Linked by Eugenia Loli on Thu 5th Apr 2007 18:47 UTC
Mac OS X Apple Inc. has developed an enhancement to its Mac OS X Finder user interface that will allow for different-sized icons within the same window as a means of representing their importance, a recent patent application has revealed.
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RE
by Kroc on Thu 5th Apr 2007 19:02 UTC
Kroc
Member since:
2005-11-10

Amiga, amiright? Though it wasn't used for 'importance' per se, icons could be of arbitary size in Amiga OS, even non-rectangular.

Reply Score: 5

RE
by thebluesgnr on Thu 5th Apr 2007 19:11 UTC in reply to "RE"
thebluesgnr Member since:
2005-11-14

You can also change the size of each icon in Nautilus.

Reply Score: 3

RE
by tyrione on Thu 5th Apr 2007 19:21 UTC in reply to "RE"
tyrione Member since:
2005-11-21

The system does it on-the-fly. Having tens of thousands of icons to browse through via icon view with the system re-scaling could be valuable.

I use Column View as I prefer the way NeXTSTEP runs.

Reply Score: 1

RE
by binarycrusader on Thu 5th Apr 2007 19:19 UTC in reply to "RE"
binarycrusader Member since:
2005-07-06

Amiga, amiright? Though it wasn't used for 'importance' per se, icons could be of arbitary size in Amiga OS, even non-rectangular.


This looks to be more than that though. It looks as if based on the number of files within a folder, the icon is relatively sized, making it obvious what folders are more "important." I'm sure that's just one possible application.

Reply Score: 3

RE
by BlackJack75 on Thu 5th Apr 2007 19:59 UTC in reply to "RE"
BlackJack75 Member since:
2005-08-29

Maybe it should grow depending on usage. You can have a folder with 10'000 pngs inside with little importance.

Reply Score: 2

RE
by Pseudo Cyborg on Thu 5th Apr 2007 20:20 UTC in reply to "RE"
Pseudo Cyborg Member since:
2005-07-09

That's a great idea. I'd love to see that.

Reply Score: 1

RE
by axilmar on Fri 6th Apr 2007 10:26 UTC in reply to "RE"
axilmar Member since:
2006-03-20

And the Amiga's icons could be animated...

Reply Score: 1

RE
by Raffaele on Sat 7th Apr 2007 16:57 UTC in reply to "RE"
Raffaele Member since:
2005-11-12

@ Kroc

Amiga, amiright? Though it wasn't used for 'importance' per se, icons could be of arbitary size in Amiga OS, even non-rectangular.


No, Apple patent regards not the dimensions of the icons which could be free into Amiga.

It just regards the behaviour of the icons, which change automatically their aspect dimensions...


In the same window you will have:


[insert] = Icon of lesser importance


[insert icon here] Standard icon with its normal size


[Insert big icon here] Important icon, or most accessed file, or a directory full of files


[insert huuuuuuge icon here] Very important files are here


And the icons will change automatically their size according to number of accesses... Or if these are icons of directories they will become bigger according to the number of files present in that directory.

It could be an idea, or could be stupid...

It could be useful for the user... Or from another point of view it could be just useless and annoying...

Why? Because this visual hack generates lines of icons of various sizes, so it will became a problem to keep these all aligned in reasonable ordered queue...

To KEEP tHe AligMENT iN Any WiNDow, ThE aspeCT of MACos DIRECTORY ICons (with this visual hack activated) tHeN coUlD bE sIMilAR To ThiS LiNe I am JuSt WRiTING nOw...

There will be bigger icons and quite normal icons and little icons, all mixed one closer to another, and I hope Apple will implement the feature option of align all icons depending from their dimensions importance.

It is a minor visual hack, nothing more, nothing else...

As a PC and Amiga user I have no interest in it, and I want to keep all icons of the same size and aligned, judging their importance by the name I assigned to the files...

(which remains the most logical method of judging the importance of any directory or any file) ;-) .

If I had had the chance to use MacOS X I hope I could easily activate and DISACTIVATE this hack that modifies icon aspect dimensions, reaching it with just a few clicks on the desktop options.

