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What Mac OS X Could Learn From Windows 403

Posted by timothy
from the how-to-humiliate-and-belittle-users dept.
An anonymous reader writes "It is almost unheard of to see something written about what OS X could learn from Windows but this details some good examples. And yes, it includes the right-click mouse." I find about half the suggestions compelling enough to be worth griping over, and the other half off-base, but YMMV.
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What Mac OS X Could Learn From Windows

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  • Control keys? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 20, 2005 @05:14PM (#13117206)

    Apple - and the zealotry - need to concede that this battle is lost.

    Huh? So Apple are meant to disrupt the muscle memory of practically every Apple user, by dropping a scheme that they have stuck to for decades, to make it slightly easier for a minority of people who use two different systems on a regular basis?

    What complete and utter nonsense. What next? Drop the dock in favour of a taskbar that works like Windows... because "this battle is lost"? After all, if it doesn't work like Windows, then it must be a disaster!

    • Well, considering that ctrl+click is so important in osx, and so many third party mice use two buttons, the battle is lost. The only reason I stick with a one button mouse is because their wireless ones are pretty looking, and have a funky cool design (the whole mouse being a button)
    • Re:Control keys? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by dgatwood (11270) on Wednesday July 20, 2005 @07:16PM (#13118723) Journal
      Using control keys for keyboard shortcuts for menus would be... disastrous, IMHO. Imagine trying to use Terminal if copy were control-C.

      Control keys are valid ASCII characters. Overriding their functionality so they are captured at the GUI level and thus removing the ability to freely use them as characters would be a significant step in the wrong direction.

    • by EccentricAnomaly (451326) on Wednesday July 20, 2005 @07:17PM (#13118733) Homepage
      From article: Switching between Mac and Windows this drives me nuts. I have to consciously think "command-C or control-C?" It shouldn't have to be that way. And if you're running RDC or VPC and copying and pasting between OS X and Windows!! Sheesh!

      If you really must do this, you can do it in 'system preferences'. Just go to the 'Keyboard & Mouse' pref pane and click the modifier keys button. voila! switch control and option or whatever else you want.
  • Two Button Mouse (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jpiggot (800494) on Wednesday July 20, 2005 @05:16PM (#13117231)
    Apple has had support for a two button mouse for the better part of twenty years. Just plug one it, and go...simple as that. The fact that most users chose not to spend the extra $30 to do so, tells you that they didn't really miss it.
    • Re:Two Button Mouse (Score:2, Informative)

      by Kraeloc (869412)
      $4.95 US at your local Fry's Electronics.
    • Apple's current mouse is way cooler than 3rd party mice. Cool enough to trade in functionality for looks. Unfortunantly.
    • Apple has had support for a two button mouse for the better part of twenty years. Just plug one it, and go...simple as that. The fact that most users chose not to spend the extra $30 to do so, tells you that they didn't really miss it.

      When I switched from Macs to PCs two button mice is something I prefered and when I switch back to Macs I'll get me a two button mouse, I'd also like to get one that scrolls.

      Well I didn't really switch from one to the other previously I used mostly Macs and now I mostly

    • That doesn't help on laptops. Sure I can use a mouse when I have plenty of space to myself, but sometimes there just isn't room or I need to be ready to pack up quickly. Also, the lack of a scroll wheel is particularly annoying.
  • by JPyObjC Dude (772176) on Wednesday July 20, 2005 @05:17PM (#13117232)
    This one is a real bother for me on my with Macs. Anybody have a hack or 3rd party way of doing this.

    FYI to non Mac'ers, Mac OSX only allows you to re-size windows at the top left corner of the window .
  • by BarryJacobsen (526926) on Wednesday July 20, 2005 @05:18PM (#13117247) Homepage
    From TFA (emphasis mine):
    1) Compatible control keys. Switching between Mac and Windows this drives me nuts. I have to consciously think "command-C or control-C?" It shouldn't have to be that way. And if you're running RDC or VPC and copying and pasting between OS X and Windows!! Sheesh!

    The problem isn't the labeling, it's the location of the keys used. I had to use a Windows PC today and I kept pressing Alt-C to copy. This is why it's a problem. If it was simply a matter of labeling, no worries, mate. Apple - and the zealotry - need to concede that this battle is lost.

    Implementing this would rock many people's boats, so if Apple did make this change it'd have some serious domino affect on other keystrokes and applications that use them, but maybe it could be done with the switch to Intel, just to ease the pain slightly.


