Road to Mac OS X Leopard: Spaces

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  • Reply 61 of 138
    smaxsmax Posts: 361member
    So, would something like Smackbook be possible with Spaces? I'm assuming so, but has anyone been working on it...?
  • Reply 62 of 138
    brianusbrianus Posts: 149member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Aaron H. View Post


    The article is accurate about how multiple monitors work. You cannot swap one screen for another.



    Is there anything new in Display preferences, then, or are we still stuck with just mirroring or an extended desktop? Is there any way to choose which monitor is considered the "primary"?



    Quote:

    So, what I've done is set those ongoing "monitoring" apps to be visible on every space. My main monitor has a space for Photoshop, a space for TextMate, a space for CSS Edit, etc. So, when I change from one space to another, the main monitor changes and the diagnostic monitor does not.



    Yeah but there's still the issue of the menubar and Dock. Unless Leopard has changed something, those two critical UI elements will only show up on the primary display. That's mildly annoying if the displays are right next to each other, as you'll constantly have to go back and forth between displays even if you're only using the menubar, windows and Dock icon for a single application. It's far more irritating if your displays are far apart....
  • Reply 63 of 138
    tkiltkil Posts: 1member
    I've been pretty happy with Desktop Manager for OSX, and Virtual Dimension for Windows 2k and XP. Not as slick as Spaces (of course), and neither is maintained anymore, but it's saved my sanity after having to leave X Windows years ago.



    http://desktopmanager.berlios.de/



    http://virt-dimension.sourceforge.net/
  • Reply 64 of 138
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by brianus View Post


    Is there anything new in Display preferences, then, or are we still stuck with just mirroring or an extended desktop? Is there any way to choose which monitor is considered the "primary"?



    If I understand what you're asking, you can set the "primary" monitor by dragging the menu bar to that monitor in the Arrangement section of the Displays preference panel.
  • Reply 65 of 138
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by brianus View Post


    Is there anything new in Display preferences, then, or are we still stuck with just mirroring or an extended desktop? Is there any way to choose which monitor is considered the "primary"?







    Yeah but there's still the issue of the menubar and Dock. Unless Leopard has changed something, those two critical UI elements will only show up on the primary display. That's mildly annoying if the displays are right next to each other, as you'll constantly have to go back and forth between displays even if you're only using the menubar, windows and Dock icon for a single application. It's far more irritating if your displays are far apart....



    It would be chaotic to have two docks and two menubars. I understand that you want your second monitor to act as a space but even space only displays a single instance of the Dock and menubar.



    That's the perils of having more than one monitor though. The OS could have been built differently and allow two monitors to act as though you were running two different accounts but it wasn't. I've always wished for multiple cursor and keyboard support so that my girlfriend and I could work on the same computer but on different screens but it didn't happen and won't anytime soon.



    What were you thinking when you bought a second display? You should have known how OS X handled multiple monitors. And like I said, if you treat the second monitor like a different space and not an extension of the first then you've just spent a whole lot of money for nothing. Virtual desktops perform the exact same thing for much cheaper.



    In my case, I'd love to have a second monitor...but this is because there is often 2 sets of eyes on the computer...one set (family member) is watching TV in El Gato's eyeTV app and the other set (mine) is happily typing away a message in AI.
  • Reply 66 of 138
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by caliminius View Post


    I find it a bit disappointing that there isn't an option to make multiple monitors their own space. I would assume that most people using multiple monitors would still consider one of them the primary display. It seems like it would be nice to switch multiple apps from the primary to secondary display by using Spaces. Is there some sort of functionality for that already?



    I'm not exactly sure what you're asking for. Is it like having one screen (with it's own dock and menubar) stay completely static, while having a second monitor (with it's own menubar and dock and desktop picture) swap between different applications like a Rolodex? That's valid, but when you're talking duplicate menus and docks, that's getting into virtual machines rather than just virtual desktops. Today, you can do that with screen sharing apps (VNC, Timbuktu, Apple Remote Access) and I think one of those even has some kind of rapid swap gallery of all the machines you can pull up (Joe running MYOB, Jane running Quark, Julie running Photoshop). But to have that kind of swapping on one physical machine, probably won't take off until there's more work done on Virtual Machines. It doesn't appear to be the problem Spaces is focused on solving though.





