Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sat 10th Oct 2009 19:14 UTC
Mac OS X Way back, when we were recovering from our hangovers from the millennium parties, Apple introduced, for the first time, Mac OS X and the Aqua user interface. This was still a preview, so it wasn't quite as polished and finished, of course. It also contained a feature that never made it into the final releases: single-window mode. Or did it...?
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Comment by bogomipz
by bogomipz on Sat 10th Oct 2009 19:47 UTC
bogomipz
Member since:
2005-07-11

Interesting, but you don't really need this feature to tidy your workspace, Thom. Hitting cmd-opt-H hides all applications except the active one. Also, I found that holding down cmd + opt while selecting an app from the Dock enables this single-app behavior for this one click.

Reply Score: 5

Not a NEED level feature...
by kaelodest on Mon 12th Oct 2009 15:04 UTC in reply to "Comment by bogomipz"
kaelodest Member since:
2006-02-12

I would like it as a setting. I am guessing that a large number of OS X users are on laptops. So there are times when Spaces feels right and other times like XCode/Interface Builder when it feels like a kluge. Generally Speaking the App Pager from GNOME feels right b/c it is expected and Exposé/Spaces feels like it just yanked Textmate or whatever out of my view just to switch view on me. but it really depends on what you grew up on.
At the heart of it I suppose is the difference between Document Centered and App Centered views and who prefers them. Yeah I have the Cmd-H Cmd-Opt-H commands wired. But this 'feels' like what I want the OS to do. Unfortunately if this was a natural setting then I suspect it would turn into AppCentered/DocCentered drama. Usually I am running >= 6 and often up to 15-17 apps so much so that i would have spaces on the F-12 key instead of the Dashboard.

For the Mom and Pop users (and this is all the Unix they need) this might be a confusing setting - no matter what the options are. They would see apps jumping up and backing/blanking out. But for designers and developers this either feels right OR turn it back off.

Apps I am running now. Finder, XCode, Mail, OmniWeb, Textmate, Omnifocus, NewsFire, Interfacebuilder, MIGHT ALSO RUN Delicious Monster, iTunes, iCal, any 2 other iLife Apps and any 2 or three other browsers

Reply Score: 1

Think
by jrlah on Sat 10th Oct 2009 20:16 UTC
jrlah
Member since:
2005-08-09

There is a free app called Think that does all this, and has many more options.

Reply Score: 1

some background please
by LighthouseJ on Sat 10th Oct 2009 21:20 UTC
LighthouseJ
Member since:
2009-06-18

Speaking of DP3, if you have a copy lying around, install it on an old G3 or something and hit ctrl+alt+delete in the 'About Mac OS' window. Hilarity ensues.

What hilarity would ensue? Some sort of anti-MS chucklefest, or cause a crash in their beta software?

Reply Score: 2

RE: some background please
by righard on Sat 10th Oct 2009 23:05 UTC in reply to "some background please"
righard Member since:
2007-12-26

Posting a lmgtfy link would be a bit lame.

Reply Score: 3

v RE: some background please
by Thom_Holwerda on Sat 10th Oct 2009 23:13 UTC in reply to "some background please"
RE[2]: some background please
by Laurence on Sun 11th Oct 2009 10:59 UTC in reply to "RE: some background please"
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26


Sorry, but I don't find that funny.

You referenced it so you could at least linked to a site yourself for the benefit of us who don't have a copy of DP3 (which is going to be most of your readers).

You did it for the psychology term, so why change tact on a reference that actually had some relevance to the article?

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: some background please
by james_parker on Tue 13th Oct 2009 20:21 UTC in reply to "RE: some background please"
james_parker Member since:
2005-06-29

This was, unfortunately, nonproductive. The best article I could find from that search was:

http://arstechnica.com/reviews/1q00/macos-x-dp3/macos-x-dp3-4.html

which referred to two "easter eggs"; one, "mashing" all the "modifier keys" and selecting "About Mac OS" and the other pressing ctrl-alt-del from the login screen.

