[By Nic Lindh on Tuesday, 02 December 2003]
One of the cool things in Mac OS X that seems to lie dormant right underneath the consciousness of most users is the Services menu. There it sits, just a tiny little item hidden in your application menu, not calling any attention to itself, just kind of hanging out, waiting, waiting to pounce.
When you think about it, Services are a new aspect of the Unix philosophy of making many little tools that do one thing and do them well and are able to be strung together like Lego pieces to create a whole infinitely greater than the sum of its parts–albeit of course not as astoundingly 1337 as a real Unix pipeline in that the pipe ends in the Service. Nevertheless, you have some data in some application, and a Service can use that data in novel ways, which opens up the door for some very tasty solutions once more developers start delving into the possibilities.
That’s probably the thing I like best about OS X: It opens up the door for so many new killer apps to come down the pike, which should make for a very interesting computer future.