24 votes

Linus Torvalds is using an Apple Silicon Macbook running Asahi Linux

47 comments

  1. [45]
    0d_billie
    Link
    I'm very excited by the prospect of Asahi Linux. I have an M1 macbook air, and it turns out I really dislike MacOS, even though the hardware is excellent. I won't be installing it particularly...

    I'm very excited by the prospect of Asahi Linux. I have an M1 macbook air, and it turns out I really dislike MacOS, even though the hardware is excellent.

    I won't be installing it particularly soon, given the lengthy list of what's not yet working, especially the lack of a sleep mode. Still, I'm keeping an eye on the development progress, and will look forward to having a much less opinionated operating system on my (delightful) Apple hardware some time in the future!

    9 votes
    1. [39]
      Pistos
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      I'm curious: I use both Mac and Linux, and, while I still think my Linux setup is a better day-to-day experience, I don't think Mac's UX is all that bad. It's better than Windows, anyway. Could...

      I'm curious: I use both Mac and Linux, and, while I still think my Linux setup is a better day-to-day experience, I don't think Mac's UX is all that bad. It's better than Windows, anyway. Could you give a summary of what you dislike about the Mac experience?

      6 votes
      1. [8]
        0d_billie
        Link Parent
        Unsubstantiated opinion dump inbound: I have softened on MacOS a lot since I first got it, but I still feel like it fights me. Just little things like closing a window not closing the application...

        Unsubstantiated opinion dump inbound:

        I have softened on MacOS a lot since I first got it, but I still feel like it fights me. Just little things like closing a window not closing the application (particularly irritating because Firefox then doesn't remember my open tabs). Or not being able to tile/snap windows easily. Or using "maximise" and finding that my workspaces are now in a different order. Or Finder deciding for you that not snapping to a grid and just having files/folders akimbo makes life so much better. Or not being able to close windows from mission control. Or 3rd party apps not always being allowed to run because they're not security signed. Or the fact that notifications are even a thing. Or how system data has somehow ballooned to using over 80GB of storage, and I have no clue where that's coming from. Or that hitting enter on a file in Finder doesn't open it, but starts renaming it. I could go on.

        There are third party apps that will solve a lot of these niggles and that's great! I'm really pleased there is a thriving ecosystem for developers. But all those little £5 a month subscriptions, £30 a year unlocks, etc... They add up. I'm a student, and I don't have money to spend right now. And if I did, I would rather support the work of developers who are producing open source software than those who are creating extensions for an operating system that should (IMO) have at least some of these features out of the box.

        And above all, I'm coming at this from having spent 10 years using Linux as my daily driver, particularly Arch with an array of different tiling WMs. I'm with @vegai on this one: tiling is by far my favourite way to compute. I don't care that I can't rice my MacOS desktop, I'm not into that. But I do want to use a computer in a way that makes me feel the most efficient, and MacOS simply doesn't make me feel efficient. Individually all of those above niggles are just that. But they multiply and combine in a way that makes me irritated to use my laptop, and I don't want to be irritated by the tools I use.

        11 votes
        1. [6]
          stu2b50
          Link Parent
          This is mainly a reflection of MacOS's, fairly unique at this point, divergent heritage from Windows and Linux. Windows is windows, and Gnome and KDE made the decision to model themselves after...

          This is mainly a reflection of MacOS's, fairly unique at this point, divergent heritage from Windows and Linux. Windows is windows, and Gnome and KDE made the decision to model themselves after Windows since it was by far the most dominant desktop OS at that time. That being said, smarter window snapping came late to windows - certainly tiling DEs like i3 came first.

          Modern MacOS, however, has a completely separate lineage. It's basically NeXTSTEP with a bunch of iconic features and behaviors from macOS 9 and prior backported to it.

          The window/application dichotomy came from NeXT. It's probably a tad confusing in the modern era, but it makes sense from a theoretical sense - that the GUI should be an extension of the "application", and that the GUI can be closed independently of the application itself. This is useful for, say, an email client - you may not want the window open, but you still want the application open so that you may know if new mail is posted. Or a music player - you only need the GUI when you're controlling it. That being said, now that ram and processing is cheap it's likely too much faffing about to be worth it for new users.

          The windowing is from macOS <9. For too much background reading, this essay from John Siracusa on the "spatial finder". But essentially, a big feature of macOS <9 was its skeuomorphic approach to windowing - just like in reality, things stay where you put them. Your IRL desk may be a mess, but it's your mess, and because everything stays where it is, the parts of your brain that manage spatial relationships - and do that quite well - will subconsciously allow you to know exactly what window is where and doing what.

          MacOSX attempted to adopt this... to varying degrees of success. But that is the main philosophy for macOS windowing from Apple to this day, and how yee olde macOS power users do it - lots of windows, everywhere, definitely not tiled, and god forbid you full screen everything. That being said, all the linux users did make a bunch of utilities for this from rectangle to things like yabai and amethyst which attempt to add full i3 like tiling.

          Although quite long, I do think the Siracusa essay is worth reading if nothing else for a way of computing that is probably entirely alien to long time windows/linux users.


          This isn't a post trying to say that you're wrong - an opinion can't be wrong - but it is an interesting piece of computing history.

          12 votes
          1. [4]
            sharpstick
            Link Parent
            As a life-long MacOS user since System 6 I would absolutely pull my hair out if MacOS didn't leave windows where I put them or kept trying to snap them to someplace on the screen. I regularly have...

