The Dock "floor" is the worst UI idea Apple has ever had

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  • Reply 121 of 195
    addaboxaddabox Posts: 12,665member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by tomikk View Post


    What apple is doing by making the desktop space 3D is rectifying a current inconsistency, further action by apple isn't really what is required. (Please correct me if I've completely misunderstood)



    What I'm talking about is the, if you like, philosophy of the current UI (sounds very grand doesn't it ) The desktop should be 3D, it makes sense considering the current 3D nature of windows being on top of one another. Even with tabs in a tabbed browser. The tab protrudes out in front. All of the buttons protrude out, or try to give that illusion, and all the shading and effects point to the desktop being a 3D space. Why then is it illogical and inconsistent to have a 3D dock, to fit in with that.



    OK, I guess, but in that case Apple is "rectifying an inconsistency" of long standing.



    For many years we've had window drop shadows and various desktop widgets drawn with contouring. If anything, Apple has been "flattening" things since the 10.0, but those conventions predate OS X and extend back into classic days.



    I can't really see where a 3D Dock is in response to any unmet need around making the desktop "consistent" with what amounts to paper thin texture.
  • Reply 122 of 195
    dahlenudahlenu Posts: 15member
    I like the new Dock. We are never going to go back to the simplicity and consistency of the early Mac OS; things are too complicated and diverse now.
  • Reply 123 of 195
    aslan^aslan^ Posts: 599member
    I just noticed that the windows are still right at the back of this new 3D space. I think it kinda defeats the purpose of a 3D space if you're only going to use two dimensions of it.



    Perhaps the new 3D space is being used to clearly delineate desktop windows from system alerts and the miscellaneous HUD controls.
  • Reply 124 of 195
    addaboxaddabox Posts: 12,665member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AsLan^ View Post


    I just noticed that the windows are still right at the back of this new 3D space. I think it kinda defeats the purpose of a 3D space if you're only going to use two dimensions of it.



    Perhaps the new 3D space is being used to clearly delineate desktop windows from system alerts and the miscellaneous HUD controls.



    That would actually be interesting. Like I think I mentioned, using the "lower" layer of the desktop in some differentiated way like Dashboard uses an "upper" layer.



    Although hopefully integrated into the desktop environment instead of its own little world, ala Dashboard.
  • Reply 125 of 195
    addaboxaddabox Posts: 12,665member
    double post
  • Reply 126 of 195
    gongon Posts: 2,437member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by dahlenu View Post


    I like the new Dock. We are never going to go back to the simplicity and consistency of the early Mac OS; things are too complicated and diverse now.



    While I agree that Apple doesn't seem to be caring about simplicity and consistency, the rest of your statement is just bunk. Where things are complicated and diverse, the last thing you need is more complication and inconsistency from the interface. In fact, the only way you can truly remain in control of a complicated system is if it's consistent.
  • Reply 127 of 195
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Slewis View Post


    Um.. people who use the dock, duh!!



    Sebastian



    you've obviouly never heard of rhetorical questions then. go look it up
  • Reply 128 of 195
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


    Ok here are some new ones:



    The dock is 1000 times better in your pictures, taking up less space and actually appearing more dimensional. I like the white rather than the black. Just a little polish on you dock and perfection--see if you can't send that idea to apple in any way. I don't care for your menu bar over the original.
  • Reply 129 of 195
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Gon View Post


    While I agree that Apple doesn't seem to be caring about simplicity and consistency, the rest of your statement is just bunk. Where things are complicated and diverse, the last thing you need is more complication and inconsistency from the interface. In fact, the only way you can truly remain in control of a complicated system is if it's consistent.



    I would like an option to revert the UI to the original 1984 one, in appearance and functionality.
  • Reply 130 of 195
    I know that there has been much talk of this sorta 3D Dock implying a greater move to a 3D UI in the future. However noone has given any ideas on what this just might be. It may be impotant to note that Apple has been dropped a small cue to possible further intentions. I don't know if this was first brought to my attention on this webpage or somewhere else but I think it is best to quote apple itself:



    "Apple Computer is seeking software engineers to help us build the next generation of iWork.

