WWDC '07 Fallout

So I’m watching the keynote from yesterday, and I thought I’d throw some quick not-too-analytical thoughts into the fray now that I’m stuck here for another 40 minutes anyway.

First off, the new desktop looks nice. I have a folder named ‘clutter’ where I drag all the ‘wow, I’d love to keep that, but I have no use for it’-stuff. Basically the same as the new download folder, except that it’s a nicer implementation. Other than that, transparency and reflection is all great and all, but since I always have my dock hidden anyway, it will be incidental.

Stacks look great, and for people who don’t use Quicksilver (you know, your mom…), I’m sure it’ll be a nice way to launch apps as well. I hope you can use the scroll-wheel to flip through the stacks…

The new Finder. Was it everything you hoped for? For as long as I’ve been a Mac user, people have been whining about the Finder, and I really don’t understand why; it’s always been working great for me. The changes look nice, though it will be interesting to see just how useful Coverflow really is in a file-management environment.

Surely though, stuff like the built-in quickview is one of those things that gets the least ‘press’, but which will see the most usage.

Accessing your computers via .Mac sounds like a great feature, too bad .Mac has largely fallen behind the curve. I let my subscription expire last year, and I haven’t missed it one day.

Spaces… I’m still absolutely non-plussed. Maybe Apple’s implementation will be more intuitive to the way I work, but I’m very much an ‘out of sight, out of mind’ kinda guy, and I’ll soon forget that I have more desktops than the one I’m working on. And when a new mail rolls in, I’ll just open a browser and go to Gmail, even if I have a Gmail window open somewhere in the background already.

Safari for Windows? Well done. Am I going to use it? Probably not. I’m way too stuck in Firefox and the many extensions that make my life a hell of a lot easier. In fact, I can’t imagine the web without Google Sync, Adblock, GreaseMonkey (for my beloved Gmail scripts!) and of course the unconquerable Firebug (without which I couldn’t write Javascript).

Plus, even though the new Safari is great in many ways with stuff like resizable textareas, inline searching and reorderable tabs, plus form widgets are now skinnable… Not sure that’s a good thing… Mr. Hicks has some more observations.

But what’s it for? Well, I think Mr. Gruber probably gets it right.

But again, without the extensibility of Firefox, even though I like the rendering on Safari better, it just isn’t as interesting as it could be.

Finally, while not everyone is enthused and content about being able to do ‘web applications’ for the iPhone, I’m actually looking forward to it, as it’s something I might be able to do myself… But touting it as a proper alternative to actual app development? Not so much.

Either way, the keynote is coming to and end, and I need to get to work.

Most impressive demonstration of the keynote was probably the Core Animation video-wall, which I hope will make its way onto the net (and support misc codecs to boot).

Now, ask me: “Michael, do you want an Airport with a drive on it for Time Machine? Would that be nice?”

So yeah, no big splashes, I’m just still looking forward to the iPhone and Leopard.