Aqua (1)

crabbz (986605) | more than 7 years ago | (#17196970)

But on OSX you still have to move the mouse back to the top of the screen to use the menu after focusing the application. On other systems when you move to the other window the menus are right there. I have not used OSX much but I can see where it would seem tedious if you were doing a lot of back-and-forth between application menus. (yes, i know about fitts law.) Of course on windows if you are using the task bar at the bottom to focus windows then you still have to move the mouse back to the menus anyway, so in that case there isn't much difference.

Re:Aqua (1)

Bastian (66383) | more than 7 years ago | (#17195640)

The single main menu at the top is a thing that you love or hate, but it can feel very strange to change the focus of the application to just access a menu.

I haven't actually had this problem. On virtually every Mac app I've used, the menubar is global for the whole application, so the only thing you're changing when you switch windows is the document you'll be modifying from that window. Big whoop, I can't think of a single case where the document I want to be working with has not been the document I'm currently working with.

I'm sure there are some degenerate UI designers who might switch the menu around when you focus/unfocus a particular panel or toolbox, but I've never personally seen this and I'd suggest that blaming the operating system for crappy UI design is not particularly useful.

Re:Aqua (0)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 7 years ago | (#17196112)

On virtually every Mac app I've used, the menubar is global for the whole application, so the only thing you're changing when you switch windows is the document you'll be modifying from that window. Big whoop, I can't think of a single case where the document I want to be working with has not been the document I'm currently working with.

I've had it happen all the time. Open a word processor and type a doc. Then open an mp3 player, web browser or whatever. Now close the window of whatever second app you opened. Now save your document. You click on file-> *wait, save isn't there*. Why? The word processor is the only thing open, the window is up front! What's the problem?

The problem is, even though you clicked on the red circle on tool bar, it may not have closed the app you were working with. So even though all you see is your word processor, the tool bar is still from the app you meant to close.

I worked in a "word processing lab" on campus helping students out. You'd be surprised to know how many could not grasp the fact that the red circle may not close an application and just because you can only see one window does not mean that the top tool bar is the tool bar from that particular application.

(of course, this was back when we were using system 9, but I don't see any difference with OSX)

Re:Aqua (4, Insightful)

Bastian (66383) | more than 7 years ago | (#17196306)

Ah, I see what you're saying. I thought you meant menu changing within an application, not among them.

I've encountered the same thing. I'd posit that it can be annoying to people who aren't used to it, but it's not necessarily a huge UI failing for OS X, and many people find it useful. Personally, I like that Mac OS makes a distinction between a window and an application; it allows me to declutter my workspace a bit by closing some windows without losing the ability to use their apps, and it allows me to close an app's last window without having to, say, wait for Word to take five eons to relaunch when I decide to open another document. It's not really an instance of Mac OS misbehaving so much as Mac OS not behaving the same way that Windows does - and I don't like the idea that every UI on the planet has to behave like Windows.

I could see arguing that, if you close the last window of an app, OS X should automatically switch to the next application in the queue. I'd want to see it in practise, though, because I'm not sure whether it would really be more or less confusing to users.

Re:Aqua (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17196474)

So... You're simply too dense to wrap your feeble little brain around the concept that an application can be open without having a window open???

That would be your problem... not the OS's!

Re:Aqua (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17196644)

The function of "the red circle on tool bar" is to close the window... not quit the app! And it's on the title bar... not the tool bar!

There are multiple visual clues that you would not be saving the word processing document in your scenario:

First, the name of the active application appears right next to the Apple menu. If it's not your word processor, you're not going to be able to save it until you change focus.

Also, your word processor document appears with it's title bar dimmed. Since it's not in focus, menu actions are not going to act on it!

You in the role of helping students out is clearly a case of the blind leading the blind!

Single menu conserves screen estate (2, Insightful)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 7 years ago | (#17196006)

The thing I really like about the single menu bar is not so much that it's always in the same place (which is handy) but that you conserve a lot of screen estate when every window an app has open does not have to make room for a whole menubar.

This is especially annoying with browser windows, which you tend to have a lot of. But many applications are prone to having multiple documents open at once and it helps there as well.