    Umm, how exactly did Apple lose? Was there a national convention that decided that the main command issuing modifier key should be hit by the pinky? I much prefer to move my thumb from the space bar and hit command than move my pinky from the a to hit control. Why exactly do we need to conceed here? Because you think you you're right Mr. Author?
    • The keyboard shortcuts using the command key on OS X are often analogous to their counterparts on windows which use the control key. The keyboard shortcuts using the control key on OS X are often the same as their Unix counterparts. Trying to change this would create an awful, nonsensical mess which would only confuse users and force them to use the mouse instead.
      • The keyboard shortcuts using the command key on OS X are often analogous to their counterparts on windows which use the control key.

        Well see that's where the author went wrong, too. The keyboard shortcuts using the control key on windows are often analogous to their counterparts on Mac OS circa 1984 which used the command key.

        • I'm not sure exactly when, but at some point in the '80s these keys were standardised to meta-x,c,v for cut, copy and paste (I think a few others were standardised as well). UNIX keyboards usually had a meta key, and used this. Mac kept command, and Windows, lacking a proper meta key, used control (which just confused everyone, since interrupt and copy were the same key combination). Up to this point, Microsoft was using control-insert and shift-insert for copy and paste.
    • "Was there a national convention that decided that the main command issuing modifier key should be hit by the pinky? I much prefer to move my thumb from the space bar and hit command than move my pinky from the a to hit control."

      I remapped my windows keyboard because excessive use of the ctrl key was causing joint pain in my pinky. Therefore, in my opinion, it is the ctrl key that is in the wrong place. I switched it with the caps loc, which feels fine for me, but I concede that the alt key location (whe
  • by BigZaphod (12942) on Wednesday July 20, 2005 @05:20PM (#13117262) Homepage
    OSX can learn by the bad example that Windows sets in terms of security, usability, stability, and well, just about everything else. Wait... In fact it seems like OSX has already learned those lessons!
  • Really nice feature to use with apps like Tortoise SVN.
    • This is also one of the least-intuitive HCI events I've ever seen. Even as a "power user", I often find myself doing the drag-and-drop with the left mouse button, realizing my mistake, and having to start over with the right button.

      It adds timing constraints (right click and drag vs. simple right click) that, like double clicking, auto-rename of a selected item, and a handful of other "convenience" actions, have been the result of far too many hours of my life being spent explaining various types of finger
  • Multi-button mouse (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Master Of Ninja (521917) on Wednesday July 20, 2005 @05:23PM (#13117294)
    I think this writer still hasn't got it. OSX has supported multi button mice for ages - I have a 5 button Microsoft bluetooth mouse working perfectly with 10.3, making expose easy to use.

    The whole point of the one button mouse is to make it easy to use for beginners, and to prevent developers being lazy when designing programs. And using expose with a single mouse button only needs for the screen corners to be set up to trigger the actions.

    While some of the points seem relevant, others are completely off the mark.
    • by bill_mcgonigle (4333) * on Wednesday July 20, 2005 @05:29PM (#13117371) Homepage Journal
      The whole point of the one button mouse is to make it easy to use for beginners, and to prevent developers being lazy when designing programs.

      Those are two important points, but don't underestimate the RSI aspect. When RSI is a risk, the way to reduce it is to drive the action back to bigger muscles.

      The two button mouse requires you to use the muscles in an individual finger, and worse, individual tendons which exacerbate carpal tunnel syndrome. (multi-button trackballs do better). With the 1-button Apple mouse you can use your whole hand to click. With the current 0-button Apple mouse, you can use your whole arm.

      This is good ergonomics but it requires a more careful user interface design to utilize.
      • The whole point of the one button mouse is to...prevent developers being lazy when designing programs.

        This is a completely arbitrary value judgement. How a context menu works is completely understood, and has proven to be incredibly useful and a great timesaver. It's not even true anyway, because context menus have existed for a very, very long time in the Macintosh world via keypress combinations.

        I don't disagree that having two mouse buttons may have ergonomic problems, but compared to the keyboard I

        • by Chief Typist (110285) on Wednesday July 20, 2005 @08:14PM (#13119226) Homepage
          Wrong.

          How a context menu works is NOT completely understood.

          The other night, my wife was on the phone with her mother providing tech support. I'm not exaggerating when I say that she said "NOT THE RIGHT BUTTON, MOM!" about 20 times. The context menu was coming up, and the selected action (default) was not the one needed.

          Her mom is not stupid, but she does hit the wrong button on her mouse. To her, there's no difference -- they both click.

          And keyboard combinations are not a valid comparison -- you don't accidentally click on the keyboard and the mouse at the same time.

          Having a one button mouse makes sense for people like her. Power users who can (and do) benefit from multiple buttons can go out and buy a better mouse.

          -ch

    • I think this writer still hasn't got it. OSX has supported multi button mice for ages - I have a 5 button Microsoft bluetooth mouse working perfectly with 10.3, making expose easy to use.

