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Fullscreen in Mountain Lion still renders second display useless (discussions.apple.com)
234 points by wesbos on July 12, 2012 | hide | past | favorite | 203 comments

I think this is all related to the iOS X direction Apple is going with their desktops. they would rather force a broken implementation of full-screen which mimics iOS than rethink it for a desktop. And you know, I hate to say it (as a long time user of Apple computers) but in general they really need to pull their heads out of their arses when it comes to the bizarre direction they're going with the OS X user experience. Imaginary linen canvas everywhere? Horrible slow transitions everywhere, all the time?

Or maybe I just want to get some god damn work done here.

Apple, we know you can do this stuff ever since the days the genie minimize effect was introduced (or shift-minimize for ultra slow!). Please, get some sanity and just put an advanced panel somewhere in the system preferences with, among other things (tabs in Finder?) an animation = slow/normal/fast/disabled option. We should not need to resort to plist hacks.

I hope that they make OS 11 (or whatever the next major major version of the OS will be) more power user focussed. With the iPad becoming more of a replacement PC for normal users it makes sense they could focus the desktop OS on pro/power users in a couple of years time.

I can see such a scenario playing out, I think iOS is by a gaping chasm the proven consumer OS for Apple. I just hope during iOS's continued penetration into the consumer space that they don't mess-up OS X for the actual pro people who want to have nice UNIX based OS with an accessible filesystem etc. Hopefully they will at least give the user more control and options so they can tweak it to their needs/tastes. I am sceptical though. My favourite release of OS X for performance was Tiger, it was rock-solid in my experience and felt lightweight.

>I can see such a scenario playing out, I think iOS is by a gaping chasm the proven consumer OS for Apple.

That's assuming the contest is a mutually exclusive OSX vs iOS game and not OSX vs Windows. If you assume the latter, OSX is also a proven consumer OS for Apple along with iOS.

>Hopefully they will at least give the user more control and options so they can tweak it to their needs/tastes. I am sceptical though.

I think you are right to be skeptical. I think Apple considers both OSes their 'golden child', especially with the absolutely massive gains OSX is making in the PC segment, and they are fully embracing the general consumer computing market. Everything they are doing signals a move to simplicity and familiarity with OSX being the system that is 'reigned in and streamlined' in the process.

If grey linen and genie animations bum you out, I think it's going to get worse before it gets better, and also, it's not really going to get better.

I personally don't mind OSX taking design elements from iOS, hiding powerful features in the name of simplicity (as long as they are still there), animations, linen, etc. As long as the features are still there and the OS is fast, I'm good. Unfortunately, the OS isn't fast. SL-->Lion introduced a sluggishness that is very real and very annoying, though I would probably never notice it if I hadn't upgraded from a much snappier SL.

> That's assuming the contest is a mutually exclusive OSX vs iOS game and not OSX vs Windows. If you assume the latter, OSX is also a proven consumer OS for Apple along with iOS.

While that is imminently rational, the problem in many organizations is due to internal political struggles. Apple might be experiencing this, as iOS starts to vastly eclipse OSX in terms of installed base and profits.

Microsoft has definitely lived this for decades (and even explicitly enshrined it in their values by Gates, Ballmer, etc "don't threaten Windows") and IMHO, it has led to their stagnation.

Apple before has admitted to moving devs before between OS projects, as they share a LOT of common frameworks/codebase.

We will see. I hear what you are saying, but in practice what Apple seems to have done is used the massive groundswell of iOS adoption as a mechanism for converting these users to their other platform products. Rather than competing with iOS for organizational mindshare and other resources, OSX seems to be the biggest beneficiary of the larger iOS adoption. I think it is because of iOS that OSX is going gangbusters in the PC market. While the two may never merge, Apples platform is greater than the sum of its iOS and OSX parts, and Apple is developing increasing application, UI, and stylistic synergy between the two, with OSX bearing the brunt of the makeover.

  > UNIX based OS with an accessible filesystem
That's the first time that I've heard of someone praising OS X for its 'accessible filesystem.' Care to expand?

As mentioned above, I did indeed mean accessible in the sense you can actually see the filesystem, create directories etc. If I am comparing to FreeBSD then not really going to argue about it being open to the user (though I think it is probably a very good thing that they hide all the UNIX system files from the average user, most people I know with a computer think the filesystem is called 'Desktop').

I would assume that this is comparing OS X to iOS, where (as I understand it) applications are restricted to their own file system areas.

It was not praise for OS X, but reflecting on the fact that there is no user accessible filesystem on iOS.


"I hate to say it (as a long time user of Apple computers) but in general they really need to pull their heads out of their arses when it comes to the bizarre direction they're going with the OS X user experience."

I don't think Apple cares, really. From their point of view, it's all about the consumer. If the consumer keeps buying their devices us power users ("developers") will continue to buy the hardware too. To write apps. And that's all Apple cares about.

Look Apple has never had great developer relations. Never. But I gotta tell you, right now it's the worse I've ever seen.

Look to sum up, most "regular" consumers are using one screen. Doesn't matter what us here use (and I'd call us power users). The masses uses one screen. And that's all Apple cares about. I doubt we'll ever see this issue resolved.

> Doesn't matter what us here use (and I'd call us power users).