            As a life-long MacOS user since System 6 I would absolutely pull my hair out if MacOS didn't leave windows where I put them or kept trying to snap them to someplace on the screen. I regularly have windows only partially visible on the screen because I don't need them at that exact second but I also don't want to resize the window or minimize it.

            I use column view to navigate through my files so I don't worry about my file icons being aligned to a grid but I know many people who use the icons on their desktop to organize their files spatially. MacOS's file stacks on the desktop is a kind of nod to this way of working, which I love.

            Also, having applications running even when there are not windows for that application open is an essential part of my workflow as I bounce around between large applications like Photoshop or After Effects having to wait for each one of them to re-launch every time would drive me crazy. Blender works this way and it is such a waste of time to wait for it to launch over and over when I open a new file.

            MacOS could certainly do better with how it handles multiple desktop. I love this feature but it really gets confused when you have multiple desktops on multiple screens and then remove one or more of those screens when you undock your MacBook from its station. The Adobe suite also has a really difficult time with this as well. It's always a guess where my windows and pallets will appear.

            7 votes
            1. [3]
              balooga
              Link Parent
              This is my number one request for Apple. I couldn't care less about most new feature development in macOS, but considering how many MacBook Pros they sell I'd expect them to devote more attention...

              MacOS could certainly do better with how it handles multiple desktop. I love this feature but it really gets confused when you have multiple desktops on multiple screens and then remove one or more of those screens when you undock your MacBook from its station.

              This is my number one request for Apple. I couldn't care less about most new feature development in macOS, but considering how many MacBook Pros they sell I'd expect them to devote more attention to the multi-display dock/undock experience. I have a lot of stuff open, and a place for everything. It is exhausting to rearrange everything EVERY time. I want my Mac to remember where I put stuff, in a way that persists across multiple display configurations. Meaning, it should recognize when I'm docked and put everything in the same place it was last time I docked; likewise when I undock everything should return to their previous single-screen placements.

              That includes virtual desktops (aka "Spaces") which have a tendency to reorder themselves or jump to the wrong display on dock/undock. I know it's not a particularly sexy feature to ask for, but please Apple just make these things stay put!

              I really liked how Spaces worked under Leopard and Snow Leopard, though I was only a single-display user at the time so it may have been broken then as well. Regardless, it's seemed a little janky since it was absorbed into Mission Control and then basically left untouched for many years. Which honestly is a gripe I have with Apple software in general, they'll release some feature to great fanfare at WWDC or whatever, and then ignore it and reassign the team that built it to other projects, and bug reports and support tickets fall into a void. God help you if you're having trouble with your Photos or Music libraries. I adore the current hardware lineup (13" M2 MBP notwithstanding) but I haven't really been thrilled about Apple software in many, many years. Ever? Hmm. iTunes was decent back when it was still mostly SoundJam MP under the hood. Um, that's all I got.

              2 votes
              1. [2]
                Weldawadyathink
                Link Parent
                About the spaces moving themselves, there may be a way to fix that. In settings > mission control, there is a setting to automatically move spaces based on recent use. I don’t know if this changes...

                About the spaces moving themselves, there may be a way to fix that. In settings > mission control, there is a setting to automatically move spaces based on recent use. I don’t know if this changes the dock/undock behavior, but it might be worth a try.

                2 votes
                1. balooga
                  Link Parent
                  I appreciate the tip, I've tried that. I've tried EVERYTHING haha. It's just an Apple design failure.

                  I appreciate the tip, I've tried that. I've tried EVERYTHING haha. It's just an Apple design failure.

                  2 votes
          2. soks_n_sandals
            Link Parent
            This is a very fascinating historical context. I find it strange that Apple has a "chaotic" desktop environment without gridding or robust windows snapping for MacOS, but iOS/iPadOS are the...

            This is a very fascinating historical context. I find it strange that Apple has a "chaotic" desktop environment without gridding or robust windows snapping for MacOS, but iOS/iPadOS are the opposite design language. Both are locked down with no real customization for where icons go. Everything backfills a grid. Whereas Android is much more MacOS-like in its flexibility for icon placement. Still gridded, but no backfill.

            Hence, I think iOS has always had it wrong. The user should be able to place icons wherever they want to suit their hands and usage. While I don't personally love the MacOS computing paradigm, I at least understand its intentions. Steering away from a "spatial" system on iOS makes me wonder if there's an underlying acknowledgement that it was time to depart from that line of thinking. But if so, why? Why do it with iOS? It makes more sense on a phone where you're touching the screen and file paths are truly hidden. Why abandon the thing that people love about MacOS?

            2 votes
        2. Pistos
          Link Parent
          I would agree with both of you about window management and desktop management. I've got easy keyboard access for both in my Linux setup. It's also a lot more configurable and tweakable in Linux.

          I would agree with both of you about window management and desktop management. I've got easy keyboard access for both in my Linux setup. It's also a lot more configurable and tweakable in Linux.

          3 votes
      2. [20]
        whbboyd
        Link Parent
        Oh boy. In no particular order, and certainly not complete (macos figures out new ways to piss me off daily): All sorts of exceptionally slow UI animations, many of which are blocking while in...

