Useful / interesting apple UI modification rundown...

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jsloan
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Useful / interesting apple UI modification rundown...

Unread postby jsloan » Tue Jan 18, 2011 9:07 am

Love OSX. Hate the UI/Finder.

So this was interesting:

http://blog.kozubik.com/john_kozubik/20 ... e-ion.html

I have implemented all of this and OSX is indeed tolerable now.

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zmttoxics
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Re: Useful / interesting apple UI modification rundown...

Unread postby zmttoxics » Tue Jan 18, 2011 9:50 am

I use TotalFinder and that solves all of my Finder issues. I used sizeup for a while but didn't feel it was worth the cash. As for the mouse stuff, I use MagicPrefs which enables the middle mouse button on a magic mouse. My problems are solved.
Stuff.

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ianj
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Re: Useful / interesting apple UI modification rundown...

Unread postby ianj » Tue Jan 18, 2011 2:01 pm

I also don't like the Finder, but I come to that from the perspective of a longtime Mac user rather than someone trying to bring favorite features from another platform. I've looked at all the major Finder alternatives, but their approach is always to make file management more like Windows (Norton Commander style is popular among them), not to make it more like a Mac. I can't blame them as I assume writing a classic-style file manager that needs to take over the entire screen is far more complex than one that can exist entirely within its own windows, but it would be nice to see some of the effort at reworking the OS X interface coming from more Mac-oriented people. There's Unsanity for some things, which I've used extensively over the years, but they never struck at the core of the issue (Finder).
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fu
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Re: Useful / interesting apple UI modification rundown...

Unread postby fu » Tue Jan 18, 2011 4:02 pm

a sysadmin @ a post house mentioned Xfile the other day. way too much for me, but you guys may like it



↓ glad you liked it joseh, the guy @ post is a NeXT nut, and the guy behind xfile seems to like NeXT too. i'll stick to this place only tho, just one (place) for technical analysis is enough for me :)
Last edited by fu on Tue Jan 18, 2011 6:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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josehill
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Re: Useful / interesting apple UI modification rundown...

Unread postby josehill » Tue Jan 18, 2011 5:41 pm

fu wrote:a sysadmin @ a post house mentioned Xfile the other day. way too much for me, but you guys may like it
fu - thanks for the link. Pretty neat stuff at that site; a bunch of tools and some pretty interesting articles.

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metallizer
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Re: Useful / interesting apple UI modification rundown...

Unread postby metallizer » Wed Jan 19, 2011 4:26 am

what's people beef with finder? I have tiger installed in some machines and finder does exactly is supposed to do and it's way faster than search in vista.
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ianj
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Re: Useful / interesting apple UI modification rundown...

Unread postby ianj » Wed Jan 19, 2011 8:00 am

metallizer wrote:what's people beef with finder? I have tiger installed in some machines and finder does exactly is supposed to do and it's way faster than search in vista.


http://arstechnica.com/apple/reviews/2003/04/finder.ars

Written in 2003, but almost everything in it still applies to Finder 10.6.
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fu
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Re: Useful / interesting apple UI modification rundown...

Unread postby fu » Thu Jan 20, 2011 4:02 am

just an update on xfile. i read a few articles on their site, and their prose reminded me of some of the discussions that take place between the true-school residents here.

e-mailed them a hello + a note that i linked their product here and they got back, quoted w/ their permission:

Rixstep wrote:Thanks for your thoughts. Please point out to the others that the
Xfile Test Drive is free and runs *for a very long time*. It only
costs something if you need more features.

There seem to be some people in that thread who don't understand why
their good old Finder won't 'do it'. Please point them to our
articles.

In particular we have an extensive (and ongoing) series on file
management. This is the latest instalment with links to all the
previous articles.

http://rixstep.com/2/20101228,00.shtml

Part Four is a bibliography of resources.

http://rixstep.com/2/20101102,00.shtml

Thanks for writing. All the best.


Rixstep wrote:FWIW.

http://blog.kozubik.com/john_kozubik/20 ... e-ion.html

'You can sum it up nicely with the inability to maximize a Window
(that is, without manually dragging it to the corners with the mouse
in a one-shot attempt to cover the whole screen).'

This is completely illiterate. 'Maximising' ('zooming') is by default
'the entire screen'. Watch Firefox. Firefox does this because Firefox
is illiterate.

Intelligent applications like Safari (and believe it, in this respect
Safari is very intelligent) zoom only to make as much content as
possible visible. *This is not easy.*

Safari has several windows that do this - the browser window of course
but also the activities window.

Cocoa has 'delegate calls' which can be implemented for the delegate
of any window to change the default effect of a zoom. Some
applications do this (we have a few that do) and some do not.

The key is that it's controllable by the application *and has nothing
to do with the system in general*. A contrary observation - such as
nauseatingly repeated by Walt Mossberg and such as the above author -
is merely a giveaway that the person so observing hasn't observed
enough. Or perhaps in Walt's case that the poor dude isn't so terribly
clued in. ;)

Zooming to fill an entire screen with a single window smacks of
Neanderthal today what with resolutions of 2000x1000 or more. It's
nonsensical. And Cocoa gives the apps the choice - unlike other more
'primitive' platforms.

FWIW. Cheers.

jsloan
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Re: Useful / interesting apple UI modification rundown...

Unread postby jsloan » Thu Jan 20, 2011 7:03 pm

You know, I actually misspoke in the original post, because I said "finder" but what I really meant was the mac UI in general, not the actual file management program known as the finder.

The link I pasted is also dealing with the mac UI as a whole, and not just the finder. The issues with maximizing windows and non-overlapping and focus-follows-mouse, etc., are what were being addressed there...

That being said, thank you for the link to totalfinder - that is fantastic. I actually do the same thing with sizeup and just put two half-screen finder windows next to one another, but showing system files and so on is nice.

