Apple has got to do something with the dock!


It's simply not very affective. If you have tons of apps running it takes several seconds to find something in the dock. The snap shot of the window when you minimize it is pointless, you just see a white square unless you have magnification on, which I never have. I must addmit I don't have any brilliant ideas on how to change the dock to make it better, but maybe you do. post some cool ideas on what to do with the dock to make it kick-ass.
(for me anyway), that the image recognition in the dock is faster to use for getting from app-to-app than textual recognition ala pre-OSX.

Let the DOCK ROCK I say!;)
WindowShade and the dock are not mutually exclusive. In fact they are complimentary. I want them both. I use windowshade to quickly toggle between windows (can't wait until I can get it in Cocoa apps =>) I use the dock for windows that I want open but will not be using right away.

We also need a keyboard shortcut for pulling windows out of the dock. Right now cmd-M puts something on the dock. cmd-option-M should pull the last window out of the dock. Hitting cmd-option-M repeatedly would pull windows out of the dock in the reverse order in which they were put there.

The dock would be much more useful if I did not have to mouse over to it so much.

The dock also needs a preference to set the delay for popup menus. I want popup menus to be mcuh faster.

I also want docklings and folders to be in separate areas. there should be a divider to the left/top of the finder that I can use for folders.

I would like to be able to drag and drop files into popup menu items. Since I can only drag and drop directly into items in the dock, I have items in the dock (like DropStuff) that I really do not want in the dock. I want those items under a popup menu instead.

Finally, I want the little blue arrow that indicates which app is the foreground app. That used to work with TinkerTool, but it appears to be gone from 10.1!
You can't really understand the dock until you have an apple cinema display (so obviously I don't understand:D )

Anyway, if you max out the dock on a cinema display, all of the thumbnails are about 4cm x 4cm and you can identify everything on the first try. You have plent of room to throw extra docs in and everything is beautiful.

dissidant, the simple answer to your question is to spend $2500 on a beautiful new screen. You can find that much inside your couch right?
when you consider who it's really designed for.

Although I'm sure it looks sweet on the cinema display, I think the dock is really ideal for those who aren't power users. People who don't switch between apps in a matter of seconds.

Before OS X, trying to explain the idea of the finder and the application switcher (or even the finder menu) to my parents, well, it was difficult. Now they have no problem locating and launching any given application. The directory structure of the Users folder is ideal for those that aren't as computer savvy. And after all, isn't that where Apple is going with the iMac, the iBook, the retail stores. They want to expose themselves to the general public. And show off the ease of use of OS X. It is easy to use the dock...but I agree, in situations where you have multiple apps running, particularly those whose alias doesn't already live in the dock, you often end up searching for your app.

I've been defending the dock since day one, but I realize it has usability issues when it comes to more advanced users and efficiency. It simply isn't. That's why we have such awesome third party developers. Has anyone used Wapp Pro? That's one of the most awesome third party little control panels ever! Something like that on OS X would be invaluable to those of us who need a more efficient means of switching apps.

I'm sure as the months go by we'll have several different choices in app navigation. We just have to be patient. Add-ons like ASM are making things a little easier. But for now, I'll just use the serves it's purpose for me at least for now. At work, on occasion, when I have several apps running, it is a bit problematic, but I think the dock overall is a good move particularly for new users/children, etc. It really makes managing your apps a very simple, and cool looking process. Sure it has usability issues, but hey, at least it's not START menu :D
Originally posted by Javintosh
WindowShade and the dock are not mutually exclusive. In fact they are complimentary. I want them both. I use windowshade to quickly toggle between windows (can't wait until I can get it in Cocoa apps =>)...

The environment (Cocoa, Carbon) that an application is written to does not determine the ability to windowshade. In Rhapsody/Mac OS X Server 1.x you had the choice of windowshade or the old NeXT tiles across the bottom of the screen (I always used the windowshade). It worked for every app that runs native in Mac OS X server 1.x, including OmniWeb, Create, and TIFFany.

This current 'problem' has more to do with the Finder-Dock relationship and users knowing their system than what type of app you are using. I personally only move windows to the dock while in a given app (if I have more than one window open). To move between apps I hide (cmd-h) any apps that are getting in my way (leaving only open app icons on the dock). I also only leave the five most used apps in the dock and have a folder of aliases (set up like my old apple menu) sitting in the dock to reach them quickly (and I set the recents up to 15 in the actual apple menu).

It takes some getting used to (At least everything in Rhapsody/Mac OS X Server 1.x was where I would usually find it in the Classic OS), but is works. I have now set up 8 systems for customers based on the same system I use and they seem very happy with it. I don't think I have ever needed more than 5 apps open for any project (or 8 apps for any project and other side items like the internet), and it has been documented that once an app has been opened while logged in, it opens very fast the second time (some those who just leave things open because it was so slow opening apps, that seem to have change quite a bit in 10.1), so keeping ALL of you apps open at one time seems like a waste of system resources (and dock space). Anyone who always has 20+ apps open and is not happy with the speed of Mac OS X is kidding themselves (or in need of a quad-G4/800 :D )
We should have both the Application menu as in OS 9 for users who know what they are looking for without the dock.

And we need the Dock for new users.

I presonally don't like the dock. It is in the way all the time.

It's wizzy and all, but not very practical.

The Application menu should be one of those new menu items (I have suggested this to Apple on Feedback form).

