Road to Mac OS X Leopard: Spaces



  • Reply 81 of 138
    dmberdmber Posts: 204member
    Originally Posted by Jeremy Brown View Post

    Then again, maybe i'm just jealous because my ATI graphics card in my macbook pro is not supported for beryl/what ever it's become now (not last time i checked), and thus cannot enjoy it when running ubuntu.

    compiz-fusion works out of the box on my Macbook.
  • Reply 82 of 138
    Spaces sure sounds good and will probably change the way I work.

    At the same time I would like the option to put a menu bar on a secondary display. I find I have to perform actions in multiple applications more or less at the same time. Consider writing a user guide for an application. In order to do it well one has to flip back and forth constantly: perform action, write description of action, perform action, write description, take screenshot, paste into instructions, etc. This is more efficient with two physical screens than one, but there's always the problem of which one to put the menubar on. If you need a function that either doesn't have a keyboard shortcut or is one you haven't memorized, there may be a trip to the other display needed. It's one area where Windows is actually more efficient because there's a menubar at the top of every window.
  • Reply 83 of 138
    These are really stupid questions (and they are most likely in the text as well):
    • Can a space have a full screen application in it, for example a full screen game or movie.

    • Can a users specify the contents of each space to run on a differt core, or will it do this on its own?

    • Can spaces be a differnt resolutions and still appear full screen when you switch between them. For example can one space be a 800x600 while another is 1024×768.

  • Reply 84 of 138
    mark2005mark2005 Posts: 1,158member
    Windows XP supports multiple monitors, but it won't remember where those monitors are relative to each other. My Macs never had this problem.

    For example, I have a laptop. At one office, my second monitor sits to the right of my laptop (due to lighting glare). At my other office, my second monitor sits to the left of my laptop. When I go from one to the other, Windows insists on putting the second monitor wherever it wants.

    Also, when I switch from extended to mirroring and back, Windows forgets where the extended desktop was. Dumb.
  • Reply 85 of 138
    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.

    Forget what you think about virtual desktops as you are accustomed to in Unix etc.. Spaces is way better.

    I have the best of both worlds on my mac book. If I hit the bottom or right edge and click then I rotate to the next screen, if I hit Alt and up or left then I rotate that way. I have VirtueDesktop setup as 4x4 and this works great.

    It will be interesting to see what happens to Spaces when you unplug the monitor (think laptop and external monitor, not mirrored).
  • Reply 86 of 138
    Nice article. Although not really in the same league, QNX had a desktop that allowed you to drag applications between machines.

    So if you have an editor open on machine A you can drag it to machine B and the app would run there.

    a brief overview of this is at:

    I really like the stuff that they did/do (I've been away from QNX for a couple years).

    -- sorry for the interruption --
  • Reply 87 of 138
    Originally Posted by mrpiddly View Post

    These are really stupid questions (and they are most likely in the text as well):
    • Can a space have a full screen application in it, for example a full screen game or movie.

    Well, full screen mode (where both the menubar and dock are hidden) is pretty undefined about what the expected behavior is for context switches (cmd-tab) even under Tiger. Spaces won't suddenly define that since there are different "right" answers. All these behaviors are possible (among others I'm sure):
    • Move back to windowed mode to save resources or to re-orient users.

    • Stay in full-screen mode.

    • Stay full screen but pop up a window explaining how to get out.

    • Lock into kiosk mode and try to stop all menubar, dock, and context switches.

    All of these have their place but I'd say the first one is the most common today and will be what happens with most apps. Spaces does open up new user situations developers may not have expected so be understanding "What do you mean you want two different slideshows playing full screen at the same time? How can you watch both? Oh, right... Spaces." It's new interface territory; it's going to take time to evolve.

    Originally Posted by mrpiddly View Post
    • Can a users specify the contents of each space to run on a differt core, or will it do this on its own?

    Spaces just manages virtual desktops. Something may happen under the hood, and OS X may juggle priorities if a space is swapped in or out, but there aren't direct settings to control processor or scheduling.

    Originally Posted by mrpiddly View Post
    • Can spaces be a differnt resolutions and still appear full screen when you switch between them. For example can one space be a 800x600 while another is 1024×768.

    Leopard opens a whole new can of worms with the push toward resolution independence. Such preparations aren't clearly evident, but telling certain spaces to run in different resolutions doesn't seem to fit with that push.
  • Reply 88 of 138
    suhailsuhail Posts: 192member
    Originally Posted by Fawkes View Post

    I must say that I am really enjoying these little history lessons along with the feature previews.

    Thanks for putting the time into these interesting articles!

