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Author Topic: OS X Dock, Cmd-Tab, Windowshading...(sigh)
AHunter3
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Icon 1 posted May 28, 2002 19:37      Profile for AHunter3   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I'm in OS X. I want my Windowshade widget back.

There is of course a nice little hack that makes the "minimize" button behave that way. Wonderful except that it requires the Dock to be running in order to work. I have not tended to have the Dock running--I ripped it out of CoreServices and put it in a folder at the root titled "Disabled X Dock", figuring I could launch it like any other program if I ever wanted to. I never wanted to. I don't want a bloody launcher / app switcher floating pallette thing mucking up my screen.

But I really wanted that Windowshade back. So I asked around and received instructions about manually editing the com.apple.dock.plist in PropertyListEditor, and I ended up with a Dock so tiny that not even I could complain about it. And Windowshade is back.

But the damn Dock also commandeers Command-Tab for itself, to use it as a bloody application switcher. Look, dammit, Command-Tab is for moving from record to record in FileMaker. If I want to switch apps, I'll go to the Applications menu and switch. (I use X-Assist to restore the Applications menu to its rightful place).

Command-Tab has got to go if I'm going to use the Dock. If I am not going to use the Dock, I need some other means of getting Windowshade back. C'mon, someone here knows what needs hacking!


Posts: 9 | From: New York NY USA | Registered: May 2002  |  IP: Logged
Snaggy

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Icon 5 posted May 28, 2002 22:12      Profile for Snaggy   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Have you tried WindowShade X?... i supose you have...

http://www.apple.com/downloads/macosx/system_disk_utilities/windowshadex.html


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AHunter3
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Icon 1 posted May 29, 2002 05:10      Profile for AHunter3   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Yes, that's the one that I mentioned in the original post, the one that requires that the Dock be running in order for it to work.


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Mattface
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Icon 1 posted May 29, 2002 10:45      Profile for Mattface     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Between the combo of a tiny Dock, and the auto hide feature, the dock should stay out of your way. Doesn't Filemaker have a new keyboard combo for moving from window to window?

If you can't stand to change your habits, I have the perfect solution for you. Go back to OS 9. It had all that stuff you missed. There is plenty of power in OSX GUI, but alas it is a different OS than OS9. If you want to have fun Hacking your GUI, you can always try Lunix. I think you will find a wealth of different GUIs there, but if you wanna use a new OS, you may need to learn a few new tricks. If you can't stand change, then you can stay with the classic OS... Hey somewhere in the world, there are people using system 6


Posts: 68 | From: Montpelier | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged
uilleann
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Icon 7 posted May 29, 2002 14:54            Edit/Delete Post 
Keyboard application cycling is not a new idea at all. Cmd-tab debuted on the Mac some time around Mac OS 8 I believe, but it is simply a copy of the alternative (immediate) alt-tab behaviour from Windows 3. Quite how you never noticed it before is a mystery, as it can't be turned off (under 9.1 at least) without the aid of a program such as Prestissimo. Maybe the event model is different under Mac OS Classic, enabling Filemaker to steal the shortut from under the nose of the OS?

I never use cmd+tab actually. I can see it's merits on a fast machine, but my Mac's graphics hardware is too slow to live-cycle through apps effectively. The cycling order (launch order?) is also unhelpful, and I don't know how many cmd+tabs to hit to reach any app, not that it's really much easier under Windows.

However, I use A-Dock to both solve that problem (non-live cycling with ctrl-tab) and to bring the Dock to my little 9.1 world. I've never used X in my life (nor am I likely to for a long while yet), and I do have a lot of reservations about both the interface and disc structure changes, but some things are definitely for the better, hence me running A-Dock on my Mac (though Dock minimisation seems highly suspect to me). The new menu structure also makes far more sense (Apple menu contents, plus the new Application Menu.

As for Filemaker, perhaps there's a menu item that does the same thing as the keyboard shortcut (there must me), which you could use instead?

- uilleann


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AHunter3
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Icon 1 posted May 29, 2002 20:25      Profile for AHunter3   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
The first thing I did when Apple implemented that [email protected]#[email protected]!! Command-Tab application switching was figure out how it was doing it, and then rip it out. It did indeed make its debut long before MacOS X, possibly back with MacOS 8.

quote:
Go back to OS 9.

I'm still in 9. I'm preparing X, getting it ready for my eventual use of it. I'm making it habitable. It ain't there yet, although thanks to DefaultFolder and Duality and Classic Platinum and X-Assist and QuicKeys X and FruitMenu, it's getting there.