The article refers to pressing ctrl-alt-del from the "about Mac OS" window, however. That behavior wasn't described.

Reply Score: 1

Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

The funny thing for me about that, is that this story is like the fourth link returned. Osnews needs to work on its google ranking so it can create the ultimate LMGTFY experience. The link could then bring up google with a link back to the article you posted the lmgtfy on it.

Turtles, all the way down!

Reply Score: 2

tiling wm
by broken_symlink on Sat 10th Oct 2009 22:32 UTC
broken_symlink
Member since:
2005-07-06

the one thing i really wished os x had is a tiling wm. i miss awesome and wmii. I use spaces in a somewhat similar fashion, but its still annoying to have to use the mouse to resize windows.

Reply Score: 3

RE: tiling wm
by ple_mono on Sat 10th Oct 2009 23:51 UTC in reply to "tiling wm"
ple_mono Member since:
2005-07-26

Or at least use that fourth button to MAXIMIZE windows (and i really mean maximize as in cover all space) at least. Apple, can we have a fourth "maximize" button please?

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: tiling wm
by Thom_Holwerda on Sat 10th Oct 2009 23:53 UTC in reply to "RE: tiling wm"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Or at least use that fourth button to MAXIMIZE windows (and i really mean maximize as in cover all space) at least. Apple, can we have a fourth "maximize" button please?


In the linked series of videos in which Jobs introduces Aqua at MacWorld, he actually CALLS it a maximise button. Fun, huh?

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: tiling wm
by chigye on Sun 11th Oct 2009 00:18 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: tiling wm"
chigye Member since:
2009-10-11

There is a freeware app called RightZoom that enables the green button to be a true zoom. It only works in native Cocoa apps but it's a welcome feature! Download here: http://www.blazingtools.com/downloads.html#RightZoom

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: tiling wm
by ple_mono on Sun 11th Oct 2009 03:21 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: tiling wm"
ple_mono Member since:
2005-07-26

There is a freeware app called RightZoom that enables the green button to be a true zoom. It only works in native Cocoa apps but it's a welcome feature! Download here: http://www.blazingtools.com/downloads.html#RightZoom

The zoom feature is actually rather nifty, and i wouldn't want it gone from OSX, but rather to have a maximize button too. An alternative would of course be if apple implemented maximizing on cmd clicking the zoom button, like you can with right zoom.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: tiling wm
by ple_mono on Sun 11th Oct 2009 02:57 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: tiling wm"
ple_mono Member since:
2005-07-26

In the linked series of videos in which Jobs introduces Aqua at MacWorld, he actually CALLS it a maximise button. Fun, huh?

I particularly like the fact that when i click the "green button of mystery", itunes switches to the mini player - wow, apple, that just what i expected it to do (not) ;)
That's funny! ;)

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: tiling wm
by Stratoukos on Sun 11th Oct 2009 11:24 UTC in reply to "RE: tiling wm"
Stratoukos Member since:
2009-02-11

A fourth button would be kinda overkill I think, but Apple needs to fix the green button asap. I don't care if it maximizes or if it resizes to fit content or whatever else a button could do, just pick one function and use it consistently.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: tiling wm
by DavidSan on Sun 11th Oct 2009 20:24 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: tiling wm"
DavidSan Member since:
2008-11-18

That's true. Consistency is what most users expect.

However, it is not easy to achieve that in Mac these days.

The main problem is "behavior". Cocoa framework provides "behavior" associated to the programming model, while "Carbon Applications" do not.

If all Mac apps were Carbon, the things would be easy to fix, but Office, CS, iTunes and many others, are still old school programming.

Reply Score: 1

a VERY usable mode
by alte on Sun 11th Oct 2009 05:58 UTC
alte
Member since:
2009-06-30

I have been using single window (or rather a single document) mode in my tiling wm (awesome) for several years now - see http://www.alte.ru/awesome/ to get the idea. I can tell you that on small screen this approach just rocks in terms of usability!

