About plist "hacking":
When you modify a plist, you're just telling the program to do something that it already knows how to do. Its just that perhaps the programmers haven't (or never will) put in a checkbox in the "preferences" window to let oyu change the pref from the GUI.
How do people find these things? Well, I have a suggestion and a thought.
Suggestion: Use strings on the app binary. This searches for embedded strings, which lets you know what the app may be looking for when it reads a plist (among other things)
Thought: Apple engineers may have anonymously posted suggestions for the cooler of the hacks, like the translucent terminal, preceisely because they thought it was cool.
About the Dock in general:
After a few months of fighting osx to make it like os 9, I just surrendered, and began using it as it was designed. No apple menu. No disks on desktop. Just seven of my absloutely most used apps in the dock. And lo and behold, I began to really like the simplicity and minimalism of the interface.
Of course, accessing the other fifty apps I use on a weekly and daily basis is a bit more tough, and I agree that stashing a folder in the dock isn't the best way, because it really is a lot slower than pop-up folders.
I made this suggestion to apple, and I believe that it would do a lot of good:
1) Minimized windows genie into the owner app. Control clicking on the app brings upa little slide out panel with the windows (previews AND text labels) that you can one-click to open.
Now the right side of the dock is free for docs and folders.
2) Control clicking on a folder in the dock brings up the same little slide out tray with one click access to the folder contents. Pop-up windows redux.
(I described this and the full implications earlier a few posts down in this thread: http://www.macosx.com/forums/showthread.php?postid=4841#post4841
I think these two tweaks would alone make the OS X experience about 100 times better for me.
[Edited by zpincus on 12-05-2000 at 11:31 PM]