Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Snow Leopard:

As I recall, when the first screenshots of OS X appeared, they showed (what I assume was) the NeXTStep OS with a few Apple cosmetics swiped on: a "Finder" whose only interface was what we now know as Column View, and no Apple menu at all (just a decorative blue Apple in the middle of the menu bar with no actual function). There was a huge outcry from the installed base of Mac users, and OS X was adjusted to look/work more like the Mac OS we were all used to. Sort of, anyway. It felt like Steve & crew resented having to do this at the time, and that resentment has continued to the present.

So I don't think the sadly missed genius features of the Classic Mac OS (such as the configurable Apple menu) will ever return. What's not widely known, it seems, is that the OS X crew is all-new: many came along with Steve from NeXT, many have come on later, but no one who worked on the Classic Mac OS is working on OS X. Unlike the 20 million or so Mac users that Apple already had ca. 2000, none of the OS X developers has ever worked on / lived with the Classic Mac OS, so they really have no idea what we're missing. They don't have the "muscle memory" we do; to them the Classic Mac OS is as foreign as, say, Amiga -- except that they keep having to "emulate" it (when they probably think they could do better on their own) for all these cranky old fogies. I expect they're bewildered as to what all us old Mac users are complaining about. They give us this great OS with all these great features, and all we do is carp!

Remember, Steve Himself never worked on a Mac after 1986 -- that's even before the famous, fondly-remembered System 6! And I've read that when he returned to Apple, he pointedly installed a NeXTStation in his office, and used it until OS X became functional.