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9L0-063 exam Dumps Source : Mac OS X Troubleshooting 10.7

Test Code : 9L0-063
Test denomination : Mac OS X Troubleshooting 10.7
Vendor denomination : Apple
exam questions : 65 true Questions

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Apple Mac OS X Troubleshooting

a way to repair Mac OS X edition 10.5 Leopard | true Questions and Pass4sure dumps

Snow Leopard debuted in 2007.

Snow Leopard debuted in 2007.

Win McNamee/Getty photos news/Getty photos

Mac OS X version 10.5 Leopard gives probably the most concurrent version of the Macintosh operating gear that runs on many PowerPC-based mostly Apple computers. fancy outdated and later versions of the Mac OS, Leopard comprises utilities that you would be able to disburse to troubleshoot and retain your OS and your difficult drive. To resolve freezes and crashes, or with no grief provide your Mac a tuneup, originate with Apple's constructed-in protection tools before you reach for third-birthday celebration restore applications or reinstall your OS.

a way to Troubleshoot the four Most universal "Oh Sh*t" Mac problems | true Questions and Pass4sure dumps

like any computing device, a Mac is vulnerable to strict issues over the route of its life. a wide selection of issues can depart horribly, horribly wrong. From a complete failure to birth to that terrifying kernel panic display, here's a way to troubleshoot (and expectantly repair) what's plaguing your Mac.

For essentially the most part, the issues you rush into on a Mac are relatively universal throughout sum versions of OS X, but we'll stick with the most modern working techniques privilege here: Lion and Mountain Lion (each one of these assistance should still additionally labor with Snow Leopard although). if you're nevertheless lined by means of Apple's assurance or AppleCare, the simplest respond is to walk into the Apple shop and believe them repair every puny thing for gratis. if you don't wish to waste time otherwise you're not coated anymore, that you can Do loads of the troubleshooting your self.

The problem: Blue or grey reveal on Startup

for those who whirl to your desktop and rate a gray or blue screen (or it receives stuck at the Apple brand) that in no way loads OS X, it's a wonderful looking decent cause for challenge. this may chance for a number of reasons, so it's one of the crucial irritating things that may boost Place to a Mac, and troubleshooting it isn't any handy project. So, let's raze it down into a few steps that you can boost to labor out what's going on.

the 1st step: Disconnect sum Peripherals

one of the crucial leading factors of a gray or blue screen on startup is incompatible hardware related to the machine. This could be a printer, an exterior challenging drive, or perhaps a USB hub. So, disconnect every puny thing apart from the mouse and keyboard, and restart your laptop.

in case your Mac begins this fashion, then it's an argument with a kind of peripherals. You ought to trial-and-error your manner through to device out which one, so connect them again into your desktop one at a time, and restart. If one among them causes your computer to cling on the gray reveal once again, you've gotten discovered your subject.

if you device out the difficult peripheral, or not it's time to Do a puny research. Head to the company's web site and notice if others are reporting the equal difficulty. You should be would becould very well be in a position to repair it with a software supplant or a firmware update to the equipment.

If no gadgets are inflicting complications, and your Mac nevertheless might not boot, then or not it's time to dig a bit deeper.

Step Two: operate a secure Boot

protected boot makes your Mac boot up with the minimum quantity of drivers obligatory to construct it work, and it tests your challenging disk in the manner (it may boost a puny longer in addition up). Do do this, birth up your laptop whereas preserving down the Shift key unless the Apple emblem passes. in case your Mac begins up with the safe boot, depart ahead and restart the computer once more and note if it boots up perpetually (as odd because it sounds this fixes the problem a spectacular volume of the time). If not, or not it's time to provide the complicated pressure a more in-depth appear to be.

Step Three: rush Disk Utility

in case you still can not boot up OS X continuously, it be time to rush Disk Utility and boost a stare at your difficult drive:

  • Boot up your computing device whereas retaining down Command+R (if you are working Snow Leopard or prior, determine your OS installing disc, retain it within the drive, and reboot your laptop keeping down C). this can boot you privilege into a diagnostic mode.
  • opt for the Disk Utility choice.
  • opt for your difficult power, and click "determine." stare ahead to Disk Utility to conclude operating.
  • If issues pop up, click on "restore Disk."
  • If nothing pops up, click "repair Permissions" and stare forward to Disk Utility to scan your challenging power once more.
  • If Disk Utility finds and repairs some complications, depart forward and reboot.
  • In a lot of instances, working Disk Utility will trap issues with startup considerations. once in a while a solitary file with the inaccurate permissions may cause the complete system to give way, or if whatever thing's now not in the remedy vicinity it may not boot. If this doesn't work, you believe got much more problems to appear to be into.

    extra resources

    If the above solutions Do not work, or not it's time to dig a noteworthy deal deeper into your equipment. Your problem may latitude from a substandard challenging favor to a faulty common sense board. here are a few greater steps that may still aid you solitary out the problem:

    The difficulty: Persistent beach Ball

    Ah sure, the spinning seaside ball that refuses to scamper away. occasionally or not it's a small, application-particular issue it is easy to resolve, however different instances it be a piece of a bigger mess. if your Mac is tossing up the spinning seashore ball normally, it be time to labor out the exact trigger.

    the first step: determine exercise pomp screen

    Your Mac will constantly rate a spinning seashore ball when it be by hook or by crook overloaded. greater regularly than not, this just lasts a few seconds and goes away, in which case which you can ignore it. If it doesn't, the gold gauge solution to labor out what's occurring is to launch pastime video pomp and pinpoint which program is inflicting the problem.

  • if you should, favor quit any classes which are doubtlessly inflicting the beach ball (Command+option+Esc).
  • Launch activity computer screen (functions > Utilities).
  • Now depart about your daily usage. If the seaside ball comes up, swap over to undertaking pomp screen and spot which app is taking up the largest CPU load (oftentimes this may spike at one hundred%).
  • If it's a magnificent piece of utility fancy Photoshop it's causing problems, then it be an outstanding chance you necessity more RAM for your desktop. RAM can befriend with multi-tasking concerns, and if the seashore ball comes up when you're working a couple of courses directly extra RAM will befriend (here is very convenient to set up your self). If no longer, and it be anything light-weight fancy a file syncing provider fancy Dropbox or an quick messenger customer fancy Adium, then or not it's probably an issue with the application itself. try quitting the app and seeing if the difficulty persists. If the seashore ball would not return, you then believe your problem. investigate the developer's internet web site to note in the event that they've issued an replace, rush application supplant (Apple logo > utility update), or rate in contact with the developer if no supplant is obtainable.

    another viable issue is that your difficult disk is getting nigh to full.

    Step Two: Reclaim difficult drive area

    When your tough disk is plenary it may cause spinning seashore ball problems. For loads of us, this just potential cleaning up two folders: your trash and your downloads folder:

  • appropriate-click the trash can icon and select "Empty Trash." you probably believe a lot of stuff in there otherwise you haven't performed this these days you might rate ample house to redeem your file.
  • Now head to your downloads folder (clients > Your identify > Downloads). depart through and delete any info you now not want.
  • In a lot of cases, doing the above two steps can unencumber sufficient belt to proceed working. That referred to, you could still necessity to liberate even more space. To construct this procedure handy, they fancy Disk inventory X. With Disk inventory X, which you can examine your challenging favor and determine the biggest belt hogs promptly so you can delete them and current on. It takes a bit time, but if you comply with their steer you are going to believe your difficult drive cleared out in no time. Of course, it could even be time to just better the measurement of your complicated power.

    additional components

    a few other oddball things can cause the spinning beach ball. If not one of the above work, listed below are just a few extra substances with a view to aid you troubleshoot the issue.

    The issue: Kernel Panics

    in case you've ever experienced the black and gray kernel panic pomp above, you then understand how scary and completely unhelpful it's. When one software has an issue, you rate the spinning beach ball outlined in a veteran section, but when diverse classes fail—or the operating gadget itself—you rate a kernel panic. thankfully, it's no longer (continually) as huge of an issue as it appears.

    the 1st step: Reboot and note If It occurs once more

    In most cases, a kernel panic will drive you to reboot you desktop. Let this ensue, and if you load usurp again into OS X, proceed working in your desktop as standard. In loads of instances, the situation resolves itself and you'll stream alongside. If not, or if it happens simplest in the event you disburse selected programs, it's time to labor out what's going on.

    Step Two: update sum of your software

    working application supplant can regularly fix kernel panic issues because extra regularly than not, or not it's a software difficulty. click on the Apple icon in the remedy left nook, and select "utility update." Let it stare for and install unique application to stare if it fixes the difficulty.

    If for some purpose the kernel panic occurs for those who're taking off and you'll't load OS X, you then'll should are attempting and originate up in secure mode. Reboot the desktop and grasp down the Shift key unless the Apple logo appears. After a short time, you will load up safe mode, a stripped down edition of OS X. here, you can still rush application supplant the identical approach as you usually would.

    it be additionally worth travelling the developer's net site to stare if other americans are having a problem with a fresh update or unlock. If or not it's one particular app that always motives the kernel panic, it be most efficient to no longer disburse it unless an supplant is issued.

    Step Three: assess Your Login items

    If no application wants updating and you'll't rate your desktop to dawn without a kernel panic then it should be would becould very well be an issue with some of the courses you believe got loading up automatically on startup. That capacity its time to filter out your login gadgets. while you're nevertheless in safe mode that you could eradicate any apps that delivery instantly:

  • Open up your gear Preferences (functions > gadget Preferences).
  • opt for "clients and companies" and choose your person identification.
  • opt for the "Login gadgets" tab.
  • select each of the purposes you believe and click on the minus signal to eradicate them from the record.
  • Reboot and spot if you can start and not using a kernel panic. in that case, a kindhearted of apps is causing the problem. try loading up each to stare which one motives it once again.
  • extra components

    If the kernel panics preserve happening and no sure app looks to trigger it, you could believe a bigger problem. issues dawn to rate in reality difficult if you're getting kernel panics and you can't isolate the theme with any of the above methods, so here are a couple of courses we've got found efficient for pinpointing the difficulty with extra advanced measures.

    problem: Your monitor is never Working or Is Distorted

    This one hit me recently on an iMac. Out of nowhere, the screen turned a crazed green and yellow, after which the computing device shut down. After several makes an attempt to reboot (and attempting pretty much every puny thing listed above) it eventually refused to switch on. In my case, my portraits card turned into toast, and i had to rate it changed, however it really is not at sum times the problem. listed below are a couple of issues which you could Do to troubleshoot and labor out precisely why your video card or monitor is freaking out.

    the first step: Reset the PRAM/VRAM and SMC

    This doesn't always try this tons good, nonetheless it's the easiest issue to Do and handiest takes just a few seconds. flip to your Mac and hang down Command+choice+P+R until the laptop reboots. This resets the PRAM / VRAM, which is the Place issues fancy startup disk choice, reveal resolution, and speaker quantity are kept. on occasion this can remedy screen considerations, and if so, proceed the disburse of your Mac as you did.

    The other option is to reset the SMC (gadget administration Controller). This controls every puny thing to your computing device ranging from the vigour to the fanatics. each Mac has a moderately different system for doing this, so head to Apple's unquestionable SMC Reset web page, find your model, and celebrate their instructions (this always involves unplugging the vigour twine on a computer, or eliminating the battery on a computer). when you reset the SMC loads of your atmosphere are restored to manufacturing facility defaults and your screen complications might moreover rate solved.

    Step Two: Boot Into protected Mode

    The next step to labor out what's going on along with your photos card or pomp is to boot into secure mode to stare if the problems persist. vigour in your Mac and grasp down the Shift key unless you rate previous the Apple logo. This boots into a stripped down edition of OS X.

    right here, that you may note if the reveal complications are persisting. This can be reveal system defects, pixelated photos, or gigantic black squares far and wide. in the event that they are, it's doubtless a hardware theme and moreover you should still current on to the next step. If now not, it be seemingly a software problem, and you believe a couple of diverse alternate options for troubleshooting:

  • Restart the desktop once again in universal boot mode to peer if the issue resolves itself (this does definitely happen).
  • If now not, depart again into safe Mode and determine for software updates (Apple emblem > utility Updates). in case you rate an update to your photos card or common sense board, installation it.
  • Double-investigate your pomp alternatives with the aid of going into system Preferences (purposes > gear Preferences). opt for "shows" and ensure the resolution and refresh cost are correct.
  • in case you've these days retain in a software supplant that probably brought about the problem, it be additionally value checking out Apple's currently released updates and downloading and setting up the most concurrent combo supplant once again. sometimes an easy re-set up can repair abnormal concerns that might believe cropped up with monitor drivers.
  • If nonexistent of those work, or not it's time to rush the Apple Hardware check to note if or not it's a hardware subject.

    Step Three: rush Apple Hardware verify

    A lesser favourite feature of Macs is the Apple Hardware test. fancy the denomination suggests, here is a mode to check for hardware failures to your computer. it be no longer foolproof, however it might uphold you troubleshoot your problem relocating ahead.

  • Reboot your Mac and grasp down the "D" key unless the Apple Hardware check begins (if you are on Snow Leopard or earlier you deserve to retain within the installation disc first).
  • select your language, after which choose the "basic stare at various" alternative. Let it Do its aspect. If an error occurs, the Apple Hardware examine may still inform you which piece of hardware is failing and you've discovered your difficulty. If now not, choose the "operate prolonged testing" option. This might boost an hour or two to finished.
  • whereas a hardware failure isn't enjoyable, expectantly the Apple Hardware examine will basically exhibit it so that you can rate the faulty hardware replaced. whether it is a hardware problem, which you can check out iFixit's Mac repair courses to stare in case you can fix it your self.

    extra elements

    If nonexistent of the above hints work, that you can try a few other issues:

    as with sum computing device troubleshooting, now and again you're going to should scamper through sum types of checks and experiments to determine what the heck is happening. if you are lucky, the above recommendation will rate your Mac in working order privilege away.

    photographs by using Hendrick Dacquin, Jamie McCall, Paul Donway, mroach.

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    Inside Mac OS X 10.7 Lion: unique Wi-Fi Diagnostics utensil | true questions and Pass4sure dumps



    Apple has added a unique Wi-Fi Diagnostics utility to monitor the performance of wireless networks, record events, capture raw network frames, and log diagnostic data that can be sent to Apple by users for troubleshooting.The unique app is in the hidden /System/Library/CoreServices folder, where Mac OS X stores a variety of utility apps that are integrated into the Mac desktop, including the Dock, Finder, Software Update, and Archive Utility.

    Users can launch the utensil by Option clicking on the Wi-Fi Menu Bar icon, which then presents an otherwise hidden "Open Wi-Fi Diagnostics" option (below).

    After opening, the utensil presents options to Monitor Performance, Record Events, Capture Raw Frames, or whirl on Debug Logs. A Learn More button outlines what these options Do in a drop down sheet (below).

    Monitor Performance works similar to AirPort Utility's Wireless Clients graphing feature, but provides a more particular presentation of signal and clamor for the client, rather than tracking every vigorous client on a given base station. It can moreover Report the collected data to Apple for disburse in troubleshooting issues.

    Other options log events or capture raw frame data in the background to a temporary .pcap (packet capture) file, which can similarly be reported to Apple for troubleshooting help.

    Also noticeably unique and different in Mac OS X Lion is network setup for 802.1x security. Formerly, users could manually enter settings or install a profile the automatically configured the settings. In Lion, Apple informs users that their network administrator will deliver a configuration profile (below).

    Apple created configuration profiles for iOS along with a system site administrators can disburse to roll out initial settings and subsequent updates to their users. In Lion Server, the selfsame infrastructure can be used to remotely deliver network configuration files that automate the management of Macs just fancy iOS devices.

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    Mac OS X 10.7 Lion: the Ars Technica review reader comments 401 with 262 posters participating, including chronicle author Share this story
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  • Mac OS X 10.7 was first shown to the public in October 2010. The presentation was understated, especially compared to the bold rhetoric that accompanied the launches of the iPhone ("Apple reinvents the phone") and the iPad ("a magical and revolutionary device at an unbelievable price"). Instead, Steve Jobs simply called the unique operating system "a sneak peek at where we're going with Mac OS X."

    Behind Jobs, the screen listed the seven previous major releases of Mac OS X: Cheetah, Puma, Jaguar, Panther, Tiger, Leopard, and Snow Leopard. Such brief retrospectives are de rigueur at major Mac OS X announcements, but long-time Apple watchers might believe felt a slight tingle this time. The public "big cat" branding for Mac OS X only began with Jaguar; code names for the two earlier versions were not well known outside the developer community and were certainly not piece of Apple's official marketing message for those releases. Why bring the cat theme back to the forefront now?

    Want an eBook or PDF copy? uphold Ars and it's yours.

    The respond came on the next slide. The next major release of Mac OS X would be called Lion. Jobs didn't construct a colossal deal out of it; Lion's just another colossal cat name, right? Within seconds, they were on to the next slide, where Jobs was pitching the unique release's message: not "king of the jungle" or "the biggest colossal cat," but the "back to the Mac" theme underlying the entire event. Mac OS X had spawned iOS, and now Apple was bringing innovations from its mobile operating system back to Mac OS X.

    Apple had wonderful reason to demure away from presenting Lion as the pinnacle that its denomination implies. The last two major releases of Mac OS X were both profoundly shaped by the meteoric mount of their younger sibling, iOS.

    Steve Jobs presents the first seven releases of Mac OS X in a slightly unusual formatSteve Jobs presents the first seven releases of Mac OS X in a slightly unusual format

    Leopard arrived later than expected, and in the selfsame year that the iPhone was introduced. Its successor, Snow Leopard, famously arrived with Your browser does not uphold the audio element. Click here to listen

    no unique features , concentrating instead on internal enhancements and bug fixes. Despite plausible official explanations, it was difficult to shake the passion that Apple's burgeoning mobile platform was stealing resources—not to mention the spotlight—from the Mac.

    In this context, the denomination Lion starts to boost on darker connotations. At the very least, it seems fancy the conclude of the colossal cat branding—after all, where can you depart after Lion? Is this process of taking the best from iOS and bringing it back to the Mac platform just the first phase of a complete assimilation? Is Lion the conclude of the line for Mac OS X itself?

    Let's retain aside the pessimistic prognostication for now and esteem Lion as a product, not a portent. Apple pegs Lion at 250+ unique features, which doesn't quite match the 300 touted for Leopard, but I guess it sum depends on what you esteem a "feature" (and what that "+" is reputed to mean). Still, this is the most significant release of Mac OS X in many years—perhaps the most significant release ever. Though the number of unique APIs introduced in Lion may descend short of the landmark Tiger and Leopard releases, the most considerable changes in Lion are radical accelerations of past trends. Apple appears tired of dragging people kicking and screaming into the future; with Lion, it has simply decided to leave without us.

    Table of Contents
  • Installation
  • Reconsidering fundamentals
  • Lion's unique look
  • Scroll bars
  • Window resizing
  • Animation
  • Here's to the crazy ones
  • Window management
  • Application management
  • Document model
  • Process model
  • The pitch
  • The reality
  • Internals
  • Security
  • Sandboxing
  • Privilege separation
  • Automatic Reference Counting
  • Enter (and exit) garbage collection
  • Cocoa remembrance management
  • Enter ARC
  • ARC versus garbage collection
  • ARC versus the world
  • The condition of the file system
  • What's wrong with HFS+
  • File system changes in Lion
  • File system future
  • Document revisions
  • Resolution independence
  • Applications
  • The Finder
  • Mail
  • Safari
  • Grab bag
  • System Preferences
  • Auto-correction
  • Mobile Time Machine
  • Lock screen
  • Emoji
  • Terminal
  • About This Mac
  • Recommendations
  • Conclusion
  • A brief note on branding: on Apple's website and in some—but not all—marketing materials, Apple refers to its unique Mac operating system as "OS X Lion." This may well whirl out to be the denomination going forward, but given the current condition of confusion and my own stubborn nostalgia, I'm going to convoke it "Mac OS X" throughout this review. Indulge me.


    Lion's system requirements don't differ much from Snow Leopard's. You still necessity an Intel-based Mac, though this time it must moreover be 64-bit. The last 32-bit Intel Mac was discontinued in August of 2007; Apple chose a similar four-year cut-off for dropping PowerPC support, with minimal customer backlash. Time marches on.

    But sometimes time marches on a bit too fast. Though this is the second version of Mac OS X that doesn't uphold PowerPC processors, this is the first version that won't rush PowerPC applications. In Snow Leopard, the Rosetta translation engine allowed PowerPC applications to run, and rush well, often faster than they ran on the (admittedly older) PowerPC Macs for which they were developed. Lion no longer includes Rosetta, even as an optional install.

    No one expects eternal uphold for PowerPC software, and any developer that doesn't yet believe Intel-native versions of sum its applications is clearly not particularly dedicated to the Mac platform. Nevertheless, people still faith on some PowerPC applications. For example, I believe an veteran PowerPC version of Photoshop. Though Photoshop has long since gone Intel-native, it's an expensive upgrade for someone fancy me who uses the program only rarely. The PowerPC version suits my needs just fine, but it won't rush at sum in Lion.

