The two final niggles with OS X Leopard

Discussion in 'macOS' started by mason.kramer, Mar 10, 2008.

  1. mason.kramer macrumors 6502

    mason.kramer

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2007
    Location:
    Watertown, MA
    #1
    First of all, yay for the 10.5.2 patch that gives the option of restoring sub-pixel anti aliased fonts and complete opacity to the menubar.

    Niggle one: Is there no way to autohide the menu bar in the same way that the dock autohides? (I am not talking about removing the menu bar completely; by autohide I mean that the menubar is hidden when the cursor is not at the top of the screen, and pops when the cursor is at the top).

    (Two third party apps that used to do it are now broken: I've personally tested that menushade does not work in Leopard (it unexpectedly quits whenever the cursor is positioned over the menubar). Menufela apparently doesn't work in Leopard either).

    Secondly, has anyone figured out a way to get Firefox 2 to stop littering the desktop with temporary downloads (i.e., the files that it downloads when you select the Open With... option)?

    I have read about 12 tips on lifehacker and the mozilla bug board that say that this preference can be changed by changing Safari's download directory to /tmp/. This tip is no longer valid in Safari 3, and Safari 2 cannot be installed on Leopard systems.
     
  2. TEG macrumors 604

    TEG

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2002
    Location:
    Langley, Washington
    #2
    1) The menubar is there for a reason.

    2) Just change the preferences to a new Temp folder on your HD for downloads. It is very easy and exactly as on any other system.

    TEG
     
  3. mason.kramer thread starter macrumors 6502

    mason.kramer

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2007
    Location:
    Watertown, MA
    #3
    1) I know what the reason is, and I don't want it. I rarely, if ever, use the menu bar. This is because keyboard shortcuts are faster when I know what I want, and searching with cmd-? is faster when I don't. So please, try to understand that different users have different usage habits, and this is why there are different ways to configure a computer.

    Edit: what, exactly, is the reason to have it always displayed? Hmm? On thinking about it further, I have no idea what that reason is. Whenever I want to dig in the menus for a command I don't know the name of, I know exactly where I'm going to find that menu. Why is it there all the time? I'm starting to think you also didn't read my first question.

    2) I am not talking about downloads. When I want to save a download, I want firefox to ask me where, because it depends on what the file is. I am talking about temp downloads. Temp downloads happen when you open a file with a helper application, e.g. a pdf in preview.

    These *should* download to a temp directory, but they do not. They download to the desktop. The hack that used to work was to change Safari's downloads directory. This no longer works. In the screenshot, notice that it is set to downloads. It still litters my desktop when I download a pdf.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Edit: by the way, you responded exactly, precisely to the thing that I was not talking about. And now I've wasted 3 minutes taking a screen shot because I am an optimistic person. Grrr.
     
  4. TEG macrumors 604

    TEG

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2002
    Location:
    Langley, Washington
    #4
    I've never had any of these "temp" files. They always show up in my Temp download folder, as I have set in the FF preferences.

    TEG
     
  5. mason.kramer thread starter macrumors 6502

    mason.kramer

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2007
    Location:
    Watertown, MA
    #5
    "Temp download folder, as I have set in the FF preferences."

    Where in firefox is this option?

    What version of firefox do you use?
     
  6. TEG macrumors 604

    TEG

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2002
    Location:
    Langley, Washington
    #6
    I use 2.0. Command-, will bring up the Preference file.

    TEG
     

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  7. duffer macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2007
    #7
    This bugs me also!!

    I understand exactly what you mean and I have searched for a solution to this problem forever and have not found one. "Temp downloads" are far different from files I want to save in my downloads folder. I don't want to save every pdf I read online. This frustrates me to no end. Windows handles this situation properly. If I open a PDF for viewing instead of saving, the file is stored in a /tmp directory and if I choose to save the file and have firefox preferences set to save all downloads to my downloads folder, it will do it without asking. I get tired of having to remove files from my downloads folder I only intended to view, not save.
     
  8. mason.kramer thread starter macrumors 6502

    mason.kramer

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2007
    Location:
    Watertown, MA
    #8
    Hey duffer! I found a partial fix. https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/207

    When you open the file with the OpenDownload option, it doesn't save to desktop. I checked and it's downloading files to ~/Library/Caches/TemporaryItems/mozOpenDownload/

    It's a partial fix because, frustratingly, you can't set OpenDownload as the default action. Maybe it's time to learn how to hack firefox extensions...
     
  9. duffer macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2007
    #9
    This definitely helps. Now we need something that can handle streaming.

    Much appreciated.
     
  10. mason.kramer thread starter macrumors 6502

    mason.kramer

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2007
    Location:
    Watertown, MA
  11. mags631 Guest

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2007
    #11
    First, notice that you cannot drag a window underneath the menu bar. This makes sense because the top of the window is typically (e.g., Safari) how you can drag a window, and obscuring some part of its top would make it difficult to do so. Suppose that if the menu bar auto-hides like that of the dock, then you would be able to drag a window's top into the space occupied by the menu bar. This seems like a valid assumption, because otherwise what is the point of auto-hiding the menu bar?

    Now, consider this scenario: I drag the top of my window to the very top of the screen, making efficient use of my real-estate, just like I might do today in my non-auto-hide reality. I work on my window's contents until I'm done. I save my contents and now I'm ready to close my window using the window's close button. I move my mouse up to the close button and poof, all of a sudden, my menu bar appears obstructing it. I now have to move adequately off the menu bar for it to auto-hide and then try again. Seems awkward.