    Yeh man, awesome
  • Reply 89 of 138
    I'm looking forwards to spaces, because multiple desktop are imo the most efficient way of swapping between a lot of open applications. All the third party solutions like VirtueDesktops are riddled with problems maintaining the z-order and focusing of windows as you swap out, and then back to a desktop. Even the *nix multi desktop managers don't do this very well. I think there's a lot of room for this to "implemented better", hopefully Apple's version is that.
  • Reply 90 of 138
    First off, I love the "Road to Leopard" Articles. I remember using Mac OS 6 and growing up with OS 8/9 and then fully converting once OS X came out. Its great to look back and see the difference between OS 6-9 and OS X, even to see the vast difference in 10.0 to 10.4 and now 10.5!

    Secondly, Spaces is great. I've been muddling in the Leopard builds for a while now, and I absolutely adore Spaces. I've shown it to quite a few of my Windows-Biased friends and they have started looking at Macs as a viable option for their next computer.

    Now saying that, I believe that Apple has a very potential gold mind on here. If they want to really stick the Windows users and get them directly on it, what they need to do is incorperate a Windows space into the operating system. I know Parallels has a similar feature, where you can flip flop between Mac and Windows, but this could be amazing.

    A quick example before I hit the sack; Say you are working in, oh say photoshop in OS X. When suddenly your boss sends you a reference in the email, a small free-ware game. He wants you to design the magazine cover (or whatever it is) like the user interface of the game. Instead of having to boot up into Parallels (can't multitask, it sucks up majority of CPU and RAM, at least not enough to multitask Photoshop and Paralllels) or switch over to boot camp (closing down your PSD and making you reboot... timely)... you can just flip over to your Windows Space, navigate to the folder and run your little game and get what you need.

    Its just a thought. I think it sounded better in my head, but then again Its about 3 am and I'm reading through appleinsider archives... Then again, maybe you'll see this implemented in 10.5.5
  • Reply 91 of 138
    boogabooga Posts: 1,081member
    Originally Posted by Sabon View Post

    With Windows, up until Windows XP you HAD to install the video drivers that came with your second video card that you installed. Without that multiple monitors didn't work.

    With Mac OS (don't remember which version, all you had to do was install the second video card, no drivers, and connect it to the second monitor and ... it worked.

    System 6.0, I believe, added multiple monitor support when the Mac ][ came out in 1989. The Mac ][ had 6 NuBus slots, all the same speed and all very fast slots for their day. Thus, you could easily stick 6 video cards in the machine and have it all "just work". At MacWorld Expos, the MacroMind VideoWorks booth always had a huge bank of monitors being driven off a Mac ][ (VideoWorks later became Macromedia Director and was then bought out by Adobe).

    9 years later, Windows 98 did add rudimentary multiple monitor support. The problem was that while Apple handled all their video drivers, Windows depended on the video card suppliers working it out for themselves. To make matters worse, Intel-compatible hardware at the time had major problems with IRQ conflicts and slow expansion card standards (it wasn't uncommon even in the late 90's to have most of the slots being old ISA slots). This meant that despite any OS support, it was EXTREMELY hit-or-miss as to whether any two given video cards-- whether from the same manufacturer or not-- would work together. Even if they did, they almost never did hardware accelerated graphics correctly.

    By 2000, though, video card makers started making video cards that had two video-out ports. Driving two monitors from a single card simplified the process enormously. Adding to that was the proliferation of autoconfiguring and and speedy of PCI expansion slots. Thus, within a relatively short time period after 2000, Windows started shaping up substantially on the multi-monitor support. I'd say XP is the first OS where Microsoft got it more or less "right".

    At the same time, Apple has significantly reduced the Mac's capability for handling many video cards. Most PCI video cards don't work at all or don't work well on a Mac. Long gone are the Mac ][ days when you could fill a machine's slots with video cards. And while a Windows machine that supports SLI communication between multiple video cards is fairly commonplace, Apple has yet to release a machine with such support. So, alas, at this point the Mac has nothing to brag about in this area except to say "we did it first".
  • Reply 92 of 138
    junkiejunkie Posts: 122member
    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?

    Works now - its a great tip.
  • Reply 93 of 138
    asciiascii Posts: 5,941member
    Originally Posted by Haggar View Post

    Can you configure each space with a different desktop picture?

    It doesn't really work that way. There's one desktop, one menu bar, and one Dock. Switching spaces just slides all the windows off and replaces them with another set. You don't really move from one desktop to another.
  • Reply 94 of 138
    Originally Posted by brianus View Post

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

    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.

    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.

 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.

    I musta hit a sore spot, eh? What part of "but even Space only displays a single instance of the Dock and menubar " did you not understand? Why would Apple make an exception for people like you that want to use a second monitor to make it do something it's not intended to do? My advice, switch to Windows.
  • Reply 95 of 138
    Originally Posted by ascii View Post

    There's one desktop, one menu bar, and one Dock. Switching spaces just slides all the windows off and replaces them with another set. You don't really move from one desktop to another.

