PDA

View Full Version : Annoying Dockbar


triton
May 28, 2004, 12:32 PM
Hi,

I am a PC user at home, using an Apple at work. I'm wondering if you guys are at all annoyed by the dockbar at the bottom of the screen is OS X. The reason I ask is just because I miss OS 9 so much. Are there any programs that actually put your applications back up top like OS 9? I know, of course, that you can hide the dockbar, but I just wanted to know if there is anything out there that can make it like OS 9. Thanks for any help you can give!

:rolleyes:

FuzzyBallz
May 28, 2004, 12:35 PM
WTF, what's wrong w/ OS X's dock? If you want the OS 9 look, just place the dock on the side then drag all programs you want to the dock. OS 9's apple menu's so messy.

krimson
May 28, 2004, 12:45 PM
set the dock to the left side, auto-hide, remove all the apps, and just put the Applications folder in there... i think that's what you're looking for... sorta

jxyama
May 28, 2004, 12:58 PM
dock has many issues, from usability point of view. check out an article at www.asktog.com to see some of the issues.

a few points can be addressed by using tinkertool to anchor the dock to one of the corners. but it's still quite bothersome. i've learned to deal with it, but i hope apple will improve upon it in the future OS X.

Mal
May 28, 2004, 02:32 PM
Ok, whoever wrote that site is a lazy bum with no creativity. If they want different icons, PUT DIFFERENT ICONS ON YOUR FILES!!! Same with folders. If it's an open, minimized file, it already tells you exactly what it is. As for taking up space, you can make it as big or small as you want, without any extra applications. Get off your lazy bum and customize it the way you want it. Apple gave you the option, now do it!

JW

jxyama
May 28, 2004, 02:58 PM
Ok, whoever wrote that site is a lazy bum with no creativity. If they want different icons, PUT DIFFERENT ICONS ON YOUR FILES!!! Same with folders. If it's an open, minimized file, it already tells you exactly what it is. As for taking up space, you can make it as big or small as you want, without any extra applications. Get off your lazy bum and customize it the way you want it. Apple gave you the option, now do it!

JW

um the guy who wrote that website is the original leader of apple's human interface design group. his words carry a bit more weight than you think.

he doesn't want different icons, per se. he wants icons to carry more information, visibly, than what is currently portrayed when minimized in the dock.

the point of pursuing better interface design is to precisely allow users to be "lazy" because users have a lot better use for his/her time and effort than interacting with computers. the computer interface should be simple, intuitive and effortless - afterall, how you interact with the computer isn't the point of using the computer, it's what you do with the computer that matters. in that regard, an interface that stays out of the way of complicating matter for the user is the best one. so, yes, it's ok to demand to be "lazier."

by the way, apple doesn't allow custom grid spacing on, say, desktop, as an example. if you want icons lined up nicely on the desktop, you have no choice on how far you want the icons to line up from each other. this is a major problem and i believe tog is correct in saying that the density of the unadjustable grid is way too low - it was much tigher in jaguar. (and no, i will not go back to jaguar. panther is an upgrade to jaguar, it should be better than jaguar, that's the whole point.)

one of the greatest things about Mac is the fact they seem to spend more time and effort in doing these small, not so visible work on improving interfacing designs, than, say, microsoft - improving the workflow in subtle but significant way. so i'd like apple to keep on working on it.

IJ Reilly
May 28, 2004, 03:24 PM
I agree, the article is picking nits, but nit-picking is a good way to evaluate a GUI. After all, even a poorly-conceived GUI (such as Windows) works -- but the question is, how well?

The author is right: the dock is really suited only for applications, and isn't up to speed for folders, documents or Finder windows. Apple intended the dock as a catch-all organizer, but I doubt many of us use it that way because of the issues raised in the article. Actually, it's kind of interesting that the thread-starter was asking about reproducing the OS9 application switcher palette. For my money this was one of OS9's most annoying features! The dock does this much better, especially if you load the little haxie that dims the icons for hidden applications.