    Fine, one might propose a couple of solutions:
    1) Make it a command-key. But then, this is not like the dock and now we have two paradigms for accessing hidden desktop elements, one which requires the location of the mouse and the other a command-key. Also, there is a certain irony in having to press a command-key to access a menu...
    2) Make the mouse location requirement more restrictive, perhaps, I have to place the mouse at the very top of the screen. Now, it is less convenient to access the menu bar, I will have to, on average, do more with my mouse to get the same things done. It seems arguable that the efficiency gained through an extra ~48 pixels would overcome this inefficiency.
    3) Let's say that there is some cool way of doing this not in the list above that creates an overall increase in efficiency in users who do use it, which doesn't create an inefficiency for users who would not use it and which is generally consistent with Apple's HCI paradigms (I'm not going to argue that Apple's design is always consistent, but I will argue that we should not demand things that make it less so). Now, all Apple has to do is implement it... I'm guessing here, this would and should be, even in this hypothetical scenario, a very low priority feature because it does not clearly allow us to do more, that any improvement in efficiency is marginal. Why? Today, even without such a feature, I have plenty of ways to maximize my real-estate: content-zoom functions, scroll wheels, spaces, ... and none of these existing functions intrude on other functions.

    Finally, why not like the dock? The dock's uses are different, and interaction with the dock should be much less frequent (although I'm sure there are exceptions here). Also, the dock is generally much bigger. As a personal note, I used to auto-hide my dock, but I got sick of its movement on and off the screen; so, now, for the past several years, I have kept it on-screen, always occupying a fixed area on the bottom of my screen, just like the menu bar.

    \Box
     
  12. mason.kramer thread starter macrumors 6502

    mason.kramer

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2007
    Location:
    Watertown, MA
    #12
    Twofold solution. First, the menu only pops up when your cursor touches the extreme top edge of the screen. Second, the menubar pushes down other windows as it slides into view, so your titlebars are never obscured (I'm not sure about this second behavior, I'd have to play with it).

    But cmon now, who closes windows with that button? I don't. cmd-w, cmd-opt-w, or cmd-q, is much faster, depending on the situation.

    I guess my point is, I use a keyboard to control my computer, because a keyboard is faster (see my post on keyboard navigation). I neither interact with the dock, nor the menu bar, unless I am searching for a menu command that I couldn't guess the name of (because cmd-? gets me there faster otherwise). Since I use a keyboard, I have no need of the menubar. It takes up screen real estate and adds visual clutter. I'm not saying having an autohidden menubar is the best option for everyone, but it ought to be an option.
     
  13. mags631 Guest

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2007
    #13
    If there is a delayed retreat of the menu bar, then this is problematic. Consider, after showing the menu bar, I move back to one part of the window to interact with a window element. Then, suddenly, the window moves relative to the screen, changing my mouse position within the window. If no delayed retreat, then the above solution doesn't address the problem.
    It is a fact that the menu bar takes up real-estate. I argue though, it is not clutter, that it is useful real-estate. That being said, you think it is clutter--that's your perspective. You like using the keyboard and are obviously ok with window's being animated in a complex shuffle of screen elements in the name of maximizing screen real-estate. I don't -- I'm trying to maximize my utility of the existing screen real-estate, not the real-estate itself. It's arguable, i.e., there isn't a clear, acceptable argument for changing. Now, if there were enough people like you asking for such a change, then Apple, might decide that it is worth it to do so. But that would be a very different kind of argument...
     
  14. macrem macrumors 65816

    macrem

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2008
    #14
    I agree with Apple's philosophy of keeping the Sys Prefs relatively simple, the way they are now. Everyday on these forums you can find 100 requests that would be 100 more checkboxes in Sys Prefs.

    On the other hand, I think they should make it easier than it is now to go to the command line and change other settings like hiding the menubar, so that its sort of a hidden and unsupported thing.
     
  15. mason.kramer thread starter macrumors 6502

    mason.kramer

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2007
    Location:
    Watertown, MA
    #15
    Hey duffer, I completely fixed the Firefox problem. You're not going to like my solution, though.

    First, I backed up everything to a disk image using Carbon Copy Cloner.

    Then I formatted and installed MacHD using my original Mac Pro installation discs that were pressed with 10.4.9, with Safari 2.

    While in 10.4.9, I changed the Safari download folder preference to /tmp/ (use cmd-shft-G to go to /tmp/), then installed Firefox. Then I upgraded the new install to Leopard again with the Leopard disc. Then I copied my old home folders from the backup.

    The bug is gone.

    I assume that you could do this using Archive and Install, without the need of a second drive for backup (but I recommend at least burning your ~ directories to CD). If you do it with Archive and Install, you retain your installed apps. (This is why I chose NOT to do it: I figured it was time for a clean system, anyway). Once you change the Safari setting using Safari 2, you can safely upgrade to Leopard and the problem is still gone. This is because Safari 2 edits a global preference that firefox also looks at, but Safari 3 now edits a per-user preference that Firefox doesn't know about. You can't edit this preference manually because Apple stores the preference in a binary file. (And this, gentlemen, is why the Unix philosophy is to store configuration files as plain text).
     
  16. duffer macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2007
    #16
    Thank you.

    I have another external drive en route from Newegg. I will give this a go next week. I can now return to internet surfing bliss. BTW, I completely agree with you about the menubar. It should at least be an option.
     
  17. MatthewCobb macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2005
    Location:
    Manchester, UK
    #17
    Umm - me? Like you said - different users have different needs. I use the mouse.
     

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