Another problem it helps solve is visual menu clutter - sometimes in Windows when I have a lot of apps up, I go to select a menu item and find that I have hit the wrong menu, bringing a whole different window in focus that I did not mean to access! Under X-Windows the problem is in some ways worse, because you can access that menu without changing focus meaning you may not realize you are not accessing the right menu until it is too late.

Re:Single menu conserves screen estate (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#17197100)

The thing I really like about the single menu bar is not so much that it's always in the same place (which is handy) but that you conserve a lot of screen estate when every window an app has open does not have to make room for a whole menubar.

Well, that's really the debate, isn't it? Do you want to save a few pixels, or save a few mouse movements? Neither one is all that arduous really. My only problem is that I find it confusing to have to pick an application to get the menu right. If I have two versions of the same application open (sometimes necessary to bring a document into a new program, there's tweaks to be made in the old one) then it can be really confusing.

This is especially annoying with browser windows, which you tend to have a lot of. But many applications are prone to having multiple documents open at once and it helps there as well.

I tab my browser windows, so I don't have this problem. I seldom if ever have more than two browser windows open at once and if I have that many, one is probably minimized.

Another problem it helps solve is visual menu clutter - sometimes in Windows when I have a lot of apps up, I go to select a menu item and find that I have hit the wrong menu, bringing a whole different window in focus that I did not mean to access!

I don't know what you mean by this at all.

In Windows menus are on the windows themselves, so you can't possibly make this mistake unless you're not looking where you're clicking, in which case you just might format your hard drive.

Under X-Windows the problem is in some ways worse, because you can access that menu without changing focus meaning you may not realize you are not accessing the right menu until it is too late.

Again, keeping your eyes open when you click goes a long way toward solving this problem.

Re:Aqua (1)

Mononoke (88668) | more than 7 years ago | (#17197056)

Hell even the single fact that when you are presented the logon screen, the pointer is on 10,10 and not at screencenter as on Windows, KDE or Gnome is an inconvenient. A little one but just a little thing here and a little thing there does a lot.
I've never ever used my "pointer" at the logon screen. Simply type the first letter of the user name and hit return. If a password is required the text entry box appears, empty and focused. Enter password, hit return again, and you're logged in.

Running scared! (4, Funny)

Otter (3800) | more than 7 years ago | (#17194616)

Is Jobs scared of Aero?, does it make sense to go for a new UI now?, has Aqua run out of steam?

Faced with the prospect of being "boring and unoriginal" compared to OLPC vaporware, Steve has decided to one-up the "View Source" button and make XCode the new interface.

Re:Running scared! (3, Funny)

LaminatorX (410794) | more than 7 years ago | (#17195020)

Bah! Emacs users have been doing that for ages.

Re:Running scared! (1)

HAKdragon (193605) | more than 7 years ago | (#17196958)

Ya know, from what I've heard, Emacs is a great OS, it just lacks a good text editor. ;)

Re:Running scared! (1)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 7 years ago | (#17195106)

Too bad it would only work for Chess and WebKit!

Re:Running scared! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17195228)

Steve has decided to one-up the "View Source" button and make XCode the new interface.

Interesting, but I seriously doubt he's going to take his inpiration from Linux.

erm (0, Flamebait)

racebit (959234) | more than 7 years ago | (#17194620)

Scared of aero? Doubtful. Aqua has been around for awhile, and a gui refresh would be a crowd pleaser. The difference between aero and illuminous is that illuminous won't be the primary reason to upgrade, unlike vista.

Arg?! (1, Flamebait)

jrwr00 (1035020) | more than 7 years ago | (#17194630)

Why? what ever happened to having a UI just simple and clean at the same time, why must they slow down the systems with these next-gen UIs what ever happened to the idea of SVG UIs

Re:Arg?! (1)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 7 years ago | (#17195144)

what ever happened to the idea of SVG UIs

Hopefully Leopard will have a vector-based UI -- we already know it's going to have a resolution-independent one, and presumably the people at Apple are smart enough to realize that scaling bitmaps all the time would look horrible...

