GUI ideas for Mac OS X.3? X.5?

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  • Reply 101 of 134
    kickahakickaha Posts: 8,760member
    [quote]Originally posted by pyr3:

    <strong>



    I hear what you are saying, there *are* more ways to do it than 1. Maybe this would be a better way to say it. When you select the folder have a menu option that has a "perform action on all contents of folder and all contents of sub-folders". This way the user doesn't think that they are performing it in the folder, but rather the contents of the folder. Would this not be an acceptable route, while still maintaining the "file/folder" relationship that you are talking about?</strong><hr></blockquote>



    Not really... think through the steps and ramifications:



    You select a folder.



    You want to select an action to perform on the folder.



    Do you:



    a) Select 'Perform next action to contents of folder' from a menu[1]



    b) Select the '...to contents of folder' submenu item that is now attached to the menu item of *every single action you could perform*.



    a puts you into a hanging modal state, where it's waiting for the next action to apply... how do you cancel it if you decide you don't want to do it? How long should it wait for you? If you accidentally select the wrong action (or get interrupted by the phone, and *forget* you're in this modal state), can you easily back out of it?



    b ends up cluttering the menu space with redundant items that will just confuse the user, I'm afraid.



    [1]Not to mention that that's a *REALLY* long menu item - quick rule of thumb... if you can't express it in two words, three *tops*, it doesn't belong in a menu, it needs to be in a dialog somewhere.



    [quote]<strong>I find it kind of annoying that a power user would have to go and program their own AppleScript just to get that sort of functionality. I'm not sure how hard AppleScript is, but maybe Apple could even make a 'power user mode' that would add that to the Finder when enabled, or have a set of AppleScripts pre-made in some 'power user package' for download. This would make things a lot easier, no?</strong><hr></blockquote>



    <a href="http://www.apple.com/applescript/macosx/"; target="_blank">http://www.apple.com/applescript/macosx/</a>;



    Finder scripts:



    <a href="http://www.apple.com/applescript/macosx/toolbar_scripts/"; target="_blank">http://www.apple.com/applescript/macosx/toolbar_scripts/</a>;



    [quote]<strong> I think that it's kinda stupid for Apple to not include this functionality in some way for power users and expect them to program it on their own. You have to admit that this is a pretty basic functionality, maybe not the 'very' basic, but close.</strong><hr></blockquote>



    I'd consider hierarchical actions in a nominally object-&gt;action tasked system to be non-basic. It's adding a completely new way of dealing with container objects that doesn't exist in the base design philosophy.



    Having said that, I think it's a highly useful behaviour to have, in some cases, but I think that for right now it is better to think about how such actions can be performed using the attribute system already in place. 'Encrypted' is a boolean flag, after all, and makes a great attribute.
  • Reply 102 of 134
    hobbeshobbes Posts: 1,252member
    pyr3:

    [quote]<strong>Some people still prefer the maximize though, because to them it makes the computer act like it's in a certain 'mode'. I have the browser here at fullscreen so I'm in 'browser mode' for example. They don't think of things in such a multi-tasking way.</strong><hr></blockquote>



    Kickaha:

    [quote]<strong>And again, there is already a way to do this.



    Hold down Cmd-Opt and click on any app in the Dock. It switches to that app and hides all the other apps at the same time. Voila. Modal.<hr></blockquote></strong>



    Yup, modifier keys and the Dock are best friends.



    Try 'em all.



    Frank Vercruesse has a Single Application Mode bundled in with ASM that works well, if you're into that kind of thing. Personally, I enjoy having control over when to hide other apps and when not to do, and the Dock is great for this.



    But I do understand the need for users, often novice users, to feel like there's only one application on the screen. I've noticed this tendency in my parents especially. For these users, holding down special keys while clicking in the Dock is too complicated.



    I do not think that Maximize instead of Zoom is the solution, though. Maximize (Windows-style) can be pretty clunky.



