Discontent with Lion’s “My Way or the Highway” Approach

| Ted Landau's User Friendly View

Hear that noise in the distance? It’s the persistent rumblings of users unhappy about Apple’s “my way or the highway” attitude with many of Mac OS X Lion’s features. And the noise is getting louder.

In several key areas, Apple has changed the OS so that, what used to be under the user’s control, is now determined by the OS itself. Making matters worse, if you don’t happen to agree with Lion’s philosophical approach, there may be no way to disable or work-around the unwanted feature. The final straw is that some of these new features are not fully baked, resulting in problems that thus can’t be avoided.

Lion on Highway

I briefly alluded to this dilemma in a prior column, where I noted that “power users” were especially concerned about Lion’s hide-and seek (such as making the home Library folder invisible): “In Lion, more than in any previous OS version, the priority is given to consumer users. The burden is now on technically-skilled users to find out how to get where they want to go.” What I am talking about now, however, goes several steps beyond merely hiding access to a technical feature.

But don’t just take my word for it. Here’s what other people are saying: 

Auto Save

My initial reaction to Lion’s Auto Save feature was positive: “Under Lion, documents are automatically saved when they close — as well as at regular intervals while you are working with them. This is good. You can say good-bye to having to type Command-S every couple of minutes. You no longer have to remember to save. The OS does it for you.”

However, after reading comments on the Web, I have become considerably more skeptical. A blog posting notes that, if you access your documents from a server, previous versions are not saved (or at least you cannot access them). But auto-saving still occurs. This means that Lion can save a version of a document that you intended to only be temporary, leaving you with no way to revert back to your prior “permanent” version. A 16-page thread in Apple Support Communities cites numerous similar glitches. For example, even for files stored on your Mac, if you crop a photo just as an experiment, the cropped version may be saved automatically. In some cases, users discovered they were unable to revert back to the original unedited version.

Initially, the Revert to Saved option takes you back to the last version where you specifically elected to save (via the Save a Version command in the File menu). That’s how I believed it always worked (which I consider to be ideal). However, postings in the prior cited thread point out that the feature is inconsistent in this regard. You may instead wind up having to select a version from the Versions display. Unfortunately, Versions makes no distinction between auto-saved vs. manually saved copies, potentially making it difficult to locate and revert to the specific copy you want.

Others complain that Auto Save takes irritatingly long when working with large documents. Still others lament the loss of the Save As… command, noting that the new Duplicate option is not as convenient to use.

The consensus is that none of this would matter much — if you could disable Auto Save. If you like how it works, leave things as is. Otherwise, get rid of it. But Lion offers no way to turn Auto Save off. This is the heart of the “my way or the highway” complaint. A posting sums it up: “The new features are intrusive, non-respectful of the users’ choices, and cannot be changed.” 

Automatic termination

Matt Neuberg, writing in TidBITS, describes Lion’s automatic termination feature. Essentially, as described by Apple, Lion can force an application to quit without any action by the user — if the app is currently not active, hasn’t been accessed recently and has no windows visible to the user. Any documents open at the time will, of course, be auto-saved on quit. When the app quits, its icon vanishes from both the switcher list that you access via Command-Tab and (if it is not a permanent icon) the Dock. 

If you are working with several applications at once, this behavior can obviously be disconcerting. Matt correctly points out that the origin of this approach is iOS. This is more-or-less how things work on iPads and iPhones. It all works reasonably well on iOS devices, as you can only have one active application at a time and an app’s icon remains in the multitasking bar even after it has been quit. This same idea is not well-suited, however, for the Mac’s multi-tasking environment.

Once again, the bottom line complaint is not that the feature exists (it has its good points as well) but that there is no way to turn the feature off. Automatic termination happens whether you like it or not. Matt concludes: “I think of my computer more like a 1960s manual-shift VW Beetle: it does what I tell it, and I can often repair it if things go wrong. Lion makes me feel I’m being chucked out of the driver’s seat.”

Recovery HD

As I have written previously, Recovery HD is one of the great new features in Lion. It allows you to repair a Lion startup drive, or even reinstall Lion, without having to locate and boot from any external media. However, when you examine it more closely, a variety of potential problems begin to emerge.