I agree in a way, and I think we power users (as a whole) are a bit hypocritical. Whenever Apple leaves the most "backward" x% of users behind, it's just cutting stinky slack (no 32-bit, no iSync, no Rosetta...). When the tiny top x% of power users suffer, the iWorld is coming to an end and Apple is at fault.

But there's actually something that we can do: public shaming. Apple has already taken some steps back in 10.8: Ungrouping of apps in MC, pseudo-three-column layout in Address Book, less visual clutter in Calendar and the calendar list panel made it back. If blogs duly ridicule Lion as the Vista of OS X and keep going even after the release of ML, I have hope that Apple will take note. After all, there must be some people inside of Apple who agree with "us" too.

And even economically, Apple should be happy if we buy Cinema Displays or at least more of their overpriced adapters.

"But there's actually something that we can do: public shaming."

That's the key with Apple. Bad press is the ONLY time they respond. Anyone know Walt Mossberg?

"If the consumer keeps buying their devices us power users ("developers") will continue to buy the hardware too. To write apps."

Such an important point I thought I would highlight it. On HN there is often talk of "good will" with developers and the effect of that. The fact is good will doesn't trump market opportunity. Market opportunity is like good looks. It gets you the girl (even if you're a dick). Helping the girl with her physics homework gets you good will but won't get you laid.

> I think this is all related to the iOS X direction Apple is going with their desktops. they would rather force a broken implementation of full-screen

Indeed the current implementation is severely lacking. It's jarring when you plug a MacBook to a TV, pop in a DVD video, which starts the official DVD Player, and put it in full screen. Possible scenarios include:

- you are in mirror mode: this means the TV and the internal display will be at their common denominator, suboptimal in both resolution and aspect ratio.

- you are not in mirror mode: the primary display is irrevocably the built-in one. DVD Player goes fullscreen on that 13", while you can enjoy 42" of glorious Lion linen. Of course you don't want to close the screen, unless you have both fed the laptop with AC and have an external peripheral at hand to control Apple Remote, an external keyboard or a Magic Trackpad, which is a ludicrous situation.

The current solution is of course to use VLC, which goes around Lion's fullscreen API.

Yet I see a solution ahead.

In Lion an app "going fullscreen" really means "the app gets its own space" (I thus prefer the term "fullspace" instead). What's more, since Spaces have been introduced, a multihead setup lies in a single, giant Space all across. It follows that since the two screens are one unique Space, an app going fullspace will (under the current implementation) take over the two screens.

That's the problem, and so there's the solution: in a dual-head setup, the two screens should be two independent spaces, not one across.

This solves a good deal of issues:

- fullspace immediately occupies only one screen, with the other ones available to desktops or other fullspace apps

- windows can be moved from one monitor to an other monitor from Mission Control. This is not possible currently: you have to exit Mission Control and drag the window to the other screen.

- windows can be moved from one monitor to another space on another monitor from Mission Control. This is not possible currently: you have to exit MC, drag the window as the previous case, enter MC again and drag the window to the other space.

- and why not, Spaces could be rearranged not only inside each monitor, but across monitors. Take Desktop2 on Screen1, drag it on Screen2 after Desktop3, take fullspaced QuickTime on Screen3, put in on Screen1. There are problems to be solved, like when resolutions differ, but that's really not the end of the world.

MC literally begs for those four features.

I don't know if Apple thought of it yet (probably) and if they want to go that way (who knows, really). For all I know it would mean a heavy deal of refactoring of the current Spaces implementation (e.g see how currently Desktop1 is never reorderable, how fishy...).

I've learned to treat spaces as complete context switches. I think I like it better this way (though I know I'm in the minority here).

Space 1: Left Monitor - Chrome (Work profile), Middle Monitor - IDE, Right Monitor - Terminal Space 2: Left Monitor - Chrome (Personal profile), Middle Monitor - Itunes and Spotify, Right Monitor - Misc. non work stuff.

If I'm working on two projects, each gets its own space and browser window.

This way I can more effectively tune out Personal distractions.

I've learned to treat spaces as complete context switches. I think I like it better this way (though I know I'm in the minority here).

I think you're in the minority of the hn community. I'm not entirely sure that you're in the minority in the general population.

I don't use spaces, I find actually enforcing a multi-space policy to be pretty hard work.

> - you are not in mirror mode: the primary display is irrevocably the built-in one. DVD Player goes fullscreen on that 13", while you can enjoy 42" of glorious Lion linen. Of course you don't want to close the screen, unless you have both fed the laptop with AC and have an external peripheral at hand to control Apple Remote, an external keyboard or a Magic Trackpad, which is a ludicrous situation.

You can change which screen is the 'primary display'.

Agreed on all counts, however you can change the primary display in System Preferences.

You have to drag the menu bar on the diagram onto the display you want to be the primary.

Of course, that fixes one thing, but then your laptop screen is rendered useless instead.

Thanks for that. Talk about non-obvious. I could swear there's a checkbox for that on my dual head Hackintosh that is not present on my MacBook when I plug an external screen. Or it could be me (that time we used the MacBook as a fallback of the fallback — dedicated DVD player died + suddenly no 5.1 sound on XBox360, so I was quite enraged).

Edit: ah, after checking, the drag-the-menubar thing is actually written in the prefpane, and there's no checkbox. Silly me.

This is exactly how xmonad handles multiple screens. I am not very hopeful that Apple will implement this, since it can be pretty confusing to users.

