1. 35
  1. 29

    I just don’t know who can replace Apple. I have no faith in companies like System76 to make something I enjoy using. I also can’t be bothered to carefully manicure a delicate teetering pile of dot files on a barely supported ThinkPad running Arch and a customized DE. GNOME and KDE are probably acceptable out of the box if I am left with no choice, but I don’t like them at all. KDE is a visual mess, GNOME is minimalist to a fault, and they both break my macOS muscle memory.

    The personal computer needs a new Apple.

    1. 24

      In my case finding replacement hardware isn’t too hard, but every time I’ve tried to use Linux for day-to-day professional tasks I’ve been driven back to OS X in a single-digit number of weeks. It’s absurd that the desktop experience feels even more shitty and half-baked now than it did 20 years ago when I was running it full-time in college. God help you if you dare to want fonts better rendered than you could expect in the late ’90s on some cheap 1024x768 CRT – HighDPI is still treated like some kind of godless abomination.

      JWZ absolutely nailed it with his CADT post; nothing user-facing in Linux has ever been allowed to mature into a usable piece of software, it’s just half-assed rewrites of half-assed rewrites all the way down.

      1. 7

        half-assed rewrites of half-assed rewrites all the way down

        Right. It’s unbelievable. You would think some big company would be able to hold investment on a set of softwares and refine them. Instead, every few years, we got half-assed rewrites as “enterprise solutions”, and got “shiny new things” for us to adopt or fork.

        1. 4

          Big companies are even less able to produce incrementally refined software over many years. They are (necessarily) run in many, many layers - each layer providing an additional opportunity for some manager to “put their stamp” on a product by initiating a half-assed rewrite.

        2. 6

          I think desktop environments are dead, sadly. This includes macOS, which had a really interesting ecosystem of apps developed by indie developers and boutique shops such as Omni Group, Panic, etc.

          I have found a lot of relief by moving all my computing to three platforms: Web (Firefox), text-mode Elisp (Emacs) and Unix (XTerm). These platforms are alive, dynamic and well maintained. Actually, the Unix plumbing provided by a minimalist Linux distribution (e.g. Arch) or by NixOS is a joy to use. And combined with a good tiling WM, it is very ergonomic.

          This also addresses GP’s point about dotfiles. By not using a myriad of ncurses applications, the number of dotfiles I need is minimal. Besides, over the years, I have found that interactive ncurses applications like mutt do not compose well and fail to satisfy Unix design principles. Furthermore, their little configuration DSLs tend to be too rigid. Moving some of these computing needs to Emacs made me much more satisfied.

          Linux won’t feel polished if you try to use a large desktop environment. But a minimal setup is likely to be very robust and there is very little churn. I have not reinstalled any of my machines in more than five years, and I always use the same boring programs: Firefox, Emacs, XTerm, screen, git, rsync, openssh, gnupg, etc.

          When using Macs, I gravitate towards the same setup. But it feels less cohesive due to the lack of a package manager, and the fact that tons of services and libraries I do not use are installed by default. Obviously, for others this approach might not work well.

          I do miss a good laptop manufacturer of PCs, though, as pointed by the GP. Lenovo is too unfocused. They release far too many models, instead of polishing a few designs. Furthermore, their service and pricing, at least in EU, is a disaster. Apple is far better.

          1. 4

            It’s an uncomfortable secret that vendors always knew, and we laughed at Balmer’s very uninspired display of it with his developers, developers, erm, seizure? – but it was never about the desktop: it’s all about the apps.

            Most of the bright people doing application development are either doing it for the web, or working on emerging technologies like VR. So lots of desktop applications written in the last 5-10 years or so quite plainly suck. Not all, obviously, there are plenty of exceptions (see: Krita) but overall it’s pretty bad. There just aren’t that many people interested in it anymore.

            Back in the late 90s, if you wanted to show off, you wrote your own WM. That time’s passed. It’s not really worth doing it even to pad your CV anymore – “a better desktop for PCs” hasn’t been much of a value proposition for more than 10 years now, there’s harldy any growth from that, so large commercial vendors have long stopped investing in it.