One issue has already been recognized, and at least partially resolved, by Apple. Apple’s Lion Recovery Disk Assistant allows you to install a Lion Recovery HD partition on a flash drive (or any USB drive) — without having to do a full install of Lion. You’ll want to do this. The drive setup allows you to access Recovery HD in those cases where the Recovery HD partition on your normal Lion startup drive is inaccessible (perhaps because the drive itself is corrupt).

However, even with Lion Recovery Disk Assistant, you may not have all your bases covered. Writing in a Cult of Mac article, David Martin describes how he got stuck in a failed Lion installation: “The end result was loss of my Recovery HD partition – it was stuck inside of the Mac OS X Lion Installer process. That process was an endless loop from which I couldn’t escape every time I tried to access the Recovery HD partition.” Prior to Lion, even a worst-case scenario such as Martin’s would be relatively easy to fix (assuming you were backed up): Boot from the Install DVD (or flash drive), erase the drive, reinstall the OS and restore from your backup. However, as a Lion purchase does not include any self-sufficient external install media, this is not possible. 

Perhaps a better solution would be to get one of the Mac OS X Lion USB sticks, due out any day now. However, as pointed out in another Martin Cult of Mac article, the USB sticks will not work with Macs that ship with Lion (the new MacBook Airs and Mac mini). Users of these Macs are having an especially hard time as their version of Lion is newer than the one available from the Mac App Store. The Mac App Store version will similarly not install on these Macs. This has led to various failures when attempting to restore Lion to these new Macs. Further problems appeared to result from failed network connections, critical as the Lion Recovery HD requires a network connection to download the Mac OS X software.

Mr. Martin concludes: “Users, including myself, would prefer to be able to restore their computers themselves with or without an internet connection or when ever they damn well feel like it.” Once again, the main complaint is that Apple is not giving users this choice. No one wants to see Apple abandon Recovery HD altogether.

Bottom Line

As I said, I’ve covered the overarching story here in prior columns. With Lion, Apple is pushing the Mac in a new direction, one that I have called iOS-ification. Some, mostly new and less-skilled Mac users (perhaps especially ones weaned on the iPad), may be content with Apple’s approach regarding Lion. The attitudes of the rest typically range from reluctant acceptance to minor irritation to utter frustration.

In Apple’s defense, all versions of Mac OS X have had limitations. It’s not fair to expect to be able to turn off or modify every aspect of Lion. You couldn’t do that in Snow Leopard either. Take the Dock for example. Some users don’t like it, substituting a third-party launcher instead. Yet there is no simple way to turn the Dock off. On the other hand, Apple offers considerable flexibility for customizing the Dock. You can move the Dock to the left, bottom or right side of the screen. You can turn magnification on or off. New in Lion, you can even turn off the Dock’s indicator lights for open applications. With utilities such as Cocktail, you can further customize the Dock, such as to enable transparent icons for hidden applications. I don’t see Apple supporting this level of flexibility for the new features in Lion (although check out Lion Tweeks for examples of some things you can do in Lion). It also appears that third-party developers will have a harder time working around Lion’s restrictions.

Apple has a reputation for sticking to its guns in such matters. If asked about these complaints, they might reply: “No matter what we do, there will always be some complaints. We did what we thought was right for the majority of our users. We still think this is the case.” Perhaps they are right. And perhaps, over time, the grumbling noises will begin to fade. However, I expect that Apple will be doing some backpedaling this time — either by modifying these features to address user concerns or allowing users to disable the features. Expect to start seeing this happen whenever Apple gets around to releasing Mac OS X 10.7.1.

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It?s not fair to expect to be able to turn off or modify every aspect of Lion.

LoL! I disagree Ted, I think it’s more than fair to expect that.


Lion is no different then Snow Leopard or previous OSX versions. You can get to the library if you want to by holding down the option key and pressing on the go menu in the finder. There you will see the library folder and can get access to it. Most features in lion can be turned off or set the way you want it. Smart scrolling can be reversed to the old method in the trackpad or mouse control panel. As far as I can tell there isn’t anything that can’t be changed to a users liking. You can always manually save files the old fashioned way as well.
The story is miss leading like everything is set in stone and nothing in the OS can be changed. THIS IS FALSE!! Things are different but they are not locking a user out of doing it the way the user wants. You need to be informed of how to do things. Reading negative blogs about Apple typically is because those are the people that refuse to get informed about how to learn something new or different. So they’ll just whine about it instead of learn how to do it a different way.


