First Look: Picking our favorite Leopard features

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Rob Griffiths

My strategy: I decided to focus on the sleepers—those items that are key to my productive time with Leopard, and yet would probably be overlooked by the other people participating in the draft. I was positive the big, flashy players in the Finder, Dashboard, and Time Machine areas would be picked over early and often.

My picks:

  • Advanced Searches in Spotlight

    With the ability to search for phrases, as well as true boolean searches, Spotlight figures to become a first-class search tool. Given the rapid increases in hard drive space, the amount of stuff we keep is increasing at a similar rate. As such, finding things quickly and easily is of great importance, and that’s why Spotlight’s new advanced search features nabbed the top spot on my draft board.
  • Unix AutoFS

    Why give up such a high draft pick for this seemingly obscure technology related to networked volumes? Because AutoFS in OS X 10.5 is, quite simply, a revolution. AutoFS is responsible for the mounting and dismounting of network shares, and in Leopard, it will uses separate “threads” for these tasks. What does that mean in English? It means the end of the spinning rainbow of doom you see when you, for instance, click on a network share in the Finder, only to remember that you put the shared computer to sleep earlier.
  • Sandboxing
  • Updated OpenGL
  • New Folder of Options in Finder
  • Apple Dictionary
  • Workflow Variables in Automator
  • Resizable Text Fields in Safari
  • Archive Mailbox in Mail
  • Dashcode
  • What I’d never pick: I really don’t understand all the fuss over the Dock’s new Stacks. In OS X 10.4, we had stacks—they just didn’t curve and lacked preview icons. But you could click-and-hold on any folder in the dock, and both see and navigate its structure via a pop-up menu. In OS X 10.5, that functionality is apparently gone and replaced with some odd pop-up arc of files and folders. Just what was so wrong with Tiger’s docked folder behavior?

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