Make Automator Fit for

By David Morgenstern  |  Posted 2006-06-28 Print this article Print

Ordinary People"> So, for the Leopard time frame, we can hope for Apple to provide virtualization support beyond cut and paste, such as transparent communication services between virtualized OSes and OS X applications. 3. Make Automator fit for ordinary people. One of the great advantages of the Mac platform is its natural-language scripting language, called AppleScript.
In the scheme, applications expose their features in a very granular way and users can call on these functions in scripts to get their work done. Of course, not all applications open all the features to the Apple.
Click here to read a comparison of Tiger and Windows Vista. In Tiger, Mac OS X 10.4, Apple introduced an easy scripting environment called Automator. This application lets users script "Actions" and then tie multiple scripts together into workflows. This is all great stuff, but still too tough at times for everyday use by ordinary users. Most Actions are scripted by professionals. It must be made more accessible and easy to use. 4. Refine Spotlight searching. We all know that searching for stuff on your hard drive and on the network is great, but the results retrieved by Spotlight are often troubling or difficult to understand. It needs help. Perhaps this is just a manifestation of the general trouble with search technology, but this application can be better. I dont know if I can express exactly what must be done to take Spotlight to the next level, however, I know it must improve. Even just a means to search for a string of text in a file name would be a help. 5. Fix the performance of the Finder and the networking stack. Apple has spent a lot of time in Tiger providing useful new features and integrating others. However, the Finder is still acting erratic at times, balking with some actions. While its pretty, its performance hasnt kept up with advancements of other parts of the OS. The handling of mounted network volumes is a case in point. The time the Finder takes to figure out whats happening with remote volumes when it wakes up is ridiculous. Sometimes the computer is stalled for minutes and all productivity grinds to a halt. And you cant force quit. Of course, in Terminal mode, these issues dont crop up. So its something with the interface. In a similar vein, John Rizzo, author and editor in chief of the MacWindows resource reminded me of the problems with Tiger upgrades, VPN clients and SMB networking. Click here to read how Automator is used by some businesses. When Tiger was released it took months before VPN clients were working properly. And with each update, SMB networking is troubled. Is it too much to ask that Apple fully test on Windows networks—any and all Mac OS X releases—before they ship? Yet, fixing things is the hardest task to get done in an OS update. Can we imagine Steve Jobs, standing on the stage in his usual black turtleneck and blue jeans, and telling the world that fixing the Finder and Spotlight and networking in Leopard was the best the company could do for its users and well worth the wait? Thats hardly a sexy message. What we will get are features we never knew we needed. Im sure I will like them. Still, the fixes would be welcome. Do you have any suggestions for inclusion in Mac OS X Leopard? Send them in here. David Morgenstern is Storage Center editor for and was formerly the editor of MacWEEK. He can be reached at Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news in desktop and notebook computing.

David Morgenstern is Executive Editor/Special Projects of eWEEK. Previously, he served as the news editor of Ziff Davis Internet and editor for Ziff Davis' Storage Supersite.

In 'the days,' he was an award-winning editor with the heralded MacWEEK newsweekly as well as eMediaweekly, a trade publication for managers of professional digital content creation.

David has also worked on the vendor side of the industry, including companies offering professional displays and color-calibration technology, and Internet video.

He can be reached here.


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