Forwarding Address: OS X

Sunday, March 10, 2002

Just to rant a little bit more on OS X window management: I would pay cash money for products that made it less of a pain. For instance, MSIE invariably responds to "new window" calls by generating a window cascaded diagonally southeast of the existing one, which means I have to grab the mouse every time and move the new window upwards so I don't lose its bottom under the Dock. If you need to read a lot of different web pages in quick succession and make heavy use of "Open in New Window," this gets really old. Computers are supposed to relieve us from having to do the same thing over and over again, even when we're, uh, doing the same thing over and over again.

Similarly, I'd like to torpedo MSIE's habit of creating a new empty window to exactly the dimensions of the last window created, which yields really stupid results when the last window was a farking pop-under.

Yeah, I know, use Mozilla, and for some things, I do. But I could list as many window-management eccentricities for any number of Mac programs, Classic and OS X alike. (Office for OS X is particularly inscrutable in this regard.) Web browsers tend to highlight these problems because it's in the nature of Web browsing to create a lot of windows in quick succession. Surely I'm not the only user nutty enough to care about this.

Paradigm shift: After weeks of shuttling the Dock all over the place and shrinking it down as far as my middle-aged eyes can tolerate (I have "presbyopia," which means my eyes are opposed to rule by bishops), I've suddenly realized that if you just make the damn thing really big suddenly you can see beautifully-detailed icons of all your minimized windows, and that moreover in many cases you can watch as processes in those windows go through their paces. (A minimized Terminal window is particularly nifty in this regard.) This is actually worth losing screen real-estate for. Rocking.