Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login
Show HN: my Mac app just got fireballed (daringfireball.net)
436 points by markchristian on May 8, 2012 | hide | past | web | favorite | 156 comments

Having been a beta-tester of DragonDrop from the start, one thing I'd like to add is how important the concept of user-interaction truly is and how Mark really innovated in this regard. Lots of Mark's friends, including myself, suggested using one of the screen corners as a hot-zone. But since most people usually have other actions associated with the corners and the extra distance required to drag the icon far from the center makes the movement tedious, Mark kept looking for a better way to handle it.

He spent weeks & months trying out different UI and actions, finally coming up with the 'shake-your-cursor' action. It seems trivial now that you see it but it was something none of his potential users could imagine. And since then, he's been refining the app constantly to get it to its current state, including the rotating background and optimal thumbnail for a variety of mimetypes. I'm so glad to see the app finally getting the attention it deserves.


Not exactly the most novel thing...

I'm hardly a fan of Aero Shake though, wish they used the gesture for this on Windows. :-)

Reading the description, I felt that waiting for the overloaded page to load was going to be a waste of time. Having seen the video, I am contemplating tossing him some cash.

Drag, think... doh! wiggle, store. Dig, dig, find, unstore, drop.

That wiggle makes all the difference. Come to think of it, I might unconsciously wiggle things while I'm trying to remember where I meant to drag them to.

Absolutely correct, the wiggle does make it happen. One of those "Why didn't I think of it" interaction technique.

Kudos to the developer. Just a (very) minor change will make it better for me: slightly less opacity for the pop up window. On an 11inch Macbook Air, I think it'll help. I just bought the app, it's fantastic and worth every penny.

I have problems performing a "correct" wiggle, especially on my trackpad. Corners would be more reliable.

My trick for more control on a Mac trackpad (the "magic" one at least) is to use the thumb for the click action, allowing you to hold it down whilst having full control of the pointer with a light touch of the index finger.

I heard about the utility on MacBreak Weekly, but missed the "wiggle" part. I thought it's yet another hot-corner or dock-app solution.

Then I watched the video and now I'm taking out my credit card. I want this. It is actually useful.

This is a fantastic app, not just because of how much of a great utility it is (does anything like this exist for windows?) but the name is absolutely brilliant. Not only is it very easy to remember "Dragon Drop", it's also an excellent wordplay ("drag'n'drop"). The video is very good too. So wonderful, a perfect combination.

Thank you. Believe me, that video was the hardest part: a bad screencast is a terrible thing, but they're damn hard to do well. I think I spent about 4 hours on that sixty second video, and it means the world to me to know that it was well-received. Thank you.

I assume that's your voice on there? Great job

Yeah, that's me — and a very high-end microphone that I managed to borrow from someone. ;) The mic made all the difference.

A hack for getting good audio on screencasts: sit in a closet with a blanket over your head while you record the audio. It makes even a built-in Mac mic sound good.

There was an episode of Dirty Jobs where Mike Rowe was recording the narratives in a hotel room by simply going under the blanket of his bed with the microphone. I'm sure there was additional tweaking production value, but this is good advice!

This is good advice. Also consider running your voice through a compressor to smooth out the levels and make it easier to listen to.

Hrm -- oddly enough, I can picture that working really well. I may try that next time. :)

Alternative way is to surround yourself with cardboard (the thick brown box type). It really helps eliminate most outside noises and reduce the echo.

The "shake" effect in Windows will cause everything but the active window to minimize - it's possible the action can be bound to other commands.

"does anything like this exist for windows?" Not the exact same but if you start to drag then you can alt-tab to focus the application where you want to drop (if you can't see it already)

Congrats Mark! Looks like you'll surpass your 2013 goals before it even starts. I'm a very happy user of the app and have known Mark for years. He is awesome!

He has another really neat and surprisingly useful app on the AppStore: Lidpop - http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/lidpop/id441887602?mt=12 - "Lidpop makes your Macintosh play a sound when it sleeps or wakes up. Close the lid with a resounding clank or a happy slide whistle. Open it back up with a laugh or a whimsical chime — it's up to you. Lidpop brings a dash of personality to your computer."