    If any one has any good ideas how Apple could implement a Single Application mode (no purple buttons on every window, please) that would be visually distinct, and equally easy to use as to ignore, I'd be interested in hearing it...



    [ 08-13-2002: Message edited by: Hobbes ]</p>
  • Reply 103 of 134
    nevynnevyn Posts: 360member
    Doesn't 'Folder Actions' + a 3 line applescript do precisely what pyr3's looking for?



    Aren't Folderactions back in Jaguar?



    I nominate Kickaha to write the solution to pyr3's problem.



    The beauty of AppleScript isn't that you _can_ fix things like this. It's that since its on every single machine _SOMEONE_ will & you can download and use it if you don't want to mess with AppleScript. AS on MacOS X still isn't is useful as it was on Mac OS 9, hopefully it gets better in Jaguar and people start releasing MacOSX scripts.
  • Reply 104 of 134
    amorphamorph Posts: 7,112member
    [quote]Originally posted by Hobbes:

    <strong>pyr3:

    </strong>

    If any one has any good ideas how Apple could implement a Single Application mode (no purple buttons on every window, please) that would be visually distinct, and equally easy to use as to ignore, I'd be interested in hearing it...

    [/QB]<hr></blockquote>



    Programmatically I think it'd be dead simple: When an app is foregrounded, automatically "Hide Others" per the menu item.



    The main question is where would you put the option? Preferences, I guess?



    I have also heard that Folder Actions are back in X. (Yay!) AppleScript in X is in many ways more powerful than in 9 (AS Studio, anyone?); the main thing missing (and it's a big thing) is the rich library of OSAXen: Jon's Commands, Tanaka's OSAX (written in 68K assembler!) etc. Even if those don't come (the authors of the above two are leery of porting, which in Tanaka's case means rewriting from scratch - those are huge OSAXen), replacements will.



    Apple has a rather large section of their site <a href="http://www.apple.com/applescript/"; target="_blank">devoted to AppleScript</a>, and they're posting lots of handy little scripts to use and to play with.
  • Reply 105 of 134
    kickahakickaha Posts: 8,760member
    [quote]Originally posted by Nevyn:

    <strong>Doesn't 'Folder Actions' + a 3 line applescript do precisely what pyr3's looking for?</strong><hr></blockquote>



    Yup.



    [quote]<strong>Aren't Folderactions back in Jaguar?</strong><hr></blockquote>



    They *are*? Oh, that'd be just sweet.



    [quote]<strong>I nominate Kickaha to write the solution to pyr3's problem. </strong><hr></blockquote>



    I nominate Nevyn for a swift kick in the arse.



    [quote]<strong>The beauty of AppleScript isn't that you _can_ fix things like this. It's that since its on every single machine _SOMEONE_ will & you can download and use it if you don't want to mess with AppleScript. AS on MacOS X still isn't is useful as it was on Mac OS 9, hopefully it gets better in Jaguar and people start releasing MacOSX scripts.</strong><hr></blockquote>



    Indeed. AppleScript was always the ultimate power user's tool under 9, and with AppleScript Studio... *gaahhhhhhhh*...
  • Reply 106 of 134
    kickahakickaha Posts: 8,760member
    [quote]Originally posted by Amorph:

    <strong>



    Programmatically I think it'd be dead simple: When an app is foregrounded, automatically "Hide Others" per the menu item.



    The main question is where would you put the option? Preferences, I guess?</strong><hr></blockquote>



    Menu Extra? :/ I mean, if people really want a global, always accessible toggle, it's either the menu bar or the Dock.



    Of course, putting it in the Dock wouldn't be bad. Change the icon based on the state (normal/single app), and clicking on it just toggles it.



