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View Full Version : Mission Control, a year or two on...




Sonic
May 7, 2013, 08:59 PM
I'm getting to like Mountain Lion, in general, apart from one thing - Mission Control. I've been hoping it would be improved by now. Both functionally and in terms of optimisation.

Functionally it's so much less useful than 10.5 to me because of the way it lays things out. It's harder to read because of the stacked windows as well as the strange new algorithm for actually 'box-packing' which seems a lot less tidy, than 10.6 or 10.5/4/3. Lots of screen real estate, as well as GPU resources are wasted by GUI fluff. The Spaces could probably have used a lot smaller area / even just a tab-like bar at the top, just as an example...

For me, it's been awful since 10.7, and hasn't got any better. And the worst thing of all is the frame-rate.

Whereas my 2002 G4 Powerbook could happily run 20-30 windows of Exposť acceptably smoothly on 10.3.9, my top end 2013 machine will sometimes go as bad as 1fps (to the point where you don't even see the windows slide onto the screen, they sort of judder, pause, and just appear on it instead.) This can be with as few as, say 10-15 windows, with nothing heavy running, with iGPU or dGPU.

Watching this work smoothly back this long ago makes me sad: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mAvHMDR1N3U (Exposť original demo) Looks loads more functional too...

Could there actually be something wrong with my install? I somehow doubt it, as this is my 3rd RMBP due to image retention, and they've all exhibited it from day 1.

As of late, I've actually dropped Mission Control from my workflow, pretty much entirely. Which is a massive step back as I used Exposť pretty much constantly before, tied to hot corners, doing 'power-moves' like dragging files into the corner of the screen to trigger it and move them around like that etc. I've since reverted to just clicking icons and using things like window re-positioning as I was doing in 10.2... talk about progress!

I never had a problem with lag in Safari as others have said, in fact it runs buttery smooth since 10.8.3, so I now know the RMBP can throw around a lot of hires pixels very smoothly if need be... As a coder, the performance of Mission Control feels to me more like a bug / really badly optimised bit of code, but this is just my intuition (for example, it doesn't seem to make any difference to the frame-rate whether I'm on iGPU or dGPU, etc...)

How about you guys, how do you find it? Is it any better on other Macs? Is this a Retina-specific performance thing? Is there any hope of a performance-fix?



iLog.Genius
May 7, 2013, 09:36 PM
You don't have to use Mission Control's grouping.

System Preferences > Mission Control > uncheck Group Windows By Application.

It's a bit different than Snow Leopard (it doesn't show minimized windows if you like that) but if you prefer Expose in Panther, this should help you.

Like you, I don't like the grouping because if you have a lot of windows from one application, the grouping doesn't make sense because it's difficult to see and defeats the purpose of quickly switching between windows using Expose.

alec6542
May 7, 2013, 09:40 PM
Yeah for me MC is just a glorified App Switcher. It's faster to just command tab instead of playing hide and seek with all the windows. It has some potential though, just wish they would dim the background, stack the windows in nice row, get rid of that distracting grey border, and show the window descriptions under the thumbnails. Oh wait, that would be going to back to SL Expose. I actually don't mind the grouping windows by application, but the two finger swipe up it "expand' them is a joke. It would actually be useful if doing so brought you straight to App expose for that particular app.

----------

You don't have to use Mission Control's grouping.

System Preferences > Mission Control > uncheck Group Windows By Application.

It's a bit different than Snow Leopard (it doesn't show minimized windows if you like that) but if you prefer Expose in Panther, this should help you.

THe issue I have with this is that actually makes finding your window even MORE difficult. There are no descriptions under the window TN's! The window are all over the place in an apparent random way. I don't see why they couldn't just integrate MC with SL Expose. You can keep the desktop TN's at the top, just make the windows easier to see by dimming the background and giving us descriptions.

iLog.Genius
May 7, 2013, 09:44 PM
THe issue I have with this is that actually makes finding your window even MORE difficult. There are no descriptions under the window TN's! The window are all over the place in an apparent random way. I don't see why they couldn't just integrate MC with SL Expose. You can keep the desktop TN's at the top, just make the windows easier to see by dimming the background and giving us descriptions.

I feel you but this is the best solution for those who loved the previous versions of Expose before Apple decided to get over-creative and decided it was a good idea to just group windows together because it looked nice. Definitely miss the title under each window and the ability to see minimized windows.

thejadedmonkey
May 7, 2013, 09:45 PM
I upgraded from Lion to Mountain Lion just so I could get all-window expose back, but it still sucks. I'd love Snow Leopard style espose and spaces in 10.9.

Sonic
May 7, 2013, 10:06 PM
You don't have to use Mission Control's grouping.

System Preferences > Mission Control > uncheck Group Windows By Application.

Thanks for the tip, it's an improvement (surprised I missed it all this time!) But it's still not 10.5 / 10.6... The lack of titles, the wasted space and distraction of the border area etc... Weirdly it seems to run a touch smoother, so that's something... But it's barely usable, still.

I never actually used 10.6, apart from to install 10.7, but I think I may have grown to like the box layout there, just for neatness' sake. Hard to know, long-term if I'd have preferred it to 10.5 and earlier... Would be very happy with the 10.5 implementation, though.

iLog.Genius
May 7, 2013, 10:17 PM
Thanks for the tip, it's an improvement (surprised I missed it all this time!) But it's still not 10.5 / 10.6... The lack of titles, the wasted space and distraction of the border area etc... Weirdly it seems to run a touch smoother, so that's something... But it's barely usable, still.