Reply Score: 1

Aero Shake?
by Einlander on Sun 11th Oct 2009 08:25 UTC
Einlander
Member since:
2009-07-08

I dont know who had the idea first or implimented it first, but that would be like aero shake, but with much less effort on the users part.

Reply Score: 1

Pardon
by neticspace on Sun 11th Oct 2009 08:49 UTC
neticspace
Member since:
2009-06-09

Can somebody explain to me what Single-Application Mode is? Sorry for the stupid commentary, but this term somehow makes me think that it is about very minimal embedded operating systems.

Edited 2009-10-11 08:49 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE: Pardon
by kaiwai on Sun 11th Oct 2009 09:33 UTC in reply to "Pardon"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

Can somebody explain to me what Single-Application Mode is? Sorry for the stupid commentary, but this term somehow makes me think that it is about very minimal embedded operating systems.


When you click on the application in the dock, only one application window is shown at any one time. For example, if I have Safari and Terminal open, when I click on the terminal button the dock the terminal window comes to the front and the safari window disappears.

I'm personally confused as to the usefulness of it.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Pardon
by bogomipz on Sun 11th Oct 2009 14:02 UTC in reply to "Pardon"
bogomipz Member since:
2005-07-11

NeXTstep and Mac OS X have a concept of hiding running applications, which is different from minimizing. When you choose to hide an app, all of its windows disappear from screen, but are not minimized to the Dock. When you switch back to the app using cmd-tab or by re-launching it, all non-minimized windows become visible again, on top of other running applications. This works the same whether or not the app was previously hidden. What the single application mode does, is simply to automatically hide all other applications when you select one from the Dock. Hide Others is a standard feature available from the menu bar of any NeXTstep/OS X application.

Reply Score: 2

Virtual Desktops?
by alcibiades on Sun 11th Oct 2009 11:17 UTC
alcibiades
Member since:
2005-10-12

How does it relate to virtual desktops, as in Gnome, KDE, Fluxbox etc which seem to do the same thing but more controllably. Or is this missing the point of it? If you have as many desktops as you want, and can create as many more as you need on the fly, why do you need to have only one app or document available on one particular one at once? Just move the others to a different desktop.

Or is this missing the point?

Reply Score: 2

RE: Virtual Desktops?
by MysterMask on Sun 11th Oct 2009 13:40 UTC in reply to "Virtual Desktops?"
MysterMask Member since:
2005-07-12


Just move the others to a different desktop.


That's exactly the point: with single application mode, you don't have to move anything anywhere. Single application mode is useful if you want to concentrate on a certain work or app (e. g. writing or designing) or if you want an uncluttered view on apps (e. g. when doing drag and drop operations between two or more apps - in single app mode you start dragging, then switch the app, then drop without having to deal with unrelated windows).

With virtual desktops (or what MacOSX calls Spaces) you can 'emulate' single application mode, however this is way too cumbersome compared to single application mode in a "one app at any time" scenario.

Virtual desktops have an advantage for other usage scenarios e. g. where you work with groups of apps which are completely unrelated (e. g. a desktop for the mail client and one for a group of media production apps needed in a workflow).

I cannot imagine many scenarios where virtual desktops are more useful than other features of MacOSX (single app mode, Exposé) and I guess that's why the virtual desktops feature appears so late in the development cycle of MacOSX.

Reply Score: 2

Single-application mode is great
by mrnagrom on Sun 11th Oct 2009 13:54 UTC
mrnagrom
Member since:
2008-08-13

i've been using single app mode for a month now. i love it, the computer feels considerably faster and everything is task oriented instead of slopping all over the place.

so now instead of seeing 2500 things open on my desktop when i'm working i just see each task as i'm doing it or group tasks together like when i'm deploying a rails app i have versions and 2 terminals open and that's all i see.

it's really helped clear my head and focus on what i need to focus on.

Reply Score: 1