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Apple to tweak 'Stacks' in Mac OS X Leopard 10.5.2 Update

post #1 of 41
Thread Starter 
Faced with criticism over the implementation of a new desktop organizational feature of its recently-released Leopard operating system, Apple Inc. is reported to be implementing some refinements as part of an upcoming update to the system software.

Mac OS X 10.5.2, due early next year as a free maintenance and security release for Leopard users, will pack a plethora of bug fixes and code corrections, but also include revised version of the system's Stacks feature.

A stack is a Mac OS X Dock item that aims to provide users with fast access to a folder of files. When users click a stack, the files within spring from the Dock in a fan or a grid, depending on the number of items or the preference set by the user.

The feature was conceived as a means of tackling the ever-growing problem faced by users when file downloads and general system usage rapidly results in a cluttering of the Mac OS X desktop. The implementation of the feature, however, was been met with some harsh initial criticism.

"There's just not enough room in a single Dock tile for a stack of icons to convey any meaningful information," wrote ArsTechinca's John Siracusa in his in-depth review of Leopard following its release. "Only the top one, two, maybe three items have any visual impact. And those few items may be misleading (e.g., the home folder appearing to be the Desktop folder) or completely generic (e.g., the Pictures and Movies folders showing up as plain folder icons.) Seriously, Apple, this is a bad idea."

A screenshot of the revised Stacks interface published by Macenstein.

Mac OS X 10.5.2 will reportedly add a missing "list view" to stacks that many pundits argue should have been there from the start. In addition, users will also reportedly be presented with the option to display a stack as a plain pile of files -- as Apple originally intended it -- or as an icon "so you know what youre looking at."

The first private builds of Mac OS X 10.5.2 began making their way into developer's hands earlier this week. Rumblings around the Web have suggested the software could arrive mid-January, complete with support for a new wave of Mac systems based on Intel's upcoming 45-nanometer Penryn-based processors.

For more on Stacks, please see An Introductory Mac OS X Leopard Review: Meet Your New Desktop and Road to Mac OS X Leopard: Dock 1.6.
post #2 of 41
Indeed a welcome change.

And now, please give me the old iCal back.. the new one is a PITA to use and is packed with bugs.
post #3 of 41
Does this mean we can once again view the regular old folder icons?
post #4 of 41
I don't see why Apple doesn't make the Fan view scrollable with a mouse's scroll-wheel.

I guess that would make too much sense!
post #5 of 41
I haven't had a problem with it as it is. I've always simply had a large folder open in the Finder anyway, and I go through it that way. But, removing features, as jobs once said in response to a question about iPods, is almost impossible. Once a feature is there, even if few use it, it's more noticeable by it's removal, then it ever was by its inclusion.
post #6 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by suhail View Post

I don't see why Apple doesn't make the Fan view scrollable with a mouse's scroll-wheel.

DING! DING! DING!

We have a winner!

The only stack I really use is the downloads stack.. I thought I'd use one for my applications folder, but instead I've just been using spotlight.. It really is a killer app launcher.

The list view on stacks would just be the old tiger right click on a folder type of thing right? I guess it should've been left in Leopard in the first place but I haven't missed it. I guess some people just love navigating lists...
post #7 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by suhail View Post

I don't see why Apple doesn't make the Fan view scrollable with a mouse's scroll-wheel.

I guess that would make too much sense!

x2

The improvement is awesome though.
post #8 of 41
About time. It was idiotic to not have this as an option from the start.

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Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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post #9 of 41
Will the Tweaked version of stacks address the following issue.
For example, I create a folder within applications called 'Photography' and drag across all the Photography apps that I use on a regular basis for my workflow, I then drag this folder onto the Dock. The new stack and all it's apps work fine but... run 'software update' and it can't find the apps in the newly created folder, possibly missing updates.

thoughts

Paul
post #10 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quarky View Post

Will the Tweaked version of stacks address the following issue.
For example, I create a folder within applications called 'Photography' and drag across all the Photography apps that I use on a regular basis for my workflow, I then drag this folder onto the Dock. The new stack and all it's apps work fine but... run 'software update' and it can't find the apps in the newly created folder, possibly missing updates.

thoughts

Paul

Don't move the apps. Just make a "Photography" folder and drag in aliases to the apps. Software update will work correctly and the aliases will point to the new versions.
post #11 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by suhail View Post

I don't see why Apple doesn't make the Fan view scrollable with a mouse's scroll-wheel.

