Monday, December 13, 2004

Virtual Desktops for Mac OS X

The Apple Blog has a review of the different Virtual Desktop applications that are available for Mac OS X. At different times I have tried these Virtual Desktop applications, and wasn't impressed. I think that I expected an experience similar to that in KDE on linux. I am trying again with Desktop Manager, and I will give it a chance.

Desktop Manager has one of the features that I want in a Virtual Desktop; The ability to mark windows to appear on all desktops. Now I can keep the windows with my server output on the background of all of my desktops

There are a bunch of features that I haven't seen in any of these Virtual Desktops, and I would love to see.

  1. When I bring an application to the front on one desktop, I don't want it brought to the front on all of the other desktops. Maybe this could be solved by having the Virtual Desktop application retain the state of the windows, so when entering a desktop, it will be restored. (Feature request)

  2. Clicking on a url opens it in the web browser window that last had activity, not the one on the current desktop. Maybe this is something that the Web applications could fix. I would hope that all of these Virtual Desktop tools support an api that allows applications to ask whether a window is on the current desktop. (Feature request)

  3. Change the dock depending on what desktop I am on. If I don't have Firefox launched on the current desktop, I would love to have the dock not show that icon at all (Feature request)

Update: I have actually stopped using Desktop Manager. Without those features, it is hard for me to get used using these Virtual Desktops. Now I am just minimizing the windows that I am not using, and using Exposé to help me manage my windows.

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