File copying UI

Having used Gnome a bit, one of the features I found much to my liking was the method used to show the progress of file copying. Rather than using a chunky, clutterific progress window, the file’s icon label updates (in real-time) the filesize until the copy is complete. On completion, the filename is displayed as normal.

I think this would be a welcome addition to OS X. A number of the Eazel people who created Nautilus are (back, in some cases) at Apple. They may well have ideas about how to improve this feature, possibly taking advantage of the graphical features of Quartz to give the user additional visual feedback. Perhaps a gradual fade-in of the icon?

I would not advocate using this method in all cases – it is best used ONLY for file copies initiated in the actual file manager. Downloads started from FTP clients or browsers would have no easy way to indicate that a download has begun as requested. This is how it works in Nautilus/Gnome.

In this corner . . .

I have been using Greg Schueler’s CornerClick on my iMac. An interesting implementation of Fitts’ Law. While it is true that the corners of the screen have infinite depth, there are only four of them. Using modifier keys is a good way to expand the manipulation possibilities, but forces the user to remember the key combinations. CornerClick used in conjunction with the upcoming 10.3 release with Expose might greatly alleviate the need to use the Dock.

Boing, boing, boing!

I downloaded and tried out the latest version of Spring (v1.3). I like the concept, but the process for creating new “objects” seems rather difficult. It would be nice if Spring could automatically make Person objects for entries in the OS X Address Book application. Also, being able to make a visually browseable canvas (similar to what MP3 Voodoo does) of all of your iTunes albums would be neat.

All in all, an interesting product and approach to UI.

It lingers . . .

A few minor UI gripes:

  1. Hold Shift while clicking on a Finder window’s toolbar display toggle widget (the Tic-Tac shaped one in the upper right). Handy dandy. Now try this in any other application with a toolbar. It doesn’t work. Phooey.
  2. Depress Command while clicking the display toggle widget in the Finder. Nothing. Try it in Mail (or OmniWeb). Neato.

These are surely not the biggest of UI problems, but they are inconsistencies that ought be corrected. Supposedly, the Cocoa and Carbon frameworks did at one point behave identically, but this was broken before the initial 10.0 release.