    Another common illustration is Quicken 2007, still the most capable Mac version of Intuit's finance software, and still PowerPC-only. This is clearly Intuit's fault, not Apple's, but from a regular user's perspective, it's difficult to understand why Apple would remove an existing, completed feature that helped so many people.

    In reality, every feature has some associated maintenance cost. This is perhaps even more honest of a binary translation framework that may believe deep hooks into the operating system. I'm willing to give Apple the capitalize of the doubt and assume that disentangling PowerPC-related code from the operating system once and for sum was considerable enough to warrant the customer inconvenience. But it still stings a little.

    The future shock continues with the purchase and installation process. Lion is the first version of Mac OS X to be distributed through Apple's recently introduced Mac App Store. In fact, the Mac App Store is the only Place where you can buy Lion.

    Apple's decision last year to sell its iLife and iWork applications through the Mac App Store was not unexpected, but the presence of Apple's professional photography application, Aperture, caught some people off guard—as did its greatly reduced charge ($80 vs. $200 for the boxed version).

    The developer preview releases of Lion were moreover distributed through the Mac App Store. Apple's developer releases believe been distributed digitally for many years now, but the switch from downloading disk images from Apple's developer website to "redeeming" promo codes and downloading unique builds from the Mac App Store raised some eyebrows. When Apple announced that its unique Final slice Pro X professional video editing application would—you guessed it—be distributed through the Mac App Store, and at a greatly reduced price, even the most dense Apple watchers started to rate the hint.

    The Lion installer application iconThe Lion installer application icon

    And so they believe Lion, priced at a mere $29 (the selfsame as its "no unique features" predecessor), available exclusively through the Mac App Store. It's an audacious move, yes, but not unexpected.

    Apple is so done with stamping bits onto plastic discs, putting the discs into cardboard boxes, putting those boxes onto trucks, planes, and boats, and shipping them sum over the world to retail stores or to mail-order resellers who will eventually retain those selfsame boxes onto a different set of trucks, trains, and planes for final delivery to customers, who will then remove the disc, pitch away the cardboard, and instruct their computers to extract the bits. No, from here on out, it's digital distribution sum the way. (This, I suppose, marks the conclude of my longstanding tradition of showing the product boxes or optical discs that Mac OS X ships on. Instead, you can note the installer application icon on the right.)

    Lion is a large download and quick network connections are still not ubiquitous. But unique Macs will Come with Lion, so the most apropos question is, how many people who way to upgrade an existing Mac to Lion don't believe a quick network connection? The class of people who achieve OS upgrades probably has a higher penetration of high-speed Internet access than the universal population. I moreover suspect that Apple retail stores may be willing to befriend out customers who just can't manage to download a 3.76GB installer in a reasonable amount of time.

    [Update: Macworld reports that there will, in fact, be a physical manifestation of Lion. Starting in August, Apple will sell Lion on a USB stick for $69. Apple has moreover said that customers are welcome to bring their Macs to Apple retail stores for befriend buying and installing Lion.]

    In the meantime, if you're reading this, chances are wonderful that you believe a quick broadband connection; feel free to quit reading privilege now, launch the Mac App Store, and start your multi-gigabyte download before continuing. What you'll be rewarded with at the conclude is an icon in your Applications folder labeled "Install Mac OS X Lion." (See?)

    Once you believe the installer application, you could (were you so inclined) dig into it (control-click, then exhibit Package Contents) and find the meaty center, a 3.74GB disk image (InstallESD.dmg, stored in the Contents/SharedSupport folder). You could then disburse that disk image to, say, parch a Lion installation DVD or create an emergency external boot disk.

    I doubt any of these things are officially supported by Apple, but the point is that there's nothing exotic about the Lion installer. fancy sum past versions of Mac OS X, Lion has no serial number, no product activation, and no DRM of any kind. In fact, the Mac App Store's licensing policy is even more permissive than past releases of Mac OS X. Here's an excerpt from Lion's license agreement:

    If you obtained a license for the Apple Software from the Mac App Store, then theme to the terms and conditions of this License and as permitted by the Mac App Store Usage Rules set forth in the App Store Terms and Conditions ( ("Usage Rules"), you are granted a limited, non-transferable, non-exclusive license:

    (i) to download, install, disburse and rush for personal, non-commercial use, one (1) copy of the Apple Software directly on each Apple-branded computer running Mac OS X Snow Leopard or Mac OS X Snow Leopard Server ("Mac Computer") that you own or control;

    The references to Snow Leopard are a bit confusing, but preserve in sarcasm that you necessity Snow Leopard to purchase and download Lion for the first time. I suspect the license agreement will be updated once Lion has been out for a while.

    There's moreover another Interesting clause in the license, from that selfsame section:

    (iii) to install, disburse and rush up to two (2) additional copies or instances of the Apple Software within virtual operating system environments on each Mac Computer you own or control that is already running the Apple Software.

    Putting it sum together, Apple says you're allowed to rush up to three copies of Lion—one real, two inside virtual machines—on every Mac that you own, sum for the low, low charge of $29. Not a substandard deal.

    The installer itself is dead simple, foreshadowing the pervasive simplification in Apple's unique OS. There are no optional installs and no customization. The only response the user provides is agreeing to the obligatory EULA, and the only configurable install parameter is the target disk.


    But wait a second—how exactly is this going to work? Surely an entirely unique operating system can't be installed on top of the currently running operating system by an application stored on the selfsame volume. Without a plastic disc to boot from, how is it even practicable to upgrade a standalone Mac with just one difficult drive?

    These questions probably won't occur to an tolerable consumer, which is sort of the point, I guess. sure enough, if you just nigh your eyes, launch the installer application, and click your way through the handful of screens it presents, your Mac will reboot into what looks fancy the gauge Mac OS X installer application from years past. When it's done, your Mac will reboot into Lion. Magic!

    Okay, it's not magic, but it is a bit complicated. The first and most lasting surprise is that the Lion installer will actually repartition the disk, carving out a 650MB slice of the disk for its own use.

    Don't worry, sum existing data on the disk will be preserved. (Mac OS X has had the talent to add partitions to existing disks without destroying any data for many years now.) sum that's required is enough free space to reshuffle the data as needed to construct play for the unique partition.

    Here's an illustration from my testing. I started with a solitary 250GB difficult drive split into two equal partitions: the first named "Lion Ex," currently running Snow Leopard, and the intended target of the Lion install, and the second named "Timex," the Time Machine backup volume for Lion Ex. The output from the diskutil list command appears below.

    /dev/disk1 #: kind denomination SIZE IDENTIFIER 0: GUID_partition_scheme *250.1 GB disk1 1: EFI 209.7 MB disk1s1 2: Apple_HFS Lion Ex 125.0 GB disk1s2 3: Apple_HFS Timex 124.6 GB disk1s3

    Now here's that selfsame disk after installing Lion, with the unique partition highlighted:

    /dev/disk1 #: kind denomination SIZE IDENTIFIER 0: GUID_partition_scheme *250.1 GB disk1 1: EFI 209.7 MB disk1s1 2: Apple_HFS Lion Ex 124.5 GB disk1s2 3: Apple_Boot Recovery HD 654.6 MB disk1s3 4: Apple_HFS Timex 124.6 GB disk1s4

    The unique partition is actually considered a different type: Apple_Boot. The Recovery HD volume won't be automatically mounted upon boot and therefore won't emerge in the Finder. It's not even visible in the Disk Utility application, appearing only as a tiny blank space in the partition map for the disk. But as shown above, the command-line diskutil program can note it. Diskutil can mount it too.

    Doing so reveals the partition as a unvarying HFS+ volume. The top flush contains a directory named which in whirl contains a few wee files related to booting along with an invisible 430MB internally compressed disk image file named BaseSystem.dmg. Mount that disk image and you find a 1.52GB bootable Mac OS X volume containing Safari, most of the contents of the gauge /Applications/Utilities folder (Disk Utility, Startup Disk, Terminal, etc.), plus a Mac OS X Lion installer application. In other words, it looks a lot fancy a gauge Mac OS X installer DVD.

    A subset of the files copied to the recovery partition is moreover copied to the installation target disk by the installer and blessed as the unique bootable system. This is what the Lion installer reboots into. The files to install will be read from the Lion installer application downloaded earlier from the Mac App Store. After the installation is complete, the temporary boot files are removed, but the Recovery HD partition remains on the disk. Hold down ⌘R during system startup to automatically boot into the Recovery HD partition. (Holding down the option key during startup—not a unique feature in Lion—will moreover exhibit the Recovery HD partition as one of the boot volume choices.)

    Booting from the recovery partition really means mounting and then booting from the BaseSystem.dmg disk image on the recovery partition. Doing so presents a list of the traditional Mac OS X install disc options, including restoring from a Time Machine backup, reinstalling Mac OS X, running Disk Utility, resetting your password, and so on. There's moreover an option to rate befriend online, which will launch Safari. Including Safari on the recovery partition is a nice touch, since most people's first quit when diagnosing a problem is Google, not the Genius Bar.

    The upshot is that after sum the file compression magic added in Snow Leopard to reduce the footprint of the OS, Lion steals over half a gigabyte of your disk space as piece of its installation process, and never gives it back. The partition's denomination makes Apple's intent clear: it's meant as a last-ditch mechanism to diagnose and repair a Mac with a hosed boot volume. (Hosed, that is, in the software sense; existing as it does on the boot disk itself, the recovery partition won't be much disburse if the disk has hardware problems.)

    Apparently Apple has decided that the talent to boot a Mac into a known-good (software) condition is well worth sacrificing a wee amount of disk space. MacBook Air owners or other Mac users with diminutive solid-state disk drives may disagree, however. In that case, the disk space can be reclaimed by some judicious repartitioning with Disk Utility (or the diskutil command-line tool) while booted from another disk. But don't be surprised when the fellow at the Genius Bar frowns a puny at your deviation from the Apple Way.

    Reconsidering fundamentals

    The user-visible changes in Lion are legion. You'll be hard-pressed to find any piece of the user interface that remains completely unchanged from Snow Leopard, from the stare and feel sum the way down to basic behaviors fancy application and document management. In Lion, Apple has taken a difficult stare at the assumptions underlying the last ten years of Mac OS X's development—and has decided that a lot of them necessity to change. rate ready.

    Lion's unique look

    Let's ease into things with a tour of Lion's revised user interface graphics. Though Apple still uses the denomination "Aqua" to advert to Lion's interface, the stare is a far wail from the lickable, candy-coated appearance that launched the brand. If you can imagine three dials labeled "color," "contrast," and "contour," Apple has been turning them down slowly for years. Lion accelerates that process.

    The shapes believe started to change, too. The traditional capsule shape of the gauge button has given way to a squared-off, Chiclets-style appearance. The tubular shape of the progress bars, a fixture since even before the dawn of Mac OS X, has been replaced with a vaguely puffy stripe of material. Radio buttons, checkboxes, slider thumbs, segmented controls, "tab" controls—nearly everything that used to protrude from the screen now looks as if it was pounded down with a rubber hammer.

    Finder sidebar: grayFinder sidebar: gray

    Even the elements that stare identical, fancy the plain gray window title bars, are slightly different from their Snow Leopard counterparts. The unique stare is not a radical departure—everything hasn't gone jet black and grown fur, for example—but this is the first time that nearly every element of the gauge GUI has been changed in a way that's identifiable without a color meter or a magnifying glass.

    For the most part, the unique stare speaks in a softer voice than its predecessor. The total removal of blue highlights from several controls (e.g., pop-up menus, combo boxes, slider thumbs, and tab controls) makes most interfaces emerge slightly less garish. On the other hand, the additional green in the blue highlights that still Do exist makes those controls emerge more saccharine.

    Apple says that its goal with the Lion user interface was to highlight content by de-emphasizing the surrounding user interface elements. You can note this most clearly in sidebar and toolbar icons, which are now monochromatic in most of the considerable bundled applications. But this has the ill-fated side consequence of making interface elements less distinguishable from each other, especially at the wee sizes typical in sidebars. I'm not sure the "increased stress on content" is enough to equipoise out the loss, especially in applications fancy the Finder.

    LionLion Snow LeopardSnow Leopard

    Appearance changes can believe effects beyond emphasis, fashion, and mood. boost the "traffic light" red, yellow, and green window widgets, for example. As you can note in the images on the right, they've gotten smaller in Lion. Or rather, the colored portion has gotten smaller; the actual clickable belt has lost only one pixel in height and five pixels in total width across sum three widgets.

    But the psychological consequence of the shrunken appearance is something else entirely. Despite the tiny incompatibility in the functional size, I find myself being ever-so-slightly more heedful when targeting these widgets in Lion. It's a puny annoying, especially since it's not pellucid to me how the new, smaller size fits into Lion's unique look. Does such a wee reduction in size really serve to better emphasize window content? After all, nonexistent of the other controls believe gotten any smaller.

    Other aspects of the unique stare believe clearer intentions. The flatter, more matte stare of most controls, and especially the squared-off shape of the gauge button, sum bring to sarcasm the stare of Apple's other operating system, iOS. One control in particular takes the iOS connection even further.

    Finally, there's Apple's budding worship affair with a particular linen texture. It made its first appearance on the backside of some Dashboard widgets. More recently, it was used as the background pattern for the notifications sheet in iOS 5. In Lion, it's featured even more prominently as the background for the newly restyled login screen, now featuring circular frames for user icons. (Also note the subset of menu bar status icons still visible in the top-right corner of the screen.)

    Linen for your login screen Enlarge / Linen for your login screen Scroll bars

    Scroll bars, which Apple likes to convoke "scrollers" these days, are among the least-changed interface elements in Mac OS X. While the leisure of the Aqua interface was refined—edges sharpened, pinstripes removed, shines flattened—scrollbars stubbornly retained their original Aqua stare for over a decade.

    A scroll bar from Mac OS X DP3, released in 2000A scroll bar from Mac OS X DP3, released in 2000 A scroll bar from Mac OS X 10.6, released in 2009A scroll bar from Mac OS X 10.6, released in 2009

    Scroll bars haven't been entirely static in Mac OS X, however. For many years, iTunes has had its own custom scroll bar look.

    A scroll bar from iTunes 10.2.2, released in 2011A scroll bar from iTunes 10.2.2, released in 2011

    When these unique scroll bars were first introduced in iTunes 7 in 2006, there was some speculation that this was a crucible rush for a unique stare that would soon spread throughout the OS. That didn't happen. But now, five years later, scroll bars are finally changing system-wide in Mac OS X. Here's a scroll bar from Lion:

    A scroll bar from Mac OS X 10.7 LionA scroll bar from Mac OS X 10.7 Lion

    The smeared gradient and fuzzy edges of the iTunes scroll thumb are nowhere to be seen. Instead, they believe a narrow, monochrome, sharp-edged lozenge. Just fancy the window widgets, the scroll thumb appears slightly smaller than its Snow Leopard counterpart. (In this case, total scroll bar width and the clickable belt are actually the selfsame as in Snow Leopard.)

    The change in appearance might distract you from what's really different: where are the scroll arrows? You know, the puny buttons on either conclude of the scroll bar (or grouped together on one end) that you click to scamper the scroll thumb a bit at a time? Well, they're gone.

    But wait, there's more. Here's a Finder window.

    The complete contents of Lion's Applications folder…or is it?The complete contents of Lion's Applications folder…or is it?

    Though I can assure you that Lion comes with more than eight applications, you wouldn't know it from looking at this screenshot. Forget about the arrows, where are the scroll bars?

    Placing the cursor into the window and using the scroll wheel on the mouse or two-finger scrolling on a trackpad reveals what you might believe already guessed based on the shape and appearance of the unique scroll thumbs. Extremely thin, monochrome scroll thumbs fade in as the scrolling begins, and evanesce shortly after it ends. These fugitive scroll thumbs emerge on top of the window's content, not in alleys reserved for them on the edges of the window.

    Initiating scrolling (via mouse wheel or trackpad) reveals overlay scroll bars. More applications below!Initiating scrolling (via mouse wheel or trackpad) reveals overlay scroll bars. More applications below! An iOS scroll barAn iOS scroll bar

    These ghostly overlay scroll bars are straight out of iOS. When they were introduced in 2007 on the iPhone's 3.5-inch screen, they made consummate sense. Dedicating one or more finger-width strips of the screen for always-visible, touch-draggable scroll bars would believe been a colossal waste of pixels (and anything less than a finger's width of pixels would believe been too narrow to comfortably use). Overlay scroll bars were essential in iOS, and completely in keeping with its direct manipulation theme. In iOS, you don't manipulate an on-screen control to scroll, you simply grab the gross screen with your finger and scamper it.

    Apple isn't (yet) asking us to start poking their fingers at their Mac's screen, but it does now ship every Mac with some kindhearted of touch-based input device: internal trackpads on laptops, and external trackpads or touch-sensitive mice on desktops. Lion further cements the dominance of paw by making sum touch-based scrolling labor fancy it does on a touchscreen. Touching your finger to a control surface and touching it downwards will scamper the document downwards, revealing more content at top and hiding some of the content that was previously visible on the bottom. This sounds perfectly logical, but it moreover happens to be exactly the antithetical how scrolling has traditionally worked with mouse scroll wheels. The consequence is extremely disconcerting, as their fingers unconsciously flick at the scroll-wheel while their eyes note the document touching the "wrong" way.

    Scroll direction setting in the Mouse preference pane. Checked means the unique Lion scrolling direction is in effect.Scroll direction setting in the Mouse preference pane. Checked means the unique Lion scrolling direction is in effect.

    Thankfully, there is a preference to restore the veteran mapping of finger movement to scroll direction. There's a second setting in the Trackpad preference pane, phrased in the antithetical way. Unfortunately, the settings are linked; you can't believe different values for each kindhearted of input device.

    Though the unification of scrolling gestures is logical, it's difficult to rate used to after so many years of doing things the other way. The most common scrolling direction is downwards, and the most natural finger movement is curling inwards. These two things align when using a mouse wheel with the "old" scrolling direction setting. veteran habits aside, it may be that the incompatibility between touching a screen directly and touching a sunder device on a horizontal surface in front of the screen is just too noteworthy to warrant a solitary input vocabulary.

    Either way, there's sure to be an uncomfortable transition period for everyone. For example, the two-finger swipe to the left or privilege used to switch between screens in Launchpad (described later) feels "backwards" when the scroll direction preference is set to the traditional, pre-Lion behavior. Perhaps just seeing a screen covered with a grid of icons unconsciously triggers the "iOS expectations" region of their brains. (And if you set the scroll direction to "feel right" for two-finger swiping in Launchpad, then the four-finger swipe between Spaces feels backwards! Sigh.)

    Scroll bars Do more than just let us scroll. First, their condition tells us whether there's anything more to see. A window with "inactive" (usually shown as dimmed) scroll bars indicates that there is no content beyond what is currently visible in the window. Second, when a document has more content than can suitable in a window, the scroll bars reveal us their current position within that document. Finally, the size of the scroll thumb itself—or the amount of play the scroll thumb has to scamper within the scroll bar, if you want to stare at it that way—gives some hint about the total size of the content.

    Classic Mac scroll barsClassic Mac scroll bars

    Most computer users aren't conscious of such subtleties, but their combined effects are profound. Long-time Mac users might remember a time when scroll thumbs were perfectly square regardless of the total size of a window's content. When I deem back to my time using those scroll bars, I don't recall any problems. But just try using these so-called "non-proportional" scroll bars today. The modern computer user's sarcasm revolts at the want of information, usually treating it instead as delusory information about the total size of a window's content. ("This window looked fancy it had pages and pages of content, but when I dragged the tiny square scroll thumb sum the way from the top to the bottom, it only revealed two unique lines of text!") Only when this cue is gone Do you realize how much you've been relying on it.

    And preserve in sarcasm that proportional scroll thumbs are the most subtle of the cues that scroll bars provide. The others are even more widely relied upon. The complete want of visible scroll bars leaves a huge information void.

    Let's retain aside the familiar for a moment. In the absence of scroll bars, are there other visual cues that could provide the selfsame information? Well, if truncated content appears at the edge of a window, it's usually a safe wager that there's more content in that direction. The prevalence of whitespace (between icons in the Finder, between lines of text, etc.) can construct such truncation less obvious or even undetectable, but at least it's something. For total content size and position within the document, there's no alternative even that good.

    But horror not, gentle scroller. fancy the scroll direction, scroll bar visibility has a dedicated preference (in the universal preference pane):

    Scroll bar settings in the universal
 preference paneScroll bar settings in the universal preference pane

    The default setting, "Automatically based on input type," will disburse overlay scroll bars as long as there's at least one touch-capable input device attached (though the trackpad on laptops doesn't weigh if any other external pointing devices are connected). If you don't fancy this kindhearted of second-guessing, just choose one of the other options. The "When scrolling" option means always disburse overlay scroll bars, and the "Always" option means always exhibit scroll bars, using the appearance shown earlier.