            This inherently leads to a lot of churn in this space, especially as there’s an increasing fracture between users and developers. There was a survey done by the VES a while back – admittedly on a small sample (like 88 studios or so?) in a narrow niche (the VFX industry – but a niche with loads of money to throw around). It turned out that back in 2021 (or early 2022, I don’t recall the exact timing), about 30-40% of the people in this field were using MATE, which half the Linux desktop dev crowd sneers at for being, like, Gnome for people with terminal nostalgia.

            1. 3

              I think desktop environments are dead, sadly. This includes macOS, which had a really interesting ecosystem of apps developed by indie developers and boutique shops such as Omni Group, Panic, etc.

              Had? It’s still there.

              I have found a lot of relief by moving all my computing to three platforms: Web (Firefox), text-mode Elisp (Emacs) and Unix (XTerm). These platforms are alive, dynamic and well maintained. Actually, the Unix plumbing provided by a minimalist Linux distribution (e.g. Arch) or by NixOS is a joy to use. And combined with a good tiling WM, it is very ergonomic.

              This is the most myopic way to look at it.

              1. 3

                Had? It’s still there.

                Mac ecosystem stagnation is well known, see e.g. https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=30595383

                Panic has stated they can’t make money on iOS. Apple’s cultural push for $1 apps is also impacting macOS. Omni has fired a significant chunk of their workforce.

                This is the most myopic way to look at it.

                Why? It’s a very common pattern for developers, even on macOS.

            2. 6

              In my case finding replacement hardware isn’t too hard

              After having worked with a fanless M1 MacBook Air for over a year I cannot find any non-apple laptop that comes even close. It’s sad, but since Apple Silicon I don’t see any reason to look elsewhere.

              1. 4

                Many Intel MacBook Airs were also excellent Linux machines, super silent and well supported.

                I would not be surprised if, eventually, the M1 ends up being a popular Linux machine. Linus used to use an Intel MacBook Air as his daily driver and was test driving a M1 recently.

                Some ThinkPads are quite silent, but not fanless, and their computing power is comparable to the M1. Sadly, they are more expensive here in EU. Plus, their sales and customer service is outsourced and has become a big mess.

                1. 1

                  Interesting. I think many people will come to that same conclusion.

                  I haven’t tried any Air (other than for a few minutes in shops); the flat keyboards drive me away. I loathe them. I also don’t like modern macOS much; I still run 10.14 and I miss 10.6, after which it all started to go wrong.

                  So I am gradually collecting elderly Thinkpads from the x20 generation, the last one with decent keyboards, and when they die I don’t know where I’ll go.

                  But if you like the design and the form-factor, then yes, Apple has an edge that is only growing wider, and nobody has really got anything to rival it.

                  MS is, shockingly, innovating more in form factor and input. I didn’t see that coming, but in hindsight, I should have. I had Microsoft Mice early on, including the clip-on one that went onto the side of DOS laptops that had Windows on them. OK, I used mine with OS/2, but still…

                  1. 1

                    Yeah I say that meaning only that I could build a tower I was happy with hardware wise pretty easily. There’s nothing really competitive in terms of mobile offerings, particularly when you’re dealing with dodgy Linux support.

                  2. 5

                    HighDPI is still treated like some kind of godless abomination.

                    Honestly, the push back against wayland is the major reason for this. With Xorg it’s a hack to get it working at all but it is natively supported in wayland.

                    So every time I have this conversation about “why do we need wayland! I don’t care” I get tired because that same person will complain about problems that only exist in Xorg.

                    1. 4

                      Fractional scaling works better in KDE today (with X), than in Wayland (with any WM/DE), where it doesn’t work at all.

                      Mind you, it’s still bafflingly bad compared to macOS.

                      1. 2

                        I’m not sure where you hit this issue, but fractional scaling just works out of the box on KDE/Plasma 5 + Wayland for me using a plain install on NixOS. It’s why I switched to Plasma from GNOME a year or so back, since IME very few HiDPI screens actually look “right” using integer scaling. (Presumably 4k @ 42” or so would look fine 1:1, and 2:1 for a 24” or so, but the affordable 27-32” models fit very much into the awkward middle. Laptop displays are all over the map, but tend to lose too much screen space to random UI chrome at 2:1 IMHO.)

