Stephen Hackett’s Aqua Screenshot Library

Stephen Hackett, writing at 512 Pixels:

I’m really glad to be announcing a project that started at the end of last year. I have worked my way through every major release of macOS since the Mac OS X Public Beta and catalogued them in an extensive collection of screenshots.

Currently, the library includes 1,502 images. That’s 1.6 GB worth of screenshots.

Just a staggering amount of work went into assembling this collection. What a great resource. I love the little things, like looking at how the Finder’s “Go to Folder” sheet has subtly changed over the years.

Question, though: Is the MacOS user interface appearance still called “Aqua”? I tend to think of “Aqua” as the “lickable” buttons, pinstripes and brushed metal look of the early Mac OS X years. Those aspects became more subtle with each passing year, but I can’t really put my finger on a new version that I feel is decidedly not “Aqua” until 10.10’s iOS 7-style flattening. But maybe even the current look and feel is still properly called Aqua? Update: As evidenced by the latest appearance APIs for MacOS 10.14 Mojave, the interface is indeed still named “Aqua”. The dark mode appearance is “Dark Aqua”.

The other odd thing about writing about the MacOS from a historical perspective is that Apple changed its name twice: “Mac OS X” from public beta through 10.7, “OS X” from 10.8 through 10.11, and now just “MacOS” since 10.12. (Don’t get me started on Apple’s marketing preference to capitalize it “macOS”.) If Hackett didn’t call it the “Aqua Screenshot Gallery”, what could he have called it? “Mac OS X Screenshot Gallery” would be my suggestion, but admittedly that feels wrong in a certain sense. “Mac Screenshot Gallery” would be inclusive of all versions of the OS since the Mac OS X public beta, but feels like it should also include the classic Mac OS era. Maybe that’s why Hackett went with “Aqua”.

Also, maybe I overthink things.

Wednesday, 22 August 2018