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by caliminius View Post


    Also, I wasn't sure, but can you assign an app to always open in a designated Space? For example always open Safari in Space 1 but always open Photoshop in Space 2?



    If Photoshop is assigned to Space 2, and you're in Space 1 when you double-click a Photoshop document, the Space switches to space 2 and shows your Document. There's nothing to stop you from then moving the Photoshop document back to space 1 if you want to. My guess is that in older Carbon apps that don't use standard toolbox routines to draw modal dialogs, this could be a problem. What if you were working with a document in a different space from the one the app was "assigned" and the app brings up a dialog ("Pay your shareware fee!") If it doesn't use sheets or standard toolbox calls, that dialog may be displaying in a different space and the window you're working with just appears to get unresponsive. I bet Cocoa apps and well-behaved Carbon apps will have no problem though. Unless you really have to, I'd leave the "assigning" feature as a very rare option.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by caliminius View Post


    It also seems like it would be nice if apps could be designated as Space-free, meaning that it would appear in every space if opened. For example, iTunes could be one of those apps you always want access to without having to switch Spaces. Yes, clicking the dock icon would switch to the Space containing iTunes but that still pulls you away from what you were doing.



    If it's not something you are focusing on now, minimize it to the dock. The dock stays the same in all spaces and you can get your iTunes window from the dock whenever you need it. (Even better is getting developers to display useful info while minimized in the dock).





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by caliminius View Post


    Another obvious improvement to Spaces would have been the ability to give them names. Space 1 doesn't tell me a whole lot, but if the Space were titled "Image Editing" I could be pretty clear of what was contained within.



    Numbers are the keyboard shortcuts for jumping straight to a particular space, but aren't shown otherwise. Names attached to spaces would be kind of useless since they wouldn't be shown and wouldn't otherwise do anything. Nice sentiment (like comments in code) but not very useful.





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by caliminius View Post


    And personally I found the digs at Windows a bit childish and out of place. If I recall, didn't Apple basically cripple multi-monitor support on iMacs by making it only able to mirror the display until the Intel iMacs came out? There's plenty of finger-pointing and name-calling to be had on either side.



    I strongly agree with the digs being childish (no matter which side started them); the past is the past.



    As for the external display on the iMac, I think it was a compromise. I bet the designers didn't want ANY external display since it would make the experience unbalanced ("Two different displays with a keyboard in the crack between them? Horrors!") But I bet Service & Support threw a fit when they faced the prospect of having to open up each of these at the Genius Bar whenever someone was reporting a bad display. My guess is that the external iMac port was for service use, but made to work in mirroring mode so no one would be tempted to use it for day to day work on the desktop that way. No way to know though.
  • Reply 67 of 138
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Jeremy Brown View Post


    Is this currently the case with spaces? Or is it a wish? If it is currently the case (which i imagine it is), can you also switch spaces by pinning your mouse alone to the edge of the screen?



    Trust me you will not be doing that. Crtl arrows are so much more faster than moving a mouse to the edge of a screen to switch.



    Forget what you think about virtual desktops as you are accustomed to in Unix etc.. Spaces is way better.
  • Reply 68 of 138
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hugodrax View Post


    Trust me you will not be doing that. Crtl arrows are so much more faster than moving a mouse to the edge of a screen to switch.



    Different strokes for different folks. Dragging the window to the edge is a one handed operation (no modifiers needed). Some will like that; some will prefer the immediacy of the keyboard modifiers.
  • Reply 69 of 138
    brianusbrianus Posts: 149member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by kim kap sol View Post


    It would be chaotic to have two docks and two menubars. I understand that you want your second monitor to act as a space but even space only displays a single instance of the Dock and menubar. That's the perils of having more than one monitor though.



    No, it would not be chaotic. And what are the perils?



    Quote:

    The OS could have been built differently and allow two monitors to act as though you were running two different accounts but it wasn't.



    Tiger wasn't. We are not discussing "the OS" that's currently in production, we're discussing an OS that hasn't even been released yet, and which the vast majority of us have access to only through rumor and screenshots. It has not been clear how Leopard would deal with this issue except to those lucky enough to have Developer builds.