                        MacOS works better in terms of at least giving you a few different scales that render pretty well, but doesn’t magically solve the problem of making UI work well at a wide variety of resolutions and densities.

                        1. 1

                          But then for example you can’t have a scaled external display on an M1 MBP.

                    2. 1

                      That’s exactly right.

                    3. 6

                      I’m always slightly surprised by descriptions like that, because for “and a customized DE. GNOME and KDE are probably acceptable out of the box if I am left with no choice” the good alternative is presented as macos with its “this is how it is and you’ll like it” approach. For me some of it is cool, a lot is annoying, and largely you can’t change anything beyond trivial settings.

                      Of course they will break the macos muscle memory too - the same is be true for every change. Every day at work I get the “which modifier was it to skip a word on a mac” game wrong a couple of times.

                      I mean, you’re used to macos, so whoever comes up with a new solution - you’ll likely see the same issues of unfamiliarity.

                      1. 9

                        the good alternative is presented as macos with its “this is how it is and you’ll like it” approach.

                        I’m a hypocrite and hold Linux to a higher standard, yes. I don’t expect Apple to accommodate everyone, but they put the work in very early on in the history of the Mac to make a keyboard layout that is ergonomic and suited to power users. It has a lot of consistency in how the modifiers are used, as well as weird poweruser things like being able to navigate within text with readline-like shortcuts (Ctrl+A, Ctrl+E, etc.). Apple cared about someone’s muscle memory there, at least. Way better than reaching over to Home/End, if those keys even exist on your keyboard.

                        Remember we’re talking about Linux here. These are the people who created Evil mode for emacs to accommodate vim users. Of all the places where key mapping compatibility should be possible, it should be on Linux, but it’s not even on the table. It isn’t possible now because all keyboard shortcuts are set by the application; “client side”. This sounds like an accessibility nightmare, though perhaps I’m wrong. None of this is easy to change in GNOME/GTK. It’s almost doable in Sway and others, but again it requires insane text-only configuration, and still falls apart inside of most Qt/GTK apps.

                        A GTK4 application that wasn’t built with macOS in mind will use Control-based shortcuts by default and not respond to Command+Q, for example.

                        Why is it considered necessary, for example, to support different keyboard layouts for different countries and languages? I don’t have to adjust my expectations for how my keyboard works for my locale, but I have to use what’s given to me for basic text selection and navigation. My muscle memory doesn’t matter. I can remap Control and Command and get half way there, but they’re semantically different for about half of the shortcuts to accommodate Windows users’ expectations and it ends up being worse. I have to accept that if I’m only comfortable in macOS I’m stuck here and no one will make ExpatOS for me.

                        In an application like VSCode, I can’t do the fancy text manipulation tricks I’m used to on macOS on Linux, despite it being the same program, because of how desktop environments steal the Super key for their exclusive use. In some ways this is a nice design idea, but it also reduces the possible key chords within an application.

                        1. 1

                          GTK used to support key themes, and one could enable an Emacs-like (i.e. GNU readline-like) theme to use C-a, C-e, etc: https://wiki.archlinux.org/title/GTK#Emacs_key_bindings

                          No idea if this still works on GTK 4.

                      2. 3

                        Is it because you’re personally not happy with the choices or do you think there needs to be some solution that is so much one-size-fits-all that it becomes a certain standard solution?

                        I’m just asking because I’m not really seeing the benefit of System76 - last I checked it was a nightmare to get a machine of theirs in Europe with a reasonable price and/or support story, so they might as well not exist.

                        I also should probably admit that I’m more on the “I like tinkering” side of things with my x230 with Debian and my old laptop wit OpenBSD… but the thing is that I had several ThinkPads in the last years where I just installed Ubuntu and everything worked.

                        1. 5

                          Is it because you’re personally not happy with the choices or do you think there needs to be some solution that is so much one-size-fits-all

                          Yeah this is pretty much it, and that’s what Apple offered. If you were in a film or music production studio anywhere in the last 20 years, you probably saw a Mac. In different worlds you’ve seen people use the same Macs for different reasons (like me, a programmer, who likes having a real terminal).

