Mac OS X v. Linux (Was: Re: Ubuntu Boot Up Logo)

Eric Dunbar eric.dunbar at
Fri Jun 24 17:27:52 UTC 2005

On 6/23/05, Michael Beattie <mtbeedee at> wrote:

> This may be true but I have used OSX since Jaguar and Panther and
> Expose since it was available and I find it lacking in functionality
> as I wrote before.  And the dock just takes too long to switch between
> multiple windows of different apps.  I would also love to have alt-tab
> work correctly instead of alt-tab and then alt-` to get to the right
> window.

I hate the way that alt-tab cycles through ALL the !#$!$%!$ windows
that are open on a system. I tend to have *a lot* of apps and windows
open (this is a consequence of being a Mac user for so many years...
the design of ALL Mac OSes (from 1986 on) encouraged multitasking
between different apps and, of course, right from day 1 (1984),
different windows within an app). It's much nicer to be able to swap
between three or four apps (which I often do) with a simple
command-tab (alt-tab equivalent) than having to command-tab through
EVERY !@#!% window that's open.

> > This is a false benefit (fixed place in a menu). With taskbars you
> > have to (a) click on the application's icon and (b) get it to open up
> > the pop-up-list and (c) FIND the right menu from the list (and, if in
> > Firefox you have multiple web pages open for the same site chances are
> > you have to switch to each one anyway to find out which one you
> > wanted) and (d) select it.
> Oh come now.  There is only one step which you have listed as (a)
> click on the application's icon that is valid.  (Though I would have
> written "click on the application's taskbar entry.")  By clicking on
> the thing in the taskbar that brings the window corresponding to that
> icon to the front.  The popup dialogs are an option which I quickly
> turn off always and (d) is just covered by the previous 3 steps.

Granted, I didn't explain it properly, but if you "quickly turn off"
popup dialogues anyway then it becomes impossible to use the taskbar
to select windows, does it not?

PS Given that you haven't used Expose extensively you probably didn't
discover the neat app-specific Expose feature. Once you've activated
all-app Expose you can press tab to cycle through the different apps
and only display their visible windows. Also, there's an app-specific
Expose option where you activate only the windows in that app (I don't
use it but it's possible).

PSS The other thing that you forget that you can do with Expose is
display desktop (hide all windows). Given that MOST users USE the
desktop it's a good feature (and, given that I live and die by my
desktop, it's GREAT IMO)

> Yes, Apple put a lot of thought into it.  And their solution *works*.
> But it's far from ideal.
> I personally dont agree that the dock/expose combo is faster and
> easier and simpler than a taskbar.

IMO it certainly is a BETTER solution for MOST people than what is
offered by a taskbar alone. Windows and Linux have definitely taken a
back-seat to controlling/switching between apps right now (though,
Linux does have a leg-up on Windows in that Linux has virtual
desktops). I have to admit I wish there'd be a task bar-like option
with Mac OS X at times, but, if I were limited to one choice only, I'd
prefer the Dock, simply for its simplicity.

It is also a simpler solution (ergo better ;-) for most people,
definitely. You've got to remember that most Linux users are not
exactly your run-of-the-mill computer user. Most Linuxers have a
higher degree of computer knowledge, and chances are they're also
keyboard junkies. Simple solutions don't always translate well to
keyboard-oriented individuals.

> This, I do agree with.  Different strokes for different folks I guess.


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