    Lion includes unique APIs for briefly "flashing" the overlay scroll bars (i.e., showing them, then fading them out). Most applications included with Lion briefly exhibit the scroll bars for windows that believe just appeared on the screen, believe just been resized, or believe just scrolled to a unique position (e.g., when showing the next match while searching within a document). This helps soften the blow of the missing information previously provided by always-visible scroll bars, but only a little.

    Extra UI in the scroll bar areaExtra UI in the scroll bar area

    Applications with other UI elements whose remedy placement relies on the existence of a reserved 16-pixel stripe for the scroll bar outside the content belt of the window may be forced to pomp what Apple calls "legacy" scroll bars. (Apple's term for non-overlay scroll bars tells you sum you necessity to know about which way the wind is blowing on this issue.) You can note an illustration of one such UI element in the image on the right. The document scale pop-up menu (currently showing "100%") pushes the horizontal scroll bar to the left to construct play for itself. Clearly, this will not labor if the scroll bar overlays the content belt and is hidden most of the time. Apple suggests that such applications find unique homes for these interface elements, at which point the AppKit framework in Lion will allow them to pomp overlay scroll bars.

    Lion's scroll bars are a microcosm of Apple's unique philosophy for Mac OS X. This is definitely a case of reconsidering a fundamental piece of the operating system—one that hasn't changed this radically in decades, if ever. It's moreover nearly a straight port from iOS, which is in keeping with Apple's professed "back to the Mac" mission. But most importantly, it's a concrete illustration of Apple's newfound dedication to simplicity.

    In particular, this change reveals the tremendous weight that Apple gives to visual simplicity. A complete want of visible scroll bars certainly does construct the tolerable Mac OS X screen stare a lot less busy. A want of visual clutter has been a hallmark of Apple's hardware and software design for years, and iOS has only accelerated this theme. Also, practically speaking, the sum of sum those 16-pixel-wide stripes reserved for scroll bars on window edges may add up to a nontrivial increase in the number of pixels available for displaying content on a Mac's screen.

    But there is a charge to be paid for this simplicity; one person's clamor is another person's essential source of information. Visual information, fancy the size and position of a scroll thumb, is one of the most efficient ways to communicate with humans. (Compare with, say, numeric readouts showing document dimensions and the current position as a percentage.)

    These sacrifices were an essential piece of the iPhone's success. The iPad, though larger, is clearly piece of the selfsame touch-based family of products, and is wisely built on the selfsame foundation. But the Mac is a different kettle of fish—and not just because the screen sizes involved may be vastly larger, making the space savings of hidden scroll bars much less important.

    The Mac user interface, with its menus, radio buttons, checkboxes, windows, title bars, and yes, scroll bars, is built on an entirely different interactivity model than iOS. The Mac UI was built for a pixel-accurate circuitous pointing device; iOS was built for direct manipulation with one or more fingers. The visual similarity of on-screen elements and the technical feasibility of porting them from one OS to the other should not blind us to these essential differences.

    It's Interesting that sum of the scrolling changes in Lion believe preferences that allow them to be reverted to their pre-Lion behaviors. The defaults clearly attest the direction that Apple wants to go, but the settings to reverse them—public, with true GUIs, rather than undocumented plist hacks—suggest caution, or perhaps even some internal strife surrounding these features.

    Such caution is well-founded. Hidden scroll bars in particular believe trade-offs that change dramatically based on the size of the screen and the input device being used. fancy many features in Lion, the scrolling changes are most useful and usurp on the Macs that are closest to iOS devices in terms of size and input mode (the 11-inch MacBook Air being the best example). But on a Mac Pro with dual 27" 2560x1440-pixel displays attached, Lion's scrolling defaults construct far less sense.

    Window resizing Resize widgetResize widget

    A want of traditional scroll bars moreover means the elimination of the wee patch of pixels in the lower-right corner of a window where the vertical and horizontal scroll bars meet. Since 1984, this belt has been home to the one and only control used to resize a window. Setting the scroll bar appearance preference to "always visible" restores the clickable true estate, albeit sans the traditional "grip lines."

    Despite the plain appearance, this resize control works as expected; what's unexpected is the cursor change that accompanies the action. The double-arrow cursor has been used in other operating systems for years, mostly to differentiate two-axis resizing (width and height) from single-axis resizing (height only or width only). When there's only one resize control per window, it's obvious that it can be used to change both the width and the height. Lion's unique cursor can denote only one thing…

    Window resizing from sum edges (composite image)Window resizing from sum edges (composite image)

    That's right, long-suffering switchers, Lion finally allows windows to be resized from any edge and from sum four corners, with a special cursor for each of the eight starting points. (When a window is at its size limit, the cursors exhibit an arrow pointing in a solitary direction—a nice touch.)

    As you can note from the image above, what Apple hasn't done is add borders to the windows. So where, exactly, Do they "grab" when resizing from a borderless window edge? There's no way around it: some pixels must be sacrificed to the gods of Fitts's law.

    A few pixels within the outer edge of the content belt of the window (two to three, depending on where you weigh from) are commandeered for window resizing purposes. You can still click on these areas, and the click event will correctly propagate to the application that owns the window, but you'll be clicking with a resize cursor instead of a unvarying arrow cursor.

    Two to three pixels doesn't construct for a very wide target, however, which is why Apple has chosen to usurp pixels from both sides of the window border. Four to five pixels outside the content belt of the window are moreover clickable for window resizing purposes. Clicks in these areas don't rate sent to the window (they're out of the window's bounds) and they don't rate sent to whatever happens to be behind the vigorous window—you know, the thing that you ostensibly just clicked on. Effectively, Lion windows believe thin, invisible borders around them used only for resizing. (Unlike Mac OS 8 and 9 windows, which had real, visible borders, Lion windows can't be dragged by their borders.)

    When overlay scroll bars are in use, the plenary 16x16 pixel home of the traditional resize widget in the lower-right corner is clickable, making this still the easiest target for window resizing, whether it's visible or not.

    Unzoom widgetUnzoom widget Zoom widgetZoom widget

    Lion has a few more surprises on window edges, one of which is window size-related. Windows belonging to applications that uphold Lion's unique full-screen mode may exhibit an embossed double arrow icon on the far-right side of their title bars. Clicking it will cause the window to fill the entire screen. Other windows, the Dock, and even the menu bar are hidden in this mode. The window's title bar moreover disappears, making it unclear how to exit this mode. But just stab the cursor at the top of the screen and the menu bar slides back down into view, containing sum the expected menus plus a reversed version of the double arrow symbol. Click the inward-facing arrows to boost the current window out of full-screen mode.


    Mac OS X has always used animation in its user interface, starting with the genie consequence over a decade ago, and really ramping up with the introduction of the Core Animation framework three years ago. Lion continues this trend. In nearly sum unique or changed applications in Lion, if something conceivable can be animated, it is. The Finder is a wonderful example. Even features whose functionality hasn't actually changed in Lion, such as dragging multiple items from one window to another, are given a fresh coating of animation and fades.

    At its best, animation explicitly communicates information that was either absent or only implied before. For example, the genie animation tells the user where a window goes when it's minimized. In other cases, such as the water ripple consequence in Dashboard, animation can add a bit of fun to an interface.

    But danger lurks. A newly discovered animation might delight the user the first time it's shown, but the 350th time might not appear quite so magical. This is especially honest if the animation adds a retard to the task, and if that assignment is done frequently as piece of a time-sensitive overall task. The Dashboard water ripple is acceptable because adding a unique widget to the screen is an infrequent task. But if the screen rippled every solitary time a unique window appeared anywhere in the OS, users would revolt.

    Well, guess what happens every time a unique window appears on the screen in Lion? No, it's nothing as garish as a water ripple, but there is an animation. Each window starts as a tiny dot centered on the window's eventual position on the screen, then quickly animates to its plenary size.

    This animation conveys no unique information. It does not reveal the user where a window came from, since the animation starts at the final position of the window. Whether or not the animation actually delays the opening of the window, it certainly feels fancy it does, which is even more important. This kind of animation can construct Lion feel slower than Snow Leopard. And when an animation fancy this stutters or skips a few frames due to hefty disk i/o or CPU usage, it makes your gross Mac feel slower, fancy you're playing a 3D game with an inadequate video card. And for what? For what someone at Apple hopes will be a lasting passion of delight?

    Perhaps it could be argued that the animation catches the eye more than a window that appears instantly (though that probably depends on the size of the window and what's behind it on the screen). For "unexpected" windows fancy error dialog boxes, that could be a benefit. But for "expected" windows (i.e., those that emerge in response to deliberate user input), the powerful, primordial draw of these touching images is an unwelcome distraction, not a benefit.

    It's conceivable that this animation could delight some users, but I believe a difficult time believing that the enjoyment will last much past the first week. (Interestingly, this animation does not play in reverse when a window is closed. This, perversely, makes window closing feel faster than window opening in Lion.)

    Unlike the scrolling behaviors discussed earlier, there are no user-visible preferences for these unique animations, which makes it sum the more considerable for Apple to strike a wonderful balance. In my estimation, Lion crosses the line in a few places; the unique window animation is the most egregious example. I stare forward to discovering a way to disable it. [Update: here it is: defaults write NSGlobalDomain NSAutomaticWindowAnimationsEnabled -bool NO]

    Here's to the crazy ones

    Bruce Tognazzini, founder of the Apple Human Interface Group and 14-year Apple veteran (1978-1992), is best known as the man behind the publication of the Apple Human Interface Guidelines. In 1992, he published a book of his own: Tog on Interface. Most of the examples in the book were taken from his labor at Apple. Here's an excerpt from pages 156-157:

    Natural objects believe different perceivable characteristics, among which people can easily discriminate. boost the bristlecone pine. The oldest animate thing on earth, it has been formed and shaped by the wind and scarred by thousands of years of existence. The youngest school kids stare at it and know there must be a lot of wind around there. They know the pine may be even older than their father. They moreover know, to a certainty, that it is a tree.

    Hypercard "Home" iconsHypercard "Home" icons

    Kristee Kreitman Rosendahl, accountable for not only the lifelike design of HyperCard, but moreover much of its spirit, created a collection of Home icons that shipped with the product.

    No one has ever shown confusion at seeing various puny houses on various cards. Never once has someone turned around and said, "Gee, this puny house has three windows and seems to be a Cape Cod. Will that boost me to a different Home card than that two-story bunk house back in the other section?" People are designed to wield multiplexed meanings gracefully, without conscious thought.

    In System 7, they multiplexed the import of system extensions, by developing a characteristic "generic" extension look, to which developers can add their own unique stare for their specific product. As the "bandwidth" of the interface increases, these kinds of multiplexings will become more and more practical.

    System 7 extension iconsSystem 7 extension icons

    This is Tog, godfather of the old-school Apple Human Interface Guidelines, stating emphatically that interface elements Do not believe to stare exactly the selfsame in order for their duty to be discerned. In fact, in the final sentence, Tog predicts that increased computing power will lead to more diverse representations. The increased "bandwidth" of user interfaces that Tog wrote about almost 20 years ago has now Come to pass, and then some.

    Examples of "multiplexed meanings" in Mac OS X are not difficult to find. stare at the Dock, which has changed appearance several times during the history of Mac OS X while still remaining immediately identifiable. And, as discussed earlier, nearly every gauge GUI control has changed its appearance in Lion. As Tog notes, people are excellent at discarding unimportant details and focusing on the most striking" aspects of an item's appearance.

    Now, keeping sum this in mind, I invite you to stare upon this screenshot of the version of iCal that ships with Lion.

    A stitch in time saves…something, presumably

    Enlarge / A stitch in time saves…something, presumably

    When this change was first revealed in the second developer preview of Lion, there was much gnashing of teeth. But question yourself, is the duty of every control in the toolbar clear? Or rather, is it any less pellucid than it would be if iCal used the gauge Mac OS X toolbar appearance?

    The immediate, visceral negative reaction to the flush Corinthian leather appearance had puny to Do with usability. What it came down to—what first impressions fancy these always appear to Come down to—is whether or not you deem it's ugly. People will boost "really cool-looking but slightly harder to use" over "usable but ugly" any day.

    But there's something much more considerable than the change in appearance going on here. Lion's iCal doesn't stare different in an arbitrary way; it's been changed with purpose. After the initial stitched-leather shock wore off, Apple watchers everywhere leapt on the unique iCal's deeper sin: its skeuomorphic design. From Wikipedia (emphasis added):

    A skeuomorph is a derivative remonstrate that retains ornamental design cues to a structure that was necessary in the original. Skeuomorphs may be deliberately employed to construct the unique stare comfortably veteran and familiar, such as copper cladding on zinc pennies or computer printed postage with circular town denomination and cancellation lines. An alternative definition is "an element of design or structure that serves puny or no purpose in the artifact fashioned from the unique material but was essential to the remonstrate made from the original material."

    Apple has been down this road before, most notably with the QuickTime 4.0 player application which included intellectual ideas fancy a "dial" control for adjusting the volume. Dials labor noteworthy in the real, physical world, and are certainly familiar to most people. But a dial control in the context of a 2D mouse-driven GUI is incongruous and awkward at best, and completely incomprehensible at worst.

    The brushed metal appearance of the QuickTime player would later inspire an officially supported Mac OS X window appearance starting in version 10.2, only to be dropped completely five years later in 10.5's majestic interface unification. Now, three years after that, the pendulum is swinging in the other direction again—and hard.

    In the case of iCal, Apple has aped the appearance of an analogous physical remonstrate (a tear-off paper calendar) but retained the conduct of gauge Mac OS X controls. This avoids the problems of the QuickTime 4.0 player's dial control, but it's far from a clean win.

    The grief is, the unique iCal looks so much fancy a familiar physical remonstrate that it's easy to start expecting it to behave fancy one as well. For example, iCal tries very difficult to sell the tear-off paper calendar illusion, with the stitched binding, the tiny remains of already-removed sheets, and even a page curl animation when advancing through the months. But can you grab the corner of a page with your mouse and split it off? Nope, you believe to disburse the arrow buttons or a keyboard command, just fancy in the previous version of iCal. Can you scribble in the margins? Can you cross off days with a pen? Can you riffle through the pages? No, no, and no.

    At the selfsame time, iCal is still constrained by some of the limitations of its physical counterpart. A paper calendar must choose a solitary way to wreck up the days in the year. Usually, each page contains a month, but there's no reason for a virtual calendar to be limited in the selfsame way. When dealing with events that span months, it's much more convenient to view time as a continuous stream of weeks or days. This is especially honest on large desktop monitors, where zooming the iCal window to plenary screen doesn't exhibit any more days but just makes the days in the current month larger.

    The unique version of Address book in Lion is an even more egregious example.

    These graphics are writing checks this interface can't cash Enlarge / These graphics are writing checks this interface can't cash

    Address book goes so far in the direction of imitating a physical analog that it starts to impair the identification of gauge controls. The window widgets, for example, are so integrated into the design that they're easy to overlook. And as in iCal, the wonderful detail of the appearance implies functionality that doesn't exist. Pages can't be turned by dragging, and even if they could, the number of pages on either side of the spine never changes. The window can't be closed fancy a book, either. That red bookmark can't be pulled up or down or removed. (Clicking it actually turns the page backwards to reveal the list of groups. Did you guess that?) The three-pane view (groups → people → detail) is gone, presumably because a book can't exhibit three pages at once. Within each paper "page" sits, essentially, an excerpt from the user interface of the previous version of Address Book. It's a mixed metaphor that sends mixed signals.

    These newly redesigned Mac OS X applications are clearly inspired by their iOS counterparts, which stand similar graphical flourishes and skeuomorphic design elements. (Address book in particular is a dead ringer for the Contacts app on the iPad.) In iOS, the inability to whirl pages with the flick of a finger or yank out that tantalizing red bookmark is even more frustrating. In both environments, when the behaviors seemingly promised by the graphical design aren't delivered, sum this artwork that was so clearly labored over fades into the background. The application trains us to ignore it. What was once, at best, a momentary amusement is reduced to visual noise.

    In 2011, we're far past the point where computer interfaces necessity to reference their forebearers in the physical world in order to be understandable (though it's practicable Apple thinks the familiarity of such designs is still an efficient way to reduce intimidation, especially for novice users). At the selfsame time, hardware and software believe advanced to the point where there's now ample "bandwidth" (to disburse Tog's term) to uphold visual and functional nuances beyond the bare necessities.

    Interface designers are faced with the challenge of how best to disburse the glut of resources now at their disposal. As Lion's iCal and Address book applications demonstrate, an alternate description of this situation might be "enough rope to hang yourself."

    Window management

    Over the years, Apple has added several features that could loosely be defined as "window management aids." The first, and arguably most successful, was Exposé, introduced in Panther back in 2003. Two years later, Tiger shipped with Dashboard, which provided a dedicated screen for wee "widget" windows, keeping them off the main screen. In 2007, Leopard brought official uphold for virtual desktops to Mac OS X under the denomination Spaces.

    Each of these features came with its own set of configurable keyboard shortcuts, pungent screen corners, and (eventually) multi-touch gestures. While each was understandable and useful in isolation, it was up to each user to device out how best to incorporate them into a workflow. In Lion, Apple has taken a stab at consolidation under the umbrella denomination of Mission Control. Each individual feature still exists, albeit in slightly more limited forms, but activating one thing now provides access to them all.

    Using any one of the supported Mission Control activation methods—a keyboard shortcut, a pungent screen corner, or a four-finger upwards swipe—causes the current desktop picture to retract slightly into the focus of the screen, revealing behind it their veteran friend the linen pattern. Overlaid on this are groups of windows, badged by the icons of the applications to which they belong. Along the top of the screen sit sum open Spaces. (In Lion, each full-screen window creates a unique Space, so those windows emerge at the top rather than grouped with the other windows from the selfsame application.) Dashboard is moreover (optionally) given its own Space.

    Mission Control: Exposé + Spaces + Dashboard Enlarge / Mission Control: Exposé + Spaces + Dashboard

    A surprising number of things can be done from this screen. As with Exposé, clicking on any window will bring it to the front. Windows can moreover be dragged into any of the available Spaces (excluding Dashboard and those that contain a solitary full-screen window). touching the cursor (or dragging a window) to the upper-right corner of the screen causes a panel with a "+" character to appear; clicking this creates a unique space. Holding down the option key makes Dashboard-style "close" widgets emerge on any non-fullscreen-window Spaces (except the original Desktop Space, which can never be closed).

    The biggest limitation of this unique arrangement is that Spaces are now confined to a one-dimensional line of virtual desktops. Four-finger swiping between spaces feels great, but there's no wrap-around when you hit the end.

    As colossal a step down as this is from the much more elastic grid arrangement of Spaces in earlier versions of Mac OS X, the unique limitations are probably a wonderful idea. The unique conduct of full-screen windows and the surprisingly natural-feeling four-finger swipes used to switch between them and enter Mission Control means that many more Mac users will likely find themselves using these unique features than ever used the combination of Exposé and Spaces in earlier versions of the OS. A simple line of spaces with no wrap-around provides a safe, understandable environment for sum these unique Spaces users.

    For the experts, well, consolidation always has its price. In this case, as in many others, Apple has decided that the wonderful of the many outweighs the wonderful of the few.

    Application management

    For sum its warts, the radical simplification of application management brought to Mac OS X by the Dock really has benefitted the platform. As I wrote in my ten year Mac OS X retrospective, "For every user who continues to be frustrated by the Dock's limitations, there are thousands of others who are buoyed in their computing efforts by its reassuring simplicity and undemanding design."

    But the Dock falls short, especially for novice users, as an application launcher. Or rather, it falls short if the application to be launched isn't actually in the Dock. Most novice users I know want to believe every application they are likely to disburse available in the Dock at sum times. As these users gain experience, the Dock can become a very crowded place. But why are these increasingly Mac-savvy users stuffing their Docks to the gills rather than limiting its contents to just the applications they disburse most frequently?

    The respond lies in how applications not in the Dock are located and launched. Choices embrace the Finder, Spotlight, or (I suppose) a Terminal window. touching from an always-visible line of colorful icons that's front and focus on the screen to any one of those alternatives represents a huge increase in conceptual and mechanical complexity.

    If you don't understand how typing the denomination of an application into a search box can be so much more difficult than clicking an icon in the Dock, I imply that you believe not spent enough time with novice users. Such users often don't even know the denomination of the application they want—or if they do, they don't know how to spell it. That's before considering the frequent disorientation caused by the rapid-fire search results refinement animation in the Spotlight menu, or the existence of multiple files whose contents or names contain the string being searched for. And this sum assumes novices know (or remember) what Spotlight is and how to activate it in the first place.

    The jump in complexity from the Dock to the Finder, I think, needs less explanation. As a universal rule, novice users just don't understand the file system. They don't understand the hierarchy of machines, devices, and volumes; they don't grasp the concept of the current working directory; they don't know how to identify a file or folder's position within the hierarchy. horror of the file system practically defines novice users; it is usually the last and biggest hurdle in the journey from timid experimentation to basic technical competence.