When I open my Air, Scotty (Star Trek) says "Hello Computer" and when I shut it down, Vader (Star Wars) says "Nooooooooo." I know it seems trifling but always brings a smile to my face wherever I am, including work meetings.

Curious - can we get any insight into said 2013 goals? I'm in the process of setting our product goals and am curious how others have done.

Nice app. I'm going to steal your idea if you don't mind.

Ha, the idea for the app or the idea for the silly sounds? ;)

Note: my wake-up sound is currently the boot sound effect form OS/2 Warp 4, just because I love weird, retro-computing goodness.

Follow-up: another great sleep sound is Stauff's “Come baaaaaaaack” from the 7th Guest, for those of you old enough to remember double speed CD-ROM drives being exciting.

The sound, I just bought the app. Beep up + vader :)

Also, if anyone is suffering on a quest for "nooo", hint: vader_14.mp3

Great idea! Just bought it. I previously did workarounds such as dragging an entire chrome tab out to move the picture. Got awkward sometimes.

You might want to consider not having a free trial. I watched the video, was sold, went to click buy, then saw the trial button. Still went to buy, but almost clicked the trial out of habit.

Edit: Wow, 45 seconds later it's already installed and working seamlessly. Took me all of 1.5 seconds to figure out how to shake on a touchpad, and now it feels second nature. I'll repeat, great work and congrats on getting fireballed.

Thanks, Graeme.

The free trial is actually an entire non-App Store version with its own in-app purchase -- I chronicled the experience at http://writing.markchristian.org/2012/03/30/make-your-own-ap... in the hopes of sharing the knowledge with other potential indie devs.

Awesome, thanks Mark.

Does the mac appstore allow you to track where your sales come from? Do you get the majority from people linking to your site or discovering the app through the store?

I can understand why you're redirecting traffic directly to the App Store, but I think it might be doing more harm than good.

I vaguely remember seeing something about this app on HN before, but I don't really remember what it does exactly. Based on all the comments here, it sounds like you made a screencast that does a great job of demonstrating the product. Unfortunately, by redirecting the traffic, I can't see that screencast (and the App Store screenshots don't really demonstrate what the app does).

This product might very well be perfect for me, but I don't know because I can't see the video of it in action because of the redirect.

Just something to think about.

I'm on iPad and even though I tried to see what this app is, I still have no idea.

I'm sorry, my server metaphorically melted due to the traffic. :( The site's back up now, and here's the screencast: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1M0PAiiJLlo

I suggest you add a link to the website in your YouTube video description, for people who find it through YouTube.

That's a great idea — I just did. Thank you.

Is this really dependent on any particular Lion feature? I was about to buy it but I'm still on 10.6.8 (never bothered to update to Lion because of the myriad annoying new 'features').

tl;dr: if you can make it work in 10.6.8, I think you might get some more $love$ from some of us.

If you're feeling adventurous, I've heard success stories from people manually hacking the Info.plist on the direct download version.

It currently doesn't require any Lion specific APIs, but I plan on updating it in the future to make use of the nice flocking icons while dragging, and that will require Lion.

I'll try the plist hack! Thank you for the tip. I think I can live without the flocking icons, but I suppose it's about freaking time I update my OS :)

Done. Here, have my money! :)

How'd you do it?


a quick question... my Mac cannot be upgraded to Lion. Is there a slight possibility of making it work for Snow Leopard?

And if not - I would like to know - just for general interest :) - what is the blocker.

As a lion-hater I have the same question! I'd love to buy this app.

Yeah, I just tried the trial and got an error. Strange. I hope the trend of Lion-only apps doesn't continue because I just can't cripple my workflow to "upgrade."

Same here

Congratulations! What an awesome utility. Your demo video is awesome. More than happy to send you money for this. Would love to hear how you fare from all the attention!

Thank you!

Summary so far: Daring Fireball's traffic is so intense that it's almost scary. :)

Your site failed to load for me, can you redirect straight to the App Store?

