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You are here: MacNN Forums > Software - Troubleshooting and Discussion > macOS > Everyone let Apple know! Menu Hilites in Tiger!

Everyone let Apple know! Menu Hilites in Tiger! (Page 3)
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sieb
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Jul 14, 2005, 01:26 AM
 
yes.. because I need it to highlight everything in the menu, including the stuff I'm skipping.. WTF? Move your mouse REALLY SLOW, and it will highlight everything.. I could find more important stuff to complain about..
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Chuckit
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Jul 14, 2005, 02:55 AM
 
Originally Posted by msuper69
I'll never understand what you people do to your Macs to have all the "problems" you spout off about. My measly old Tibook from 2001 runs Tiger just fine. No menu lagging whatsoever. I do believe we are seeing mostly PEBCAK errors.
This is not user error. The phenomenon occurs with every Tiger computer I've tried, no matter what the speed or use history. It's really there, but it's just not a problem — there is no case in which I need a Cocoa app to highlight each and every menu item if I pathologically scrub up and down really quickly in a long menu. TheSpaz minds this just because he minds it, not because it actually hurts anything.
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Fusion
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Jul 14, 2005, 04:15 AM
 
Originally Posted by TheSpaz
It IS worth complaining about for me because it seriously makes Tiger feel clunky to me for some reason. Just to see the selection jump around like that. I think it should be silky smooth like it was in PANTHER.
It's funny, a couple days ago I reinstalled Panther after getting tired of all the 10.4.1 bugs, and sure enough, I was amazed at how fast the system felt again with the menus. It really is a big difference. I don't know if Apple will ever change it back though. It kinda sounds like one of those issues like the slow window resizing that will just kinda get swept under the rug.
     
TheSpaz  (op)
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Jul 14, 2005, 09:42 AM
 
Originally Posted by Fusion
It's funny, a couple days ago I reinstalled Panther after getting tired of all the 10.4.1 bugs, and sure enough, I was amazed at how fast the system felt again with the menus. It really is a big difference. I don't know if Apple will ever change it back though. It kinda sounds like one of those issues like the slow window resizing that will just kinda get swept under the rug.
The very FIRST thing I noticed about Tiger... "What's the deal with the menus?" they felt different to me and at first I thought it was because of the indexing... nope... after indexing they still felt slow and laggy. I hope Apple doesn't let this slide until 10.5...

You know... I just get tired of "dealing with it"... why must they take away something that was good?

P.S. Anyone try Classic menus lately... WOW... really really slow.
     
MacDog
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Jul 14, 2005, 10:44 AM
 
Originally Posted by ul1984
i have this problem too... but something is clearly wrong.
Something is wrong allright... some of you guys have system issues causing this problem, that's what's wrong.

I checked 2 G4s, 5 G5s and a G3 iBook with only 256mb RAM and NONE OF THEM had the problem you describe.

Sorry.
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TheSpaz  (op)
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Jul 14, 2005, 10:57 AM
 
Originally Posted by MacDog
Something is wrong allright... some of you guys have system issues causing this problem, that's what's wrong.

I checked 2 G4s, 5 G5s and a G3 iBook with only 256mb RAM and NONE OF THEM had the problem you describe.

Sorry.

Fair enough. I think some people just can't tell the difference. I guess it's more of a personal complaint than a real show stopping problem... but, to me... it's annoying. I immediately knew something was wrong with the menus from the very first few minutes with Tiger.
     
CharlesS
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Jul 14, 2005, 11:37 AM
 
Originally Posted by TheSpaz
P.S. Anyone try Classic menus lately... WOW... really really slow.
Um, OS 9 was faster than OS X. It's about the only thing it had going for it vs. OS X, other than Command-Y and pop-up folder tabs in the FInder. It was probably faster because of lots of tiny little optimizations like this. In OS X, they implemented it so it always highlighted every menu item no matter what, and in Tiger they probably decided that this was inefficient (what's the point of highlighting a menu item that the mouse is only over for about a millisecond, if that?) and changed it back to the old behavior.

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Fusion
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Jul 14, 2005, 11:39 AM
 
Yeah, for everyone who says they don't have the problem, I am pretty sure you do, you just aren't detailed oriented enough to know the difference.
     
Person Man
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Jul 14, 2005, 12:34 PM
 
Originally Posted by Fusion
Yeah, for everyone who says they don't have the problem, I am pretty sure you do, you just aren't detailed oriented enough to know the difference.
I would REALLY rather Apple spend more time fixing REAL bugs instead of things like this WHICH AREN'T BUGS!
     