    For this position, we are seeking an engineer to work on 3D specific features"




    No this is not directly related to the UI of MAC OS X as a whole but it implies that 3D will be moving more and more into the MAC platform. The job page also says that they are looking for this position to pertain to the user interface. To read the entire apple job posting visit go here: http://jobs.apple.com/index.ajs?BID=...&CurrentPage=1



    Just thought I would add my two cents.
  • Reply 131 of 195
    dutch peardutch pear Posts: 588member
    Brief take on/summary of the thinking above:



    Cool. I actually like the idea of the Leopard desktop paradigm being a kind of 1 inch deep pool. Apps live on/near to the bottom except WHILE ACTIVE, dashboard floats on the surface (the ripple-effect makes sense in this light, doesn't it?!) and the dock extends from the surface down to the bottom of the pool (irrespective whether it's on the bottom or side), thereby delineating the depth of the pool.



    Conceptually it all really makes sense to me:



    Previously, we had a 'desktop' ON TOP of which we could put stuff, extending 'out of' the screen, as it were. Now apple has apparently decided that our screens should be 'the top' of the working space and users should be able to put stuff BEHIND the frontmost surface. So with this new UI move apple has achieved two things:



    1. They clarified the already present third dimension of the desktop methaphor in the sense of things being ON TOP of eachother by turning the dock into a very clear indicator of both the presence as well as the size of the 3rd dimension of your workspace.



    2. They changed the relative position of your screen/monitor in this third dimension: The screen used to be THE BOTTOM of your workspace, ON TOP OF which you could put stuff. By having the dock STICK INTO your workspace (instead of protruding outwards), your screen has now become THE TOP layer of your workspace, BEHIND which you can put stuff.




    So now we just have to stop thinking about a DESKTOP and start living with the new LEOPARD POOL WORKSPACE paradigm in which active stuff floats on the surface and inactive stuff sinks to the bottom.



    PS come to think of it, with spaces, the bottom surface of the pool is actually bigger than the surface and we can move the bottom of the pool around.
  • Reply 132 of 195
    aslan^aslan^ Posts: 599member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by dutch pear View Post


    So now we just have to stop thinking about a DESKTOP and start living with the new LEOPARD POOL WORKSPACE paradigm in which active stuff floats on the surface and inactive stuff sinks to the bottom.



    PS come to think of it, with spaces, the bottom surface of the pool is actually bigger than the surface and we can move the bottom of the pool around.



    This makes sense, but the demos they have up show the active windows on the bottom of the pool.
  • Reply 133 of 195
    dutch peardutch pear Posts: 588member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AsLan^ View Post


    This makes sense, but the demos they have up show the active windows on the bottom of the pool.



    Took a good look at the demos and see what you mean.



    OK, here is what I see in the demos:



    Normal windows are confined in the third dimension to a space in between the bottom (desktop pic) and the surface. While active windows appear to rise to just beneath the surface, the actual surface layer can only be reached by specific UI elements such as the 'spaces chooser' and dashboard or frontrow-like interfaces. Stacks and dock icons live in a layer between the apps and surface.



    Anyhow, regardless of the details, I actually more and more get the idea from looking at the new desktop and finder demos that Apple actually thought long and hard about the way they use the two real and the more pronouncely simulated third dimension and really do have a well thought-out plan for how and where various UI elements will live and behave in this newly defined desktop "pool". (side note: and boy, how this plan hints at more multi-touch goodness in future hardware updates...)



    Obviously, choices have been made about the function and places of certain elements that might seem awkward to many at first (see the previous part of this thread), but I, for one, am pretty optimistic that apple can and will pull this one off and arrive at a UI that in practice will both make more sense and be even more usable and fun to use than tiger is now
  • Reply 134 of 195
    daffy_duckdaffy_duck Posts: 248member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Gon View Post


    In fact, the only way you can truly remain in control of a complicated system is if it's consistent.



    I'm going to have to disagree with this statement. It really has to do with the skill and familiarity of the user. A good user with experience can be the master of a system no matter how inconsistent it's interface is.
  • Reply 135 of 195
    Just for reference, I've taken a couple of snapshots from the WWDC keynote.



    Firstly, there's a close-up on a couple of stacks placed in the dock. This quite nicely shows why Apple made the Dock 3-dimensional.



    Secondly, a slightly blurry image of the Dock being shown on the left-hand side.