Edit: here's an App Store link for people to check it out - http://itunes.apple.com/au/app/dragondrop/id499148234?mt=12

Eep — traffic it seems to come in spurts. I've got a RewriteRule to send people to the App Store when I notice it being particularly bad, but I prefer to keep the site up so people can see the video and try the trial. Thanks for posting this link.

Sounds wise - here's a youtube link for people who want to see the demo http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1M0PAiiJLlo

Will you post traffic stats and any other measurements you can come up with?

Sure, here's a screenshot of my hourly report for the past day. Note that the site hasn't gotten much traffic in general since most people come to it directly through the App Store — that is, despite pretty decent sales, the site has historically only had a few hundred hits a day.


Let me know what else you'd like to know. :)

Just for reference since a lot of people get this backwards as you did, i.e. is Latin for "which is to say" (literally id est, "that is"), while e.g. is Latin for "for example" (literally exempli gratia, "free example"). There is another cousin which doesn't get so much use, namely viz., literally vide licit or "clearly seen", which is a sort of drop-in replacement for "namely" -- it's used to enumerate or clarify an indirect reference, as opposed to id est which clarifies an indirect implication.

Wonderful tool! I've been doing this with the help of steer mouse and a clipboard history tool. Maybe a bit to much to ask for, but how many sales are you up on now?

I was fireball'd once as well. It was the most intense traffic I had ever gotten haha. Surprisingly my homebrew django blogging platform with zero caching whatsoever held up fabulously!


Seems that way. Took me about 30 seconds to get through to your site.

Just bought it! Skipped the trial because the video demo was enough. You should really be proud. Works like a charm, somehow feels like a UNIX tool. Hope you get rich in exponentially faster increments of five bucks.

Thank you — right now, I am both proud and humbled.

I wanted to love this because I am heavy trackpad D&D user, and I think D&D has only gotten worse after Leopard, but... :(

I can't get the gesture to work reliably on a (magic) trackpad, and with a mouse I usually don't bother to use D&D. Also, you cannot stash things and then move them to the desktop, which is my #1 use case. If you put things into Dragon Drop, then reveal the desktop, the Dragon Drop window will move out of sight too.

Try drawing circles with your mouse, rather than shaking it — some people find that easier to do on trackpads. Does that help?

RE: showing up when you show the desktop — this is a good feature request, and I will see if I can make it happen. It may not be possible.

I'm confused, is this just an alternative to copy & paste? Or even cut/paste?

The demo for example talks about putting a picture in an email. I would currently right click -> copy. Go to email -> paste. Is this really easier?

The clipboard utility I find most useful is ditto [1], which has a nice history and shortcuts for pasting from your history.

Disclaimer: I'm a windows user, so maybe I missed something.

[1] - http://ditto-cp.sourceforge.net/

Nope. This is not about copy/paste at all.

Windows and Mac lets you drag objects and drop them on target. This works in normal scenario where the object you are trying to drag and the target are easy to identify. It gets very difficult if your target is hard to reach. This app has a brilliant new UI which makes those drag-n-drop operations super easy.

Please see the demo video to understand the app:


Sorry, what I meant to say isn't this simply equivalent to copy and paste?

In windows at least: http://superuser.com/a/252104

I can think of only a few scenarios where dropping is the only option and pasting isn't available - but clearly those scenarios were real pain points for people!

This is about extending the existing graphical UI design. Direct manipulation of graphical elements is preferred on a Mac. Think about touch on iOS devices to get a sense of how important direct manipulation is to Apple. (And how the iPhone did not have copy/paste at all when it first shipped.)

So, yes, they are equivalent (in certain situations, drag and drop can be a move or whatever else is appropriate). But copy/paste is the alternative. So is cp at a Terminal command line.

See also: https://developer.apple.com/library/mac/#documentation/UserE...

On mac I use Clipmenu[1]. While dragondrop is certainly intuitive and clever, I personally dislike the move away from keyboard interaction. Of course we super-users (not my mother) can be more productive with 102 interactionspoints than we can wit 2.