Ah I could not remember which of xmonad or awesome was doing that. Mission Control bird's eye view makes workspace management admittedly much less confusing than either one.

It could be hidden behind the existing — and checked by default — option "Automatically rearrange Spaces".

God forbid someone get confused at the expense of a better and more efficient implementation. Little children get confused by long English words. We should take them out of the dictionary.

This has always been the Apple mode of operation. With quite some success, I might add.

I know. It's a tragedy.

I would love to have multiple monitors, and have multiple desktops per monitor that I change independently.

For instance on one monitor I could flip between email, the specs for what I'm working on, etc in different desktops. The other monitor can have a browser that I'm testing in, my code, etc in different desktops.

Brilliant. A space that's 2x the width is both elegant and consistent with the existing UI paradigm.

>or shift-minimize for ultra slow!

I never knew that existed. What possible purpose could that serve save to show off some gimmick?

It exists for most directly-controllable animations. Show dashboard super slowly? Shift+12. Show desktop super slowly? Shift + F11. Show Mission Control super slowly? Shift + Mission Control Shortcut.


Oddly enough, it doesn't work with F12 on Lion.

Oh, it works if you don't have "Show Dashboard as a space" checked.

I always thought that this was a feature for the OS X developers to 'debug' their transitions. You can do fun stuff with it though, e.g.:

- Open a terminal, enter "killall Dock", don't press return yet.

- Surf to HackerNews in your favorite webbrowser ;).

- Hold shift and minimize the window.

- Very quickly switch to the terminal and press return.

Now your browser is stuck somewhere halfway the transition. The nice thing is that you can still use your web browser in its deformed state.

You can fix your web browser by (really) minimizing and then maximizing it.

For debugging of course.

#ifdef DEBUG...


What new transitional UI effects did Mountain Lion add? I haven't noticed any differences.

switching between desktops is slower. It eases as a much slower rate at beginning and end. I've also noticed that you cannot cancel a desktop switch until the previous is complete, and thus cannot cancel a desktop move.

Wow... I haven't tried Mountain Lion yet, maybe I should before the retail release.

Are the desktop transitions really so slow that you would want to "cancel" one before it finished?

Wait. Slower than Lion? Lion is already considerably slower than Snow Leopard. It can't possibly be any slower. I really, really hope you're confused. I'm already using some sub-par-experience tool to override Spaces/MissionControl to speed up the four finger swipes.

Really ? I haven't noticed any difference switching desktops.

Fullscreen and Versions need to be killed or fixed.

I'll probably get slaughtered for saying this, but the more I use OSX and see the really simple stuff that either doesn't exist, doesn't work, or doesn't work well, I end up really confused where most Mac users' complaints of Windows comes from (especially compared to Win7).

This comes from working on a '10 MBP with Lion. Full screen is basically like "Maximize" in Windows. To me it was shocking that in 2011 that was touted as a new feature.

Other things bother me too, like constantly getting the "beachball" for seemingly simple actions and xcode crashing if I breath too hard.

I just assume most people aren't having a similar experience.

As a long time Mac user, I've really only started to become annoyed with OS X with the release of Lion. And by "started", I mean it's so severe that I'm probably going to switch to another OS after Mountain Lion is released.

I feel like Apple is just trying to screw devs and power users over in a desperate attempt to pull in the iOS crowd. Simple things like crippling Exposé and Spaces, which would easily allow to me see all windows and quickly switch between them, to combine it in Mission Control (which is all flash and no substance), was the first thing that annoyed me. Seeing them push the App Store to the point that they're going to make it more difficult for developers to distribute their apps outside it is also worrying.

Also, I seriously never had a single crash or freeze before Lion, and I've been using OS X for a good 7 years or more. Since installing Lion, I've had frequent lockups with many so bad that I've had to force a shutdown countless times. As a whole, everything is obviously much slower and/or crippled with worthless glitter thrown on top.

One of their main selling points in Lion was trackpad gestures, which are definitely great on their laptops, but completely worthless when you want to use a decent mouse with your desktop. Thankfully I kept Snow Leopard on my iMac and it's my main work machine.

You're not alone in your frustration.

I'm not a fan of what they are doing with the App Store (with the notable exception that everything you buy on the App Store is licensed for all your Macs, with possibly a limit of 5).

However, I find "Mission Control" to be perfectly usable. The name is a little dumb, but it's basically just expose with multiple desktop switching added in. What's the "all flash" part you are talking about?

Mentally, I always think of multiple monitors consisting of one space. Mission Control ruins that by displaying each space on each monitor separately, so windows that are side-by-side on different monitors no longer appear side by side in Mission Control. This is a huge mental disconnect. There's also various annoyances:

* You can't drag a window from one monitor to another using Mission Control, even though it will highlight the space you're trying to drop on.

* You can't move Space 1 to another spot or remove it, for no particular reason.

* When activating mission control from a fullscreen app, it shows the windows from Space 1, yet you have to swipe left to go to Space 2.

* It forces you to have different backgrounds per space/monitor, even if you don't want to. Changing your background globally is a huge pain.

With Spaces+Exposé, I could do two buttons presses to quickly see every window in every space. Mission Control removes this ability and instead stacks windows, making it harder to find what I'm looking for. Snow Leopard would easily let me select an individual window in another space with one click, while Lion either requires me to slide several times, pick the window, and do an app-only Exposé, or select a space, use Mission Control again, then select a subwindow. It kills productivity.

