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Sign the petition to stop the brushed

posted by Jason Kottke   Sep 23, 2003

Sign the petition to stop the brushed metal in the OS X 10.3 Finder.

Reader comments

georgesSep 24, 2003 at 12:23AM

actually… i quite like the brushed metal treatment…

ChasSep 24, 2003 at 1:42AM

I second that. The brushed metal is unobtrusive and clean. Keep it.

fangsSep 24, 2003 at 3:12AM

What really bewilders me are the people who complain about brushed metal in safari. “Power users” have the Bookmark Bar and all that other crap turned off, which means that

fangsSep 24, 2003 at 3:13AM

less than 1% of the the window is brushed metal, and the rest is a web page… who the fuck cares…

this stupid comment system chops comments at a less-than sign…

SchmeldingSep 24, 2003 at 4:47AM

I think we need a petition to stop petitions for stupid and mundane complaints. I agree — I think the brushed metal is much easier to stare at all day long. Maybe the smart Apples will give the users a choice…similar to Themes in OS 9? I dunno.

I gots three woids for ya petitioners: GET A LIFE!

JustinSep 24, 2003 at 5:33AM

Actually, the strongest point is that it violates Apple’s own guidlines. If people end up getting the message that it’s OK to ignore the guidelines all the time, then Mac OS will loose part what makes it Mac OS — It’ll end up like Windows or, *shudder*, a Linux GUI.

There’re other little things to. With a metal window, you can drag it around by clicking any where there us space. In a normal window, you can only drag by clicking on the titlebar, which prevents accidently moving the window around etc.

IMHO, a little bit of metal looks nice, but too much of it and it start to look like a bad kelideoscope theme.

GeorgeSep 24, 2003 at 8:06AM

You know society has really become fat and lazy when people start petitioning something like this. Disgusting.

chazSep 24, 2003 at 10:21AM

We’re not gonna protest! We’re not gonna protest!

spygeekSep 24, 2003 at 10:42AM

I signed, even though I haven’t had a mac since OS 8…I think stuff like this should be configurable rather than forced.

JasonSep 24, 2003 at 10:52AM

Kottke rawks!!!
He’s way cooler than brushed metal!!! I’m happy with the current look so I thought I’d toss my 2 cents in.

JasonSep 24, 2003 at 10:53AM

Kottke rawks!!!
He’s way cooler than brushed metal!!! I’m happy with the current look so I thought I’d toss my 2 cents in.

dowingbaSep 24, 2003 at 11:28AM

It’s rather strange that there isn’t a choice. Most OS’s looks are rather configurable.

dubiousalibiSep 24, 2003 at 2:29PM

Honestly, what the hell are people thinking? The OSX looks sensational and works impecably. I just can’t believe that some people are drawn to spend so much ridiculous time on removing a tiny component of the OS. A component that I personally haven’t seen executed better yet. Why don’t the guys who are running this petition show us some better alternatives?? Surely that’s a fundamental to establishing any argument. Start a poll accordingly if you’re so bloody confident the brush metal look is “madness” and “ugly”. C’mon we’re all waiting petitioners! Stop complaining and show me what you’re barking about.

BrianSep 24, 2003 at 4:36PM

I thinks I’m’a make a petition to bring Kaleidoscope to OS X so I can make my own damned theme.

here’s what I posted on the Petition-blog-commenty thingie…

Without a doubt, I prefer the brushed metal appearance to the original Aqua one. All those lines made made my head spin.

The biggest problem, however, is the fact that the two are randomly mixed about. That’s just plain sloppy.

http://www.maxthemes.com/ to the rescue. :)

f5Sep 24, 2003 at 5:41PM

Brian:
The biggest problem, however, is the fact that the two are randomly mixed about. That’s just plain sloppy.

The two aren’t randomly mixed at all. One-window app’s are brushed metal, and everything else isn’t.

BarrySep 24, 2003 at 6:17PM

Actually osX is not all that perfect as has been put forth above. Have you tried navigating to the file of your choice using command O? Madness. Meanwhile, while we cosily discuss whether we want to have a metal brush look on Panther or not, people blow themselves up, people die, Congo is a forgotten war and Bush is still a dangerous moron. But I digress, I guess.

RobSep 24, 2003 at 6:29PM

“You know society has really become fat and lazy when people start petitioning something like this.”

Too harsh. Relax. Give people some freedom to be little bit different to you.

SchmeldingSep 24, 2003 at 6:37PM

The argument that the metal look violates Apple’s own HIG is invalid. They will, no doubt, update the HIG once Panther is released.