                          that it becomes a certain standard solution?

                          I think developers alone are a big enough market that it makes sense to have machines with excellent keyboards, great screens, and usable software that Just Works out of the box. The hardware is doable. Apple and Lenovo pull it off, for the most part. Dell could do it. They shouldn’t be cheap, and that’s okay. The hard part is having software that works well on it.

                          ThinkPads in the last years where I just installed Ubuntu and everything worked.

                          Ubuntu is a tough one for me. I agree that most things work well out of the box, if you like Canonical’s choices. I want to get to a point with desktop Linux where I don’t have to think about the bootloader and the init system and the package managers (Snap, deb, flatpak, etc.) and display drivers and just use it. It’s better than it has ever been, but it’s not good enough.

                          Stock GNOME on Fedora is what I use on my desktop computer. Most games run well on it, and it’s as good as any other Linux machine for the backend development work I do. It’s not everything I want from my desktop environment, but it gets me through the day. The GNOME devs are obsessed with minimalist to a fault. The people who dislike the new macOS settings window should have a look at GNOME’s. It’s basically identical and about as usable. Whoop-die-do. It’s responsive and looks good on small screens. Exactly what I need on my desktop computer. I don’t get their priorities. Microsoft is doing a lot of the same stuff with Windows 11, with the added bonus of being an evil corporation.

                          I also should probably admit that I’m more on the “I like tinkering” side of things with my x230 with Debian and my old laptop wit OpenBSD…

                          I would prefer to use something more like Sway, but it completely stinks out of the box. It requires so much fucking work to chase down themes and helper programs to get the desktop into a usable state. It’s like nothing has been learned since OpenBox and i3. I just do not get the insistence of the developers of these fantastic pieces of software to have the configuration of the graphical interface of my computer done in fifteen thousand dotfiles strewn about my ~ folder. Give me something to start with. Give me a GUI to configure my panels. I shouldn’t have to download and configure wofi or rofi and find a theme that matches just to launch applications in a way that feels nice. It’s absurd.

                          I see desktop Linux as two extremes:

                          1. partition your drives yourself and carefully build a card castle of AUR packages and dotfiles.
                          2. your grandparents should be able to read their email without too much clutter on the screen

                          I lean more towards wanting the power and features of what’s offered by option 1, but I don’t have the patience or will to manicure and maintain such an environment. GNOME is option 2 that lets you do most of what option 1 offers, but doesn’t help you at all. There has to be a middle ground. My view is that it has to come from a company like Apple.

                        2. 3

                          Have you seen Framework laptop? That will be my next machine, I’ll probably replace my desktop with it.

                          1. 2

                            Yes. I almost bought one a while ago. I absolutely love what they’re doing with their brand and their mission. I haven’t tried one personally, but apparently the keyboard leaves something to be desired, and the battery life is mediocre. The kicker for me is still the software, anyway, and that’s everyone’s problem with Apple these days anyway.

                            1. 5

                              I’m using one. The keyboard is indeed not great, but hey, laptop keyboards are never great. I haven’t noticed battery life issues but I mostly use it plugged in.

                              I agree for sure that the software is the challenge with any Linux setup. I have my own practices that I like, and I’d rather have something that needs some time investment to set up but is centered on giving the user control of their device, over something like Apple’s thing that is moving towards a narrow and locked-down vision of what computing should be.

                              I don’t see Apple’s software problem as being just a matter of worse UI, it’s that their business model has been shifting. With the success of their various app stores, they’re no longer primarily a hardware company, as they had been. This means their incentive over the long run is no longer to keep things open and give users control of their systems.

                              I want to be clear that my complaint is not with Apple’s workers - I have friends there, who largely share my concerns. My complaint is with the company’s high-level decisions.

                              1. 3

                                The writing was on the wall when Apple stopped charging $129 for OS upgrades.

                                1. 2

                                  Belatedly: Yes, you are absolutely right.

                              2. 2

                                The screen is also a weak point. There is no OLED or 100% DCI-P3 or Adobe RGB coverage option.