“If asked about these complaints, they might reply: ?No matter what we do, there will always be some complaints. We did what we thought was right for the majority of our users. We still think this is the case.? Perhaps they are right?????
Your conclusion is complete conjecture I might humbly submit. They, Apple, never said these things your are putting in their mouths, Steve’s mouth…
I am still on SL and will come to Lion when the .1 comes forth, I am a second month subscriber. But look forward to the ease of use I see in the new OS. I want a invisible OS that does a lot of my work for me. I may be the typical Mac user that doesn’t want to lift the hood and think I know where the coil is or how to diagnose it or fix/replace it, car analogy. From all I have read about Lion it looks like your first impressions may be your best?


Good article about some of the many reasons I’m not rushing into Lion.

I had a system that terminated programs whenever it felt like it. It was called Windows and it pi$$ed me off to no end.
Auto-save without it being user settable is nuts. I use too many documents as templates to want to mess with that.
The Recovery HD partition sounds good. I’ve worked with a number of systems that use this very effectively. But it sounds like they didn’t implement it well.

You’re right. 10.7.1, 10.7.2 will be much better. I’m glad I didn’t rush into upgrading like I usually do.

Ted Landau

Lion is no different then Snow Leopard or previous OSX versions.

Yes. I am well aware that you can get to the Library folder if you want…and have covered the details in prior columns. I would not agree however that “there isn?t anything that can?t be changed to a users liking.” Manually saving files, for example, does not prevent many of the problems with auto save.

Lee Dronick

I am not liking the way that the dictionary works when right/command-click works on a highlighted word. Too limited, to clunky to use when you need to find an alternative word.


What, no mention that Mission Control screws up spaces and expose to the point it’s almost useless?

It works a little better if you have trackpad, but either way it’s still a far cry from the ease of use of Leopard’s Spaces/Expose.


Well, Spaces was already broken in 10.6; the fact that apps windows don’t remain pinned to the space you set them to, even when you set the preferences for that behavior, is the biggest flaw with Spaces.  I’d rather have real Unix virtual desktops than the rehashed, watered down version OSX provides.

But the auto-save thing in Lion is truly disconcerting.  Listen-up Apple: I will NOT BUY A NEW MAC OR UPGRADE MY CURRENT OS UNTIL YOU PROVIDE A WAY TO TURN OFF AUTO-SAVE.


But the auto-save thing in Lion is truly disconcerting.  Listen-up Apple: I will NOT BUY A NEW MAC OR UPGRADE MY CURRENT OS UNTIL YOU PROVIDE A WAY TO TURN OFF AUTO-SAVE.

Which highlights the problem. Apple knows they have us over a barrel. What’s the alternative? Windows? Tried it. Sorry I’ve spent 20 years in a Mercedes, I really won’t voluntarily go to a Dihatsu and be happy about it. Ubuntu? It works well and is very stable but it’s kludgy. I use it on several of our servers and while it works and we can get OpenOffice for it, it’s just doesn’t have as good a fit and finish. It’s not as simple to use.

So while it’s fine to say that, you, I, and Apple know that a few years down the road when we HAVE to upgrade, chances are we’ll get another Mac, with Lion or whatever OS they are running then.


what if Apple is actively looking at moving all their line to the ARM CPU at some point. Makes perfect sense to have a feature that closes down an app when it is inactive.
I haven’t upgraded yet and this article is making me think seriously not to.


@Geoduck: Install Snow Leopard.


@Geoduck: Install Snow Leopard.

Not sure what you’re getting at. I bought SL for all my systems within the first week it was out. Like I said above I NORMALLY am an early adopter when it comes to Mac OS. The last time I waited was when OS 10.0 came out. I waited for 10.2 before moving off of OS9


Actually there is a an easy procedure for creating a Lion boot drive or boot DVD, from which you can erase a drive and then install Lion or restore from a Time Machine backup.
(Using this boot drive/disc is similar to booting into Lion’s recovery partition, but it contains the FULL installer along with the recovery partition’s Disk Utility, Time Machine Restore, and Safari.)