        Oh boy. In no particular order, and certainly not complete (macos figures out new ways to piss me off daily):

        • All sorts of exceptionally slow UI animations, many of which are blocking while in progress.
        • Workspaces are a PITA to use. They go hilariously (no, wait, actually it's just incredibly frustrating) haywire when you dynamically add or remove screens.
        • Actually, all window management is just awful. Windows bumping instead of snapping is hard to make use of, and the radius is so narrow it's basically useless. I frequently find it turning resizes into drags. Whatever it is maximizing a window does, I hate it. (This has gotten much, much worse since the 2000s, when it was merely underfeatured.)
        • Boatloads of interface elements that change location/meaning contextually (window decorations hiding on maximize or tile being a standout example).
        • Poor keyboard shortcut design. A random example: meta+q is slightly destructive (quit current application) and infrequently used. Meta+ctrl+q is completely safe (lock screen) and extremely frequently used. Meta+shift+q is extremely destructive (log out) and almost never used. Why are these wildly-divergent behaviors next to each other in shortcut space? Why isn't there a keyboard shortcut for "sleep" if your keyboard doesn't have a key that produces XF86Sleep? Why are the keyboard shortcuts that do exist so goddamn hard to discover? Why is Apple so in love with the fucking mouse?
        • Text rendering is atrociously bad on non-hi-dpi displays.
        • Drag-and-drop may be the worst interface mechanism ever invented, and macos is absolutely in love with it. Its general awfulness is massively compounded if you try to do it with a touchpad.
        • Finder is awful. Why is there no way to go up a level in the directory hierarchy? The keyboard shortcuts are deeply non-intuitive.
        • Apple's own keyboards don't have home or end keys. So, of course, they programmed these keys to do bizarre, nonstandard things if you hook up a keyboard that does have them.
        • The desire to tie everything to their cloud services is extremely frustrating if you don't want to dive headfirst into Apple's ecosystem. A bunch of default apps are between badly crippled and completely useless if you don't hook them up to icloud.
        • Reversed scrolling is stupid. Applying it to external mice crosses the line into hilariously incompetent. At least this one is easy to turn off.
        • I really like X's middle-click paste. There's no good way to get this (or even a facsimile) in macos. I really like focus-follows-mouse. There are at best terrible hacks to implement this in macos (it can't work well because of the top-of-screen menu bar). This is possible to get cleanly and effectively in Windows, of all things.

        I happen to truly despise Apple's hardware, too.

        • Sharp edges on a laptop palm rest is a cardinal sin.
        • They make fuck-awful keyboards and have for more than a decade now. I will never, ever forgive Apple for popularizing island-style keycaps.
        • I hate touchpads. Full stop. I hate the absence of explicit mouse buttons (do you have any idea how hard it is to click without causing slight movements on a touchpad). I hate the non-tactile click they introduced c. 2015 or so (the illusion of tactility they make with vibration goes wildly haywire for me).
        • The new MPB has grown the iPhone's stupid cutout in the middle of the top of the screen to make room for the camera. There's still logical screen there, so it's a black void into which things literally can and do get lost. I would massively prefer they just reserve enough bezel to not need to do things like that.
        • Apple think they're too good for standard connectors. Spoiler alert: they're not, it just makes me hate them even more.
        8 votes
        1. [2]
          DrStone
          Link Parent
          It's interesting to hear your experience, as I (almost) completely have the opposite opinion of the hardware. I don't use any external keyboard or mouse on a MBP - neither for professional...

          It's interesting to hear your experience, as I (almost) completely have the opposite opinion of the hardware. I don't use any external keyboard or mouse on a MBP - neither for professional software dev nor casual usage - because I love the built-in keyboard and trackpad. No issues with drag&drop or clicking with the touchpad, clicking and double clicking is accurate, the force-feedback click (and second click) is nice, and it keeps my hand close to the keyboard. Aside from the dark times of butterfly keys, the MB "island-style" keys feel great to me both in layout and physical movement. The sharp edge on the palm rest is the point I fully agree on; sitting a bit higher to take pressure off does mostly mitigate the issue for me.

          5 votes
          1. whbboyd
            Link Parent
            Yeah, most of these are definitely at least partly subjective. The fake tactile feedback in particular definitely is; I have friends who broadly share my opinions on Apple but like that feature....

            Yeah, most of these are definitely at least partly subjective. The fake tactile feedback in particular definitely is; I have friends who broadly share my opinions on Apple but like that feature. But to hold, while the vibration convincingly feels like a click, something about the lack of actual motion screws with my motor feedback, and I find myself unsure how much pressure I need to hold to keep the touchpad "pressed", and so I jam my finger into it and it still feels uncertain and awful.

            Drag-and-drop is an issue because it's an extended UI interaction which must be performed as a single action with the HID, and it's easy to trigger accidentally (any click while the cursor is moving is technically a "drag"). The single-action thing is especially bad on an Apple touchpad, because there are motions you cannot do as a single action. (In particular, if you click in the middle of the touchpad, which is pretty instinctual, you now cannot drag from one side of the screen to the other; you need to figure out how to abort and start over, or try to do something super janky to place a second finger on the touchpad without accidentally "dropping" the item.)

            1 vote
        2. [17]
          teaearlgraycold
          Link Parent
          I spoke with someone that worked at Apple when that screen was designed. Their understanding is it's entirely a branding move. The camera in the new MBP doesn't justify the chunk they took out of...

          The new MPB has grown the iPhone's stupid cutout in the middle of the top of the screen to make room for the camera

          I spoke with someone that worked at Apple when that screen was designed. Their understanding is it's entirely a branding move. The camera in the new MBP doesn't justify the chunk they took out of the screen. It's just that the notch is their look.

          4 votes
          1. [14]
            Akir
            Link Parent
            This makes me rabidly and inconsolably upset. They are making the screen dramatically more expensive and fragile to provide less utility to the user all for the sake of being “iconic”. Though I...

