今日主题:主题

在周六的终结”刷金属和高“, 我问:

To those of you who think this state of affairs is just fine, that there’s no problem with Mac OS X providing two disparate themes for developers to choose between based on whim, I ask this: If two themes are OK, why not three or four?

这是一个棘手的问题,因为可以说,已经有了three Mac OS X themes from Apple, and perhaps a fourth on the way in 10.4(Let’s not even mention the ridiculous woodgrain-and-ebony custom theme used inGarageBand中)。

'专业'主题

由于缺乏正式的名字,到第三个主题吧, since it’s the look and feelused by Apple in its “Pro” line of media production software: Final Cut, Motion, DVD Studio Pro, and Logic. (Shake seems to use something slightly different, but perhaps that’s because it’s still a recent Apple acquisition.)

Pro主题是Aqua的一种石墨灰色兄弟Here’s the inspector window from Motion:

Motion的Inspector窗口的屏幕截图

这是一个特写的DVD Studio专业版:

截图的DVD Studio专业版。

In some ways, the Pro theme is even more different from the normal Aqua appearance than is brushed metalBrushed metal is primarily just a look-and-feel for window frames; the controls themselves in a metal window aren’t any differentThe Pro theme, however, consists of an entire alternate set of control widgets: lists, buttons, sliders, pop-ups, etc.

Motion even goes so far as to offer yet another set of controls for use in特殊的调色板窗口被称为“仪表板”(which term is likely to cause confusion when 10.4 ships, with its指示板桌面小工具功能)这是Darth-Vaderish的一种东西:

Motion的“仪表板”调色板之一。

不论真假,我认为专业主题看起来很漂亮,整体效果比光明更优雅和低调,有点孩子气的正常Aqua和刷金属窗户但这值得非常小——正如我陷害这个问题在过去的帖子,我的观点在这一切了争论哪些主题看起来好而哪些不好看。

重点是一致性Not usability, not how easy something is to learn, but consistency for its own sake它也不是美学Whether one theme is better-looking than the other is a matter of taste; whether the interface is being used consistently across applications is notApple’s apparent desire to assert its Pro line of software as being special by using a custom suite-wide theme comes directly at the expense of system-wide consistency.

一致性并不意味着单调There’s plenty of room for creative UI design within the context of the default Aqua themePlus, brushed metal and Aqua could conceivable coexist始终如一if Apple itself were willing to limit its use of brushed metal to apps that fit specific criteria defined in the HIGBut this Pro theme is even worse, consistency-wiseHow would you even begin to codify appropriate use of the Pro theme in the HIG?If your application is a professional production tool, and your company headquarters are at 1 Infinite Loop, Cupertino CA, you may use the Pro theme to provide a special appearance for your application.

这不是关于使用一些自定义控件Obviously, advanced media production and design apps need to offers users the ability to perform tasks that aren’t suited to the standard UI controls provided by the systemAdobe and Macromedia certainly have a number of custom controls in their suites of softwareThe difference, however, is that Adobe and Macromedia design their custom controls to blend in with the regular look and feel of the system, and when they can use standard controls, they doApple’s Pro theme is replacement of the default theme, not a supplement to it.

Unlike brushed metal, the Pro theme is not available to third-party developersThis might help establish a brand for the company’s suite of high-end production software — but at the expense of the brand of the company’s entire platformIs it not reasonable to conclude that Apple deems Mac OS X’s default appearance not good enough for its own use?

How long until third-party developers start implementing the Pro look and feel on their own? That’s what happened with brushed metal, before Apple officially supported its use in third-party softwareOr imagine the chaos if other major developers follow Apple’s lead and start shipping software using their own unique themes?

老虎的新主题

Apple的第四个主题是预计将以10.4的形式出现It’s not a secret: you can see it in the screenshots Apple has posted for关注的焦点和更新版本系统首选项Unlike brushed metal or the Pro theme, however, this new look is so subtle you may not even notice it.

It’s mostly like Aqua, but with certain touches borrowed from brushed metal; particularly the way that window title bars and the toolbar area underneath are combined as a single expanseAnd, mercifully, it’s free of pinstripesIn the same way that brushed metal matches the look of PowerBook and PowerMac hardware, this new theme is perhaps intended to evoke the look of iBook and iMac hardwareHere’s a portion of the main System Prefs window from Apple’s preview of 10.4:

10.4系统首选项的新面貌

But while it may not be a secret, I haven’t seen any official word from Apple about this new look, such as what to call it, or whether it’ll be officially supported for use by third-party developersI’ve heard from several developers who referred to it as the “unified title bar and toolbar appearance”, which doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue, but it’s certainly an apt description.

我不知道这个新主题My hope is that it’s an attempt by Apple to rectify the current inconsistent mess — that it’s more of an expansion of the standard Aqua theme rather than something altogether new, intended for use instead of brushed metal in situations where, for whatever reasons, the default Aqua appearance is deemed undesirableAnd that it will be used consistently for well-defined reasons(Here’s to hoping that it’s not merely coincidence that the Back/Forward buttons as seen in the above screenshot from System Prefs very much resemble the Back/Forward buttons in Safari.)

My fear, of course, is that it’s just a third window frame, and that the only factor determining when it will be used is whether it looks cool.

Consistency in and of itself has been a fundamental pillar of the Mac user experience from 1984 onwardBut with Apple no longer leading the way, it’s fading“At least it’s still more consistent than Windows” is not high praise.