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QotD: Dock

Question: Do you hate the Dock?

My Answer: I wouldn't normally ask this question, as I kinda figured most people didn't mind the dock, but John says many dislike it:

Many long-time Mac users consider the Dock to be the single worst interface change from the old Mac OS to Mac OS X. I’ve never felt the outright hatred toward the Dock that some do, but it is a confounding little bugger.

I like the dock. I like my dock. It's great. It's much better than anything we had in Mac OS 9.

You are encouraged to answer the Question of the Day for yourself in the comments or on your blog.

13 Responses to "QotD: Dock"

  1. I like the dock. I keep my pinned up on right, just like in the NeXT dock.

    Good apps get to stay in the dock. Less that useful apps are placed elsewhere.

    Top Five Dock items (after Finder):

    5: BBedit (What else is there?)

    4: NoteTaker: (I keep my life in Notetaker)

    3: PulpFiction (A newcomer! I'm getting into RSS only now)

    2: Camino (It's the bomb diggity browser)

    and the winner is...

    1: Mail (I write alot of e-mails)

  2. I switched from Windows to Mac after the launch of OS X. The dock was great for me then, as it was a pretty good analog of the Windows toolbar I had been used to.

    I still like the Dock, but with LaunchBar and now Quicksilver, and Panther's command-tab and Exposé, I rarely use the Dock except as a visual check of what's running.

  3. I switched to OS X six months ago and didn't much like the Dock. Now I'm in the same same boat as Mike. I use Quicksilver for all application launching and only use the Dock for a list of running programs and for the notifications on things like PulpFiction and Adium.

  4. For what it's worth, I said "many", not "most". I'd guess that *most* Mac users either like or don't mind the Dock at all. But there are still *many* Mac users who really hate it. Many football fans root for the Steelers, but most don't.

  5. The dock is great up to a point. It works for most people, but once you try a better method (eg. LaunchBar) you discover how inconvenient the Dock really was. It's a great idea, but I found it took too long to access my stuff. LaunchBar (some people prefer QuickSilver, I can't get into QuickSilver) is an awesome application.

  6. I too use LaunchBar, and almost always have. The dock is still great for dock menus, notifications (badges), and minimizing windows and other documents. Also for drag and drop targets.

  7. I came to OS X from many other OS's. Solaris, Windows, OS/2, Mac OS 9, Linux. The Doc reminds me of what it evolved from, the NeXTStep Dock, which I used as part of WindowsMaker/GNUStep on Linux. I like it when it's pinned to the upper right side of the screen (which mine is) Not so much on the bottom of the screen. I don't use it for much beyond starting my most used apps. I'm more of a UNIX person so I'm keyboard oriented. If I need to start an app that I'm not using all the time it's, Apple-Tab to Finder and Apple-Shift-A to applications and I start typing the name of the app then Apple-O. It works faster for me than crowding the Dock, or using something like Fruit Menu.

  8. I like the Dock. It's not perfect, but it works for me. Then again, I don't use a lot of applications .. generally just Terminal, Mail, and Safari for work, and iChat and iTunes (and Safari again) for non-work stuff. 🙂

    Plus Address Book and iCal are often sitting there in the background, along with Activity monitor. As for stuff which isn't normally running but happens to be in my Dock, that would be TextEdit, System Preferences, and Xcode.

    The documents side of my dock just has the applications folder, some of its subfolders for quick access, and the trash.

    when I want something not in my dock I typically command-tab to the finder and hit command-shift-g and type the path to the folder, or (more often) I tab over to Terminal and run "open /path/to/file" or "open -a applicationname"

  9. I love the dock. It's very intuitive and very customizable. I don't take enough advantage of its customizability yet, but the default setup works great.

  10. The current incarnation of the dock works well for me although I have to admit that John's criticism is absolutely correct. People like John Gruber and ArsTechnica's John Siracusa should be must-read authors for every developer at Apple because they are fantastic at looking at all those tiny details. Most people I know (including myself) are not capable of such an in-depth analysis. During the past year, I cannot remember having read a single piece by John where I would disagree with him - I just don't see such things on my own.

    I guess he should be working at Apple - that would be even better than reading him, I guess...

  11. I love the dock...the only thing that really gets me down is that there is no support for two monitors. I have a powerbook and a 21in CRT and the distance between the my powerbooks LCD and the dock on my CRT is way to far for easy access. please apple, allow dual "mirrored" docks on two monitors.

  12. The doc is cool. I mean, it's not the end-all-be-all of user interfaces, but it beats some of the task bars in Windoze that are finding their way into a lot of x-windows desktops. Personally, I always like the Window Maker/GnuStep doc in Linux, so I am fine with it. However, like others, I pin it to the right on my laptop and to the left on my desktop (dual monitor, left's easier). I haven't messed with any of the new versions of Launchbar, but am thinking about looking at Quicksilver. I think it would be nice if Apple gave a couple of different options, but I am content with it.

  13. I'd like for the Dock to have a configuration where it doesn't float above all other windows.


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