Re:Arg?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17195794)

I thought quartz was postscript for displays?

Re:Arg?! (1)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 7 years ago | (#17196162)

Close: it's PDF for displays, which I think means it's a subset of Display Postscript.

But anyway, that doesn't matter -- all those little buttons (e.g. the close/minimize/zoom ones) and gradients are bitmaps regardless of the fact that they're arranged in a PDF-like way.

Scaling vectors may look unacceptable too... (1)

starvingartist12 (464372) | more than 7 years ago | (#17196900)

As Iconfactory has mentioned [iconfactory.com] , "Scaling vectors that are optimized for presentation at a large size will result in images that look unacceptable at small sizes. The trained eye of a designer knows which pixels to keep and which ones to throw away--automated scaling of an image does not."

Re:Scaling vectors may look unacceptable too... (1)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 7 years ago | (#17197280)

True, but who says the things will be presented at small sizes? The reason I'm most looking forward to resolution independence is that it'll allow practical use of higher DPI displays. For example, I'm planning to get a Thinkpad X60 Tablet in a couple of days, and one thing I'm really excited about is that I can order it with an SXGA+ (1400x1050) display instead of a normal XGA (1024x768) one like on my current laptop, even though they're both 12". I don't anticipate scaling things down too often, but I do anticipate possibly scaling them up.

since when... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17194648)

Since when is Aero even competing credibly with Aqua? If anyone should be scared it's Microsoft...

Re:since when... (1)

heinousjay (683506) | more than 7 years ago | (#17194974)

Yeah, Microsoft should be shaking so hard their money has fall off.

Yo ho ho (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17194678)

Frosty etc etc?

Somehow, I doubt this .... (1)

nbvb (32836) | more than 7 years ago | (#17194690)

There has been way, way too much work poured into Aqua to rip it out from underneath everyone right now.

Subtle (and not-so-subtle) tweaks I can see, but actual honest-to-goodness UI replacement? That I doubt.

Now, the Finder on the other hand .... -that- I can see a wholesale replacement of. It needs it.

Re:Somehow, I doubt this .... (3, Insightful)

lisaparratt (752068) | more than 7 years ago | (#17194824)

One would imagine the object model and API would stay the same, and just the actual visualisation would change.

Allow to keep the old too (1)

failedlogic (627314) | more than 7 years ago | (#17194714)

I only hope that Apple will let me choose which theme I use. Tiger only offers a few themes. I don't relly mind because the current themese are not distracting. If I don't like the new theme, at least offer my Graphite so that I can switch back.

Re:Allow to keep the old too (3, Insightful)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 7 years ago | (#17195174)

I don't care whether there's one theme or a million themes. What I want is for the user to be able to pick the them rather than the application designer so that everything will use the same one instead of being forced to see fifty different ones at once like Apple does now!

Re:Allow to keep the old too (0)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#17197152)

That's one of the things that offends me most about Apple. They don't follow their own guidelines. They don't work to unify the apparance of their OWN applications. And when it's most important to have standards, either they don't exist or they're not followed. Example: I can have three Adobe applications from the same creative suite, and they all have different shortcuts for hide application (one of them has none at all.) Why is this menu option even created/controlled by the application? That should be the same key combination every time. No matter what. The fact that it is not proves that Apple is not serious about interface homogeneity.

Illuminous (5, Funny)

jimmichie (993747) | more than 7 years ago | (#17194730)

Surely you mean iLuminous.

Anyway, how about a weekly round-up of Apple rumours rather than individual stories?

Re:Illuminous (1)

CptNerd (455084) | more than 7 years ago | (#17194980)

That was iLarious...

scared of aero. ha. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17194768)

i think most anyone who follows the mac platform closely could have told you that a new UI was coming soon. apple has made fairly large UI updates every 5-6 years. the current version of OS X has a mish-mash of UI conventions introduced as X was refined, and looking both at the apple preview site for leopard and the refined itunes 7 UI, which is always a bellwether for OS level changes an updated UI was always in the cards.

jobs' "top secret" comment at the WWDC confirmed, for me at least, we were going to see not only a new look, but also some fancy new effects. (hopefully fancy as in expose and spaces, not fancy as in genie effects).

aero isn't a bad UI, it's sort of a natural progression of aqua, but as with lots of microsoft creations it's a very surface level copy. sure there are neat glossy effects and transparency, but look at the internal window layout and typography; it's anemic, simplistic and not very attractive at all. for most people those small little details won't matter, but it's those small little details that separate great design from good design. it's why driving a bmw feels better than driving a ford - attention to detail.