Reply Score: 1

I will not be happy until...
by fretinator on Thu 5th Apr 2007 19:37 UTC
fretinator
Member since:
2005-07-06

Until my icons are minature representations of full-length moviews, sing arias of "La Boheme" when I click them, and sprinkle golden fairy-dust on my cursor when I do a mouse-over, I will not be happy.

Reply Score: 5

Yep
by Xaero_Vincent on Thu 5th Apr 2007 19:42 UTC
Xaero_Vincent
Member since:
2006-08-18

In Gnome you can make icons appear giagantic. I think you can strech desktop icons as much as 256x256 and other icons upto 128x128!

Reply Score: 2

RE: Yep
by Pseudo Cyborg on Thu 5th Apr 2007 20:18 UTC in reply to "Yep"
Pseudo Cyborg Member since:
2005-07-09

It's not the ability to resize icons, as you can already do that with Finder. Rather, it's having icons of varying sizes--even in the same folder or window.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Yep
by Phase Angle on Fri 6th Apr 2007 04:24 UTC in reply to "RE: Yep"
Phase Angle Member since:
2006-06-28

This is actually possible now.
I have seen this as a hint somewhere, I think Macosxhints.
It just is not easy to do.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Yep
by siimo on Fri 6th Apr 2007 05:58 UTC in reply to "RE: Yep"
siimo Member since:
2006-06-22

Have been doing this since gnome 2.8 maybe even before. Original poster *did* mean the ability to stretch an individual icon and not change the size of all icons afaik i have done this as well.

Edited 2007-04-06 05:59

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Yep
by Pseudo Cyborg on Mon 9th Apr 2007 16:33 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Yep"
Pseudo Cyborg Member since:
2005-07-09

Ah, my bad. Thanks for the clarification. ;)

Reply Score: 1

Lisa?
by hobgoblin on Thu 5th Apr 2007 19:55 UTC
hobgoblin
Member since:
2005-07-06

I kinda recall that apple lisa had a similar system in place...

Browser: Opera/8.01 (J2ME/MIDP; Opera Mini/3.1.7139/1662; nb; U; ssr)

Reply Score: 3

Interesting but useful?
by bousozoku on Thu 5th Apr 2007 20:41 UTC
bousozoku
Member since:
2006-01-23

Looks like it's been in the works for a while. BBEdit is at version 8.6.1 now.

While this is probably more attention-getting than coloured labels, it could be interesting to see what kind of jumbled mess one could make with sizes signifying importance. Hopefully, changing the level would be just a right-click away.

It also needs someone who is obsessive about order to make it work doesn't it? How many people actually rate their songs in iTunes?

Reply Score: 1

10.0 feature?
by PowerMacX on Thu 5th Apr 2007 20:55 UTC
PowerMacX
Member since:
2005-11-06

Different sized icons could be enabled using a hidden preference setting back in 10.0 (maybe 10.1 too? I don't remember), but they took it away. Perhaps they reconsidered?

I personally use labels to highlight important files and really miss that when using XP. Different sized icons doesn't sound all that useful, but I'll definitely be open to trying them if this is indeed going to be on Leopard.

A possible practical use would for applications' disk images (main app with a large icon, with a small readme file on the side, for instance)

edit: for those unfamiliar with OS X, labels are simply highlight colors you can assign to files/folders. It was a feature from OS 9 that got removed and then re-added by popular demand to OS X.

Edited 2007-04-05 20:57

Reply Score: 3

Pointless?
by Laurence on Thu 5th Apr 2007 20:55 UTC
Laurence
Member since:
2007-03-26

To be honest I really don't see the point of multi-sized icon arrangements. However, once this becomes standard across most OSs, like most UI 'innovations', I'm sure I'll look back and wonder how the hell I managed without icons of varying sizes

Reply Score: 2

RE: Pointless?
by Brandybuck on Thu 5th Apr 2007 22:49 UTC in reply to "Pointless?"
Brandybuck Member since:
2006-08-27

Usually I look back on my GUI 'innovations', and wonder how the hell they ever took off in the first place...

