Dock Gripes/Suggestions +Poll

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by AmbitiousLemon, Feb 19, 2002.

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What are Your Feelings on the Mac OS X Dock?

  1. I like the dock just the way it is, I sure hope apple doesnt change it!

    11 vote(s)
    44.0%
  2. im not really happy with all the dock functions but i make do with what apple gave me

    3 vote(s)
    12.0%
  3. Ive learned to live with the dock with a few of my own modifications, but id i really think apple sh

    7 vote(s)
    28.0%
  4. ive replaced apple's dock with a more useful application

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  5. i hate the dock, ive gotten rid of it and just use windows and icons

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  6. im so confused by all of this, ive always just used the dock without thinking about it much

    4 vote(s)
    16.0%
  1. AmbitiousLemon Moderator emeritus

    AmbitiousLemon

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2001
    Location:
    down in Fraggle Rock
    #1
    Ok i need some dock help. here is my dock, well actually my whole screen but you get the idea. yes ive made a few modifications im sure you are all familiar with, but im still not happy with the darn thing (im a perfectionist, thats why i use a mac!) Anyway. I never use the Finder button on the dock and i find it annoying how it sits there eating up screenspace. Also I wish the dock was more application and window aware. Windows shouldnt be able to go behind it, and we should have a preferance panel that lets us choose applications that autohide the dock even if we normally have it visible. Like id likethe dock to autohide when i launch photoshop but the rest of the time i want the dock visible. Also I dont like how I cant rearrange the groups. I think its a good idea to keep applications separtate from folders and disks but id like some control. Id prefer having my disks and folders up top, id settle for just the disks. Also in our preferences we can choose to have disks on the desktop, servers on the desktop, and removable media on the desktop or not. Id like these things to open in my dock the same way an opened application appears in the dock. If anyone knows little hacks, tricks, apps that can do any of the things I described please let me know.

    I addition Id like to hear what sort of gripes the rest of you have with the dock and Id like to see how everyone has put their own dock to work for them. Do share, maybe if we cant come up with the hacks i mentioned then we can work within the system to come up with something more useful.
     
  2. mischief macrumors 68030

    mischief

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2001
    Location:
    Santa Cruz Ca
    #2
    Whew, yer frustrated.

    Go get Tinkertool from Versiontracker.

    I agree it would be nice to make the dock window sensitive so it gets out of the way, and I agree that it's slow to respond. I think a Dock mini-button, like the collapsed Control Strip would be an effective solution to most Dock gripes. Just set it up as an additional "dormant state" that the Dock defaults to once the Finder is not the Front App. A little blue candied Apple logo on Darwin's window border goo. A translucent button tab about 1/2" square and scalable down to 1/8" square.

    I agree that the Dock could use more options to separate by classification and add/subtract/alter groupings and seperators with greater flexability. Lets not get all "Dump the Dock though, it's a good-if incomplete solution.
     
  3. AlphaTech macrumors 601

    AlphaTech

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2001
    Location:
    Natick, MA
    #3
    easy mod.

    If you don't want the dock to be there all the time, just turn the autohide feature on. It is under the Apple, under the Dock slection. With that active, unless you move your cursor to where the dock ususally sits, it will stay hidden. I don't use this too often, since I have made the dock rather small, and want to know which applications I actually have running at the time. I can have lots of them since I upgraded to a full 1GB of ram in my PowerBook G4 :D.
     
  4. Biggles macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2002
    Location:
    Ohio
    #4
    here's mine, and I love it. take some tips from it if ya want. You can ask me any questions if you have any about why i have a few things there.
     

    Attached Files:

  5. AmbitiousLemon thread starter Moderator emeritus

    AmbitiousLemon

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2001
    Location:
    down in Fraggle Rock
    #5
    yeah im frustrated. ive spent more time messing with that dock than anything else in X. I remember when X first came out. i dove in at DP4. everyone was in arms over the dock. it lasted all the way up to the release of the "finished" X. and then no more complaining. Apple received waves of complaints about the dock and didnt make a single change. Its quite frustrating to have apple pass of this impetent dog of a application switcher off as a finished product. ive read so many reviews of the dock making constructive comments on how to fix it. there are a lot of ideas out there, and no one has given it to us. simple little things like what mischief said would help out so much. Ive got TinkerTool and it doesnt really give us many options just unlocks some of apple's hidden features. the translucent dock hack was quite helpful in improving the aestetics. but nothing else has been done to really help.

    just let me customize the dock the same way we customize every other button strip in osx. they did it everywhere else why not the dock? the defaults are good but i dont want to be stuck with them. and yes alpha i know i can hide the dock, but i want the dock to show some intelligience. windows appearing behind it is very frustrating. and ceratin full screen apps like photoshop should be given the full screen. no special privs im just saying a window with hide the dock in the following apps feature where we can add the apps we want to be included in that category would be nice. and since apple seems to want us to have very few things on our desktop then help us out a bit. connected servers and removable media should show up on the dock just like opened apps (this should at least be an option just like drives on the desktop). and if i do want icons on my desktop and i want my dock on the right (the most logical place for it) then i want the icons to be dock aware as well. no icons hidden behind the dock and no icons "suddenly" becoming aware of teh dock and jumping several inches to the right. just move them so they rnt hidden that all! and who wants that nasty mac smiley guyy there? let me get rid of him! hes just sitting there smiling at me mocking me with his happy happy macos smile. stop staring at me macos!

    but dont get me wrong some apps are really doing amazing things with their dock icons. check out adium for the best dock icon an application could have. Adam's brilliant. and mail has some neat email notification icon action going on. the dock like much of osx shows potencial, but is clearly in its infancy. but in the mean time im just lookin for some tips. wondering how the rest of you are coping. and wondering if we can help eachother out some.
     
