a much better Dock

sbenj

Registered
Recently in the various bulletin boards several people (including me) have hit on a particular idea for massively improving the dock, without making it less intuitive. I've made a photoshop mock-up and described the idea on this page:
http://www.qubit.org/tmp
(sorry about the size of the jpg, only a bit of which is relevant!)
Probably Apple is already considering this solution, since it is so obvious and presumably easy quite easy to implement - if I really hope they do!
 

eVo

Registered
I don't know if your dock would be very effective. That purple bar seems awefully small and hard to hit, which is very annoying. And I don't know about other people, but I prefer to see an icon of the window, as well as it's title (and in that title, I think it should include the app the window belongs with). If I have a few windows open with the same title, I want to see a thumbnail of the window so I know exactly which window it is.

Your idea does not provide adequate window management/switching, something the Mac OS desparately needs. All windows on the screen should be visible on the dock IMO, to make switching easier. And when you want to know if your desktop or dock is clean of unminimized or minimized windows respectively, you want to be able to see how many you have open (by hopefully glancing at the dock) and closing unnecessary ones. A purple bar, not only confusing, does not show you how many windows you have open, so you have no idea how cluttered your dock is. As well, by showing only minimized windows on the dock, you are in trouble if you want to quickly switch to a window behind multiple open windows. Dragging and resizing just to get to something behind a window is not trivial and should not be the only way to switch (for apps that don't have a Window menu built in).

Your dock still looks awefully cluttered. There is no real organization. There are open apps next to stored apps, in between more stored apps, and it still does not address the problem of knowing whether an app on the dock is just open, or open and stored on dock.

All in all, I still think my dock is better and I would rather see my version implemented by Apple. The dock does too much, it needs to be simplified to just a switcher/notifier. Launching and storing is not what it should be intended to do, and I'll be very dissapointed if it does that in OS X 1.0.
 

sbenj

Registered
Thanks for your reply .. but I have to disagree with several of your points:

1) "the bar is too small to hit"
acually, because it is right at the bottom, it would be very easy to hit - it has what they call 'infinite height', meaning that you can just 'throw' the pointer to the bottom of the screen, only worrying about the lateral position. In practice the bars would be as easy to hit as the menu options File, Edit, etc in the top menu.

2) "inadequate window switching", "by showing only minimized windows on the dock, you are in trouble.." - actually clicking on the bar would show all windows belonging to that app, whether hidden or not (possibly some symbol beside the window's entry in the mini-menu could show whether the window is hidden).
Thus the switching would be better than OS 9 - you could go direct from any window in application A to any window in application B.

3) "you want to be able to see how many you have open" - actually I don't need to see that at all. Why would I?
4) I like the web page you have on your version of the ideal Dock, but I'm not sure I would prefer it to the current version. The problem I have with miniaturized windows is that you can't tell at a glance which window it is: they tend to look very similar, especially when there are many of them. Thats why I advocate moving away from picture-representation to the listing by name. Also, sometimes I have maybe twenty or more windows open, all told. I really don't want/need to see them all in the dock!
 

sbenj

Registered
Thanks for your reply .. but I have to disagree with several of your points:

1) "the bar is too small to hit"
acually, because it is right at the bottom, it would be very easy to hit - it has what they call 'infinite height', meaning that you can just 'throw' the pointer to the bottom of the screen, only worrying about the lateral position. In practice the bars would be as easy to hit as the menu options File, Edit, etc in the top menu.

2) "inadequate window switching", "by showing only minimized windows on the dock, you are in trouble.." - actually clicking on the bar would show all windows belonging to that app, whether hidden or not (possibly some symbol beside the window's entry in the mini-menu could show whether the window is hidden).
Thus the switching would be better than OS 9 - you could go direct from any window in application A to any window in application B.

3) "you want to be able to see how many you have open" - actually I don't need to see that at all. Why would I?
4) I like the web page you have on your version of the ideal Dock, but I'm not sure I would prefer it to the current version. The problem I have with miniaturized windows is that you can't tell at a glance which window it is: they tend to look very similar, especially when there are many of them. Thats why I advocate moving away from picture-representation to the listing by name. Also, sometimes I have maybe twenty or more windows open, all told. I really don't want/need to see them all in the dock!
 

LunaMorena

Registered
Personally I like the current dock as a basic design. you both have some good points. I like the idea of having it stretch across the bottom of the screen all the way with the trash on the far right, and clicking on an app icon to show the currently open windows is another good idea, though I don't know about the purple bar. An alternative is perhaps control-clicking (or some other modifier) to see the list of open windows. Personally I would like to see ALL open windows in the dock instead of just minimized ones. The pictures are enough for me to get a general idea of which window they are, and with a mouse over I can see the title. I don't mind the fact that there isn't a separate marker for which app is in the foreground just because I know I can look up in the upper left corner to find that out.

The other idea I like (don't know if I saw it here or somewhere else) is to have folders in the dock list a menu of its contents when clicked rather than opening a finder window. I think something like that would ease the desire so many people have for an apple menu as well, since it could function essentially the same way but far more customizable and easier to do so, since the Apple Menu has never been drag & drop, and this would be.
 
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