Blind guess (2, Interesting)

hcdejong (561314) | more than 7 years ago | (#17194818)

Given that the job posting talks about nothing more than 'enhancements' to Aqua, we seem to have basically no data to go by.

Apart from that, I do think it's time for Apple to revisit Aqua. Not for a pointless 'replace it with another theme to keep up with Aero' exercise, though. The OS X UI needs a more fundamental redesign, to improve the way we interact with our data. The Finder is one app in dire need of an update.

Resolution independence is the new game (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17194948)

My bet is that Apple is shooting for true resolution independence, which Aqua can't provide at this moment. Given the power that your average ATI or (proprietary) Nvidia card provides a full OpenGL desktop is the next step.

Microsoft? They're 5 years behind Apple and FOSS offerings.

Glass

Re:Resolution independence is the new game (1)

Oliver Defacszio (550941) | more than 7 years ago | (#17196094)

They're 5 years behind Apple...

Yes.

... and FOSS

No.

... offerings.

Is Jobs scared of Aero? (4, Insightful)

pubjames (468013) | more than 7 years ago | (#17195126)

Is Jobs scared of Aero?

From what I can see, quite the opposite.

Apple is I believe going to launch the next version of OSX at the same time as the public starts to get its hands on Vista. Vista is just catching up with OSX in terms of interface. It will really piss on Microsoft's fire if the "Joe Public" press review the next version of OSX at the same time as Vista and conclude that OSX is better - from a PR perspective that will be a disaster for Microsoft because it will make their claims about how Vista is the greatest OS ever much weaker. (Keep in mind that Microsoft has not yet started its marketing bandwagon rolling for Vista).

Aqua is Ambiguous (0, Redundant)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 7 years ago | (#17195202)

The term "aqua" is used by different people to refer to different bits of OS X. In this case it seems they were using it to refer to the look and feel of the UI. Since Leopard includes a resolution independent UI and taking advantage of that requires vector graphics for elements and also may warrant some other changes to take advantage of this feature, it is almost a given that Apple will update the look and feel along with the new graphics, rather than creating vector version of the old ones.

Want Finder improvements (4, Interesting)

Midnight Thunder (17205) | more than 7 years ago | (#17195208)

The Finder is the one thing I would like to see improvements in. For example rewriting it to be a Cocoa app and actually being smarter at noticing file changes, especially with SMB volumes. There is no f5 (refresh key on Windows), so I don't want to have to wait a minute until it notices.

One other thing I would love to see, related to AppleShare volumes: server side folder size calculation, since it would be easier to cache and reduce unecessary network traffic because the client wouldn't be interogating each and every file.

Re:Want Finder improvements (1)

Michael Odell (703517) | more than 7 years ago | (#17195762)

I believe Command-R will refresh the contents of Finder windows. I'm not near my mac at the moment, so I can't verify, but give it a shot!

Re:Want Finder improvements (4, Informative)

megabulk3000 (305530) | more than 7 years ago | (#17196100)

Here's an AppleScript which acts like a "refresh" button:

try
    tell application "Finder" to update items of front window
end try
compile it, save it in one of your Scripts folders, and make the AppleScript menulet visible. You could probably also use Butler or QuickKeys or Quicksilver to assign a keyboard shortcut to it.

HTH

Re:Want Finder improvements (0)

HAKdragon (193605) | more than 7 years ago | (#17196988)

There is no f5 (refresh key on Windows)

Refresh on OS X is CMD+R

Re:Want Finder improvements (1)

EricTheGreen (223110) | more than 7 years ago | (#17197210)

Agreed on the Finder. I wouldn't hold my breath on a Cocoa port for Leopard, given that they just got the Quartz API's to a stable state in Tiger. I don't think they'll be able to get Cocoa-based performance near enough to the current Carbon-based one in one release. I'd love to be wrong, though.