CharlesS
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Jul 14, 2005, 12:55 PM
 
Originally Posted by Person Man
I would REALLY rather Apple spend more time fixing REAL bugs instead of things like this WHICH AREN'T BUGS!
Indeed. You want to see slow? Type Command-F in the Finder, change the Kind menu to Others, and type "JPEG". That's slow.

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sieb
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Jul 14, 2005, 03:33 PM
 
Um, OS 9 was faster than OS X.
And OS9 was much simpler than OSX...
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TheSpaz  (op)
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Jul 14, 2005, 09:15 PM
 
I guess nobody cares... I'll go post this topic on Apple.com
     
Mac The Fork
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Jul 15, 2005, 02:29 AM
 
Originally Posted by CharlesS
Um, OS 9 was faster than OS X.
Classic. Graphics operations in Classic are relatively slow, but that's always been the case.

Originally Posted by CharlesS
In OS X, they implemented it so it always highlighted every menu item no matter what, and in Tiger they probably decided that this was inefficient (what's the point of highlighting a menu item that the mouse is only over for about a millisecond, if that?) and changed it back to the old behavior.
I replied to you earlier on this subject…

Originally Posted by Mac The Fork
Skipping menu item highlights to improve responsiveness is not new in Tiger. Panther, at the very least, skips as many highlights as it takes to maintain responsiveness. For whatever reason, Tiger seems to be slower at highlighting menu items than Panther and skips noticeably more of them to maintain the same responsiveness, at least on some of Apple's current hardware. This drop in performance may simply be in code exclusive to menu drawing, or it could be a general problem or new design tradeoff with Quartz. Either way, it is not a prima facie improvement.
Since this is not my computer, I can't work this out myself. I'm basing my observations on the Tiger install DVD. Maybe that's not representative of the performance of an installed copy of Tiger… who knows? Would anybody be interested in firing up Quartz Debug and seeing if there is anything odd going on with menus in Tiger? Stuff like unchanged areas of the screen being redrawn. No? Oh well. I wish I had an external drive to test this stuff with.
     
Person Man
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Jul 15, 2005, 12:08 PM
 
Originally Posted by TheSpaz
I guess nobody cares... I'll go post this topic on Apple.com
It's not that we don't care, it's just that most of us don't even notice it, or if we do, it's not a problem that "bothers" us.

I'd rather Apple fix bigger, more visible problems, like with the Find command in the Finder, or work on making Dashboard more secure (like they did with 10.4.2) first, before going back and "fixing" something which bothers only 0.2% of the user base.
     
TheSpaz  (op)
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Jul 15, 2005, 11:04 PM
 
This makes me so mad that people don't notice this... I must admit... it's faster on the G5 at work... but, I have a 1GHz G4 PowerBook and it's slow as hell on the menus... everything else is super zippy as usual... why the menus... why? I shouldn't need a PowerMac G5 1.8GHz to display my menu item selections faster.

Another thing: For those of you out there that are saying that Apple is really SPEEDING UP the computer by making it skip selections... Isn't this why we have QUARTZ EXTREME? How much do you think it's really SPEEDING up by DISPLAYING more choppy? How does this speed ANYTHING up? You would NEVER notice a difference in speed if your menus highlighted every item... geeze... Panther worked perfectly and I took it for granted too because I didn't think Tiger would be worse.

When I upgrade... I want the software experience to be BETTER not worse. I know it's just a minor thing to all of you... I know that some people aren't as picky as me but, when it comes to user experience... the smoother things are... the better. If everything's running smooth and drawing nicely I never notice and it doesn't bother me... but, as soon as something is out of place and choppy. For Example: The choppy minimizing bug that still exists when you force quit an App while it's launching. After force quitting an App while it's still bouncing makes your Dock less smooth when minimizing windows... it makes it all choppy and slow framerates... why, I have no idea and it took me forever to figure out that it was from force quitting launching Apps, which I don't do anymore.)

My point is... while other people want Apple to fix IMPORTANT stuff... I want them to fix visual stuff to because IT IS ALL PART OF THE SAME USER EXPERIENCE. Some people agree with me and some don't care...

I can tell you all one thing for sure though... voicing my opinion to Apple Feedback did nothing and voicing my opinion in this forum does nothing. So I have 2 choices... give up and let Apple win and continue to grit my teeth and just "live with it"... or I can go back to Panther and just "live with it".

Cheers!
- TheSpaz -
     
saddino
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Jul 15, 2005, 11:44 PM
 
Okay, okay we get it. You hate it. You want it fixed. But I've got news for you: it's likely not going to be fixed. But perhaps you can ask Apple for a workaround.