                            2. 1

                              I have an M1 MBA which I bought for the exact same reason lots of people buy Windows laptops: because it just works, runs proprietary apps I can’t get on Linux (mainly Lightroom and Office) or that only minimally support it (Zoom, Slack, Discord).

                              The battery life is just as absurd as advertised and the trackpad is great, but there’s nothing particularly magical about using it aside from the lack of heat + fan noise. Both of those are immaterial for the 90% of the time I’m working at my desk with the Air docked, both of those are immaterial, but it’s nice for the occasional “road-warrior” day. The MBA also won’t drive a single 4k monitor at >30Hz with three out of four USB-C docks I’ve tried, but obviously that’s my fault for expecting a peripheral that works perfectly on an Intel Mac or any other laptop made in the last five years running Windows or Linux to function correctly b/c Macs “just work”.

                              Overall, Macs today are boringly utilitarian, locked-down tools, much like Windows (when locked down and running a bare minimum of services and crapware) and Ubuntu, Fedora/Red Hat, or any other commercial Linux distro. There are only so many ways to really innovate or improve a “modern OS” when your main concerns are preventing rootkits and clocking better benchmark scores for Chromium than the competition.

                              Once upon a time Apple’s fixation on software UI/UX and nurturing a broad, sustainable developer ecosystem made a real difference, but now it’s all App Store dark patterns around subscriptions, in-app purchases, and/or ads driving revenue for developers. MS is going a similar direction with their native and Android stores, and Google was there before anyone else with ChromeOS + Android crossover support.

                            3. 15

                              I’ve been thinking this since OS X 10.7, yet I seem to keep buying Macs (well, okay, the last time I bought one was 2013, but I’m still using it).

                              I started using OS X in 10.1 (for about a month and then got a free upgrade to 10.2) and it was a huge step up from GNOME and Windows 2000:

                              • The menu bar had a consistent layout in every app.
                              • Keyboard shortcuts like select-all, copy, paste, open preferences, and so on were the same in every app, including the Terminal (command-c for copy, control-c for interrupt, was a surprisingly large quality-of-life improvement).
                              • Keyboard navigation was consistent in every text field (in my FreeBSD system, I had four different apps that I used regularly that had different move-one-word-to-the-right shortcuts!) as was the selection behaviour for the mouse.
                              • Drag and drop worked, consistently, between every pair of apps (including things like dropping a directory from the Finder to the Terminal and having it properly escaped on the command line). If I wanted to save an image from Safari, I could drag it to the Finder or drag it into an office-suite app to use directly.
                              • Animations all had some useful affordance. If I minimised a window, I’d see an animation showing me where it had gone so I could bring it back easily.
                              • The Terminal integrated incredibly well with the rest of the system. pbpaste and pbcopy let me move things directly to and from the system pasteboard (including typed data, so I could create a pipeline that would take a GIF image from the pasteboard and replace it with a PNG for pasting back into another app). The open command let me open a file in either the default or a specified graphical app. open . let me jump from the Terminal to the Finder.
                              • Everything exposed AppleScript hooks, so I could script any combination of applications easily.

                              Every version of OS X after 10.1 (and, apparently, including it - I didn’t use 10.0, but I’m told it should be treated as a beta) came with some significant improvements. It’s really hard to overstate how much effort they put into UI consistency. I very rarely had to learn how to do X in app Y, I just learned how to do X and expected it to work everywhere.

                              10.6 was great. Very few new user-visible features, just 10.5 with a load of performance improvements. It was the last OS X / macOS release that I was excited about. Every subsequent version has had as many usability regressions as improvements. There’s some nice technology underneath but Apple went through a phase of wanting every app to have a distinct personality and never really recovered from it.

                              From the folks I interacted with, this coincided with a lot of the former-NeXT folks retiring. NeXT was able to focus aggressively on consistency and usability without worrying about mass-market appeal. There’s a sad disconnect between the things that are appealing to people considering buying a thing and the things that are actually beneficial when you’re using that thing every day. NeXT focused on the latter, modern Apple on the former. Early post-NeXT Apple managed to strike a decent balance, which meant that they had high enough volumes that I could afford an Apple computer, whereas a NeXT machine was way outside my price range.

