Why can't we resize window sizes as we wish ?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by TheBrazilianGuy, Jul 29, 2006.

  1. TheBrazilianGuy macrumors regular

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    Jul 26, 2006
    #1
    Ok, this might be a solitary voice. I just need to decompress...

    Why OS X (and previous versions) ONLY allows to resize window sizes
    with the down right corner ? Even iTunes in Windows allows to resize
    using all corners !

    That's not a matter of being a PC user or not. Sometimes you DO need
    to use other corners, depending where the window is.

    Ok, I will breathe now. :p
     
  2. dpaanlka macrumors 601

    dpaanlka

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    #2
    Thats how the Mac OS has always been. I like it just fine, and have yet to find a situation where I wanted it any other way.
     
  3. igucl macrumors 6502a

    igucl

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    #3
    You're not the only one. It needs to be changed.
     
  4. dpaanlka macrumors 601

    dpaanlka

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    #4
    I'm sure I'm not the only one either. It doesn't *need* to be changed.
     
  5. TheBrazilianGuy thread starter macrumors regular

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    #5
    But...does it hurt to incorporate this "minor" thing ? They
    already did for iTunes. It is not a matter of doing the "PC" way
    but just adding another feature.

    I was just mad because I am working with several open windows at the same
    time (copying and pasting stuff) and I had to resize the one on the right corner. :p
     
  6. igucl macrumors 6502a

    igucl

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    #6
    Well, let's hear more about your side. What advantage is there to limiting the resizing to one corner? What would be lost by accommodating those who would appreciate the added convenience of Windows-like resizing? Please do enlighten me.
     
  7. dpaanlka macrumors 601

    dpaanlka

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    #7
    Because that probably wouldn't be a minor thing, as Apple's GUI standards for the last 6 years would have to be changed and programs would have to be rewritten just to incorporate something that isn't really important, and sort of goes against Apple's minimalism theme anyway. Every app ever written for Mac OS has been designed to have the resize button only on the lower right hand side. How do you think they get away with having such thin, non-existant window borders? It would be tons of effort and money just to do something trivial, that you want because your used to Windows.

    Lets take Mail.app for example... how exactly would they incorporate that in there, keeping all the resize areas uniform in appearance, and without taking away from the simplicity and elegance of the program? Maybe you consider it a "feature" (having four ways to do the exact same thing) but others may consider it clutter. Besides, Apple had over 22 years to incorporate something like this, even though Windows had it since like version 2.0. I'm sure if they haven't done it by now, they have their reasons, and aren't going to any time soon.

    What might seem "simple" and "minor" to you may often times not in reality be.
     
  8. igucl macrumors 6502a

    igucl

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    #8
    Now hold on there. Don't confuse me with the other poster. The words "simple and minor" have not been written by me on this subject. And do not assume that I'm a Windows user, or that I'm 'used to Windows,' just because I know what is available in Windows. We can stop the Apple elitism right here. Do I love my Mac? Absolutely. But you know what? I'm also able to recognize smart features that expand usability even when they are not made by Apple.

    No, it's not a pivotal issue that would make me shun the mac. But I would hope that we can at least be honest enough to admit that it is a convenient feature. I don't know how easy or difficult it would be to incorporate into Mac OS, but that is beside the point that it is a feature worth having.
     
  9. TheBrazilianGuy thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jul 26, 2006
    #9
    "but others may consider it clutter"

    dpaanlka, I followed your logic until I read this phrase. There will be no clutter
    because there is NO extra button. Of course we could
    go to the point of what "expand" a window means (the famigerate
    green button) but resizing a window using just one corner is
    a legacy that must be changed.

    Regarding being minimalistic, even mac users would agree that
    one button mouse was (is) something wrong.

    It is all about being productive and not stylish.

    Serenity now...:cool:
     
  10. Super Macho Man macrumors 6502a

    Super Macho Man

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    #10
    I think it would be nice to be able to resize from both lower corners. It is not at all true that "programs would have to be rewritten" - it would be a simple 5-minute change in Interface Builder for some programs, and probably <1 hour in most. I'm looking at Mail.app right now - (by the way, Mail.app is hardly a paragon of good UI design) - and a resize area would fit to the left of the plus button. Or, how about adding an optional status bar to Mail.app so that we can see what's going on without having to open the activity viewer. There are a number of ways it could be done, itw oudn't be necessary to subtract from the app's simplicity, which would be true of most other programs as well.

    A lower-left resize corner would "balance" the window, make it more symmetrical. I respect Mac OS history, but I certainly would not hold up the Human Interface Guidelines as the holy grail of the user interface. Besides, Apple breaks its own guidelines all the time, often for the better. Just because Windows does it doesn't mean it's bad. In fact I don't like edge-resizing because it makes it too asy to resize by accident - but I do like corner-resizing. Not from the titlebar, though, because it's too easy to close the window by accident.
     
