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Mac OS X Services in Snow Leopard

Mac OS X Services let one application supply its powers to another; for example, a Grab service helps TextEdit paste a screenshot into a document. Most users either don't know that Services exist, because they're in an obscure hierarchical menu (ApplicationName > Services), or they mostly don't use them because there are so many of them.

Snow Leopard makes it easier for the uninitiated to utilize this feature; only services appropriate to the current context appear. And in addition to the hierarchical menu, services are discoverable as custom contextual menu items - Control-click in a TextEdit document to access the Grab service, for instance.

In addition, the revamped Keyboard preference pane lets you manage services for the first time ever. You can enable and disable them, and even change their keyboard shortcuts.

Submitted by
Doug McLean

 
 

What's Not There

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ClarisWorks has a most disappointing lack of System 7-savvy features - no Publish & Subscribe, no use of AppleEvents, no nothing that's not in System 6 except for balloon help. Claris also missed an excellent opportunity to exploit the "linked frames" feature. This could easily have been made into a simple outline tool or even a basic hypertext system. I'm disappointed that ClarisWorks has absolutely no integration with HyperCard. Given the obvious slant of ClarisWorks towards the educational market, it's baffling why Claris ignored any mention, hook, or other use of HyperCard. I see it as further proof that the HyperCard group at Claris is in a different time and space warp than the other developers.

In its manuals and promotions, Claris conveys the message that they see ClarisWorks as a gateway to "specialized" high-end products such as FileMaker Pro and Resolve. This makes it almost bizarre that ClarisWorks won't read or write to these file formats.

In these days of integrated applications, Claris has deferred integrating electronic mail - perhaps in anticipation of Apple's OCE project bearing fruit later in '92. I'm not sure they should have. Even a simple Mac-to-Mac mail utility would have significantly increased the gee-whiz quality of ClarisWorks, and would have helped integrate the Communications module into the rest of the application.

 

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