Why? Because I figured out what it is, and I can tell you why it is happening, and that it is technically not a "bug."

You may have noticed that some people complained that Tiger's Expose seemed "choppy" compared to Panther, especially when multiple windows were in play.

This menu "skipping" is exactly the same thing.

As you know, Quartz rendering OS X is double-buffered, so that drawing that takes place locally in any window can be "flushed" (blitted) to the screen quickly in one pass (a strategy used by most 2D games for the past 20 years). This was necessary because in a composited system such as Quartz, opacity and other goodies requires coordination between graphical layers, and it made more sense to do this system wide automatically. Developers were told: disable double-buffering, because OS X does it for you.

However, prior to Tiger, this "flushing" happened as fast as possible. Now, most game developers know that constant flushing leads to "tears" especially evident in horizontal animation. Depending on the game, flushing is usually "synced" to the refresh rate of the monitor (VBL syncing) so that the screen will never end up "partially flushed" during a monitor refresh. This method will stop tearing.

In OS X Tiger, Apple added "Beam Synchronization" to Quartz, basically implementing VBL syncing. Why? Because, prior to OS X, especially on systems with slower video cards, dragging windows around could exhibit tearing. And that looked like crap. So now, in Tiger, all flushing is done in sync with the monitor's refresh rate. Voila. Smooth (meaning non-tearing) Quartz animation in Tiger.

However, this still isn't a perfect solution for slow video cards: since slow video cards don't have the best frame rates for this type of animation, VBL syncing reduces the physical frame rate of the animation as viewed on the screen (e.g. 25 fps animation will have to slow down to 15fps to sync to a 60Hz monitor, and thus 20 frames of animation will be lost). Game developers have always known about this too (which is why many games allow a flag to disable VBL syncing).

So, Apple decided by default in OS X Tiger to enable VBL syncing in Quartz. This means that the overall system will have smooth animation.

But it also means that slower video cards will have phsyically lower animation frame rates.

When Expose needs to move a lot of windows around on a slower video card, instead of showing 25 choppy frames, it may be showing 10 (or fewer). So people complain: "Expose is choppy."

When you run your mouse up and down rapidly in a menu, even if you have a decent video card, you are likely moving the highlight faster than the VBL synced frame rate. The result: "choppiness" that you so very much hate.

So, is this a bug? Well, no, it's a "trade off." Instead of maxed out frame rates, we get smooth animation. Clearly, someone at Apple thought this was a worthy trade.

The solution: for now, you can install XCode 2.0, and run Quartz Debug to disable "Beam Sychronization" (here's how to do it). But, you will have to do this every time you boot (Apple does not allow this to be turned off permanently).

I've tried it, and yes, it works: fast menu highlighting once again. And, if you're experiencing the Expose slow down, that'll be fixed too.

For now, please contact Apple and ask this to be a permanent setting (perhaps one that can be set in Terminal).

Now let's close this thread.
     
TheSpaz  (op)
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Jul 16, 2005, 12:01 AM
 
Finally... a HELPFUL post. Thank you. Everyone else was too busy bitching about me bitching about Apple. I like threads that TRY to help rather than say "It doesn't happen... my computer doesn't do it... you're wrong to complain about usless things"

I'll try out Quartz Debug... Thanks again...

One more thing: How come Carbon Apps work fine while Cocoa Apps have the slowness in the menus...

One more thing again: Why should something as simple as drawing a highlight have to be so slow... big deal... I don't have a 128MB video card... I have a 32MB one... not only that... I've seen this same glitch on a Mac with 128MB of VRAM so what did Apple do to make drawing highlights so slow? I don't see an explaination here...

Anyways... thanks for the USEFUL comments and I appreciate that.

Cheers!
     
Mac The Fork
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Jul 16, 2005, 12:40 AM
 
Ah… I managed to get Quartz Debug from this Panther installation running under the Tiger install DVD. When I turned on Autoflush Drawing, Tiger went back to being as responsive as Panther. I was wondering why Tiger would be drawing all that stuff but never getting it to the screen. And why the "frame rate" display was about half what it is under Panther. Something interesting, though. I ran Terminal.app from a Panther install side by side with Terminal.app from the Tiger install DVD while booted from the aforementioned DVD. Menus in the Panther app were quick, and menus in the Tiger app lagged. So maybe it's not such a global thing. It'd be nice if VBL could be enabled on a per-window basis, depending on whether speed or accuracy is desired.
     
