Transparent menu bar just doesn't make sense

Discussion in 'macOS' started by doowrehs, Oct 28, 2007.

  1. doowrehs macrumors regular

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    Oct 14, 2004
    #1
    Regardless of any other issues related to the menu bar's transparency (i.e. legibility of text when using certain desktop images/colors), here's another reason why the new menu bar just doesn't make sense. Simply put, it defies "physics"! (Yes - I know there's no real physics involved in a 2D, metaphorical environment, but bear with me...) As an example, take a look at this shot of an exposéd desktop i.e. all windows pushed off the edges of the screen:

    [​IMG]

    To clarify: if the desktop itself is the "bottommost" level of the environment, and application windows operate "above" the desktop (as evidenced by their casting drop shadows onto the desktop), why then do those same windows not block-out the portion of the desktop image viewable through the transparent menu bar when exposéd as above? Instead, the transparency seems to ignore what theoretically is present underneath it, and continues only to show the desktop image.

    Sure, it's not a big thing (and, yes - I do need to get out more!! :eek:), and obviously it was probably implemented in this way to prevent any text present in a window from further obscuring the text items in the menu bar. Nevertheless, it's another strike against the idea of transparency in the menu bar as far as I'm concerned; conceptually and in practice it just doesn't make sense.
     
  2. flopticalcube macrumors G4

    flopticalcube

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    #2
    We will have to be extra choosy in our desktop picture. I agree, I don't like it either and hopefully someone will find a defaults to turn it off.
     
  3. xUKHCx Administrator emeritus

    xUKHCx

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    #3
    While reading your thoughts I came to one conclusion

     
  4. me_94501 macrumors 65816

    me_94501

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  5. Eluzion macrumors 6502

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    #5
    I'm pretty sure it was changed just for the sake of having something changed and look different than Tiger... so people would feel like they actually are infact using something different and their $129 isn't going to waste. ;)

    Don't get me wrong, I'm loving Leopard for the most part but I will agree the transparent menu bar is sort of has you wondering at times.... why'd they do this?
     
  6. VoodooDaddy macrumors 65816

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    #6
    Wow, Ive seen nitpick some ridiculous things here but this is right up there. Right up there with the dock angle not being in perfect symmetry with the horizon or whatever that other thread was about.
     
  7. doowrehs thread starter macrumors regular

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    #7
    Thanks for the link. If it is indeed faked, and the system simply renders a blurred version of that portion of the wallpaper (i.e. it effectively creates a simple image file, as opposed to executing the transparency on the fly), it makes it even more puzzling as to why certain machines don't support the "transparent" menu bar... Honestly, even the lowest specced machines should be able to perform such a simple action, shouldn't they?

    It's weird, and I do wish Apple had considered these issues in the 2.5 years they've had to develop this feature.
     
  8. landis macrumors regular

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    Toronto/Kingston Canada
    #8
    i dont dislike the idea of a transparent menu bar, just the implementation. if it was a translucent bar with white always underneath it, it may infact look good and draw your focus to the open windows. the current implementation annoys me to see the colours of the background when i have windows up against it!
     
  9. Ariez macrumors regular

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    Jul 20, 2007
    #9
    Maybe it doesnt go under the menu bar but into another dimension? Then it all works out.
     
  10. doowrehs thread starter macrumors regular

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    #10
    You're right - it is a (very) small thing to nitpick in the grand scheme of things; and, as mentioned - I really should get out and away from computer more...;) However, at the same time I don't think there's anything wrong in critiquing a product we paid for, whether it be a big or a small thing...

    I mean, come on, it's a transparent menu bar that's not really transparent, and which just doesn't seem to offer any functional benefit. And while I like nice aesthetics and eye candy as much as the next person, in this case I'm just having a hard time trying to understand Apple's rationale for offering such a seemingly ill-conceived (and implemented) "feature".
     
  11. doowrehs thread starter macrumors regular

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    #11
    Completely agree.

    Best explanation I've heard yet!:D
     
  12. VoodooDaddy macrumors 65816

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    #12
    I agree, nothing wrong with nitpicking. I never had actually paid any attention to the transparency like that until I set up a few windows and exposed them out of the way. I see what you mean, its just something that never would have cross my mind without someone bringing it to attention.

    Is exposed a word? :)
     
  13. xUKHCx Administrator emeritus

    xUKHCx

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    #13
    Is it though, i can't take claim for findings this, someone else on here has made a thread about it, too late to track it down (search for private frameworks coreui should bring it) but have a look at this screenshot

    Picture 9.png

    Picture 11.png
     
  14. macguysoft macrumors member

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    Jan 9, 2007
    #14
    I don't think there's anything "wrong" in critiquing a product that you paid for but shouldn't a line be drawn here? People can complain about anything...I've seen it so many times because it's just so simple to do. For example, there was this lady who gave her comments concerning the iPhone about it not going to be sold much because w-w-what if the poor person looses the precious? Aww, he just lost 500 bucks! What a bunch of retards...