    Quote:

    I've always wished for multiple cursor and keyboard support so that my girlfriend and I could work on the same computer but on different screens but it didn't happen and won't anytime soon.



    Multiple inputs are a whole 'nother thing. I'm only talking about having Spaces assigned to different displays. They already have mirroring and extended desktop; Spaces support would have been the third option. I'd point out that some form of integration between Spaces and multiple monitors was promised early on -- and this is far from that. This is more like Parallels' "support" for multiple monitors, which is really nothing more than tricking Windows into thinking its display is extra wide.



    Quote:

    What were you thinking when you bought a second display? You should have known how OS X handled multiple monitors. And like I said, if you treat the second monitor like a different space and not an extension of the first then you've just spent a whole lot of money for nothing. Virtual desktops perform the exact same thing for much cheaper.



    Wow..so many unnecessary, obnoxious and presumptuous comments in a single paragraph! Firstly -- I did not buy a second display; I have considered buying an MBP and Cinema Display, but will now have to change my plans because Leopard evidently won't live up to the hype. At work, I have a Mac Pro with multiple displays, and I'm disappointed to hear the "primary"/"secondary" distinction is still mandatory. Less reason to upgrade. Though there, my only real beef is the menubar issue.



    Secondly: "you should have known how OS X handled.." Uh, again, I know how TIGER handled them, not Leopard, and it was suggested early on that this would change with Spaces.



    Thirdly: who are you to say how virtual desktops and multiple monitors 'should' be used? Having two desktop monitors side by side is one particular type of multi-monitor setup, but it's not the only one. When you have a laptop that sometimes is connected to an external monitor and sometimes isn't, it would be useful to be able to customize what's going on in either screen and have that be automatically remembered when the configuration changes, just as you can customize how a computer connects to the internet at different locations or in different networks, or customize energy saving settings depending on whether you're on battery power or not.. Virtual Desktops do not "perform the exact same thing". Spaces gets it half right by letting you decide which apps and app windows go where, but it doesn't follow through with displays.
  • Reply 70 of 138
    brianusbrianus Posts: 149member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by macnoid View Post


    I'm not exactly sure what you're asking for. Is it like having one screen (with it's own dock and menubar) stay completely static, while having a second monitor (with it's own menubar and dock and desktop picture) swap between different applications like a Rolodex? That's valid, but when you're talking duplicate menus and docks, that's getting into virtual machines rather than just virtual desktops. Today, you can do that with screen sharing apps (VNC, Timbuktu, Apple Remote Access) and I think one of those even has some kind of rapid swap gallery of all the machines you can pull up (Joe running MYOB, Jane running Quark, Julie running Photoshop). But to have that kind of swapping on one physical machine, probably won't take off until there's more work done on Virtual Machines. It doesn't appear to be the problem Spaces is focused on solving though.



    Huh? You guys are really overthinking this. This is entirely intuitive; it's got nothing to do with virtual machines. It's really quite simple -- we want the menu bar and Dock available on more than one display. Even without Spaces, that would be a welcome addition to how the OS handles multiple monitors. Duplicate menus means nothing more than having identical GUIs pointing to the same behaviors. Duplicate clocks means the OS is sending GUI updates to multiple UI components rather than one. The only things being duplicated are the UI elements themselves. This is pretty basic stuff, and not really all that different than having the desktop picture duplicated on a second screen, or how the OS launches separate "Displays" System Preferences windows for each monitor.
  • Reply 71 of 138
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by brianus View Post


    Huh? You guys are really overthinking this. This is entirely intuitive; it's got nothing to do with virtual machines. It's really quite simple -- we want the menu bar and Dock available on more than one display. Even without Spaces, that would be a welcome addition to how the OS handles multiple monitors. Duplicate menus means nothing more than having identical GUIs pointing to the same behaviors. Duplicate clocks means the OS is sending GUI updates to multiple UI components rather than one. The only things being duplicated are the UI elements themselves. This is pretty basic stuff, and not really all that different than having the desktop picture duplicated on a second screen, or how the OS launches separate "Displays" System Preferences windows for each monitor.



    You're right. I am over-thinking it. I really thought what you want (mirroring of the menubar and dock) was already an option in Universal Access or something. It's to help those who had trouble mousing long distances. Maybe that was a third party add on though since I can't seem to recall where I remember seeing it. If it's not there and you want it added to OS X, try campaigning for it as a universal access feature since Apple seems to want to make OS X a great platform for differently abled users.