TheSpaz  (op)
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Jul 16, 2005, 12:54 AM
 
Autoflush Drawing worked for me (it's buggy though... you see all kinds of screen flashes)... but, I tried the Beamsync trick and it DID speed up Exposé but, unfortunately it did nothing for the menus... sorry.
     
Mac The Fork
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Jul 16, 2005, 12:57 AM
 
Originally Posted by TheSpaz
Why should something as simple as drawing a highlight have to be so slow...
On a very quick machine, it seems possible that a highlight could be drawn and removed before it's flushed.
     
Mac The Fork
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Jul 16, 2005, 01:00 AM
 
Oh, and you know what else is odd… I read that Cocoa still uses Carbon to display menus. They should behave similarly.
     
TiggerToo
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Jul 16, 2005, 07:37 AM
 
This is the funniest thing I have ever read on a computer!

excellent!!!

     
TheSpaz  (op)
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Jul 16, 2005, 09:52 AM
 
Originally Posted by Mac The Fork
On a very quick machine, it seems possible that a highlight could be drawn and removed before it's flushed.
If that's the case... why wouldn't it do this in Panther and why doesn't it do it in Carbon apps?

Yous know what else I was thinking? What if this problem isn't related to Quartz at all... what if it is a font smoothing issue... I think Cocoa and Carbon apps smooth the fonts slightly differently... maybe Tiger changed the way font smoothing works... do you think that could be the case?
     
TheSpaz  (op)
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Jul 16, 2005, 11:12 PM
 
Hello?
     
CharlesS
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Jul 17, 2005, 12:02 AM
 
Since turning off the beam synchronization in Quartz Debug solves this "problem", it would seem that saddino's explanation is, indeed, correct.

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Mac The Fork
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Jul 17, 2005, 12:42 AM
 
Originally Posted by TheSpaz
Hello?
Just a second.

Originally Posted by CharlesS
Since turning off the beam synchronization in Quartz Debug solves this "problem", it would seem that saddino's explanation is, indeed, correct.
Correct, but a bit incomplete, perhaps. I was still curious about the anomalous cases (older Cocoa apps and Carbon apps). The following link explains those cases. http://developer.apple.com/releaseno...HIToolbox.html

Now we're done. Or are we?
     
TheSpaz  (op)
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Jul 17, 2005, 10:35 AM
 
Originally Posted by CharlesS
Since turning off the beam synchronization in Quartz Debug solves this "problem", it would seem that saddino's explanation is, indeed, correct.
Turning off beam sync does NOT solve the problem as I stated earier. I tried it myself and I couldn't see a difference. What did seem to speed up the menus was turning ON AUTOFLUSH DRAWING but, then you get a bunch of screen flashes everywhere so that doesn't really work either.

Beam sync does make Exposé faster but, there's a downside to using the computer with beam syncing off... you get tearing as Saddino mentioned earlier as well. However, it doesn't fix the menus.
     
saddino
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Jul 17, 2005, 01:14 PM
 
Originally Posted by TheSpaz
Turning off beam sync does NOT solve the problem as I stated earier. I tried it myself and I couldn't see a difference.
Interesting. Disabling beam sync solves the "problem" for me. Maybe you are seeing something else that I'm not?
     
TheSpaz  (op)
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Jul 18, 2005, 12:42 PM
 
Whatever is causing it... I'm sick of it... it makes my computer feel slower without that split second UI feedback that my eye will see as I roam through menus... and mousing slower through menu items doesn't help anything because I wouldn't have to do that if they made it right... Beam Sync is NOT the problem so it's something else that Apple changed in the menus only... everything else seems to work okay.

As I said before... it's not just my computer... it's any Tiger equipped Mac. I wonder if it does the same thing on the Intel version.
     
TiggerToo
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Jul 18, 2005, 01:07 PM
 
I haven't been posting here long, but i think you are slightly barking mad!

     
TheSpaz  (op)
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Jul 28, 2005, 11:25 PM
 
Does anyone know if this bug was fixed in 10.4.3 betas?
     
TheSpaz  (op)
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Jul 30, 2005, 12:33 AM
 
Why does nobody care about this obvious issue... and for those who say they don't have it... you do have it. I checked every Mac I could find. It seems to do it in newer Apple apps only (Safari, TextEdit, iChat, Address Book, Preview, and Mail)... I think I may know what happened here.

I tried Panther's Safari in TIGER and the menus are super fast (just like in Panther). So the theory about only in Cocoa Apps is no longer true... I think it has to do with however Apple updated their Apps recently.