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zmttoxics
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Re: Useful / interesting apple UI modification rundown...

Unread postby zmttoxics » Thu Jan 20, 2011 7:09 pm

You are very welcome! I think TotalFinder is worth every penny they ask for my self (thankfully, its not that expensive).
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jsloan
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Re: Useful / interesting apple UI modification rundown...

Unread postby jsloan » Thu Jan 20, 2011 7:14 pm

Rixstep wrote:FWIW.

http://blog.kozubik.com/john_kozubik/20 ... e-ion.html

'You can sum it up nicely with the inability to maximize a Window
(that is, without manually dragging it to the corners with the mouse
in a one-shot attempt to cover the whole screen).'

This is completely illiterate. 'Maximising' ('zooming') is by default
'the entire screen'. Watch Firefox. Firefox does this because Firefox
is illiterate.



He has missed the point entirely. Nobody is suggesting that you maximize every window to fit your screen - in fact, you might never want to do that. The point is, you _can't_ do it. The fact that you cannot maximize a window properly, without using a mouse, is a great example of the braindead nature of the Mac UI.


Rixstep wrote:Intelligent applications like Safari (and believe it, in this respect
Safari is very intelligent) zoom only to make as much content as
possible visible. *This is not easy.*



Fantastic. Really - great. The problem is that is your ONLY option. If for whatever reason you want to max a window, you can't (without a lot of inefficient, silly mouse movement that ends up being imprecise anyway).


Rixstep wrote:Zooming to fill an entire screen with a single window smacks of
Neanderthal today what with resolutions of 2000x1000 or more. It's
nonsensical. And Cocoa gives the apps the choice - unlike other more
'primitive' platforms.



I agree that zooming to fill a physical screen is not often useful, and that is why I love sizeup so much - because like the Ion window manager, it allows max screen, half screen, quarter screen, etc., to be accessed at a keystroke.

FWIW, full physical screen is very useful with visualization, some web pages, and very long log files or command lines, but I digress...

The real point is the lack of capability. You cannot perfectly max window in OSX, unless you fiddle with the mouse, and even then you will get an imprecise result that is not repeatable.

I'd love to hear his take on focus-follows-mouse...

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ianj
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Re: Useful / interesting apple UI modification rundown...

Unread postby ianj » Sat Jan 22, 2011 6:57 am

jsloan wrote:He has missed the point entirely. Nobody is suggesting that you maximize every window to fit your screen - in fact, you might never want to do that. The point is, you _can't_ do it. The fact that you cannot maximize a window properly, without using a mouse, is a great example of the braindead nature of the Mac UI.

...


Fantastic. Really - great. The problem is that is your ONLY option. If for whatever reason you want to max a window, you can't (without a lot of inefficient, silly mouse movement that ends up being imprecise anyway).


On every platform other than Mac OS and BeOS, maximize is your ONLY option, so what's your point? I have yet to find any GUI that offers both maximize and zoom as distinct features, so criticizing Mac OS X for only including one of them is disingenuous.

Like it or not, the concept of "maximizing" a window is completely alien to the world of the Mac OS GUI. On platforms that include it, maximize generally means more than just sizing the window; it's a special mode that windows go into (generally indicated by the loss of borders and inability to move the window). Faulting Mac OS X for not including this is like faulting Windows for lacking a global menu bar - it's just not part of the design, and it doesn't belong. Mac OS is based on its own design history that predates Windows and X11. Why should long-time Mac users accept drastic changes in the UI model to satisfy new users coming from other backgrounds?

If you switch to a Mac from another platform and want to evaluate its strengths and weaknesses relative to what you came from, that's certainly fine, but don't call its GUI "braindead" just because it is based around different concepts than what you're accustomed to. If you think the Mac GUI is braindead, why are you using it? Trying to force a tool to be something it isn't is usually an unsatisfying experience.
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theinonen
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Re: Useful / interesting apple UI modification rundown...

Unread postby theinonen » Sat Jan 22, 2011 8:03 am

ianj wrote:On every platform other than Mac OS and BeOS, maximize is your ONLY option, so what's your point? I have yet to find any GUI that offers both maximize and zoom as distinct features, so criticizing Mac OS X for only including one of them is disingenuous.


You can add RISC OS to that list.

In RISC OS maximize button only changes the size of the window to a size that is needed by application.

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D-EJ915
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Re: Useful / interesting apple UI modification rundown...

Unread postby D-EJ915 » Sat Jan 22, 2011 1:23 pm

The problem with the maximizing is it works for that specific point in time...if you change to some different content that window size does not work anymore which is the only fault I have with it. I never use it because it is more trouble than it's worth.
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pierocks
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Re: Useful / interesting apple UI modification rundown...

Unread postby pierocks » Sun Jan 23, 2011 8:24 pm

I find the "focus follows mouse" model to be extremely annoying. Maybe I'm doing it wrong, but when I click on a text box to give input, I like to "toss" the mouse pointer out of the way so it doesn't get in the way when I'm typing. This often means "entirely away from the window I want to interact with", which on an older unix box this results in my text input going someplace unexpected or vanishing all together.

The other time this model fails completely is when you have a shaky desk or oversensitive mouse, etc. You might be typing away furiously, trying to refute someone else's post on a certain SGI forum when you find that your mouse pointer has wandered a few tenths of an inch to the right and off of the window you want to send input to. Oops! Your stream of consciousness rant about window focus models is abruptly interrupted while you move your mouse back into position and it completely derails your train of thought.

I'm sure some UI "expert" can tell me why I'm a complete idiot for my reasoning, but it seems like the logical behavior is for a window to retain focus when you click on it (i.e. select it for action), regardless of where the mouse pointer goes afterward.
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