Any ways - congrats; but not for me :-)

[1]: http://www.clipmenu.com/

An alternative use-case would be when using a program such as Adobe Photoshop, rather than launching Photoshop, clicking File, open, navigating to your desired directory, selecting which files to open the pressing open; if you already have the directory open, drag the files onto the Photoshop icon and it'll open them.

Thanks. After reading the other comments, it's apparent Apple users simply drag and drop a lot more. I think there a many more common use cases for dragging and dropping than on Windows - perhaps from the days of designing for single mouse button user experience.

Anyway, extremely interesting to see, so thanks for not all downvoting my ignorance immediately!

Well done as well to the OP for battling and getting his app released. Seems as though the hard work is paying off!

Drag and drop may or may not be equivalent to copy/paste. In case of Windows Explorer, their behavior is the same but it could be different for other applications.

E.g. let's say you have a word document, if you drag and drop it on an open Word window, it will open it. You can't do copy/paste to open the document. If you have an FTP client with drag and drop support, you can drop a file to upload it to the FTP server. In general, a program can attach its own meaning to drag and drop which could be different from copy/paste.

I've spent the last four + years dragging stuff to that tiny little space in the bottom left of of my screen near the dock, switching to the app I'm interested in (sometimes after failing for 20-30 seconds of trying to get focus onto the app while holding onto my mouse button and hoping the "springboard" functionality of the OS gets to correct window) - and then "show desktop" - hope that I can find the stuff I just dragged to my desktop in what is usually an over cluttered screen, and then dragging it to the app that show (hopefully) be easy to get back into focus.

I probably do this three-four times a day - and it's one of the few miserable parts of my OS X existence.

The ROI for this app will be measured for me in about one day of frustration that I no longer have to deal with - the "shake to get clipboard" is brilliant. Just the toolbar drop alone would have been sufficient to make me happy.

Thank you so much - I don't recall ever being so pleased with something new. So worth $5. Brilliant.

I followed your App Store struggle and am really happy you were finally able to get it approved. This is a really great utility.

Thanks, Sean. :)

I wrote this up a few weeks ago to help give other developers their own plan B in case of similar difficulties: http://writing.markchristian.org/2012/03/30/make-your-own-ap...

If you were rejected from the App Store for the mouse shaking behavior, how'd you finally get it approved?

I had lots and lots of conversations with the App Store appeal board, a plea for direct download customers to write to Apple and tell them they want the app in the store.

Apple rejected it for "interfering" with a standard system operation. What ultimately got me in was an email I wrote pointing out that the app PopClip (a great utility from @pilotmoon) was in the store and also enhanced a system behaviour.

Your projects link is 404. Also no RSS?

Oh, thanks for the reminder: I cleared out some old stuff and forgot to redirect. Fixed.

Also: RSS where?

For the blog i.e. writing.markchristian.org

I just realised that with the new update to Alfred (it lets you drag out of the results bar), that this could be one of the most useful little utilities that I've invested in.

I just hope it works as I expect.

Navigating the filesystem is so 2011 :)

edit: would be cool if you could post an update here on just how you did after you were fireball'd _and_ HN'd!

I posted a screenshot of my Google Analytics elsewhere on the thread: http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=3946765

Anything else you'd like to know about the traffic? Open kimono.


I'd like to know how DF traffic converts, for one. I'd like to.

Thank you brilliant stranger! The Alfred combo tip here just made my day.

Wow this is awesome. I created this thing[1] a little while back that's just an Automator service (hence can't be sold in the mac app store according to their install guidelines) that solves a similar issue I was having - basically I wanted to browse through my file system picking a bunch of files and then drop them in one place (like cumulative copy/paste for files).

I love how this solution fits perfectly into an existing workflow, though. Now if only it were cumulative ... ;)


EDIT: I should also note this grew out of a little command line utility for unix: https://github.com/iaindooley/pickdrop/

It's a shame that Apple doesn't open up the App Store to things like preference panes and Automator workflows. Good luck with your project!

I own a similar app called Yoink that does the same thing. Any reason why I should migrate to Dragondrop/does DND do some things better?

IMHO, Yoink is still better for now!

Yoink user here, love it.



Sounds like DnD's "wiggle" is a nice innovation.

