Of course, The one thing I would love to see Apple do is free Mac OS and be more supportive of various Free software movements, but that is never going to happen as long as Steve is still in charge (I wouldn’t bet on it even if her weren’t though). So I have settled for the top 10 things I would like to see apple to in the future that don’t, for the most part, have anything to do with my support of free software. Unfortunately we live in reality and thus must ourselves be realistic.
- Include all or at least most common GNU software with Mac OS You may be thinking “but he said he wasn’t going to talk about free software.” Well, this has nothing to do with the software being free, other than it makes it easier for Apple to include it. I think Apple needs to include this software because it is insanely useful. Now, I know a lot of people don’t use the terminal so they won’t see a lot of these programs but is it too much to ask to have gnupg installed with the OS?
- Include a fully functional terminal environment on the install CD What I mean by this is that the install CD is lacking some very useful tools. While trying to fix apples mistakes in leopard (transparent menu bar) I broke a plist. I booted up the install cd so I could edit the file I broke from the terminal. I was dismayed to find that I did not have access to many essential utilities. Its been a while so I don’t remember what all was missing but I do remember there was no emacs or vi and I believe that even grep was missing! To Apple’s credit I didn’t think to try nano or pico and surely at least one of those must be there. So a had to edit the text file with echo, cat, head, and tail. I guess I can just say I’m really hardcore or something.
- Include support for more codecs in QuickTime/iTunes/iPods, or at least allow third party codecs to be easily addedThird position doesn’t do this justice, however I am more concerned about numbers 1 and 2 than this so I (and you) will have to live with it at third. I ranted a while back about how apple will never allow Xiph formats. I believe that is still true but I would also like to see divx, WMV(as much as I hate it), and whatever else you may have.
- Package management I’m not really sure how anyone can use a computer with out some kind of package management. I use macports myself. One of the things Mac Os has going for it is that it is easy to use so why can’t Apple add a simple graphical package management system (hopefully with a more powerful command line interface aswell) and say to all of the people who aren’t geeks “Look at this you can install all kind of programs with one click of the mouse and all for free!.” The free part would assume that they would only include free software. It might make more sense for Apple to provide Free software for no charge and offer non-free software for a per download price (think iTunes store for software).
- Make spaces and stacks and the dock and the folder icons not suck I like spaces in respect to it being a planar multi-desktop utility and it was about time Apple added a multi-desktop utility by the way! However, I don’t like the way it switches desktops every time a program (normally iTunes) is being an attention whore and is fighting to be on top (as in the foremost window…) for no apparent reason other than it wants to be. I also don’t like that windows always maximize to the desktop they were opened on. It would me nice to be able to minimize a window and move to another window and maximize that window without spaces automatically changing back the space it originated from. To move a window to a different space you have to click and hold on the title bar and then move to a new space. For the way stacks should be see this page(I hate the way stacks shows a stack of the icons in the folder as its icon. It is impossible to discern anything useful from that mess). The dock looks stupid if it isn’t on the side of the desktop. I changed it so it looks like it does on the side even when its on the bottom. The new folder icons leopard uses make it very hard to tell multiple folders apart (see Arstechnica’s
leopard review for more about this)
- Get a new filesystem HFS+ is old and outdated. Apple seems to be working on replacing it with ZFS. I’m not sure if that is really the best way to go, at least for desktop, but I can’t think of anything better off the top of my head (HAMMER might be a possibility when it comes out)
- Allow for full disk encryption Mac os uses File Vault to encrypt your user file right now and it sucks. It just makes your user folder a variable sized encrypted disk image. Disk images are not meant to be used like this. Not to meantion that every time I have tried to do it (on Tiger) I get an error telling me that my hard drive is too small and I need a few hundred more terrabytes of free space.
- Make a CDMA Iphone CDMA is better and I happen to already be a sprint customer :). Apple could also learn a thing or two from the OpenMoko while they are at it.
- Integrate X11 into Quartz I don’t know if this is possible or even if I’m talking about the right thing. That is as far as I can tell Quartz seems to be analogous to X11 but I’m not 100% sure it is. I occasionally like to use X11 applications and it can be annoying to have to have X running. It would be nice if Quartz could support X programs to some extent so that X never has to be run. Along with that It would also be nice to have native GTK support.
- Be more open I couldn’t help myself. Also I couldn’t think of any thing else (which is why it is 10).
Apple has a feedback page so if you agree with anything that I have said you might head over there and let them know about it.