I'd like to think the dock is a work in progress, and that Apple will eventually figure out how to make it as useful as they'd originally intended it to be. But for now it's neither as good or as bad as many people seem to think.

jxyama
May 28, 2004, 03:30 PM
sorry, i forgot about the original topic. :D

try launchbar, available at versiontracker.

http://www.versiontracker.com/dyn/moreinfo/macosx/2409

mkrishnan
May 28, 2004, 03:51 PM
Here's another one for your perusal...FWIW there are a few utilities here and there that try to make the Apple menu look like it did before OS X....

http://www.sigsoftware.com/classicmenu/

blue&whiteman
May 28, 2004, 04:02 PM
anyone who prefers the os9 gui over osx has some screws loose :p

ingenious
May 28, 2004, 04:26 PM
anyone who prefers the os9 gui over osx has some screws loose :p

Yes, OS X's GUI is much better than OS 9's. What's wrong with the dock?

jxyama
May 28, 2004, 04:37 PM
Yes, OS X's GUI is much better than OS 9's. What's wrong with the dock?

i'm not so sure. OS X GUI certainly looks nicer, but that doesn't mean its usability has improved...

dock has some issues. for example, from the usability standpoint, it's an absolute mess that the trashcan is not stationary. thanks to tinkertool, this can be remedied by anchoring the dock to one of the corners.

also, since dock stretches, you cannot make any correlations between the location of the dock icon and the app being launched. dock shortcuts are not stationary. you have to always look and make sure to click the correct icon because there's no guarantee the icon is at the same place as before.

i guess i could go on, but tog does a much better job.

khreg
May 28, 2004, 04:51 PM
to the original question ....

For a classic-like app switching menu in the top right corner you want to use ASM:
http://www.vercruesse.de/software

To restore classic-like functionality to the Apple Menu, there's Fruit Menu:
http://www.unsanity.com/haxies/fruitmenu

.. as well as ClassicMenu which was mentioned above.


-k

Billicus
May 28, 2004, 05:06 PM
An application for emulating the Classic Application Menu is: ASM. (http://www.versiontracker.com/dyn/moreinfo/macosx/10410) :)

triton
May 28, 2004, 05:19 PM
Hi Again,

I do love Apple, OS X, OS 9 etc. I just prefer the way OS9 had the toolbar hidden away in the top bar. The inteface on Apple machines is just so clean, that I wanted to keep it that way. The dockbar is nice, but I hate having something on the bottom or sides when I already have a bar up top. Since I use Windows quite often, I just got used to having one bar on the screen. Thanks everyone for your feedback :)

ingenious
May 28, 2004, 06:11 PM
i'm not so sure. OS X GUI certainly looks nicer, but that doesn't mean its usability has improved...

dock has some issues. for example, from the usability standpoint, it's an absolute mess that the trashcan is not stationary. thanks to tinkertool, this can be remedied by anchoring the dock to one of the corners.

also, since dock stretches, you cannot make any correlations between the location of the dock icon and the app being launched. dock shortcuts are not stationary. you have to always look and make sure to click the correct icon because there's no guarantee the icon is at the same place as before.

i guess i could go on, but tog does a much better job.


Um, the "eye candy" may not necessarily mean its usability has increased, but the usability difference between X and is immense. X is much more user friendly. I believe the dock behaves the way is supposed to, and I happen to like it that way. Yes, it does have some bugs (i.e. crashing), but then again, we're only on the 4th release of X.

slooksterPSV
May 28, 2004, 08:01 PM
Honestly that is one of the main reasons I want a Mac. Besides speed, performance and overall look, the Dockbar is easier to access then going through all of your program files in the Start Menu on Windows (any version for that matter).

I want something that is on the desktop that i can easily access, windows only provides a quick launcher, but you are limited by how many programs can go in there that show. As for OS 9, that menu is way messy.

Buy an iBook, save broken glass!

parrothead
May 28, 2004, 08:34 PM
Hi Again,

I do love Apple, OS X, OS 9 etc. I just prefer the way OS9 had the toolbar hidden away in the top bar. The inteface on Apple machines is just so clean, that I wanted to keep it that way. The dockbar is nice, but I hate having something on the bottom or sides when I already have a bar up top. Since I use Windows quite often, I just got used to having one bar on the screen. Thanks everyone for your feedback :)


Windows has their version of a "dockbar" It is that ugly annoying bar at the bottom with the start menu in it. When you open an application you get two bars as well. One on top with all the menus and the bar at the bottom. I realize that everyone has their own preference about how they like their desktop to look, but I cant help but to be jealous of the fact that you get to use a Mac at work! ;)

TEG
May 28, 2004, 11:04 PM
Fruit Menu is great to customize the Apple and Application Menus.

Check it out through Version Tracker.