Additionally, Mission Control is simply much more laggy-feeling. I could easily switch between apps and spaces with no hesitation in Snow Leopard. In Lion, for whatever reason, it was that decided it was important to eliminate this in order to do a fancy slide effect. Lion also gives you the ability to set a unique wallpaper for each desktop, which is nice for some people, but it forces my computer to refresh the items on my desktop each time I scroll into another space.

Mountain Lion has a checkbox to ungroup applications in Mission Control. It's basically like 10.5 Exposé with an added spaces bar at the top, and a background that shrinks for some reason.

I'm glad they decided to give us some choice.

I just wish they'd done it from the beginning.

I usually don't mind when Apple tries out a new direction. It seems several of their products have taken two steps back to (try to) make a big leap afterwards, like iMovie and Final Cut Pro X(?).

It's only terrible because Apple forced all users to their Revision A software. Axing MobileMe and iOS development tools before Mountain Lion cleaned the mess up wasn't a nice move.

I have been running 10.8 for a around 2 weeks and the last two days both the trackpad and mouse simply stop registering on click, rebooting into safe mode then rebooting again is the only thing that fixes it, I don't even have any third party apps installed! That's a pretty major bug to have on year old hardware with your new release. It feels like QC is slipping. I may give Ubuntu 12.06 a shot via boot camp this weekend and see if I can get my work done with no loss in productivity. I use vim for my editor anyway so it's not like all that much will be different. (I won't miss the beach ball if this works out).

Ever since 10.3, Expose was a fantastic way to manage lots of windows on a small screen (in my case at the time, a 12" Powerbook). Windows never offered anything similarly useful for me until Windows 7's "hover over the taskbar icon to see previews" feature. Then when Apple added Spaces on top of that, the Spaces+Expose combo was even better.

I don't understand the desired behavior in Lion at all, though. They took away all-windows Expose (I used to have one corner dedicated to all-windows and another to application-windows) and turned Spaces into this weird hybrid thing with a useless-to-me Full Screen mode... Fortunately, my personal laptop is still on Snow Leopard, and my work machine is used with a couple 24" monitors hanging off of it, so I haven't yet had to use the new way of doing things... But with the recent OS X trends I'm not sure my next laptop will be another Mac.

I use the multiple desktops/spaces on lion quite a bit on my MBP 13". Mainly due to screen size. I find the new expose/spaces combo to be pretty good.

I keep a lot of apps open at the same time, and I like to keep each one on it's own desktop with a couple minor exceptions.

I don't like the All-In-One version of xcode... not friendly with a small screen at all. Xcode 3, I would keep the doc window on it's own desktop, Interface Builder on it's own, etc... xcode 4 I lost that ability.

I use "fullscreen" mode occasionally; when I do it's usually a web browser or a terminal window. I'd use it more but even in fullscreen mode, I still want to be able to open a terminal window and keep it on top of the fullscreen app. Like for copying an example from the web.

It's too frustrating to do that if I am having to swipe back and forth between desktops...

You can get that behavior in iTerm2 by giving it a global hide/show hotkey and toggling non-Lion fullscreening on. The terminal appears everywhere whether you're in a fullscreen app or Mission Control.

on ML you can see all open windows (though grouped by app) by pressing F3 or swiping 4 fingers up, I thihk it was the same in Lion.

This is something I've never understood. Yeah, the registry is a nightmare if you have to fiddle around there, but the taskbar? My god, the Windows 7 taskbar is the paragon of desktop computing perfection. It consolidates a launcher, window switcher, search, explorer, notification tray, and clock/calendar into one convenient bar that certainly nevers feels crammed. Microsoft knocked it out of the park with the taskbar. Oh, and Aero snap is cool, too (I know, there are OS X alternatives).

I should also add that Lion does not manage memory well. Opening a new tab in Chrome is a beachball party waiting to happen.

It manages memory ok, but it is rather greedy. If you've got less than 8GB of RAM you should upgrade.

I sat watching a directory copy to our office NAS today saying "About 5 seconds remaining" for around 45 minutes. Something is definitely broken there.

Before that it said "10 seconds" for ~20 minutes and "1 minute" for ~30 minutes.

It was copying... the speed/time calculation just clearly didn't take into account copying lots of small files (<=1KB) is a very different scenario to 1 big file. Let alone it just shouldn't be that slow...

Don't even start me on xcode.... the day it stops resurrecting 2 year old provisioning profiles and refusing to compile "Release" code (until I close project/close xcode/reboot/reopen xcode/delete file from keychain/close xcode/reopen xcode/delete file from keychain/reopen project) because it's summoned them from the dead/ether, is the day I'm a happy man again...

>I sat watching a directory copy to our office NAS today saying "About 5 seconds remaining" for around 45 minutes. Something is definitely broken there. Before that it said "10 seconds" for ~20 minutes and "1 minute" for ~30 minutes. It was copying... the speed/time calculation just clearly didn't take into account copying lots of small files (<=1KB) is a very different scenario to 1 big file. Let alone it just shouldn't be that slow...

So you are new to this "computer use" thing?

Because shit like that happens _all_ the time, in all OSes, from OS X to Windows to Linux, to NetBSD, to Haiku, to whatever.