    Although I personally do not have any problem whatsoever with the new dock, it does look a little odd on the left. But then, I've always thought it looked rather odd placed vertically anyway.



    (I know it sounds silly, but when it's vertical, my brain wonders how come the Mail icon manages to stay at an angle )



    It looks like we're in Stage 2 of the 5-step Programme of UII Changes:



    1) Anger

    2) Critique (bonus points for invoking Fitts' Law incorrectly)

    3) Resignation

    4) Acceptance



    Then...



    5a) Realising it's actually Quite Nice (tm)

    -OR-

    5b) Applying an APE or other tweak to calm the nerves.



    Oh, and I think the transparent menu bar is rather silly. Even Steve sounded a bit hesitant. It sounds very much like there may be the same kind of internal arguments at Apple as back when they were trying to decide how many times a selected menu item should flash back in the OldWorld era. I imagine there'll be a preference, possibly under the guise of an 'Accessibility' setting in System Prefs.
  • Reply 136 of 195
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Daffy_Duck View Post


    I'm going to have to disagree with this statement. It really has to do with the skill and familiarity of the user. A good user with experience can be the master of a system no matter how inconsistent it's interface is.



    Sorry to post consecutively... but.



    Although that's true, even masters don't want to be grating their teeth whenever they use an inconsistent interface, complete with internal cries of GAAAAAAH!



    I also think there's a slight difference between behavioural and visual consistency. One is not more important per se than the other, but there's certainly more licence in visual consistency than with behavioural.



    I remember the shrieks and wails when GarageBand appeared with its cherry-wood windows. I honestly didn't see the issue there. Applications have a right to create their own workplace within the OS. As long as the cherry-wood window behaved the same as all other windows, there's no problem (as far as I'm concerned).



    Personally, I hate the idea of strict uniformity between all applications, each looking and behaving exactly the way the OS prescribes. I've used systems like that and it actually greatly hinders discoverability of features, not to mention it's just plain bland. Imagine the uniformity of an old GUI system such as GEM, Workbench or Windows 95 and below. Now imagine that sort of appearance applied to the capabilities of a modern OS, such as OS X with Exposé, live Dock thumbnails, Spaces, etc. It'd be horrible to use.
  • Reply 137 of 195
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Karelia View Post


    Wow. You people REALLY like to nitpick, huh? It's a damned UI, not the fate of your children! You are honestly going to tell me you dislike it because it's "not consistent"? The only way to be to

    You know what, you should all just stick with Tiger. That leaves one more copy for someone who can appreciate evolution and not squabble over the tiniest of details.



    I couldn't agree more! I suggest that none of the whiners should buy Leopard. Go ahead and punish Apple!



    Meanwhile, the world is undergoing major climate change, a war is out of control, the Middle East is about to erupt into a massive conflagration, none of our politicians has any clue or desire to make things better, AND---- we finally have taxation without representation--- AGAIN!!!



    Now, THESE are issues!
  • Reply 138 of 195
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 15,268moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AsLan^ View Post


    I just noticed that the windows are still right at the back of this new 3D space. I think it kinda defeats the purpose of a 3D space if you're only going to use two dimensions of it.



    I was thinking that too. It kinda throws the whole theorizing going on here about Apple moving to some 3D space out the window. If they don't use it for anything then it's meaningless.



    The only metaphor I could have seen is that the dock encompasses the depth of the desktop and those application windows run within the desktop but for that to make sense, the application windows would have to cut through the dock (and possibly create a dashboard style ripple doing so).



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by trevorlsciact


    The dock is 1000 times better in your pictures, taking up less space and actually appearing more dimensional. I like the white rather than the black. Just a little polish on you dock and perfection--see if you can't send that idea to apple in any way. I don't care for your menu bar over the original.



    I think I know why they made the dock so steep actually. Look at the trash icon. It fits the perspective of Apple's Dock but not mine. The same goes for the Keynote icon. If they used a flatter dock, they'd have to redesign all their icons.



