Hans D. Baumeister

Hans D. Baumeister

MacOS Lion Caveats - 4. Look and Feel / Ergonomics

4.1 - OS in General

I'm not sure what the reason for changing things in the MacOS GUI was - quite possibly, because there might be an impending feeling - had things _not_ changed - that the OS hadn't been changed. However, I really like the use of color to differentiate items and, this should be mentioned, it was Apple who first introduced the concept to a GUI... are we now going Bauhaus or minimalist or what is the reason to take away all color in the tool bar? 

4.2 - Mail

Mail is one of the apps that - in my opinion - has suffered the most from the GUI revamp as well as having some issues implanted that make working with the app more of a chore than it should be. 

Take, for example, us road warriors that often have flakey internet connections: if I'm syncing my IMAP accounts while in a train and the connection goes bad, Mail consistently asks me to re-enter the password for the account - as if losing an IP connection actually caused Keychain to drop it into /dev/null! How annoying!

As for the GUI issues, I repeatedly find myself doing a mouse hover over the buttons to make sure I'm hitting the same one. @Apple: the buttons were fine - why did you have to change them?

What also irks me is: Apple has applied the idiotic day naming, found (and hated) in Outlook, to Mail: instead of just writing date and time in the mailbox list, it now uses "Today", "Yesterday" etc. Looking for a particular mail at a particular time? Nope. Time isn't displayed anymore, just the date or "Today... Yesterday... ".

Actually, what is even more freaky: I have set my OS to prefer English language UI content to German, which is in second place (as I work in Germany). Mail has everything of the GUI in English, which the exception of the mail date naming... "Today" becomes "Heute", "Yesterday ... Gestern" and, since there is a specific word in German for the day before yesterday ("Vorgestern"), it uses that too!

Also, things have changed with the way that attachments are displayed. I'm not much of an Outlook fan, but I've always liked the separate "box" within the mail message window for attachments. This way, you see immediately what / if something is attached and you're able to drag-and-drop it to whereever you'd like to have it.

It wasn't implemented that well in Mail under SL, but at least you would see the attachments as separate "file entries" below the header information. Apparently, this is no more (at least I haven't found a way to change it): now, there is only a button for saving attachments, or you can go and scroll to the bottom of the message where, if you're lucky, the attachments are displayed as icons. Mail tends to display single-page PDFs inline, which makes it a pain to extract via drag-n-drop. 
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