Dashboard is great! Dashboard is silly!

Discussion in 'macOS' started by commonpeople, May 26, 2005.

  1. commonpeople macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2004
    #1
    I still haven't decided if Dashboard is genius or dumb-dumb. I've been playing around with the Wikipedia widget today. Great! Now I can look at Wikipedia pages at the touch of a button... uh... but can't I do that anyway in Safari?... Hey.. why can't I put Safari on my dashboard? That would be much easier than having all of these different widgets.

    The only logical conclusion to this Widget business (as pointed out in an ArsTechnica review of Tiger) is to allow Desktop applications to be placed on the Dashboard- that way you effectively have 2 Desktops within easy access. Now that could be cool- though this technology already exists on most *nix OS's- which allow you to switch quickly between multiple Desktops.

    Maybe we'll have to wait for OSX.5 (Tabby) to do this.. but for the moment it's hard to make any compelling case for the multitude of half-useful Widgets- none of which do anything that can't be done just as easily in a Web browser or with other apps.

    Oh- but I do like the sliding puzzle widget. Don't ever take that away from me.

    naitsirhC
     
  2. feakbeak macrumors 6502a

    feakbeak

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2003
    Location:
    Michigan
    #2
    Yeah, Dashboard is very gimmicky, but I like it. I am not going to herald it as some crowning achievement as Apple's marketing team does. This is just a rip off of DesktopX and Konfabulator. Dashboard manages resources a little better and I'm sure with revisions they'll add some of the missing functionality such as embedding the widgets into the actual desktop. Still, it has it's uses. I run about 6-8 widgets constantly and find it useful to call them up when needed and otherwise have them hidden away.

    Dashboard:
    Innovative? No.
    Change the way you use your Mac? Not really.
    Nice to have? You bet ya!
     
  3. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #3
    Christian, I sort of agree... I don't have any of the search widgets on my DB. I use AcidSearch on Safari or searchplugins in Firefox and I find it to be more satisfactory. But I find a lot of the other DB widgets are a better experience than doing it in Safari -- such as the weather widgets (I have one for a weather map and another for a forecast). In some cases too, like the iCal Events widget, it's not that you can't get the information from iCal, but it doesn't display it in a nice minimal, bitesize format, and having that is nice. And then of course I love iComic. :)

    But I totally agree with you on widgets that essentially search websites.

    EDIT: I guess though, in hindsight, this thread made me realize that I never use the Adress Book or stickies widgets, and so I just removed them. I've been slowly adding and subtracting. So far, iCal Events, iComic and the weather ones are huge winners to me...I'm not so sure about the calculator yet, and how it's better than leaving the main calculator running in the background.
     
  4. Benjamin macrumors 6502a

    Benjamin

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2003
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #4
    Actually from a developer stand point you can already turn on that function its just not on by default. MacOS X Hints Topic for Dev Mode. And for instance I made this small iTunes controller that sits on my desktop. Image Link
     
  5. feakbeak macrumors 6502a

    feakbeak

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2003
    Location:
    Michigan
    #5
    Yeah, I had come across that. I haven't tried it but from reading another thread about it people said that you can drag the widgets out of the dashboard so that they act as independent apps, but they are still not baked into the desktop - i.e. never on top of any application windows.
     
  6. Benjamin macrumors 6502a

    Benjamin

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2003
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #6
    Yeah thats the one disappointing thing, the dashboard layer is ontop of the regular desktop layer :-\
     
  7. feakbeak macrumors 6502a

    feakbeak

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2003
    Location:
    Michigan
    #7
    Just switched on dev mode to try it out - it is still pretty cool. I wonder if dev mode has any other side-effects though - such as if it is less efficient, like running debug code or something. Does anyone happen to know exactly what this dev mode does? Not sure I want to leave it on as I probably won't drag widgets out of the dashboard often.
     
  8. commonpeople thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2004
    #8
    No it's good that the Dashboard is an extra layer. The more virtual space I can get on my ibook the better (it gets pretty crowded in here). But I want the freedom to put Safari for example on the Dashboard.

    Of course, if we had the functionality, many of us would put games on the Dashboard so that we could spring out in an instant when the boss comes by.
     