  11. Super Macho Man macrumors 6502a

    Super Macho Man

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    #11
    I don't want to start a mouse war or anything, but I think the one-button default config is essential, and the way the Mac OS has always handled the mouse issue has (IMO) been perfect. Support multi-button mice, but ship one-button mice (or one-button-by-default mice, i.e. Mighty Mouse) so that all software developers are forced to make their software work with one button, so that all people who prefer one button can be happy. It wouldn't work the other way around.
     
  12. dpaanlka macrumors 601

    dpaanlka

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    #12
    It has nothing to do with me being honest or dishonest. I don't find that feature necessary at all.


    Well, the thing is, most windows on Macs have no border (finder windows have a border, but that will likely die out as it is one of the last holdouts of the brushed metal theme). Many programs, because of this, have buttons or features that go right up to the edges. How would you drag to expand the edges of these programs?

    Basically there would be no way to implement such a feature unless every window had a thick border put around it just like in MS Windows and some other OSes. I would just assume leave the thick cluttered feeling out and am quite content with one window resize area.

    Perfect symmetry doesn't = good design.

    I agree. One mouse button is simplicity.
     
  13. iMeowbot macrumors G3

    iMeowbot

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    Aug 30, 2003
    #13
    It's more than a simple matter of adding a handle. That corner is currently available to applications, and a grab bar would interefere with some.

    To get a hot corner there without breaking existing apps, there would need to be a border added to the windows. The right-hand tab works because a normal window has a scroll bar on the right.

    Look at a nice simple window without a bunch of column and status bar junk added to get a beter idea of what's really up for grabs and what is already used. TextEdit would be a good example for that.
     
  14. Doctor Q Administrator

    Doctor Q

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    #14
    I could describe one such case for you, dpaanlka, since it happened to me just today.

    I was trying to resize three tall TextEdit windows to each take up 1/3 the width of the screen (for side-by-side-by-side comparisons), and it took many more drag actions and much more cursor movement than it would take me under Windows. I wanted to drag the left sides of windows to the right, but instead I had to make the windows skinny (from the right side), move the left side to where I wanted it, and then make it just wide enough in a third step.

    And look what I found! A whiny Mac user complaining about this very same thing back waaaaaaay back in April 2003! :eek: ;)
     
  15. TheBrazilianGuy thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jul 26, 2006
    #15
    Really, I envy anyone who never had this resizing problem.

    I bet Steve Jobs already had this problem but he would never admit it.

    What an ego... :D

    Obs. I should not have mentioned the mouse on this thread... :rolleyes:
     
  16. Super Macho Man macrumors 6502a

    Super Macho Man

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    #16
    Well, Nextstep had resize tabs on both lower corners of the window, not just the right side... so maybe we already know how he feels about them. :cool:
     
  17. Super Macho Man macrumors 6502a

    Super Macho Man

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    #17
    Every non-dialog window can already be resized from the lower-right corner no matter whether or not it has buttons or features that touch the edges, or whether or not it has a border. Every app I can think of at the moment can be resized no matter its appearance. The only change then would be adding another resize corner in the opposite bottom corner. I don't see how this would destroy simplicity at all, or require massive interface design changes etc. Windows that have no borders would still have no borders. Maybe you are thinking of resize BARS which would surround a window. I wouldn't like those either.

    I'm not saying the current design is stupid or bad. I would prefer the two-corner resize, but it's not a big deal. I'm only defending it because I think it is a legitimate idea.
     
  18. ahunter3 macrumors 6502

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    Oct 15, 2003
    #18
    As others have said, it isn't default MacOS behavior to resize windows from any old place. (Me, I wish Windows would resize worth a damn from anywhere. I'm tired of clicking, hovering, clicking, hovering, cussing, clicking, etc, until I finally get the resize-arrows cursor to make an appearance. The MacOS resize-handle always "just works").

    But if you want your windows to be resizeable from anywhere, just install a 3rd party hack and make it be that way:

    http://www.macupdate.com/info.php/id/16952

    (I don't use it for that, I use it to let me move a window from anywhere instead of just the titlebar)
     
  19. iMeowbot macrumors G3

    iMeowbot

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    #19
    Old programs brought over to OS X by way of Carbon already took possession of that real estate, so I think the decision was made for him. The platinum look did kind of sneak in the idea of a frame big enough to drag (and you can drag those, but not resize), but it looks really clunky and heavy after a few years of Aqua exposure.
     
  20. d wade macrumors 65816

    d wade

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    #20
    i didnt like this as well when i got my first mac, but i have adapted, and it hasnt bothered me since. just took some time getting used to (like everything else)
     
  21. Doctor Q Administrator

    Doctor Q

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    #21
    My design for this would change Mac OS X, but require no changes to applications. Wanna hear my plan?

