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Re: Vista 5308
Feb 23, 2006, 13:08
4.
Re: Vista 5308 Feb 23, 2006, 13:08
Feb 23, 2006, 13:08
 
It's an effect that's been in all the other windowing systems (X11 first, OS X's Aero more recently) for years now.

And it can be useful to see stuff in a background window while your focus is on the foreground. Without the background window having to spam alerts and messages all over the damn windowing system.

How's about this as a trivial example -- a semi-transparantefind dialog? Now you don't have to move the damn dialog box all over the screen to read text. The same goes for a lot of other dialog boxes inside apps.

OK, sure those other OSs can do window transparency, but working in OSX every day, I can tell you that it is not a widely used effect. In fact, I'm at a loss to give you one single example outside of the Command+Tab task-switching bezel where Apple has implemented it.

But OK, I'm willing to agree with you on the possible advantage to such a thing. Now take a look at the transparency effects on display in this screenshot:

http://blog.pcmag.com/photos/millers_photos/images/77/original.aspx

WTF is going on there? We get to peek through the tool/address-bar section of the windows, but whatever shows through from behind is completely blurred out of recognition by miracle space-age graphics wizardry..

Does it increase my productivity to be able to see through the thin bands of graphic that make up the edges of my windows? Because instead of being useful like it could be in your example, Z, I can't read anything back there.

This appears to me to be only useful for people who can't seem to understand the concept that when one window is covering another, conceptually, you can consider that window to be in front of the one it is covering. I mean.. isn't that blindingly fucking obvious already by the decades-old pictorial representation? I think so, but apparently not. Anyway, I really can't fathom another reason to include such an effect.

And that still doesn't explain what possible reason they have for making the taskbar transparent.


I haven't looked at MS's particular implementation, but it's supposed to be just the same as any of the other sidebars out there (e.g. - Konfabulator, Apple's Dashboard, Google Desktop, etc.).

I used Google Desktop's sidebar briefly, but without a widescreen it took up too much real estate. I can't imagine using one unless you had a widescreen monitor, or ran at 1600x1200 (or higher).

I know it's a personal thing, but I can't abide by calendars and things blinking at me from the corners of my screen unless I actually need to be looking at them, and as you say, Sidebar, GD, and Konfab all require a real estate sacrifice that just ain't worth it IMO.

But Dashboard isn't actually the same as those other apps you mention, even though they can all be used to accomplish the same types of jobs.

For one thing, DB at least gets it right in that when you're not using it, it gets completely the fuck outta your way (and most importantly, isn't trying to saunter back into view because you accidentally flicked your mouse over the 'activate' zone).

One of the biggest differences, however, is that Dashboard will let you devote your entire display to a task, meaning that you can potentially view just as much info in Dashboard at a glance as you can on any other window in the OS (for example, my dashboard at work simply has a giant photo of my GF on it that I can look at whenever I feel like it).

There's no real estate sacrifice there, because DB is only present when you're interested in it, but if you need to, you can simply drag widgets straight out of your Dashboard and pin them to your desktop so that they're always visible (which then mirrors the functionality of Konfab and the rest).

Nah, DB is actually useful, because Apple did such a clean job of working it into the OS. This sidebar thing truly is a monstrosity as far as I can tell.


It just makes me grouchy this Vista, because there really doesn't seem to be anything in there I'd want, the few half-decent ideas I do see appear half-baked, the DRM is a nightmare I am philosophically opposed to, and yet I know beyond a shadow of a doubt I'll be forced to upgrade to it someday..




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This comment was edited on Feb 23, 13:17.
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Date
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Feb 23, 2006Feb 23 2006
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  Re: Vista 5308
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