I have to say that, so far, Mac OS X v.10.4.3 is a worthwhile upgrade. Actually, it's solved a good many of my main complaints thus far, and that ain't nothin'. Unfortunately, not everything is fixed. But what else is new? Here, now, for your perusal, is a list of problems, both fixed and unfixed. And mind you, this list is culled from my own personal set of experiences and complaints.
• The ever annoying Safari window bug is still present. Why won't this thing die? Why aren't more people bitching about it? This is major for me. I swore if they didn't fix it in 10.4.3, I'd switch for good, and damn it, that's what I'm going to do. Sure, Firefox is slower to launch, slower to load, and not quite as pretty. But you know what? It works. I don't care if it doesn't pass the Acid test. (Does anyone give two shits about this?) It works. On every page I go to. And that's what counts.
• The Finder's Inspector window, which is supposed to dynamically update its contents as you select files, still incorrectly shows the ownership when switching files, i.e. select a file owned by systemsboy, then select one owned by root. Everything in the Inspector updates, except the owner of the file. It still says the owner is systemsboy. To see the correct ownership, you have to close the Inspector and reopen it, which kind of defeats the purpose of the Inspector in the first place.
• I've recently been having a problem whereby switching between local and networked users with Fast User Switching sets my display profile to "Generic RGB Profile." Entering the Display Preferences pane and setting it back to my calibrated profile does not fix the problem. The only fix when this happens is to log everyone out, and log back in. This remains broken in 10.4.3.
• There is a bug whereby binding to a Panther Server is delayed for about 3-5 minutes after a reboot of a Tiger client. This means that, if you're a network user who's just rebooted a Tiger client, you'll get the shaking login window (as though you've typed the wrong password) until the Tiger Client can connect (bind) to the Panther Server. This persists in Tiger 10.4.3.
• At last, some good news. One of my least favorite bugs has been corrected. Mail now properly handles tabs. You remember tabs, don't you? Those fixed-width whitespaces handy for table creation? Well, in previous version of Mail, they turned into plain old spaces (four, to be precise) right after you typed them. Now they behave properly. Yay!
• And good news on the Spotlight front: Spotlight responsiveness really is significantly improved in the new version. Typing is no longer delayed in the middle of pounding out a term. You can type as slowly of as fast as you want. It never gets stuck. Nice!
• Another Spotlight boon, for me anyway: Spotlight will now search the contents of files ending with the ".sh" suffix. As my primary use for Spotlight is to search my myriad shell scripts, almost all of which end in ".sh," this actually makes Spotlight potentially useful to me for the first time. Cool! (Yes, I have decided to end each of these bullets with an exclamation of some sort.)
-Update: Never mind. This is actually not true. There do appear to be some new options here, one called "Source Code" as a file type that I don't remember from before, but Spotlight does not appear to search its contents, only its name.
-Update 2: Scratch that last part as well. It's exactly the same in 10.4.2. Nothing's changed here.
• Another annoying bug that seems to have been cleared up (though I've thought this before and been wrong, so I won't swear by it) is that annoying scroll-wheel jump. You know the one I'm talking about: you're in your browser of choice, and you begin scrolling the page, ever-so-slowly, and WHAM! Next thing you know, you're at the bottom. Yeah, that seems to be fixed. Groovy!
• Finally, and this has huge implications for me and the lab where I work: Moving files across NFS filesystems (sub-volumes) which reside within another volume no longer writes zero byte files and (blessedly) works properly. This means we can go back to mounting user home accounts the proper way, with a simple automount call and a mount map. (For more details on this, you can read the full posts.) Sweet!
On a side note, as happy as this last bit makes me, I must say, I can't help being a bit cynical about it: We've had this problem for months now. I've spent months on it. And only in the last week or so have I been able, with much hard work and late nights, to come up with a workaround, and an elegant one at that (if I do say so myself). And now it's obsolete. As I wrote to a friend:
Mac OS X 10.4.3 fixes the FCP problems moving files across filesystems. Holy shit. One week after I come up with a workaround they release a fix. Is all of life this big a waste of time, or just systems work?
Just systems work...
I figured as much.
Oh well. I guess all my loginhook knowledge can be now put to good use elsewhere. Still, this seems like one of those things that might've been best fixed by just sitting on my ass and doing nothing but waiting (which I'm not very good at, apparently). And that leaves me feeling like I just wasted a whole bunch of time on this one.
Anyway, this latest update doesn't fix everything, but it fixes a lot of important stuff on my list, and it doesn't seem to break anything so far (though TextEdit's "lists" feature did just start acting funny, and I don't know why). Was it worth the unendurably long wait? Well, I don't know about that. I sure wish the NFS problem had been fixed months ago, for obvious reasons. But I'd go so far as to say that, at least so far, as far as my experience goes, this update is a keeper, and, on first impressions at least, I highly recommend it.