19 Comments

Summary:

If any of you have been paying attention to the Linux crowd lately, you may have noticed a couple of arcane sounding terms like XGL and compiz being passed around frequently. XGL+Compiz is the newest form of eyecandy available for the Linux desktop, and its quite […]

If any of you have been paying attention to the Linux crowd lately, you may have noticed a couple of arcane sounding terms like XGL and compiz being passed around frequently. XGL+Compiz is the newest form of eyecandy available for the Linux desktop, and its quite impressive.

OS X has included most of the features Linux is now making available for years. But there are a couple of features making the rounds that I would love to see on my Mac.

The biggest feature I’d like to see is the ability to make any open item on the desktop transparent by pressing <alt> and using the mouse scroll wheel. Admittedly, we’ve got exposé, but how many times have you needed to type something while looking at a different window? Usually the window directly below the one you are using. If you’ve got a 13 inch MacBook screen like me this need for optimized screen real estate becomes even more apparent.

The other feature involves multiple desktops. I use VirtueDesktops to overcome this on OSX, but another cool feature of XGL is the ability to grab any window an pull it to another desktop with the keyboard. Am I the only one who would love to see a slick Apple spin on this idea?

We can only speculate (until the WWDC that is) about the features that will come in 10.5, but these two have just made my wish list.

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  1. Mmmmmm, XGL is so sexy… Yet so unnecessary… :)

    I’d like to see some fancy ui OPTIONS in 10.5 for sure though, and I love your idea of being able to move windows between desktops via a drag-and-drop-ish interface.

    The transparency thing I could do without since I have a cinema display but I can see how it would come in handy on a macbook.

    Can’t wait until wwdc!

    My wishlist is basically this “anything! give me whatever you want and I will worship you!!!” :p

  2. cavemonkey50 Sunday, July 23, 2006

    The transparency idea is brilliant! There are tons of times where something like that would come into use.

  3. actually, i am a linux user… but soon, my macbook will arrive ;)

    xgl is a very nice and impressive thing. but virtual deskops are standard for a long time, and they are very useful. on mac osx there are several tools to get more desktops, so this is not a problem…

    but hey, on a mac you got frontrow, this is pretty cool, too ;)

    or have a look at ilife… linux needs such type of apps, which are easy to handle…

    itunes – banshee
    imovie – hmm cinelerra?! never got it working :(
    idvd – ?
    iphoto – gqview and f-spot, but nothing “allinone”
    iweb – maybe nvu, but this is not as easy as iweb (ok, i don’t need it, got eclipse and gvim, but there are a lot of users who’d like to have such an app)

    so… the only really equivalent for me is banshee music player (or gmusicbrowser, too) but all in all, on a mac you can work faster without using $ man [app]
    ;)

  4. Hmmm, an extra bullet point on my to-do list for Afloat! :)

  5. WindowShade X has an option to make windows transparent.

  6. sparrowlegs Monday, July 24, 2006

    After making the switch from Linux to OS X, the features I miss the most are the ones that allow the user to easily resize and move windows without having to click on a specific area of a window.

    In Linux, you can move a window by pressing Alt left_mouse_button anywhere in a window and then drag it around. Similarly, you can press Alt right_mouse_button to resize windows.

    I think Geekbind (http://sourceforge.net/projects/geekbind) adds this behavior to OS X, but the project appears to be dead.

  7. The biggest Linux feature missing on Mac is good package management.

    DarwinPorts and Fink still have a lot of problems and limitations. I think the open source community in the Linux world is far more active about doing things like maintaining package management repositories.

    If we had a good package management system on the Mac, it would make software more accessible to non-techie users. Instead of having to visit websites to hunt down software, the user could just view software items available in the package management GUI, and click checkboxes for the items they want installed. Similarly, the package management would handle updates as well.

  8. You Control Desktops allows you to drag one window to another. Another competing product ‘CodeTek VirtualDesktop Pro’ does this also. I prefer to use VirtueDesktops though.

  9. Ryan wrote, “Mmmmmm, XGL is so sexy… Yet so unnecessary…”

    Then you don’t get it, probably for the same reasons that some people never got it when the GUI was first invented.

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