    [quote]<strong>I have also heard that Folder Actions are back in X. (Yay!) AppleScript in X is in many ways more powerful than in 9 (AS Studio, anyone?); the main thing missing (and it's a big thing) is the rich library of OSAXen: Jon's Commands, Tanaka's OSAX (written in 68K assembler!) etc. Even if those don't come (the authors of the above two are leery of porting, which in Tanaka's case means rewriting from scratch - those are huge OSAXen), replacements will.</strong><hr></blockquote>



    Actually, OSAXen have been replaced... with anything else you can program in C, C++, Obj-C or Java.



    Yup, AppleScript Studio lets scripts call other libraries, written in whatever language you have on hand.



    Suddenly most any code is an OSAXen.



    [quote]<strong>Apple has a rather large section of their site <a href="http://www.apple.com/applescript/"; target="_blank">devoted to AppleScript</a>, and they're posting lots of handy little scripts to use and to play with.</strong><hr></blockquote>



    What he said.
  • Reply 107 of 134
    buonrottobuonrotto Posts: 6,368member
    I really really want to respond to some of the posts and ideas here, hopefully with visuals, soon. In the meantime, I think the idea of encyrption for files in folders is just a folder action, that while I don't know if a total rewrite/reconcept of the Dock is necessary but it would be a very useful exercise in the very least (and may in fact bring about a new and better idea), a simple modifier key on the zoom widget could zoom a window to full screen (perhaps this behavior is like the scrolling preference where it could be toggled while a modifier invokes the other option), and I do find minimized windows very useful if they're big but app icons that don't have badges and such at a certain point are bigger than they need to be even for targeting.



    I'll get back to the whole Dock/taskbar/mini window/window shade/workspaces thing. I'm going to try to make sloppy sketches of some ideas, start from the top.



    I don't have PS 7, can someone toss a screenie of the workspace palette that was mentioned?
  • Reply 108 of 134
    [quote]Originally posted by rok:

    <strong>unless i am reading your post wrong, i think this has been in the finder preferences pane for a while as a "scroll one page" or "scroll to here" option. if not, it is now in jaguar.</strong><hr></blockquote>



    [quote]Originally posted by Clive:

    <strong>It's not in 10.1.5 that I can see, so must be in Jaguar.</strong><hr></blockquote>



    System Preferences &gt; General &gt; Click in scroll bar to: Jump to next page or Scroll to here.



    Also you can option click in a scroll bar to toggle your selection for that click.



    This is in 10.1.5 and it's been there for a while I think.
  • Reply 109 of 134
    pyr3pyr3 Posts: 946member
    [quote]Originally posted by Kickaha:

    <strong>



    Er, can I run screaming now?



    Seriously, that would just be... bad. Bad, bad, bad on so many levels. Quick reality check: which UI do you think would 'win'? Numbers of user? Windows. Clout of company? Windows. Usability? Anything but Windows, but merit matters little in committee.



    Let the users and industry sort it out through innovations and neat ideas.



    [ 08-13-2002: Message edited by: Kickaha ]</strong><hr></blockquote>



    I meant a totally neutral body governing this committee. There are lots of good books and great ideas out there that would improve usability, but companies are reluctant to add them because 'people already know the old way. why make them learn a new way?'. You could apply this not only to OSes but to programs in general. I'm not saying that we need a separate committee to do this, I'm just saying that there should be more consistency in terms of basic usability.
  • Reply 110 of 134
    hobbeshobbes Posts: 1,252member
    [quote]Originally posted by BuonRotto:

    <strong>I'll get back to the whole Dock/taskbar/mini window/window shade/workspaces thing. I'm going to try to make sloppy sketches of some ideas, start from the top.



    I don't have PS 7, can someone toss a screenie of the workspace palette that was mentioned?</strong><hr></blockquote>





    Cool, look forward to seeing these.



    There's no palette for workspaces in PS 7 -- just the feature to save the placement of a group of palettes under a name, which can then be toggled from a Workspaces submenu in the Window menu.