In order to create a boot drive or DVD, you need to get to the Lion disc image, which is within the installer application—AFTER Lion has been downloaded from the Mac App Store but BEFORE Lion is installed:

Bootable external drive:
Bootable DVD:


Thanks for the heads up on some of these other known bugs and work-arounds. The option-click on the “Go” menu tip is good, for easy access to the user Library folder.
Of course once you have a “Library” window open in the Finder, you can drag that “Library” icon from the title bar over to your Favorites sidebar, so you have an always-there shortcut for easy access.

Auto-save will be great once more apps support it (*ahem* Adobe, Microsoft), and they iron the bugs out. Agreed that Apple will probably backtrack on at least one or two things. Doesn’t happen often, but it can happen…for example restoring the iOS screen-rotation-lock option, using the side button on an iPad. I suspect with 10.7.1 or 10.7.2 there will at least be an option to keep inactive apps open indefinitely. I’m open to changes but FORCING inactive apps to quit, for all users, on the regular Mac OS, is a mistake.


I’m not so sure about Apple “back-peddling”.  iCloud comes out this fall and I have a feeling that all the auto-saving, versions, etc. features in Lion are to help keep everything in sync for this brave new world of iCloud.

I find nothing wrong personally with the “iOS-ification” of MacOSX to the extent it can work well.  For the most part, I’m happy with Lion’s changes.  Most of them are for the better I think.  And the ones that need some tweaking (Launchpad) will no doubt see improvements as we move forward.  So it has always gone.



I’m with b0wz3r on this: No Lion, no Mac buy. I was preparing to buy a new Mac in the next 2-6 months, but I will now wait until issues like this are resolved to accommodate power-user preferences. And I’ll persuade my sweetie, who wants a laptop, from same.


While not an option like my way or the highway, there are numerous complaints about WiFi and even ethernet losing internet when waking up from Sleep mode.

I also love how by default Apple let me know that I had been scrolling the wrong way my whole life.  First thing I had to do was uncheck Natural scrolling to get it back to a more natural manner.  So at least that one wasn’t forced on us.  They should call it what it is iOS scrolling.

Lee Dronick

I?m with b0wz3r on this: No Lion, no Mac buy. I was preparing to buy a new Mac in the next 2-6 months, but I will now wait until issues like this are resolved to accommodate power-user preferences. And I?ll persuade my sweetie, who wants a laptop, from same.

I installed Lion on my MacBook Pro and for the most part I am happy with it, though it has some quirks and a little bit of a learning curve. My wife starts classes next week and I don’t want to be training her on a new OS while the bugs are still being worked out. I on the other hand can afford to be an explorer and indeed relish it.

Another thing I am not too happy with yet, until I learn to control it, is the reopen windows from last session. if i want to work on a big PhotoShop file or something that takes up RAM, I will restart in order to have clean deck. I am getting the hang of that, but I wish that is was System setting and not a checkbox on the restart window.

As to new Macs. On Saturday I washed, waxed and detailed my wife’s car. The Apple logo sticker on the rear window was faded so I scrapped it off. I told her we need to buy a new iMac so that we can get a new Apple logo sticker. She didn’t fall for it and told me there is a half a dozen of them in my desk drawer


But the auto-save thing in Lion is truly disconcerting.? Listen-up Apple: I will NOT BUY A NEW MAC OR UPGRADE MY CURRENT OS UNTIL YOU PROVIDE A WAY TO TURN OFF AUTO-SAVE.

I for one like the new auto save feature and the versions.  I did a ‘Save Version’ a few times and it was good.  But, I found that I had to go back to a slightly different time in the documents history to make it work.  It is new and different, but very useful for a power user in my opinion.

This is about the first time that I have upgraded without waiting for the .2 version.  I am glad that I did.


Apple?s ?My way or the highway?? is less relevant than your inferred question. 

?In Lion, more than in any previous OS version, the priority is given to consumer users. The burden is now on technically-skilled users to find out how to get where they want to go.?

It is the way of,  ?Current consumer generation?s way or the highway.?    Think back to video tape ( for those of us who are old enough ) to the Beta vs VHS debate, when the technically savvy where shot down to the ease and cost of VHS.  The debate became moot with the advent DVDs.  A new different way.  Technology is always moving on.