    To retain it another way, your dad can't find it if it's not in the Dock. (Well, my dad can't, anyway. Sorry to sum the Mac-savvy dads out there; I am one, after all.)

    In Lion, Apple aims to fill that gap with an application launching interface that's meant to be as easy to disburse as the Dock while providing access to every application on the system. It's called Launchpad, and you'll be forgiven for thinking that it looks fancy yet another interface element shamelessly ported from iOS.

    Launchpad: iOS’s SpringBoard on your Mac Enlarge / Launchpad: iOS’s SpringBoard on your Mac

    Launchpad can be activated with a Dock icon (which, importantly, is in the Lion Dock by default), a multitouch gesticulation (a moderately awkward pinch with the thumb and three fingers), or by dragging the mouse cursor to a designated corner of the screen. The grid of application icons that appears doesn't just stare fancy iOS's SpringBoard, it moreover behaves fancy it, privilege down to the "folders" created by dragging icons on top of each other.

    Holding down the option key makes sum the icons sprout nigh widgets as they start to wiggle. Swiping privilege and left on the touchpad or with a click and drag of the mouse will scamper from screen to screen, accompanied by a familiar iOS-like dotted page indicator.

    Launchpad “folders” Enlarge / Launchpad “folders”

    Launchpad will find applications in the gauge /Applications folder as well as ~/Applications (i.e., a folder named "Applications" in your home directory), and any subfolders within them. Applications in the ~/Downloads folder or on the desktop are not detected, which may actually be a problem for Mac users who believe not yet figured out how to achieve drag-and-drop application installations—yet another belt where the Mac App Store will befriend construct things simpler.

    Mac App Store download progressMac App Store download progress

    Speaking of which, when purchasing an application in the version of the Mac App Store that ships with Lion, the application icon leaps out of the Mac App Store window and lands in the next available position in the Launchpad grid, with an iOS-like progress bar overlaid on the unique application's icon. If the Launchpad icon is in the Dock, it displays a similar progress bar and the icon bounces once when the download finishes.

    Both serve as examples of animation that conveys useful information. "Here's where the application you just purchased has 'landed' on your Mac," the animation says. "To find it again, click the icon that just bounced in your Dock."

    Given the wealth of excellent third-party application launchers available for the Mac, I'm not sure there's any reason for an expert user to disburse Launchpad instead of their current favorite alternative. But unlike, say, the Dock, Launchpad is easily ignored. whirl off the gesture, deactivate the pungent corner, and remove the icon from the Dock and you'll never believe to note it.

    For everyone else, however, Launchpad will provide a huge improvement in usability. Even expert users should be excited about its arrival because it should construct telephone or e-mail-based family technical uphold a bit easier.

    Document model

    Lion introduces what Apple calls, with characteristic conviction, a "modernized" document model. I'm inclined to disagree with this word choice. fancy so many other aspects of Lion, document management is attempting to shed its legacy baggage—and there's plenty to shed. The conventions governing the interaction between users, applications, and documents believe not changed much since the personal computer became approved in the early 1980s.

    Apple first attempted a minor revolution in this belt with OpenDoc in the 1990s. Instead of launching an application in order to create a document, OpenDoc promised a world where the user would open a document and then labor on it using an interchangeable set of components created by multiple vendors. In other words, OpenDoc was document-centric rather than application-centric.

    The changes in OpenDoc promised to radically shift the equipoise of power in the application software market. But powerful software companies fancy Microsoft and Adobe were not particularly motivated to wreck their popular, full-featured applications into smaller components that customers could mingle and match with components from other vendors. At the time OpenDoc was released, Apple was nearing the nadir of its popularity and influence in the industry. Predictably, OpenDoc died on the vine.

    Fast-forward to today, where a much more powerful and confident Apple takes another crack at the selfsame area. The most pressing problem, today's Apple has decided, is not the interaction between application code and document data, but rather the interaction between the user and the computer.

    Despite decades of public exposure to personal computers, human expectations and habits believe stubbornly refused to align with the traditional model of creating, opening, and saving documents. The tales of woe believe become clichés:

  • The student who writes for an hour without saving and loses everything when the application crashes.
  • The businessman who accidentally saves over the "good" version of a document, then takes it upon himself to independently reinvent version control—poorly—by compulsively saving each unique revision of every document under slightly different names.
  • The Mac power user who reflexively selects the "Don't Save" button for one document after another when quitting an application with many open windows, only to accidentally lose the one document that actually had considerable changes.
  • The father who swears he saved the considerable document, but can't, for the life of him, remember where it is or what he called it.
  • At this point, they can no longer convoke this a problem of education. We've tried education for years upon years; children believe been born and grown to adulthood in the PC era. And yet even the geekiest among us believe lost data, time, or both due to a "stupid" mistake related to creating, opening, and saving documents.

    And so Apple's decree in Lion is as it was on the original Macintosh in 1984, and as it is on iOS today: the machine must serve the human, not the other way around. To that end, Apple has added APIs in Lion that, when used properly, enable the following experience.

  • The user does not believe to remember to redeem documents. sum labor is automatically saved.
  • Closing a document or quitting an application does not require the user to construct decisions about unsaved changes.
  • The user does not believe to remember to redeem document changes before causing the document's file to be read by another application (e.g., attaching an open document with unsaved changes to an e-mail).
  • Quitting an application, logging out, or restarting the computer does not denote that sum open documents and windows believe to be manually re-opened next time.
  • Earlier versions of Mac OS X supported a profile of automatic saving. If you had an open TextEdit document with unsaved changes, TextEdit would (eventually) redeem a backup copy of the file with the text " (Autosaved)" appended to the file name. If the application crashed or the Mac lost power, you could retrieve (some of) your unsaved changes by finding the autosaved file and opening it.

    Lion introduces a variant of this practice: autosave in place. Rather than creating a unique file alongside the original, Lion continuously saves changes directly to the open document. It does this when there are large document changes, during idle times, or on require in response to requests from other applications for access to the document's data.

    For sum of this to work, applications must be updated to disburse the unique APIs. In particular, a unique File Coordination framework must be used in order for an application to notify another that it wants to access a document that's currently open. The application that has the document open will then trigger an autosave to disk before allowing the requesting application to reference the document's data. Attaching a document to an e-mail or using Quick stare in the Finder are two examples of when this might happen.

    At this point, a puny bit of "geek panic" might be setting in. For those of us who understand the pre-Lion document model and believe been using it for decades, the notion that they are no longer in control of when changes to open documents are saved to disk seems insane! What if I accidentally delete a huge swath of text from a document and then Lion decides to autosave immediately afterwards?

    Not every change is meant to be saved, after all. The exercise of speculatively making radical changes to a document with the comfort of knowing that nonexistent of those changes are permanent until they hit ⌘S is something experienced Mac users boost for granted and may be loath to give up.

    The artist formerly known as “Save”The artist formerly known as “Save”

    I confess, I omitted one item from the list of changes enabled by Lion's modern document model. Here it is:

  • The user does not believe to manually manage multiple copies of document files in order to retrieve veteran versions.
  • If you still don't rate it, check out the item in the File menu formerly known as "Save." It now reads "Save a Version" instead. Every time a Lion-savvy application autosaves a document, it stores a copy of the previous version before it overwrites the file with the unique data. A pop-up menu in the title bar of each document window provides access to previous versions.

    A menu in the title bar provides access to previous versions of a fileA menu in the title bar provides access to previous versions of a file

    Select the "Browse sum Versions…" menu item to enter a Time Machine-like space-themed screen showing sum previous versions of the file. Using this interface, the document can be reverted to any earlier version, or snippets of data from earlier versions may be copied and pasted into the current version. Though the star domain background and surrounding timeline interface are provided automatically, the document windows themselves are actual windows within the application. They can be scrolled and manipulated in any way allowed by the application, though the contents of previous versions may not be modified.

    Document version browser…in spaaaaace! Enlarge / Document version browser…in spaaaaace!

    The gauge Cocoa document framework will manage many of the details for application developers, including automatically purging very veteran versions of files. The document versioning interface shown above is moreover integrated with Time Machine, showing both locally stored file versions and older versions that only exist on the Time Machine backup volume. Going forwards or backwards in the document timeline is accompanied by a well-kept star-field "warp" animation.

    Restoring the document to an earlier condition actually just pushes a duplicate of that condition to the front of the stack of sum changes. In other words, restoring a document to its condition as of an hour ago does not discard sum the changes that happened during that hour.

    Returning to the title bar pop-up menu, the "Revert to last Saved Version" menu item returns the document to its last explicitly saved condition (i.e., what it looked fancy the last time the user typed ⌘S or selected the "Save a Version" menu item). "Duplicate" will create a unique document containing the selfsame data as the current document. Finally, the "Lock" item will prevent any further changes to the document until it is explicitly unlocked by the user. Documents will moreover automatically be locked if they're not modified for a puny while. The auto-lock time is configurable in the "Options…" screen of the Time Machine preference pane (of sum places), with values from one day to one year. The default is two weeks.

    The auto-lock retard setting, cleverly hidden in the Time Machine preference paneThe auto-lock retard setting, cleverly hidden in the Time Machine preference pane

    There is no graphical interface to previous versions of documents outside of an application. Previous versions can't be viewed or restored from within the Finder, for example. Forcing sum version manipulation to be within the application is limiting, but it moreover neatly solves the problem of how to present document contents with plenary fidelity—beyond what Quick stare offers—when looking at past revisions.

    One unexpected implication of autosave is that it makes quitting applications much less painful. If you've ever had to quickly log out or shut down a Mac that has been up and working difficult for weeks or months, you know how terrible it is to believe to wade through umpteen dialog boxes, each demanding a decision about unsaved changes before allowing you to continue.

    These are not easy questions, especially for files that may believe been open for a long time. retain aside deciding whether the changes are worth saving; can you even remember what the unsaved changes are? Were they intentional, or did you accidentally lank on the keyboard and delete a selected item some time last week? Now multiply this Dilemma by the number of open documents with unsaved changes—and imagine you're in a hurry. It's not a pleasant experience.

    Autosave eliminates these hassles. Quitting an application that supports autosave happens instantly, with no additional user input required—always.

    Of course, by quitting an application (or quitting sum applications by logging out or restarting) you're moreover losing sum of your accumulated state: sum your open documents, the size and position of their windows, scroll positions, selection state. Losing condition can prove even more painful than playing "20 questions" with a swarm of "unsaved changes" dialog boxes. Assuming you can remember what documents you had open, can you find them again?

    Lion offers unique APIs to address this problem as well. A suite of unique condition encoding/decoding hooks allow Lion applications to redeem and restore any and sum aspects of document state. Upon relaunch, an application is expected to restore sum the documents open when it was last quit, with sum their condition preserved.

    So, how's that "geek panic" now? still there, huh? Well, let me try to reassure you. As a committed user of a noteworthy Mac text editor that, years ago, implemented its own version of almost sum the document management features described so far, I can reveal you that you rate used to it very quickly. Spoiled by it, in fact. Ruined by it, some would say. Yes, it's a very different model from the one we're sum used to. But it's moreover a better model—not just for novices, but for geeks too.

    Think about it: never lose data because you forgot to save. Quit applications with impunity. Retrieve veteran versions of documents at any time, in gross or in part. Build up a nice arrangement of open documents and windows, knowing that your difficult labor will not be trashed the next time you quit the application or necessity to restart for an OS security update.

    The final piece of the puzzle is not strictly document-related, but it puts the bow on the package. When logging out or restarting, Lion presents an option (selected by default) to restore sum open applications when you next log in. And relaunching a Lion-savvy application, of course, causes it to restore its open documents.

    Putting it sum together, this means that you can log out or shut down your Mac without being asked any questions by needy applications and without losing any of your data or window state. When you next log in, the screen should stare exactly the selfsame as it did just before you logged out. (In fact, Lion appears to "cheat" and briefly presents a static image of your earlier screen while it works on relaunching your apps and restoring your open documents. Sneaky, but an efficient way to construct condition restoration feel faster than it really is.)

    Process model

    If you were flipping out over the document changes described in the previous section, buckle up, because the discomfort flush is about to mount yet again.

    The wee indicator lights shown beneath running applications in the Dock are now optional in Lion.

    Three of these applications are runningThree of these applications are running

    In pre-release builds of Lion, sum applications in the Dock looked exactly the same, running or otherwise. At the last minute, it seems Apple chickened out and enabled the indicator lights by default.

    Dock indicator lights preferenceDock indicator lights preference

    Apple's message with this feature is a simple one, but moreover one that the nerdly sarcasm rebels against: "It doesn't matter if an application is running or not. You shouldn't care. quit thinking about it." Geek panic!

    Remain calm. Let's start with the APIs. Sudden Termination, a feature that was introduced in Snow Leopard, allows applications to attest to the system that it's safe to abolish them "impolitely" (i.e., by sending them SIGKILL, causing them to terminate immediately, with no chance for potentially time-consuming clean-up operations to execute). Applications are expected to set this bit when they're sure they're not in the middle of doing something, believe no open files, no unflushed buffers, and so on.

    This feature enables Snow Leopard to log out, shut down, and restart more quickly than earlier versions of Mac OS X. When it can, the OS simply kills processes instead of politely asking them to exit. (When Snow Leopard was released, Apple made sure its own applications and daemon processes supported Sudden Termination, even if third-party applications didn't.)

    Lion includes a unique feature called Automatic Termination. Whereas Sudden Termination lets an application reveal the system when it's okay to terminate it with extreme prejudice, Automatic Termination lets an application reveal the system that it's okay to politely question the program to exit.

    But wait, isn't it always okay for the OS to politely question an application to exit? Isn't that what's always happened in Mac OS X on logout, shutdown, or restart? Yes, but what makes Automatic Termination different is when and why this might happen. In Lion, the OS may terminate applications that are not in disburse in order to reclaim resources—primarily memory, but moreover things fancy file descriptors, CPU cycles, and processes.

    You read that right. Lion will quit your running applications behind your back if it decides it needs the resources, and if you don't emerge to be using them. The heuristic for determining whether an application is "in use" is very conservative: it must not be the vigorous application, it must believe no visible, non-minimized windows—and, of course, it must explicitly uphold Automatic Termination.

    Automatic Termination works hand-in-hand with autosave. Any application that supports Automatic Termination should moreover uphold autosave and document restore. Since only applications with no visible windows are eligible for Automatic Termination, and since by default the Dock does not attest whether or not an application is running, the user might not even notice when an application is automatically terminated by the system. No dialog boxes will question about unsaved changes, and when the user clicks on the application in the Dock to reactivate it, it should relaunch and emerge exactly as it did before it was terminated.

    This is effectively a deprecation of the Quit command. It also, perhaps coincidentally, solves the age-old problem of former Windows users expecting applications to terminate when they no longer believe any open windows. When Automatic Termination is enabled in an application, that's exactly what will happen—if and when the system needs to reclaim some resources, that is.

    As if sum of this isn't enough, Lion features one final application management twist. When an application is terminated in Lion, sum the accustomed things emerge to happen. If the running application indicator is enabled, the wee dot will evanesce from beneath the application's Dock icon. Assuming it's not a permanent resident, the application icon will evanesce from the Dock. The application will no longer emerge in the command-tab application switcher, or in Mission Control. You might therefore conclude that this application's process has terminated.

    A quick trip to the Activity Monitor application or the "ps" command-line utility may discourage you of that notion. Lion reserves the privilege to preserve an application's process around just in case the user decides to relaunch it. Upon relaunch, the application appears to start up instantly—because it was never actually terminated, but was simply removed from sum parts of the GUI normally occupied by running applications.

    That's right, gentle readers. In Lion, an ostensibly "running" application may believe no associated process (because the operating system automatically terminated it in order to reclaim resources) and an application may believe a process even when it doesn't emerge to be running. Applications without processes. Processes without applications. Did Lion just blow your mind?

    The pitch

    The application and document model changes in Lion are a radical wreck with the past—the past of the desktop, that is. Everything described above has existed since day one on Apple's mobile platform. Indeed, iOS is the most compelling argument in favor of the changes in Lion. For every objection offered by a long-time personal computer aficionado, there are millions of iOS users countering the argument every day with their fingers and their wallets.

    These changes in Lion are meant to reduce the number of things the user has to supervision about. And while you may deem you really Do necessity to supervision about when your documents are saved to disk or when the remembrance occupied by an application is returned to the system, you may be surprised by how puny you deem about these things once you become accustomed to the computer managing them for you. If you're an iOS user, deem about how often you've wanted a "Save" button in an app on your iPhone or iPad, for example.

    So that's the pitch: Lion will bring the worry-free usability of iOS application and document management to the Mac. For the vast majority of Mac users, I deem it will be an easy sale.

    The reality

    There's a common thread running through sum of the application and document model features described above: they're sum opt-in, and developers must add code to their applications to uphold them. Apple has some talent to hasten the transition to Lion-savvy applications through evangelism, positive reinforcement (the carrot), and the increasing popularity of the Mac App Store (the stick). But no matter what Apple does, the idyllic image of an iOS-like experience on your Mac will boost a long time to materialize.

    In the meantime, it's easy to envision a frustrating hodgepodge of veteran and unique Mac applications running on Lion, making users second-guess their hard-won computing instincts at every turn. What I deem will actually chance is that the top-tier Mac developers will quickly add uphold for some or sum of these unique features and users will start to stare down on applications that still behave the "old way." I'm sure that's how Apple hopes things whirl out, too.


    The previous release of Mac OS X focused on internal changes. My review did the same, covering compiler features, programming language extensions, unique libraries, and other details that were mostly invisible to end-users.

    Lion is most definitely not an internals-focused release, but it's moreover colossal enough that it has its partake of considerable changes to the core OS accompanying its more obvious user-visible changes. If this is your first time reading an Ars Technica review of Mac OS X and you've made it this far, be warned: this section will be even more esoteric than the ones you've already read. If you just want to note more screenshots of unique or changed applications, feel free to skip ahead to the next section. They nerds won't deem any less of you.


    Apple's approach to security has always been a bit unorthodox. Microsoft has spent the last several years making security a top priority for Windows, and has done so in a very public way. Today, Windows 7 is considered vastly more secure than its widely exploited ancestor, Windows XP. And despite the fact that Microsoft now distributes its own virus/malware protection software, a burgeoning market still exists for third-party antivirus software.

    Meanwhile, on the Mac, Apple has only very recently added some basic malware protection to Mac OS X, and it did so quietly. Updates believe been similarly quiet, giving the print that Apple will only talk about viruses and malware if asked a direct question about a specific, true piece of malicious software.

    This approach is typical of Apple: don't relate anything until you believe something meaningful to say. But it can be maddening to security experts and journalists alike. As for end-users, well, until there is a security problem that affects more than a tiny minority of Mac users, it's difficult to find an illustration of how Apple's policies and practices believe failed to protect Mac users at least as well as Microsoft protects Windows users.


    Just because Apple is quiet, that doesn't denote it hasn't been taking true steps to better security on the Mac. In Leopard, Apple added a basic profile of sandboxing to the kernel. Many of the daemon processes that construct Mac OS X labor are running within sandboxes in Snow Leopard. Again, this was done with puny fanfare.

    Running an application inside a sandbox is meant to minimize the damage that could be caused if that application is compromised by a piece of malware. A sandboxed application voluntarily surrenders the talent to Do many things that a unvarying process rush by the selfsame user could do. For example, a unvarying application rush by a user has the talent to delete every solitary file owned by that user. Obviously, a well-behaved application will not Do this. But if an application becomes compromised, it may be coerced into doing something destructive.

    In Lion, the sandbox security model has been greatly enhanced, and Apple is finally promoting it for disburse by third-party applications. A sandboxed application must now embrace a list of "entitlements" describing exactly what resources it needs in order to Do its job. Lion supports about 30 different entitlements which orbit from basic things fancy the talent to create a network connection or to listen for incoming network connections (two sunder entitlements) to sophisticated tasks fancy capturing video or still images from a built-in camera.

    It might appear fancy any nontrivial document-based Mac application will, at the very least, necessity to declare an entitlement that will allow it to both read from and write to any directory owned by the current user. After all, how else would the user open and redeem documents? And if that's the case, wouldn't that entirely overcome the purpose of sandboxing?

    Apple has chosen to unravel this problem by providing heightened permissions to a particular class of actions: those explicitly initiated by the user. Lion includes a trusted daemon process called Powerbox (pboxd) whose job is to present and control open/save dialog boxes on behalf of sandboxed applications. After the user selects a file or directory into which a file should be saved, Powerbox pokes a pocket in the application sandbox that allows it to achieve the specific action.

    A similar mechanism is used to allow access to recently opened files in the "Open Recent" menu, to restore previously open documents when an application is relaunched, to wield drag and drop, and so on. The goal is to prevent applications from having to request entitlements that allow it to read and write arbitrary files. Oh, and in case it doesn't depart without saying, sum sandboxed applications must be signed.

    Here are a few examples of sandboxed processes in Lion, shown in the Activity Monitor application with the unique "Sandbox" column visible:

    Sandboxed processes in LionSandboxed processes in Lion

    Earlier, the Mac App Store was suggested as a way Apple might expedite the adoption of unique Lion technologies. In the case of sandboxing, that has already happened. Apple has decreed that sum applications submitted to the Mac App Store must be sandboxed, starting in November.