Re:Want Finder improvements (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#17197236)

The Finder is the one thing I would like to see improvements in. For example rewriting it to be a Cocoa app and actually being smarter at noticing file changes, especially with SMB volumes. There is no f5 (refresh key on Windows), so I don't want to have to wait a minute until it notices.

Maybe this is better on 10.4 but I have 10.3 and it never updates the desktop unless it thinks I am watching. When I create a PDF with acrobat, which causes it to be saved on my desktop by default, it will not appear until I click another finder window, then close it or click the desktop. No amount of simply waiting will make it appear.

This is particularly pathetic because on windows I generally don't even need the refresh key, even when dealing with files copied to a network share. But the mac is especially obstinate. I've actually had a network filesystem window open on the mac, copied a file to it on the PC, closed the window on the mac, reopened it, and had it not refresh the contents from the last time I opened it.

Again, I am still on 10.3, but I use Windows XP and Mac OS X side by side, all day every day (until we get Adobe CS2 and Q2ID for PC, I have to have the mac to do my graphic arts work) and I am far more frustrated by the lack in the mac.

Competing with XGL (4, Insightful)

miyako (632510) | more than 7 years ago | (#17195234)

I realize that for the majority of the market, apple is competing with Vista and Aeroglass, but I think that Aqua also needs to start competing with XGL and Compiz/Beryl.
The primary desktop in my house runs Linux, but I also have an iBook running Tiger. For a long time OS X was a lot prettier than either KDE or Gnome, and people were forever trying to emulate the Aqua look and feel on Linux. A lot of stuff like web browsing and stuff I used to do on my iBook, simply because the GUI was nicer to look at.
Lately though, I'd say for the last year or 18 months, I've been running XGL and Beryl (and compiz before Beryl forked off) and I would say that my desktop now running XGL and Beryl looks much nicer than my iBook running Aqua.

Re:Competing with XGL (3, Insightful)

Stormwatch (703920) | more than 7 years ago | (#17195594)

Eye candy alone, a good interface does not make. It has to work well too. Position of elements, system-wide consistency, clarity of function: are you taking these in account?

As a Vista user... (3, Interesting)

moracity (925736) | more than 7 years ago | (#17195600)

I think Jobs has nothing to worry about. Aero is utter crap. I've been using Vista for the past week or so and the entire interface seems "incomplete" somehow. The learning curve for Vista is pretty steep. Everything is awkward and MS has actually made Windows harder to use. Just navigating the ile system is bizarre. There are more steps to get to anything. Don't even get me started on Office 2007. My wife is a pretty skilled Office user and she couldn't do anything with Word 2007. I've been looking for a setting to get the 2003 interface back, but I don't see one. You can't make this kind of drastic change to the interface of the most widely used office suite in the world. It's absurd.

There is no way we will be deploying either product to our users at the office anytime soon. It would kill the productivity of our company immediately. There are some cool IT management features in Vista, but the change in the interface negates all of them.

Re:As a Vista user... (2, Insightful)

cmorriss (471077) | more than 7 years ago | (#17196456)

You can't make this kind of drastic change to the interface of the most widely used office suite in the world. It's absurd.

OMFG!!! The interface changed!! You've got to feel a little for Microsoft sometimes. One of the few times they try to truly innovate and they get slammed because the interface actually changed. How can you innovate without changing interface at least some? If it's worse than the old interface, ok. But that's not even the complaint from a lot of people. They just don't like the fact that it changed. Oh well, I'm sure the billions they rake in despite this will keep them from taking it too much to heart.

OT: nitpicking 'learning curve' (0, Offtopic)

thatguywhoiam (524290) | more than 7 years ago | (#17197064)

The learning curve for Vista is pretty steep.

I'm about to do that really annoying thing and pick on your expression, apologies.

A "steep learning curve" means something can be learned quickly.

