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Tiger’s Half-Assed Dashboard

Hey look, it's something Apple should have done itself: Widget Manager!

Mac OS X 10.4's widget management process is, in a poor word, "bad." Widgets are automatically installed in ~/Library/Widgets (if you've allowed Safari to do so), but you have to quit the Dock or double-click the widget to get the widget to appear. Want to remove a widget? You've gotta find the thing, delete it, and then quit the dock (or try to use the widget you just deleted - don't worry, the Dock will crash and re-launch).

"Widget World" would have been a great place to implement a version-checking system available to third parties. Is there an update to your Google widget search tool or your Porn-Pic-A-Day widget? Don't worry - your Mac will tell you when they're available and automatically replace the old ones (or do so after you click a button or two). You know, in fantasy land where Apple actually puts some thought into its OS before shoving it on an unsuspecting public.

The Dashboard: Tiger's half-aborted, half-stillborn, half-assed technology of the day.

11 Responses to "Tiger’s Half-Assed Dashboard"

  1. I completely agree. Actually, I think Tiger itself is about half-baked, what with all the bugs and such. I'm surprised it was released as is.

    Hopefully Dashboard and the rest of Tiger will be fixed by the .1 or .2 release.

  2. Yup I agree as well. when I bought Tiger that was one of things that I looking forward to. However due to the lack of them always being on the desktop, lack of many of them auto updating themselves when pressing 12 (aka the yahoo traffic widget), and the lack of security, I have pretty much turned them all off.

    I also noticed that they suck up a TON of memory and CPU cycles when your not even using them. Do I really need a clock when I can see the time already at top right corner? Heck the floating clock and date that comes standard before was a better widget!

  3. I've never had to quit the Dock to get the widget to appear or disappear, just scroll through the "pages", and the widget is added or removed accordingly.

  4. Unless you are an IT type, a developer or just plain crazy, you should not move to such a major software update unless you have a compelling reason. And you should NEVER install an upgrade (even a minor one) on a production machine until you have done your research. As an IT person my motivation is to lear new technologies and evaluate how they will support the business. Plus, I can give fedback to various developers to alert them of problems that they must address to function properly under th enew update. Yes, Tiger, like any such MAJOR release has plenty of bugs. Do you think Longhorn won't? Dashboard has a lot of growing up to do, but the concept sure beats Sherlock. It is fun to get paid to play with techology, but if you find yourself getting frustrated, then slow down and leave it for those who are willing to take the hit.

    And remember... this is the worst it will be... I anticipate that there will be

    a lot of fixes with 10.4.1.

  5. It really isn't that bad. A simple click in Safari fixes the widget thing. The rest of the bugs are fairly small. You could be stuck with XP. Download widget manager to shut off what you don't want. C'mon this is simple stuff.

  6. meh.

    I'm staying on Panther till they get this all sorted out; it meets my needs just fine, and I have no wierd glitches to contend with, really.

    Actually, I think I'm staying with Panther until I buy a new Mac in the fall.

    Spotlight looks cool, but I'm really not sold on the actual utility of Dashboard yet. I tend to keep my stuff fairly well organised anyway, so I can wait a while for Spotlight, and Smart Folders...

  7. I upgraded. Why? New technology means new frameworks for me to learn. Also means some new improvements. While this is the case, and while I'm running Tiger as my main OS, my last backup from panther (made right before I upgraded) is preserved on my backup machine (my last machine) which is still running panther. Also my test OS partition is running panther (again, my user environment from before my tiger install). It means that I can easily revert back to panther should the need arise. The only thing that will be difficult to use is mail, but since all my mail accounts are IMAP (or pop where I leave the mail on the server), I won't lose any mail.

    But the reasons I bought tiger were neither spotlight nor dashboard. I don't see dashboard being all that useful to me. I have 3 monitors and one of them is for doing specifically what dashboard does (except with webpages). Since dashboard has arrived, I've actually enabled debugging on it and have dashboard widgets in my desktop layer. It would be nice if they acted like regular windows though and did not permantently stay on top.

    Spotlight, on the other hand, I would find far more useful, but not until the various formats of files I use are easily indexable. So in this case, I'm waiting for plugins. Some issues I've noticed already, is that adding a new interpreter is weird and odd, and sometimes doesn't index files that haven't been changed since the interpreter was added. Also, I don't want third party documents all appearing under documents. I use Delicious Library, and I wish that music (albums/cd's) would appear under music, or my dvd's under a movies category. But unfortunately, Apple has not opened the ability to add categories to the developer. This means that my movies are grouped with my spreadsheets and my im conversations. Odd, but they deserve separation.

    Having focused on the two major consumer features, I bought Tiger for the following reasons. I want to experiment with Core Image, Core Video, and Core Data (not necessarily in that order).

    As a developer, I am excited about all the changes under the hood, and really, that's why I jump on a new release, because by the time the consumer has upgraded, I want to know what kind of things to expect a consumer to want my products to do.

  8. Absolutely amazing! To hear all of the complaints about what I consider a beautiful and mostly trouble free upgrade. I installed Tiger the day it was released with absolutely no issues. The widget thing ... get over it. I'm starting to believe that most of the complaints about this interface are planted FUD from the MS camp. Widgets on my machine NEVER! installed themselves automatically! And even if they did they never opened automatically! You always have to click them to activate them! Can't find a widget once it's installed ... simple go to the Spotlight menu, enter its name, press enter, or simply let the mouse hover over the results and you get a full path listing of its location. Or if you prefer press return to display the Spotlight window, you can then select the darned thinggy and follow the displayed path to its location. ... What in the He!! is the problem! Who are you people and why are you seemingly having such issues with a very safe and simple interface! Stop reading the FUD articles and trust your common sense. Since upgrading to Tiger I most certainly do use my computer differently, better and much more responsive and intuitive. Granted there are documented issues with SMB, VPN and MS's Active Directory. But I dare say that unless you're in a coorporate environment none of this is even of remote concern to you. Fix Dashboard!? What's wrong with it? it's nearly perfect! Please Apple, don't give in to the wimpering FUD mongers and destroy this beautiful interface or water it down. I've been using macs since the original 128k classic, I use it every day at the office, on the company lan,wan, or whatever & I have never had problem. Ok, until they fix the VPN thing I can't logon from home but that's an issue that should have been caught when Cisco "TESTED" it during the seeding to developers program.... maybe they never tested it Huh! Don't blame Apple for that. I am a mainframe systems programmer and use my powerbook g4 every single day and have never had a problem. Send the trolls back to MS-land and trust your own experience.


    Dave Larry

  9. David, you clearly don't know who I am if you think I've "planted FUD from the MS camp." The whole of your comment is nonsensical and, dare I say it, rather stupid. "Don't give in to the FUD mongers?"

    Gee, I'm an Apple software developer. Two whole minutes of research here on the ol' blog would have told you that.

  10. Sorry ! Just so darned tired of all the negative crap i've been reading all over the net about what I think is a beautiful OS. emotion got the best of me ... Gee, that is the definition of stupidity.


    Dave Larry

  11. I use my mac to maintain our mod chip web site, I upgraded to Tiger, hoping I would not have any problems, but sadly I am also experiencing the same. Not to say that some of the new features are not welcome, but it seems much less stable than the prior ver of the OS. Ho humm.. I won't say I am dissappointed, perhaps I am doing something wrong??? But from the posts here, it seems I am not the only one having trouble.

    Then again, I could be back in spyware land with loads of virus writers aiming to get at my MS PC... So, I'll not go back to the dark side 😉