      Though I haven't used it in a long tyme my PowerMac running MacOS 8.5 has a two button mouse.

      Falcon
  • I'd say... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Otter (3800) on Wednesday July 20, 2005 @05:26PM (#13117317) Journal
    Changing from CMD to Ctrl: Arguable, but as for "maybe it could be done with the switch to Intel, just to ease the pain slightly" -- that's just silly. I don't understand why people are convinced that when Intel CPUs are put inside, the OS is suddenly going to change to Windows. (Except for the Slashbots, who think it will suddenly change to Linux.) The switch to Intel will have zero effect on UI.

    Save button on toolbars: This is hardly an OS X issue. Lots of Mac apps have them. I can't remember if iApps do or don't, but there's no big deal there.

    Only showing relevant file types: The current method is classic Steve. You show all files because the user knows they exist and you don't want to confuse him. Advantages both ways.

    Sort directories to the top: If that's a problem, you probably have your tree setup poorly. Again, one can argue this both ways.

  • A curious juxtaposition:

    4) Only show relevant file types in open and save dialogs. For those who like seeing every file that's every existed in their Documents folder, give them a checkbox to show all files. But personally, if I am opening a Pages file, I don't want to see all my iMovie, Excel, iDVD etc files. And OS X already knows which are which because non-related ones are greyed out.

    This I dig, especially if you can filter down the list with a substring match or regular expressions.

    5) Sort folder
    • This I dig, especially if you can filter down the list with a substring match or regular expressions.

      Well, maybe allowing filtering if deliberately entered, but not by default. It's better to show all files normally, but grey them out. Hiding things makes the UI seem more inconsistant.

      5) Sort folders to top of directory listings I know that we don't go folder mining as much since we got Spotlight, so I won't labor on about this one.

      Feh. If I want to sort a folder alphabetically, that means alphabetica
  • NOOOOO!!!!!!!! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rokzy (687636) on Wednesday July 20, 2005 @05:28PM (#13117358)
    Mac already supports right-click, and more. in fact, my iBook scroll pad has the functionality of a mouse with 5 buttons and 2 scroll wheels. but I usually use my Apple single-click buletooth mouse. it's enough.

    REQUIRE just one button, SUPPORT multiple is the Mac way. and it's also the best way. anyone who doesn't understand this is ignorant.
  • by applegoddess (768530) on Wednesday July 20, 2005 @05:32PM (#13117416) Homepage
    1. Control keys can be changed in the preferences for the OS, and for RDC and VPC as well. Plus, it wouldn't be horrendously difficult to change the key mapping to make it more convenient as well.

    2. Save buttons on toolbars are up to the developers. And in all honesty, I think a lot more people use keyboard commands to save, instead of clicking on a tiny little button in a toolbar that not even every app has. This definitely is not an OS specific thing...they're available if you need it, but nobody's forcing anyone to use it..

    3. My Logitech MX518 works on my Macs. So does my MX900 bluetooth mouse. And all of the other multi-button mice I've ever bothered to connect via USB or bluetooth. end of argument, unless you're trying to say that Apple should ship multi-button mice with their computers. They shouldn't. There's almost nothing worth having a multi-button mouse for that you can't do with a one button mouse, or with the keyboard (except when it comes to gaming and the likes). Now, with the coming Intel Macs, maybe they should. But that's only assuming the person buying the machine will install another OS on it as well.

    4. Why on earth do you need to see only the relevant file types? Sometimes OS X will grey out the ones that aren't relevant or not selectable, but what good is it going to do? Afraid of accidentally naming your file a name that already exists?!

    5. Useless. In all honesty, Spotlight/Quicksilver/Launchbar sort of get rid of the need for that, like the article mentioned.

    6. Why on earth is this supposed to be a Windows thing? It's not. It's in OS X. Blame the developer(s) if it's lacking in the software you're using and complaining about.

    Frankly it sounds like the author is just an idiot, but that's my two cents. All of his points are almost completely irrelevant or not applicable.
    On top of that, might I add that Microsoft and Apple have copied each other too many times to count, and it's not necessarily good.
    • 1. Control keys can be changed in the preferences... (snip)

      Agreed, but a more obvious (to a new user) method or changing the default would make it easier for people to switch from Windows. (Which may not be the point but would make Apple happy).

      2. Save buttons on toolbars are up to the developers. And in all honesty, I think a lot more people use keyboard commands to save, instead of clicking on a tiny little button in a toolbar that not even every app has. This definitely is not an OS specific thing

    • by javaxman (705658) on Wednesday July 20, 2005 @07:13PM (#13118684) Journal
      Frankly it sounds like the author is just an idiot, but that's my two cents. All of his points are almost completely irrelevant or not applicable. On top of that, might I add that Microsoft and Apple have copied each other too many times to count, and it's not necessarily good.