  9. iSwift macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2005
    Location:
    Kansas
    #9
    Well I think Dashboard is great (not saying that you guys don't think the same). My two favorite widgets are the weather and the "This Day in History" widget from WorldBook.

    What's YOUR favorite widget?
     
  10. Vader macrumors 65816

    Vader

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    #10
    You can already get cube (rubix cube)
    and snake (nibbles) and Tetris and tic tac toe like games
     
  11. mcarnes macrumors 68000

    mcarnes

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2004
    Location:
    USA! USA!
    #11
    Dashboard is for DAs. i.e. small, useful apps like clocks and calculators. Not big apps like safari.
     
  12. commonpeople thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2004
    #12
    Well at the moment that seems to be the case- but this looks like quite an artificial distinction. What if I don't want to split my apps into simple and complicated? Maybe I want to divide my apps in another way.
     
  13. broken_keyboard macrumors 65816

    broken_keyboard

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2004
    Location:
    Secret Moon base
    #13
    If you think Widgets are a whole other class of app from ordinary apps, then having OS support for them makes sense. Also having the overlay which comes in and disappears was very clever. I originally thought it was gimicky but now I think it makes sense.
     
  14. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2004
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #14
    Now that I'm getting used to having Dashboard, it's actually become pretty productive. I'm finding that it's like Spotlight in that it's a pretty different way of doing things but it's more efficient once you get the hang of it.
     
  15. Benjamin macrumors 6502a

    Benjamin

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2003
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #15

    Well I never said it was a bad thing, and I know what you mean I have only a powerbook. Anyway idk about you but I have games on my dashboard ;)
     
  16. mms macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2003
    Location:
    CA
    #16
    I still haven't managed to fit Dashboard into my daily routine. I tried to use it for a while then found that I would simply forget that I had it and it would just take up processor power in the background, so I just got rid of all the widgets.
     
  17. redeye be macrumors 65816

    redeye be

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2005
    Location:
    BXL
    #17
    imo dashboard is both silly and great.
    I use the translation and dictionary widgets quite a lot. Faster then opening the bookmark in my browser.
    All the other widgets i use are non-productive (apart from the calculator and iCal), calvin and hobbes, weather, coutdown, FoldingTracker,...

    I like dashboard quite a lot (even without the ripple on my mini ;)) and think of it as a nice interface for getting some information quite fast/streamlined.

    my € 0,2
     
  18. snickelfritz macrumors 65816

    snickelfritz

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2003
    Location:
    Tucson AZ
    #18
    I wish Apple would move the "Dock minefield" to the Dashboard. (or something like it)
    This would keep the cock-a-doody-dock outta my friggin' way when I'm working, and they could also utilize the cool Dashboard "ripple effect" for application launches. =P
     
  19. redeye be macrumors 65816

    redeye be

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2005
    Location:
    BXL
    #19
    Maybe this will help you:
    There are keyboard shortcuts for showing/hiding the dock. (option-command-D)
    Not at my mac right now, but i do believe you can customize this shortcut to whatever you want it to be (in system prefs - keyboard - i guess).
     
  20. Lacero macrumors 604

    Lacero

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2005
    #20
    It be more useful if you could actually copy text from the dictionary widget but it don't allow for that sort of thing. So I just use the Dictionary app instead. Pffft.
     
  21. CubaTBird macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2004
    #21
    i think dashboard has potential... it could really go far somewhere if coded to a really good use.. leaving other dev's saying "hrm, why didn't i think of that?" so yeah :eek:
     
  22. Xtremehkr macrumors 68000

    Xtremehkr

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    #22
    Widgets are multiplying like rabbits, better ones are being posted all of the time.

    There are a lot of gimmicky ones, but some useful ones as well, like Yahoo traffic.

    I only keep a few open though, the ones I use most often.
     
  23. kgarner macrumors 68000

    kgarner

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2004
    Location:
    Utah
    #23
    I think the genius of Dashboard is that is allows for fairly simple creation of some really great tools. Then you can have those tools ready for use but not int he way of your working environment. And since they are basically little webpages it doesn't take much work to create one. If you have a tool that use a lot, but don't need as part of regular workflow then a dashboard widget is perfect. They aren't meant ot be really powerful apps, just useful.
     

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