It can even have 20 different explanations, besides the OS. "Doing a directory copy to the office NAS". Maybe the network configuration? Maybe the NAS?

For major issues and bugs I can understand the complaints --like the buggy XCode.

But do people (and hackers much more), think it means something to have tiny complains about some one-off annoyance that who knows why and how it happened?

Interestingly, these are the issues that people have been complaining about on Windows for decades and apparently have been the reason for people moving to Macs. But now they are creeping up there, too. Has OS X gotten worse, or was it just the enjoyment of using something new that made people not see these problems on Mac?

All OSs have problems. And if you add third party drivers, external services, peripherals, etc, exponentially more problems.

The reasons I use Mac (and lots of people too perhaps) is not because they don't have problems, but because:

1) It doesn't annoy me with 200 popups, update this, approve that, USB connected, etc.

2) It doesn't require me to run a performance hogging antivirus (I know the arguments: Macs can get a virus just as well as, etc. Until that _actually_ happens as often as it did in Windows circa 2000, instead of mere lame trojans that I have to work to install I won't bother. Do people run antiviruses on Linux?).

3) It doesn't come with horrible, horrible, horrible, OEM software.

4) It doesn't look like it was designed by a 17 year old Star Trek fan geek with no design sense (Metro is better of course).

5) It doesn't have 20 year old widgets that still haunt users today. If you ever run some apps with statically linked (I guess) Windows 98 looking "save file" dialogs and such, you know what I mean.

6) It has a UNIX underneath, and I'm a CS (and Linux user for work).

7) It can run professional, top of the line, multimedia apps (which I uses professionally and as a hobby) whereas Linux can't: Creative Suite, Final Cut Pro, Logic, Cubase, Waves, Komplete, et al.

8) 95% of the stuff "just works" without fiddling. Never happened to me on Windows or on Linux (starting from RedHat Linux 5 --circa 1998-- to Ubuntu 12.04).

Because most people's experience with Windows is through the cheapest keyboards, trackpads, motherboards, and displays Dell/HP could buy in bulk and deliver to Best Buy that week. When people talk about Windows, they're talking about 5-year-old beater Inspirons or 16-character HP one-of-three-hundred-identical-laptops-with-different-model-numbers-of-the-week, not EliteBooks, and almost certainly not ThinkPads. When people talk about Macs, they're talking about the Macbook Air, Macbook Pro, or maybe Mac Mini.

As far as software, as someone who supports Windows 7 on a daily basis: I have never spent more than 5 minutes on network printing with Macs. I have rarely spent less than three hours on network printing with Windows. Let's talk about the fact that it's 2012 and when I right-click a printer, I get to choose "printing preferences," "printer properties," and "properties." It may seem silly, but this stuff matters. You shouldn't have to hire the neighbor kid just to use your printer.

Additionally, manufacturers override Microsoft's decent (if clunky) WiFi interface and force you to use poorly designed taskbar-based apps, to the point where smart but non-tech-savvy people can't figure out how to connect to the Internet at a coffee shop. It's often impossible to avoid the concept of "location profiles," "networks" (Home? Business? Work? What the hell gives you the right to open a dialog over my work just because I plugged in an ethernet cable?). On my Mac I go to the Airport dropdown next to the volume control, pick from the available SSIDs, and it's done. Ethernet silently gets DHCP and connects. Details are there if I want them in ipconfig and System Preferences, but I hardly ever do. There certainly isn't crap in my taskbar running stupid 3fps animations and demanding my attention every few minutes. I have never been startled by the audio "Virus database has been updated" coming out of nowhere on a Mac, but this was a daily occurrence for Avast users.

How about "Windows is checking for a solution to the problem"? How about UAC dialogs that silently open behind my current window, so my Install Wizard appears to hang when it's actually just waiting for me to click ok?

Full screen is not basically like Maximize; Maximize is basically like Maximize. Full screen hides the chrome. I would compare it to F11 in Firefox. You don't have to use it; I do appreciate having Spotify and Mail full screen on alterate Spaces, so I can three-finger swipe to quickly read an email or change the song and then three-finger swipe back without altering my primary workpace, but I almost never fullscreen Chrome.

There are things I don't like. I hate that OSX reopens all my windows after I log back in; I don't use Xcode but I understand it's pretty buggy. Still, reports of Lion's transformation to iOS are vastly overblown.


Applause! You brought a tear to my eye. After living a luxuriant Apple-only lifestyle I've had to start supporting PCs again. Re-entering the Junkspace that is Windows has been punishing.

UI completely untouched since 1995. Thickets of new dialog boxes. Incredibly thick layers of shovelware. Grotesque artwork. Limitations that come out of nowhere that require Windows Pro Premium Whatever. IE toolbar/BHO hell. The printer thing alone, sweet Jesus. I literally gave up trying to share a single USB printer to two other workstations over the LAN. It's so unnecessarily difficult it's unreal.

The Mac-o-verse has the same volume of pain, punishment, and failure as the Windows platform, but it usually tends to cluster on the outside of the possibility space. Their failings aren't sitting there in plain view waiting for you to stub your toe.

For your printer problems, funnily enough installing Bonjour for Windows on both machines can help quite a lot.

I've done that quite a bit, but only to make printer discovery on the network actually happen. Are you saying you can use it to share out printers as well?

Ah, sorry. I had sharing and discovery confused. I thought Bonjour allowed (easier) installation of shared printers though.

