The short version: Iowa's not the only place where the polls open today. The polling booth is now open in the Leopard Best Hints contest! Cast your votes for your favorite 10.5 hints...
The longer version: As you're all hopefully aware, for the last 75 days or so, we've been running a Best Leopard Hints contest. Since the contest closed just over a week ago, I've spent a considerable amount of time narrowing down the 408 10.5 hints (that were published before the deadline) to a list of 20 finalists. This was a very hard thing to do, and I enlisted help from other Macworld employees to make some of the decisions. Still, many worthy hints wound up not making the list of finalists -- there were probably over 100 hints that I felt were worthy of inclusion, but there was only room for 20 finalists.
You may also note that some of your favorite hints didn't make the cut -- in particular, getting rid of the translucent menu bar isn't among the finalists. That's because I wrote up the hint, and despite my pleadings, Macworld won't let me enter the contest. More importantly, that hint simply referenced something published elsewhere, which was also an exclusionary condition in the rules.
Yesterday marked the official end of the OS X 10.5 hints contest. However, there were still a number of unpublished 10.5 tips in the queue prior to the submission deadline, so I'm running some weekend updates to catch up. The first batch of hints will show up at 10:30am Pacific time today, followed by more on Sunday, probably at the same time. When that batch is published, it will reflect all of the 10.5-related hints that were submitted (and chosen for publication) prior to the Friday cut-off.
On January 2nd, or thereabouts, we'll have a voting system set up for the finalists, which we'll be selecting over the next week or so. As described in the rules, the winners will be based on a combination of scoring from both hints readers and the Macworld editorial team, and will be announced (assuming we've heard from all of them by then) on or around January 14th.
Thanks to everyone who contributed tips and tricks; there will be something in excess of 400 10.5 tips in the system by the end of this weekend. I know I've learned a ton about Apple's newest OS in the last two months, and I hope you all have, too. (This isn't the end of the 10.5 tips, of course; just the end of the contest period.)
There won't be an afternoon batch of tips today as we try to finish up a number of other projects before the holiday tomorrow and Friday. So yes, that means no new tips on Thursday, either, but there will be at least one batch posted on Friday -- there are just too many in the queue to let four days in a row go by without posting!
So for all you who have tomorrow and Friday off, have fun and enjoy the time with family and friends!
I posted a new poll about the new style of event editing in 10.5's iCal -- Apple has banished the drawer, and replaced it with a pop-up window. So what do you think of the new interface? Vote and comment as you will!
Two semi-quick site updates tonight. First, a new iPhone/iPod touch poll that asks about the state of the software on your iPhone or iPod touch (if you own one, of course). I'm curious what percentage of hints readers have modified their iPhones or touches to support third party apps. (As long as we're talking about polls -- if you're a Macworld reader, we're also running our annual Reader's Choice survey, too.)
Second, and of much broader interest, here's brief update on the OS X 10.5 hints queue. As of today, the queue has grown to 463 potential hints (all hints, not just 10.5) -- that's not counting the 94 Leopard hints that we've already run. Obviously, if you're just submitting something, it's going to be a while before it shows on the site. However, there has been progress on this front that makes the large queue less daunting, even though it continues to grow...
As of Monday, we now have about 60ish Mac OS X Hints readers helping to review the queue! That's right, for the first time ever, it's not just my eyeballs on the prospective hints. These readers, who are volunteering their time, were asked to participate based on their long-term contributions to the site through hints, comments, or other involvement (such as behind the scenes technical support on Unix hints). They have access to the queue on a special site, and they help me check for duplicates, which is a great timesaver. More importantly, though, they're also sharing their opinions -- through comments and a voting system -- as to whether each hint should be published or not. I love the fact that no longer am I the sole reviewer for every potential hint. In the long run, this should improve the quality (and quantity, as hints can be processed more quickly) of hints here on the site.
So we're just about a week into 10.5 now, so I thought it'd be interesting to ask those of your who are running Leopard about your favorite feature and your most hated feature. Share your thoughts -- maybe if a certain feature (cough Stacks cough) is a runaway winner in the "most hated" poll, we'll see a peace offering from Apple in 10.5.x :).
The polls are limited to 20 answers, so here's how I tried to narrow the field. First, if it was listed on Apple's OS X features page, and it's not something that everyone as seen already due to public betas, it was a candidate. For that reason, Safari as a whole isn't listed, but it's 10.5-only web clip feature is. Similarly, Boot Camp isn't on the list, as it's been out in public beta for a long time.
I also chose to include some attention-getting sub-features (Stacks, translucency, 3D dock), as well as some things from the 300 features page, and some applications that received major overhauls. Yes, it's somewhat arbitrary, and limited to 20 items, which is why I also included the "Other" option (please post comments on what those other things might be).
There's a 10.5 hints deluge coming, and I just wanted to get this note out there before it starts...
Some of the tips may somewhat break the "no obvious tips!" rule we usually follow here. For the most part, the rule is still in effect, so you shouldn't (unless I mess up) see anything about using Command-P to print or clicking the red close button.
On the other hand, 10.5 is brand new, and there are tons of features hidden in many nooks and crannies of the OS. So I may choose to run some hints that aren't about truly undocumented features, but just cover things you may not have thought about, may not have found at first glance, or didn't yet get to.
If you're reading a tip and it seems too obvious, save yourself the "hey, this is an obvious tip!" comment posting, and just skip ahead to the next -- no reason to waste the electrons on such a comment. Besides, I think you're going to have plenty of reading to do to stay busy...
Update: For a while, the site will be updated at least twice a day, typically at 7:30am Pacific and 11:30am Pacific; other updates may be posted as demand requires. And if you've submitted a hint, please be patient. We'll get to it, and either use it, or tell you why it's not being used.
There are a few 10.5 tips in this morning's update, with many more coming later today (and tomorrow, etc.). We've had over 200 submissions so far since the release, and I'm just now starting to work my way through them.
Update: Based on the comments to this story, I did some investigating, and we did indeed have some issues with the feeds. Unfortunately, to fix them I had to basically reset the feeds, which means you will probably want to re-subscribe to the ones you're interested in using. The links below are now correct for each feed.
Both feeds seem to work fine for me in 10.5 in Google Reader and NetNewsWire. Using Mail's RSS reader, the 'all tips' feed only shows one tip, while the 'System only' feed shows what it's supposed to show. I do not know why this is happening, but we're looking into it.
We have two new RSS feeds available, specifically for OS X 10.5 tips:
All 10.5 tips: This feed includes all tips that are coded with the 10.5: title prefix. This is probably the more useful of the two feeds, as you'll see everything about 10.5.
And starting Monday, you'll see quite a jump in the 10.5 tip activity -- there have been over 140 submissions since Thursday morning, and I've got another 20 or tips that I'm ready to write up (if they haven't been submitted -- better for all of you relative to the contest if I write as few of the hints as possible, right?).
Overall, I'm really enjoying the new OS X release, aside from a few irritating things that I hope are resolved by Apple or creative third parties. But more on that in the future...for now, on with the tips!
I thought it might be interesting to see where the readers' opinions fall on the new 2D and 3D docks in OS X 10.5 -- hence our newest poll. I've also created a full-size comparison shot so you can easily see the differences between the two. I set the dock to its largest size on my machine, then switched the dock style and took the two shots. Trimmed to just fit the height and width, the pixel dimensions of the 3D dock are 1217x105, while the 2D version comes in at 1165x97.
So which do you prefer -- i.e. which will you be using, courtesy of this hint -- when you make the move to 10.5?