    Disclaimer - I'm recalling this from memory, as I have PS7 on my machine at home and not work.
  • Reply 111 of 134
    pyr3pyr3 Posts: 946member
    [quote]Originally posted by Kickaha:

    <strong>



    I'd consider hierarchical actions in a nominally object-&gt;action tasked system to be non-basic. It's adding a completely new way of dealing with container objects that doesn't exist in the base design philosophy.



    Having said that, I think it's a highly useful behaviour to have, in some cases, but I think that for right now it is better to think about how such actions can be performed using the attribute system already in place. 'Encrypted' is a boolean flag, after all, and makes a great attribute.</strong><hr></blockquote>



    Cool, I'm sorta new to MacOS. When I hear the script in AppleScript, it makes me think a script, like Perl ot tcl. So AppleScript can add menu items, menu bar items, and such to scriptable programs like Finder?
  • Reply 112 of 134
    kickahakickaha Posts: 8,760member
    [quote]Originally posted by pyr3:

    <strong>



    I meant a totally neutral body governing this committee.</strong><hr></blockquote>



    1) No such thing.



    2) The easiest route for any committee to take is "Well, what do the majority of people use?" This is doubly true for trying to create a standard of UI when the vast majority of people out there already use one particular UI. Simplest just to adopt it, and call it good, in the name of getting the most people acclimatized as soon as possible.



    [quote]<strong>There are lots of good books and great ideas out there that would improve usability, but companies are reluctant to add them because 'people already know the old way. why make them learn a new way?'. You could apply this not only to OSes but to programs in general. I'm not saying that we need a separate committee to do this, I'm just saying that there should be more consistency in terms of basic usability.</strong><hr></blockquote>



    The more consistency, the less eager anyone will be to rock the boat with new ideas.
  • Reply 113 of 134
    kickahakickaha Posts: 8,760member
    [quote]Originally posted by pyr3:

    <strong>



    Cool, I'm sorta new to MacOS. When I hear the script in AppleScript, it makes me think a script, like Perl ot tcl. So AppleScript can add menu items, menu bar items, and such to scriptable programs like Finder?</strong><hr></blockquote>



    No, but it can be used to make entirely new apps that drive the Finder.



    And yes, it is very much like a Perl or Tcl script... with a UI. (Tcl/Tk isn't a bad analogy... if most every app on the Unix side had Tcl hooks. )



    More to the point, if folder actions are back (YAY!), what you can do is attach a script to a folder, such that when some action is performed on that folder (an item is dropped into it, for instance), the script is triggered.



    In the encryption case, set up an 'Encrypted' folder, and attach an encrypter script to the 'drop item' action. The script is handed the item dropped, and then it can handle the encryption. If the item is a folder, the *script* can iterate over it. Voila. Encrypted hierarchy. Add anything, and it's automagically encrypted.



    You can also set up an AppleScript to handle items dropped *on* it, so the same script could do double duty as a Drop App. Drop your file/folder/whatever on it, and it's encrypted in place.



    Now if you *really* wanted to get classy, you could whip up a contextual menu item (using Obj-C, for example) for the Finder that would add 'Encrypt', which would then call your script.



    See, all sorts of ways to accomplish what you want, without resorting to breaking the established object-&gt;action philosophy.
  • Reply 114 of 134
    [quote]Originally posted by Kickaha:

    <strong>

    This is identical to hitting the green zoom widget on the title bar. Identical.

    </strong><hr></blockquote>



    That's not the case on my machine.

    When I click the green zoom widget the windows just jumps between 2 different sizes.

    <img src="graemlins/hmmm.gif" border="0" alt="[Hmmm]" />
  • Reply 115 of 134
    pyr3pyr3 Posts: 946member
    [quote]Originally posted by Kickaha:

    <strong>



    The more consistency, the less eager anyone will be to rock the boat with new ideas.</strong><hr></blockquote>



    I'm talking on a basic level.
  • Reply 116 of 134
    buonrottobuonrotto Posts: 6,368member
    [quote]Originally posted by a Martin:

    <strong>



    That's not the case on my machine.

    When I click the green zoom widget the windows just jumps between 2 different sizes.