            This makes me rabidly and inconsolably upset.

            They are making the screen dramatically more expensive and fragile to provide less utility to the user all for the sake of being “iconic”.

            Though I guess this is far from the only example of this kind of thing happening and it’s not only Apple doing this stupid stuff (with others arguably being much worse at times).

            5 votes
            1. [13]
              stu2b50
              Link Parent
              I'm sorry but this whole thread is mostly baseless speculation that I do not think is borne out with what information we have concretely in reality. The MBP webcam is quite good for its size -...

              I'm sorry but this whole thread is mostly baseless speculation that I do not think is borne out with what information we have concretely in reality. The MBP webcam is quite good for its size - when you look at webcams in thin bezels, like the recent XPS line, the quality difference between the two is not even comparable. Seriously, the XPS webcam is awful.

              No, the webcam on the MBP is not even as good as the selfie cam on an iPhone, but within the class of laptop webcams embedded in thin screens, I do not think there is any evidence that it's "not worth the notch". I don't think there any laptops on the market that can do both: have <=2cm bezels, and a webcam of that quality. There's always tradeoffs, and windows laptops with ultrathin bezels chose either the "nose cam" (having it in the bottom bezel) or a very poor webcam, or sometimes no webcam.

              Then, moving forward, the reality is that the other way to do it is to have that full area be bezel. The notch objectively provides more space. Now, perhaps on another OS that would be space that's difficult to use, but on MacOS it's actually quite useful - you stick the menubar there. That can bring up issues if you have so many menubar items that it starts to truncate them, but regardless, when you're using macOS, the top pixels of your screen are always the menubar. So having them be next to the notch really does free up the menu bar from having to be on the rest of the 16:10 screen.

              Even, at worst, if you really just don't like the aesthetics, you can just disable those pixels in software, the aspect ratio of the screen below the notch is still 16:10. Sure, in that case you're hypothetically spending money on pixels you're not using but the BoM difference is minute in any case.

              tl;dr is that the only real argument against the notch is an aesthetic one, it objectively provides more screen real estate, especially on the operating system that 99.9% of MBPs run.

              3 votes
              1. [7]
                whbboyd
                Link Parent
                The fact that it is logical screen, in which things can be "displayed" as far as software is concerned, but is not visible to the user, is a serious black mark against it. It is a literal, actual...

                tl;dr is that the only real argument against the notch is an aesthetic one

                The fact that it is logical screen, in which things can be "displayed" as far as software is concerned, but is not visible to the user, is a serious black mark against it. It is a literal, actual usability problem, especially with the ridiculous bevy of things which want to iconify themselves to the system tray until some start falling into that hole.

                3 votes
                1. stu2b50
                  Link Parent
                  I can't really agree with that one, that's pretty much the only way you'd want to do something like a notch on a desktop OS. Too many things assume rectangular coordinates. It would be extremely...

                  I can't really agree with that one, that's pretty much the only way you'd want to do something like a notch on a desktop OS. Too many things assume rectangular coordinates. It would be extremely weird from an API standpoint to not let you try to draw in the notch area.

                  It also doesn't matter - again, it's where the menu bar lives. You can't move windows above the menu bar. When you full screen, it blackens out the top bar. (Which is also desirable; the screen is like 16:10.2 with the notch area, which is, uh, not a normal aspect ratio)

                  Now, it does highlight the weird, and probably bad, menubar behavior macOS has where it just yeets out menubar items when it doesn't have space instead of collecting them into a dropdown or something, but to be honest it's not something that comes up that much unless you're using xbar or something. That's not unique to the notch but since the menubar is effectively shorter it comes up more often on the 14'' MBP.

                2. [4]
                  Weldawadyathink
                  Link Parent
                  Do you have a notched MacBook? I recall the Accidental Tech Podcast team mentioning the physics around the notch, similar to the physics around the rounded corners. I think it was, when sliding...

                  Do you have a notched MacBook? I recall the Accidental Tech Podcast team mentioning the physics around the notch, similar to the physics around the rounded corners. I think it was, when sliding the mouse left to right, it speeds through the notch as if it didn’t exist. Unfortunately I don’t have a device to test this on.

                  About it being a logical but not physical screen: this is the same way every single device in existence with a non-square screen has done it. It isn’t a new solution to this problem. Heck, as long ago as the NES, there was a disconnect between the software “screen” and the hardware screen, which the programmers took advantage of. I have never heard of it being an accessibility issue before. Yes, it is something you might have to be aware of in certain programming situations, but I don’t see how it is a user accessibility issue.

                  1. [2]
                    balooga
                    (edited )
                    Link Parent
                    I'm on a notched 14" MBP and just tested this. The pointer disappears behind the notch, but does not teleport from one end to the other. You can move it around at normal speed behind there as if...

                    I'm on a notched 14" MBP and just tested this. The pointer disappears behind the notch, but does not teleport from one end to the other. You can move it around at normal speed behind there as if it were onscreen, just covered up, and partially reveal it if you move over to the side or bottom of the notch. No magic behaviors.

                    The exception to this is if you have one of the menubar menus open and move the cursor horizontally across the menubar to access menus on the opposite side of the notch. In this situation, the cursor does teleport across the notch to keep the menu experience smooth. Seems like the right call to me in that specific situation. Most apps don't even have enough menus to span across the notch anyway, and people probably aren't often browsing through their menus like this anyway, so it's a pretty uncommon occurrence.