      Thank you. Yours was the reply I was going to have to write otherwise. I'd just like to add :

      1) Frustrating your installed base for "possible" future customers who've shown an extreme preference for your competition isn't always a good idea. Having a Preference to 'Use Windows-compatable control/command key mapping' or something might have more merit, but still isn't a very UI-consistient idea. The window menus say 'command'. It's not really just a labeling/placement issue, is it?

      2) Mail.app, just to mention one example actually provided by Apple, has a Save As Draft button on the New Message toolbar. Not an OS issue.

      3) Bringing up the single-button mouse at this point makes you just sound stupid at best, or trolling at worst, to be honest. Your point is the multi-button-mouse should be standard and the single-button one goes away ? Look back to my first point. My 3-year-old son and 70-year-old mother-in-law both prefer the one-button mouse. The Mac mini comes with no mouse. Buy the mouse you like.

      4) You can always sort the results by file type, can't you? That way the ones you want to see are grouped together? And just in case you actually want to select or know about a file that's incorrectly typed ( easy to happen now with those damn windows .foo file endings ), it's actually a nice feature to have them all shown. Also, filtering those file dialog results in anything other than Apple-supplied apps is dead-easy for a Cocoa developer, so write to your favorite app's project manager if you want that feature in it. It'll take maybe a day's worth of effort to implement and test. Seriously.

      5) again, sort by file Type and you get the folders grouped together. How is this a serious complaint ? When you ask for the results to be sorted by file name, you don't want the results sorted by file name if the file is a folder? What the hell is that? What if I have a group of related files and folders all starting with projectx and want to easily grab them from a folder filled with files and folders all starting projecty ? Even without Spotlight, this is a debateable feature in any OS. Windows should change in this case, I say...

      6) I could easily find several places in the windows OS where control panels and the like for OS functions lack useful context-sensitive help. Any program always needs more of that kind of thing, though, and that's because it's not a critical feature.

      In the final analysis, there are probably more important things that OS X could swipe from Windows. Like being able to natively run any Windows program, especially, say, full-screen apps like oh, I don't know, video games. I know that sounds like a joke, but really, that's always been the Windows users biggest excuse for not considering anything else, and frankly, we'll see what we get from the Mac Intel in that regard... what would the reason for buying Windows over OS X be if you could run full-performance Windows binary apps on either?

  • Creating an interface that doesn't require the detailed knowledge of how to use a multi-button mouse is a GOOD THING. It is one of the finer details of Mac OS, always has been. It forces application developers to make easier to use and understand applications rather than going for flashy looking stuff that might be quicker to use, but has a much higher learning curve. That being said, this five button mouse on my iBook works fine. Middle click opens in new tabs, right click pulls up contextual menus an
  • Nit-Picking (Score:2, Insightful)

    Most of these seemed to point out litte small niy-picky things. With the save button, I know when im working on a document its easier just to hit Commad-S from the keyboard then to go to the mouse and hit a button on a tool-bar. I usually turn any sort of tool-bar off though to save screen space. Multi-Button mouses? God. The mac is compatible out of the box but its more of a statement of how simple it is to use then anything else. Moving folders up to the top is just a pain in the ass if you are trying to
  • and one of the things that I hate about windows is that folders sort to the top of directory listings, it's like I have to go through the alphabet twice.
    And I would be really upset if Apple changes the command key, I like it where it is, anyone that can't easily switch between Windows and OS X has some type of personal problem. I use VNC all day and have no trouble at all copying and pasting between my Mac and Windows boxes.
    I suppose that the option to only display relevant files types would be nice, but
  • by azav (469988) on Wednesday July 20, 2005 @05:41PM (#13117561) Homepage Journal
    1. There are tools to remap keys. I'm sure the command and control keys can be switched as well. Yes, you do need to look for the tool or option.

    2. Idiotic. Command S is not easy enough? Tool bars are generally evidence of poor design. You memorize the shortcut keys for your frequent options. Yes, there can be designs where there are too many keys to remember but SAVE? Oh command S people.

    3. control click anyone? why a multi button mouse when control click works just as well and doesn't confuse new users?