Anyway, back to app switching under X. The ability to have Command-Tab for my FileMaker keystroke outweighs the convenience of being able to Windowshade. Nevertheless, I want my Windowshade, so if you know of a way to restore Windowshading without the damn Dock, please tell me; or if you know of a way to run the Dock without the damn Command-Tab application switching, please tell me that.

(If you prefer to help me with 9 instead, fine: figure out how to make PopupFolder work. Those damn spring-loaded folders killed PopupFolder, which was a much more elegant means of accomplishing the same thing. FinderPop restored a lot of the other features but I'm still stuck with stupid spring-loaded folders for dragging a file into a deeply buried folder. It's enough to make me want to go back to System 7. But I digress...)


Posts: 9 | From: New York NY USA | Registered: May 2002  |  IP: Logged
uilleann
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Icon 1 posted May 30, 2002 01:35            Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
AHunter3
The first thing I did when Apple implemented that [email protected]#[email protected]!! Command-Tab application switching was figure out how it was doing it, and then rip it out. It did indeed make its debut long before MacOS X, possibly back with MacOS 8.

Well, if all you want to do with Mac OS X is demolish it, then why change at all?

I do lament all the new little apps (freeware and such) that are new to X (plus, ShadowIRC 2.0 is X-only), and do feel left out of the Mac world now, but otherwise, stability and reliability is such in 9.1 that I'm happy there, and have all the programs I need. 9.1 rocks!

As for windowshade, I think that it is only really suited as a secondary means of window management. A screen full of windowshaded windows is an unfathomable mess; windowshading is only really of use when I want to see underneath a window temporarily. The combined minimise (for tidiness) and windowshading (for looking under windows) abilities of KDE offers the best answer, second comes Windows' ability to hide the current window by clicking it's taskbar icon.

Mac OS X does minimise, but the method is quite feeble when your Dock is full of unidentifiable large white rectangles; from what I've seen, the Dock is almost fine otherwise (it needs to have separators like in A-Dock) but minimising needs re-implementing.

Having considered the various methods of window management, though (95-2k, XP, Mac OS (traditional, Application Switcher, A-Dock) and Mac OS X), I don't really know what the answer is, it's a very difficult thing to deal with, it really is.

Now, I have to ask, is your copy of Filemaker ridiculously old, or are the developers just too stupid to notice that cmd-tab no longer works? Didn't they realise that cmd-tab in Filemaker hasn't worked for years? :) *shakes head*

- Uilleann


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AHunter3
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Icon 1 posted May 30, 2002 06:58      Profile for AHunter3   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
The FileMaker developers originally **removed** Command-Tab in version 5.0v1 and after a significant amount of screaming and hurling of rotten tomatoes by the developer community, restored it in 5.0v3--developers disabled the application switching in MacOS in proverbial droves. The alternative keystroke equiv was Command-downarrow. We don't like it because it is awkward and it is not how we want to work. (FileMaker developers are admittedly fussy over details. We are currently screaming about changes to tabbing the keyboard focus in layout mode because when returning to the Specify Size palette it no longer highlights the last used field, making us tab tab tab tab tab change value instead of simply tab change value).

uileann:

quote:
stability and reliability is such in 9.1 that I'm happy there, and have all the programs I need. 9.1 rocks!

Indeed, it's my everyday OS of choice. Or, rather, 9.0.4 is. But I need to prepare for tomorrow. Hey, I went through this ten years ago, alternately acquiring newly necessary shareware or grousing about aspects of System 7 that were NOT an improvement over System 6! The death of MacroMaker was a major deal-breaker if I recall correctly--I had a huge library of recorded macros under 6. And I remember that I used OnCue as my app launcher, and it was incompatible with 7. System 7 expected you to use this hideous "Launcher" tile thingie that took up screen real estate and made you click icons to launch items instead of select from a menu (does this rant sound familiar?) and I wasn't gonna do that! Fortunately, I found Apollo, and then, later, OtherMenu, which is what I use in 9. In X, I use X-Assist which combines OtherMenu-ish functionality with an Application menu like Systems 7-9. And that's how I switch apps, or hide them when windowshading an individual window isn't sufficient.

This is a Mac. I am a Mac user. Being a Mac user means I get to have my computer behave the way *I* want it to. If I wanted to work the way the computer wanted me to work, I'd buy a Windows PC and be done with it.

Now, come on, seriously folks: does anyone know if there is, perhaps, something editable in the plist file that stores the keystroke used by Dock for app switching? And/or is there an editable setting somewhere that the OS looks at which tells it when to grey out the "minimize" button (i.e., when Dock isn't alive and up & running), such that I could reclaim the button (which Windowshade X is going to intercept anyway)? And/or a way to fool the OS into thinking it is running the Dock when actually it is running a phony Dock, a swapped-in app that will allow minimizing button function but which doesn't do app switching?