Hey Mark,

Is this useful on the trackpad? It seem to be about 50% accurate on my magic trackpad when shaking back and forth.

Also, what do you mean by "under the mouse?"

I'm also having problems shaking. It works 1 time out of 5 it seems.

How about showing the window if I don't move the mouse for 2 seconds instead? That'd be easier and a better UX IMO since it would mimic spring loading.

It means that the window will be centered under where your cursor currently is.

If you're having trouble activating it, try drawing small circles with your cursor, rather than just shaking back and forth. Some people find that easier. (That being said, I developed it on a Magic Trackpad, so the shaking does work -- it just depends on your personal mousing style).

I hope this helps. :)

I was one of the people in that fireball. Bought it through the App Store. Great app.

Thank you kindly. :)

Looks like a cool utility. I will probably be well received by those who rely on dragging and dropping.

I personally never drag-and-drop unless it is the only way to get something done. Copy and Paste via the keyboard is faster and far easier to use. It also gives you all the time you need to navigate wherever you need to go.

Further to that, because I switch between platforms multiple times per day I just can't deal with the weird keyboard mappings on the Mac. Weird, of course, from the perspective of any other platform. If you are only on Mac it is very likely that everything else feels weird to you. I get it.

For example, I wanted copy and paste to be Ctrl-C and Ctrl-V. I wanted the editor in Xcode to behave like most other editors behave in other platforms and IDE's. I'm old school, for me the keyboard can be far faster than going for the mouse/touchpad/trackball all the time.

My solution was to install KeyRemap4Macbook (no affiliation) and make the Mac keyboard mimic Windows/Linux keyboard and mappings as much as possible.

I won't be buying your app, but great job. Like it a lot. Apple should buy it off you and integrate it into the OS. It's that good.

The problem with keyboard or menu cut/copy/paste (hereafter c/c/p) is that it’s a mode (or at least a sort of quasi-mode), and modes are a fundamentally inhumane user interface approach that shift cognitive burden from computers to humans. The traditional c/c/p includes no visual feedback whatsoever, is an extremely overloaded concept (many types of objects can be copied, the result of pasting depends on context and there’s no way to tell precisely what will happen from past experience with other applications, sometimes a copy instruction only places a link to the content (for performance reasons) so that closing a document or application alters the paste behavior, c/c/p between applications is often brittle, especially when dealing with rich text), and is very limited and inflexible (no way or bad ways (depending on the implementation) to copy two things and then paste them back, copying another thing destroys the user intent of the previous copy operation and can’t be undone, no visual/spatial context is provided for the operation, etc. etc.).

C/c/p is better than what came before it (it was invented at PARC in the early 1970s, and the alternative was much more mode-ful, something like vim), but is still too unfriendly for novices and too limited for experienced users. Unfortunately, it is so ubiquitous that it has forced all users to learn it, forced all software to implement it, and crowded out alternative approaches, even in contexts like file managers where the concept doesn’t really make sense. The best we can typically hope for is extensions of the typical c/c/p interaction which work like other implementations in the simple case but have some extra functionality for experienced users. These are usually entirely undiscoverable, and still share most of the problems of the traditional c/c/p.

Well, drag and drop isn't any more discoverable than c/c/p. For example, when I first started to use a Mac I had to Google to figure out how to import ebooks into my iPhone. It turns out that you have to drag-and-drop into iTunes. Just like c/c/p, once someone tells you that this is the way we are going to play the game it all makes sense.

The grab-something-and-move-it interface is OK for "normal" users. I would suspect that most techies might be far more inclined to figure out how to avoid miles of drag-and-drop action by using the keyboard.

There's another element to this. Our systems have, at a minimum, two 24 inch monitors and most have three 24 inch monitors. Drag-and-drop gets pretty old once you start to have to cruise around so much real-estate.

Beyond that c/c/p, per your own data point, has been around since the early 70's. That makes it a convention that's been around for possibly over 40 years. I think people get it.

This, of course, extends to operating almost any software. If someone is using it with any regularity it'd be crazy to mouse all over the menu system to get things done. The keyboard is far more efficient. This is particularly the case when macros can be programmed and invoked.