DaveSep 24, 2003 at 6:58PM

Barry, you mean to say that people are dying while we’re discussing silly computer topics? Oh my gosh! It’s a good thing you’re surfing the web and saving lives!

CraigSep 24, 2003 at 8:20PM

i think brushed metal is allowable, but only just. i think the merging of the itunes, et al navigation system is a great idea, and that apple is working on merging there divergent metaphors as opposed to letting them digress further is a good thing.

although, i kinda view brushed metal as such a platform independant look for apple, as it was introduced in quicktime, so seeing it proliferate into the finder strikes me as odd. setting it apart as different has been apple’s forte, yet this makes it just more of the same…

that being said, i love the aqua pinstripes, and wish they werent as toned down as they are in panther.

GrahamSep 24, 2003 at 9:09PM

You can’t beat the black vinyl look.

Buzz AndersenSep 24, 2003 at 10:48PM

I personally didn’t like the brushed metal Finder, or a lot of other things about Panther, until I spent a lot of time with it. Now, I personally think the Panther UI is very refined, and I don’t really mind the metal.

pbSep 25, 2003 at 3:19AM

brushed metal is both functionally better (larger drag area) and aesthetically better (no silly stripes).

Bob K.Sep 25, 2003 at 5:12AM

Instead of petitioning about a purely asthetic element, how about a petition to get Apple to fix the single largest user interface blunder - moving “File Edit View” etc menus contextually relating to the length of their respective applications name

“Photoshop” has nine characters, where, say, “iTunes” has 6, and one of those has a negligable em width. And Yahoo! Messenger has a mere 16 characters (including the space, which it does). So Apple lovingly slides the whole menu system back and forth to accomodate the names. After years and years of being constantly trained to zip my mouse to a specific spot for a menu cmd in Illustrator I now have to actually stop, look where my cursor is, and move it to a new location depending on the application I’m using.

And yes, while a majority of the commands I use are keyboard shortcuts, there are still plenty of functions that I need from the main apps menus.

But don’t worry - I’ve been practicing - I’m working on remembering how many characters are in each app I use so I can approximate how far my menu items will be moved! Ha! Take that!

MichaelSep 25, 2003 at 7:13AM

So this is what Mac people talk about? Fascinating.

dubiousalibiSep 25, 2003 at 8:33AM

“Oh my gosh! It’s a good thing you’re surfing the web and saving lives!” hahahahahahaha!

jonathanpohSep 25, 2003 at 11:24AM

Doesn’t anybody remember how the Mac OS 8 and 9 interface looked like? yes it was Platinum, another metal theme.
Anybody remember the big hoo haa when Aqua was unveiled? everybody wanted the Platinum interface back.
So now Apple IS giving it back, in the form of beautifully textured brushed metal, thanks to the increased processing power of the CPUs and GPUs in out macs.
Aren’t we Mac users a fickle bunch?

SchmeldingSep 25, 2003 at 1:59PM

Personally, I think this whole brushed metal thing is a fad by today’s kids to scare their parents. It’ll blow over just like the heavy metal of the 80’s did. Parents today will just throw a smirk at their kids when their kids say, “Yeah, mom/dad…I’m listening to that Satanic brushed metal group ‘Brushallica.’”

Kids today. Sheesh.

ckSep 25, 2003 at 5:53PM

How about petitioning for an improvement of the Dock? It is annoying to use as it stands now. Here are some reasons: http://www.asktog.com/columns/044top10docksucks.html

BrianSep 25, 2003 at 7:00PM

I’d give up dock improvement for dock removement. Yes, that is a word, yes it is.

f5: Safari is a single-window app? iTunes? iChat? Randomness, I tell you. Sheer chaos.

Graham: Black vinyl rocks my pants. Really.

pb: I do like the drag area around the sides, but when it gets into the content region of my window, I drag things accidentally and get pissed. Getting pissed over moving windows around makes me feel kinda dumb.

Bob K.: Now you’re talkin’. Respect for users’ motor memory isdead in OS X, and that makes baby Jesus cry.

Mike HarperSep 25, 2003 at 11:08PM

Apple has long been known for their user interface. While Xerox was the originator, Apple really brought a usable GUI to the masses. They’ve employed people who are known as now known as experts in the field (Jef Raskin, among others).

Apple’s Human Interface Guidelines state that the “textured” window appearance should be used by apps that “provide an interface for a digital peripheral,” or attempt to re-create a “familiar physical device.” Their examples for these include iTunes and the Calculator. Read it for yourself.

