OSX Lion First Impressions

I’ll update this list as I go along or become too lazy to continue. Please forgive my stream of consciousness and whining. For an exhaustive list of the new features, go here: http://www.apple.com/macosx/whats-new/features.html

July 20, 2011 12:09 PM
First Impressions

  • My system seems slower
  • I don’t care for the reverse mouse scrolling. I changed that in Settings
  • Spaces is replaced by Mission Control. Instead of a “spaces” like Gnome, you now have “screens”.
  • Maybe it’ll take a while for me to get used to Mission Control, but I prefer how I could view everything easier in the old Spaces. I do like how you can swipe between screens with the mouse in Mission Control.
  • Mail looks much like the iOS version which I love on the iPad and iPhone. It’ll take me a bit to get used to it on a non-touchscreen computer
  • Praise ze gods, Safari has fullscreen mode, but it puts it in its own “space”. If you are on a dual monitor setup, your other monitor is useless. So far this is only in Safari.

edit: I called them “spaces”, but I believe the correct term is “desktops”

Mission Control & Fullscreen Mode
Ok, I get Mission Control now. You two finger double tap on the Apple mouse to go to Mission Control to see everything open on one screen, then you two-finger horizontal swipe to see what’s open in your other screens. The advantage over the old Spaces + Expose way is bigger thumbnails. Personally, I prefer the old version for now, but once I have two browsers, two IDEs, iTunes, Adium, 3 terminals open at the same time, I may change my mind.

Hmm, you can have multiple apps open in fullscreen now. That is cool!

Chrome Navigation
Aww, man, backward and forward navigation is broken in Chrome. Previously, the two finger horizontal swipe was back and forward navigation; now it’ll change to a different “screen”. Well, at least I installed the mouse gestures plugin for Chrome.

Launchpad & Airdrop
Launchpad is pretty awesome! You can group applications together and rename the groups in Launchpad. You can also change the order of the application list. This function is very much like the iOS version. If you prefer to view your applications in the traditional list view, you can still go to your ~/Applications directory.

Airdrop looks pretty cool! I want to try that out as soon as I can.

Something’s Wrong with Macports and Xcode
I think the upgrade did something to macports and Xcode. My vimrc file was also overwritten. Luckily, I had a copy in Devonthink.

The New Gestures & Lion Annoyances
If some of the gestures and options annoy you, you can look here for some tips to revert: http://www.lifehacker.com.au/2011/07/the-os-x-lion-survival-guide/ I agree with Lifehacker on the new look for iCal. Address Book resembles the iOS version, so it doesn’t bug me so much. I also agree that fullscreen mode bogarts your dual monitor setup, and it’s fun to say “bogart”.

Lion Security
Lion supports full address space layout randomization according to The Register: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/07/21/mac_os_x_lion_security/
Find out more about ASLR here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Address_space_layout_randomization

July 21, 2011 7:16 PM
My ~/Library disappeared in Finder
Your ~/Library folder is hidden in Lion. To unhide it, type “chflags nohidden ~/Library” in the terminal. The write up is here: http://krypted.com/mac-os-x/get-your-library-folder-back-from-the-lion/

Update to Xcode 4
Xcode 3 does not work in Lion so you’ll have to get it from the App Store for free. I thought it installed last night, but for some reason it didn’t. Go to the App Store and download Xcode 4 for Lion. If it doesn’t start to install after the download, go to /Applications/Install Xcode.app and click on that

Macports for Lion
Whenever you migrate to a new OS, you’ll need to also update Macports. Unfortunately, I had to pretty much reinstall everything to ensure stability.

Here is what the ports site suggested for migrations:

Unfortunately, the migration didn’t work for me so I had to force uninstall after I created my “myports.txt” in step one of the migration tutorial above. It’s very important to get that list of the ports you already have. When you reinstall don’t bother getting the dependencies. Just cherry pick what you actually want and install those programs only.

Here is what I am doing for the uninstall:

To reinstall Macports, refer to the link below. I was able to use the packaged file for Lion. As soon as Macports installed, I ran “sudo port selfupdate”

Some folks claimed that didn’t work, but this one using svn does. It wasn’t necessary for me:

Final Thoughts
The UI improvements are great. As Dr. Chao said, “It’s remarkable the good job Apple did considering they’re merging with a mobile OS”. Aside from the inconvenience of reinstalling Macports, I’m happy as a clam. There may be a less painful way to get ports and Lion to work, but after my recent experience with a fresh, flawlessly working install, I wanted to continue my command-line honeymoon.

For those who are hesitant about migrating to 10.7 Lion, you will be perfectly fine working in Snow Leopard at least for the next couple months. Save your thirty bucks and donate it to Haitian relief, Japanese Tsunami victims, or buy your mother some roses. Do good deeds and make the world a better place, or be like me and drink some decent beer for a change 😛