  6. mischief macrumors 68030

    mischief

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2001
    Location:
    Santa Cruz Ca
    #6
    come up with a CONCISE list

    And I'll get it forewarded to the OS X group through an employee. It must be a simple set of features though, it ain't as easy as it looks I'm sure.

    I'll start off:

    A "dormant" tab like the Control Strip had while in the background. Still over top but MUCH smaller and no peekaboo dock.
     
  7. eyelikeart Moderator emeritus

    eyelikeart

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2001
    Location:
    Metairie, LA
    #7
    the dock...

    I like it just fine. It does everything I would need it to. I feel the people who complain a lot about it are just too worried about having cool features more than having a basic & useful tool.

    I've been playing around with mine quite a bit....having application folders, download folders for 9 & X, mp3 folder, etc, etc...

    I haven't really used dragthing much, any thoughts on it?
     
  8. oldMac macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2001
    #8
    Great Control strip idea...

    I mostly like the dock, but I would *love* it if it had that "window-shade" feature of the control strip on the end of it.

    My only real complaint about the dock is that I sometimes want it out of the way, and I really hate the "peek-a-boo" hiding feature. All that does is annoy me if I try to use that extra space and have the dock keep popping up when my mouse gets too close to it.
     
  9. stoid macrumors 601

    stoid

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2002
    Location:
    So long, and thanks for all the fish!
    #9
    beginners

    Just like every other free piece of software Apple's ever produced. It's absolutely perfect for the beginner. But if you plan on using it a lot, or in some business situation it becomes confusing, and loses usefulness. It's still a nice feature, but I'll admint, the Control Strip was hard to let go of.
     
  10. Taft macrumors 65816

    Taft

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2002
    Location:
    Chicago
    #10
    Minimized windows=Confusion

    I think that one of the most confusing aspects of the dock is the way open documents and windows can be minimized to the dock. There are two problems:

    1) Open windows are comingled with other items permenantly in the dock and windows from ten applications are all jumbled together in the dock. This makes it hard to distinguish between open/closed items in the dock and which window belongs to which application.

    2) Its hard to tell what each item is based solely on the little picture in the dock.

    My solution to this is to keep only folders on the right side of the dock. I almost never minimize windows to the dock. Instead, I hide applications or window shade open windows (via WindowShade X available as a trial from versiontracker). I NEVER have more than one or two windows minimized to the dock. This way it is easy to tell what is going on in the dock and all of an application's windows are just a click away (just click on the app's icon in the dock. Presto! All of the windows for that app come to the front. Or hold down the mouse button on an app's icon. Presto! A list of all open windows for that application.)

    I've included a picture of my dock. The funky icon on the dock is my apps folder followed by my documents folder and my desktop folder. I have the hidden apps greyed out through tinkertool (also available--for free!--from versiontracker).

    Matthew
     

    Attached Files:

  11. AlphaTech macrumors 601

    AlphaTech

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2001
    Location:
    Natick, MA
    #11
    I have the dock set at the bottom of my screen with all applications to the left of the trash can divider. When I send an application window to the dock, it goes to the left of the trash can, and to the right of that divider. Granted it can be a bit confusing at times which folder belongs to which application, but i have found the following to be true. Whichever window you sent there last is closest to the trash can. Sometimes you can tell what belongs to which application (it has a miniture view of the last window you had open). BUT, if you put your cursor onto the dock item (and if you have it set to show names) it shows you the window header (right in the middle of the window bar). With that, you can tell which application, or file, the docked item belongs to.

    I am sure that Apple will improve the dock with time, just as it has evolved it, as well as much of OSX since the public beta days.
     
  12. Taft macrumors 65816

    Taft

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2002
    Location:
    Chicago
    #12
    Sure, you can mouse over items in the dock (and it works much better than Windows taskbar mouse-overs) but it still takes more time than an easily identifiable icon in the dock.

    I kind of like the idea of an application identifier put on top of each window icon in the dock. That way you know both which items are windows and which are documents AND you know what application each window belongs to. I'm not sure about how good the actual identifier would look, but its worth a shot.

    But like I said, I'm perfectly happy not minimizing windows to the dock.

    Matthew
     
  13. AlphaTech macrumors 601

    AlphaTech

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2001
    Location:
    Natick, MA
    #13
    mrtrumbe,

    Good points. I'm sure it wouldn't kill Apple to have some way to quickly, and visually, identify which application the docked files belong to. Maybe a small identifier in the corner, or something, of the item. Then again, it might be left up to the application maker to do that.

    I'm sure, eventually, it will get better, or more to everyones liking.
     
  14. AmbitiousLemon thread starter Moderator emeritus

    AmbitiousLemon

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2001
    Location:
    down in Fraggle Rock
    #14
    mrtrumbe: great idea. some applictions are taking their dock icons to great heights but i have to see such innovation with window icons and document icons. i think apple needs to make this possible for application creators.

    please take a look at Adium this guy is doing some great things with his dock icon. even if you dont use aol instant messenging just take a look at the application just to see its execution of what a dock icon should do. when someone signs on a little note appears on the dock icons telling you who. same with signing off, someone messenging you etc. the icon also indicates your status, away, idle etc. and of course the item notifies you when u r messaged. and further more the features and complete look of the icon are customizable.

    some people are doing neat things with the dock, but apple needs to give such creative people more tools, so they can do the stuff that mrtrumbe suggested.

    lets hear some more ideas like this.
     

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