The planets are in alignment today and all managers are either on vacation or otherwise busy. My calendar is blissfully devoid of meetings and I’ve moved from my HIGH PRIORITY to do list onto my MEDIUM PRIORITY list which gets touched, maybe, once or twice a month.
So far today, I’ve…
- Tinkered with Python
- Installed the latest version of VIM (finally)
- Combed through various lists of “cool Mac OS X applications” to see if there is anything worth paying attention (see below: LITESWITCH)
- Investigated various TCP flow monitoring tools
- Hacked on my .tcshrc script
Other than having the peace of mind that my login shell is nice and clean, the only other significant discovery was the LiteSwitch applications which I found courtesy of Mark Liyanage.
The authors of this utility really “got it” how such an application-switching program has to look and feel on Mac OS X, it seems like it came straight from Apple.
Ironically, what the designers of this fine application “got” was that copying the Windows task switching metaphor was a good idea. While LiteSwitch has plenty of very useful additions, it is a direct copy of Windows task switching model where a window appears in the middle of the active screen when CMD-TAB is selected. Further TABs iterate through open applications making task switching a breeze for we keyboard enthusiasts.
What LiteSwitch allows me to do is hide the dock for more screen real estate which, based off two hours of usage, I’m not convinced is worth it. The primary issue being that window management (ie: activating/minimizing windows) in Mac OS X varies dependent on application. This means that while it’s easy for me to switch to a different application via the keyboard, there is no guarantee a window will be present and, if there’s not, I’ve got remember a different keystroke for each application in order to maximize it.
[3/15/03 Update]: First, readers who are not as lazy as I do a good job of explaining the differences between Mac and Windows task switching.
Second, I’ve got one machine with NEW task switching and MINIMIZED Dock and another with OLD task switching and VISIBLE Dock to try to compare and contrast.
- The Mac OS X desktop looks pretty bare without the Dock… it really is part of the look and feel of the desktop.
- There is no equivalent of the application which is th Dock in standard Windows. It’s not just active applications, it’s “short cuts to things I launch often”. Rightly so, LiteSwitch just displays active application which means I still need to use my mouse to fire up an application… so far.
- LightSwitch has an option to “send an open event” when an application is selected… this effectively gives me what I want in terms of application activation as long as there is an open window for that app. As is noted in the comments, Mac OS X is fine with having an application open without any windows… really no way around that.
- Long and short of it is, I think I’ll be buying LightSwitch. It gets me off of the mouse and onto the keyboard and that means I can get around my desktop faster.