Ideas for critical Dock revision

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by King Cobra, Feb 21, 2004.

  1. King Cobra macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2002
    #1
    All right. Here's the problem with the "Dock."

    In every single Dock imitation...in every single Dock hack that most, if not, all, of you have used...there has always been one entire concept missing:

    A second dimension.

    The OS X Dock currently allows a one-dimensional distribution of icons in only one direction: horizontally or vertically. What I would most like to see in the Dock is a two-dimensional layout of icons that can be moved around in 2D without a or a predetermined icon layout, except for what I give it.

    For starters, I would imagine the 2D dock (from the bottom of the screen) like this: First, I would think of removing the left and right dividers. Second, you know that on-screen cursor that appears when you point it at the divider? Well, I would imagine performing a "Dock pull" on the outer part of the Dock...basically, stretch out the Dock, as you would a window divider, from its top edge, and watch all the icons in the Dock rise up with the enlarged dock. Underneath would be an empty "row" of space, waiting to be filled.

    Third, I would think of resizing the Dock by performing this pull on ANY of its edges to resize the 2D field. Hell, I think of having a small resize icon appear at one corner of the Dock to resize the whole thing (and the Dock icons) like a Finder window. Fourth, I would imagine being able to move any Dock icon to any pixel within the Dock. Finally, I would imagine adding a small "Options menu" Dock blob icon for the Dock at the same corner of the Dock beside the resize arrow. If I held down (or right/control-clicked) the blob, one of the menu options would be to rearrange all icons by name. Another would be to organize the Dock icons into a perfect grid, hence readjusting the Dock size. And, of course, I would imagine the last option would toggle the second dimensional version of the Dock on and off.

    I want to see something like this for whenever 10.4 comes out (hell, if possible, sooner). What do you guys think?
     
  2. iJon macrumors 604

    iJon

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2002
    #2
    only feature i really wish they had was springloaded folder support.

    iJon
     
  3. rainman::|:| macrumors 603

    rainman::|:|

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    Feb 2, 2002
    Location:
    iowa
    #3
    I'd have to say no. It would be complicated and unelegant... the dock in place works so well (and it does, for most users) because it's simple and intuitive... a way to store 5-30 icons in a readily accessible tray that can be slid away. A dock with multiple rows and freeform shapes would be cluttered, confusing, and would slow the average user down.

    i like the dock. a lot of people do. it's not perfect, but it's better than a lot of the previous attempts (the taskbar)... and i really think 90% of mac users feel the same way. some people want to do other things, and it's great when 3rd parties step in. but i would definitely say apple should not go that route.

    paul
     
  4. HexMonkey Administrator

    HexMonkey

    Staff Member

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    Feb 5, 2004
    Location:
    New Zealand
    #4
    What about a tabbed Dock? You could a main tab for open applications and commonly used applications, and then other tabs for not so commonly used applications, or for subtopics (eg a tab for internet things, a tab for games etc).
     
  5. Koodauw macrumors 68040

    Koodauw

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2003
    Location:
    Madison
    #5
    That sounds cool. I would use it. Good idea HexMonkey. Otherwise I like the dock as is.
     
  6. cb911 macrumors 601

    cb911

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2002
    Location:
    BrisVegas, Australia
    #6
    a multi-level dock? like having two stories or something? that would be a bit too big and add too much clutter.

    if you wanted that couldn't you just use DragThing?

    whatever 10.4 brings it'll be sweet, hopefully we can have a sneek peak at WWDC... :D
     
  7. oldschool macrumors 65816

    oldschool

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    Sep 30, 2003
    #7
    This then becomes like the launcher in mac os 9 that nobody ever used.
     
  8. HexMonkey Administrator

    HexMonkey

    Staff Member

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    Feb 5, 2004
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    New Zealand
    #8
    Yes, it would make it similar, but I think there are several reasons why it would be more used than the Mac OS 9 version.

    Firstly, the Mac OS 9 launcher wasn't on by default. Even when it was, the tab feature wasn't very obvious. So many people who may have found it useful might not have known about it, or it's ability to have tabs.
    Secondly, the Dock is much less intrusive. It is much smaller, you can have automatic hiding, and adding tabs (which would be optional) wouldn't make it much bigger.
    Finally, IMO, the Dock is much more intuitive and enjoyable to use the than Mac OS 9 launcher.

