326 words on Mac OS X
In the past years there has been a trend in Apple’s applications towards what people call
Head-Up Displays. Usually these are dark, slightly transparent windows hovering above the rest of the user interface offering the ability to adjust some settings. The most prominent example for this trend will be the adjustments window in iPhoto:
This window is also the one which makes it most obvious that the naming as
Head-Up Display (HUD) is inappropriate. If you keep in mind that the very point of a real HUD is that you can see through it and it doesn’t get into your way while displaying auxiliary information you may need, this is quite obvious.
Not only is the transparency of this inspector window hardly more than eye candy – it’s almost opaque, there are many sliders on it making it hard to see through and there’s no way to actually judge the image beneath that window from what you see through that extra layer of grey (brown?). In addition that darn window is there to be interacted with and it does get into your way all the time.
Has anybody else though that iPhoto’s design of keeping the photo centred in its editing mode is as stupid as it is pretty? Because of this there’s no way to place the adjustment window anywhere on screen where it doesn’t overlap some other part of the window which you might be interested in.
While those windows are quite pretty, I can’t stand hearing people talk about them as HUDs anymore….
Regarding iPhoto’s habit of centering the photo while in editing mode, you can change this in preferences so that editing will be done in a separate window. I just checked and it’s in iPhoto 5, but I’m pretty sure you can still do this even in iPhoto 6. The edit-in-the-main-window feature is there if you don’t like extra cluttering windows, but if you want to get the photo off to one side and the editing panel off to the other side, just use the extra window.
Until I read this entry, I had never even cracked open the edit mode on iPhoto… I only use it for cataloging my photographs, and have PhotoShop set for my editor.
Now that I’ve seen it, I’m actually quite impressed. There’s a lot of control there in a fairly easy-to-use interface. I may actually use it from time to time now, so thanks for bringing it to my attention!
Simone: I don’t think the separate editing window solves my problem. In fact I find it very hard to use. For example it always seems to come up at a pre-defined width, meaning that for portrait-format photos I won’t see the button for the adjustments palette in the toolbar by default. As far as I can tell, the separate editing window doesn’t display the ‘photostream’ at the top of the window either, which I find quite useful.
Dave: If you have a fast machine, iPhoto’s editing capabilities should do the trick in many cases. I particularly like the slider for adjusting the exposure. That seems to do the trick for many photos with reasonable side effects.
I lobe WekKit’s inspector, too…
Runs every evening, right before I get home from work:
#!/bin/sh echo "Previous installed WebKit version is" `cat /Applications/WebKit.app/Contents/Resources/VERSION` export datedir="$HOME/Downloads/"`date '+%F'` [ ! -d $datedir ] && mkdir -p $datedir cd $datedir curl -s -O http://nightly.webkit.org/builds/Latest-WebKit-SVN.dmg hdiutil attach Latest-WebKit-SVN.dmg -quiet ditto /Volumes/WebKit/WebKit.app /Applications/WebKit.app ditto /Volumes/WebKit/Drosera.app /Applications/Drosera.app hdiutil detach /Volumes/Webkit -quiet echo "Newly installed Webkit version is" `cat /Applications/WebKit.app/Contents/Resources/VERSION`
Yeah that’s good. Although personally I’m happy to d/l an update once a week or so and spare myself the hassle of scheduling some script to run…
I think some of your quotes became victims of Markdown. Sorry for that. It’s exactly the kind of technical crap I hate… but I inserted some <pre> tags for you to make it work.
Yikes, I hate shell scripting! All those different quotes.
But what’s amazing about the WebKit Inspector (while mildly buggy and incomplete in some places – they finally fixed that crashing bug recently, but I’d still love to be able to edit things) is how brilliant it looks in terms of usability and information / pixel when compared to the tool Firefox has for roughly the same purpose…
My employer sells job scheduling software — it’s in my blood. ;)
Received data seems to be invalid. The wanted file does probably not exist or the guys at last.fm changed something.