    Privilege separation

    One limitation of sandboxing is that entitlements apply to an entire process. A sandboxed application must therefore possess the superset of sum entitlements required for each feature it provides. As we've seen, the disburse of the Powerbox daemon process prevents applications from requiring arbitrary access to the file system by delegating those entitlements to another, external process. This is a specific case of the universal principle called privilege separation.

    The notion is to wreck up a involved application into individual processes, each of which requires only the few entitlements necessary to achieve a specific subset of the application's total capabilities. For example, esteem an application that needs to play video. Decoding video is a involved and performance-sensitive process which has historically led to inadequate protection against buffer overflows and other security problems. An application that needs to pomp video will likely Do so using libraries provided by the system, which means that there's not much a third-party developer can Do to patch vulnerabilities where they occur.

    What a developer can Do instead is isolate the video decoding assignment in its own process with severely reduced privileges. A process that's decoding video probably doesn't necessity any access to the file system, the network, the built-in camera and microphone, and so on. It just needs to accept a stream of bytes from its parent process (which, in turn, probably used Powerbox to gain the talent to read those bytes from disk in the first place) and return a stream of decoded bytes. Beyond this simple connection to its parent, the decoder can be completely walled off from the leisure of the system. Now, if an exploit is found in a video codec, a malicious hacker will find himself in control of a process with so few privileges that there is puny harm it can Do to the system or the user's data.

    Though this was just an example, the QuickTime Player application in Lion does, in fact, delegate video decoding to an external, sandboxed, extremely low-privileged process called VTDecoderXPCService.

    QuickTime Player with its accompanying sandboxed video decoder processQuickTime Player with its accompanying sandboxed video decoder process

    Another illustration from Lion is the Preview application, which completely isolates the PDF parsing code (another historic source of exploits) from sum access to the file system.

    Putting aside the security advantages of this approach for a moment, managing and communicating with external processes is kindhearted of a pang for developers. It's certainly less convenient than the traditional approach, with sum code within a solitary executable and no functionality more than a duty convoke away.

    Once again in Lion, Apple has provided a unique set of APIs to inspirit the adoption of what it considers to be a best practice. The XPC Services framework is used to manage and communicate with these external processes. XPC Service executables are contained within an application's bundle. There is no installation process, and they are never copied or moved. They must moreover be piece of the application's cryptographic signature in order to prevent tampering.

    The XPC Service framework will launch an usurp external process on demand, track its activity, and settle when to terminate the process after its job is done. Communication is bidirectional and asynchronous, with FIFO message delivery, and the default XPC process environment is extremely restrictive. It does not inherit the parent process's sandbox entitlements, Keychain credentials, or any other privileges.

    The reward for breaking up an application into a collection of least-privileged pieces is not just increased security. It moreover means that a crash in one of these external processes will not boost down the entire application.

    We've seen this kindhearted of privilege separation used to noteworthy consequence in recent years by Web browsers on several different platforms, including Safari on Mac OS X. Lion aims to extend these advantages to sum applications. It moreover makes Safari's privilege separation even more granular.

    Safari in Lion is based on WebKit2, the latest and greatest iteration of the browser engine that powers Safari, Chrome, and several other desktop and mobile browsers. Safari in Snow Leopard already separated browser plug-ins such as shimmer into their own processes. (Adobe should not esteem this an insult; Apple does the selfsame with its own QuickTime browser plug-in.) As if to further that point, WebKit2 separates the entire webpage rendering assignment into an external process. The number of excuses for the Safari application to crash is rapidly decreasing.

    As the WebKit2 website notes, Google's Chrome browser uses a similar approach to isolate WebKit (version 1) from the leisure of the application. WebKit2 builds the separation directly into the framework itself, allowing sum WebKit2 clients to boost edge of it without requiring the custom code that Google had to write for Chrome. (Check out the process architecture diagrams at the WebKit2 site for more particular comparisons with pre-Lion WebKit on Mac OS X and Chrome's disburse of WebKit.)

    Automatic Reference Counting

    Since 2005, I've been very publicly concerned about the long-term prospects of Apple's programming language and application framework, Objective-C and Cocoa, going so far as to speculate about a practicable technological head a few years in the future.

    When the future arrived, I revisited the issue of Apple's language and API future in light of Apple's theatrical entrance into the mobile market and the unprecedented growth this has enabled. You can read my conclusions for yourself, but the bottom line is that I'm still concerned about the issue—and deem Apple should be too. Success hides problems, and Apple has been so very successful in recent years.

    Enter (and exit) garbage collection

    Apple has done a tremendous amount of labor to modernize its development platform, including completely replacing its compiler, overhauling its IDE, and adding features and unique syntax to the Objective-C language itself.

    All of these things are great, but nonexistent address my specific concerns about remembrance management. Apple did eventually note suitable to add garbage collection to Objective-C, but my horror that Apple wouldn't really confide to garbage collection in Objective-C turned out to be well-founded. Today, years after the introduction of this feature, very few of Apple's own applications disburse garbage collection.

    There's a wonderful reason for this. Runtime garbage collection is simply a needy suitable for Objective-C. For sum its syntactic simplicity and long, distinguished history, the C programming language is actually a surprisingly involved beast, especially when it comes to remembrance management. In C, any correctly aligned pointer-size bit pattern in remembrance can potentially be used as an address; the language explicitly allows casting from void * to a typed pointer, and vice versa. Objective-C, as a superset of C, inherits these charming properties. In exchange for this sacrifice, Objective-C code can be compiled alongside plain C code and can link to C libraries with ease.

    This means that the runtime garbage collector is expected to traverse remembrance allocated by an arbitrary conglomeration of Objective-C and plain veteran C code and construct the remedy decision—every time—about what remembrance may safely be collected. Apple's Objective-C garbage collection is a global switch. It can't be enabled just for the clean, object-oriented Objective-C code that application developers write; it applies to the entire process, including sum the frameworks that the application links to.

    It seems sensible for garbage collection to boost a hands-off approach to any remembrance allocated outside Objective-C's gated object-oriented community. Unfortunately, remembrance allocated "the old-fashioned way" in plain C code routinely makes its way into the world of Objective-C, and vice versa. In theory, sum such code could be annotated in such a way that it works correctly with garbage collection. In practice, Mac OS X contains way too much code—much of it not written by Apple—to be able to properly vet every line of it to ensure that a runtime garbage collector has enough information to construct the privilege decisions in every case.

    And, in fact, despite Apple's bold claims of readiness, there believe been and continue to be cases where even code within Apple's own frameworks can discombobulate the Objective-C garbage collector. These kinds of bugs are particularly insidious because they may only manifest themselves when the collector runs within a sure window of time. The garbage collection compatibility outlook for third-party libraries is even more grim.

    Long chronicle short: garbage collection for Objective-C is out. (It's still supported in Lion, but I wouldn't weigh on Apple putting a tremendous amount of pains into it going forward. And don't be surprised if it goes the way of Rosetta in a few years.) In its place, Apple has created something called Automatic Reference Counting, or ARC for short. But to understand ARC, you should first understand how remembrance management in Cocoa has traditionally worked.

    Cocoa remembrance management

    Cocoa uses a remembrance management technique called reference counting. Each remonstrate has a reference weigh associated with it. When some piece of an application takes ownership of an object, it increments the object's reference weigh by sending it a retain message. When it's done with the object, it decrements the reference weigh by sending a release message to the object. When an object's reference weigh is zero, it is deallocated.

    This allows a solitary remonstrate to be used by several different parts of the application, each of which is accountable for bookending its disburse of the remonstrate with retain and release messages. If retain is sent to an remonstrate more times than release, then its reference weigh will never reach zero and its remembrance will never be freed. This is called a remembrance leak. If release is sent more times than retain, then a release message sent after the object's reference weigh has reached zero will find itself looking at the region of remembrance formerly occupied by the object, which may now contain anything at all. A crash usually ensues.

    Finally, there's the autorelease message which means "release, but later." When an remonstrate is sent an autorelease message, it's added to the current "autorelease pool." When that pool is drained, sum objects in it are sent one release message for each time they were added to the pool. (An remonstrate may be added to the selfsame autorelease pool multiple times.) Cocoa applications believe an autorelease pool that's drained at the conclude of each event loop, but unique pools can be created locally by the programmer.

    Simple, right? Just construct sure your retain and release/autorelease messages are balanced and you're golden. But as straightforward as it is conceptually, it's actually surprisingly easy to rate wrong. Experienced Cocoa programmers will reveal you that retain/release remembrance management eventually becomes second-nature—and it does—but programmers are only human. Accurately tracking the lifecycle of sum objects in a large application starts to propel the limits of human mental capacity. To help, Apple provides sophisticated developer tools for tracking remembrance allocations and hunting down leaks.

    But education and tools only depart so far. Cocoa experts may not note retain/release remembrance management as a problem, but Apple is looking towards the future, towards unique developers. Other mobile and desktop platforms don't require this sort of manual remembrance management in their top-level application frameworks. Based on Apple's past efforts with garbage collection, it seems pellucid that Apple believes it would be better for the platform if developers didn't believe to manually manage memory. Now, finally, Apple believes it has found a solution that it can really rate behind.

    Enter ARC

    To understand how ARC works, start by picturing a traditional Objective-C source code file written by an expert Cocoa programmer. The retain, release, and autorelease messages are sent in sum the privilege places and are in consummate balance.

    Now imagine editing that source code file, removing every instance of the retain, release, and autorelease messages, and changing a solitary build setting in Xcode that instructs the compiler to retain sum the usurp remembrance management calls back into your program when the source code is compiled. That's ARC. It's just what the denomination says: traditional Cocoa reference counting, done automatically.

    Xcode's ARC setting (highlight added)Xcode's ARC setting (highlight added)

    Before explaining how ARC does this, it's considerable to understand what ARC does not do. First, ARC does not impose a unique runtime remembrance model. Code compiled under ARC uses the selfsame remembrance model as plain C or non-ARC Objective-C code, and can be linked to sum the selfsame libraries. Second, ARC provides automatic remembrance management for Objective-C objects only (though note that blocks moreover chance to be Objective-C objects under the covers). remembrance allocated in any other way is not touched and must still be managed manually. (The selfsame goes for other resources fancy file handles and sockets.) Finally, ARC is not garbage collection. There is no process that scans the remembrance image of a running application looking for remembrance to deallocate. Everything ARC does happens at compile time.

    What ARC does at compile time is not magic. There is no deep artificial intelligence at labor here. ARC doesn't even disburse LLVM's sophisticated static analyzer to device out where to retain the retains and releases. The static analyzer takes a long time to run—too long to be a mandatory piece of the build process; it can moreover yield mistaken positives. That's fine for a utensil meant to detect practicable bugs, but dependable remembrance management requires certainty.

    What allows ARC to labor is the selfsame thing that enables people to (eventually) become expert Cocoa programmers: conventions. Cocoa has rules about the transfer of ownership that takes Place during common operations fancy getting or setting an remonstrate attribute, initializing an object, or making a mutable copy. Furthermore, the methods that implement these operations ensue a set of naming conventions. ARC knows sum these rules and uses them to settle when to retain and when to release.

    In fact, ARC follows the rules in a more bookish manner than any human ever would, bracketing every operation that could possibly be influenced by remonstrate ownership with the usurp retain and release messages. This can yield a huge number of remembrance management operations. Luckily, Apple has an excellent optimizing compiler called Clang (since rechristened by Apple's marketing geniuses as the Apple LLVM Compiler 3.0). Clang sweeps through this sea of mechanically generated code, detecting and eliminating redundancies until what remains looks a lot fancy what a human would believe written.

    Conventions were made to be broken, of course. But what ARC lacks in semantic sophistication it makes up for in predictability and speed, speed, speed. In cases where the human really does know best, ARC can be told exactly what to Do thanks to a comprehensive set of unique attributes and macros that allow the developer to annotate variables, data structures, methods, and parameters with explicit instructions for ARC. But the notion behind ARC is that these exceptions should be rare.

    To ensure that ARC can Do what it's designed to Do in a remedy manner, a few additional language restrictions believe been added. Most of them are esoteric, existing on the boundaries between Objective-C and plain C code (e.g., C structs and unions are not allowed to contain references to Objective-C objects). Compatibility with existing C code is one of Objective-C's greatest strengths. But since ARC is a per-compilation-unit feature and ARC and non-ARC code can be mixed freely, these unique language restrictions construct ARC more dependable without compromising interoperability.

    ARC versus garbage collection

    Apple's Objective-C garbage collection came with some drawbacks. As alluded to earlier, the programmer has puny control over when the garbage collector will run, making remonstrate reclamation non-deterministic. A garbage-collected application with a remembrance management bug may crash or not depending on when the collector actually runs. Since garbage collection only runs periodically, the "garbage" (memory) may start to pile up in between runs. This can increase the so-called "high water mark" of an application. Finally, the garbage collection process itself can tamper with the execution of the application.

    Even on a multicore CPU where the collector can rush on a sunder thread, it must still interact with the running application's remembrance image, sometimes (briefly) blocking its progress while it cleans up the garbage. On relatively weak, often single-threaded mobile CPUs, this interference can manifest itself as stutters or glitches in the user interface.

    ARC offers a very different value proposition. To start, it suffers from nonexistent of the disadvantages of Objective-C's runtime garbage collection. ARC is deterministic; sum the remembrance management code is baked into the executable and does not change at runtime. remembrance management is integrated directly into the program flow, rather than being done in batches periodically. This prevents execution stalls, and it can moreover reduce the high water mark.

    Most forms of automatic remembrance management incur some kindhearted of performance hit. Not ARC. To construct up for any practicable increase in the number of remembrance management messages generated by ARC, retain and release is 2.5 times faster in Lion; autorelease pools are 6 times faster; and to top it off, unvarying Objective-C message sending is 33 percent faster. Furthermore, since it's the compiler, not the programmer, inserting the remembrance management code, the generated retain and release code does not believe to stare exactly fancy a unvarying compiled Objective-C message send. The compiler has a much more intimate relationship with the Objective-C runtime, and can therefore optimize those operations in ways that a programmer cannot (well, should not, anyway).

    Finally, unlike garbage collection, ARC is a per-compilation-unit setting. Using ARC in your application does not denote that every library you link to will moreover rush under ARC. This means that you don't believe to worry about whether or not every solitary one of Apple's libraries works correctly under ARC. Only Apple has to worry about that, and it can settle on a case-by-case basis which should be compiled with ARC and which should not. ARC and non-ARC code can be mixed freely.

    Objective-C garbage collection does, however, believe one leg up on ARC. The garbage collector can detect and correctly reclaim remonstrate graphs with cycles in them. Under reference counting, if remonstrate A has a reference to remonstrate B, and remonstrate B has a reference to remonstrate A, then both A and B believe a reference weigh of at least one. Even if no other remonstrate in the entire application has a reference to A or B, they will not be deallocated when running under ARC because they both, eternally, believe nonzero reference counts.

    ARC requires the programmer to explicitly wield these situations, either manually breaking the cycles by removing one or more references or by using another Objective-C feature called "zeroing frail references." (A frail reference is a reference that doesn't contribute to an object's reference count.) For example, in a typical parent/child relationship, the parent might believe a reference to the child and the child would believe a frail reference back to the parent. When the application no longer references the parent or child, the child will believe a reference weigh of 1 (the parent still references it) but the parent will believe a reference weigh of 0 and will therefore be deallocated. That then leaves the child with a reference weigh of 0, and it will be deallocated. Et voilà, no remembrance leak.

    The "zeroing" piece means that frail references will be set to nil when the remonstrate they reference is deallocated. (Under ARC, sum remonstrate pointers are initially set to zero.) Under unvarying circumstances, an remonstrate shouldn't be deallocated if there are still outstanding references to it. But since frail references don't contribute to an object's reference count, an remonstrate can be deallocated when there are outstanding frail references to it. When this happens, the automatic zeroing of the outstanding frail references prevents them from becoming dangling pointers. (In Objective-C, sending a message to nil is a no-op.)

    ARC versus the world

    Now they Come to the 65,536 byte question. Does ARC retain Apple back on an even footing with its competitors when it comes to programming language abstraction? The answer, I'm afraid, is no. ARC takes supervision of almost sum the mundane Objective-C remembrance management tasks, but everything outside of Objective-C remains as it was. Furthermore, ARC does very puny to address the other pillar of modern, high-level programming: remembrance safety.

    For sum its auto-zeroing pointers and automatic remonstrate deallocation, ARC-enabled Objective-C is still a superset of C, and developers remain just a solitary substandard pointer dereference away from scribbling sum over their application's remembrance space. This is a far wail from the garbage collected, cycle-detecting, memory-safe, and sometimes even dynamically typed languages available on other platforms, both mobile and desktop.

    This brings us back to my six-year-old set of premises: that programming language abstraction increases over time; that Apple's competitors disburse languages that believe a higher flush of abstraction than Objective-C; and that Apple has yet to warrant how or when it's going to nigh the gap. ARC may not achieve parity with the likes of Java, C#, and JavaScript, but it does, finally, provide some insight into how Apple plans to preserve its development platform technologically competitive.

    The first thing ARC reveals is that Apple does disagree that there's a gap to be closed. It chose to attack the lowest-hanging fruit first, the one thing about Apple's development environment most likely to stand out as primitive and backwards to programmers coming from other platforms or even fresh out of school: manual remembrance management. But while doing so, Apple was not willing to sacrifice any of Objective-C's historic strengths. Objective-C with ARC retains its compatibility with existing code and libraries and remains lean, mean, and as quick as ever—faster, in some cases.

    Right now, Apple seems committed to these two platform pillars: compatibility and performance. Compatibility is essential to protect Apple's considerable investment in its APIs and developer tools. (Apple even went so far as to enable ARC to labor on Snow Leopard, albeit without the zeroing frail references feature.) Performance remains a competitive edge for Apple's mobile devices, not just in terms of interface responsiveness and stutter-free animations, but moreover in power usage. Those runtime garbage collectors and virtual machines on other platforms can thrash caches and preserve more mobile CPUs cores working longer and harder.

    Apple may believe danced with runtime garbage collection, but it's going home with compile-time automation. There is no clearer indicator of Apple's commitment than the fact that ARC is now the default for sum unique projects created in Xcode; garbage collection never was.

    The most intriguing aspect of ARC is what it might portend for Apple's future. ARC shows that Apple is willing to add restrictions to the language in exchange for developer convenience and safety. It moreover implies that Apple believes that compile-time automation and optimization is, if not preferable to, then at least as wonderful as the runtime solutions available elsewhere, especially on mobile platforms.

    One thing that Apple does not apparently envision in its platforms' future is a traditional virtual machine, for sum the reasons previously stated: performance, compatibility, and power usage. Runtime garbage collection is similarly off the table for now. (It's not that Apple believes that garbage collection necessarily precludes noteworthy performance; it's just a needy suitable for Objective-C and Cocoa.)

    What Apple has instead is a cutting-edge traditional compiler built on a framework that supports many of the selfsame concepts (e.g., bytecode, JIT), but at a lower level.

    Putting it sum together, it's not difficult to imagine a future in which Apple's developers write code in a memory-managed, memory-safe language that incorporates only the highest-level aspects of Objective-C, but remains binary compatible with Objective-C libraries and code. This approach has been described as "Objective-C without the C," and that's not far off. They could arrive at this destination through a progression of incremental changes—ARC being the latest—which slowly add optional (but recommended) features and restrictions to Objective-C, only the last of which would be touted as introducing a "new language."

    Apple has invested a lot of time and manpower in getting off of gcc and onto a faster, more capable compiler. Now that the transition is over, Apple's attention can whirl towards adding innovative features. The next few years of WWDC could be interesting.

    The condition of the file system

    The file system implementation is not something most Mac users deem about—nor should they. But fancy any other piece of an operating system, there's some expectation that it will better over time. And fancy any piece of technology, there comes a point where incremental improvements are no longer sufficient and a fresh start is required.

    Mac OS X itself was one such fresh start, albeit one derived from an existing product that was only slightly newer than the one it was replacing. But Mac OS X's file system, HFS+, was carried over from classic Mac OS directly into Mac OS X. It didn't rate a fresh start when the leisure of the OS did.

    Hopes were high for a unique file system back in 2006 when Apple publicly declared its interest in a port of Sun's innovative ZFS file system. The next year, Sun's CEO announced that ZFS would be piece of Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard—obviously without consulting Apple first.

    It didn't happen; Leopard shipped with HFS+. Two years after that, in 2009, Apple itself listed ZFS as a feature of Snow Leopard Server, only to later remove sum references to ZFS from its Snow Leopard webpages. A few months later, Apple shut down its open-source project to port ZFS to Mac OS X.