    4. Interesting, I'll agree.

    5. This is horrible. Totally completely stupid and horrible. You sort by name and just TYPE the name of your folder and then press command down arrow to open it. Why in hell do people want an alphabetical sort to separate any files from folders? How do you know when the folders stop and the files start? What if you have more than one screen of folders? Folders at the top is something I really really think is pretty damn stupid as it breaks the metaphor of alphabetical sorting. Oh, if you want it, PathFinder, a finder replacement, has it

    6. Um, ok. Software authors heed to increase their budget to have a copywriter write the context sensetive help.

    And on : - Existing files selectable in Save dialog
    This sucks. I want to click in the file list to set my focus there so i can command up or command down arrow into and out of folders. But now, when I click to set focus, if I hit a file name, I mistakenly replace my current file's filename with that of another file and if I press save, I run the risk of overwriting it and deleting that other file. Super lame.

  • Finder needs an equivalent to View, List in Windows Explorer. I don't want the full detailed listing, nor the big icons, nor the NeXT-like view. Just a nicely sorted list of filenames with a small icon next to them. While we're at it, View, Thumbnails would be pretty handy too.

    Also QuickTime should seriously stop regarding full-screen playback as a "Pro" feature to charge extra for. Windows Media Player may be evil, but at least it can play a full-screen AVI file.

    • You mean Icon size 16x16, Label position Right?

      It's in there.

      I thought QT pro was a stupid idea when they did it the first time, and I gave one of the QT developers no end of shit about it.

      I still think it's a stupid idea.
    • Re:My nominations (Score:2, Informative)

      by admactanium (670209)

      Finder needs an equivalent to View, List in Windows Explorer. I don't want the full detailed listing, nor the big icons, nor the NeXT-like view. Just a nicely sorted list of filenames with a small icon next to them. While we're at it, View, Thumbnails would be pretty handy too.

      you mean like list view? this has been a part of mac os since, well..., since mac os has existed. it's cmd-2 in the finder to change a window to list mode. unless i'm confuses as to what you're requesting.

  • 1) Compatible control keys. Switching between Mac and Windows this drives me nuts. I have to consciously think "command-C or control-C?" It shouldn't have to be that way. And if you're running RDC or VPC and copying and pasting between OS X and Windows!! Sheesh!

    The problem isn't the labeling, it's the location of the keys used. I had to use a Windows PC today and I kept pressing Alt-C to copy. This is why it's a problem. If it was simply a matter of labeling, no worries, mate. Apple - and the zealotry -

    1. Compatible control keys.

      The problem isn't the labeling, it's the location of the keys used. I had to use a Windows PC today and I kept pressing Alt-C to copy.


      There have been third-party tools to remap keyboards for a long time. I'm sure there are a few for Mac OS X as well. You shouldn't have to make all Mac-only users switch just to appease the Windows-switchers and dual-platform users.
    2. Save button on toolbars.

      So what should it look like, hmm? Surely not the anachronistic 3.5" disk long banish
  • Make Macs look more like Windows, and I'll never upgrade again. I don't like how Windows works, regardless of all the security issues (both design and bug). Windows could be 100% flawless and I still won't like it, or anything else that works the same way.

    Or, perhaps, someone can tell me how to get XP SP 2 to do any of the following:

    • Sort directories with all other file types
    • Show all files in a directory, rather than just the ones that match some magic pattern
    • Separate file name from file type
    • Use an
    • # Show all files in a directory, rather than just the ones that match some magic pattern

      Changed the filter in the open dialog to all files...

      # Separate file name from file type

      I don't understand this one. You can sort by either and hide the type/extension if you want.

      # Use an menu accelerator key that's close to the space bar, rather than near the edge of the keyboard

      They work in the same way - you press two keys...
      OK seriously I don't have a problem here but I am training myself to use two h

  • Recursive news (Score:3, Informative)

    by guet (525509) on Wednesday July 20, 2005 @05:49PM (#13117663)
    1) Compatible control keys. Switching between Mac and Windows this drives me nuts. I have to consciously think

    OS X is not Windows, strangely enough, some people even choose it above Windows because it is different.

    2) Save button on toolbars. I don't think any of the Apple software ever gives you the option to include a Save button.

    Learn to use Cmd-S, buttons for every command is a Windows thing, though it has crept in in some programs like MS Word.

    3) A multi button mouse. And you thought I'd say two.

    Plug in your PC mouse.

    Only show relevant file types in open and save dialogs. For those who like seeing every file that's every existed in their Documents folder, give them a checkbox to show all files.

    This is debatable, but the only one of his points which might have some foundation - it would be handy to be able to winnow files in the open dialog. Presumably the justification is that files should always be visible, even if they're not directly available in a certain program.

    In fact in Tiger you can do this in a neat way with Smart Folders (create one for only word documents, one for images etc, then put them in your sidebar or someplace easy to find from the open dialog).

    Sort folders to top of directory listings I know that we don't go folder mining as much since we got Spotlight, so I won't labor on about this one.

