Advantages of Lion

I recently upgraded from Tiger to Snow Leopard on my MacBook Pro, and increased my memory to 3 GB so it would run better, and it has. The newest version of Scrivener runs well on Snow Leopard, but now people tell me I should upgrade to Lion for better performance. Is this true? Should I upgrade again?

I would say the main advantage of Lion - I don’t think you’ll see much noticeable difference in performance - is certain new features that become available. For instance, I now work almost exclusively in Lion’s full screen mode in Scrivener on my MacBook Air. On the other hand, Lion has some annoying new features, like autosave in programs that don’t need it (such as TextEdit). I like Lion, but I know some think that there a number of steps backward (and I have to say “arch” to all the proliferation of grey icons in the Finder and suchlike). So, I would say, try and have a go on a computer running Lion and see what you think, as there are some largish changes in the way things work, and if you don’t like them, Snow Leopard should run well for a number of years yet.

All the best,

Thanks Keith, I was hoping you would say that. I am definitely not a techie, and I am still getting used to Snow Leopard, so I think I will stay with it for a while. My neighbor has Lion on his MacBook Air, and I might drop over for a trial run.

Thanks again,

From a very practical perspective:

  1. If you don’t need it, don’t pay for it.
  2. If you don’t have time to “start over” with your system don’t do it.
  3. If it is free, and you have time to “start over” with your system then do it.

There is no “real” advantage to Lion for the average user. By this I mean that a person who is not looking for specific features and doesn’t really care if they are a little behind the “latest and greatest” technology will see no disadvantage to ignoring lion for now.

I’ve been using Lion since that’s what my new-ish (mid 2011) Air requires. It’s fine apart from the very ill-thought-out replacement of “Save as…” with the clumsy “Duplicate” followed by “Save”, another facet of the damn-fool Autosave function which Keith mentioned.

Oh, and the nausea-inducing skeumophic pleather-and-naff-torn-off-paper-effect Calendar and Address Book.

Full Screen’s okay, yes. The re-working of Spaces isn’t so good yet I find myself using it more than the earlier, better one.

But if your machine’s working fine on SnoLe, it’s not currently worth the upgrade, I’d say.

Thanks to everyone for your input. I will stay with Snow Leopard for now.


Huh?? Although I’m new to mac (less than one week) I copy files by dragging them with the option key held down, or I use cmd-C, cmd-V. And as for save as, I only use the keyboard shortcut. Perhaps I’m missing the point, but I love running Scrivener under Lion. Since I have a track pad, my only wishes are that Scrivener would make better use of the gestures, such as zoom and switching windows. But in time, I’m sure it will.

And FIY, I am NOT coming to Loin from iPad, IPhone, etc. I am simply an old reformed Windows expat.

I see no shortcomings to Lion.

Michael is talking about how “Save As” has completely disappeared from any applications that implement Lion’s new autosave feature (Scrivener uses its own, custom autosave code, so retains the “Save As” feature). I agree with Michael here - dropping “Save As” is annoying. You can see it in TextEdit, for instance. To “Save As” in TextEdit, you have to select “Duplicate”, which opens a copy of the document in a new window, then save it, and then close the original. Fortunately, not too many programs have adopted this approach.

All the best,

Aah. I see I should have implemented the n00b alert function prior to posting. Thanks for the clarification.


I really don’t see what’s the big fuss about the disappearance of “Save as…”. A systemwide autosave, on the other hand, is very handy. The only slightly annoying feature of Lion is the ‘locking’ of the file if you don’t work on it for a little while. That’s slightly annoying and clearly unnecessary. I am afraid we may see more of those unnecessary feature in the near future :cry:

It’s three steps instead of one, and since Saving from a duplicated new file doesn’t automatically take you to the folder of the original, you may need to navigate around in the save dialogue to get back to where you wanted to Save As to in the first place. I don’t see how that could possibly, in any scenario, be considered superior let alone equal to one single dialogue box. I suppose if you never fork files; never use files as templates for new files; never want to put down a trail of revisions—it’s one of those things that gets silently removed that you never needed anyway. It’s just kind of frustrating to those that do need it because they took out a perfectly useful thing that has been a part of the computing lexicon for decades, and replaced with something that can really only ever be used to replace this workflow, but in doing so making it more complicated and so clumsy that you might as well just close the file, Cmd-D to duplicate it in Finder, and open the duplicate.

But that’s my gripe. The locking thing doesn’t bother me at all, on the other hand, because I try never to edit files after a week or so anyway. I always try to leave a trail rather than a single file with vanishing older versions. It’s just really annoying to get out of a lock—back to the dumb Duplicate feature.

I can see your point, especially saving in the folder of the original file. I guess I rarely do those things, but really hasn’t affected the way I work much

I much prefer Lion over any other incarnation of OS X. That said, it’s not perfect, and has some regressions.

  1. Expose groups app windows together, making it difficult to find a specific window if you have many open for a particular app. App Expose helps with this, but it’s still a step backwards from SL. This is getting fixed in Mountain Lion.

  2. Spaces is somewhat paradoxical. On the one hand, it is clearly inferior in its current incarnation. On the other, I use it easily 100x more than I used to. There’s something very convenient about being able to dynamically create and destroy spaces, and flicking back and forth with a gesture is a nice touch. When Lion first launched, you couldn’t rearrange spaces unless you understood the seemingly random rules used by the “sort by last app” option, and it was practically unusable.

  3. Launchpad is largely pointless. You don’t have to use it, but on new keyboards and Macs the Launchpad button replaced the Dashboard button, with no way to change it back (without resorting to 3rd-party programs).

  4. Versions, while a great idea, is hindered by the fact that you can’t share versions between systems or create a duplicate file from an old version (easily). What would greatly improve it would be to have the deltas of the different versions for your files stored in iCloud.

  5. The Save As…/Duplicate controversy is interesting. I actually prefer how Duplicate works, because whenever I use Save As… in an app, I always want to keep the old version of the file open (which isn’t how any application I know of works). Duplicate keeps the old file open, which is nice. I do agree that it should be something like “Save a Duplicate”, which would bring up a window to select where and what to name your duplicate before actually opening the new file.

Overall, Lion is lacking some of the polish of Snow Leopard, though I do find it much more usable. I am really looking forward to Mountain Lion, as that should (hopefully!) bring a lot of polish.

This is a sadly missing feature in many programs. When they do have it, it is called Save As Copy, usually. Photoshop has it, and so does Scrivener, though ours is masquerading under the File/Back Up/Back Up To... command, which does exactly the same thing as save as copy, but with an option to zip archive the file.

Have their been any rumblings on the grapevine about whether Apple is going somewhere with this feature? Is the general consensus that this doesn’t work and it’ll get reversed in later OS versions, or will Apple keep at it until it either works better than we ever imagined or people just give up and acccept it?

It strikes me that ‘Save As’ functionality is going to be much more of a requirement for anyone requiring version control on their documents. To my mind at least, that means people working in a professional or quasi-professional environment.

Anyone using a laptop for internet browsing, iTunes, and a couple of consumer level document production (a letter to the bank, a cv) is likely to benefit from autosave over save as. It just strikes me as odd that Apple would make such a consumer-over-professional move so ingrained into the OS, without giving an option to turn it off.

Like one mouse button? They have finally kind of reversed that in recent years, though only as an option and often not in a straight-forward way, but yeah I don’t find it surprising when they take an approach that doesn’t benefit the professional market (which has arguably been the only thing carrying them through slimmer years).

“Save as…” is, as best as I can recall, making a comeback in Mountain Lion. Apparently it is triggered by the option key when in the File menu. If I can the link where I read it, I’ll post here.