    In the meantime, HFS+ has certainly been incrementally improved. Apple has added uphold for metadata journaling, case sensitivity, access control lists, and arbitrarily extensible metadata. nonexistent of these additions changed the basic design of the file system, however. HFS+ is thirteen years old, and is itself an extension of the HFS file system which is more than twenty-five years old. The condition of the expertise in file system design has advanced a lot since 1985.

    But again, most people don't disburse much time thinking about the file system. They deem about files and folders, sure, but not the software that manages how the individual bytes are arranged on the storage device. My longstanding preoccupation with the nitty-gritty of file storage has often been met with indifference or even derision. "Who cares about a unique file system?" question the scoffers. "HFS+ works fine. It stores and retrieves my files just fine. What's the problem?"

    In response to this sentiment, I'd fancy to present some concrete reasons why HFS+ is long overdue for replacement. I believe that Apple understands these problems better than anyone, but that a progression of ill-fated events has resulted in its next-generation operating system being hamstrung with a previous-generation file system for the past decade. Before discussing whether or not Lion makes any progress in this area, let's boost a difficult stare at their veteran friend, HFS+.

    What's wrong with HFS+

    Software is written with sure target hardware in mind. When HFS was created, the top-of-the-line Macintosh came with an 800K floppy drive, the "high-end" storage offered by Apple was a 20MB difficult drive the size of a lunchbox, and the CPU was from the Motorola 68000 family. Thirteen years later, HFS+ replaced HFS, the floppy disks were 1.44MB, and Apple's difficult drives topped out around 6GB. preserve this context in sarcasm as they esteem the following details of HFS+'s implementation.

    When searching for unused nodes in a b-tree file, Apple's HFS+ implementation processes the data 16 bits at a time. Why? Presumably because Motorola's 68000 processor natively supports 16-bit operations. Modern Mac CPUs believe registers that are up to 256 bits wide.

    All HFS+ file system metadata read from the disk must be byte swapped because it's stored in big-endian form. The Intel CPUs that Macs disburse today are little-endian; Motorola 68K and PowerPC processors are big-endian. (The performance cost of this is negligible; it's mostly just silly.)

    The time resolution for HFS+ file dates is only one second. That may believe been sufficient a few decades ago when computers and disks were slower, but today, many thousands of file system operations (and many billions of CPU cycles) can be executed in a second. Modern file systems believe up to nanosecond precision on their file dates.

    File system metadata structures in HFS+ believe global locks. Only one process can update the file system at a time. This is an embarrassment in an age of preemptive multitasking and 16-core CPUs. Modern file systems fancy ZFS allow multiple simultaneous updates, even to files that are in the selfsame directory.

    The total number of blocks in an HFS+ volume is stored in a 32-bit value. With 4KB blocks, this allows for a maximum disk size of 17TB. That may sound huge to you now, but esteem that it's only a sixfold increase over what they believe today, and today's largest difficult drives are, in turn, a sixfold increase over what they had in 2005. (Apple can, of course, increase the obscure size from 4KB to, say, 8KB, but you can only play that game so long.)

    HFS+ lacks sparse file support, which allows space to be allocated only as needed in large files. deem about an application that creates a 1GB database file, then writes a few bytes at the start as a header and a few bytes at the conclude as a footer. On HFS+, slightly less than a gigabyte of zeros would believe to be written to disk to construct that happen. On a modern file system with sparse file support, only a few bytes would be written to disk.

    Concurrency, metadata written in the remedy byte order, sub-second date precision, uphold for massive volume sizes, and sparse file uphold are sum common features of Unix file systems. Mac OS X, of course, is built on a Unix foundation. When HFS+ was ported from classic Mac OS to Mac OS X, it needed to be extended to uphold some minimum set of features that are expected from Unix file systems.

    Some of those features were an easy fit, but others were very difficult to add to the file system without breaking backwards compatibility. One particularly scary illustration is the implementation of difficult links on HFS+. To preserve track of difficult links, HFS+ creates a sunder file for each difficult link inside a hidden directory at the root flush of the volume. Hidden directories are kindhearted of creepy to originate with, but the true scare comes when you remember that Time Machine is implemented using difficult links to avoid unnecessary data duplication.

    Listing the contents of this hidden directory (named "HFS+ Private Data", but with a bunch of non-printing characters preceding the "H") on my Time Machine backup volume reveals that it contains 573,127 files. B-trees or no b-trees, over half a million files in a solitary directory makes me nervous.

    That passion is compounded by the most glaring omission in HFS+—and, to be fair, many other file systems as well. HFS+ does not concern itself with data integrity. The underlying hardware is trusted implicitly. If a few bits or bytes rate flipped one way or the other by the hardware, HFS+ won't notice. This applies to both metadata and the file data itself.

    Data corruption in file system metadata structures can render a directory or an entire disk unreadable. (For a double-whammy, deem about corruption that affects the "HFS+ Private Data" directory where every solitary difficult link file on a Time Machine volume is stored.) Corruption in file data is arguably worse because it's much more likely to depart undetected. Over time, it can propagate into sum your backups. When it's finally discovered, perhaps years later when looking at veteran baby pictures, it's too late to Do anything about it.

    But how often does data corruption actually occur? The respond seems to be "more often than you'd think." Here's an excerpt from a 2010 academic paper on data integrity:

    In a recent study of 1.53 million disk drives over 41 months, Bairavasundaram et al. exhibit that more than 400,000 blocks had checksum mismatches, 8 percent of which were discovered during RAID reconstruction, creating the possibility of true data loss. They moreover found that nearline disks develop checksum mismatches an order of magnitude more often than enterprise class disk drives.

    Read the gross paper (PDF) for more detail and references. (Here's another illustration [PDF] from CERN, and the data integrity section of the ZFS Wikipedia entry contains more information and links.)

    Most of these studies concern themselves with enterprise-scale deployments, but personal storage disburse today is where enterprise storage was only a few years ago (in terms of capacity, if not throughput). And preserve in sarcasm that sum of these issues only rate worse as the data volume goes up—which it inevitably does, year after year.

    It's rapidly becoming inexcusable for the storage systems they entrust with some of their most precious possessions—something we're actively encouraged to Do by Apple itself—to boost such a cavalier approach to data integrity. The worst piece is that there's puny a user can Do to construct up for this technological gap; backups only serve to silently spread data corruption.

    I'll quit here, but Do note that I haven't even gotten to many of the other headliner features of modern file systems: constant-time snapshots, transactional updates, data deduplication, and on and on. HFS+ has served Apple well, and probably for far longer than its designers ever imagined it would. But fancy sum the other Apple-related products and technologies that suitable this description (e.g., classic Mac OS, Carbon, PowerPC), there comes a time when things once treasured must pass from this world.

    File system changes in Lion

    Finally, they Come to the heart of the matter. In Lion, what does Apple relate to the god of file system death? "Not today."

    That's right, the default and only file system on which you can install Lion is their veteran friend, HFS+. As renowned earlier, I'm sure Apple is acutely aware of HFS+'s shortcomings and would weigh its inability to domain a successor among its (rare) recent failings as steward of the platform. But it looks fancy it will boost a while longer for Apple's file system roadmap to rate back on track after the ZFS near-miss.

    Nevertheless, there are some file system changes in Lion—some significant ones, in fact. The biggest is the introduction of Apple's first true crack at creating a rational volume manager: Core Storage.

    In earlier versions of Mac OS X (or classic Mac OS, for that matter), a solitary physical disk could contain one or more volumes. That is, connecting the disk to a Mac would cause one or more unique difficult drive icons to emerge in the Finder. By far, the most common case is to believe just one volume on each physical difficult drive. But Mac users with more involved needs (e.g., people who believe to install many different versions of the operating system for testing or review purposes) boost plenary edge of the talent to carve up a solitary physical disk into multiple independent volumes.

    The role of HFS+ in this mingle is revealed by Apple's nomenclature. HFS+ is a "volume format." It stands to reason that there must then be something above HFS+ accountable for managing the multiple volumes that may exist on a solitary disk, in the selfsame way that HFS+ manages the multiple files and folders that exist within a solitary volume. And so there is. Apple supports several varieties of what it calls "partition maps." ("Partitions" are the regions of a solitary disk carved out for volumes, one volume per partition. Apple's currently favored partition map is the GUID flavor.)

    Logical volume management is a broad term that usually means allowing more elastic relationships between disks and volumes than traditionally provided by partition maps. In the case of Apple's Core Storage, the key unique feature is the talent for a solitary volume to span multiple physical disks.

    Somewhat obscuring this is a raft of unique terminology to limn the unique layers of the storage stack. At the very top flush is the rational Volume Group, which may contain one or more Physical Volumes. A Physical Volume provides storage; it may be a solitary physical disk, a disk image file, or even a RAID device. A rational Volume Group exports zero or more rational Volume Families. A rational Volume Family contains one or more rational Volumes, each of which presents a blank canvas onto which—finally!—a volume format fancy HFS+ may reside.

    Got sum that? Don't worry if you haven't. The only thing you necessity to understand for now is that Core Storage provides a much richer set of abstractions above the volume format. The next question is obvious: what does Lion Do with Core Storage?

    If you're entertaining visions of ZFS-style pooled storage, let me nip that in the bud. There is no friendly GUI for creating disk-spanning volumes, and the command-line tools provided are rudimentary and, in my brief testing, don't appear to uphold sum of the features ostensibly enabled by Core Storage.

    Core Storage's purpose in Lion is discreetly hidden in the rational Volume Family tier of the layer cake. rational Volume Families don't just export rational Volumes, they moreover contain properties that apply to them. One such set of properties in Lion enables plenary disk encryption.

    Though Apple is using the denomination FileVault to brand this feature, it has absolutely nothing to Do with the feature of the selfsame denomination from earlier versions of Mac OS X. The earlier incarnation of FileVault encrypted an individual user's home directory by storing it in an encrypted disk image file. This presented sum sorts of complications to common operations, and FileVault earned a horrible reputation for needy compatibility with existing software (including Apple's own, fancy Time Machine).

    Lion's FileVault doesn't just encrypt users' home directories, and it doesn't disburse encrypted disk image files. Instead, it's Apple's implementation of gross disk encryption. This means that every byte of data that makes up the volume is encrypted. Furthermore, this encryption is completely transparent to sum software (including the implementation of HFS+ itself) because it takes Place at a layer above the volume format—a layer that application software does not note at all.

    Having used a third-party whole-disk encryption product for years, I can reveal you that this approach works amazingly well. It really is completely transparent, and the only compatibility issues I've had involved operating system upgrades. (When touching from Leopard to Snow Leopard, a unique version of the disk encryption software was required. Presumably, this will not be a problem now that the feature is built into the OS.)

    Enabling whole-disk encryption is easy in Lion. The FileVault tab in the Security & Privacy preference pane carefully guides a user through the process, presenting pellucid explanations along with an extremely generous dose of caution.

    FileVault whole-disk encryptionFileVault whole-disk encryption

    Each user who will be able to decrypt the drive must enter their password to Do so. Next, an auto-generated "recovery key" is presented, along with a suggestion to "make a copy and store it in a safe place." This is a last turn in case a user forgets his or her account password. More dire warnings about data loss chaperone this information.

    FileVault recovery key: your last best hopeFileVault recovery key: your last best hope

    Will people really write down that long recovery key and store it in a safe place? Apple has its doubts, it seems, because the next screen asks if you'd fancy Apple to store the recovery key for you. There is no default preference for this question, which is exactly right, as far as I'm concerned. Most users probably should allow Apple to store their recovery key, but making that the default might be seen as an overreach by geeks and security nerds.

    If you choose to faith Apple, you must enter answers to three personal questions of your choice. The dialog claims that no one, not even Apple itself, can access your recovery password without the answers to these questions. We've heard claims fancy this before, but I'm inclined to believe that Apple has scholarly from the mistakes of others.

    Recovery key escrow: befriend Apple befriend youRecovery key escrow: befriend Apple befriend you

    Finally, Apple insists that a recovery partition be present on the disk that's about to be encrypted. If it isn't, and if one can't be created (e.g., because it uses the wrong kindhearted of partition map, or because doing so would shift a Boot Camp partition to the fourth position, making it unbootable), encryption won't be allowed to proceed. (It's kindhearted of annoying that this check is only made at the very conclude of the process.)

    Assuming a recovery partition exists or can be created, a restart is required to enable encryption. Upon reboot, a screen that looks a lot fancy the Lion login screen (but only containing the users who are allowed to decrypt the volume) appears instantly. Select a user and enter the remedy login password and the true boot process begins. Even if auto-login is disabled, you will boot directly into the account whose password was just entered.

    Revisiting the FileVault preference pane shows an rate of the time remaining before the encryption process is complete. Encryption happens transparently in the background, which is a wonderful thing because it takes a long time. While it's running, you can disburse applications, logout, reboot, and generally disburse your Mac as you normally would without perturbing the encryption process.

    If any users on the system are unable to decrypt the disk, they can be allowed to Do so by having them enter their login password.

    Enable more users to access the encrypted diskEnable more users to access the encrypted disk

    The output of the diskutil list command now looks a bit extreme (compare to earlier):

    /dev/disk1 #: kind denomination SIZE IDENTIFIER 0: GUID_partition_scheme *250.1 GB disk1 1: EFI 209.7 MB disk1s1 2: Apple_CoreStorage 124.5 GB disk1s2 3: Apple_Boot Recovery HD 654.6 MB disk1s3 4: Apple_HFS Timex 124.6 GB disk1s4 /dev/disk2 #: kind denomination SIZE IDENTIFIER 0: Apple_HFS Lion Ex *124.2 GB disk2

    What once appeared to the OS as a solitary disk device now registers as two. One contains the two non-encrypted volumes (Recovery HD and Timex) plus the unique Core Storage volume, and the other contains the mounted incarnation of the newly encrypted (well, encrypting, in this case) volume. Using the special Core Storage variant of the list command (diskutil cs list) reveals more detail, most of which should now construct sense after the earlier terminology review.

    CoreStorage rational volume groups (1 found) | +-- rational Volume Group 19566D89-E29A-4C6C-88FA-6B845EF1DEBB ========================================================= Name: Lion Ex Sequence: 1 Free Space: 0 B (0 B) | +-< Physical Volume 1A645A01-E149-48B4-8C79-5FD3E20384F1 | ---------------------------------------------------- | Index: 0 | Disk: disk1s2 | Status: Online | Size: 124509331456 B (124.5 GB) | +-> rational Volume Family 58B532AA-B265-4AC7-B53B-12BB039D97B2 ---------------------------------------------------------- Sequence: 9 Encryption Status: Unlocked Encryption Type: AES-XTS Encryption Context: Present Conversion Status: Converting Has Encrypted Extents: Yes Conversion Direction: forward | +-> rational Volume 8A7ACC28-321B-4653-8E85-94CAF047D1DE --------------------------------------------------- Disk: disk2 Status: Online Sequence: 4 Size (Total): 124190560256 B (124.2 GB) Size (Converted): 2539913216 B (2.5 GB) Revertible: Yes (unlock and decryption required) LV Name: Lion Ex Volume Name: Lion Ex Content Hint: Apple_HFS

    Lion doesn't construct encrypting disks other than the boot disk particularly easy. The Disk Utility application can remove encryption from a volume, change a volume's encryption password, or reformat a volume with encryption enabled (deleting sum the data currently on the volume in the process), but there is no option to transparently encrypt a volume without erasing it.

    Command-line tools to the rescue: diskutil will happily attempt to encrypt any volume you point it at, without erasing it first. Actually, the process is to convert it to a Core Storage volume which may optionally embrace encryption. Let's encrypt the Timex volume, shown as disk1s4 in the earlier diskutil list output.

    % diskutil cs convert disk1s4 -passphrase mysecret Started CoreStorage operation on disk1s4 Timex Resizing disk to suitable Core Storage headers Creating Core Storage rational Volume Group Attempting to unmount disk1s4 Switching disk1s4 to Core Storage Waiting for rational Volume to appear Mounting rational Volume Core Storage LVG UUID: B02B86AC-C487-43B3-8C2E-7918CE80ECDF Core Storage PV UUID: 76336EBE-A3B5-4E1E-98B4-8A6873746D86 Core Storage LV UUID: E1F2E293-9952-425E-A597-0954BA734102 Core Storage disk: disk3 Finished CoreStorage operation on disk1s4 Timex Encryption in progress; disburse `diskutil coreStorage list` for status

    As the command output indicates, the volume is shrunk slightly to accommodate the Core Storage headers, then the layer cake of rational volume management components is created, at the very bottom of which is the unique rational volume. No restart is required to originate the process, which happens transparently in the background just fancy the one initiated from the GUI. The diskutil cs list command now shows a pair of rational Volume Groups, each of which is declared to be in the process of encryption. The exact amount of data encrypted and remaining to be encrypted on each volume is moreover listed.

    CoreStorage rational volume groups (2 found) | +-- rational Volume Group 19566D89-E29A-4C6C-88FA-6B845EF1DEBB | ========================================================= | Name: Lion Ex | Sequence: 1 | Free Space: 0 B (0 B) | | | +-< Physical Volume 1A645A01-E149-48B4-8C79-5FD3E20384F1 | | ---------------------------------------------------- | | Index: 0 | | Disk: disk1s2 | | Status: Online | | Size: 124509331456 B (124.5 GB) | | | +-> rational Volume Family 58B532AA-B265-4AC7-B53B-12BB039D97B2 | ---------------------------------------------------------- | Sequence: 9 | Encryption Status: Unlocked | Encryption Type: AES-XTS | Encryption Context: Present | Conversion Status: Converting | Has Encrypted Extents: Yes | Conversion Direction: forward | | | +-> rational Volume 8A7ACC28-321B-4653-8E85-94CAF047D1DE | --------------------------------------------------- | Disk: disk2 | Status: Online | Sequence: 4 | Size (Total): 124190560256 B (124.2 GB) | Size (Converted): 16999776256 B (17.0 GB) | Revertible: Yes (unlock and decryption required) | LV Name: Lion Ex | Volume Name: Lion Ex | Content Hint: Apple_HFS | +-- rational Volume Group B02B86AC-C487-43B3-8C2E-7918CE80ECDF ========================================================= Name: Timex Sequence: 1 Free Space: 0 B (0 B) | +-< Physical Volume 76336EBE-A3B5-4E1E-98B4-8A6873746D86 | ---------------------------------------------------- | Index: 0 | Disk: disk1s4 | Status: Online | Size: 124551483392 B (124.6 GB) | +-> rational Volume Family F02B9A32-10DE-4BDF-9697-00CE1B6F1133 ---------------------------------------------------------- Sequence: 6 Encryption Status: Unlocked Encryption Type: AES-XTS Encryption Context: Present Conversion Status: Converting Has Encrypted Extents: Yes Conversion Direction: forward | +-> rational Volume E1F2E293-9952-425E-A597-0954BA734102 --------------------------------------------------- Disk: disk3 Status: Online Sequence: 4 Size (Total): 124232712192 B (124.2 GB) Size (Converted): 94633984 B (94.6 MB) Revertible: Yes (unlock and decryption required) LV Name: Timex Volume Name: Timex Content Hint: Apple_HFS

    At any point, the encryption process can be reversed (using Disk Utility, the FileVault tab of the Security & Privacy preference pane, or the diskutil command-line program). The decryption process moreover happens in the background.

    Changing the encryption password for a disk does not require a lengthy decryption and re-encryption process. I assume FileVault in Lion works fancy other gross disk encryption solutions in that what the password actually unlocks is the true encryption key for the volume. Changing the encryption password only requires decrypting and re-encrypting the true encryption key, which is tiny.

    The encryption features that Apple has chosen to provide access to in the GUI reveal a lot about the purpose of this feature. First, it's meant to be completely transparent. The only change as far as the user is concerned is that the login screen appears to believe moved to the very dawn of the startup process. There is no sunder password to remember; the user's login password decrypts the disk. The selfsame goes for every other user with an account on the system.

    Login passwords are only tied to a boot disk, however. Using login passwords to encrypt disks that may scamper from one Mac to another could lead to confusion. This partly explains why there's no GUI option for encrypting non-boot disks. The other piece of that decision is likely that FileVault is focused on mobile users. nonexistent of Apple's laptops believe more than one internal drive, and partitioning is rare and probably only done by users who moreover know enough to stare up the command-line utility to enable disk encryption on their non-boot volumes.

    Transparent encryption and decryption, consummate software compatibility, a friendly GUI with ample safety nets for non-geek users—what's not to love? Ah, I'm sure you're wondering about performance. sum forms of gross disk encryption capitalize from the current imbalance between CPU power and disk speed. In almost sum circumstances, the CPU in your Mac spends most of its time twiddling its thumbs with nothing to do. This is especially honest for operations that involve a lot of disk access.

    Whole disk encryption takes edge of this nearly omnipresent CPU cycle glut to sneak in the tiny chunks of labor it requires to encrypt and decrypt data from the disk. Apple moreover leverages the special-purpose AES instructions and hardware on Intel's newest CPUs, further reducing the CPU overhead. The conclude result is that regular users will be hard-pressed to notice any reduction in performance with encryption enabled. Based on my experience with the feature in prerelease versions of Lion, I would strongly esteem enabling it on any Mac laptop I way to travel with.