    Click the 'Kind' column in column view, or smart folders again.

    More context sensitive help. I notice since I first raised this two years ago, more of it has crept into OS X. So I guess at least I can't be flamed for this one!

    I assume this means tooltips. Don't like them myself, as I feel they encourage GUI designers to litter the screen with cryptic buttons with the excuse that users can use tool-tips to decode them.

    Now why is it that I can list all the features I want Leopard to have and as long as none of them are from Windows, its cool?
    But dare suggest OS X needs a feature already in Windows and the world comes down on you.


    Additional features are not always welcome, efficient or even necessary.

    What's far more important than an extensive feature list is that features are well integrated, consistent and well thought out - throughout an operating system and the applications. If I have one major criticism of Apple recently it's that they have forgotten to keep things simple and consistent in their myriad home-grown apps.

    And if you can take the heat, what would you like to see Apple borrow from Windows?

    There are undoubtedly a few ideas in Windows (which haven't already been borrowed already : ) which would be great on OS X. Some parts of the Finder could do with help for a start (Network, thumbnail browsing etc). Any long time Windows users like to suggest some? (No, things which are just different don't count, there has to some things which work better).

    Sometimes I think Slashdot articles would be more thoughtful and insightful if the editors just linked to comments from previous stories rather than uninformed nonsense like this.
  • How about focus follows mouse?

    And how about a decent package manager? Yesterday I saw an attempted installation of iWork on a friend's machine, and it kept telling him that it was already installed and refused to install one off the CD. He was certain that it was not installed.

  • I switched from gentoo to OSX, and I'm liking most of apple's changes, like dock instead of multidesktop (it works better, even if it isn't as cool), etc etc, but the one button mouse is a pain. I hate having to ctrl+click everything. Alas, I must use Apple's wireless mouse, because it's beautiful. Third party ones don't compare. If Apple can design a mouse as cool as the one button mouse, then I will buy it in a heartbeat (If you know how the one button mouse works, you know what I mean, its neato)
  • The one thing I prefer in Windows to OS X is dragging out of a visible window and dropping on to a currently hidden window.

    On Windows: drag icon to the taskbar's tab for the target process, wait for the list of open windows to appear, drag to the relevant entry and that window will pop to the front. Nice - notice you're still just using the mouse.

    On OS X: start to drag the icon, then hit F9 with your other hand to invoke Expose, choose the relevant window, wait for the window to come to the front and t

    • Bind your expose to you your window corners. Drag the offending file to the corner which invokes expose, drag it back to your target window and release.

      With decent mouse acceleration this is fast with a very small amount of movement, just a quick flick of the wrist to an infinite corner and Bob's your uncle.
    • -1 Uninformed? You're right, by default, it works like that.

      Ever heard of spring loaded folders? You drag a file over a folder, hold for a pre-determined time, et voila.. the folders open. You can navigate through several nested folders this way. This was even available in OS9!

      I would definitely like to see Apple incorporate the Windows-like mouse-only behaviour though.. DOH! OS X's drag and drop is superior IMHO. Try dragging a file onto an app in XP to open in... eh sorry, no go.
      I do this in OSX al

    • Not that is dimishes your complaint, but my solution is to set Expose to trigger using a screen corner instead of a function key... if you do that, you can easily drag an item to an arbitrary window without using the keyboard.
  • Who wants /Applications, /System, /Users etc. CAPS!!! yes CAPS!!! in a UNIX OS! Evil. Not to mention some dirs have spaces *gasp* very annoying at the command line.

    Also, of course, Finder. What the fuck is up with the Finder? It's like they're obeying some law, OSX can be only so good, so lets cripple the FileManager. Honestly, wtf? A button to switch between metal/non-metal look? What genius thought that up? Normally Apple is so good with GUI stuff. Open/Save dialogs are a part of Finder, and they suck to
  • I've been using the Mac full time for a month now. There are two things missing from Windows that drive me absolutely battyboth tied to the lack of automated window arrangement. "Tile vertically" is all I ask. 90% of the time, I'm using 2 apps side by side, and I hate constantly juggling windows.

    The second thing is the lack of a maximize button. Zoom doesn't cut it. I want to make one window full-screen with a click. A few programs like Mail.App let you command-zoom to maximize. But most just maximize vert

    • by Otter (3800) on Wednesday July 20, 2005 @07:16PM (#13118725) Journal
      There are two things missing from Windows that drive me absolutely battyboth tied to the lack of automated window arrangement.

      The two UIs are designed to be used differently. The Mac interface is designed to have a lot of windows visible at the same time. Windows is designed to have one fullscreen window (or two tiled windows)visible at a time. A sibling comment says it perfectly: "Though at least windoes makes it easier to use one window per screen."