    I do like the idea of a virtual machine interface. Running Mac OS X on one monitor and VMWare on another is a neat thing now (using a Virtual Machine). I'd like that same functionality in Mac OS with just OS X apps one day. The technology is there, but there are a lot of problems with the interface metaphors breaking down (clipboard sharing, wrong aspect ratios for display, knowing which menubar is the master, etc).



    But right now, Spaces addresses issues of having virtual desktops not virtual machines. And your pet issue (menu & dock mirroring) won't be solved by Spaces, but I hope it comes soon as a univeral access option if it's not already there.
  • Reply 72 of 138
    I'm wondering if it's possible to get floating pallettes from applications to display in a different space. In particular, I'm thinking of the ActionScript panel in Flash 9, which is huge; working in Flash is quite the pain in the butt on a MacBook Pro because of it.



    Any insight?
  • Reply 73 of 138
    You had me at F8.



    I love Expose, this seems like a 'superset' of Expose in a very good way, so will be very easy to incorporate into my general usage.



    Great article too, thanks!
  • Reply 74 of 138
    brianusbrianus Posts: 149member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by macnoid View Post


    You're right. I am over-thinking it. I really thought what you want (mirroring of the menubar and dock) was already an option in Universal Access or something. It's to help those who had trouble mousing long distances. Maybe that was a third party add on though since I can't seem to recall where I remember seeing it. If it's not there and you want it added to OS X, try campaigning for it as a universal access feature since Apple seems to want to make OS X a great platform for differently abled users.



    I checked Universal Access just now to see if I'd been missing something all along, but it's not there as far as I can see. Bummer. But you're right, it would make a lot of sense for the disabled in addition to folks like me (the lazy).



    Quote:

    I do like the idea of a virtual machine interface. Running Mac OS X on one monitor and VMWare on another is a neat thing now (using a Virtual Machine). I'd like that same functionality in Mac OS with just OS X apps one day. The technology is there, but there are a lot of problems with the interface metaphors breaking down (clipboard sharing, wrong aspect ratios for display, knowing which menubar is the master, etc). But right now, Spaces addresses issues of having virtual desktops not virtual machines.



    I'm not sure I understand the VM thing (I understand VMs, just not what you're after in this instance). Why would a VM be needed if all the apps are OS X? Are you talking about virtualizing another instance of the entire operating system for some reason? I'm not sure how this relates to Spaces exactly, or to the issue of multiple monitor support. Why would anything need to be virtualized at all?



    Quote:

    And your pet issue (menu & dock mirroring) won't be solved by Spaces, but I hope it comes soon as a univeral access option if it's not already there.



    Well we now know won't be solved by Spaces, but when it was claimed early on that Spaces would offer multiple monitor support, it seemed logical to suppose that meant that you could divide up monitors by Space, which would be useless unless the menu and dock were mirrored. By "support" evidently Apple meant "the most braindead, 'duh' support imaginable, short of letting windows on secondary monitors become stranded because Spaces doesn't recognize they exist"
  • Reply 75 of 138
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,951member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hugodrax View Post


    Trust me you will not be doing that. Crtl arrows are so much more faster than moving a mouse to the edge of a screen to switch.



    It really depends. If you use Apple's mouse acceleration settings, maybe. If your hands are on the keyboard, use the keystrokes. However, if your hand is already on the mouse for something, then it's really quick and easy to flick the cursor around, a lot quicker than going back to the keyboard to hit keys.
  • Reply 76 of 138
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by suzerain View Post


    I'm wondering if it's possible to get floating pallettes from applications to display in a different space. In particular, I'm thinking of the ActionScript panel in Flash 9, which is huge; working in Flash is quite the pain in the butt on a MacBook Pro because of it.