    So if you have files on your desktop, do they show up in every space, or can you move their icons to the space associated with that task?

    For instance, if I have a set of text documents I'm editing and they're currently sitting on my desktop, can I move them to the desktop space where my text editor is active, and get them off of my other desktop spaces, or do they stay on the desktop no matter which space I move to?
  • Reply 96 of 138
    Ok - now for my 2 cents about the reference to the Amiga Story since this is really halve of the whole thing!

    Back in the original days of the Amiga - before it was purchased by Commodore, Amiga approached Microsoft to write its operating system - Yes Microsoft (youll find references to MetaComCo and BCPL and TripOS) - the story goes that Amiga didnt have much money left after designing the system and needed a cut down OS to make the system work prior to the sale to Commodore. Commodore originally purchased the hardware plus the rights to Amiga for a poultry sum. The offshute was AmigaOS and was and still is one of the first original true multi-tasking environments ever created. Microsoft would later attempt to buy back AmigaOS and fail - it is viewed that the AmigaOS (which uses the MagicID for Dos 1.0) was Microsofts first attempts at immitating UNIX. The basic kernel known as Kickstart has undergone numerous updates however there is still a faithful set of Amiga'ns out there!

    Workbench is the name given the the GUI environment originally conceived and created from GEOS originating from the Commodore 64. GEOS was one of the first WIMP environments for the home user founded under XEROX - in those days alot of litigation was taking place regarding who created WIMP - it was finally awarded to XEROX (circa 1991). The GEOS system was supplied on a number of disks and in effect gave the workbench environment to the Commodore 64. Not many people used GEOS and as a result, it was more of a gimmic at the time that anything valuable in terms of functionality. It however laid the foundation to Workbench.

    It was the Commodore 64 that first saw dedicated hardware for specific operations - one specific component was SID which was responsible for the sound ADSR (attack decay sustain release). Later on the Amiga enhanced the single channel sound processor to allow for 4 simulatanous channels. The 6502 processor is viewed as one of the first RISC processors in history with commercial success and still is found in numerous devices even to this day - some variants still live on such as the 6504 and the 6502e. The Motorola 68000 processor from which Apple and Amiga both were born would later take very different paths.

    Most notable with regard to the Amiga is the separate portion of the processor known as BLITTER. Blitter is a block transfer and multiplication vector engine viewed as being the core behind the Amiga's success. BLITTERs capability allowed a block of memory to be copied and a simple operation to be applied to all elements in the segment. This was one of the first commercial uses of a vector processing engine within home computer architectures and would later form one of the basic building blocks for the PS3's Cell processing architecture. For those not aware, at the time, the only vector processors were found in Cray Supercomputers - later on however the DEC ALPHA would incorporate similar technology however would eventually get killed by COMPAQ (after COMPAQ acquired DEC) as direct competition with Intel would damage its position and so sacrificed the lamb. The team found itself sold onto INTEL, and would eventually be the ones to incorporate the DEC ALPHA technology into the XEON chipset. For those who remember the builds of Windows NT3.51 for DEC ALPHA those were very very fun days of re-install hell.

    Back to the AMIGA, Commodore died because it basically started releasing computers which superceeded the previous systems every 3 months - PLEASE READ THIS STEVE - I was a trusty Amiga lover with the A500 and then the A1200 and A4000. During the 3 year period Amiga release the A500, A600, A1200 and various models of each - the A1200 had a buildin HD which at the time was amazing. Boy didnt we all love soundtracker!

    Amiga is one of those computers like the Atari ST, Acorn Archemedies which will be remembered for us 30 somthing's as the great days on ground-shaking gaming. I for one turn 34 tomorrow and really am proud to look back on the last 20 years with very fond memories. Sitting here infront of a MacPro quad-core, im looking forward to Leopard in some respects, and in others dread of re-installing my system and then the chore of reinstalling software and patches.

    Steve - two thumbs up for making us part of History - looking forward to the future as a loyal mac-fan. Regarding spaces - sorry but even with two 30'inch screens - screen realestate is still not enough
  • Reply 97 of 138
    By the way - if you see references to MetaComCo - just go hunting and youll find Micro$oft.....
  • Reply 99 of 138
    Originally Posted by mgkwho View Post

    How is "A couple years before Switcher Ellen Feiss was even born" relevant besides the word "switcher?"

    Using that kind of clause in the wrong context is something gradeschool kids are taught not to do, when sorting sentences within a paragraph and removing extraneous information.


    Agreed. Completely irrelevant. What a lame excuse to mention that poor girl. All you Feiss-worshipping perverts should be ashamed of yourselves.

  • Reply 100 of 138
    OOps - mistake - Microsoft made AmigaBasic - AmigaOS is completely created by MetaComCo - apologies for incorrect statement
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