    Currently I have to use DragThing to have this kind of power. It is a great productivity tool, and I'd find it very useful if tabbing was built into the Dock.
     
  9. billyboy macrumors 65816

    billyboy

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2003
    Location:
    In my head
    #9
    I think the Dock as it is, with folders is a very powerful tool. What lets its usability down is the diminishing size of icons as more apps are opened and more windows and files are dumped to the right of the divider. Therefore, I think rather than a divider I would like to see an option for a second dock. Also make the trash placeable anywhere.
     
  10. tjwett macrumors 68000

    tjwett

    Joined:
    May 6, 2002
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NYC
    #10
    IMHO the Dock blows. it's marginally useful, minimally customizable, wastes screen space, can be kind of clunky, and eats CPU. i haven't used my Dock since getting the amazing and all powerful LaunchBar. haven't used my mouse either. ;)
     
  11. benixau macrumors 65816

    benixau

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    Oct 9, 2002
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    #11
    actually the dock is one of the best VISUAL task managers around.
    I agree with the above - give me spring-loaded folders in the dock and im all set.

    the only way the dock could be improved is if they made it a little better at handling lots of icons. I don't know how they would do it but hopefully they can.
     
  12. TimDaddy macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2002
    Location:
    Versailles, KY (and that's pronounced Vurr-sales)
    #12
    I just wish you could click on the finder icon (or maybe click and hold) and move through your folders the way you could on the old customizable Apple Menu or the Windows start menu. That's all I want.
     
  13. HexMonkey Administrator

    HexMonkey

    Staff Member

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    Feb 5, 2004
    Location:
    New Zealand
    #13
    That's one thing I missed when I moved to Mac OS X. For me, a workaround was to put each of my drives in the Dock. That's not so useful if you have lots of partitions, but then you can make a folder with aliases to each and then put that in the Dock.
     
  14. TimDaddy macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2002
    Location:
    Versailles, KY (and that's pronounced Vurr-sales)
    #14
    Duh!! I didn't know you could do that! I had tried in the past, on the left side, and figured it couldn't be done. I didn't even think about trying the right side until you said that you did it. I think I'm going to like it! Thanks.
     
  15. phrancpharmD macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2003
    Location:
    Historic Norcross
    #15
    Word. I like the Dock, and use it a good bit, but I sure agree with you iJon. Spring loaded Dock folders would make the Dock rock. :)
     
  16. 7on macrumors 601

    7on

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    Nov 9, 2003
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    Dress Rosa
    #16
    Could someone explain to me spring-loaded folders?
     
  17. HexMonkey Administrator

    HexMonkey

    Staff Member

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    #17
    In Finder, when you drag something onto a folder or disk and hold it there for a few seconds (or push the spacebar), the window eventually pops up. This way you can drag something to a folder that you can't actually see when you start the drag.
    This doesn't work in the Dock. Put a folder in the Dock, then drag something to it and wait. No window comes up, even if you push the spacebar.
     
  18. Marble macrumors 6502a

    Marble

    Joined:
    May 13, 2003
    Location:
    Tucson, AZ
    #18
    I second the mention of LaunchBar, which really carries a certain all-powerful-ness about it. A very practical tool.
     
  19. snickelfritz macrumors 65816

    snickelfritz

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2003
    Location:
    Tucson AZ
    #19
    Dragthing 5...

    With some creative configuration, you can do some pretty amazing things with Dragthing 5, such as docks that act like sliding tabbed "drawers" and can have actions mapped to edges and corners of the screen. (similar to the sidebar-folder-thingy in mail.)
    OSX features such as metal skinning and transparency are well supported.
     
  20. cb911 macrumors 601

    cb911

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2002
    Location:
    BrisVegas, Australia
    #20
    okay i do admit that the Dock coule be alot more useful if it could handle more icons.

    i don't know how, perhaps having another layer behind the dock is a solution (King Cobra, now i think i see what you are talking about.)

    but as it is now, if you've got too many icons & full magnifcation & size on both ends of the dock move off the screen, so you have to move you cursor up to the end of the dock to see what's there. very annoying.
     

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