    File system future

    Disk encryption that actually works, plus some basic rational volume management features—that's sum well and good. But where does this leave us on the file system front? Perhaps things are not as substandard as they seem. The following is sum speculation, but given Apple's information vacuum on sum things file-system-related, it's sum I've got for now.

    Core Storage is probably the most significant file system change in the history of Mac OS X. Let's deem about what it does. Core Storage is accountable for managing the chunks of data that construct up the individual rational volumes on a disk. To Do so, presumably it has a set of metadata structures for tracking allocated and free space and for remembering which chunks belong to which volumes.

    Now imagine that those chunks originate to shrink until they are the size of, say, individual files. And instead of volumes, imagine those file-sized chunks belonging to directories. Okay, it's a stretch, but again, it's sum they believe to depart on. Assuming Apple is jubilant with the way Core Storage turned out, it has effectively fielded its first brand-new code that performs some of the selfsame basic functions as a file system. Were Apple so inclined, it seems technically plausible, at least, that it could extend this labor into a unique in-house file system project.

    With ZFS out of the picture, Btrfs presumably eliminated due to its licensing, and future development of ReiserFS uncertain, its difficult to note where Apple will rate the modern file system that it so desperately needs other than by creating one itself.

    This is something I've been anticipating for years. I would believe certainly welcomed ZFS with open arms, but I was equally confident that Apple could create its own file system suited to its particular needs. That self-possession remains, but the ZFS distraction may believe added years to the timetable.

    In the meantime, a few Brave souls are still determined to bring ZFS to Mac OS X. I wish them luck, but I would much prefer a solution supported by the operating system vendor. Apple, the gauntlet has been thrown down; it's time to deliver.

    Document revisions

    Lion's modernized document model leans heavily on the talent to manage multiple versions of a solitary document. Viewed solely through the user interface, it appears to be magic. Unlike earlier incarnations of autosave, you won't note auto-generated files appearing and disappearing alongside the original document. But the data obviously has to be stored somewhere, so where is it?

    Despite sum its flaws, the Mac OS X file system does believe several features that might be useful for saving multiple versions of files. Version number metadata could be stored in an extended attribute; the file data itself could conceivably be stored in named forks; the existing invisibility metadata could be used to shroud the multiple versions.

    Although Apple has gotten religion regarding file system metadata in recent years, leaning heavily on extended attributes in the implementation of Time Machine, downloaded file quarantines, and access control lists, metadata holdovers from classic Mac OS are still out of favor. If Spotlight's implementation has taught us anything, it's that today's Apple prefers to preserve things simple when it comes to the file system.

    Given sum of this, I wasn't surprised to find a /.DocumentRevisions-V100 directory lurking at the root flush of my boot drive, privilege alongside the /.Spotlight-V100 directory. Inside, you'll find an SQLite database file (/.DocumentRevisions-V100/db-V1/db.sqlite) containing tables for tracking files, the individual versions of those files (which Apple calls "generations"), and the storage location of the data. Here's the schema, for the curious.

    CREATE TABLE files ( file_row_id INTEGER PRIMARY KEY ASC, file_name TEXT, file_parent_id INTEGER, file_path TEXT, file_inode INTEGER, file_last_seen INTEGER NOT NULL DEFAULT 0, file_status INTEGER NOT NULL DEFAULT 1, file_storage_id INTEGER NOT NULL ); CREATE TABLE generations ( generation_id INTEGER PRIMARY KEY ASC, generation_storage_id INTEGER NOT NULL, generation_name TEXT NOT NULL, generation_client_id TEXT NOT NULL, generation_path TEXT UNIQUE, generation_options INTEGER NOT NULL DEFAULT 1, generation_status INTEGER NOT NULL DEFAULT 1, generation_add_time INTEGER NOT NULL DEFAULT 0, generation_size INTEGER NOT NULL DEFAULT 0 ); CREATE TABLE storage ( storage_id INTEGER PRIMARY KEY ASC AUTOINCREMENT, storage_options INTEGER NOT NULL DEFAULT 1, storage_status INTEGER NOT NULL DEFAULT 1 );

    Unlike Time Machine, Apple's file version storage system is not limited to saving a complete copy of each unique revision of a file. A second SQLite database (/.DocumentRevisions-V100/.cs/ChunkStoreDatabase) tracks the individual chunks that differ from one revision of a file to another. (Examining its schema is left as an exercise for the reader. Just remember to copy the database file to a unique location and rush the sqlite3 program on the copy instead of the actual database, which will likely be locked anyway.)

    Intelligently splitting files into chunks such that only a few chunks change from one revision to another is actually quite a difficult problem. esteem a 10MB file, initially split into ten 1MB chunks. Now imagine that the next revision of the file simply adds two bytes to the very dawn of the file. Were the unique revision to be naïvely split into ten equal-sized chunks, every chunk would be different from sum previously created chunks, defeating the entire purpose of splitting files into chunks rather than saving complete copies every time.

    One technique Apple uses to deal with this problem is called Rabin fingerprinting. Chunks of the file are selected based on their content, rather than strictly based on their offset within the file. (The title of the research paper that introduced this technique, A Low-bandwidth Network File System, suggests that it might moreover be useful for, say, a network-based file storage system. Hmmm.)

    This algorithm is not blindly applied to every file, however. The chunk storage engine knows about the internal structure of many common file formats (e.g., JPEG images, MPEG4 video, PDFs) and can intelligently chunk them based on this knowledge, separating headers and footers, finding the borders between internal elements, and so on. Unlike Spotlight, there doesn't emerge to be a plug-in system for adding explicit uphold for unique file types. Custom file types saved by third-party applications emerge to be left to the whims of Rabin fingerprinting.

    Very wee files (under, say, 32KB) emerge not to be chunked at all. Chunking is not guaranteed to chance immediately when a file is saved; it may chance at a later time. Very large files are generally split into larger pieces, preventing a situation where a 2GB file produces thousands of chunks. This gross exhibit is rush by a new, private GenerationalStorage.framework which includes a daemon named revisiond.

    (There's an Interesting break here for a third-party developer to create an "unauthorized" application for browsing the contents of the generation store, perhaps even hacking in a unique context menu item in the Finder for listing previous revisions of a selected file. An application fancy this probably won't be allowed into the Mac App Store, and it's likely to wreck in the next OS revision, but it may still find enough customers to be worthwhile.)

    Apple's generational storage system is an Interesting mingle of tried-and-true technologies (SQLite, daemons, plain files and directories) with just enough cleverness to avoid being an undue tribulation to the system in operation. And remember, every solitary file created on the system is not automatically versioned in Lion. Generational storage is a feature that developers must explicitly use. I sure hope a lot of them Do so.

    Resolution independence

    Resolution independence has been "coming soon to Mac OS X" since 2005. The dream of drawing the selfsame interface elements at the selfsame visible size but with more pixels was so nigh in 2007 that they could smack it. Then Snow Leopard arrived and the Mac's interface scalability features actually regressed. Depressing.

    Meanwhile, Mac OS X's sibling operating system waltzed privilege into a high-resolution UI on its very first try. iOS's secret? Don't try to uphold arbitrary scale factors, just uphold one: double resolution. A 50x50-pixel square on a non-retina iPhone screen is exactly the selfsame size as a 100x100-pixel square on a retina display. Graphics that believe not been updated for the higher resolution are simply drawn with four-pixel squares in Place of each low-resolution pixel. sum dimensions are nice, even, integer multiples of each other. This is a consummate suitable for physical screens which, of course, believe an integer number of pixels. Fractional measurements necessarily require frightful compromises.

    Lion has taken the hint from its younger brother. arbitrary scalability is gone. In its Place is a solitary check box to enable "HiDPI" pomp modes. (This option is still hidden away in the Quartz Debug application, so it's clearly not an end-user feature. But unlike sum previous incarnations of resolution independence, this one actually works.)

    HiDPI pomp
 modes on a 15-inch MacBook Pro (native resolution: 1440x900)HiDPI pomp modes on a 15-inch MacBook Pro (native resolution: 1440x900)

    After enabling HiDPI, unique pomp modes will become available. In the screenshot above, the 720x450 mode is half native screen dimensions, and the 640x400 mode is half the (non-native) 1280x800 setting. After selecting a HiDPI mode, everything is drawn with twice as many pixels as its non-HiDPI equivalent. Here's a screenshot featuring TextEdit, their accustomed interface scalability workhorse.

    TextEdit running in Lion's "HiDPI" mode Enlarge / TextEdit running in Lion's "HiDPI" mode

    It looks pretty good, right? The only flaws are the bitmap graphics that haven't been updated for HiDPI (look closely at the black triangles in the ruler). Unfortunately, there are a lot of these throughout the operating system and its bundled applications. But unlike in sum years past, the framework is finally there for third-party developers and Apple itself to finally rate their applications ready for a world in which 300-dpi desktop and laptop displays are more than just expensive curiosities.

    Unlike iOS, Mac OS X has to contend with a much wider variety of pomp sizes. Thus far, there has been no Mac equivalent of the iPhone 4, arriving with a double-density pomp and quickly selling so many units that it represents a significant portion of the installed base. Still, the ease with which iOS developers adapted to the retina pomp gives me self-possession that this pixel-doubling approach can labor on the Mac as well. They just believe to wait a bit longer. By now, they should be used to it.


    Thanks to the comprehensively revised user interface, most applications that ship with Lion stare new, but a few of them believe particularly significant changes. I'm not going to cover sum of them (you'll find more extensive screenshot galleries elsewhere), but here are some highlights.

    The Finder

    The Finder's transition from Carbon to Cocoa in Snow Leopard is starting to pay off in Lion. Several unique APIs added to Cocoa in Lion believe been adopted by the Finder. In days past, when the Finder was still a Carbon application, it rarely got the latest and greatest features at the selfsame time as other bundled applications. No more.

    Cocoa in Lion gives developers more control over the image displayed when an item is dragged from one Place to another. The Lion Finder uses this control to transform multi-item selections from the accustomed ghostly image of the source into a compressed, realigned, list-view representation. This transformation happens a flash or two after the drag begins.

    While this is a fine demonstration of a unique API, the experience is a bit off-putting. Imagine taking a dish out of the dishwasher and then having it start flopping around fancy a fish in your hand. This is a rare case of Apple losing sight of what's considerable in real-time interaction design. Stability and responsiveness lead to comfort. A transformative animation (instability) that happens after a short retard (the appearance of unresponsiveness) does not construct for wonderful experience. I wonder how many novice users will instinctively release the mouse button and inadvertently terminate the drag operation the first time this animation is triggered.

    Search tokensSearch tokens

    The Finder moreover proudly demonstrates Lion's unique capsule-style search tokens. Free text can be entered into the search domain as usual, but a pop-up menu provides options to limit the scope of the search terms typed so far. The only two options available are "Filename" and "Everything," but the interface is fun and easy to use, and the potential is there for much more sophistication. (For more involved searches, the full-fledged Spotlight search with nested boolean logic remains in Lion.)

    By default, at the top of the Lion Finder's sidebar is the unique "All My Files" item. It's a canned search that finds sum documents in the user's home directory and displays the results in a flat list. The sidebar item representing the computer as a whole, showing sum attached drives and connected servers, is still available, but is not in the sidebar by default. The selfsame goes for the home directory item. The other predefined saved searches (e.g., Today, Yesterday, sum Images, etc.) are no longer available, though they can be recreated manually.

    All My Files combined with a secondary filter, arranged by kindAll My Files combined with a secondary filter, arranged by kind

    The addition and prominence of "All My Files" is yet another vote of no-confidence in the user's talent to understand and navigate the file system. If you've ever seen a Mac user try to navigate from the top flush of his difficult drive down to his Documents folder, you can originate to understand the challenge Apple is up against here. The "All My Files" item is just what the doctor ordered. In the increasingly rare cases when novices disburse the Finder directly, rather than managing their data from within an application fancy iTunes or iPhoto, sum they want to know is, "Where are sum my files?" Asked and answered.

    Expert users with thousands upon thousands of files will likely find the "All My Files" feature less useful. But if you quit thinking of it as a "location" and start thinking of it as a saved search to which you can apply additional filters with the toolbar's search field, it starts to rate more interesting. The only remaining barrier is performance, which does suffer as the number of files increases.

    All of the existing Finder view styles (icon, list, column, and cover flow) uphold a unique "Arrange By" option which sorts items into groups. Each group has a header which "sticks" to the top of the window as the view is scrolled, until the last item belonging to that group scrolls off the top of the list. The columns in the group headers are frustratingly un-configurable and can't be individually resized. But those quibbles aside, the feature does add an Interesting unique dimension to file browsing.

    A unique sort order has moreover been added to sum views: Date Added. This is an ideal order for the Downloads folder. Sorting by creation or modification date was always problematic for files that preserved their timestamps through the download process (e.g., zip-compressed Mac applications). This would cause "new" downloads to emerge in unexpected positions in the list. I'm tempted to declare Date Added sorting as best unique feature in the Finder, but I'm fearful that might appear fancy damning with faint praise.

    Aesthetically speaking, the Finder, fancy the leisure of Lion, has been visited by the color vampire. The Finder sidebar doesn't even deference custom folder icons, showing them as generic gray folders instead. That seems a puny tyrannical, even for Apple.

    The only wonderful folder is a gray folderThe only wonderful folder is a gray folder

    This paternalism extends to other aspects of the Finder, as well. Library folders are now invisible in the Finder, removing the temptation for novice users to depart mucking around in directories they don't understand. The "Go to Folder…" menu command still exists, so customer uphold has some way, at least, to rate users there without resorting to a shell prompt. But existing uphold documents that embrace instructions and screenshots that hope the Library folder to be visible will believe to be revised for Lion.

    View optionsView options

    The Finder's destructive mingle of browser and spatial behaviors remains in Lion. The tradition of subtly changing the rules that govern when, where, and how view condition changes are applied and honored moreover continues. Just in case anyone thought they had finally figured out how the Snow Leopard Finder decides what view to exhibit when displaying the contents of a folder in a particular window, Lion changes the rules again.

    The controls at the top of the view options palette now embrace a mysterious sub-checkbox labelled "Browse in view," where view is the window's current view style. This appears to govern the view used when opening sub-folders from a window where the toolbar is visible, but a puny experimentation will reveal that the setting is overridden by any "Always open in view" setting of a sub-folder. The conclude result is the selfsame as it has ever been: an inscrutable system that users quickly give up any hope of understanding, resigning themselves to manually correcting view styles as needed during every interaction with the Finder.


    Apple's venerable Mail application gets a significant facelift in Lion. Once derided as one of the ugliest bundled applications, it's now been transformed into the classiest. (It doesn't wound that the competition has stumbled a bit.) The screenshot below is dominated by the glossy Apple promotional e-mail for Lion in the right-hand pane, but stare past it at the surrounding interface.

    Mail in Lion: a class act Enlarge / Mail in Lion: a class act

    Or rather, stare at how much of the surrounding interface isn't there. With the exception of the toolbar, this window is completely about the content. There are no external borders, only the barest hint of internal borders, and, as befitting a honest Lion application, no visible scrollbars. The toolbar and quick-access button bar ensue the monochromatic Lion style while still looking crisp. The cheeky red flag icon is moreover a nice touch.

    After years of unsupported hacks to add a three-pane wide-screen view to Mail, Apple has finally taken the hint and made it official. There's also, naturally, a full-screen mode.

    At last, widescreen three-pane Mail for all Enlarge / At last, widescreen three-pane Mail for all

    Like the Finder, Mail's search domain supports Apple's snazzy unique search tokens. These provide the fastest way to Do medium-complexity searches that I've ever seen in any e-mail application. It's too substandard the search domain is so narrow and doesn't expand to fill sum available space in the toolbar, however.

    The main viewing pane shows entire threads by default, with each message appearing as a sunder virtual piece of paper. Mail aggressively collapses quoted text within messages, displaying an adorable accordion consequence upon expansion.

    Mail plays an accordion animation when expanding quoted text Enlarge / Mail plays an accordion animation when expanding quoted text

    Keyboard uphold is excellent, allowing one-handed navigation for most common tasks. Expanding a thread and selecting a solitary message causes it to fill the right-hand pane, leaving behind the egoism that each message is actually a puny piece of paper.

    Mail has become more capable, as well. Simple flush text editing capabilities believe finally been added. Mail is moreover even better about automatically setting up accounts for common services. The account setup screens just question for a name, e-mail address, and password, and will usually Do everything else for you, including (optionally) correctly configuring and integrating calendar and chat services that might be associated with the e-mail account (e.g., Google Calendar and Talk).

    Rich text editing: let your font flag flyRich text editing: let your font flag fly

    If, fancy me, you never seriously considered using any of the previous incarnations of Apple's Mail application, the version in Lion is definitely worth taking for a test drive—even if only as a chance to experience an application that so thoroughly embraces the technology and aesthetic of the unique operating system.


    Besides adding uphold for another crop of unique Web technologies (MathML, WOFF, CSS3 enhancements), the biggest change in Safari is its aforementioned disburse of the unique WebKit2 rendering engine, which moves webpage rendering into a separate, low-privilege process. (Previous versions of Safari already isolated plug-ins in sunder processes.) This change is invisible to the user, but it should provide an additional layer of protection against browser-based exploits.

    Safari's downloads window has been subsumed into the toolbar and is now displayed as an iPad-style popover. (This is a gauge control available to sum Cocoa applications in Lion.) When starting a download, an icon leaps from the point of the click into the downloads toolbar icon, which then displays a tiny progress bar. It's cute, informative for novices, and keeps the downloads window out of the way.

    Safari downloads in a popoverSafari downloads in a popover

    A wee eyeglasses icon in the bookmarks bar triggers Apple's unique Reading List feature, which saves the currently displayed webpage for later reading. This list of webpages is (or rather, will be) synchronized with Safari in iOS 5. Saved pages emerge in the sidebar, accompanied by unattractively scaled favicons.

    Safari's Reading List: redeem webpages to read later. (High-resolution favicons recommended.)Safari's Reading List: redeem webpages to read later. (High-resolution favicons recommended.)

    Reading List follows in the moderately dubious footsteps of other Apple products that believe clearly been "inspired," let's say, by approved third-party services. As was the case when Safari added rudimentary uphold for RSS, Reading List is unlikely to dislodge users who are already restful with their existing read-it-later service.

    But most people believe never even heard of such a thing. Reading List's prominent placement in Safari will certainly spread awareness. This could translate into more customers for competing services, even as Reading List takes the lion's partake (sorry) of users.

    One last note on applications. The Finder, Mail, Safari, TextEdit, and even Terminal sum uphold full-screen mode and restore sum their windows when relaunched. Apple is definitely trying to lead by example.

    Grab bag

    As this review winds down, let's relax with a puny submerge into the veteran grab bag, a majestic tradition where the smaller features rate their chance to shine. As in years past, Apple has its own, much snazzier and more complete incarnation. Check it out if you want a broader overview of Lion's unique features. These are just the ones that piqued my interest.

    System Preferences

    System Preferences believe been shuffled, consolidated, and renamed in every major releases of Mac OS X. Lion doesn't disappoint.

    The preference formerly known as Appearance is now called General, and it includes a checkbox to globally disable application condition restoration. The Exposé & Spaces preference is now called Mission Control. Security becomes Security & Privacy. Accounts is now Users & Groups—a welcome change because, in my experience, most people don't know what an "account" is. Universal Access moves to the top row. And on and on. Dance, icons, dance!

    Your favorite system preferences: where are they today? Enlarge / Your favorite system preferences: where are they today?

    Individual preference icons can be manually hidden by the user thanks to the unique "Customize…" menu item. (They will remain accessible from the View menu and via search.)

    Hide the preferences you're not interested in Enlarge / shroud the preferences you're not interested in

    Click and hold on the "Show All" button to quickly jump from one preference to another via a drop-down menu. The View menu provided the selfsame functionality in Snow Leopard, but the "Show All" button is closer to where the cursor is likely to be.

    Take a direct flight to your next preference paneTake a direct flight to your next preference pane

    Perhaps surprisingly, the MobileMe preference remains. It's joined by the new, awkwardly named Mail, Contacts & Calendars preference which manages, well, mail, contacts, and calendar accounts for a variety of online services.

    Centralized online service account management Centralized online service account management

    This includes the ever-popular "Other" service, which leads to a set of more generic configuration screens for other protocols and applications.

    Manual configuration and more esoteric account typesManual configuration and more esoteric account types

    The trackpad preference pane allows some, but not sum of the unique gestures in Lion to be configured in limited ways. For example, the Mission Control gesticulation must always be an upward swipe, but it can disburse three or four fingers. sum of the gestures can be disabled.

    Limited choices for gesticulation configurationsLimited choices for gesticulation configurations

    Finally, in case you needed any more evidence of Apple's newfound aversion to color in the Mac OS X interface, boost a stare at the unique time zone selection screen.