    Well at least you're concerned with the reasons for it so I won't say this is the worst nitpicking... In fact, it might be a good nitpick but still a nitpick hehe. I don't know really but I'll give a try. Apple realizes that the desktop environment was created to make one productive and be out of the way but useful when one needs it. The menubar was therefore created in order to match the rest of the desktop in order to give a feel that it's part of your environment. It doesn't stick out much, but is there when you need to use it.

    Maybe I'm just grasping for straws (forgive me) :p Here's what I agree with...While Apple may realize the above, it just hasn't been well implemented. I am pretty sure that there is some change that could be made to make this all work out for the better. It's not like I hate the menubar or dock as is the case with a lot of complainers though.
     
  15. Eluzion macrumors 6502

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    #15
    They should have just made an auto-hide option for the menu bar. ;) That damn thing is taking up screen space I say! hehe
     
  16. xUKHCx Administrator emeritus

    xUKHCx

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    #16
    MenuFela although apparently it doesn't work in Leopard yet.
     
  17. VideoFreek macrumors 6502

    VideoFreek

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    #17
    It is faked indeed--try sliding an icon from the desktop under the menu bar...the top half simply disappears and is NOT visible beneath the bar!
     
  18. doowrehs thread starter macrumors regular

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    #18
    @macguysoft -

    You know, actually I think you're probably right - and thanks for making me consider it from another pov. I can see how it might make sense to have the menu bar transparent - just as the dock is - if the aim was to make it easier to focus on the actual workspace (probably why they increased the drop shadow on the active window in leopard also). It's just, as you say, the implementation is a bit crap! In fact, in some instances (i.e. with windows at full screen), I'd argue that the transparency actually achieves the opposite and actively distracts your attention from the workspace.
     
  19. doowrehs thread starter macrumors regular

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    Oct 14, 2004
    #19
    That's interesting. I wonder if genuine transparency was intended to be implemented, but got pulled at the last minute for some reason and replaced with the "easier" simulated transparency... And also whether the strings found by that user mean that it could still be "turned on" sometime in the future with an update. That would certainly support the findings of the developers linked to by me_94501 above. According to their blog, the early betas of Leopard did feature true transparency in the menu bar, but that changed somewhere down the line.
     
  20. rendezvouscp macrumors 68000

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    Long Beach, California
    #20
    In previous builds of Leopard, one could see the windows underneath the menu bar; I always thought it was crappy and a bug that they would need to fix (which they obviously did, much to the dismay of some or many).

    Even then, though, it wasn't just "true transparency;" I remember a bug where (at random times) mousing over the menu bar would result in a very strange cursor icon which was emboldened and shiny (like glass). It must've been some sort of effect that the cursor was holding on to after being near the menu bar (and of course, they fixed this bug as well).

    At least we can deduce that this was a design design and not an after effect.
    -Chasen
     
  21. doowrehs thread starter macrumors regular

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    Oct 14, 2004
    #21
    Thanks for the reply. Wow - so they did actually implement it in a more logical (if not entirely practical) way at one time. If it's ok to ask, what did you find crappy about it when it worked that way? Were the windows showing through just obscuring the menu bar text too much, or was it just too "busy"?
     
  22. Eluzion macrumors 6502

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    Aug 7, 2007
    #22
    It does make sense but at the same time, if they were going for the whole "making everything else besides the active window not so apparent", then why the big blinging 3D dock with reflections, blue LED lights, and enough eye-candy to kill a small kitten? But then again, you can hide the dock I guess. ;)

    Just some food for thought. I, too, am trying to understand Apple's reasoning to these UI modifications.
     
  23. Cheesecake macrumors member

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    Apr 4, 2007
    #23
    The fact that it's a faked transparency irks me more than the fact that you can see 'through' it. But it's not high on my list of things that need to be fixed right away by 10.5.1.

    The option would be nice for those who don't want it, but I don't know if we'll be seeing it there and be forced to use a third party app.
     
  24. doowrehs thread starter macrumors regular

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    Oct 14, 2004
    #24
    :D Lol. Very good point!

    Honestly, the more I think about it, the more I think Apple really did have some huge and amazing (secret) features planned for Leopard, but which they eventually realized they simply wouldn't be able to pull off in time for release. So, instead, after a bit of frantic hair-pulling, some bright spark suggested making up for the pulled features by giving some of the UI elements a quick tweak...
     
  25. Gondry macrumors member

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    Oct 12, 2007
    Location:
    London
    #25
    I've found LeoColorBar (http://www.macupdate.com/info.php/id/26081/leocolorbar) works, it just puts a bar on your desktop picture no hackery involved. If you set it to 50% it looks normal again.
     

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