    <img src="graemlins/hmmm.gif" border="0" alt="[Hmmm]" /> </strong><hr></blockquote>



    I think we're getting our signals corssed. You're talking about maximize to fit the screen, yes? If so, then you used to be able to hit option (?) and click on the zoom widget in OS 9 to maximize to full screen. I think we could handle a few of these things as toggles in the general preferences:



    scrolling: next page

    scroll to here



    zooming: maximize

    zoom to fit



    opening: double click opens in new window

    double click opens new directory in

    same window



    (OK, that last one is pretty half-cooked)



    [added] I see that the old key combo on the zoom widget doesn't work in most apps any more. It should !



    [ 08-13-2002: Message edited by: BuonRotto ]</p>
  • Reply 117 of 134
    rolandgrolandg Posts: 632member
    [quote]Originally posted by Kickaha:

    <strong>



    Er... exactly how small *is* your screen?



    Word processing: a full 8.5x11" sheet of text, width-wise, takes up about 60% of my screen. Fullscreen = 40% of the space wasted.



    Image processing: the only image processing I do is minimal editing. Fullscreen is *EXACTLY* what happens when hitting zoom if the image is larger than the current screen size. If not... well, then you have a big wasted border around it. Lovely.



    Try zoom mode. It goes fullscreen *when appropriate*, and doesn't when it is just going to waste space.



    I fail to see what the problem is. Perhaps you are just not understanding what zoom does?</strong><hr></blockquote>



    My screen is 12" "small" and runs an XGA resolution. Thanks!



    And I don't want to resize every window everytime by hand. Why not just click the green zoom button one more time for fullscreen? That way, you don't have to if you refuse to use it.



    I, for my part, like my desktop tidy. Part of this tidyness is usig some apps fullscreen. IDEs for example etc.



    Well, I have to admit that I am a "switcher" and I still need to get used to the Mac. But I think that a lot of Windows users will be missing the fullscreen-option.
  • Reply 118 of 134
    rolandgrolandg Posts: 632member
    An other question:



    Is it possible to easily manage file access rights?
  • Reply 119 of 134
    chromoschromos Posts: 189member
    I was playing with transparency using the Terminal the other day, and found it extremely useful, as I didn't have to keep flipping from app to app — I was simply referencing the needed window THROUGH the active window.



    I thought it would be cool if users could control window transparency on a window-by-window basis, without the programmer having to code it in. Kinda like how the toolbar widget works on windows with toolbars.



    Second thing: why can't I copy the contents of a text clipping!??!?!?!? :confused: I can create them, and place them on the desktop, but as of 10.1.5 I can only look at them. If I want the information back, I have to type it again! Now what's with that?
  • Reply 120 of 134
    kickahakickaha Posts: 8,760member
    [quote]Originally posted by a Martin:

    <strong>



    That's not the case on my machine.

    When I click the green zoom widget the windows just jumps between 2 different sizes.

    <img src="graemlins/hmmm.gif" border="0" alt="[Hmmm]" /> </strong><hr></blockquote>



    I stated that clicking the green zoom widget was identical to selecting 'Zoom Window' from the Window menu... *NOT* that it was identical to maximize.



    The two different sizes you are seeing are:



    1) optimal size

    2) user-set size



    1 is determined by the app, by calculating the minimum size necessary to show all the data. Ie, the optimal size. Any smaller, you can't see all the data. Any larger, and space is wasted.



    2 is determined by you, the user. If you resize a window manually, whatever you set it to is the new user size.



    Click the window once after creation, it goes to size 1. Click it again, it goes back to the default size, 2. Resize the window. A new user size is set. Click it again, it toggles back to optimal, or 1. Resize, a new user size is set. Click it again, it again goes to the 'other' state, or 1.



    Play with it a bit, and it becomes obvious what it is doing... allowing you to set the size *you* want as one setting, and providing the optimal size as the other.



    Pretty intelligent.
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