In general terms, I agree: For grandma, drag and drop is great and she is not likely to learn any keyboard shortcut at all. For anyone who is not a casual or lightweight computer user there's a whole other layer to the UI --via the keyboard-- that makes for better driving.

Dragondrop is a great tool. I was sincere when I said that Apple should buy it and integrate it into the OS. Not for me and those like me, but for the benefit of others for whom the grab-and-do-something interface is the only option.

I never said we shouldn’t try to make a system accessible from the keyboard, or that drag-and-drop as typically implemented is the best solution here. I merely said that c/c/p is at once too difficult/brittle and too limited.

Personally, I wish we used some kind of mashup/spinoff/extension of DragThing, Quicksilver, drag-and-drop for this sort of thing: flexible, letting us do more with the stuff in it than just paste it back, accessible from both keyboard and mouse ideally from anywhere on the screen, persistent and non-destructive. It’s a non-trivial problem, because we need something that scales from novices up through experts. But there’s a very large design space here, and most of it has been ignored for 30 years because the existing non-ideal conventions have ossified.

It’s exciting to see even tiny new ideas, like the utility being discussed in this conversation.

To follow your thought here: with all that tremendous quantity of monitor space available, we really should be devoting some chunk of it to showing what’s on the clipboard, or at least that there’s something there.

> we really should be devoting some chunk of it to showing what’s on the clipboard, or at least that there’s something there.

I could see that. Microsoft tried something like that with a stack-based (presumption) clipboard in Office. I don't think it worked very well. I thought it was confusing for most. You went from copy-this-and-then-paste-it to having to select what you wanted to paste. Simple is better in this case.

I can think of no instance where I explicitly needed to know what was in the clipboard. Now, admittedly, this is me, a single data point and not a casual user. I am sure it is different for casual users. In fact, I am sure that most of them don't have a clue that ctrl-c/v/x/z exist.

As for devoting screen real-estate for showing clipboard content. I can't really get a feel for the idea because I don't feel that I need it. In some cases I know that I don't want to give up any screen real-estate to anything other the the application/s currently running. For example, my EDA package uses three screens very well. I don't want to see anything else while doing this work. Again, just me.

I'm not sure I follow where you're coming from. The biggest thing that I don't understand is what the alternative to c/c/p is. I feel like drag and drop is an even fuzzier metaphor than c/c/p. At best it has most of the issues you've outlined with c/c/p.

But, I'm an Emacs user, so c/c/p is instinctual. If everyone grew up using Emacs people would probably be writing papers about how chaining keystrokes is some sort of deeply evolved human skill.

There are many possible alternatives to c/c/p in “idea space”, and the little details matter. A better system, though, would have some of these properties: it would persistently store cut/copied content in some kind of list, at least content of manageable size; it would have some way to see the clipboard visually/spatially; it would interact with drag/drop; it would give some visual indication that there was currently copied content, and perhaps the type as well; it would allow a user to interact with the history of cut/copied items in a more flexible way both from keyboard and mouse; it would allow easy conversion of copied chunks into “documents”/“files”/“pages” in their own right.

Many of the problems here intersect with the problems of our current files + hierarchical filesystem + semi-spatial file browser + open/save dialog system for dealing with “content” in general. Ideally, a generally more intuitive and flexible basis for these problems would be built, and the replacement for c/c/p would integrate with these other tools. That’s sort of wishful thinking though. (Well, the idea of replacing c/c/p is also probably wishful thinking. Systemically different approaches like the Canon Cat word processor are all pretty much dead by now.)

Many of your requirements are met by Ditto (on Windows) and ClipMenu (on the Mac). The basic model is: Ctrl-V pastes like usual, Ctrl-Shift-V pops up a menu of every previous paste. Previous items can be selected and pasted using either the keyboard or the mouse. This gives you persistence, visual display of the clipboard, and keyboard and mouse interaction with the history. And it turns out to be insanely useful. Oh man. I would never go back.

Dude nice app, but can you add a quickview button/quickview spacebar binding, so that I can check the whats in my dragondrop.

