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a java programmer's first impressions of the macosx v10.4 upgrade..

Posted by eitan on May 3, 2005 at 8:47 AM PDT

~ 12 hours ago i upgraded to macosx v10.4. here are my first impressions..

terminal/shell i/o is faster

eclipse editor is faster
eclipse command completion mysteriously works now.
i mean, it worked before but half the time it would complete something entirely erroneous; not anymore! (that used to be the most annoying thing for me. i didn't expect the upgrade to fix that. i can't tell you how happy this makes me)

the eclipse improvements must be due to improvements in the underlying carbon api implementation. still no ability to navigate treeviews from the keyboard alphabetically though (that is, you can navigate a tree using the keyboard arrow keys, but not by typing the first letter of an entry).

swing apps: i had to stop using the jgoodies "looks" look and feel. when using it, invoking menus and popup menus throws a nullpointerexception. i'm still using a 1.4.2 flavor. i'm not going to waste any time at the moment to try to figure out what's causing this.

i've upgraded fink but i'll have to wait a few weeks until i can restore my fink apps (gnucash primarily)

i turned off spotlight. for some reason i didn't feel like waiting the estimated 22 hours for the indexing of my disk to take place. i realize the estimates are often wrong and that the indexing may in the end take much less time. but it tortures me to have to listen to that foresaken powerbook g4 fan blowing hot air out of the innards of my laptop, trying to chug through the necessary computations. it's not like i've needed to find stuff on my disk anyway. i also had to disable the 'command-space' shortcut that spotlight hijacked away from me.

bummed about the whole java 5 no-show on osx. i've been really torn about which way i should go with my next laptop (another osx laptop or linux). my 1ghz tibook is getting old.

i almost fell into the common trap of getting the impression that very few things have changed simply because the desktop's look hasn't changed that much. one (me included) should not forget that many improvements are not necessarily visible from the perspective of the end user running guis.

dashboard is cute but i wish it got less exposure. what's the big deal anyway? i turned it off for now.

i still plan to migrate to intellij. migrating ides for me is a big deal. it's almost like switching operating systems. in order to be productive in an environment you really need to know that environment. many keyboard shortcuts are different. trying to change the keyboard mapping is not that simple either. you end up trampling over other mappings and then rethinking things. so i realize it's going to take me a while.

mail.app: it sure would be nice to be able to perform a search based on more than a single criterion! yes, i can create a 'smart folder' in which case i get this dialog where i can specify as many criteria as i wish. but why on earth can't i do it for transient/non-stored queries??? (i mean, directly from the main window?).

well, that's it for now. overall (and so far), i'm happy to have 10.4. to have eclipse run even a tiny bit faster is a godsend. the system is stable. the upgrade was flawless. i'm really impressed there. all my daemons kept running. postgres, apache, etc.. upgrading is a big deal and correct timing is very important (e.g. i have to do without certain fink apps for a few weeks). so thank you apple for a mostly positive experience, for not breaking anything really important to me, and for improving the carbon layer.

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