Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 1st Jul 2007 15:21 UTC
Editorial Sometimes, Apple's (or any other software maker's) complete lack of respect for usability never ceases to amaze me. Take today for example. Apart from the close, minimise, and "maximise" widgets Apple places on window decors, there is also a fourth widget programmers on the Apple platform can use. This widget resembles a sort of dash, and is placed on the top right corner of the window decor. This widget is used in many applications, both from Apple as well as from various third parties. It has one function: toggle the visibility of the window's toolbar.
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Mediv
Member since:
2006-05-10

Who determines what is "optimal?" Steve Jobs?

"I want my 'maximize button' to maximize my window, Steve, thank you very much!"


Hey, all, let's stop on complaining about the use of the toolbar buttons in each operating system.

Every programmer knows it has nothing to do with the operating system core: it is up to the programmer to manage what the button will do.

If Firefox does not fill all the desktop when I maximize the window, it's not Apple's fault.

There are consistency rules, but programmers may not always follow them. It's the same thing with all window manager environments, even Mac OS X and Windows.

Edited 2007-07-01 20:57

Reply Parent Score: 1

zetsurin Member since:
2006-06-13

That's the whole problem though - Non client area controls handled by application code. For true consistency, it should be done the way Windows does it. ie. If the control is outside the client area of the window, it should be up to the operating system on how to manage that. Of course, the instant messenger apps reskin all this but even then they leave the fundamental workings to the OS.

I think if an app wants to act non-standard, it should be a result of more work by the programmer, not less (ie. the OS specific behaviour will apply by default unless it is overridden).

Edited 2007-07-01 21:02

Reply Parent Score: 4

emission Member since:
2005-07-21

There are consistency rules, but programmers may not always follow them. It's the same thing with all window manager environments, even Mac OS X and Windows.


But that's actually the real problem. For MacOS 9 Apple had a well written set of UI guidelines, which were easy to follow and comprehend. Now everything is a mess, and although guidelines exist, they aren't nearly as well thought out as the MacOS 9 version and not even Apple follows them.

OS9 looks old now, but it's consistent, tactile (draggable items look draggable) and the metaphors work.

Reply Parent Score: 3

biffuz Member since:
2006-03-27

[quote]Every programmer knows it has nothing to do with the operating system core: it is up to the programmer to manage what the button will do.

If Firefox does not fill all the desktop when I maximize the window, it's not Apple's fault.[/quote]

Right, but Apple should give some hints. I mean, there's no Apple application where the "maximize" button works like in another Apple application! Sometimes the window gets bigger, sometimes smaller, sometimes it changes position, sometimes nothing happens.. what's going on???

All three buttons leaves much to desire: you have to move the mouse over them before you see they do instead of always showing it, the "+" button acts strangely, and sometimes the "x" changes color without an apparent reason (I understood it only when I read the developer docs).

Reply Parent Score: 1

aesiamun Member since:
2005-06-29

[quote]there's no Apple application where the "maximize" button works like in another Apple application!


Safari, Mail, iMovie, Automator all do the same thing when I shift click on the maximize button. It fills the screen (minus the area for the dock). I haven't tested the others, those were the ones I tend to use on a daily or semi daily basis.

Reply Parent Score: 2

jayson.knight Member since:
2005-07-06

"Every programmer knows it has nothing to do with the operating system core: it is up to the programmer to manage what the button will do."

Perhaps that's how it's done on Macs, but on Windows all of that is indeed actually handled by the OS. For the programmer to change the default behavior, it has to be manually overridden, meaning the programmer has to make a conscientious choice for it to behave differently.

Via Win32 it's not very difficult, but from managed code (.Net) you have to manually tap into the unmanaged WndProc for the window...i.e. MS really doesn't want folks monkeying around w/ the default behavior. For very good reason as it leads to confusion on the part of end users.

Reply Parent Score: 2