Also, maybe bloat but can u add plug-in system so we can have things like a right click with send to twitter, imgur, pastebin, etc?

im sure you can think long and hard about a better user experience than a right click, maybe whatever 'providers' you choose can appear as a logo to the right of the main dragondrop box, and you can drop on them if u want to upload to them. Or if you drop it in the regular dragondrop box, u can just click on the relevant logo.

Also can you add a buffer of say the last 10 or so items copied, like a stack. That way if i am composing something i can chuck a load of things in dragondrop then yank them back in reverse order, or all at once.

Oh yeah and maybe can do other stuff with this buffer, like zipping if its a loada files. You can then drag the zipped file off, or concatenating PDFs if its a load of pdfs. Or uploading an imgur album if its a load of pictures. Watch out for that bloat :p

Anyways just some ideas man, good luck great app. I'm sure it can be even better!

This is delightful. Apple, please buy this guy out like you did with CoverFlow.

Yes, please.

Then ditch CoverFlow.

Especially on iOS.

This is a cool app. The functionality is not as extensive as this but Path Finder for Mac (Finder replacement) has a featured called "Drop Stack" which essentially allows you to pile files somewhere before you decide what to do with them. http://cocoatech.com/pathfinder/

Well done. This is the sort of app you look at and think "Why isn't this built into the operating system already?"

Congratulations - that is a seriously useful utility. At first I thought that holding down the mouse button wasn't that bad - but your browser tab demo absolutely convinced me (-:

Thanks for making this - anything that improves my Mac's drag&drop and copy&paste functionality is worth at least $5.

A tip that completely changed copy-paste experience in Finder is "Move item here". Copy as usual (command-c) but instead of pasting (command-v) you do (option-command-v) and it will _move_ the item. Such as huge time saver since I use to open two finder windows to accomplish the move since I'm quite bad at dragging with a trackpad.

Neat App. The most surprising thing about it for me was actually the name. Not that it was a cool word play, its just that I'm so used to the good names already being camped by completely useless crap that its weird to see a neat name and a decent app attached to each other.

Seriously brilliant. And the video is spot on in answering questions/concerns that anyone would have.

So, its like doing a 'cut' and then navigating and performing a 'paste'.

Did I miss something in the video?

Basically, however when moving files you can't cut then paste. You can only copy/paste/delete. This is pretty intuitive and can be controlled very easily from the trackpad.

option-cmd-v instead of cmd-v will move a file instead of just copying it

Congrats Mark! Looks like a few HN folks have already used this app in the past. How did you reach out to an audience to build up beta testers? And, more importantly, how do I make sure I'm on people's hit list for beta testing new apps?

I just Tweeted, and more importantly, managed to get some trustworthy tech folks to help out. One thing I can offer as a word of advice is to try to find smart users who aren't developers -- they're the perfect beta testers.

I wanted to find out more about this app when I saw it mentioned on DF, but opening the link on my iPhone I was automatically redirected to the App Store. There I was given a message about this only being available on the Mac App Store, and a link presented which re-opened Mobile Safari and took me to a page talking about Mac OS X Lion and the App Store.

Partially Apple's fault, undoubtedly, but are you deliberately redirecting people to the App Store? Or is that some freebie that comes with embedding an App Store link/banner?

To everyone who checked out my app: I am humbled and proud, and I thank you for your support. Your feedback (and reviews/ratings on the App Store, if you roll that way) are welcome.

This is an excellent app, but I suppose it works best with a mouse. Using the trackpad is a bit of a pain, maybe it could have been nice to fire up that box with a shortcut?

So... what are you building next? I'd like to buy it. =)

My work on DragonDrop is far from done, but I do have a few more ideas. Stay tuned. :)


I could see this same gestural/persistent-floaty trick being useful on iOS (and similar full-screen foreground or touch environments) as well.

(Though, reserving a side of the screen as a clip-dock would be an obvious touch-OS alternative, and might work better on touch screens than it would on a desktop. On the desktop, the corners and edge are already heavily colonized with meaning.)