Reply Score: 2

Sounds a bit familiar...
by StephenBeDoper on Thu 5th Apr 2007 21:00 UTC
StephenBeDoper
Member since:
2005-07-06

Wasn't there a hack to do the same thing a while ago? IIRC, the capability has been there since OS 10.0 (if not earlier) - just no included interfaces to work with that capability.

Reply Score: 2

bleh...
by helf on Thu 5th Apr 2007 21:03 UTC
helf
Member since:
2005-07-06

I *hate* it when all the icons are NOT the same size. Also, all these icons that are HUGE drive me up the wall.

Much rather have tiny 32x32 icons ;)

Glad we have the option to leave stuff tiny ;)

Reply Score: 2

a wonderful patent
by roger64 on Thu 5th Apr 2007 21:32 UTC
roger64
Member since:
2006-08-15

a truly non innovative idea, not worth 20 years of protection.

I think this one will never be granted

Reply Score: 5

RE: a wonderful patent
by de_wizze on Fri 6th Apr 2007 19:09 UTC in reply to "a wonderful patent"
de_wizze Member since:
2005-10-31

but think about how much more wonderful it will be if it is ... "You're icons scale automatically, pay us !!!"

Reply Score: 1

Again with the patents.
by apoclypse on Thu 5th Apr 2007 23:25 UTC
apoclypse
Member since:
2007-02-17

Do they really need to patent this crap?! We need patent reform soon. This is getting ridiculous.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Again with the patents.
by shykid on Mon 9th Apr 2007 15:37 UTC in reply to "Again with the patents."
shykid Member since:
2007-02-22

Seriously.

I find it appalling that Apple basically copied the GUI from Xerox PARC and now holds an indiscriminately large number of vague and prior-artish patents for GUI elements, a very good deal of them not even being used.

Edited 2007-04-09 15:38

Reply Score: 1

Patent?
by mlopes on Fri 6th Apr 2007 00:04 UTC
mlopes
Member since:
2005-07-18

a recent patent application has revealed.

This just shows how ridiculous software patents are. The day will come that you'll simply not be able to sell software on the USA anymore -- you won't afford all the royalties you'll have to pay to companies for using a GIF image, a radio button, a one click checkout, etc...

Reply Score: 4

RE: Patent?
by Johnnybw2 on Fri 6th Apr 2007 08:49 UTC in reply to "Patent?"
Johnnybw2 Member since:
2007-03-02

I agree. It also causes companies to patent the software in protection of another company patenting the software and suing them.

Reply Score: 1

There is an app...
by Tuishimi on Fri 6th Apr 2007 00:58 UTC
Tuishimi
Member since:
2005-07-06

...you can find on MacUpdate that changes the size of file and folder icons (and text) based on files and use. It's interesting but a little difficult to use (to me).

Reply Score: 2

Really trying to patent this?
by milatchi on Fri 6th Apr 2007 03:46 UTC
milatchi
Member since:
2005-08-29

Yeah, variable sized icons in the same directory or workspace based on importance or label is a cool feature and all. But is it really something to be patented?
Isn't that like me trying to patent having a shoe store that carries different sizes of shoes under one roof? I'm not really seeing what they've invented here that is patent worthy.

Reply Score: 1

yes...
by bubbayank on Fri 6th Apr 2007 04:14 UTC
bubbayank
Member since:
2005-07-15

...but have they patented Finder's method of randomly moving your mounted volumes around on the Desktop? Or the random placement of new files created on the Desktop. That's one of my favorite FTFF gripes. ;)

Reply Score: 2

chaosvoyager
Member since:
2005-07-06

...but it probably will be.

Of course, now that we know about it, we can be held twice as accountable for infringing it (if it's granted) than if we didn't, at least in America.

House always wins.

Reply Score: 1

Another obvious Prior Art Patent
by Alleister on Sat 7th Apr 2007 17:15 UTC
Alleister
Member since:
2006-05-29

Apple has turned into an real patent troll.

Reply Score: 2