The Lite Side

30 More Things Users Want to See Fixed in OS X

- 2003.09.30

Wow, I haven't gotten this much mail in a while. I got enough responses to 10 Things I'd Like to See Fixed in OS X that I thought I should pass on some of these excellent suggestions for things to fix in OS X.

John Bergam

We ought to be able to right-click (or click and hold, control-click, or whatever) on a minimized window in the dock and get a contextual menu from there that allows us to do various things to it - like close it.

Michael Fuselier

Well, I'd say your 10 are pretty good, but not exactly what my 10 would have been.

  1. Address Book would give me a count of the number of contacts in a group or selected.
  2. The ability to print Finder windows and the desktop - built into the Finder.
  3. All apps should be required to use window drawers instead of pallets, including and especially iCal.
  4. All apps should used sheets, especially for printing and closing a doc, instead of only a random few.
  5. The System Preferences app quits when you close the window, like most other small applications such as Address Book.
  6. Groups in Address Book get transferred to my Palm categories.
  7. Add a save state of apps to the machine, so I can reboot to eliminate weird problems, or shutdown for some reason or another, and then return all my apps to their saved state. Much like Virtual PC does.
  8. I want the Page Setup menu item to be integrated into the Print dialog. It's really a pain to have two different dialogs. Most novice users don't even know what Page Setup is for.
  9. When I create an alias to a server, it always works, unless the server is offline. I am recreating aliases to my server all the time. Sometimes right after I create them, they don't work. Weird bug.
  10. When I save a printer "preset," it should save all the settings, not just a select few of them. It never saves the media type, for example.

John Christie

0. The Printer Center interface is absolutely horrid!!

Well, I'm okay with it, but what bugs me is that it doesn't carry over to Classic correctly.

Steven Downs

Here is my rather pragmatic list of things which should be fixed in OS X:

  1. All dialogs with highlighted buttons that have keyboard focus should allow the Return key to trigger them. (I find this is not the case with many applications, and, although may not be Apple's fault, it should be a standard Aqua feature.)
  2. Columns should be dynamically resizable in open/save dialogs on an individual column basis (such as holding down the option key and resizing columns in Finder windows).
  3. Rendering content in Preview in columnar layout in the Finder should never freeze the Finder or bring up the spinning wait cursor. Rendering such content should be given a background priority.
  4. There should be an option to instantly delete additional files in the Finder while the Trash is emptying.
  5. Accessing FTP functionality from within the Finder (using Connect to Server) should be thoroughly reviewed and fixed.
  6. The Energy Saver System Preference needs to be updated since Apple has removed on/off switches on their displays (so, for instance, things like iCal alarms do not turn the computer screen on and keep it on indefinitely). There should also be an advanced option to put the computer sleep at a time much later than 3 hours.
  7. Window Manager needs to be fixed so that when you switch applications by option-clicking an open window in a background application, all windows in the current application consistently hide. Similarly, clicking on the icon of an open but hidden app in the Dock should consistently bring up all windows for that application (instead, sometimes one has to click twice to bring up all application windows). Again, perhaps this is not entirely Apple's fault.
  8. The Dock arrows indicating running applications should be grey or outline-only for applications that are hidden.
  9. Bonus points: OS X Server should allow for creation of filenames with more than 32 characters on the server drive itself.

David Trevas

  1. I'd like to be able to choose the sorting method in column view. Currently, it is ascending alphabetical, but when I'm looking for something I've recently used, I'd like to be able to look at descending date modified, and when I'm looking to gain disk space, I'd like to look at descending size to see if there are any big files I can get rid of.
  2. As a corollary, I'd like to see Open and Save panels that were more informative (like, gulp, Windows - at least it was is OS 9, too.) (Stealing from Windows is "justice" in my world; "ironic" when you think about it though.)
  3. I'd like to be able to customize the Go menu. Everyone whines about the Apple Menu, but there are haxies to deal with that (there may or may not be one for the Go menu, but I don't want to mess with haxies anyways). It's bad enough that we have one menu that should be customizable that isn't, but two is really too much! I don't know why the Go menu isn't complained about more.
  4. AppleScript recordability. Even though only a few apps in OS 9 were recordable (i.e. you could open up Script Editor, push "Record", do a task in a recordable app, and Stop when you were finished). Not only was that a great way to create a simple script, but it also provided a great springboard from which to write more complex ones. Recordability was very difficult to put into OS 9 apps, so very few had it, but I've heard it is either practically or totally impossible to do in X. (I've not had much luck with it since OS 7.)
  5. Mail should display messages without all of the header crap by default. I sometimes have to wade through dozens of lines of "Froms" and "Tos" to get to the humorous material.
  6. Safari should be able to retain the User Agent from session to session. If I want my stupid bank to think I'm using IE, I shouldn't have to tell Safari each time I log on!
  7. You should be able to choose whether you want your Mac to wake up to run cron jobs or to respond to requests from other computers on the network.

Trent Colbert

I want to be able set column view as the standard for all windows; love the tab between columns idea.

Does anyone know how to do this?

Pat Semararo

I have 2 major issues with OS X, and I want to love it, but being a Linux user also it is hard to take OS X seriously until these are fixed:

  1. Unplugging a mounted device without ejecting it will panic the kernel, present you with a spinning beach ball and lot let you access any part of the system - only a restart saves it.
  2. Plugging in certain USB/FireWire devices will panic the kernel and present you with a restart in 3 languages screen.

OS X is 100% unsuitable for mission critical work until those are fixed. Like Red Hat/SuSE, the kernel needs to be untouchable/uncrashable under all circumstances except no power. That Apple could ship an OS with "server" in the name that I can stop cold by plugging in a USB drive is just laughable.

I believe that it certainly would make the system more robust to prohibit these sorts of crashes.

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