                              1. 6

                                I nearly entirely agree with this article. I’ve been feeling the same for a while. I first gave up a lot of my Free Software principles in 2006 when I spent two days trying to get a second monitor working (and failing) on Ubuntu. I ordered a G4 Mac Mini.

                                The things I loved then about the Mac are the things I’m looking for in a system. A focus on usability across apps: drag and drop should Just Work. The keyboard shortcuts for operations that are shared across applications (copy, paste, cursor movement, etc) should be the same in every application. When an OS update is released, I shouldn’t have to wonder what’s been broken, or change more than a few of my workflows. When i want an application, I want there to be a high quality one that exists.

                                On the Mac, this used to be true. Copy is always Cmd-C. Quit is always Cmd-Q. Emacs/readline keybindings in every text field. At least until Snow Leo, I could grab the latest OS on day one and not miss one minute of productivity more than the time it took to run the installer. When I wanted my computer to do something new, there were many great applications, highly polished, and available at reasonable prices. And none of my previous habits (emacs, and heavy bash usage) suffered for it: emacs keybindings always worked (thanks to the Cmd key), and the terminal was a fairly good one (and now we have iTerm2!)

                                But these days, most of the apps we have to use to interact with the world aren’t native Mac apps, and so the keybindings are a bit wonky. The applications I have to spend most of my days in (Slack and Zoom, primarily, but others too) are the worst offenders. And to make matters worse, Apple took the one respite we had from this shitshow: native Cocoa applications, and made them as bad (or worse in some ways) with SwiftUI, Combine, and whatever other flavour of the week they’re peddling.

                                I get a more cohesive desktop experience on GNOME or KDE than I do on a Mac today. That says a lot about how great GNOME and KDE have become, sure. But it also shows how far usability on the Mac has fallen. Every time Apple rewrites one of their apps (Music is the worst offender) in one of these new “cross platform” frameworks, it becomes unusable.

                                I have even more thoughts on the “it just works” and “you are rewarded for staying in the Apple ecosystem” ideas because the former isn’t true, and the latter has turned to punishment. :( I get more reliability syncing my Photos to Nextcloud than I ever got out of iCloud Photos.

                                I could say more, maybe I should write my own blog. But I don’t think I’m saying anything anyone else isn’t, so it feels like a waste. I’m glad I’m not alone, though.

                                1. 6

                                  I see where the author is coming from, I also think some of the design changes in macOS looks worse then they used to. But at the same time, 99% of my time is spent in either the Terminal (SSHed into a local VM running Debian) or a browser, so I feel like I am not much exposed to the design changes anyways, and I can imaging that there’s quite a large percentage of macOS users that would feel the same way.

                                  1. 2

                                    That’s exactly why I don’t complain much about gnome. I don’t use many applications, and t those that I do use, each does it’s own thing relatively well. Si i don’t need too much else from my DE.

                                    1. 1

                                      The big UI regression for me was around 10.7, when they significantly increased the size of shadows in background windows. Before then, I had never typed in one window thinking another was foreground on OS X. After that change, I think I’ve done it at least once a week. I have no idea how that passed any kind of user testing.

                                    2. 4

                                      This is exactly how I feel. I bought 13” 2020 model (Intel) and put 32GB of RAM and 2TB of storage in it, not only because it’s not upgradeable but also because the mac it replaced (a 2012 11” Air with i7/8GB) served me so well. I specifically went with Intel because I simply don’t trust how long Apple will keep Rosetta2 around. They dropped 32-bit support VERY quickly after moving to 64-bit, killing any ability to play Portal/Portal2 (the only games I ever really played).

                                      And let’s talk about “dumbing down” the operating system in the name of “security” - every new release of OSX chips away a little more with what you can and can’t do. I’d love to do some serious high speed data acquisition with thunderbolt, but I can’t expose PCIe to a VM. At all. Nothing supports it, because Apple does not allow it. Apps like Little Snitch lose some utility because OSX refuses to expose the necessary APIs. Hell, even back in 2015/2016 Apple screwed over DisplayLink by dropping the APIs that allowed USB3-connected video dongles the access they needed to do anything other than mirror.