                    I didn't even notice that the corners are rounded until I read this thread. (Now I can't unsee, THANKS GUYS!) Nor did I notice the "physics" which is really just that if you slide the cursor straight up along the edge of the screen, it will follow the top curve inward so it continues to climb instead of stopping when it hits the first sloping pixel. Because it's the menubar, and probably also because I'm not using "hot corners," I never even realized this is a thing on this machine. Super subtle.

                    It's worth pointing out that only the top corners are like this; the bottom corners are nice and square. Which is important because application content lives down there, as well as the Dock. I think it would be a bigger thing, a problem even, if they rounded all four corners. Of course, macOS draws windows with slightly rounded corners so in most cases you still have the illusion of the bottom rounding off as well, though those curves have a much tighter radius than the menubar corners do. You can still focus on a window if you click in its rect, outside of that radius, even though it looks like you're targeting whatever's underneath it. In the case of maximized windows that's good, because if you slam your cursor down to the bottom corner and click to focus that application, it does what you want instead of your click making it down to the desktop or something else hiding behind it.

                    1 vote
                    1. Weldawadyathink
                      Link Parent
                      Thanks for this detailed write up! Sorry about the rounded corners though. I remember hearing about the notch behavior in reference to menu car items. I just assumed that it was always the...

                      Thanks for this detailed write up! Sorry about the rounded corners though.

                      I remember hearing about the notch behavior in reference to menu car items. I just assumed that it was always the behavior, and it wasn’t based on their actually being more menu bar items.

                      It seems like apple did a decent job at implementation, even if it could be improved. I bet we will see all the PC manufacturers copy this ‘feature’ in the next few years. And, like other people said in this thread, it would be much worse on a system without the menu bar.

                      1 vote
                  2. whbboyd
                    Link Parent
                    I have a 2022 MBP 16" for work. I can state with confidence, there is no special handling of the notch, display-wise. The mouse cursor disappears into it and does not teleport to the other side....

                    I have a 2022 MBP 16" for work. I can state with confidence, there is no special handling of the notch, display-wise. The mouse cursor disappears into it and does not teleport to the other side.

                    "Accessibility" is the wrong term; I meant "usability". But it is a real issue that things can disappear into it, and there's no way whatsoever to know. And while the existence of logical, non-physical regions of screen is normal, applications are generally aware of and (if non-buggy and well-behaved) avoid drawing to those regions. Macos has less excuse than usual here, because it's screen that's only used by the menubar, and it certainly ought to know.

                    1 vote
                3. TheJorro
                  Link Parent
                  If we're counting some edge-case issues as full-blown usability problems, then every single piece of software and hardware is unusable.

                  If we're counting some edge-case issues as full-blown usability problems, then every single piece of software and hardware is unusable.

              2. [5]
                Akir
                Link Parent
                I wish you didn't respond on my comment because I feel you didn't really address my issues. You did bring up the issue of utility, and I think you did a good job of making a point as to why it's...

                I wish you didn't respond on my comment because I feel you didn't really address my issues. You did bring up the issue of utility, and I think you did a good job of making a point as to why it's less of an issue, but I don't intend on keeping MacOS on my computer for it's entire lifespan; when I eventually put Linux on it I guess I'm only going to be happy with a version of Gnome customized for the notch or try to run any other desktop environment in a way that doesn't use the entire screen. The fact that if you take off the horizontal lines that coincide with the notch leaves you with a 16:10 ratio doesn't really matter to me; I care more that there's sections of the screen that I just can't use because a designer favored aesthetics over utility.

                The things that bother me the most is that making a custom screen that's only going to be used on one model of computer means that it's going to be expensive, and it's not like Apple is going to volunteer to cover the extra expense. Don't forget this is the Macbook Air - this is supposed to be the cheap model. Odd shaped screens also tend to be more fragile, though to be completely honest the biggest factor on weather your panel breaks on any given fall is how well designed the case is, and I don't really doubt Apple would do a bad job in that regard.

                When it comes to aesthetic choices, nothing bothers me more than people who complain about bezels. They bother me because I have yet to find anyone who is actually willing to tell me that they hate them. Literally the only people who seem to hate them are the people who review tech products. I assume industrial designers also hate them, but to be frank I've never actually heard any of them talk about what they actually think about them.

                1 vote
                1. [4]
                  stu2b50
                  Link Parent
                  I mean I think it's fair to say that if you're an Asahi user it will be a while before DEs can make use of the notch effectively, but I don't think this (this being the accusation that the feature...

                  I care more that there's sections of the screen that I just can't use because a designer favored aesthetics over utility.

                  I mean I think it's fair to say that if you're an Asahi user it will be a while before DEs can make use of the notch effectively, but I don't think this (this being the accusation that the feature is form over function) is a fair thing to say, because it's not true; the notch brings utility - it allows the laptop to have more usable screen space. It's not an aesthetic addition - if anything it's the opposite, at least from the online users.

                  The things that bother me the most is that making a custom screen that's only going to be used on one model of computer means that it's going to be expensive, and it's not like Apple is going to volunteer to cover the extra expense.

                  Well, no company "volunteers" to cover extra expenses. It's more about the demand curve of the product and its margins; high margin, inelastic products are more effected by demand than supply so increases to costs are more likely to still result in an optimal profit point that is close to where it started, whereas low margin products profit points will shift wildly with supply costs.

                  But regardless, I don't think this can be taken as a given. Even $100 Android smartphones have hole punched cutouts for their screen - I think it's very plausible that the cutout has negligible BoM increases, especially on the non-mini LED air.