    I'm not sure how to improve the menu. Just the whole idea of using transparency is wrong IMO and I prefer the original too (by which I mean the Tiger one - not sure if you meant the original Leopard one). The biggest issue I saw with the menu is that it's hard to make out. With the current menu, it's black text on white until selected and then it's white text on a darker backdrop, which I think is an ideal system. I can't think what possessed them to change this because now in full screen apps, you will see your desktop image.
  • Reply 139 of 195
    slewisslewis Posts: 2,081member
    Null.
  • Reply 140 of 195
    tomikktomikk Posts: 3member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by dutch pear View Post


    Brief take on/summary of the thinking above:



    Cool. I actually like the idea of the Leopard desktop paradigm being a kind of 1 inch deep pool. Apps live on/near to the bottom except WHILE ACTIVE, dashboard floats on the surface (the ripple-effect makes sense in this light, doesn't it?!) and the dock extends from the surface down to the bottom of the pool (irrespective whether it's on the bottom or side), thereby delineating the depth of the pool.



    Conceptually it all really makes sense to me:



    Previously, we had a 'desktop' ON TOP of which we could put stuff, extending 'out of' the screen, as it were. Now apple has apparently decided that our screens should be 'the top' of the working space and users should be able to put stuff BEHIND the frontmost surface. So with this new UI move apple has achieved two things:



    1. They clarified the already present third dimension of the desktop metaphor in the sense of things being ON TOP of each other by turning the dock into a very clear indicator of both the presence as well as the size of the 3rd dimension of your workspace.



    2. They changed the relative position of your screen/monitor in this third dimension: The screen used to be THE BOTTOM of your workspace, ON TOP OF which you could put stuff. By having the dock STICK INTO your workspace (instead of protruding outwards), your screen has now become THE TOP layer of your workspace, BEHIND which you can put stuff.




    So now we just have to stop thinking about a DESKTOP and start living with the new LEOPARD POOL WORKSPACE paradigm in which active stuff floats on the surface and inactive stuff sinks to the bottom.



    PS come to think of it, with spaces, the bottom surface of the pool is actually bigger than the surface and we can move the bottom of the pool around.



    Yeah that's a fairly good summary of what I was trying to say earlier. I see where the original worry and disturbance was coming from about the look and consistency of the new dock. But I feel it does make sense and that it is more of a first step towards what might happen in the future. I feel there are still major steps to made into making the desktop space fully 3D.



    Has anyone come across Open croquet? It's well worth googling. It's a linux variant attempt to try to do exactly this. I found it amazing as a concept. I wouldn't want that version to use but having seen it it i am starting to see the merits of the 3D desktop and UI world. It just serves as a reminder of the extremes that can actually be achieved with a desktop space. It is one of the more exciting and imaginative linux distributions out there.



    I would be interested to know what people think of the new iTunes-esque finder. Is it a way of broadening the mac appeal and converting more misguided windows users (joking!!--I really do not want this to turn into another fiery mac vs pc debate, I honestly ? love windows) . Or do you people think it will be a general improvement. To be truly honest Mac OS X before leopard has a rather annoying, and quirky finder that is good at heart but has its flaws. I would still use Mac OS9 if it weren't for compatibility, spotlight and exposé, oh and screen capture. I can't quite place my finger on it but there is something that feels slightly wrong about the finder. One example is that the type of view (like column or list or icon view) that finder uses never stays the same consistently with each folder. It won't let me only use icon view for applications, list view for one folder and column view for another. Or at least it tries to, I can see that it is trying, but it never manages to stay consistently how I want. That really gets to me. Anyway enough of a personal rant, I'm sure plenty of people know where I'm getting at with the whole moan about the current finder. My point is that do you think it could solve some of these issues. It is the new finder that will make or break the OS



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by rjwill246 View Post


    I couldn't agree more! I suggest that none of the whiners should buy Leopard. Go ahead and punish Apple!



    Meanwhile, the world is undergoing major climate change, a war is out of control, the Middle East is about to erupt into a massive conflagration, none of our politicians has any clue or desire to make things better, AND---- we finally have taxation without representation--- AGAIN!!!



    Now, THESE are issues!





    OK whatever you want, there are other places to deal with these things. Can you let us whine in peace? It is genuinely quite an interesting issue we are discussing, about the OS that we will all be using in about a year's time. Again I can't really be bothered to get into an angry debate with you, this is merely a half-hearted plea not to criticise what we are talking about. Its simply just getting in the way of our discussion, without making any of us in the thread any more likely to have any sudden great inspiring desire to run out there into the world and fix something big. And this isn't a cue for a reply, just a general request to you not to say it.
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