I guess that would make too much sense!



You know, I'm wondering.....maybe they already are...and nobody noticed it yet...
post #12 of 41
The other thing I HATE about stacks is that you can't quicklook a stack item.

So if you want to see a file in your stack the quickest way is to drag to the desktop and hit space, which obviously defeats the whole point of stacks!
post #13 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by John French View Post



You know, I'm wondering.....maybe they already are...and nobody noticed it yet...

Why didn't you try that before posting that no one tried it?
post #14 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevinneal View Post

The other thing I HATE about stacks is that you can't quicklook a stack item.

So if you want to see a file in your stack the quickest way is to drag to the desktop and hit space, which obviously defeats the whole point of stacks!

You do have a number of choices even before you drag it to the desktop. Click on the folder in the Dock, and hold for a moment, whereupon a menu will open, allowing you to make a choice as to how you want to open it.
post #15 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

You do have a number of choices even before you drag it to the desktop. Click on the folder in the Dock, and hold for a moment, whereupon a menu will open, allowing you to make a choice as to how you want to open it.

Thats much slower than dragging to desktop!

The quickest way at the moment is to apple-click on the file in the stack then hit space, would be great if you could space-click to open straight into quicklook
post #16 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevinneal View Post

Thats much slower than dragging to desktop!

The quickest way at the moment is to apple-click on the file in the stack then hit space, would be great if you could space-click to open straight into quicklook

I'll tell you something. I've never found the second's saving to ever have effected my use of the machines I've used. Even if you do it 60 times a day, you will at most, save an entire minute. No one can ever make a real case that it effects their productivity.
post #17 of 41


By the looks of this screenshot they've also tweaked the look of the 3D Dock so that it's darker and has a proper border. It looks much nicer, and more similar to the 2D Dock you get when putting it on the side of the screen. I wonder if they also got rid of the silly shadows behind the icons... It's difficult to tell with such a dark desktop.

Ahh, Apple - many thanks all round!
post #18 of 41
That's a custom dock. I'm pretty sure at least.
post #19 of 41
I hope they implement Drawers, like the ones shown in the image above.
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post #20 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

I'll tell you something. I've never found the second's saving to ever have effected my use of the machines I've used. Even if you do it 60 times a day, you will at most, save an entire minute. No one can ever make a real case that it effects their productivity.

It's not the time it takes to do that particular function but the fact that concentration is diverted to yet another 'task'.
post #21 of 41
Now if they fix the Airport Printing issue, the Securely Emptying Trash and the Repair permissions errors, I will stop making this face
post #22 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Outsider View Post

That's a custom dock. I'm pretty sure at least.

That's a shame... The Dock really does look much nicer when it is darker. It also creates a better contrast for those ridiculous little blue indicator lights.
post #23 of 41
The custom dock hack can be found here:

http://www.leoparddocks.com
post #24 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Solar View Post

I thought I'd use one for my applications folder, but instead I've just been using spotlight.. It really is a killer app launcher.

I'm curious, how many apps do you have that require your regularly searching for them with spotlight? What's wrong with placing the apps in the doc?

I have 35 Apps in my Doc and have no problem seeing them. What's faster than one click?
post #25 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by iPeon View Post

I have 35 Apps in my Doc and have no problem seeing them. What's faster than one click?

I have about 35 as well. I only have the ones that I need often on my dock. My old computer had at least 80 - maybe over 100.
post #26 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by iPeon View Post

I'm curious, how many apps do you have that require your regularly searching for them with spotlight? What's wrong with placing the apps in the doc?

I have 35 Apps in my Doc and have no problem seeing them. What's faster than one click?

I have none in the dock, except the 15 or so apps that I have running at any one time.

What's faster? Quikeys, for one.
post #27 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevinneal View Post

The other thing I HATE about stacks is that you can't quicklook a stack item.

So if you want to see a file in your stack the quickest way is to drag to the desktop and hit space, which obviously defeats the whole point of stacks!

