About Windoze/Mac and Maximizing...

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by JeDiBoYTJ, Dec 20, 2004.

  1. JeDiBoYTJ macrumors 6502a

    JeDiBoYTJ

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    #1
    ok, before I start, i would like to say that this is NOT one of those "OMG! L1k3... H0w do u mAXIMIZE0R a windoe on duh MAC?!!?!?1/11/" question, just a topic I have been thinking about lately...

    Ok, Whenever im on a mac, I never maximize a window. example: a webpage, usually firefox automatticaly formats to fit, and if not, I'll format it myself simply. But whenever I touch a windows machine (dont worry, I wash my hands), I always find the need to maximize website pages, word documents...etc, and I dont know why.

    Does anyone else do this? im curious to know...
     
  2. superbovine macrumors 68030

    superbovine

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    #2
    the resolution on your windows machine could be set at a lower resolution, giving you less visual real-estate thus forcing you maxmize windows to very the same things you viewed on your mac.
     
  3. mrpaperknife macrumors member

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    #3
    I'm a recent switcher and I have noticed the same behavior in myself. I'm using the same monitor on a PowerMac as I used on my PC. Interestingly, after using OS X almost exclusively for a month or so, I found that I was less inclined to maximize windows in XP.
    Not sure what that means... maybe its just a testament to the quality of OS X!!
     
  4. rccola70 macrumors regular

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    #4
    Well..in OS X its called Zoom which might explains the behavior.

    I think its because the dock is thicker (taller), and is sometimes more useful than the taskbar in Windows, so I don't find the need to maximize the whole window to the whole screen anymore. The ever-existant taskbar on the top in mac does double duty as it shows the time and notifications plus the Toolbar options (File, Edit, View, etc.).
     
  5. iJoe macrumors member

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    #5
    Yeah, I always had everything maximised on my Windows machine, but now, I have a smaller window, and don't mind. I think it's the 'drag-and-drop ease'. as it is called.:)

    It's kind of pointless to have it maximised, since most sites top out at a width of 760px. Some sites will stretch to fill though, I know.
     
  6. jxyama macrumors 68040

    jxyama

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    #6
    windows associate applications with windows. look at each window and you'll see that the application menu is within each windows.

    mac associates documents, not application, with windows. the application menu is always at the top for whatever the app being used. so the "maximize" (green) button is not really a maximize button, as mentioned, it's a zoom button. since there's no menu to go with the document in the window, there's no need to maximize it to fill the entire screen -> as long as the document fits, that's as big as the window needs to be.

    because of this difference, windows users tend to use one app at a time with the window being maximized, while mac users tend to just spread all of the windows over the desktop and bring to front whatever they need to work on.

    without going into all the details, mac way may be less popular but it's generally considered a better design principle. one of the biggest advantages is that no desktop space is wasted displaying menu options of an application that is not being used.

    additionally, this is the reason windows task bar is less useful than the dock. windows give an entry in the task bar for each instance of window. if you have one application running with 10 documents open, there'll be ten entries in the windows task bar. this is needed because windows, by design, is better used if you work on one maximized application at a time. if you were using the mac, you'll see one dock entry for the application. (in fact, the old application menu in Mac OS 9 and before, was an even better implementation of this concept since it's stationary and takes up less space.)
     
  7. abhishekit macrumors 65816

    abhishekit

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    #7
    I think the difference is in the 'concept' of maximizing. Windows users tend to think of maximize as something so that you can't see anything else on your screen.
    And Mac users, being the intelligent species :) , think of maximize as maximum width necessary to view the document.
     
  8. Applespider macrumors G4

    Applespider

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    #8
    Funny - the only time I managed to get friends into an Apple store to check their mail while in Chicago, their biggest gripe was that they couldn't easily maximise the window - and when I first switched, it was my biggest thing too since I'd been so conditioned to workingin full screen. I think the conditioning was from working way back on 600x800 etc though.

    Now I much prefer working with narrower windows (I hate stretched websites) and it's one of the many things that drives me nuts about my XP machine at work that there's no easy way to use small windows since menus are tougher to find and XP takes it as carte blanche to use seemingly random window sizes for ever more!

    Incidentally, in XP, you can set your task bar only to show one instance of the application with the open documents within it appearing as another menu. When working in Excel with lookup formulas going across workbooks I do find it easier to have multiple document tabs open in the task bar.
     
  9. wrldwzrd89 macrumors G5

    wrldwzrd89

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    #9
    I do this. I set the window to fit on Mac OS, and maximize everything on Windows. Of course, some Windows applications won't let me maximize their windows. Generally, on Mac OS X, the only time you can't zoom a window is in a web browser when the web site author has forbidden resizing of the window. In Mac OS 9, even this wasn't a problem - windows were always resizable.
     