      I understand your frustration -- I'm accustomed to the Mac method and I find Windows (especially the giant opaque super-windows in Windows Office) infuriating.

  • It really does. It just never act like I expect in many ways. I just want a "right click" open folder in new window.

    Either it always opens in a new window or never does.
  • How about:
    - the ability to give my windows, background etc. all the possible colors instead of having to choose between a few
    - a utility with which you can choose the standard application for certain file types/processes
    - a decent clock that gives you the date when you hover your mouse cursor over it

    Yes, they are small things, but small things are often the ones that annoy us the most, because you keep seeing them.
  • Sort folders to top of directory listings. I hate this about Windows. Does anyone know how to disable this under Windows XP/2003? When I sort by name, I want to sort by name, not folders first and then name. Duh.
  • Clearly many people commenting on this are either not reading the article, or are not comprehending it.

    The macintosh has support for the second mouse button. HE DOES NOT DENY THIS. However, Apple's own apps and the finder have middling to piss-poor support for the second mouse button.

    Why can't I sort a folder from a context menu? Irritating as hell. Quicktime, both buttons do the same thing, indicating the designer didn't know or care about usability (quicktime's not exactly a marvel in any usability aspe
  • Please, no! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by SJS (1851) on Wednesday July 20, 2005 @08:06PM (#13119161) Homepage Journal
    Although it is amusing that someone would want Apple to borrow features from Microsoft instead of the (usual) other way 'round, I really would not most of the features suggested in the article. Please, no, the only thing worse than change for the sake of change is change to conform with a really bad standard.

    Like everyone else, I'm going to look at the suggestions:

    1) Compatible control keys.

    Oh, please, no.

    If it matters, then there should be an argument about which way is better, other than "more people are used to the Microsoft way". And if it doesn't matter, then it shouldn't be a big deal.

    It isn't the labelling, but the position? Let's not muck around too much with the position, eh? It was an unmitigated disaster when some bozo decided that the control key ought to be on the same row as the space instead of to the left of the "A" key; let's not continue the trend of rendering the standard keyboard unusable.

    If you want a different layout, remap the keys yourself, or buy a different keyboard. Line up to buy one of the Optimus keyboards if they come out next year, and map all of the keys to exactly where you want them.

    If I were paranoid, I'd say that this suggestion was designed to drive the sorts of people who haven't been appropriately indoctrinated into the Microsoft Windows Way[tm] away from computers entirely. If I had to use the Dell keyboard that came with the machine at work, I'd probably be contemplating a job that didn't involve computers, and wouldn't for the foreseeable future.

    2) Save button on toolbars.

    As has been pointed out, this is an application thing, not an OS thing.

    Personally, I'm not a big fan of toolbars. Trying to puzzle out the little icons isn't a profitable use of my time (and! yet! here! I! am! on! slashdot! yeah, yeah, I get the irony.), so I'd just as soon have the option to get rid of the toolbars and reclaim that screen real-estate for getting actual work done.

    Finally, the appropriate solution would be to give the user the choice of setting up the toolbar (like Mail.app) with every possible leaf in the menu-tree. Why bicker about "save", when all the leaves in the menu should be allowable targets for the user to put into the toolbar?

    3) A multi button mouse

    Hardware request. Bogus objection.

    What I want is a freaking three-button mouse with a scroll-wheel, where the scroll-wheel isn't trying to double-up as the third button. Yes, I know, I can "just click on the scroll-wheel", but I don't want to. I also don't want tiny little buttons that I can use with my thumb or pinky or whatever. I'm not looking for a funky keyboard on my mouse, after all (which is where this eternally-growing-button-list trend goes).

    But if the OS works with a single-button mouse, fine. Why should that be a problem? You want people who do best with a single-button mouse to have a terrible time with their computer? Such sadism makes for a very poor UI, and is no doubt part of the reason I bailed out of the Microsoft-centric world-view many years ago.

    4) Only show relevant file types in open and save dialogs.

    Many applications ghost out "inappropriate" files already. But making the actual hiding of information a system default is just bad form -- I get extremely annoyed when my computer hides information from me.

    Which leads into this nonsense of "hiding file extensions". THEY ARE NOT FREAKING EXTENSIONS: THE ARE SUFFIXES!

    Yes, boys and girls, it's the height of idiocy to look at the NAME of a file to determine how to handle it when you can look in a file to see what sort of thing it actually is. One of the stupidest "features" of Microsoft Windows is it's inability to understand that a JPEG file is actually a JPEG file even thought it's named "Foo", or, gosh darn it, even maliciously renamed to "Foo.GIF".