I was thinking about this phenomenon and I realized... maybe this is a glitch from using dual binary code in their software to update for the upcoming Intel switch. I bet Apple is already updating their Apps to automatically work on an Intel Machine... but, I made another discovery....

In Panther, I opened up a TIGER App that had slow menus (I forget which App it was) but, oddly enough it worked in Panther for some reason... and the menus were fast again (in Panther)... so I don't get it.
     
Don Pickett
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Jul 30, 2005, 01:13 AM
 
Originally Posted by TheSpaz
Why does nobody care about this obvious issue...
Because most of us don't have it.

and for those who say they don't have it... you do have it.
You sure you don't want to check your logic and come back?
The era of anthropomorphizing hardware is over.
     
Sir Arthur Dent
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Jul 30, 2005, 05:53 AM
 
Originally Posted by TheSpaz
In Panther, I opened up a TIGER App that had slow menus (I forget which App it was) but, oddly enough it worked in Panther for some reason... and the menus were fast again (in Panther)... so I don't get it.
Would you just switch back to Panther like you said you would and shut up already?
     
TiggerToo
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Jul 30, 2005, 08:16 AM
 
is this thread still running!!!!!!!
     
TheSpaz  (op)
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Jul 30, 2005, 09:40 AM
 
I already switched to Panther... and I don't understand why nobody else notices this problem.
     
MindFad
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Jul 30, 2005, 10:46 AM
 
It's noticed; it's just this visual "slowness" is not at all a problem in any possible way in terms of actually using the computer and getting work done.
     
TheSpaz  (op)
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Jul 30, 2005, 12:04 PM
 
Originally Posted by MindFad
It's noticed; it's just this visual "slowness" is not at all a problem in any possible way in terms of actually using the computer and getting work done.
Visual slowness is still a slowness and it's bothersome. I may be picky and I've learned to deal with things before but, this is just really bad... especially since I don't have a G5. You shouldn't NEED a G5 to have your menus work correctly the way they did in Panther. Am I right or am I right?

Exactly.

I don't mean to come off as a jerk but, come on... this is a bug... not a feature. It needs to be fixed right away as far as I'm concerned. If Apple can fix this.. I will move back to Tiger because at least it will make my experience with Tiger a little more smoother to use. That's all I ask.
     
MindFad
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Jul 30, 2005, 12:16 PM
 
You're completely wrong, of course, but that could turn into another three pages. The technical issue—more of a technical decision, not an issue—behind it could be explained a thousand times and you'd still whine about it. This is like a movie recorded at 60 FPS and then converted to 30 FPS for viewing—and then people complaining that the movie is now "slow," despite the experience and function being exactly the same.

Wait, did I just post?
     
Don Pickett
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Jul 30, 2005, 02:50 PM
 
Originally Posted by TheSpaz
I already switched to Panther... and I don't understand why nobody else notices this problem.
Because it's not a problem. It's your personal OCD campaign.
The era of anthropomorphizing hardware is over.
     
Mac The Fork
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Jul 30, 2005, 03:54 PM
 
I tried Panther's Safari in TIGER and the menus are super fast (just like in Panther). So the theory about only in Cocoa Apps is no longer true... I think it has to do with however Apple updated their Apps recently.

I was thinking about this phenomenon and I realized... maybe this is a glitch from using dual binary code in their software to update for the upcoming Intel switch. I bet Apple is already updating their Apps to automatically work on an Intel Machine... but, I made another discovery....

In Panther, I opened up a TIGER App that had slow menus (I forget which App it was) but, oddly enough it worked in Panther for some reason... and the menus were fast again (in Panther)... so I don't get it.
I already tested the same thing. I had the same questions, and those questions have been answered. Read the article. It explains all of that. It'd be nice if people could acknowledge each others' personal experiences, read the thread, read the article and go from there in discussing this. Unfortunately, we just have three pages of back-and-forth denial and blindness.
     
Detrius
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Jul 30, 2005, 10:41 PM
 
Originally Posted by TheSpaz
I already switched to Panther... and I don't understand why nobody else notices this problem.

Applications linked against 10.4 are blocked from redrawing the screen more than once between hardware refreshes. This is why you don't have the same problems with the 10.3 versions of the Apps on 10.4. This is actually a feature that makes your computer FASTER because you no longer have programs wasting processor time by redrawing the display five times before the monitor ever has a chance to show the first modification. This forces developers to be more responsible in their programming. This feature is not going away.


And if you have already switched back to Panther, why do you insist on keeping this thread alive? It's just a computer.
ACSA 10.4/10.3, ACTC 10.3, ACHDS 10.3
     
 
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