                                      I’m pretty sure the next step is to disallow unsigned apps, and it’s likely at that point I’ll install Linux on their hardware and when they drop support for that… hopefully there’s something else on the horizon because everything they’ve done since High Sierra / Mojave has been about making the system dumber and less useful to the crowd who was dedicated to the company. It’s a shame, their hardware really is fantastic, but their software team needs to do some serious reflection.

                                      1. 3

                                        Thankfully I’m tech-savvy enough to know what I’m doing. The two Macs I use most are still on High Sierra and Mojave, and haven’t received security updates in quite a while. I haven’t had any security-related problem whatsoever.

                                        No security related problems he noticed. What a naive statement.

                                        That said, I tend to agree with the parts about unnecessary mixing of iOS and macOS.

                                        1. 3

                                          I haven’t upgraded recently. I run an ancient 2019 (Intel!).

                                          My reason is the flip side: what has Apple improved in the software? The software idea is still ‘magic’ driven. Core applications are still dumpster fires. The only guess is some misguided metric driving software development. Fix this.

                                          There are always weird tricks to learn via ‘magic’. We still use command-shift-G to enter a directory name in Finder, and that shortcut is still missing from all menus or discoverable sections. Hardware issues suggest incantations with holding different keys at boot instead of key that brings up a menu of the special modes and commands. My Mac still fails to hibernate correctly if the battery is too low; there is some hidden magic to fix it to hibernate slightly earlier? How do expect users to love your operating system if so much is driven by hidden lore?

                                          Perhaps you hope we will love the built in software we use every day? The TimeMachine with an interface painful enough that we avoid it. Try finding the latest version of ‘important.txt’ before it was deleted from something. Why does it need a list of every backup drive I have ever used? Can I restore if I remove it from the list? Can you do anything to make a saner backup plan than endless notifications? You could probably spitball a huge list of improvements to every application. Why do these feel like they are maintained by 1980s curmudgeons?

                                          One guess is that is rewarded. Just like Google has an internal culture metric that rewards breaking changes over improvements, something must be amiss at Apple. Maybe making a change is ‘betting your job’? Maybe bug fixes require sixty approvals to submit? Maybe working on macOS is considered just a stepping stone to working on IOS? Perhaps it is a belief that the average macOS user should be geared to someone barely graduating from high school that hats choices? That would explain why I can’t get an answer to hibernating from Genius Bar but they want to enroll me a class for organizing photos.

                                          Fix this culture. Take our money. I avoid upgrading so hard that I bought a System76 just to see if it work. It does not, yet, but at least they make things better every year. I fully expect the ‘rising tide’ of open source software to overtake any company stuck standing still, or as Morrick suggests, moves backward.

                                          1. 4

                                            We still use command-shift-G to enter a directory name in Finder, and that shortcut is still missing from all menus or discoverable sections.

                                            It’s in the menubar under Go, that’s how I discovered it. Cmd-Shift-? has been invaluable given my <1 month experience.

                                            Edit: I forgot about Ctrl-Shift-. which I actually only discovered incidentally when trying to show hidden files

                                            1. 1

                                              My mistake. That one is now discoverable.

                                          2. 2

                                            Thankfully I’m tech-savvy enough to know what I’m doing. The two Macs I use most are still on High Sierra and Mojave, and haven’t received security updates in quite a while. I haven’t had any security-related problem whatsoever

                                            That you know of…

                                            1. 2

                                              I am almost 100% Apple right now, but I wish Safari was better, because it is slow and crashes. So I use chrome. Apple Maps warns me too late before turns, so I have to use Waze. Siri is still just plain dumb in Portuguese. So I can relate to the author… the hardware is so much better than the software right now.

                                              1. 2

                                                I feel like OP wouldn’t have bothered to write this if SIP and notarization didn’t exist. On the whole, I agree with OP, but if we’re talking about just UI/UX, it’s a pretty weak argument

                                                1. 1

                                                  All agreed. Anyway, it’s fun keeping an older laptop going. My MacBook Pro has been my one and only since 2013 and I’ve got no plans on giving up on it any time soon. I’ve had the case open more times than I can remember to replace parts and generally give it some love.