    Real palettes (that float above all documents) are property of the application (or the system). If an app is frontmost, you will see those palettes. Sometimes developers make a palette that may look and act like a palette but it's really just a regular window and it can be intermingled with other windows. Those regular (non-palette) windows are moved in and out with Spaces but true palettes are not. I don't know how the ActionScript panel behaves, but here are some other examples you might know in Tiger:
    • Safari's Download Window = normal window

    • Filemaker Script Editor = normal window

    • Filemaker Script Debugger = application palette

    • Finder Show View Options = application palette

    • Finder Get Info Window opened with Command-I = normal window

    • Finder Get Info Palette opened with Command-Option-I = application palette

    • Voice Input (opened in System Prefs: Speech) = system palette

  • Reply 77 of 138
    shadowshadow Posts: 373member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Haggar View Post


    Can you configure each space with a different desktop picture?



    AFAIK, no.
  • Reply 78 of 138
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by brianus View Post


    I'm not sure I understand the VM thing (I understand VMs, just not what you're after in this instance). Why would a VM be needed if all the apps are OS X? Are you talking about virtualizing another instance of the entire operating system for some reason? I'm not sure how this relates to Spaces exactly, or to the issue of multiple monitor support. Why would anything need to be virtualized at all?



    To be clear, this is off-topic. I do hear some confusion when some of my Ubuntu friends start mistaking features in a virtual machine manager for the features in Spaces (a virtual desktop manager) and saying it comes up short, when in fact these are different issues. What follows are off-topic fantasy thinking that should in no way be construed as shortcomings of Spaces.



    I'd love to launch a set of applications in their own Virtual Machine on OS X. When setting up a Filemaker driven website, it'd be nice to have a VM with Filemaker, Safari, and a text editor and the reference documentation setup. Instead of launching and quitting all those each day, I just freeze the virtual machine and restart it the next (without the launching and window arranging). Let's say I have a bunch of these VM's: a Photoshop/Illustrator one, and an XCode & Interface Builder one, and a bunch of others. When I launch one it takes over the screen and I can mix things within the VM, but I won't ever see an XCode window in my Photoshop area. Some extra enforced isolation when I want it. And now that we have an interface for managing the machines, we can also tack on an interface for scheduling and resource allocation. Let's say I had a Photoshop filter going that will take 4.3 hours (and has already been going for 2.5). I start to compile something in Xcode in my other VM and see it'll take and hour and a half. Since these are whole environments, I'd like to be able to freeze Photoshop for a while exactly as it stands and give Xcode the CPU so that it takes only half that time as when it's competing with the Photoshop VM. Then I can let Photoshop go again and have the CPU to itself. I have no idea what sort of interface would work well for this, all I can think of is a big 3x3 grid like the Brady Bunch intro except with VMs instead of Brady heads. Maybe something more "remote control" like since you are switching between channels yet the channels keep going in your absence. I don't know. As nice as all this is, it's kind of limited because each of these VM's is so isolated. Sometimes that isolation is good, but it might be more useful being able to selectively break down that isolation. Moving clipboard data. Moving windows in and out of other VM areas. InterVM communication as if the processes were talking over a network. These would be cool, but they'd be an incredible engineering effort to intelligently break down the isolation securely and with a user interface that could be intuitively grasped by users.



    Virtual machine management isn't what Spaces is all about. I'd like to see it one day as some future OS feature, but I'm plenty happy with what's already been engineered.
  • Reply 79 of 138
    I won't deny that Apple makes a badass OS, but the Spaces feature isn't really an innovation by them. As far as I can tell, the only thing differentiating it from Workspaces in Linux is the fact that you can give apps a permanent Space assignment. Also, in Compiz Fusion (no longer Beryl) on Linux, you don't even have to use the cube (I do admit it's silly, but it is fun for a while). They do have a "grid" feature, and you can do all the operations with moving windows and stuff that I've seen in Spaces demos. Actually, another difference is the fact that you can customize Compiz to look however you want, and with as many workspaces as you want.



    http://nicofo.tuxfamily.org/dotclear...workspaces.jpg
  • Reply 80 of 138
    mimicmimic Posts: 72member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Jeremy Brown View Post


    Good old computers.



    This was my first computer: an Amiga. I always thought it was called an Amiga 64, but apparently that is not the case.







    Acorn computers were also mentioned in the last road to leopard, which we used in primary school.



    Are you thinking of the Commodore 64 which came out before the Amiga? I had, as a child, a Commodore 64. Then my dad went all crazy and purchased a tape drive for it! Those were the days!! Mom would not allow an Amiga as she said computers were a fad! She can't live without her games now
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