Musings from Mars Banner Image
For Software Addicts: Yes!MaybeNah!
Articles from    2007   June

Articles from 2007 June

June 11th, 2007

Leopard’s “Quick Look” Raises the Bar for File Previewing

Leopard's Quick Look Adds Pizzazz To File PreviewsWith Leopard's forthcoming "Quick Look" feature in the Finder, Apple is leaping ahead of the file-previewing game by providing a separate, translucent preview window of amazing flexibility and beauty. Quick Look can preview movies at full size or even full screen. It can preview text, HTML, and PDF documents and even let you navigate them. If you select multiple files, Leopard provides an "expose"-like view that lets you navigate among them. Or, if the files are images, you can quickly go into slideshow mode. There's much more... but ain't that enough for now?
    
  • del.icio.us
  • Google
  • Slashdot
  • Technorati
  • blogmarks
  • Tumblr
  • Digg
  • Facebook
  • Mixx

Full article

Posted in:Apple, Innovation, Mac OS X, |
June 6th, 2007

Crystal Clear 1.2: The Transparent Revolution Cleans Up Another Opaque Holdout

This Preview shot of Crystal Clear Dark 1.2 article introduces the latest version of Crystal Clear, which features an enhancement to the system menubar transparency that was described in an article last week. Although I didn't find time to work on the Crystal Albook icon set since the last release, Crystal Clear has a large number of enhancements in various button elements, as described below. I do hope to get some work done on Crystal Albook next time around.

  • An experimental approach to solving the problem of "extra overlay shine" on most menu extras in the system menubar (statusbar). This approach can eliminate the visual discord created as menu extras overlay their own "toolbar" over the preexisting one. In opaque toolbars, this isn't noticeable, but it's bothersome in any toolbar with alpha transparency. (This part of the update is described in the recent Mars article, "Desperately Seeking Clarity: Wiping the Dirt from My Crystal Clear Menubar."
  • Crystal Clear toolbar elements for Camino.
  • New design for menu selection highlights in Crystal Clear Dark. Similar highlights also appear now in the Finder sidebar.
  • Completion of pushbutton and popup button elements for Carbon apps (such as Photoshop). (The buttons were already complete for Cocoa apps.)
  • New Crystal designs for the bevel buttons (butted and otherwise) that are the bane of my existence when theming Mac OS X. (O! Apple... Please make these go away in Leopard!)
  • Reworking of the large metal buttons.
  • Various other tweaks and fixes, plus a few more menu extras.

Future releases will work on standardizing the appearance of various otherwise-similar button elements, reducing the height of some pushbutton elements, and completing unfinished work on the slider elements.

    
  • del.icio.us
  • Google
  • Slashdot
  • Technorati
  • blogmarks
  • Tumblr
  • Digg
  • Facebook
  • Mixx

Full article

Posted in:Crystal Clear, Theming, |
June 3rd, 2007

Desperately Seeking Clarity: Wiping the Dirt from My Crystal Clear Menubar

If you're a fan of Crystal Clear who's noticed---and been seriously bothered by---the "smudges" on the Crystal menubar behind most of your menubar apps, I think you'll be pleased by this report about the new version of Crystal Clear. Work on the menubar is hardly the only improvement in the theme, but it's probably the most significant one.

I think of the menubar smudges as "extra shine," because that's kind of what they are: They result from a double layer of the menubar graphic in the space the menu extras occupy. This smudging might not be so distracting if it were applied evenly across all of the menu extras, but of course that's not the case. As a result, from the first menu extra over to Spotlight, the "smudge" comes and goes and can be visually disturbing if you let it.

This smudging is the number one complaint about Crystal Clear, and I'm very pleased to announce that the new version will offer a nice, clean, truly crystal-clear menubar with (virtually) no dirt whatsoever! Unfortunately, you can't download it today, because I don't have all the files quite ready. But I promise to make them available very soon. :-)

    
  • del.icio.us
  • Google
  • Slashdot
  • Technorati
  • blogmarks
  • Tumblr
  • Digg
  • Facebook
  • Mixx

Full article

Posted in:Crystal Clear, Theming, |
Just Say No To Flash