It will be changes to Apple?s status as one of the most valuable companies in the world that will actually drive which “way to the highway? is best.

We are all aging, along with computers and their associated OS?s.  I look at my son as he touches the new flatscreen and doesn?t understand why he can?t control it.  He has been born to the manner, iPad, this is now his custom .  The real question will be for the ?Gen Y or Millennials? when the ?Pre/Gen X-ers? program the QWERTY keyboards away within the next five to ten years. Think of the outrage against ?iOS XX?!


Why is there a Lion in Malibu?

Shouldn’t he be in Cupertino?


The biggest “My Way Or the Highway” problem I have (other than Mission Control, which I can see why people like, but I hate) is Apple’s new in-house implementation of SMB (Windows file sharing). In Lion, Apple basically decided that mac users don’t need to use their computers at work, or with other human beings. Printers and file shares that have shown up on my machine for a DECADE magically disappeared when I upgraded to Lion. Why? Because Lion’s version of SMB only supports the VERY LATEST VERSION (Vista and Win7 machines ONLY).

Normally, this would not be a problem, and sounds fine on the surface, because who uses WinXP anymore anyway? But the UNIX/Linux implementation of SMB (which every printer on the market and most corporate file servers use, because who runs a Windows server?) does not yet support this super new version. Meaning even completely up-to-date UNIX-based machines cannot be seen by Lion.

I understand dropping support for old useless technologies, which is Apple’s specialty (floppy disk blah blah), but dropping support for CURRENT networking technology (and I’m talking about 95%+ of all computer networking in the world) that was supported perfectly from 10.1-10.6 makes ABSOLUTELY NO SENSE.

I used to tease my co-workers because OS X did such a good job of the “It just works” mentality when it came to connecting to file shares and printers (it did Windows sharing better than Windows). But now they completely dropped support for it, and didn’t offer up an alternative, which is unacceptable.


I hope you guys are reporting this stuff to Apple. I for one love Lion, but Apple’s our way or the highway approach is sometimes maddening. There has been some causality products Apple lost me on doing that.

I am still trying to get over the whole Safari 4 Beta spectacular where Jobs went on stage and said Safari 4 Beta is out and touted some new great features like tabs on top. We die hard beta testers tested the browser. About half the people polled said they loved the tabs on top. Half said they hated it. So, instead of Apple offering users the ability to use tabs either way, Apple told half of its Safari users to f -off by disabling the feature all together. Worst Apple did it in a very crappy way. In the beta, Apple left a hidden way to revert back to tabs on bottom allowing people to choose what they wanted. In the final release, Apple killed even the hidden feature.

Now every browser but Safari copied Google to put the tabs on top. Apple will not even give users the option after teasing us.

Bob moody

Even worse is the absence of Rosetta.  My entire business runs on AppleWorks DATABASES which go back to system 7 and some which were ported from the Apple //e.  I bought Filemaker but would lose months of productivity AND INCOME if I were to recreate the 200 layouts and reports.  PLUS FILEMAKER WILL NOT DO THINGS THAT THE AW DATABASE DOES AND THAT I NEED. It’s as if Steve Jobs is reaching in my pocket and stealing my money, as time IS money.


All this talk about Lion and all it’s goodness is one thing, but the companion discussion is really all about iCloud…. Well, the ONE thing that seems to get lost in between here is that unless YOU, as a Mac user, either have a machine that can be upgraded to Lion OR have a couple of grand to buy a new Mac, to use the big feature here, iCloud, you’re screwed.

Just look at the steps that have just been released to developers… One of the steps highlighted publicly is to ‘ensure all your Macs are running Lion’ is a HUGE red flag for us Mac users that can’t upgrade for various reasons that will be left behind completely. WHY???

Is this typical Apple? Being reasonably new to this contest, it sure would be nice to know early so I can look for an alternative !!


I’ve installed Lion on one of my machines, and I’m holding off installing it on other machines for a while.  Its a long time since I had a kernel panic, but they’re back with Lion; I’ve had 2 today.
The confusion between “myname@me.com” and MobileMe is even worse than before. Hopefully iCloud will sort this mess out for good. Somethings are just confusing. Are they features or are they bugs - I can no longer share the scanner attached to my Lion machine with other (SL) machines on my local network (for example). I’ve had to disconnect my NAS drive; the spinning ball just took over ...  I could go on; I guess we can all come up with examples of how it no longer just works. On the other hand iMovie in full screen is good.


