Do you like side-scrolling?
Hmm. Me neither.
I don’t expect we’re going to make much use of CoverFlow in the new Leopard Finder, then.
The advent of CoverFlow within the Finder takes it even further away from the concept of spatial orientation which made the old classic Finder such a pleasure to use.
Steve Jobs made everything look so neat in his WWDC demo, but his dummy folders full of dummy data are just that - dummy content, designed for demo. His folders were crammed with colorful, varied documents that conveniently showed off every new feature Steve wanted us to see. But, a lot of people have much messier folders, with an order of magnitude more files inside them. You think you’re going to browse through hundreds of files, one-by-one, in a graphical side-scrolling list view? No way. You’re going to search, right?
Steve didn’t do anything in the new Finder that depended on the spatial metaphor for which it was once, a long time ago, renowned. Spatial organization has been disappearing from the moment OS X was first released, but Leopard seals its fate by placing this renewed emphasis on lists. After all, that’s what CoverFlow is: a list, albeit one that scrolls sideways. A list with extra eye candy.
Sure, I shall keep an open mind until I get to try it for myself, but I’m honestly not expecting to use CoverFlow very much, and for the same reason that I don’t use it in iTunes either: I prefer to search.
Spotlight is good at searching and indexing; the only problem with it to date has been the UI, especially of the floating results window that doesn’t appear to “belong” anywhere. So I’m rather hopeful - and what I saw in the keynote would seem to offer more hope - that the new Finder will offer better access to Spotlight results than we’ve seen before, and that I simply won’t have to worry about lists of files, because Spotlight will find what I need.