                  They bother me because I have yet to find anyone who is actually willing to tell me that they hate them

                  I'd sympathize more on desktop monitors and TVs, but even if not directly expressed, I'd bet almost all users of laptops implicitly prefer smaller bezels. Why? Smaller bezels are smaller laptops! The 14'' MBP has the same physical profile as the 13'' - the extra diagonal inch of screen space is entirely from bezel shrinkage.

                  The laptop's width and height are directly affected by its bezel size - and smaller laptops are lighter, easier to travel with laptops.

                  1. [3]
                    Akir
                    Link Parent
                    I don't know what else to tell you because you have basically just told me that everything I said that I don't like is the complete opposite. You say that the notch gives extra screen real estate,...

                    I don't know what else to tell you because you have basically just told me that everything I said that I don't like is the complete opposite.

                    You say that the notch gives extra screen real estate, but that's really not true at all. The reason we are given for the notch is the existence of the camera - so to put things straight the only reason there is a notch on the screen was because the designers at apple decided that they didn't want to have as large of a bezel. So instead of compromising on the bezel, the compromised on the screen - which was something I value as important. They could have put the camera on the top, they could have put it on the bottom (where there's already a bezel), they could have used a hole-punch design. The very least they could have done was to make the notch smaller and less intrusive so it wouldn't be quite as big of an issue.

                    Cheap cell phones have these screens now because they are using the same screens that were previously on much more expensive models so the cost to create them have largely been paid off. And since they were produced for large volume items they get a price discount. These are newly made for Apple for a much lower-volume product so they will not have such pricing advantages.

                    But whatever. I'm not in the market for a laptop right now and probably won't for a long time, so arguing about this is kind of pointless. Even if I were I would probably buy a Framework laptop instead because I prefer to have something modular and repairable.

                    2 votes
                    1. [2]
                      stu2b50
                      Link Parent
                      So there's two points of discussion, one of which is more opinion based - whether or not the tradeoffs are appropriate on a personal level - and one that is objective - whether or not the...

                      I don't know what else to tell you because you have basically just told me that everything I said that I don't like is the complete opposite.

                      So there's two points of discussion, one of which is more opinion based - whether or not the tradeoffs are appropriate on a personal level - and one that is objective - whether or not the tradeoffs are of a functional nature to begin with.

                      Opinions are opinions, so onto the latter, there was the assertion earlier in the thread that the notch was form over function. I cannot disagree with that more.

                      the reason we are given for the notch is the existence of the camera - so to put things straight the only reason there is a notch on the screen was because the designers at apple decided that they didn't want to have as large of a bezel.

                      Bezels aren't free on laptops. Bezels are size. Bigger bezels = either less screen or bigger laptop.

                      I think it's PERFECTLY fair to say that you'd prefer a bezel over the notch. But it's not a matter of aesthetics - unless the bezels like fold upwards, if you have a half inch bezel, that's a half inch wider and taller laptop that's not screen. Laptops are portable devices - size is a matter of functionality.

                      They could have put the camera on the top, they could have put it on the bottom (where there's already a bezel), they could have used a hole-punch design.

                      Yes, and all of those are tradeoffs of functionality. A camera at the bottom is the infamous "nose cam", so hated on the XPS line that dell abandoned it in 2020. A camera at the top is more bezel - e.g a taller, chunkier laptop without corresponding screen.

                      When you're making an ultrabook style laptop these days, you have to pick between (minimal size, good webcam, notch). All functional properties - minimal size impacts the portability of the laptop, webcams are of course more important than ever in the zoom era, and a notch can be challenging to integrate in software.

                      The latest XPS picks minimal size in lieu of a good webcam. The MBP picks notch to have both minimal size and a good webcam. The prior non-notched macbooks picked webcam and not having a notch over minimal size. All of those are perfectly valid choices, but none of them are "designers going rampant over functionality". They're just tradeoffs.

                      1. Akir
                        Link Parent
                        I like you, man, so I'm going to be real with you; I find the way you're talking to me to be very frustrating. I was trying to meet you in the middle when I said that my opinion didn't matter, and...

                        I like you, man, so I'm going to be real with you; I find the way you're talking to me to be very frustrating.

                        I was trying to meet you in the middle when I said that my opinion didn't matter, and now you're saying that my opinion was actually invalid because you're objectively correct. These are not objective truths; they are design decisions, not engineering decisions, and therefore they are inherently subjective.

                        I guess I'm to blame for not making it clear enough, but I was trying to stop the conversation with my last comment. We're not being productive here; neither of us are going to change our opinions.

                        1 vote
          2. whbboyd
            Link Parent
            …Interesting. I actually assumed it was a technical tradeoff and not a branding thing, for one reason: the corners of the screen are curved (gotta keep that aEsThEtIc, I guess), and Apple...

            …Interesting. I actually assumed it was a technical tradeoff and not a branding thing, for one reason: the corners of the screen are curved (gotta keep that aEsThEtIc, I guess), and Apple implemented physics for the mouse cursor if you push it into the curves (which is very extra, and the most Apple thing ever, but not really objectionable in any way). I would have assumed, if they had meant for the cutout to be there, they would have done the same for it (and also tried to keep application menu items or taskbar icons from disappearing into it), but no, it's just a missing piece of screen.

            So much for "attention to detail", I guess.