I think there is a lot to be sad about the anti-windows opinion being linked not necessarily to windows but to the hardware. I personally love windows. I think Vista got a lot more negativity than it deserved and I love Win7. However, My windows machine is an iMac.

I've been consistently disappointed with pretty much every major windows OEM HW maker (with the exception of Lenovo where I just don't like their look and feel). There is something to be said about making people feel good about the HW they're using. Heck, my 2006 white macbook works like a champ and still serves all of the wife's needs (I offered to get her a MBA but she is happy with what she has).

>Because most people's experience with Windows is through the cheapest keyboards...

That part is so true. Running Win7 on my MBA '11 has been the best laptop I've ever had by a large margin. I should say I was routinely buying $2K Windows laptops, not cheap junk, but junk none the less. Hopefully PC makers are serious about stepping up their game.

The only Windows users I need to support are me and my wife with only the newest peripherals, so my experience hasn't been the same. The manner in which the UAC pops up has gotten me a few time though!

I've had similar experiences. A lot of simple things in OSX just don't feel natural or when done give me a result that I didn't expect. I've been using the OS for almost a year now and still feel that way.

If you work with mac for a while you will 1. get used to it 2. learn the difference in thinking 3. burn the damn machine

In the first few monthds i almost did 3, but then 1+2 and i love it since

And i'm not saying that fullscreen is broken by design here, it is.

Wow, apparently some people are so blinded by fanboyism (I know one such person myself) that they can't accept something created by Apple might have an issue. Some of the answers can be summed up as "hey, before you couldn't do X before, so stop moaning and keep doing what you did before if you don't like how X works!".

Even in the bad old days of Microsoft MVPs you didn't get answers as hostile as that. This is almost religious fervor. WTF?

I don't see it as fanboyism so much as a reaction to irrational anti-Apple complaints such as "this feature doesn't work therefore I'm not going to buy any Apple product ever again".

Yes, it's a bug. No, it's not a show stopper, and yes there is a perfectly reasonable work around. So the blind people are those who try to blow this up into some kind of crime against humanity and who then call those telling them to get a grip, "fanboys".

This is not just a bug in some feature that used to not exist, this is a regression that Apple took upon themselves completely consciously.

"Full screening" existed before Lion. It worked fine. You could for example run Quicktime or iTunes full-screend in one monitor and do work on another. Then, in Lion, solely to be able to market it as a new feature, they tweaked it to conflate full-screening with spaces and broke the feature for many people that had been happily using it for over 5 years. They could have just added the existing full-screen behavior to the iLife and iWork apps and things would have been fine. They didn't. It is clear that Apple knew they were going to break this feature for people, and did it anyways. (For example Quicktime used to have an option in preferences whether to black out the other screen or leave it usable, this preference was removed in Lion -- someone literally went in and deleted functioning and better code -- this was not some "whoops" mistake).

On top of this, what is particularly infuriating about this is that it hurts the people that have invested heavily into Apple by purchasing more than one monitor, many times expensive Apple monitors. It is completely acceptable and expected for people to get angry about regressing their monitors' abilities. Maybe its not a show-stopper for you, but for people who have spent a lot of money purchasing monitors, and had an existing workflow that functioned for YEARS, to all of a sudden lose it to a paid upgrade is 100% what I would call a show-stopper. Especially because it has been a year now and it is clear Apple just doesn't care about this.

"Well Apple is just more focused on the single screen experience now and you're just not important anymore". Bullshit. They repeatedly advertise, and continue to advertise the expanded capabilities of, multiple monitors: http://www.apple.com/displays/. The Air + Secondary Display is widely used, and most the laptops now support more than one external monitor. Thunderbolt even added daisy-chaining of monitors. This adds to the absurdity and schizophrenic nature of the issue: many pros use multiple monitor setups, and yet Apple went into the pro apps and degraded them to now only work with one monitor in full screen mode.

Of course, this shouldn't be surprising, its really a microcosm of the entire Lion release: very little to no new functionality and instead unneeded "tweaking" of existing behavior. We paid to have our scrollbars made to look like iOS and have everyone learn to "reverse" their scrolling, for Safari to perform the worst its ever performed (I don't think I know anyone who uses it anymore), and to have full screen broken.

"Full screen" mode existed before Lion (10.7), but prior to 10.6 the API did not exist. There are actually three ways to do full-screen in OS X:

1) Use Core Graphics to capture the display,

2) Manipulate window properties to get the result you want, or

3) Send the toggleFullscreen message to a window (10.6+ only).

Let's ignore option #1. It's primarily useful when you need to change the screen resolution without affecting other applications.

You say that the feature was deleted from Quicktime, but that's not what happened. Quicktime 7 and Quicktime X have different code bases. Quicktime 7's fullscreen functionality predate the current fullscreen API, and so there's a chunk of code in the Quicktime 7 player itself to futz around with window levels, types, desktop modes, and animate the whole thing. The Quicktime X application uses a different framework for video AND a different framework for the GUI, I doubt that you could bring much code from Quicktime 7 to Quicktime X.

Quicktime 7 used the old Quicktime library with Carbon. (So the API it was using to go fullscreen is even deprecated!)

Quicktime X uses the new Quicktime framework with Cocoa.

I myself have implemented the "nice" fullscreen technique, it requires some extra code but allows you to decide whether to allow other applications above yours.