. I?ve had to disconnect my NAS drive; the spinning ball just took over

Fortunately I’d heard about the NAS issue before I tried Lion. I read that it’s like the thing with the SMB issue mentioned above by computerbandgeek. Apple used a later NAS driver and most NAS systems aren’t compatible with it. I’ll need to wait at least until WD who made my NAS comes out with a firmware patch.


The reason I’m so upset is because there IS NO SOFTWARE that Seagate could use to put out a patch. Your NAS is running some light version of Linux, and there is no Linux version of the new SMB protocol. The only way that Seagate could patch your NAS to work with lion would be to install AppleTalk, which isn’t really a “solution” as much as a workaround.

Bob moody

The workaround to icloud is dropbox.  I plan on switching to google calendar with the workaround for syncing with iCal. Staying with Snow Leopard indefinitely.  Hoping for a way to run Snow Leopard under Parallels and then might do Lion when it gets to .4


Yet there is no simple way to turn the Dock off.


launchctl unload /System/Library/LaunchAgents/com.apple.Dock.plist has worked wonders for me.  Seems pretty simple.


I think too many people are living in the past. The concept of a file system is really a very technical holdover that most people should never have to deal with (like domain names, IP addresses, etc., but don’t get me started on that).

There are better ways to deal with things like file systems and Lion is a big step in the right direction. Quit whining and adjust to the future. You’ll be happier in the end.


The workaround to icloud is dropbox.

I’ve had trouble with Dropbox too.

Ted Landau

A postscript thought regarding my Bottom Line comments:

One difference between the Dock and something like Automatic Termination is that you can choose to ignore the Dock. Even if you don’t (or can’t) disable the Dock altogether, it is simple enough to launch applications in other ways. In contrast, there is no way to “ignore” Automatic Termination or Auto Save.


on a linguistics side-track - a good crop of eggcorns in this article and thread with both “over-arcing” and the truly wonderful “back-peddled”

What ?...you haven’t heard of them ? try en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eggcorn


Ted Landau

Fixed “over-arcing.” I knew it looked wrong. Thanks Russell.


This has nothing to do with living in the past.

Lion’s auto-save & versions have stopped us, along with numerous suppliers & customers of ours from upgrading. And we want to upgrade. We want to buy new machines. We’re stuck, treading water & cannot figure out how to work around these features.

The lone but massive issue we have with auto-save/versions is that it violates every Non Disclosure Agreement we have in place with every customer.

Every NDA we have prohibits copies - electronic or physical - other than the original chip design document & contract. Because of this, we never email specifications, they go via FTP to a secure server folder. We can’t even open a spec in Lion for fear that we’ll end up with RTF copies stuck to some text application. Or buried in some invisible folder.

We’ve seen where Apple granted user selection for other functions - the iPad physical volume switch comes to mind. We’ve asked Apple to please consider implementing a simple ON/OFF selection switch here. It would be of great assistance. It would not prohibit you from using auto-save or versions.

Lion has a lot of good features, and I do not begrudge you using any of them. But for you to claim that people are living in the past is not helpful and shows a lack of understand of the challenges and hurdles set before us by this new OS.


‘living in the past’ sounds about right for a perspective coming over from a farcebook user cruising here and finding things he can’t understand and no third-grader would either… Files systems and your issue about pass-though features from SI or VAR to the end-user… Clearly outta their leagues…
If we, that provide solutions to the user, and a manufacturer who provides functionality to first level purchasing points, can’t work together to get issues like this banged flat, then we all suffer. If features are screwy and functionality is gone or users are left in a lurch thru no direct action of their own, then the manufacturer needs to step up and get it fixed… OR, lose customers..wholesale….


I like to compare computers to cars. Back in the early days cars could be worked on by ‘mere mortals’. Anyone could, in theory, hot rod their car, adjust the carb, change their own brake pads, and such. Over time cars matured and now, though there is a vocal minority that complain, most people are happy with a car that runs, they put gas in, and if something goes bad a light comes on and they take it to an expert to fix.

