El Capitan verdict?

Since I see the support queue, I get to see all the ways the El Capitan upgrade can go wrong. And there seem to be a lot of them. :frowning:

So, before I send my own system down that road, I thought I’d ask the community. How is El Capitan working for you? Consider a scale of 1 to 10, where 1 is “toxic dumpster fire,” and 10 is “kittens, unicorns, and rainbows.”

Install now? Avoid for the time being? Flee to Microsoft (shudder) rather than upgrade?



UI “blandness” is all I’m seeing.

VM issues (remember I use a lot of VM) seem to be better. That could be the improvements in hypervisor though.
0 issues with scriv.
General mem consumption is ok.
No cpu spirals.

i see no real reason to avoid it other than “old eyes”.

I’ve seen several reports of El Capitan breaking support for cameras and the SD card reader.
However, Apple have now removed that disincentive for upgrading by issuing a new release of Yosemite which has broken the SD card reader and camera connectivity on that too!

Yay for Apple!

Bring back Snow Lion, that’s what I say.

Are you kidding me?! Mountain Leopard was a much better OS!

No permanent issues with el cap (some little bumps along the way, but which OS doesn’t have those?), lots of useful features, including split screen and hiding menu bar. Better Mail, Safari, and especially Notes apps. Scrivener works fine with El Cap. Been running betas of El Cap since July, I think (or sometime in the summer)

My experience with El Capitain has mostly been smooth. As Jasen suggested overal, for me it’s a matter of the UI devolving further into this barren, bright-as-an-alien-abduction-tractorbeam UI they’ve been pushing for a while now. I liked scuomorphism in my desktop icons (not in the window borders, mind you), and color in my sidebars (thank the FSM that Keith refuses to make Scriv all grey-scale).

What is bothering me has little to do with the OS itself, and more to do with the bugs in services we’re increasingly dependent upon, such as Mac App store authorization always working. The bugs I experienced with the previous OS and apps distributed by Apple seem to be fewer and further between, but then you and I probably don’t use the same apps, excepting the obvious overlap of Scriv & Scapp.

On your 1-10 scale, I’d go 7.
It’s not marvellous, especially on an aging machine, but it works and generally does so better than Yosemite. It appears to have fixed a few long running issues I had with Yosemite and Mavericks.

I don’t notice the system bling anymore.

I’m still getting way too many console error messages, and increasingly common system hangs. I now suspect hardware but that doesn’t seem to bring me any comfort… :unamused:


Visually, performance is much much smoother on El Cap than Yosemite (well on retina and non-retina MBPs anyway). I think the under-the-hood optimisations really make everything just that bit smoother. I love split-screen, even though I’ve used BetterTouchTool window sizing for years. As someone who uses and appreciates mission control, it really is at its best in El Cap (Apple having fumbled through change for change’s sake with spaces/mission control)…

I was pretty annoyed that some of the touted benefits of switching to Metal for CoreX rendering only applied to iGPU-only Macs (read the small-print!) I really hope this is just a technical glitch…

Yosemite was the worst new OS X experience I’ve had with Apple (most of my beta testing bugs went unfixed) and El Capitan has been a much better experience (most of my beta bugs fixed and critical ones I got engineer feedback even though I am not a developer)…

I think I’d give it 7/10, but if I could go back — but knowing what I know now — I’d be waiting to see what the next update brings before upgrading.

I didn’t have any trouble with Mavericks or Yosemite; actually, I’ve pretty nearly always found my systems to be stable, and kernel panics generally so rare that I really can’t think which version was the most problematic. That said, El Cap does seem to be more speedy and efficient. Under Yosemite, this 2010 MBA, with only 2GB of RAM, seemed to be at the limit of usability and I wondered about upgrading, thinking that El Cap might make higher demands on RAM to the point where it would be rather unusable for serious work — it’s also limited to a 256G SSID, and I do need to keep an eye on free space. Actually, as I said, I’ve found El Cap more efficient from that point of view, and even though I’ve installed Memory Cleaner in case of RAM emergency, I’ve never had to use it for that, though I do purge the memory routinely from time to time. That said, I’m clearly not as heavy a user as many on the Forum, so they may find issues that don’t affect me.

However, the biggest frustration for me is the screwing up of the tab system … that right tabs, etc. switch to left tabs on closing or on restarts of the system — I’m not sure which, as the two tend to go together for me. I would hope that they’d solve that for the next update, so I’d wait, as I said above.

Next, a real problem for me is changes to the trackpad system, presumable to make full use of force-touch, or whatever it’s called, and clearly there’s no way that that’s going to go away. I have an “essential tremor” — frustratingly inessential but requiring continual use of strategies to compensate — and under El Cap, the trackpad has become so sensitive — and there doesn’t seem to be any way of reducing the sensitivity — that it is causing enough control problems for me that I’m thinking I’m going to have to go back to using a mouse at all times — that can be problem enough — but it would help when using a mouse if I could disable the trackpad completely, which I don’t think I can. But all of that is a purely personal problem.

As for the UI, as I said in a post some years ago when the subject came up — when Apple largely gave up colour in favour of 50 shades of grey — I’m not too concerned about the colour/non-colour or design of icons, etc; the only change in UI that I ever made was the hack to get rid of the leather-look, skeumorphic design of the address book/contacts … I did hate that enough to do something about it. And my 70-year-old eyes don’t have any trouble with the latest icons; in fact, in Scrivener, I currently generally use 11 point EBGaramond Pro and 100% magnification. My system is minimalist, with generally a bare desktop, with files on it only temporarily, and the only permanent residents of the hidden dock being the finder and the trashcan.

As time goes on, I find I want to do more and more through keyboard shortcuts, so as long as what I’m working on is clear, and I can recognise quickly any icons I do need to use, I’m happy and the more minimalist the UI, the better. However, in that, colour in icons does help, but I’m not going to rail against the dying of the colour … I’ll just get on with it.

Mr X