I'm reminded of the Newton clipboard. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hhivPLXrLjk

Were you inspired by the Shelf from NeXTSTEP?

Not directly -- I never had the pleasure of using NeXTSTEP. To be honest, this idea has been in my head for a long time, just waiting for me to come up with a proper interaction modality. I'm my own app's #1 user. :)

"I'm my own app's #1 user."

That is always a good sign.

You're about to get HackerNews'd. Great app!

I use to drag and drop on my macbook many times a day to organize my Downloads folder and I found this application to be amazing. Bought it seconds after watching the video. Congrats, it is an amazing and well executed idea.

I don't understand the part about browser tabs - when I want to drag something from one tab to another, I just hover the mouse over the destination tab and the browser switches to that tab. Takes about a second.

How do you do that when the other tab is buried under three other browser windows in another space? Possible, but this makes things a lot easier. Then again, maybe the way I leave tons of stuff open across lots of spaces is just the sort of workflow that something like this is meant for...

I guess I must not have that many browser windows scattered around the place when I'm using OS X or Windows and on linux I use a tiling window manager, so its trivial to tile both windows side-by-side and then drag between them.

That works on Chrome but not Safari.

Firefox too. I did not know it doesn't work in Safari though.

are there any differences in terms of features between the Mac App Store version and the one you can buy directly from your site? curious if the "sandbox" in the Mac App Store caused any file system issues.

I'm also curious about this. Please spill the beans!

Right now, the two versions are identical (although their version numbers differ). I hope to keep it that way, but it may change once I submit a sandboxed version.

In general, the sandbox doesn't cause us any problems, because we already write our temporary data to the proper sandboxed location, and dragging a file into an app is one of the approved sandbox interactions. However, enabling the sandbox DOES break QuickLook icon fetching for some types of objects (most notably volumes, which show up as folders). This seems to be a bug in NSWorkspace that I hope will be addressed in the future.

Bought it. Very good first impressions.

Nice work and congrats on the Daring Fireball mention.

How comfortable would you be sharing sales figures caused by the fireball?

Congratulations Mark! A well deserved fireballing. Have fun with it!

Looks nice!

I wonder (judging from other comments) if people know the hack whereby you can start a d'n'd and then use command-tab to switch apps while dragging. Saves a lot of grief.

You can also Cmd+` to switch between app windows, and Cmd+Tab to skim through your browser tabs.

But the Dragon Drop is way sexier.

DragonDrop intro video link on YouTube - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1M0PAiiJLlo

Wait, does this mean Mac OS isn't already perfect as is?

It doesn’t work with files from stacks. Yoink has a keyboard shortcut for that, I haven’t found a similar functionality inside of DragonDrop?

The windows-7 version of the drag+shake gesture (for moving windows) is very poorly detected. I assume this has a better detection algorithm.

I have always loved full-screen mode on Mac OS, but dragging and dropping things between screens was a royal pain in the arse. You fixed it.

Thank you.

This app makes me want to get a Mac. Awesome job.

Great app. However, shake to display drop stack is not convenient at all on trackpad.I'll stick with Yoink for now!

It's a clipboard shelf app?


You had my five dollars within 10 seconds of the video starting. Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant. Thank you!

This is so awesome. The video is great!

This is just brilliant. Please create a Windows equivalent and make my whole year.

Search for [clipboard shelf] apps. There are loads of these.

This looks great but it's too hard to 'shake' the cursor using a trackpad.

how could i dragondrop a pdf viewed in chrome into another app without having it to store on disk first?

is there some kind of minimum-wiggle-movement i have to hit in order for drangdrop to get activated?

Chrome has PDF viewing functionality built in (as a plug-in?); and that thing doesn't seem to support drag-and-drop at all.

Or one could say it's not a 'Preview window', don't expect it to behave.

Congrats! Just bought it, and already loving it.

Jim Crews CEO - CharitySub.org

You just got my $5.

It's going to a good home, I promise. :) Thank you.

Is there a version for Windows?

Great concept Already bought :)

drag, command-tab to switch apps, drop on the relevant window.

Applications are open for YC Summer 2019

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact