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Thursday, February 09, 2006

Contradictions

Well I convinced 1 colleague to take the plunge, Mrs. BR purchased a nice new shiny iBook eventually, after spending quite a bit of time trying to barter like a Maltese market trader she took out the magical piece of plastic and boom it just worked, well after a quick call to a credit check agency then confirmation of eligibility for educational discount. So I spent some of my lunch hour configuring some of the niceties of Mac OS X. To be fair she had done some of the stuff already, like moving the dock to the right hand side, what is that about ??? I've been analyzing recently what people have on their docks, let me know what's on yours, send me a picture ? So I installed quicksilver for her, and was explaining what that's for I decided I would try something new on my machine, so I cropped my 20-30 icons down to 5 icons, Finder, Safari, Dreamweaver, Aqua Data & Trash. Something amazing happened, to be honest Quicksilver can launch all my applications and has done so all night. However the most interesting thing wasn't how damn small my dock got physically but rather how much my computer speeded up. Then I started to think about it, it wasn't my mind the machine was getting faster, dashboard was opening quicker... pah I hear you cry - don't be silly a discernible increase from just knock a bunch of icons off. I first noticed when I was minimizing applications they were doing so faster. When you minimize either with genie or just scale every time the dock must be redrawn all those gorgeous 48 x 48 pixel icons being - moved, animated, resized to make way for their new companion... must use up tones of graphics power and given the mini isn't that well endowed in that area a hit is clearly visible. Then I was think about how sleek the apple interfaces are, iPod, OS X, .mac etc. We hold St. Steve up as a bastion of efficiency, as apple users we claim we work better on a mac. We tell those we wish to convert that we get more done on our macs that their PC. Steve's presentations are a shining example of presentation Zen, Coca applications are efficient in layout and style. For years apple resisted the urge to use context menus, refused to stock a two button mouse. All this is a lie, a contradiction when you look at high definition icons, animated expose with real time video rendering on thumbnail, all the screen relegated used by the Dock (When you don't use damn autohide). All the memory used by those pesky widgets hiding on the dashboard (ps don't ever try the sunlight trackers it just drinks juice). Think about all those .app files surely some of them share functions or files but with a .app bundle it's all duplicated, where as windows uses dlls to share runtime functions. When you switch to mac you spend time learning where new stuff is, the fact the menu bar doesn't move, the close minimize and maximize buttons have moved - yet somehow we forget these because apple to us have managed to strike this cord in us whereby they've abused our resources but have looked good doing it. To be fair no one can argue that shared dynamic link libraries are a necessary compromise anymore with hard disk space being gigantic and cheap - in real terms the fact the excel used to fit on a floppy doesn't mean it's any less efficient because we've got space coming out of our ears now. You can now spec a home PC with a TB of HD - CRAZY I know. So I know there are those who believe apple are like gods amoungst men and microsoft is the evil empire; there are those who believe apple is to pretty to a decent OS that all those graphical niceties are not worth the resource cost, in the end it is all about balence, I think apple have the balence right, mostly. (caveat'ing like mad)

3 Comments:

dom said...


Think about all those .app files surely some of them share functions or files but with a .app bundle it's all duplicated, where as windows uses dlls to share runtime functions.


Theres is zero to one percent redundancy. Any major stuff that is shared (like libpng etc.) are stored in the OS specific locations.

/System/Library/Frameworks (OSX stuff) and /Library/Frameworks (App stuff) or /usr/lib (Unixy libs)

.app only bundles frameworks that are specific to that app. Yes you may get custom things like the Ogre regular expressions framework duplicated but its a tiny percentage

10:42 AM  
M said...

0 - 1% ?

10:47 AM  
M said...

Read on http://arstechnica.com/journals/apple.ars/2005/4/25/97 @ 0017 on 20 Feb 2006
Moreover, supposing I as a developer really exploit what the BSD subsystem and Installer.app have to offer?

Then we could have an app to trash; but also frameworks in /Library/Frameworks/ , a ton of stuff in /usr/local/bin and /usr/local/share , and modifications to /etc/crontab , and /etc/hostconfig , and /etc/httpd/httpd.conf , and startup items in /Library/StartupItems ; and that's assuming I've played by the rules and put stuff where it's supposed to go.

But fortunately, framework linking/loading on MacOSX is rational, so while there could be an equivalent of DLL hell on MacOSX, there won't be, not anytime soon anyway.

12:18 AM  

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