Mac OS X: Installer Irritant

Posted by Pierre Igot in: Macintosh
June 6th, 2003 • 5:14 pm

Installing the recent slew of updates (Safari, iMovie, QuickTime) reminded me once again of a regular source of irritation.

I am a fairly quick typist/clicker, especially for well-known, repetitive tasks. So when the Mac OS X installer application asks for my password and then asks me to agree with the “Software License Agreement” that I never read, I tend to click on the “Continue” and “Agree” buttons mechanically as quickly as I can.

The trouble is, after the dialog sheet with the “Agree” and “Disagree” buttons drops down, there is a delay of at least half a second before the “Agree” button can register a click on it.

And, systematically, each time I go through this, I click on the “Agree” button too early, and it doesn’t register my click at all. So I am sitting here, staring at this “Agree” button that I think I have clicked on, and nothing happens.

After a couple of seconds, I realize that it didn’t register my click, and I click on it again, and all is well. But it’s irritating nonetheless!

It’s bad enough that you cannot use the Return key as a shortcut to activate the “Agree” button. I suppose it’s Apple’s way of saying: “Prove to us that you really agree with this Software License Agreement. If you just hit the Return key, we won’t believe you. We actually want you to grab your mouse, go to the button, and click on it. You probably won’t have read the agreement, but at least you’ll have wasted a few seconds. So there.”

It’s also bad enough that the visual feedback you get from clicking on these Aqua buttons is simply not visual enough. (If you’re lucky, you’ll get to see the button turn blue for 1/10th of a second. If you are too fast, you won’t see anything.)

But on top of all this, the dialog sheet does not become responsive as soon as it has dropped down! There is an inexplicable delay of half a second — and it’s long enough to cause the Installer to fail to register my perfectly good mouse click.

It might be a small irritant, but with so many applications using this same Installer application and so many updates needing to be installed regularly, it does become grating.

In the good old days of Mac OS 9, even if you clicked on something “in advance”, before the software was actually ready to process your click, your mouse click would be recorded in some kind of “buffer” and would be applied as soon as the software was ready. It was the same with keystrokes.

In Mac OS X, all too often, if you start clicking or typing something before the software is actually ready to register your actions, then what you’ve clicked or typed gets lost in unresponsive UI limbo forever.

It’s irritating.

Comments are closed.

Leave a Reply

Comments are closed.