I don't care if the feature broke because QT 7 and QT X have completely different code bases or because they removed the correctly functioning code. Either way it's broken and it's really fucking annoying.

There will be an app for that. Apple, probably, will release free app to fix this.

I don't think you understand computers.

> Yes, it's a bug.

No, it's not a bug. A bug would be something not working as intended. This clearly works just as intended, since some fullscreen apps apparently can use the extra monitor for secondary windows. It just isn't a very good feature if you have multiple monitors.

Personally, I'd love it to work on my dual monitors.

It's not a bug, it's a missing feature.

It's a regression on an existing feature. Regression = bug.

Did it work with one app per monitor at some point? Otherwise it's not a regression.

Full screen mode lets a single app use all your screen area. That is the feature. That you wish it to work differently does not make it a bug.

It's just a sucky solution for multi monitor setups.

Yes, it did. iTunes, Quicktime, Final Cut (the old one)... each had a fullscreen mode that worked on single monitor mode.

Wasn't that a completely diffrent thing, not governed by the OS, but implemented by each app independently and not wit the side-swipe app swiching?

And those complaints are, in turn, a response to overwhelming pro-Apple advocacy. It seems people are content claiming that Apple makes the best software that is clearly superior to Windows and Linux(!), and then surprised when others point out glaring deficiencies in OS X.

I always see such complaints not as "wow, OS X is completely unusable" but as "wow, OS X is not better than (Windows|Linux)". It's no crime against humanity to make a mediocre operating system--just don't go around claiming that it is by far the best!

I don't see the author anywhere saying he won't buy a new Apple product ever again? Am I missing something?

I'm curious what the perfectly reasonable work around is. Does it let me run 2 apps full-screen on 2 monitors (something Windows does without any issues whatsoever)?

The one and only workaround is "don't use fullscreen mode" so it definitely isn't going to let you run 2 apps full-screen because it's not going to let you run any application alongside a fullscreen one in the first place.

> something Windows does without any issues whatsoever

That is not entirely true, depending how the fullscreened application is coded interacting with the other one may e.g. make the windows toolbar reappear, or (very common for games) minimize the fullscreen application.

I really wish Windows apps had more consistency in their fullscreen behavior. Sometimes they bring up the taskbar, sometimes they behave like normal windows, sometimes they don't even let you scroll off the side anyway. This last behavior is most annoying in strategy games when I'm scrolling the map and have to use the arrow keys for one of the directions, but equally annoying in some FPS games where the cursor scrolls off the side but still behaves normally until you click to fire and then the application loses focus.

I'm not even a Mac user but I would take a consistent but irritating behavior over an inconsistent and also irritating behavior. It's more inconvenient to have to disable my second monitor while I'm playing a game.

I've found that Dota2 has a very good implementation for multi-monitor behavior. When you're in a menu or waiting to find a game in queue, you can move your mouse off to the second monitor, and click on something and the game will minimize. When you're in game, the game captures the cursor, and doesn't let it move to the second screen unless you alt-tab out of the game window.

That's the source engine default behavior and it works really well. Even better when running in window mode with no borders.

The workaround for now is to just run both applications maximized and deal with the small amount of taskbar clutter at the top.

Drag out the windows by hand to as large as you like, good enough.

This is downvoted, but I think there's some smartness to it.

My experience with the Mac is that apps for it are more often geared to work in not-full-screen windows; my personal hypothesis (with absolutely no documentation or backing) is that more Windows apps are most comfortable to use when maximized (and thus many new-from-Windows users look for a maximization button) because of MS-DOS' full-screen ancestry. In support of this unsupported theory: many more Mac apps seem to look silly when resized to unexpectedly large dimensions than do Windows apps.

Full-screen apps in Lion are a bit of a different thing because they exist in a conceptually separate place from "maximized" windows — they are to the side of the desktop, not on top of it.

Does Windows even have something akin to the full screen mode that is provided in Lion/Mountain Lion? Because as a long time Windows user and recent Mac switcher I am not familiar with it.

On the Mac you can run multiple windows and have them all maximised to take up the maximum amount of screen real estate + applicable chrome.

Some Windows apps have supported this via F11 for a very long time (ten years at least?).

So it is not an OS wide feature like Mac OS X where implementing it is fairly simple (at least from my experience).

Some apps like VLC have supported full screen for years, even before this feature was brought to Mac OS X itself.

So I wouldn't say that Windows has something akin to what is available to on Mac OS X.

Windows might not, but KDE certainly does. It lets you make any window full screen, which gets rid of the borders and makes it take up the whole screen (whichever one it happens to be on). Moreover, it also lets different programs customize their full-screen behavior: for example, Chrome and the Dragon Video Player both have their own full-screen modes.

And this still lets you use all of your screens. It's great.

Xmonad or others do the same. The open source window managers have always had advanced features that would confuse a lot of people.

I could see something like XMonad confusing people just because it's so different.

But KDE? Not so much. It's designed to be elegant and easy to use, and I think it's fairly successful. It's actually rather easy to go from Windows to KDE--even easier than Windows to OS X, I think. (Admittedly, this is in large part because KDE is similar to Windows in a lot of ways.)

Also, full screen isn't a confusing feature :P. And, of course, Apple is just as happy to confuse people as anybody else--it seems half their users are vague on what exactly the green button does!

