July is going to be an important month for all Mac OS X users — the long-awaited new version of Mac OS X 10.7 Lion is about to be released. While the system will probably be a cool improvement over the previous version, there is one more factor that all Mac users should take into account before merrily jumping onto the bleeding edge of Apple products. And this factor is:
Our daily computer usage relies on various pieces of software: browsers, text editors, instant messengers etc. Now, before we upgrade to Lion it would be cool to know if the apps we rely on would keep working without glitches. Because there is no guarantee that the upgrade will not break the software which was designed for a previous Mac OS X version. Although software developers have early access to the upcoming upgrades, probably not all of them make their apps Lion-ready at the launch day.
Meet RoaringApps.com! Rroarr!
Not only RoaringApps is the coolest site on the web that will keep you informed which apps are Lion-ready and which still have issues, but this site is built on Wikidot and uses a bunch of (pretty advanced) Wikidot features. Honestly, this site is just beautiful. And we are always excited to see sites made that well!
What strikes first is the very clean and balanced design and the degree to which the site is customized (comparing to default Wikidot sites). Brilliant usage of CSS and CSS animations - which probably will not work on older browsers, but who cares! This is a site for Mac users, which DO have latest browsers, right? No need for workarounds for Internet Explorer.
After using the site a bit I must say it is also very well thought. It uses categories, forms, tags, ListPages for making one of the most advanced Wikidot sites we have ever seen.
But what is important, the complexity is nicely hidden and what you can see is an interface that makes it easy to find stuff, comment, change status and generally interact with the growing database of Mac apps.
The database is pretty complete too, and still growing. Thanks to the very low entry barrier for new users and practically no learning curve I hope the data will be kept up-to-date by numerous contributors.
OK, enough talking. A quick test. I was going to check if it is safe for me to upgrade to Lion. Two mouse and 5 keyboard clicks and I am checking my first app:
So Adium works fine. There is a cool "Add to my dock" button that… Check this out. I have "docked" a few more apps that I use daily. Behind the scenes each of the app pages are tagged with my user-specific tag so that it is easy to list apps for a given user. Once I created my profile page, here it is, with my very own dock:
What will definitely help me is the "grid view" of my docked items (you need to click the Applications folder). Here is mine:
Unfortunately I have discovered some of the apps I rely on still have problems with Lion — ranging from small glitches to being totally unusable (Reeder, can you hear me?). But thanks to RoaringApps I was able to quickly check all my apps within a few minutes, I have "docked" them and now I have a dead easy way to check their status on one single page.
RoaringApps is a real time-saver and the number one place you should visit before upgrading to Lion. It is also an example how amazing stuff can be built on Wikidot!