TEG

triton
May 29, 2004, 03:54 AM
Windows has their version of a "dockbar" It is that ugly annoying bar at the bottom with the start menu in it. When you open an application you get two bars as well. One on top with all the menus and the bar at the bottom. I realize that everyone has their own preference about how they like their desktop to look, but I cant help but to be jealous of the fact that you get to use a Mac at work! ;)

I know, I AM lucky! ;) I work at a very well known Architecture Institute, and when I arrived, everyone was on PC's (Maya, 3DS Max of course). But I asked for an Apple, and they hooked me up. However, I spend about 9 hrs a day on my Apple at work, and then another 6 on my PC at home somtimes. So I'm split between the two. I think I will just live the dockbar for now. It does have some benifits after all. :D

mkrishnan
May 29, 2004, 08:46 AM
I know, I AM lucky! ;) I work at a very well known Architecture Institute, and when I arrived, everyone was on PC's (Maya, 3DS Max of course). But I asked for an Apple, and they hooked me up. However, I spend about 9 hrs a day on my Apple at work, and then another 6 on my PC at home somtimes. So I'm split between the two. I think I will just live the dockbar for now. It does have some benifits after all. :D

You might want to try one of these ASM or Classicmenu things with the dock still turned *on* for a while, and see what happens. :) If you find yourself just using the apple menu, turn the dock off. If you find yourself just using the dock, you can delete classicmenu. :)

IJ Reilly
May 29, 2004, 12:19 PM
I know, I AM lucky! ;) I work at a very well known Architecture Institute, and when I arrived, everyone was on PC's (Maya, 3DS Max of course). But I asked for an Apple, and they hooked me up. However, I spend about 9 hrs a day on my Apple at work, and then another 6 on my PC at home somtimes. So I'm split between the two. I think I will just live the dockbar for now. It does have some benifits after all. :D

Somebody may have suggested this already, but in case they haven't: Don't hide the dock. Make the icons smaller if you need more screen real estate. And don't use magnify. Hiding cancels out the main value (IMO) of the dock -- the ability to drag files to application icons, and to see which of your applications you've got running (forget to start iCal -- oops, you just missed an appointment!). Also, nobody mentioned dockings, those cool little applications that run on the dock.

The dock isn't perfect, but it definitely isn't broken.

wrldwzrd89
May 29, 2004, 01:10 PM
Somebody may have suggested this already, but in case they haven't: Don't hide the dock. Make the icons smaller if you need more screen real estate. And don't use magnify. Hiding cancels out the main value (IMO) of the dock -- the ability to drag files to application icons, and to see which of your applications you've got running (forget to start iCal -- oops, you just missed an appointment!). Also, nobody mentioned dockings, those cool little applications that run on the dock.

The dock isn't perfect, but it definitely isn't broken.
I'm just curious as to what you don't like about the magnification feature of the Mac OS X Dock. I have my dock set to the smallest possible size, on the bottom, with magnification turned on and at maximum. I have no dock-modifying "hacks" installed either. EDIT: oops, forgot to mention that hiding is off.

mkrishnan
May 29, 2004, 05:08 PM
I'm just curious as to what you don't like about the magnification feature of the Mac OS X Dock. I have my dock set to the smallest possible size, on the bottom, with magnification turned on and at maximum. I have no dock-modifying "hacks" installed either. EDIT: oops, forgot to mention that hiding is off.

(You weren't asking *me*, but... :)) I think the mag feature looks really cool, but I find it disorienting. Specifically, if I have mag turned off and the dock at *max* size, then I know exactly where to point the mouse to get to something. But I feel like I have to fish through the dock in mag mode to find what I want.

Also, someone else said that hiding the dock ruins dragging files to the dock...I still do that with a hidden dock. OS X seems pretty good at making it come back when I drag down there.

wrldwzrd89
May 29, 2004, 05:18 PM
(You weren't asking *me*, but... :)) I think the mag feature looks really cool, but I find it disorienting. Specifically, if I have mag turned off and the dock at *max* size, then I know exactly where to point the mouse to get to something. But I feel like I have to fish through the dock in mag mode to find what I want.

Also, someone else said that hiding the dock ruins dragging files to the dock...I still do that with a hidden dock. OS X seems pretty good at making it come back when I drag down there.
I agree - it can be disorienting, especially with the settings I use (tiny Dock, maximum magnification). It's especially hard to drag something into or out of the Dock with my settings, but at least I can always tell which applications are running.

GetGo
May 29, 2004, 07:08 PM
Hey jxyama thanks for mentioning LaunchBar this is a great little program. I love it, if you guys don't have it you should download it.

3rdKidney
May 29, 2004, 10:02 PM
back to the original question: ams.vercrusesse.de

has a great utility that I've used since moving to osX. Personally, I find the dock great for launching apps (I keep mine on the right side, not the bottom), but it's horrible for quickly seeing which apps are active and jumping between apps, especially when you have a very full dock (like myself). The AMS utility mentioned above is perfect for this.