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Understand the ‘Dock’ day?

July 18, 2007

How about ‘let’s make the dock behave how we want’ day? I’ve just read this article and they seem to have missed that point that ‘Dock’ behaviour has changed between Panther and Tiger. While I agree with most of what it says, there’s a need to ‘Think different’.

An icon is not a static image, it can be dynamic. It was in Panther but slightly different in Tiger. IconiCal is only a partial solution, but yes it must start the application and quit it to keep the icon updated. Like wise the Photoshop icon will show a mini progress bar when opening an image, but again the application is dictating the behavior of the icon. Some icons should be updated dynamically, some don’t need to be. There is already parts of the Apple UI that update in real time inside the finder and have done for a s long as I have used a Mac. The clock.

The Dock needs an update, it’s functionality is limited, but it’s a closed system. Applications can only tell the Dock what to do. However, there are parts of the OS that launch and activate themselves without user intervention. Software Update will launch and keep it’s self updated with no intervention once it’s set up for instance.

So how about a Dock that updates dynamically? Widgets run separately from the Finder and do update dynamically, yet they run in a sand box ‘outside’ the Finder. Given that I have never found a Widget that has any use to me and I have no wish to leave the Finder to use something I can accomplish in either software or a browser, why not wrap the functionality together?

Like I say, the Dock needs an update and it has (kind of) recently received one. Apple are better than this. Don’t make it ugly, make it work.

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