    5) Sort folders to top of directory listings

    Th

  • by Midnight Thunder (17205) * on Wednesday July 20, 2005 @10:40PM (#13120316) Homepage Journal
    Every time I hear about articles like this, even if they have some sort of merit, I feel that the author missed something:

    If I travel to another country, people there have their way of doing things. They have their own culture. Sure things may seem difficult to the foreigner, but to the people living there everything makes sense and for them it is obvious. The only way to deal with it is to learn about that culture and accept things for what they are. Of course that doesn't mean that they are immune to learning different ways of doing things.

    Switching to a different OS is much the same thing. Not everything is going to make sense, but some things might. Over time you learn the way things work there and accept things for what they are, better or worse.
  • by torpor (458) <jayv&synth,net> on Thursday July 21, 2005 @06:16AM (#13122455) Homepage Journal
    What i hate about the Finder is when you open a view of a Folder using "View As List", and then have to manually tweak the window size in order to fit the list details in that view.

    With Windows Explorer, you can hit Control-Numpad+ and it will automatically do a little jig for you to get all the content revealed in your window .. and it will resize the list view columns as well, so that the data just fits nicely.

    I desperately need this feature in Finder .. why isn't Finder smart enough to adjust the Detail columns according to the metrics of the data being displayed? Seems to me I could fix it with Applescript, but damn .. I wish Finder just moved itself around to conform to your window setting..
  • Rebuttal (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Nexum (516661) on Thursday July 21, 2005 @11:42AM (#13124794)
    1. Compatible control keys

    The gist of this writer's complaint is squarely focussed on the positioning of the 'Command' key (some call it the 'Apple' key) on the Mac keyboard. He goes as far as to say that 'Apple - and the zealotry - need to concede that this battle is lost..

    I am both a Windows and OS X user (Windows mainly for games) and I can attest that the Mac keyboard command key layout is vastly superior to that of a standard PC keyboard because of the position that you must contort your hand into in order to use the latter.

    For many PC users it is a case of simply not having experienced any better, so it's difficult to convince them to change their ways, but take an objective view of using both layouts with just one hand, and it's incredibly difficult to argue that the PC way is less strenuous. Perhaps this is responsible for much greater adoption of keyboard shortcuts among casual users on the Mac platform.

    2. Save button on toolbars

    Saving actively modifies a file on disk, perhaps overwriting or saving a 'bad' copy over what was originally a preferred version by accident. I am content not to have my toolbar filled with such items. However, this suggestion is not entirely devoid of merit (unlike the others, as we'll see).

    3. A multi-button mouse

    I don't understand why we still have this issue. You can plug practically any mouse into OS X, with any obscene number of buttons you desire and it will work. The writer continues: 'Why stop at two? Especially with things like Exposé, Dashboard and Spotlight.'. It would, frankly, be a nightmare for anyone but a poweruser to use. My mother does just fine with a one button mouse, she has enough trouble remembering what needs to be single clicked and what needs to be double clicked in the interface. This is truely a ridiculous idea. The preliferation of dozens of buttons of mice is a typical Windows thing - just look at how the Start menu itself has also grown from a simple and fairly useful applications menu (Win 95) to the default monstrosity of usability that it is today (Win XP).

    It's also worth mentioning that the usability of software on the Mac platform benefits hugely by forcing developers to come up with more elegant ways with which to allow control of the app - rather than (as is all too often the case in Windows) relying on the context menu to shuffle all the little commands into.

    4) Only show relevant file types in open and save dialogs.

    This has the effect of confusing users by making it look as though some of their stuff may be missing. It also does not allow for the identification of a folder via its contents (looking for a folder: "It's the folder with the Picture of Mom in it" for example). The OS X way gives you the best of both worlds. If anything, it should be Windows changing to the OS X way here for these important usability reasons.

    5) Sort folders to top of directory listings

    Not without merit.

    6) More context sensitive help.

    God... please no. Tooltips should, in the perfect interface NEVER be necessary. They are analogous to sticky tape holding together the interface... 'what's that? I've designed a crap interface and no-one can tell what this button is supposed to do from it's placement and icon? Well I could go and redesign the interface, or I could 'fix' it by adding a tooltip, and leaving it up to the user to figure it all out."
    • Re:Rebuttal (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Theaetetus (590071)
      5) Sort folders to top of directory listings

      Not without merit.

      Nah, most annoying thing about Windows. I've got a folder with many sub-folders in it, and also many documents/program files/etc. (default tree that this particular program installs, and can't be changed). When I go in to the folder (usually looking for a particular document starting with "a"), even though it's in alphabetical order I have to scroll through several dozen folders just to get to what should be the first or second entry in t

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