Once we have that I will do without the dock.

We should also get some way to tab windows to the sides of the screen like in OS 9. I ALWAYS keep a stack of aliases to apps in a tabbed window for easy finding and dragging of file icons to it. The dock simply can't hold as many icons as a window and be readable and get out of the way when you don't need it.

We need all of these things. And while we are at it bring back LABELS - I use them to mark items "Done" and "Not-Done" etc.

Otherwise X is getting better.
Has anyone used Wapp Pro?
That thing rocked. One of my favorite CP's from OS9 too :)

The dock does everything that it is supposed to do, but that does not mean it doesnt have room for improvement of more features. As it is now, it's really just an application launcher, and a place where your minimized windows go.

Personally I hate magnification in the dock, but if I could set it up so only minimized windows would get magnified, then I would use it. Unless you have your dock set to an enormous size, you cant tell one minimized window from the other, sometimes even mousing over doesnt help (for example, multiple terminal windows). Also it would be great if you could set it up so only the icon your mouse is currently over gets magnified (rather than the "wave" effect), and when thigns were magnified, others didn't change position to make way for the larger icon. What if the magnified icon just got bigger, and overlapped the icons next to it? Magnification would be great if it didnt make everything a moving target.
Look - if you don't like the Dock, don't use it. You can achieve almost complete OS 9 features with ASM (or the new MenuStrip 2.0) for appilcation switching. If you want your Window Shade features back, get the new Window Shade system preference. Then, just set the Dock to hide. Check version tracker for URLs to download from....

If you are having trouble with Dock clutter, try this...

Remove ALL your applications from the Dock. Create a new folder in your home directory. Drag aliases from all your applications to this folder. Call it whatever you like (I called mine "launch"). Drag this app to the dock. When you want to launch an app, click on this folder. You have the EXACT same functionality that you had in the OS 9 equivelent of adding aliases to your Apple menu. Plus, you can add a custom Icon to this alias folder which will show up in the dock. This way, all your Dock items that you want to launch will be located in the folder, and all the actual items in the dock will be launched applications, of which you can get about 15-20 before your dock starts getting smaller. Are any of you really keeping more than 20 applications running at once? I don't think so....

I think the Dock could use some tweaking, but overall it works. My main beef with it is that since it's either centered or pinned right or left, the Icons are always shifting around, making it hard to create motor memory of where your items are. I'd like to see the Dock have the option of taking up the entire bottom of the screen, with the Finder Icon aways pinned left and the Trash always pinned right. So when more icons get added to the dock, before scaling of the Icon starts, first the space between the Icons will get smaller, then the Icons will start scaling. Some people might like their Icons to be flushed left (again with finder locked on the left and trash locked on the right), and as icons are added they take their spot to the right of the last Icon.

These suggestions aren't monumental. The dock as is works fine for an application switcher and repository for drives, documents, etc. Give it a fair shake and you'll grow to appreciate it.

BTW: When I said I was waiting for WindowShade for Cocoa apps I was refering to the fact that the current version of WindowShade X only works with Carbon apps. The next release is supposed to work with both Carbon and Cocoa apps. =>

I think people are doing a pretty good job of supplying those features many people think should still be part of the OS. I use snard as my apple menu surrogate (although to be honest, I used finderpop instead of the apple menu on MacOS 9). I liked the ability to add/delete aliases without opening the finderpop items menu.

finderpop for X would truly rock!

Now if we could only get rid of the retarded bouncing icons... they drive me crazy.... Maybe a slowly blinking red arrow beneath it, but no more!!
I like the dock, but I have what I consider to be the very best Application switching program. Unfortunately, it's only non-X compatible, but I'm sure there are other shareware or even QuickKeys should work I bet.

Anyway, it's called EasyKeys and it's a control panel that allows keyboard shortcuts to launch/switch apps. It's far more efficient than any graphical solution. Unlike the dock, the key commands never change position and it doesn't take up any real estate. Its only downside is that under OS 7-9 it only launches apps if the full allocation of memory is avilable based on the Get Info window for the app.

If anybody knows of any X solution for this, let me know. Keyboard shortcuts are the way to go if you need to get around quickly like me.
People... a lot of your complaining is for naught... many things which you have been requesting are already implemented -- some are hidden, though.

1) JustinHoMi: You CAN stop dock animations and have a pulsating black triangle. Go to dock preferences in the System Preferences and uncheck 'Animate opening applications'.

2) aled: Why can't you do what the other user suggested? Put a folder of aliases in the right side of the dock, add a custom icon, and use that as your "tabbed folder". It fits quite nicely in the dock. Seriously, the Dock isn't that bad.

3) Don't know exactly who requested this, but the Dock CAN be pinned to the start or end of the side (depending on whether you position the dock on the left, bottom, or right of the screen, the terms "right" and "left" differ, so I'll just say "start" and "end" for pinning. Just get TinkerTool from to get this functionality. Instead of being center oriented, the Dock is pinned to one side of the side of the screen it is on, making your request implemented. I just don't know why Apple hasn't added a way to do this with the GUI.
Originally posted by simX
1) JustinHoMi: You CAN stop dock animations and have a pulsating black triangle. Go to dock preferences in the System Preferences and uncheck 'Animate opening applications'.

That wasn't my complaint. You can stop animations when an application is launching, but what I was talking about is when a background application has something to say, the icon starts bouncing up and down. I know of no way to disable this.