  10. rueyeet macrumors 65816

    rueyeet

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    #10
    It's not a matter of relative intelligence of Windows users vs. Mac users. As jxyama says, it's got more to do with design.

    In Windows, even on today's high resolution monitors, apps tend to be designed so that you kinda need a maximized window to be able to see everything you're going to need to get to. Probably this is a holdover from the days of lower res monitors, but many Windows users are used to working in one maximized app at once, not the least because developers are used to designing their apps for that as well.

    On Windows, the only thing I don't habitually maximize is my web browser. I could increase resolution, but then stuff becomes too hard to see.

    This is still a complaint of mine as well. When you click the Minimize/Maximize button in Windows, the window toggles reliably back and forth between full screen and whatever size you had it at. On the Mac, Zoom resizes the window to whatever the app thinks it should be, with results that are inconsistent from one app to the next, impossible to anticipate the first time you try it with any given app, and often entirely useless anyway.
     
  11. wrldwzrd89 macrumors G5

    wrldwzrd89

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    #11
    One irritating thing with the Zoom feature is that it's not always obvious what state the window happens to be in, so it may take 2 clicks of the Zoom button before the window is in what the application thinks is the optimal size. The best fix I can think of for this is for the Zoom button to display differently depending on what state the window is in - I can't think of what would be best to display for the different states and still be consistent with the rest of the GUI.
     
  12. jeremy.king macrumors 603

    jeremy.king

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    #12
    Guess Microsoft should start calling it Window instead of Windows since everyone wants to maximize. :D

    Personally, I leave my windows scattered and appropriately sized for the content within the window. I will maximize when working with a database schema diagram or when I am working in WSAD/Eclipse.
     
  13. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    #13
    I used to do this, but recently, I tend to make most of my windows about 80% of screenwidth on Windows so that there is room for Trillian on the right hand side. But I keep pretty much everything I have open -- Word, Excel, Firefox, etc -- open at the same 80% size. On my iBook, I tend to keep most things hidden except for a few apps at a time -- like Mail, Adium and FF right now.

    I kind of agree with what people said here about the concept of windowing, but also, I do pretty much exactly what I do on MacOS on Unix in general, and I have for a long time. And most of those Unix environments tie the menu bar to the window, like in Windows...so hmmm....
     
  14. jxyama macrumors 68040

    jxyama

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    #14
    that's a very good point. actually, it's a mystery why apple hasn't implemented this. it's simple: just have the green button display a subtle "+" when it's zoomed and nothing when it's not.

    this is already done with the close (red) button: if something's changed in the document in the window and hasn't been saved, you'll see a black circle in middle of the red button.
     
  15. Daveway macrumors 68040

    Daveway

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    #15

    I'm a recent switcher and i would have to agree with this.
     
  16. Makosuke macrumors 603

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    #16
    I've noticed this behavior (both in myself and others), and I'm surprised how widespread it seems to be.

    I've got a combination of theories as to why, past simple habit from the days of 640X480 screens:

    One reason is definitely to put the menu bar in a standard location; if you're running several smaller windows, you're going to go hunting for which of the menu bars on the screen is actually connected to the window you're working in.

    Also, Windows (well, at least the themes I've used) doesn't provide very good visual feedback as to which window is in the background, and I find myself frequently clicking on the wrong scrollbar or menu if I'm not being careful, and I've seen others (even people who use Windows exclusively) do this as well.

    Therefore, by maximizing all windows, you don't really have these issues--the menu bar is always where you expect it (as it of course is by design in the MacOS), and you don't have to worry about hitting the wrong scrollbar, either, since they're always going to be in the same place.

    The other thing that might have something to do with it is the tendency for Windows windows to end up outside the screen boundaries; MacOS windows generally open in the right place, not underlapping the Dock or menu bar (they actually can't do the latter), so there's just not as much worry about them being in a funny position.

    By the way, does anybody find the windows-in-windows applications on Windows creepy? The apps (Word, for example) that have a single large window that then contains smaller windows for individual documents; the theory is obviously to mimic the MacOS without violating copyright/patent law, by having the menu bar in a consistent location while still allowing more than one document onscreen at one time, but it's sure disorienting, particularly since it's done side-by-side with apps that run "rootless".
     