            2 votes
          3. pseudolobster
            Link Parent
            This reminds me of the strain relief on Apple's cables. I recall hearing that it was Steve Jobs who originally hated the look of the ribbed rubber sleeve near connectors, so he refused to use them...

            This reminds me of the strain relief on Apple's cables. I recall hearing that it was Steve Jobs who originally hated the look of the ribbed rubber sleeve near connectors, so he refused to use them on iPod cables, instead opting for a solid sleeve. These don't flex as well, leasing to cables fraying near the connector.

            Decades later this design is still being used and the industrial design department is still insisting on "clean looking" cables that break easily despite a class action lawsuit over them.

            It's short, form has always been more important than function to Apple.

            https://old.reddit.com/r/pics/comments/hvuhg/apple_why/c1yuah6/

            2 votes
      3. [10]
        vegai
        (edited )
        Link Parent
        For me it mostly comes from being spoiled by i3/sway -style desktop. Default tiling, very little space wasted on UI elements, robust and simple, and most importantly, instant movement between...

        Could give a summary of what you dislike about the Mac experience?

        For me it mostly comes from being spoiled by i3/sway -style desktop. Default tiling, very little space wasted on UI elements, robust and simple, and most importantly, instant movement between desktops using simple keybindings.

        edit and none of that absolute confusion that MacOS manages to create by conflating full-screen with virtual desktops. That's the worst UX idea in a serious product I have ever seen.

        5 votes
        1. [4]
          Weldawadyathink
          Link Parent
          For what it’s worth, I love the full screen = virtual desktop feature. For me, it is very intuitive to use. Using multiple desktops on macOS, especially with a trackpad, is very easy to do, so...

          For what it’s worth, I love the full screen = virtual desktop feature. For me, it is very intuitive to use. Using multiple desktops on macOS, especially with a trackpad, is very easy to do, so full screen apps get all the advantages of those controls.

          2 votes
          1. [3]
            balooga
            Link Parent
            I am fully bought into the trackpad lifestyle on a Mac. Trackpad hardware is something Apple perfected years ago and I haven't seen equivalent quality anywhere in the PC ecosystem. So it'd be a...

            I am fully bought into the trackpad lifestyle on a Mac. Trackpad hardware is something Apple perfected years ago and I haven't seen equivalent quality anywhere in the PC ecosystem. So it'd be a shame not to take advantage of it on a Mac. Native macOS gesture support is okay but BetterTouchTool changes everything. I used a fancy multibutton Logitech mouse for many years but I wouldn't be able to return to it now. I've got a Magic Trackpad 2 on my desk and I'm convinced (if you take the time to set up your config properly) it's the best choice for pointer input on a Mac.

            1 vote
            1. mtset
              Link Parent
              Yeah, right now the AMT2 is the best pointer device I've used. I use it on Linux and it's pretty great.

              Yeah, right now the AMT2 is the best pointer device I've used. I use it on Linux and it's pretty great.

              1 vote
            2. Weldawadyathink
              Link Parent
              I use my Magic Trackpad 2 on Windows with Magic Utilities. It’s annoying that I have to pay a subscription for windows drivers, but the software is really good. I mainly got it because of RSI...

              I use my Magic Trackpad 2 on Windows with Magic Utilities. It’s annoying that I have to pay a subscription for windows drivers, but the software is really good.

              I mainly got it because of RSI issues with mousing all day at work with my right hand. Nothing got pad, but I started to get hints of future issues. My current setup is Magic Trackpad on the left (even though I am right handed), Magic keyboard extended in the middle, and, sometimes, a mouse on the right. For almost all of my windows computing, I am 95% as good with a left hand trackpad as a right hand mouse. And my RSI is nonexistent. On macOS, using a mouse once you learn a trackpad is absolutely a step backwards to me.

              Even just 2 years ago, I was absolutely in the anti trackpad camp. They were a stop gap for very limited computing sessions on a laptop. I always carried around a chunky and comfortable mouse with my laptop, despite the inconvenience. Now, when I travel with my Mac laptop, I would never bother packing a mouse because the trackpad would be better. When I travel with my work dell laptop, I always try and fit in my Magic Trackpad if I think I’ll actually need to do much work.

              1 vote
        2. [5]
          tomf
          Link Parent
          have you looked into Yabai? it isn’t perfect, but it’s pretty good and has more options than the other twms for macos

          have you looked into Yabai?

          it isn’t perfect, but it’s pretty good and has more options than the other twms for macos

          2 votes
          1. [4]
            vegai
            Link Parent
            I have, but the requirement to permanently turn off significant-sounding system protections did not sound good to me. If only those could be circumvented, yabai would certainly fix this problem...

            I have, but the requirement to permanently turn off significant-sounding system protections did not sound good to me. If only those could be circumvented, yabai would certainly fix this problem for me.

            3 votes
            1. [3]
              tomf
              Link Parent
              you know, looking at the list of things that need SIP disabled, you can easily live without those. Have you tried amethyst?

              you know, looking at the list of things that need SIP disabled, you can easily live without those.

              Have you tried amethyst?

              1 vote
              1. [2]
                vegai
                Link Parent
                I guess you mean the list here: https://github.com/koekeishiya/yabai/wiki/Disabling-System-Integrity-Protection Of those, the two that are important for me are: focus/create/destroy space without...

                I guess you mean the list here: https://github.com/koekeishiya/yabai/wiki/Disabling-System-Integrity-Protection

                Of those, the two that are important for me are:

                • focus/create/destroy space without animation (the macos animations related to spaces are pretty bad)
                • move existing space left, right, or to another display (especially moving to another display)

                But perhaps I need to give it another shot. Perhaps just coping with these missing would be much better than not having a good window manager at all.