    Your world, sum silvery in the moonshineYour world, sum silvery in the moonshine Auto-correction

    Lion adds optional iOS-style auto-correction to the gauge Mac OS X text control. It looks and works just fancy the iOS incarnation from which it's so clearly derived. fancy the other spelling and grammar checking options, auto-correction can be enabled on a per-document basis.

    I eagerly await the Compose Text Automatically optionI eagerly await the Compose Text Automatically option System-wide auto-correction: try to resist the exhort to tap the screenSystem-wide auto-correction: try to resist the exhort to tap the screen Mobile Time Machine

    Time Machine isn't much befriend when you're on the road with your laptop. nonexistent of Apple's portable Macs embrace more than one internal drive, and making a Time Machine back up to another partition of the selfsame drive kindhearted of defeats the purpose.

    Lion includes a new, mostly invisible feature whereby Time Machine backups continue even when the backup volume is not mounted. This feature is only vigorous for laptops, which is a shame (though you can enable it on desktops using the tmutil command-line tool).

    The implementation is strange. The mtmfs (Mobile Time Machine file system) daemon runs an NFS server on localhost which is then mounted at /Volumes/MobileBackups. In it, you'll find the accustomed Backups.backupdb directory structure that Time Machine creates for its backups. The actual copies of unique and changed files—and only those files—are stored in /.MobileBackups by the mtmd daemon.

    This system provides some basic data protection for users on the go, beyond what's offered by applications that uphold Lion's autosave APIs. Mobile Time Machine, fancy regular Time Machine, tracks sum file changes, not just those made by sure applications.

    There is some obvious overlap between Mobile Time Machine and the generational store used to uphold document versioning in Lion. Having two entirely sunder storage locations and techniques for backup copies of files is suboptimal; perhaps the backends for these two features will merge in the future.

    Lock screen

    Lion's unique lock screen has been restyled to match the login screen, with options to unlock or switch users, and it comes with the selfsame subset of menu bar status icons visible in the top-right corner.

    Lion's unique lock screenLion's unique lock screen Emoji

    Lion adds Emoji uphold to Mac OS X. So that happened.

    FACE WITH NO wonderful gesticulation (U+1F645); MOON VIEWING CEREMONY (U+1F391); PILE OF POO (U+1F4A9)FACE WITH NO wonderful gesticulation (U+1F645); MOON VIEWING CEREMONY (U+1F391); PILE OF POO (U+1F4A9) Terminal

    The Terminal application gets a few more graphical frills, sporting a unique parameter for window blur, with sunder settings for vigorous and supine windows. The bundled Silver Aerogel theme demonstrates the effect.

    "I want to know what's behind my terminal window, but I don't want to know every detail.""I want to know what's behind my terminal window, but I don't want to know every detail."

    Terminal also—finally—supports 256 text colors with its unique xterm-256color terminal type. Users of terminal-based text editors will surely approve.

    About This Mac

    The System Profiler application has been renamed System Information and now includes a comprehensive, easy to understand overview of the entire system. The copious links to uphold documents, apropos preferences, and channels for feedback are fantastic. This will be the unique go-to location for anyone trying to remotely diagnose a Mac problem. As before, it's most easily accessed by going to the Apple menu and selecting About This Mac, then clicking the "More Info…" button.

    Don't worry, geeks, the veteran System Profiler interface with its much more particular technical information is still accessible via the "System Report…" button. But it's likely that you'll rarely necessity the extra detail. boost a stare at what the unique screens offer.

    Tech specs never looked so goodTech specs never looked so good Did you know that your pomp
 has a manual?Did you know that your pomp has a manual? There sure seems to be a lot of "other"There sure seems to be a lot of "other" Unfilled RAM slots are sinful. I am ashamed.Unfilled RAM slots are sinful. I am ashamed. Five ways to rate supportFive ways to rate support An excellent executive summary of warranty information and service optionsAn excellent executive summary of warranty information and service options Recommendations Want an eBook or PDF copy? uphold Ars and it's yours.

    Even at Ars Technica, a sure percentage of readers just want to know the bottom line about a unique operating system. Is this a wonderful release? Is it worth the charge and the hassle of installing it? Excluding the first few dog-slow, feature-poor releases of Mac OS X, the respond to sum those questions has always been a resounding "yes." Lion continues this tradition, more than earning its $29 charge with a raft of unique technologies and a substantially revised interface and suite of bundled applications.

    The gauge caveats apply about software and hardware compatibility. Don't just rush out and upgrade your system as soon as you finish this review. Lion's digital distribution makes hasty upgrades even more likely. Patience! boost a few days—weeks, even—to research sum of your favorite applications and construct sure they sum rush fine on Lion. If you're still using some PowerPC applications, don't upgrade until you believe replaced them with Intel-native alternatives. And before you upgrade, back up, back up, back up.

    All that you can't leave behind

    Though the Lion denomination suggests the conclude of something, the content of the operating system itself clearly marks the start of a unique journey. Seemingly emboldened by the success of iOS, Apple has taken a hatchet to decades of conventional wisdom about desktop operating systems.

    The selfsame thing happened ten years ago in an even more theatrical fashion when Apple replaced classic Mac OS with Mac OS X. The unique operating system changed the rules on the desktop, wedding composited graphics, smooth animation, and photorealistic artwork to a solid Unix foundation. Apple tried to leave sum vestiges of its veteran operating system behind—the platinum appearance, the Apple menu, even the desktop itself—but eventually bowed to some demands of long-time Mac users. Lion's changes will no doubt meet with similar resistance from experienced Mac users, but I suspect Apple will remain unmoved this time around.

    In the selfsame way that Mac OS X so clearly showed the leisure of the industry what user interfaces would stare fancy in the years to come, Apple's own iOS has now done the selfsame for its decade-old desktop operating system. iOS was less shocking to users because it appeared to Come from nothing, and the mobile operating system conventions it defied were ones that nobody liked anyway. The selfsame is not honest on the desktop, where users cling fancy victims of Stockholm syndrome to mechanics that believe wound them time and again.

    It may be many years before even half of the applications on a typical Mac behave according to the design principles introduced in Lion. The transition period could be ugly, especially compared to the effortless uniformity of iOS. In the meantime, let Apple's younger platform serve as a lighthouse in the storm. The Mac will always be more capable than its mobile brethren, but that doesn't denote that simple tasks must moreover be harder on the Mac. Imagine being able to stick a computer neophyte in front of an iMac with the selfsame self-possession that you might hand that neophyte an iPad today.

    The technical details of Apple's operating system that were once so considerable that they practically defined its existence (e.g., remembrance protection, preemptive multitasking) are now taken for granted. Mainstream reviews of software and hardware alike disburse far less time pondering technical specifications and implementation details than they did only a few years ago.

    This phenomenon extends even to the geekiest among us, those who didn't just skip to the conclusion of this review but actually read the entire thing. Fellow geeks, question yourselves, Do you know the clock hurry of the CPU in the device you're reading this on? Do you know how much RAM it has? What about the remembrance bus hurry and width? Now esteem what your answers might believe been ten years ago.

    Over the past decade, better technology has simply reduced the number of things that they necessity to supervision about. Lion is better technology. It marks the point where Mac OS X releases quit being defined by what's been added. From now on, Mac OS X should be judged by what's been removed.

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    Mac OS X Lion is another step in the road to a new—or better said, renewed—computer interface paradigm: Modal computing. And along the way, Apple is taking some of the most successful parts of iOS, fancy the App Store—with automatic installation of applications—and the springboard (rechristened Launchpad in Lion). They are moreover introducing unique user interface elements, fancy Mission Control, to befriend unravel the problems that modal interfaces may bring.

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    It moreover brings paw closer to the desktop, fancy the Magic Tracpad is paving the way in the hardware front. sum the pieces are coming together.

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    Read more Read Full screen mode and modal computing

    Fullscreen mode is, for me, the most considerable aspect of the unique operating system. sum apps will be able to believe a plenary Screen mode. That doesn't denote windows are disappearing (yet), but it is clearly a colossal step towards enabling plenary modal computing in the future—something that is moreover indicated by the interface in iLife'11.

    Not only does iLife'11 believe stages that completely boost over the screen to achieve an specific function, but it moreover has rolled-in elements fancy context-aware inline palettes to change text styles. These elements are designed to avoid the necessity for floating palettes. It's only rational to deem that they will be included in the application developer arsenal for Mac OS X Lion.

    This user interface approach will greatly simplify the disburse of the computer, reducing the clutter of multiple open windows—which is why consumers and powerusers alike worship tabbed browsing, which is basically the modal web. This gets users closer to the selfsame user experience that 95% of the consumers out there fancy in their iPhone (or similar smartphones), iPod touch, and iPad. This doesn't denote that the computing experience will be less powerful than today. sum the contrary, in fact. Apple is empowering users to more effectively tackle their tasks.

    The pros already believe this In fact, if you stare at high conclude professional apps—like Final slice Pro—you will note the selfsame behavior: The software takes over the gross screen to achieve an specific task, with sum its windows docked together forming a solitary user interface surface. I've no doubt that windows will eventually be completely replaced, even for applications fancy Photoshop.

    Modal computing can bring some problems, however. You necessity to give the user an efficient way to switch effectively between tasks, quick and without confusion. From the demo today, Apple may believe found an elegant solution. Mission Control—to manage both modal apps and multiple windows apps—combined with paw gestures.

    The good: Simplify the computing experience, focus it around the assignment at hand, which is what the user is interested on. Reduce the clutter of multiple open windows. Pave the way to plenary paw computing.The bad: nonexistent that I can see. It seems that Apple is taking steps to avoid the potential problems that plenary screen computing may bring.

    Mission control

    Mission Control is actually a unique Exposé, integrating the Dock, Dashboard and views from sum open apps, both windowed and plenary screen. From the demo, it looks very straightforward and clear.

    It will be crucial to wield this unique setup in which the user will be managing three types of applications—widgets, multiple-windows applications and plenary screen apps—simultaneously. As more applications migrate to the plenary screen model—actually becoming spaces on their own—I can note Mission Control simplifying even further, and going back to its Exposé roots.

    The good: It seems to be a good, simple solution to wield the mess into which multiple-windows, multiple-application-type systems can devolve.The bad: Users may not rate to tap into its powers (ironically, Exposé is considered a poweruser tool). Apple still needs to educate users better about Exposé/Mission Control, and whirl it on by default.


    Launchpad works exactly fancy on the iPad. It shows sum the applications installed in your computer, which are managed by the App Store, with multiple pages to navigate using the swipe gesticulation and folders.

    There's not much to warrant about Launchpad. It's this simple:

    And this is what folders stare like:

    I can note a lot of advantages in this approach. fancy modal computing, it focuses the computing experience around the assignment itself, not around a system designed to manage the complexity of a file system. But it moreover opens a question: Is the Finder disappearing from Mac OS X? Are files going to be relegated to file dialog boxes?

    At this point in the game, that would be madness, which is why you are seeing the Finder icon privilege there in the dock. Most probably, the Finder will tarry with us for a puny longer. But eventually, it will disappear, touching sum file management to databases in which applications can plug, to partake data—images, music, text, PDF documents, whatever goes. A universal soup of information, much fancy the one that Newton used. In fact, if Spotlight worked a puny bit faster and a puny bit better, you could liquidate folders entirely. I don't know about you, but I believe no time to wield the thousands of files of sum kinds that I yield every month.

    The good: Simplification, the tools to complete the tasks always at hand.The bad: Some powerusers with OCD may miss the talent to construct involved folder trees to organize their apps into categories, subcategories, sub-subcategories, etc.

    Mac App Store

    The Mac App Store works exactly fancy the iOS App Store. selfsame main navigation bar and selfsame managing, which is to say: No managing at all. When you buy an app through the store, your Mac will automatically install that app in the Launchpad. Even better, it will centralize sum updates for sum apps, in the selfsame way the iOS App Store does.

    This may appear silly for power users, but if you believe ever dealt with unvarying computer users, installing and maintaining apps is a nightmare even with the Mac drag and drop system. Some download disk images from the web, and drag the app to the dock, then keeping the image open forever or ejecting it. Others preserve a dozen copies of an app in the download folder. And still others combine both for exquisitely painful disk mayhem. With the Mac App Store, unvarying consumers—which now are the majority of Apple users, according to Tim Cook's comments on market growth—will note their lives simplified. And hopefully, developers will find a unique and more efficient storefront for their apps, even if that means paying 30% to Apple for serving as the distributor.

    There are many questions here: Will Apple construct every developer depart through the Mac App Store? If so, I can't wait to note Adobe's reaction. If not, the unique App Store may not be the success Apple is probably expecting.

    And if they construct the Mac App Store the only way to distribute apps on the Mac—which probably will be the case if Launchpad is tied to the store, fancy it seems to be—would they moreover censor these apps if they contain adult material or any other thing—like a Torrent client—that Apple considers problematic?

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    The good: The easiest way to install and preserve applications up to date. wonderful storefront for developers.The bad: If it's obligatory for sum developers, it opens the way to a tighter control of the Mac platform and censorship. Apple gets a cut. Some developers may bark at this, but then again, they had a wonderful experience in iOS.

    Yes, this is the future

    While I understand that many power users are screaming and banging their heads against their desks, this is sum for the best. The involved computers they disburse today are being replaced by simplified, task-oriented computers that are designed to befriend users labor faster and focused on their objectives. Computers shouldn't be tools for computer scientists. Computers should be practical tools and sources of enjoyment for people in offices and studios,

    Clerks, designers, engineers, economists, illustrators, architects, gamers, photographers, journalists, film makers, teachers, students, or musicians... for those people, everyone in the planet except a very few, the file structures and the windowed user interface are imposed by paradigms that believe long been obsolete, crumbling conventions that believe been growing in complexity through the years.

    The puny they saw today is not complete and it's not perfect, but it's another step in the privilege direction. A future of simpler machines and possibilities, to paraphrase Salvador Dalí. Which is why I can't wait for Mac OS X Lion to arrive.

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    ASIS [2 Certification Exam(s) ]
    ASQ [3 Certification Exam(s) ]
    ASTQB [8 Certification Exam(s) ]
    Autodesk [2 Certification Exam(s) ]
    Avaya [101 Certification Exam(s) ]
    AXELOS [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
    Axis [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
    Banking [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
    BEA [5 Certification Exam(s) ]
    BICSI [2 Certification Exam(s) ]
    BlackBerry [17 Certification Exam(s) ]
    BlueCoat [2 Certification Exam(s) ]
    Brocade [4 Certification Exam(s) ]
    Business-Objects [11 Certification Exam(s) ]
    Business-Tests [4 Certification Exam(s) ]
    CA-Technologies [21 Certification Exam(s) ]
    Certification-Board [10 Certification Exam(s) ]
    Certiport [3 Certification Exam(s) ]
    CheckPoint [43 Certification Exam(s) ]
    CIDQ [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
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    Cisco [318 Certification Exam(s) ]
    Citrix [48 Certification Exam(s) ]
    CIW [18 Certification Exam(s) ]
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    College-Board [2 Certification Exam(s) ]
    CompTIA [76 Certification Exam(s) ]
    ComputerAssociates [6 Certification Exam(s) ]
    Consultant [2 Certification Exam(s) ]
    Counselor [4 Certification Exam(s) ]
    CPP-Institue [2 Certification Exam(s) ]
    CPP-Institute [2 Certification Exam(s) ]
    CSP [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
    CWNA [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
    CWNP [13 Certification Exam(s) ]
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    DRI [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
    ECCouncil [21 Certification Exam(s) ]
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    Enterasys [13 Certification Exam(s) ]
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    Exin [40 Certification Exam(s) ]
    ExtremeNetworks [3 Certification Exam(s) ]
    F5-Networks [20 Certification Exam(s) ]
    FCTC [2 Certification Exam(s) ]
    Filemaker [9 Certification Exam(s) ]
    Financial [36 Certification Exam(s) ]
    Food [4 Certification Exam(s) ]
    Fortinet [13 Certification Exam(s) ]
    Foundry [6 Certification Exam(s) ]
    FSMTB [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
    Fujitsu [2 Certification Exam(s) ]
    GAQM [9 Certification Exam(s) ]
    Genesys [4 Certification Exam(s) ]
    GIAC [15 Certification Exam(s) ]
    Google [4 Certification Exam(s) ]
    GuidanceSoftware [2 Certification Exam(s) ]
    H3C [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
    HDI [9 Certification Exam(s) ]
    Healthcare [3 Certification Exam(s) ]
    HIPAA [2 Certification Exam(s) ]
    Hitachi [30 Certification Exam(s) ]
    Hortonworks [4 Certification Exam(s) ]
    Hospitality [2 Certification Exam(s) ]
    HP [752 Certification Exam(s) ]
    HR [4 Certification Exam(s) ]
    HRCI [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
    Huawei [21 Certification Exam(s) ]
    Hyperion [10 Certification Exam(s) ]
    IAAP [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
    IAHCSMM [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
    IBM [1533 Certification Exam(s) ]
    IBQH [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
    ICAI [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
    ICDL [6 Certification Exam(s) ]
    IEEE [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
    IELTS [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
    IFPUG [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
    IIA [3 Certification Exam(s) ]
    IIBA [2 Certification Exam(s) ]
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    Intel [2 Certification Exam(s) ]
    IQN [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
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    ISACA [4 Certification Exam(s) ]
    ISC2 [6 Certification Exam(s) ]
    ISEB [24 Certification Exam(s) ]
    Isilon [4 Certification Exam(s) ]
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    iSQI [7 Certification Exam(s) ]
    ITEC [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
    Juniper [65 Certification Exam(s) ]
    LEED [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
    Legato [5 Certification Exam(s) ]
    Liferay [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
    Logical-Operations [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
    Lotus [66 Certification Exam(s) ]
    LPI [24 Certification Exam(s) ]
    LSI [3 Certification Exam(s) ]
    Magento [3 Certification Exam(s) ]
    Maintenance [2 Certification Exam(s) ]
    McAfee [8 Certification Exam(s) ]
    McData [3 Certification Exam(s) ]
    Medical [69 Certification Exam(s) ]
    Microsoft [375 Certification Exam(s) ]
    Mile2 [3 Certification Exam(s) ]
    Military [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
    Misc [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
    Motorola [7 Certification Exam(s) ]
    mySQL [4 Certification Exam(s) ]
    NBSTSA [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
    NCEES [2 Certification Exam(s) ]
    NCIDQ [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
    NCLEX [2 Certification Exam(s) ]
    Network-General [12 Certification Exam(s) ]
    NetworkAppliance [39 Certification Exam(s) ]
    NI [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
    NIELIT [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
    Nokia [6 Certification Exam(s) ]
    Nortel [130 Certification Exam(s) ]
    Novell [37 Certification Exam(s) ]
    OMG [10 Certification Exam(s) ]
    Oracle [282 Certification Exam(s) ]
    P&C [2 Certification Exam(s) ]
    Palo-Alto [4 Certification Exam(s) ]
    PARCC [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
    PayPal [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
    Pegasystems [12 Certification Exam(s) ]
    PEOPLECERT [4 Certification Exam(s) ]
    PMI [15 Certification Exam(s) ]
    Polycom [2 Certification Exam(s) ]
    PostgreSQL-CE [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
    Prince2 [6 Certification Exam(s) ]
    PRMIA [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
    PsychCorp [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
    PTCB [2 Certification Exam(s) ]
    QAI [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
    QlikView [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
    Quality-Assurance [7 Certification Exam(s) ]
    RACC [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
    Real-Estate [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
    RedHat [8 Certification Exam(s) ]
    RES [5 Certification Exam(s) ]
    Riverbed [8 Certification Exam(s) ]
    RSA [15 Certification Exam(s) ]
    Sair [8 Certification Exam(s) ]
    Salesforce [5 Certification Exam(s) ]
    SANS [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
    SAP [98 Certification Exam(s) ]
    SASInstitute [15 Certification Exam(s) ]
    SAT [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
    SCO [10 Certification Exam(s) ]
    SCP [6 Certification Exam(s) ]
    SDI [3 Certification Exam(s) ]
    See-Beyond [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
    Siemens [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
    Snia [7 Certification Exam(s) ]
    SOA [15 Certification Exam(s) ]
    Social-Work-Board [4 Certification Exam(s) ]
    SpringSource [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
    SUN [63 Certification Exam(s) ]
    SUSE [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
    Sybase [17 Certification Exam(s) ]
    Symantec [135 Certification Exam(s) ]
    Teacher-Certification [4 Certification Exam(s) ]
    The-Open-Group [8 Certification Exam(s) ]
    TIA [3 Certification Exam(s) ]
    Tibco [18 Certification Exam(s) ]
    Trainers [3 Certification Exam(s) ]
    Trend [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
    TruSecure [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
    USMLE [1 Certification Exam(s) ]
    VCE [6 Certification Exam(s) ]
    Veeam [2 Certification Exam(s) ]
    Veritas [33 Certification Exam(s) ]
    Vmware [58 Certification Exam(s) ]
    Wonderlic [2 Certification Exam(s) ]
    Worldatwork [2 Certification Exam(s) ]
    XML-Master [3 Certification Exam(s) ]
    Zend [6 Certification Exam(s) ]

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