Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Why Apple Spaces Is Broken

Henry Story (via John Gruber):

So there is no way to switch reliably between applications open in one virtual desktop space, and so there really is no way to separate your different work related tasks currently. The way it is set up you need to have all your browsers in the same space, all your shells in the same space, etc… etc… So really these Spaces™ are not designed around a person’s work habits, but around software components.

Dave Dribin:

I believe a major part of them problem is that Apple tried to make virtual desktops accessible to the average user. However, I think no matter how much spit, polish, and animation Apple puts on Spaces, virtual desktops is a power user feature. Spaces is broken because it is designed for the wrong user.

I’ll reserve judgement until I start using Leopard full-time, but my first reaction (having used various X11 virtual desktops since the mid-90s) is that I like grouping by tasks, and I also like Spaces. Perhaps that’s because I rarely use Command-Tab.

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"Perhaps that’s because I rarely use Command-Tab."

Out of curiosity, how do you switch between apps?

Usually I use mouse (sometimes via Exposé). Sometimes I use LaunchBar (to switch to a particular document/window) or the Dock. The applications that I click on in the Dock tend to be the ones that don’t span tasks.

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