                I have tried amethyst. It felt quite janky :)

                2 votes
                1. tomf
                  Link Parent
                  yeah, i didn’t like amethyst either. i pretty much want three windows stacked in the left and one main on the right. you can also use Better Touch Tools to set window zones. i used to do this, but...

                  yeah, i didn’t like amethyst either. i pretty much want three windows stacked in the left and one main on the right. you can also use Better Touch Tools to set window zones. i used to do this, but it still isn’t as good as a proper twm.

                  i just disabled sip and live on the edge :)

                  2 votes
    2. [2]
      babypuncher
      Link Parent
      I regularly use Windows, Linux, and macOS. macOS took me the longest to get used to, but I think that is because it is the least beholden to design paradigms set in stone since the win9x days....

      I regularly use Windows, Linux, and macOS.

      macOS took me the longest to get used to, but I think that is because it is the least beholden to design paradigms set in stone since the win9x days. After getting used to it, the OS is now my favorite of the three and I find myself working to make my Linux environments feel more like macOS than Windows.

      5 votes
      1. Weldawadyathink
        Link Parent
        I don’t use linux much anymore, but I dabbled a bit, right around the gnome 3 release time. I still use macOS and windows regularly. The apple ecosystem is invaluable for me, but even without...

        I don’t use linux much anymore, but I dabbled a bit, right around the gnome 3 release time. I still use macOS and windows regularly.

        The apple ecosystem is invaluable for me, but even without that, I agree with you. I think, to use macOS to its fullest, you have to unlearn everything you have learned from windows (and windows style linux). If you can do that, you are rewarded with something that makes sense in a way that windows never has. There isn’t anything huge to point to; it’s just a bunch of small things that you get used to over time.

        For example: double clicking to highlight a word. If I remember right, windows XP era would highlight just the word. Sometime between then and windows 10, it changed to highlight the word and the following space. When dragging words around in a sentence, this is better, but when retyping words, you have to remember to type the space afterwards. Even worse, it is not consistent. If there is punctuation after the word, it does not highlight the punctuation. So you can’t just always double click, retype, and include a space. On macOS, it does not highlight anything except the word. But if you drag it around, it will add and remove the spaces necessary to make the formatting correct.

        Another example: autosave. The windows paradigm is only manual saves, saves on a fixed schedule, or continuous autosaves. This is even worse with software like Office that only support autosave if you are saving to onedrive (bonus points for having some features that break if you use onedrive). In macOS, it continuously autosaves, but not to the file you are editing, giving the best of both worlds. If you have Pages open, edit a bunch, and close Pages (or reboot), it will close without a fuss. Next time you open pages, your edited document will open up with all the edits preserved, and you can save it back to the file when you want. This, coupled with the “reopen windows after reboot” feature, makes reboots much less annoying. Functionally, a reboot does nothing to the current state of your computer. Everything you had open is still running (as long as the programs are well written).

        Also display scaling on macOS is amazing, and windows is a dumpster fire. I seriously don’t understand why Microsoft hasn’t just copied apples technique.

        I had never thought about features like this being useful, until I used a system that has them. Sometimes I wish I had never used macOS. The entire business world, along with PC gaming, is so utterly tied to windows that I’ll never get away from it. Now that I know what good computing can be, it’s really hard to deal with windows’ bullshit.

        7 votes
    3. [3]
      vegai
      Link Parent
      Just curious (since I'm getting the M2 Air): is virtualization a remedy for the pain that is MacOS or is running on metal the only way?

      Just curious (since I'm getting the M2 Air): is virtualization a remedy for the pain that is MacOS or is running on metal the only way?

      1 vote
      1. [2]
        0d_billie
        Link Parent
        There are good options for visualisation, but I've only very briefly dabbled with them. I've promised myself not to tinker with it until I finish my degree! UTM was the one that I played with, but...

        There are good options for visualisation, but I've only very briefly dabbled with them. I've promised myself not to tinker with it until I finish my degree! UTM was the one that I played with, but in my brief experiment I really struggled to get the display aspect working properly... it ended up being too large for my screen and I had no way of resizing it easily. Definitely something that I broke, but it was annoying all the same.

        AFAIR none of the virtualisation can run atop of Rosetta, so you're running the ARM versions of anything you spin up.

        3 votes
  2. [2]
    stu2b50
    Link

    On a personal note, the most interesting part here is that I did the
    release (and am writing this) on an arm64 laptop. It's something I've
    been waiting for for a loong time, and it's finally reality, thanks
    to the Asahi team. We've had arm64 hardware around running Linux for a
    long time, but none of it has really been usable as a development
    platform until now.

    It's the third time I'm using Apple hardware for Linux development - I
    did it many years ago for powerpc development on a ppc970 machine.
    And then a decade+ ago when the Macbook Air was the only real
    thin-and-lite around. And now as an arm64 platform.

    2 votes
    1. Akir
      Link Parent
      I guess Apple Silicon is probabably the most 'open' ARM platforms you can get in a useful form today, largely because they got so many people excited that they got a lot of people working on...

      I guess Apple Silicon is probabably the most 'open' ARM platforms you can get in a useful form today, largely because they got so many people excited that they got a lot of people working on reverse-engineering it, and as a result, we have working open-source software support for almost everything. The only other machine that comes close that I can think of is the now extremely outdated Novena project.

      8 votes