July 26th, 2005 • 10:16 am
The following, to me, is a clear illustration of the lack of polish that characterizes Mac OS X’s Help Viewer application:
It might not look like much, but when you blow it up, you get this:
Not pretty, uh? I know that drawing the contours of an anti-aliased icon over a dark background can be a bit of a challenge, but Apple obviously has little trouble handling it in the Finder with the iTunes icon itself:
So why the ugliness in Help Viewer? The answer is quite simply that Apple has been neglecting Help Viewer for far too long. In the absence of a printed manual, Help Viewer is the only resource available to Mac users who need help using their computer. But it’s a very badly designed application. For example, it’s almost unusable over a modem connection, because it keeps checking Apple’s servers for updates before it actually displays the pages requested by the user. It’s a web browser, but there is no status bar or indication of what is going on when the application is in the process of loading a page. Etc.
To me, this visual glitch in Help Viewer is quite simply an obvious symbol of Apple’s neglect.