I never actually used 10.6, apart from to install 10.7, but I think I may have grown to like the box layout there, just for neatness' sake. Hard to know, long-term if I'd have preferred it to 10.5 and earlier... Would be very happy with the 10.5 implementation, though.

What I found, as well as a bunch of users here, was Expose on Leopard good but with Snow Leopard, it was great. Windows weren't scattered everywhere but were aligned with titles - it's what Expose should be...and then Lion came and messed everything up.

Krazy Bill
May 8, 2013, 11:00 AM
Yeah for me MC is just a glorified App Switcher. It's faster to just command tab instead of playing hide and seek with all the windows.Huh? Cmd-Tab doesn't show any windows, just running apps. How can you compare that to MC? :confused:

And faster is not always easier. If you're a heavy trackpad user, a swipe to reveal all your windows is a lot simpler to me than a two finger keypress and constantly pecking away with your pinkey until the app is selected.

dyn
May 8, 2013, 05:44 PM
What I found, as well as a bunch of users here, was Expose on Leopard good but with Snow Leopard, it was great. Windows weren't scattered everywhere but were aligned with titles - it's what Expose should be...and then Lion came and messed everything up.
Funny thing is that another bunch of people hated it in Snow Leopard for the same reasons you are loving it. Apple changed it in 10.5, 10.6, 10.7 and 10.8. We've had topics about how crappy Expose was in 10.5, 10.6, 10.7 and 10.8. What it shows is that there are a lot of people with a different workflow. No matter what Apple will do, people will be disappointed and they will want to revert to the OS X version that had Expose/Mission Control that matches their workflow the most. For some that would be 10.6, for others it is 10.4, etc. Expose/Mission Control are part of ones workflow and that's exactly its biggest issue.

The only thing I actually miss is the title below the windows. This makes it easier to find things, especially within the same application. Typing part of the title to get to the window you are looking for is something that I also liked a lot. I think these features can still be implemented. The bigger ones like layout are far more difficult due to various different workflows (people who love the boxed layout vs people who absolutely hate it).

iLog.Genius
May 10, 2013, 12:03 PM
The only thing I actually miss is the title below the windows. This makes it easier to find things, especially within the same application. Typing part of the title to get to the window you are looking for is something that I also liked a lot. I think these features can still be implemented. The bigger ones like layout are far more difficult due to various different workflows (people who love the boxed layout vs people who absolutely hate it).

While I agree you'll never satisfy the needs of everyone, I think it's safe to assume that any changes to Expose up to Snow Leopard is nothing compared to the mess in Lion/Mountain Lion.

I will say this though, if you're a user that uses maybe a few windows in an application (max 4?), you're probably ok with Expose in 10.7/10.8 because you could still navigate the windows without much interruptions but if you're a user with many windows, I just don't see how using Mission Control is better than Expose pre-10.7.

dyn
May 13, 2013, 03:12 PM
While I agree you'll never satisfy the needs of everyone, I think it's safe to assume that any changes to Expose up to Snow Leopard is nothing compared to the mess in Lion/Mountain Lion.
I don't think it's safe to do that. The amount of people complaining about it haven't changed since 10.5. Apparently it is a feature many of us use.


I will say this though, if you're a user that uses maybe a few windows in an application (max 4?), you're probably ok with Expose in 10.7/10.8 because you could still navigate the windows without much interruptions but if you're a user with many windows, I just don't see how using Mission Control is better than Expose pre-10.7.
The windows problem in Mission Control is only a problem in 10.7 since 10.8 allows you to ungroup per app thus giving you single windows. It's what I use because I don't have that many windows. If I were, I think I'd switch back to the default because it gives me a better overview since it is less cluttered. Trying to find a small window when there are like 50 on screen is a PITA; it was in 10.4 and it has never changed much (it is less painful in 10.7/10.8 due to the grouping functionality..if only you could pick what to group by). People laughed at Microsoft for grouping the windows in XP and onwards but it actually isn't such a bad idea though.

I think Apple is trying to balance between people who use a lot of windows and people who use very few windows which may explain the amounts of people complaining with every new OS X release about its window management.

simsaladimbamba
May 13, 2013, 03:18 PM
As I was "forced" to upgrade to OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion due to me building a Hackintosh (Windows 7 gave me headaches, real ones), I simply got TotalSpaces (http://totalspaces.binaryage.com), which as of the current version is a good re-enactor for Spaces.
If I can figure out how to trigger Exposť in Spaces mode via mouse, I will be a happy camper and can forget about the rest of the shenanigans.

tkermit
May 13, 2013, 06:45 PM
Huh? Cmd-Tab doesn't show any windows, just running apps.

Hyperswitch (http://www.macupdate.com/app/mac/41769/hyperswitch) can be kind of useful though, if you're interested in that functionality.

http://f.cl.ly/items/2C440i1M2j3Q0I2g3e0e/hyperswitch.png

constantly pecking away with your pinkey until the app is selected.

Personally, I use use the mouse cursor to select the app, after I've brought up the CMD-Tab switcher.

Krazy Bill
May 13, 2013, 07:14 PM
Hyperswitch (http://www.macupdate.com/app/mac/41769/hyperswitch) can be kind of useful though, if you're interested in that functionality.I'll stick to Expose'. I'm just comfortable with it.

But I will say that Hyperswitch is nicely done. Kudos to the developer and thanks for sharing the info.