I knew this would be a love/hate relationship from the start.
You see, Steam for Mac, I love your games. Well, some of them. A lot of them are crap. But the ones your parents, Valve, made, like Portal and the Half-Life series, are unparalleled. Team Fortress 2 seemed like great stylish fun when I tried it briefly (under Windows), although it’s not really my thing. And you distribute some unbelievably great third-party titles too, like Braid and Machinarium.
I love how everything seems to perform better and crash less under OS X than under Windows, even on the same hardware. And I love the way I can switch from a full-screen game to any other app instantly via ⌘-Tab, and then switch back with no delay or funky redraw problems. That’s something I’ve never seen under Windows.
But I think you have some misconceptions about how Mac software should behave. Here are just a few of the things you’re doing wrong:
You have a “Run Steam when my computer starts” preference which is unchecked by default, while “Open at login” for Steam.app is secretly enabled as Steam installs. That’s downright deceptive, and no way to win friends.
You’re putting the software I download in my Documents folder, which is inside my home directory. That’s an incredibly bad idea. Documents is for, well, documents. I might keep my homedir on a second drive, for one thing. I might have a different backup strategy. There are tons of reasons this is the wrong choice. What’s the right choice? Authenticate and install into /Applications, like every other OS X vendor does (yes, even Adobe). Keep your data files inside the application bundle they belong to. If you have data files common to more than one game, they can go in a Steam folder in /Library/Application Support. The only things that should go in my home directory are things pertaining to my own user account, such as settings and save files. (That’s what ~/Library/Preferences is for. Not ~/Documents.) This isn’t Windows, where you can just ejaculate files all over C:\ and no one cares.
When I choose “Create an application shortcut” during an install, you put the shortcut in an Applications folder inside my home directory. This makes so little sense I don’t even know how to respond to it.
If I also ask you to create a desktop shortcut, what you create isn’t a proper shortcut (we call them “aliases,” by the way): it’s a full copy of the app bundle you stuck in ~/Applications. That’s nothing but a pointless waste of disk space.
Speaking of wasted space, you’re also inexplicably installing the Windows executables for some games. I hope you’re doing something really clever with them.
We could talk for hours about how awful the Steam app’s user experience is — how your tooltips deactivate your main window, how you won’t stop bombarding me with ads for games that won’t run on my Mac — but all that is secondary, and besides, it only hurts you when I decide not to shop at your hideous store. But the issues I listed above are all demonstrably bad practices that make my computer harder to use.
Please, Valve, hire some experienced Mac developers who care about doing things right. And fix your shit.
If you try to break a car window with a hammer, you’ll have a hard time, but if you throw a bit of porcelain from a spark plug at it with only moderate force, the window shatters. This is because porcelain (being a type of ceramic) is harder than tempered glass, but steel isn’t.
Occasionally I find myself setting my iPhone down on my iPad. Sometimes I gently toss it, because what the hell, it’s only plastic.
The iPad has a tempered glass screen.
The upcoming iPhone 4G is very likely to feature a ceramic back.
Today one of my web development clients asked me to provide an estimate for, among other tasks, “Removal of Flash programming to allow for web site readability on Apple devices.”
It has begun.
Every time Facebook takes a giant dump on its users’ privacy, people are surprised. How can Facebook care so little about privacy? It’s not like they’re new at this, and besides, we’re the users. We’re the whole reason they’re in business in the first place. Our privacy should be their chief concern. Right?
Everyone loves a nice speedy cab ride. You even tip the driver more if he gets you there promptly. Yeah, he cuts those corners a little sharp and leans on the horn a lot. But he’s a licensed professional, and besides, you’re the passenger. You’re the whole reason he’s in business in the first place. Your safety should be his chief concern. Right?
But the reason the cab driver goes fast isn’t that he’s in a hurry to get to your destination. He’s in a hurry to get to his next fare.
California is outlawing Happy Meals! Huge news! Awesome headline! Let’s get that on Radar pronto!
Oh, but they’re not outlawing Happy Meals, just the toys.
And it’s not California, it’s one county in California.
Parts of one county, I mean.
Oh and it’s not a law; it’s a proposal that’s still under consideration.
The Radar is fun, and it’s a great way for Tumblr users to get exposure. But it’s also a really good tool for instantly spreading misinformation to tens of thousands of people.
Might I humbly suggest to any Tumblr staff members who are reading this: before you hit that Radarify button, would you please just do five minutes of research? Just to make sure the post isn’t a complete lie? Those of us who actually take the time to verify and source our claims would really appreciate it.