Well, I've had 10.5 installed for about 24 hours now, and so far, it’s not really worth the money. In day-to-day use (as a developer), none of the new features has yet to significantly impact my life. Sure, windows look a little different, and settings have been rearranged, but so far I don’t feel like I’ve gotten my money’s worth. For reference, I chose to “Upgrade” my system, rather than “Archive & Install.”
A few things are better. The variety of user interface styles has been reduced, and brushed metal is gone, replaced by a nicer-looking gradient (the Menu Bar looks a bit too much like a title bar, and I thought something was wrong with it until I realized it was transparent, and I was seeing the stars in the default desktop image through it).
Xcode has at least one improvement: it shows error messages in the editor window, directly underneath the offending line. It also complains a lot more about implicit conversions from double to float, but I can fix that.
One thing I’m not sure I like is that many standard icons have changed. Some have changed dramatically, like the System Preferences icon (it now looks like the iPhone’s Settings icon), and others have just been modified. These kinds of changes leave insecure users (like my parents) feeling disoriented, and I think they’re generally a bad idea.
One big fix: Apple Mail no longer seems to break long URIs! It has taken three or four major releases (an unacceptable delay to fix a minor, but very annoying, bug), but non-Mail clients can finally use long URIs sent by Mail without having to hand-edit them (Mail used to break them in a way that destroyed the URI for non-Mail clients).
Hardware Growler still works. My ARM development tool chain still seems to work. The Keyspan USA-19HS USB-to-serial adapter still seems to work. The FTDI USB-to-serial IC on the Sparkfun EM406 SiRF III Evaluation Board still works. ZTerm still works!
In the next post, I’ll talk about my experiences with Time Machine, the AirPort Extreme Base Station and ZFS.