Computers have turned that corner now too. More and more the back room tinker or won’t be able to see the file system, won’t have to run Onyx once a month, won’t be able to swap a drive, or add memory. The iPad is the computer of the future. iOS is the system of the future. Locked down, no user accessible features, it is and will remain exactly the way it came from the factory +- apps we add like boxes in the trunk.

Lion is a big step in that direction.



I haven’t fully formed an opinion on this yet so apologies in advance when I start contradicting myself wink. Your point that computers are going the way of motor vehicles is fairly compelling. However one big flaw I see in your perspective is your stance towards upgrading machines.

From a hardware standpoint: every ~2 years the price/performance ratio of processors, memory, and storage basically doubles. In an automobile, that is not the case. The car I buy now might have a 10% increase in efficiency and a few new minor bells and whistles 10 years from now. Meaning the automobile industry isn’t as rapidly evolving as the automobile industry at this time. As a result, people like to stay current without wasting money and producing tons of ewaste by upgrading their current machines frequently, whereas they are happy with their car until it’s old enough to have failing parts.

I think until computer hardware/software stops getting exponentially better every 2 years, there will be a LOT more computer tinkerers than automobile tinkerers.

I hope I’m making sense wink

Lee Dronick

In an automobile, that is not the case. The car I buy now might have a 10% increase in efficiency and a few new minor bells and whistles 10 years from now. Meaning the automobile industry isn?t as rapidly evolving

Remember a while back someone said that Apple and Steve Jobs should design autos?



I’m having a hard time understanding this statement.

The lone but massive issue we have with auto-save/versions is that it violates every Non Disclosure Agreement we have in place with every customer.

I’ve worked with a number of NDAs and with FTP servers.  When we put NDA type of materials on an FTP server is was non-editable.  (Usually a PDF.)  It doesn’t seem like this changes things much.  The person/Organization had Read Only access.  Yes, there were ways then and now for somebody to hack/steal the info.  But, that is why you have an NDA.  Yes, if you put a pages document or word document out there it is easier to make an electronic copy… but always possible.  Probably a good time to ask Apple… but it seems unlikely to me that it would be putting copies of a read only document somewhere.


I may have confused the issue. We use a dedicated FTP site to deliver the spec to our customer for their review (and for milestone billing), not for editing. The spec is edited locally. We FTP because email is not secure and it creates a copy, and this is strictly prohibited under terms of the development contract.

The local-side editing is what creates the problem. Text Edit creates a copy, as does Pages and Numbers in Lion. There could be many multiple versions of each spec as we change and amend them.

The copies and versions created in Lion force violations of our NDAs. I hope this scenario is clearer, I apologize for any confusion.


@Geo: I’ll just keep using my 4 y.o. Santa Rosa MBP.  I’ll get myself a new iPhone when the 5 comes out to upgrade from my current 3GS, but I’ll happily keep using 10.6 on my Santa Rosa.  Again, no fix for this problem, no buy of a new Apple computer.

@rjack: I’m not whining.  I am an academic and rely on the ability to save multiple, sometimes subtly different versions of the same file, such as working collaboratively on research manuscripts with colleagues and journal editors.  So before you accuse me of whining, why don’t you pull your head out and stop making judgments about people’s usage needs that you have no F’ing idea about.

@Sir Harry: I can’t afford to have to deal with being forced to do things Apple’s way.  I have a highly efficient work-flow and I’m not about to mess it up by having to deal with a flawed OS.  Teaching four classes a semester, keeping up with publication issues for me to earn tenure, and so on, mean that every moment I have is precious.  As great as Apple products are, I have absolutely no tolerance for anything from them that is going to throw a grenade into my work environment.

@matt_s: well said.  Thank you very much for your clarity is summarizing the issue.


@matt_s I probably won’t pursue your issue.  Your NDAs are obviously different than anything I worked with when I was in the corporate world.

@b0wz3r I guess I don’t understand your problem at all.  The ‘Duplicate’ command does almost the same thing as ‘save as’.  You can still duplicate in the finder.  These are the only two ways that I ever split apart documents for similar but slightly different uses. Maybe they should have changed the name.  I kept subtly different documents when I was in academia and the corporate world.  Actually, I think the versions idea could be extended to make it more efficient for these subtly different documents.  I don’t think it does it today, but I can see where it could evolve into that.

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