Archive for the ‘Spaces’ Category

Disable Space switching on Command-Tab

There is a great hint at Mac OS X Hints:

The 10.5.2 version of the Dock has a new hidden preferences flag for Spaces. You can now set OSX to not automatically switch between spaces when you press Command-Tab.

This makes Spaces a little less frustrating to use.

I haven’t used Spaces a lot since the 10.5.2 release, but it *looks* like the ‘Spaces Randomizes the Window Order’ bug is also gone.

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Another Spaces Annoyance Update

Whoa! I just tabbed back to Terminal.app and I switched back to the right window in the right space!

But then I tab-switched back and forth a couple of times and noticed that it worked like 1 our of 10 tries. I understand what happened: this is simply a clusterfrag of the already known ‘Spaces randomized the Application window order’ bug that I described in a previous post.

Still Lame.

Another Spaces Annoyance

I thought I would give Spaces another try but I found another annoyance on top of the already extremely annoying bugs and behaviour of Spaces.

So here is the fourth one ..

I have some spaces with a bunch of Terminal.app windows. I’m working in Space #2 and I tab-switch to Safari in Space #3 to lookup some stuff. I then tab-switch back to Terminal.app but I end up on Space #1 and not #2 where I came from. Sure, it also contains a Terminal.app window, so technically I’m back where I started. But really, OS X is all about usability right? So why this retarded behaviour instead of just going back to the place were you were doing work? Who makes up this stuff?

This is a complete productivity killer and shows a serious lack of integration between software components (App Switcher vs Spaces) which is probably reflected by disconnected development teams inside Apple.

Lame and I’ll repeat this from the previous Spaces posting …

Note to shareware developers: If you thought your virtual screen software was rendered obsolete by Spaces, think again. Apple is incapable of releasing even the most basic version bug free. Please give us the next version of Virtue Desktops, VirtualDesktop Pro or Desktop Manager. Without the same mistakes that Apple made but with more Pro features please.

First Leopard Update Arrived – But it does not fix the most annoying bugs

So Apple released the first update to 10.5. Great. Except that it does not fix the following issues:

  • NONE of the Spaces issues are fixedAs outlined in my previous posting. Spaces still does not work with Java applications. It still has problems with modal dialogs. And it still RANDOMIZES the window order when you switch back and forth between spaces .. a complete productivity killer.
  • Back to my Mac is still BROKEN – I still have the same situation: iMac on a public IP address and a MacBook behind a compatible Access Point. It’s still not working though.

This update is extremely disappointing. Lame.

One last Spaces vs iTunes rant

I’m ripping CDs. I have a whole pile on my desk right now and I’m feeding them to iTunes one by one. I have iTunes configured to rip CDs that are inserted, then eject them. So while I am working on some other stuff in another application and space I can just work through the pile.

Not exactly.

Spaces is broken in one more interesting way. This is what happens. I’m working in a Terminal window in a different space. When iTunes is done ripping one CD and I insert another one, while still being on my Terminal Space, it AUTOMATICALLY switches back to the iTunes Space!

How on earth can they decide that applications can mess with the Spaces system. If an application needs attention then it can bounce it’s dock icon. But changing spaces .. that completely frags up the user experience.

Maybe this is more an iTunes rant actually. I just disabled spaces and guess what .. iTunes makes itself the frontmost application when you insert a new CD. So much for a nice ‘rip 150 CDs in the background while working on other stuff’ workflow.

All my Spaces issues solved!

I’ve resolved all my issues with Spaces. No more frustration about the following things:

  • Spaces does not work with Java applications – When you run something like JConsole (from the command line) or double click IntelliJ IDEA.app then there is no way to comand-tab to these applications from a different space. All you get is the application’s menu bar but none of it’s windows. This kind of ruins a workflow where you for example type code (IDEA!) in one space and look up documentation with Safari in another.
  • Spaces randomizes the window order – When you switch back and forth between applications that have multiple windows open on one space, the window order is randomized when you enter the space. Not always but frequent enough to make it extremely frustrating.
  • Spaces does not deal well with modal dialogs – When you are looking at a modal dialog of a specific application and you switch away from the space where that app was on then it is impossible to command-tab back to the application. Just like with Java apps you end up wth just the application’s menu bar.

Getting rid of these annoying bugs in this piece of untested foobar is easy. Just stop using Spaces! You wil feel instant relief and less pain in your fingers.

Note to shareware developers: If you thought your virtual screen software was rendered obsolete by Spaces, think again. Apple is incapable of releasing even the most basic version bug free. Please give us the next version of Virtue Desktops, VirtualDesktop Pro or Desktop Manager. Without the same mistakes that Apple made but with more Pro features please.

More Spaces Problems

I tried to import a certificate in the Keychain and it popped up a modal dialog. I did not know what to do so I alt-tabbed to iChat to ask someone. Then I alt-tabbed back to keychain. Result: an empty screen. It just showed the KeyChain menu bar but not any windows. I had to show all spaces and select a KeyChain window to go there.

It seems that this happens when the application you alt-tab to is on a different space and has a modal dialog open.

Apple, bugs like this are so incredibly embarrassing. Are we, the first Leopard buyers, doing your Q&A ???

Lame

Lame Spaces Application Switching

Spaces is one of the best new features of Leopard. Unfortunately it is full of bugs. The latest that I found is extremely annoying. I have one space that only contains iChat. It has two windows: The ‘AIM Buddy List’ window and  a chat window Something strange happens when command-tab switching back and forth between Safari, which is on another space, and this iChat space: the order of the iChat windows changes. Sometimes the chat window is behind the Buddy List window and sometimes the chat window is above the the Buddy List window. Again this smells like bad Q&A. Lame. Update: This seems to happen to any application. Not just iChat. Command-Tab switching between for example Terminal.app and Safari, both on seperate spaces, randomizes the window order every time. Lame. Lame. 

Java Applications and Spaces don’t work well together

Spaces is great. Except that it does not work with Java applications. Try to start IDEA or JConsole and you will notice that command-tabbing to that application will not active the space that it is on. It is also not possible to give Java applications a fixed spaces: you can select for example IDEA.app or NetBeans.app in the Spaces Preferences but it will not be added to the ‘Application Assignments’ list. Lame.