Posts: 9 | From: New York NY USA | Registered: May 2002  |  IP: Logged
Lex
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Icon 1 posted May 30, 2002 16:37      Profile for Lex   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Well, there are ways to change a lot of key combinations so I wouldn't be surprised if you could. Some guy managed to change a plist or something to make Return open files instead of Cmd-O. So there is a way, do a search for osx key binding or something...

Better advice, however, is to learn to adapt. Everything in your cubicle might be in its place and easily accessible, but when they move you to a corner office, leave the cube walls behind and learn to live with shelves and tables. But then, my last boss had a cubicle in his office...


Posts: 977 | From: University of Florida | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
uilleann
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Icon 14 posted May 31, 2002 02:48            Edit/Delete Post 
I concur.

Especially as, even if your Mac is customised beyond recognition, no-one else's is likely to be customised the same way. If you have to change machine or anything, re-install, or you find an unsable bug in a hack, you've still got to be able to use Mac OS at it was designed.

As for System 7, my first Mac had 7.1, and I next used 7.6.1, followed by 8.5.1, 8.6 and then 9.0.4 and 9.1. I was appalled by the ugliness of 8.x, but now see 7.x as pale and washed-out looking. As for features, hell, I'm never going back. So much has changed since 7.1, and almost all for the better.

Mac OS X looks scary (strange new UNIX filesystem (made worse by me not using 9's multi-user system) which seems to lack the friendly simplicity and interface of 9 and below, large UI changes, etc) but I won't judge it until having used it for real. However, I think things are being changed for the better.

One day, I'll find out :)

- Uilleann


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AHunter3
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Icon 1 posted June 02, 2002 11:09      Profile for AHunter3   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Yay! Problem fixed!

Windowshade X, as it turns out, provides options other than the "minimize" button for its activation trigger. You can have it do things in response to double-clicking in the window's title bar, which is how the old original Windowshade shareware Control Panel worked in System 6 and System 7, before Apple created the widget. And if you do it that way, you don't need to be running the Dock!.

Dock has been banned again. Command-Tab is available to FileMaker again. Windowshade works. I'm happy customer.

------------------


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uilleann
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Icon 1 posted June 02, 2002 20:16            Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
AHunter3
You can have it do things in response to double-clicking in the window's title bar, which is how the old original Windowshade shareware Control Panel worked in System 6 and System 7, before Apple created the widget.

Huh? I don't recall any shareware control panel back then (too far back for me) but Windowshade was an official component (as far as I know) in Mac OS 7.5 and 7.6, which only supported double-clicking the title bar. In Mac OS 8 upwards, you got a widget too, but the title bar double-clicking never went away (well, unless it was just missing for 8.0 and 8.1); it's now a tick box in the Options tab of the Appearance control panel (8.5 upwards anyhow), though this might be off by default.

I typically use that much more than the widget

- uilleann


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AHunter3
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Icon 1 posted June 03, 2002 12:34      Profile for AHunter3   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Windowshade was originally a little 3rd-party piece of shareware that ran under System 6. It was written by Rob Johnston. Apple didn't incorporate it until somewhat later.

I had forgotten that Apple had included it as part of the later versions of System 7.x, I guess I was thinking it was still 3rd party shareware until MacOS 8. I'm pretty sure you're right, though, now that I come to think of it.


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uilleann
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Icon 7 posted June 03, 2002 16:15            Edit/Delete Post 
I was a first a BBC Micro user (three years), and then a 486 PC user (seven years) before I got an old LC someone's company was throwing out. Less than half the power of my PC, I still fell in love with it, and have been a Mac fan ever since.

However, it did mean that I never used System 6. I think I encountered Windowshade before I got a Mac, though, when I used a Mac Quadra when on work experience (7.1 or 7.5). I was amused by its "sniff" sound effect :)

It still remains one of the worst ways of managing screen space, but is about all I have on a sub-application level, and is handy for when I want to see behind a window.

It's not the only third-party facility to be added into Mac OS - the menubar clock is of third-party origin, as is AppleShare over IP (but that may have been made to order, I forget now). There are other things I wish both Apple and Microsoft would add to their OSes (the latter because I use a PC at work), both integration (and improvement) of third-party tools, and other cool things.

Both companies go their own way, though, and I'll just have to take what I'm given and make the best of it, with the ever-present help of shareware and freeware (like A-Dock).

- Uilleann


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