Use the Quick Look Droplet

http://www.apple.com/applescript/quickviewer/index.html
post #28 of 41
Hope they dont mess them up, I love stacks. I dont keep anything in the left side of my dock except running apps of course. I keep everything in stacks to the right. All my stacks are custom from folders where I put in aliases... works much nicer for having 50 some things i want to get to quick then having some huge ugly dock at the bottom, just 5 or 6 pop ups, see the exact apps i want to see... no extra junk.. no need to go through sub-menus...
The fix they need to do to stacks is have it automatically make them for oyu how i already use them. Have it so you can highlight like 20 apps, drag them down and it makes a stack, not of some stupid folder, but just aliases to those 20 or so you drug down.
post #29 of 41
Have a look at:

http://www.eternalstorms.at/utilities/hierdock/

I really couldn't hold my tears (of joy) back when I came across this.
post #30 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by iPeon View Post

I'm curious, how many apps do you have that require your regularly searching for them with spotlight? What's wrong with placing the apps in the doc?

I have 35 Apps in my Doc and have no problem seeing them. What's faster than one click?

It takes me a few seconds to look through the dock and find an app. Believe it or not, it's actually quicker for me to use Spotlight to launch an app.

Not to mention that I use key commands whenever possible, one click takes longer if you have to move your hands from the keyboard to the mouse.
post #31 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by doh123 View Post

Hope they dont mess them up, I love stacks. I dont keep anything in the left side of my dock except running apps of course. I keep everything in stacks to the right. All my stacks are custom from folders where I put in aliases... works much nicer for having 50 some things i want to get to quick then having some huge ugly dock at the bottom, just 5 or 6 pop ups, see the exact apps i want to see... no extra junk.. no need to go through sub-menus...
The fix they need to do to stacks is have it automatically make them for oyu how i already use them. Have it so you can highlight like 20 apps, drag them down and it makes a stack, not of some stupid folder, but just aliases to those 20 or so you drug down.

Ooh. This is clever. It's hardly an intuitive 'feature' we can thank Apple for, but... why didn't I think of doing this?

(Still hate stacks though.)
post #32 of 41
How are these loaded after download?

Thanks, MLJ




Quote:
Originally Posted by markaceto View Post

The custom dock hack can be found here:

http://www.leoparddocks.com
post #33 of 41
Correction. How are the leoparddocks used after downlaod?
post #34 of 41
post #35 of 41
Thanks for this information, but specifically, how do I get a new dock and buttons to work in my dock? Where do I store them? Do I then restart? I know it's basic, but that's what I am...basic!

Thanks, Michael


Quote:
post #36 of 41
Quote:

A few good points can be found from this article, however I think it's exceptionally biased. A lot of the observations from this and some other articles from this source are blatant opinions shared by the minority with little to no supporting backup. Seems like the intentions are to just flame Leopard.
post #37 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by buddha View Post

A few good points can be found from this article, however I think it's exceptionally biased. A lot of the observations from this and some other articles from this source are blatant opinions shared by the minority with little to no supporting backup. Seems like the intentions are to just flame Leopard.

You haven't read many of John Siracusa's articles, have you? His Mac OS reviews are very technical, and he is neither an Apple fanboi nor a Mac basher. Many of his criticisms are well founded. And he provides the screenshots and videos to back them up. But I guess some people will settle for nothing less than total acceptance by everybody of everything that Apple does.
post #38 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by thejoneses4444 View Post

Thanks for this information, but specifically, how do I get a new dock and buttons to work in my dock? Where do I store them? Do I then restart? I know it's basic, but that's what I am...basic!

Thanks, Michael

To: thejoneses4444
this is what i use for my dock switching, its a lot easier then digging in system files like i did before. SwapMyDock
Its a pretty simple app
post #39 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by doh123 View Post

The fix they need to do to stacks is have it automatically make them for oyu how i already use them. Have it so you can highlight like 20 apps, drag them down and it makes a stack, not of some stupid folder, but just aliases to those 20 or so you drug down.

The Leopard WWDC '07 beta worked exactly as you describe, as seen here by a screenshot I took back then on my PowerBook. Note the iLife '06 stack I had open for demonstration.

http://i14.photobucket.com/albums/a3...?t=1198300702p
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post #40 of 41
To: Stewisawesome: Thank you. I appreciate your help.

mlj



Quote:
Originally Posted by Stewisawesome View Post

To: thejoneses4444
this is what i use for my dock switching, its a lot easier then digging in system files like i did before. SwapMyDock
Its a pretty simple app
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