I think what you are trying to say is a shallow learning curve; one that takes a while to ramp up.

Wher (0, Redundant)

Wylfing (144940) | more than 7 years ago | (#17195858)

torrent plz kthx

Great... (1)

Omestes (471991) | more than 7 years ago | (#17195938)

Now Apple can have a *NEW* UI "standard" competing with the other 6 floating around in the same UI, and perhaps even further bastardize their own usability standards...

What is wrong with Aqua? It still looks better than Aero, and much better than the Vista UI that people not running a $6k box. If it ain't broke... (yes, it is... but the cure is bringing all the iCrap software into one unified look, like UNO [interacto.net] does.)

From the Waste of CPU cycles Department. (1)

HockeyPuck (141947) | more than 7 years ago | (#17196328)

So now we finally realize why we have to have 2,4,6,8 CPU cores in a home machine that is used to surf the web and send/receive email.

More Eye Candy.

I need spinning cursors, zooming window boxes, document previews in every icon, 3D graphics on document to be printed on a 2D paper. All you software vendors do is force me to buy new hardware or you won't support me.

I remember a cartoon that was published in the paper when Windows95 came out, it was a guy tossing his computer out of a window and the caption was "This is why they call it Windows.." I guess b/c you have to throw everything away just to get the latest *NEW SHINY*.

Nobody else does this.. I can still buy air/oil filters, mufflers, tires etc for my 1995 car. But g*d forbid I try to get support for 4 year old hardware. *PCI BUS? THAT"S SOOOOoooo 1990s...*

Somebody ought to call GreenPeace on the software manufacturers for forcing us to by new hardware which causes the old hardware to be sent to landfills. It's not Intel/AMD/IBMs fault, they don't say "Our hardware will only work in the OS that will be shipped in two years"...

DZ (2, Funny)

ElephanTS (624421) | more than 7 years ago | (#17196422)

Yep, Blue Steel is just one look. Where's Magnum?

Ummm (1)

Trashhalo (985371) | more than 7 years ago | (#17196510)

Doesn't Aero exist to compete with Aqua? The title makes it seem like MS has surpassed Apple and apple needs to do something to catch up The only reason I don't own a mac right now is because everytime I try out the macmini in the store it keeps crashing like non stop. But that doesn't stop me from drooling over the UI. So I stick with KDE.

Re:Ummm (2, Insightful)

SEMW (967629) | more than 7 years ago | (#17197160)

Doesn't Aero exist to compete with Aqua?
No. Aero exists to compete with Luna. Microsoft's biggest threat to Vista adoption by far is users sticking with XP. The threat from Apple is negligible by comparison.

The other Aqua (1)

me.at.work (249034) | more than 7 years ago | (#17196610)

This isn't really related to the article (which isn't much of an article btw). Troll me to smithereens.

If Apple goes from Aqua to illuminous, what's the logical progression for Microsoft and Aero?

My guess is the next interface from Ms will be known as "Wind". Then, as we all know, Ms has a habit of getting things somewhat right and very bloated in the third generation.

So, my prediction for the third generation of Aero is simply "Flatulence". Oddly enough, this is how the first generation of Aero has been described as well.

By the way, Aero sucks (0, Flamebait)

Swift2001 (874553) | more than 7 years ago | (#17197022)

The translucent windows are nothing but a mighty thief of computer cycles. Only some computers can display it, while it drowns in meritriciousness even when being displayed. The proof? The little red X in the close thingy. Is it possible to make something that ugly? A number of people don't like the stop lights on Aqua windows, but at least it's well designed. The color-coding is self-explanatory, and when you hove the mouse over it, it also gives you a clue when the +, - and x appear inside the "light." By contrast, the Vista close box is a big, nasty red thing that seems pasted on. Microsoft aesthetics.

No (2, Insightful)

iangoldby (552781) | more than 7 years ago | (#17197228)

I think the name gives it away. "Illuminous." That's a word that people sometimes mistakenly use when they mean "luminous."

I don't think Steve Jobs would want a word that in many people's mind would have connotations of ignorance.
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