I’m not sure I like the tone of the petition, though. I don’t find the brushed metal look to be an “ugly monstrosity,” but I do find the inconsistency annoying.

BryanSep 26, 2003 at 10:38AM

“Mac OS X version 10.2 provides developers with a new “textured” window appearance…It is acceptable to have a mix of standard Aqua windows and textured windows within an application.”

Note the version number, they could, and probably will change these guidelines with the new version. I like the metal, but in my opinion, it’s being used more widely to promote the new machines. The machines that are made of…brushed aluminum!!

f5Sep 26, 2003 at 12:16PM

Brian: I’m right, and you are worng.

No, but seriously — Safari, iTunes, iChat, iPhoto, iMovie…these are all *primarily* single-window apps, are they not? (As opposed to pro apps like photoshop, etc. that are a cluster of palettes that use the system widgets to form windows.)

Mike HarperSep 26, 2003 at 3:25PM

f5: I think what you’re calling a “single-window app” is different from how I’d define it. Photoshop and the Macromedia programs use a scheme like you describe — a collection of palettes — but allow multiple documents to be open at once. I dont’ consider the palettes to really be windows at all, as they can’t grab the focus and are basically attached to whatever document is currently on top. There’s a sort of modality here, but I’m not sure how to describe it — stateful dialogs, maybe?

I would say that iTunes is what I’d call a single-window application. It has one main window, of which a single instance can exist at one time. Any configuration that pops up is modal (you can’t select the iTunes window while a child dialog is displayed), and there’s only one child at a time. iPhoto is pretty much the same, and I believe iMovie as well (although I haven’t used it enough to be sure).

iChat is similar in that it keeps with the “one main window” model, but a variety of IM windows exist and can be independently focused. By this alone I’d say it’s not single-window. Safari is even less single-window, since it has only one main window type, with many instances allowed. If only one window instance with tabs were allowed, then yeah… it’d be single-window.

Panther seems to have issues with consistency between apps as well. I can see where the Address Book, iTunes, iMovie, and iSync can be seen as interfacing with some sort of device. But if it’s also meant for interaction with the network or other people (iChat), why isn’t the Mail program textured? And why would the Address Book be textured in addition to iSync, since iSync does the actual connection? And why isn’t Sherlock textured?

I don’t mind iTunes, Safari, and even iChat with the brushed metal feel. But I mentally associate it with an application, while the (now shinier) pinstripe feel with the OS, the default look and feel. Mac OS has always had a strong integration between the desktop and the file browsing, which I fear will be diminished by the new-style Finder. If I open a folder on my desktop, I’d expect the window that appears to look like what’s already there — the system title bar across the top.

I guess what I really want to ask is this: When should the default (pinstripe) look be used?

BrianSep 27, 2003 at 7:43PM

Am I the only one who opens iTunes playlists in their own windows, occasionally making it a multi-window app? It looks quite nice without the playlist-list along the side. (Weeps quietly for the new Finder.)

Mike Harper: I don’t think any of your questions can be answered. :)

The only real beef I’ve got with the brushed metal theme (not including the fact that it exists alongside Aqua) is its own occasional inconsistency. iChat windows have thin borders around them. iTunes windows have big fat ones. Safari windows have … none?

I think we do have to keep in mind that under a normal numbering system, OS X would likely be around versions 2.x. With every new version, Apple should be refining the system and making it more consistent. Should be. I read a quote somewhere that said “Apple’s industrial design quality is at an all-time high, but their interface design is at an all-time low.” I tend to agree with that. It’s only a matter of time before their priorities change.

TheCriticSep 28, 2003 at 9:16AM

The Apple Firewire Vibrator —> that’s what Apple geeks need!

G.Dec 03, 2003 at 1:16AM

I liked the Aqua stripes more. This isn’t a minor aesthetic issue. It IS the interface, an important part of the Mac experience. If there is a significant amount of people wanting the Aqua stripes, then Apple would be wise to listen to their customers and give the option to choose between brushed metal and Aqua stripes, just as we were able to choose between blue and graphite. What’s so difficult about that? Oh, and the stripes are missing in the title bars in Panther too. What’s with that?

SkirtsFeb 22, 2004 at 9:57PM

Hi id like to register, how can i do so?

shemaleFeb 29, 2004 at 2:45AM

Can somebody post some links about one

shemaleFeb 29, 2004 at 11:26AM

Can somebody post some links about one

This thread is closed to new comments. Thanks to everyone who responded.

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