Leopard: First impressions

I just upgraded to Leopard and my initial experience has left a sour taste in my mouth.

The installation was not painless. In fact, I had to restart several times as the screen that displays the locations that you can install Leopard into kept coming up empty. In the end, I tried saving the license agreement on to the hard disk and then proceeding to that screen and that prompted the installer to see my hard drive. It was the sort of workaround I'd device in Windows to get things to work sometimes. I definitely did not expect to have to resort to such tomfoolery in OS X (omg, I said tomfoolery, can I be an honorary Brit, oh please, please, please!) :)

The installation took forever. It took ages for the DVD to verify itself (???) and then ages again to install. I'm writing this at 2am and I started installing all this at around 10.30pm.

Some initial thoughts before I hit the sack:

I'm not a fan of the new menu bar. My old (default) blue wall paper looks horrible with it -- you really need a picture as your desktop to make the most of it. Also, I don't like the new black apple logo.

I'm not a big fan of the new dock either. The stacks feature looked good in the demos but, practically, the fan shape only occurs when there are a tiny number of items in a folder and I don't like the square representation too much. It definitely looks unusable when there are lots of items.

All in all, I find the new OS less visually appealing than Tiger. It feels like a step backwards.

It also asked me if I was sure I wanted to run FireFox, telling me that I was running it for the first time. That felt very Vista-like.

I do like the Open in Dashboard feature in Safari. I've already created a dashboard widget of the latest comments on my blog and it took about, oh, two seconds to do. More importantly for Flash developers, Flash appears to run in dashboard widgets created in this way but not entirely well. The bunny widget from my site, for example, displays but (a) you cannot type any text in the input text field and (b) data calls don't appear to be working. I don't know if this is an issue that Apple will address in an update but I sure hope so. Having Flash content run correctly in dashboard widgets would be amazing!

Finally, it doesn't look like all applications retained all of their previous settings (TextMate just asked me for my blog's password again).

All in all, my first impressions of Leopard are not very favorable. It certainly did not wow me in any way. I'll report back on my experiences as I get more familiar with it in the coming days and weeks.