    If you hover exactly over the outer edge (top, bottom, left, or right) of a window, or exactly over the top-left, top-right, or bottom-left corner, and wait for a settable amount of time (1 second, for example), then a "width" cursor (the bar with double arrows that you see when you change column widths in a "List View" Finder window) appears. You can drag and release it to resize the window from that side or corner.

    Meanwhile, Mac OS X needs to tell the application that its side or corner is changing in ways that didn't used to be possible. So... new optional software calls can be used by application programmers if they choose to add direct support for this. When they don't (which will initially be all applications), then Mac OS X tells the window that it has moved and changed width (when it is getting bigger), or changed width and moved (when it is getting smaller), since those actions are already supported.

    If an application doesn't allow window moving/resizing at all, this feature would not be applied to it.

    Example: You drag the left size of a TextEdit window 100 pixels to the right. Mac OS X tells TextEdit that the window was reduced in size (as if from the bottom right corner) by 100 pixels, and then the window was moved right 100 pixels. Perhaps it should do this one pixel at a time (resize1 move1 resize1 move1...) or a few pixels at a time (resize10 move10 resize10 move10..) instead of all at once (size100 move100), but I'll settle for whatever looks smoothest.

    By setting the hover timer in System Preferences, you can make it very convenient for this feature's frequent users (.050 seconds), unobtrusive for occasional users (1 second, so it won't appear as your cursor wanders routinely around the screen), or absent (9999 seconds) for people who don't want the feature at all.

    The bottom line is that I think it could be done without applications having to change and without disturbing those who don't want the feature.
     
  22. VanNess macrumors 6502a

    VanNess

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    #22
    Well, go ahead and bet, but from the looks of this article I wouldn't put too much money on it:

    Personally, resizing windows, or the way you resize windows, just doesn't register with me. I'm interested in what's inside a window, not laboring over the exact particulars of it's shape, and having a single place on the window that expands or contracts the entire window on either the x or y axis, or both at the same time, is just fine by me because it gets the job done once and I can go about my business. I don't want to go to the left side and move it in a little, then mouse to the top and move that up some, then tweak the bottom part because I moved the top, etc., etc.

    Once is enough.
     
  23. TheBrazilianGuy thread starter macrumors regular

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    #23
    Well, most probably 99% of users are interested in the content and not on the shape of the window. I am not defending a overhaul change of OSX and adding this option would not profoundly hurt the way OSX is. See, when you are editing several files at once, sometimes (not all the time, of course) you need to resize the one at right and you can't. On a daily basis this is not going to affect my productivity but it is annoying.

    BTW, I am not a fan of MS products or any linux distro either. It is all about getting the work done in time. Sometimes Linux/Windows does things better than OSX and I do not get why mac lovers can not admit that (I am not referring to you, VanNess). What is even more astonishing is the way these users embrace/defend OSX as they were being adopted/protected by Apple. That's the kind of blindness any company surely love to have from their customers.

    Well, I do not start another Apple x PC war here...I was just decompressing on the first post...;)
     
  24. dpaanlka macrumors 601

    dpaanlka

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    #24
    Perfect explanation of why a *new* extra resize button wouldn't work.

    Perfect explanation of why a *new* border resize feature wouldn't work, or at least, wouldn't be in the best interest of the OS. And I'll bet precisely why it was dropped. Mac OS 7 and below didn't have it, and Mac OS X again doesn't have it. Every pixel of screen real estate is important! Mac OS 8 and 9 sure looked fat on small displays. Mac OS X looks extra svelte on both smaller and larger displays.

    Interesting idea, but hovering "precisely" over the one pixel that makes up most Mac OS window borders might be a difficult task for many, and most people would probably completely not even notice that it is there - and all in all, it would probably still be easier (and faster) to just drag the window over and then use the resize box.


    Sigh... as already explained, it is only "better" to some people. Because you think it is better does not make it a fact that I or anybody else should *admit* - if you used Macs all your life, I'm sure you would not care enough about resizing windows from various points on the window to demand this change. Also, I and others already clearly explained how this would not be a very reasonable mod to the Mac OS GUI.
     
  25. Doctor Q Administrator

    Doctor Q

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    #25
    "Precisely" should be defined as some small number of pixels, but not necessarily 1. Having people not notice the feature is fine; as I tried to explain, it's purposely meant to be an unobtrusive convenience for those who bother to learn about it, like command-drag to move a window without making it frontmost, not a visible change that most users would start seeing most of the time, in order to let Apple "slip in" this change without causing users or developers to start pulling their hair out.

    For those users who would bother to learn about the choice, I don't see how doing a multi-step operation could be either easier or faster than dragging the edge or corner of a window, except in the sense that it might be easier for some people to remember one method than to learn about two methods and have to choose the most efficient/convenient one.

    In any case, I personally would like to have that choice, so I'm not giving up on my suggestion just yet.
     

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