  17. MisterMe macrumors G4

    MisterMe

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    #17
    A non-switcher's perspective: I absolutely hate the Windows concept of maximize. I do not want a single application to take over my computer display. On the Mac, that doesn't happen--except for games. Zoom on the Mac is really different in concept than maximize on Windows. As such, you cannot properly describe zoom in terms of two states. It is just one size in a continuously variable number of user-selectable sizes. Unlike a maximized Windows window, a zoomed Mac window can be resized by simply dragging the lower right-hand corner, just like any other Mac window. A zoomed window is not the largest size possible. The Mac allows windows that are larger than the display. You don't need to know if a Mac window is maximized because there is nothing special about it.
     
  18. wrldwzrd89 macrumors G5

    wrldwzrd89

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    #18
    According to Apple's own documentation, the Zoom button toggles the window between two states: the optimal state, set by the application developer; and the user state, set by the computer user. If the window is resized while in the optimal state, that state becomes the new user state.
     
  19. superninjagoat macrumors 6502

    superninjagoat

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    #19
    I have a similar theory. Mac users are used to their menu bar at the top of the screen. Windows aps have them on the window itself. In order to get the menus at the top of the screen where mac muscle memory keeps taking your mouse, you maximize the window. Now, your file menu is where it feels as though it should be.

    Just my two cents. s.n.goat
     
  20. RacerX macrumors 65832

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    #20
    The rooted application windowing behavior is a leftover from the foundation of Windows which was originally an environment to run a GUI based app, namely Excel. Microsoft developed Excel for Macs first in trade for using some of the same GUI concepts in Windows so that Excel would work the same on DOS-based PCs.

    As other developers started porting Mac applications to PCs, they followed the same route that Microsoft did with Excel. This is why old Mac apps like Photoshop run in a root window in Windows today.

    On the Windows side of this in the late 80's and early 90's, this was not considered a disadvantage as Windows/DOS was used mainly in the general work place where people didn't need (or want) multitasking. On the Mac side during the same period, Macs were the tool of choice by creative people who were often using two or three applications at once to create an end product. In that environment being able to still see other applications was a major plus. Also the desktop was an active part of computing for Mac users and PC users didn't get the same type of functionality until Windows 95. Mac users constantly drag things to-and-from the desktop and to-and-from different applications. Windows users usually can't see the desktop or any other running application beyond the one they are currently in so drag-n-drop tends to be something of a foreign concept to many of them.

    This design choice on the Windows side is why I think Windows PCs are best suited for secretaries and gamers. In both those cases multitasking is generally not desirable.
     
  21. wrldwzrd89 macrumors G5

    wrldwzrd89

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    #21
    That explains a lot of the differences between Windows and Mac OS, as well as the difficulties both kinds of switchers have (both Windows to Mac OS and Mac OS to Windows) with the other environment. Your explanation also de-mystifies some other quirks, like why the Mac OS is considered to be very user-friendly and why Windows gets so many games developed for it.
     
  22. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    #22
    True, but.... MS has gone back and forth on this issue. Some of the office applications started going rootless around Office 2k, didn't they? I'm pretty sure the latest Word and Excel are, but Access is sorta half-half...you get multiple start bar window entries, but they pop up in the root container...I find it disorienting too, especially since most of those apps make it difficult if not impossible to manage multiple subwindows in a practical way within the root window -- I usually end up maximizing one at a time.

    I know Excel already has tabs sprouting out at the seams, but I wonder if anyone's tried a tab metaphor for multiple documents in an app like Word or Acrobat...I will say one time when I find rooted behavior easier is with PDF files...when I'm using them heavily, I tend to have 5-10 of them open at the same time, like when I'm pulling information out of a literature search for a research paper, and then the way Preview deals with them is very disorienting, having so many of them in windows loosely cascaded over the screen...there, Acrobat having them in a container is actually a nicety.
     
  23. wrldwzrd89 macrumors G5

    wrldwzrd89

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    #23
    I say why don't you let Apple know? Surely there will be others than just you and me that would like that as an option in Preview, no?
     
  24. MisterMe macrumors G4

    MisterMe

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    #24
    Irrespective of Apple's own documentation, in the general case there is no operational difference between the "optimal state" and any other user-set state. I am sure that you have used an app that zooms to a state where part of the window is obscured by the Dock. Then you have to manually resize the window. Others behave as expected. The developer's choice of optimal size and placement, however, has no impact on my ability or yours to tweak a window to fit your needs.
     
  25. wrldwzrd89 macrumors G5

    wrldwzrd89

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    #25
    That is highly annoying (windows ending up under the dock) - and it's not supposed to occur in Panther. You are right though - Apple's internal representation of the Zoom button and how it works in practice are two different beasts. Basically, the optimal state is supposed to be just big enough so that the scroll bars are eliminated or the need for scrolling is minimized if the document is too big.
     

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