This whole thread is a perfect example of irrational anti-Apple hatred. There is no news here, the thread being referenced is over a year old and the most recent page is splendidly off-topic. So bringing it up now is nothing more than a pre-pubescent "look, here is Apple being sucky" whine.

> Even in the bad old days of Microsoft MVPs you didn't get answers as hostile as that.

Um, sure you did (probably still do, I just don't move in those circles any more). I've seen IT managers have visceral reactions against the mere suggestion that Macs might do a better job of anything than Windows.

Some of the people I work with are like that and some others are mac evangelists. Is funny when they meet and shout at each other. I prefer to just use lots of different OS's and like always having a few spare machines lying around that I can wipe and install stuff on, so don't really see what all the fuss is about. If people really cared they'd go out and code better GUIs.

However, it is stupid that apple make some fairly basic design mistakes in the GUI experience when they focus so well on the physical aspects of their devices, but then again, none of the major players has done GUI really well yet, especially when compared with some of the best output of the computer games industry.

At WWDC, they showed that Mountain Lion would enable multi-monitor fullscreen support. But yes, they shouldn't expect Apple to be their friend and hold true to their word.

> At WWDC, they showed that Mountain Lion would enable multi-monitor fullscreen support

But that support is still garbage. Slightly less than Lion's, but still: "multi-monitor fullscreen support" only means that applications will go fullscreen on the (physical) screen they are currently on rather than move to the primary screen (which for a laptop is the "internal" one, making your 27" Cinema Display a very nice mirror and not much else) as is the behavior in Lion.

Fullscreen Mode will still only allow you to use a single physical screen.

>Fullscreen Mode will still only allow you to use a single physical screen.

Oh, the humanity! How about using NON fullscreen mode then? Like, say, _maximize_?

Complaining about the full screen feature "being broken in multi screen mode", when other platforms don't even offer it in a single screen?

These were features that were removed from Apple's apps with the release of Lion. You can understand that people would be upset. Something worked, a specific way, and then when a new release of the OS comes out and the software is updated, suddenly, it has suddenly removed features you'd used in your daily work flow. It's not as if this idea, this concept never existed.

> when other platforms don't even offer it in a single screen?

They do though, and they do it well, so I'm not sure what you're trying to say.

You didn't really bother yourself with all that thinking stuff before posting this one, now did you?

"Friend"? No. Stand by their word? I expect that form everyone but am often disappointed. Don't say things you don't intend to follow through on. It makes you untrustworthy. This is probably why Apple stays mum on everydamnthing - the individual employees might mean well, might think something is fully plausible, but then business agendas change, contracts get in the way, and ultimately the corporation doesn't deliver. Easier to just keep your mouth shut and deliver what you deliver.

Do I trust people to keep their words? Not immediately - first we try, then we trust.

I think you are missing the point. I think Jackson actually meant the last bit as sarcasm.

I see this all the fucking time in the Apple sphere, on forums and elsewhere.

The other one that makes me want to punch things is "why would you ever need to do that?"

Some people really need to stop making excuses for the limitations of their favorite platform. Stop having a favorite platform, for fuck's sake.

It's ridiculous I agree, it makes all mac users look like foaming fanboys.

I know most aren't, but the few that are are so annoyingly vocal it taints the whole community.

The guy I'm talking about will argue with you (and get very pissed off) if you ever criticize anything made by Apple. "Hey, I think feature X on device Y works better than the iOS/OS X equivalent" will get you a 2 hour discussion on why Apple's version is better and, if it isn't, it shouldn't be and the other version is flawed because it does more than it should do.

Whatever marketing Apple is doing, they are certainly doing a great job at making users (well, at least some of them) identify with the brand.

Which really is terrible. I own a Mac, it's my primary machine but I get plenty of use out of the Windows and Linux dual boot machine I also have. Every OS has it's own advantages, and fanboys need to accept that already.

I could not agree more. I use a MacBook at work, Windows at home, and various Linux machines (mostly through ssh). I find each one has it's own pros and cons and I'm comfortable working with any of them.

I could care less about Apple's Fullscreen API -- what I hate is that apps are replacing their old Fullscreen behavior (like Chrome has) in favor of the Apple standard. Which led me to make this comment on a Firefox 12 HN post a few months ago: "... it will be a shame when they implement full screen if it takes away the current layered option. Firefox is the last major OSX browser to work in fullscreen while still allowing apps to be above or below it. With Moom's hotkeyed window positions--it's extremely convenient to bring a text editor to focus and still be able to scroll the web in the background. Mozilla, please don't let this happen!" Apple's Fullscreen API just seems like a lazy approach to delegating UI real-estate and the last thing power-users would want.

Honestly, I think the suggestion of hitting the green button to maximize is completely fine.

Except that the green button DOES NOT MAXIMIZE. And never really has. Window management in OSX has always been a complete joke, and it continues to be so. Now pressing the green button in chrome resizes to small and "current" sizes, not "full screen."

The green button is not meant to "MAXIMIZE". It is meant to switch between user and standard states. You can read about it in the OS X Human Interface Guidelines. I've never liked having a window take up a whole screen personally, and think window management has been much better than Windows.


> Honestly, I think the suggestion of hitting the green button to maximize is completely fine.

It definitely isn't fine when your goal is to maximize content visibility and remove as much chrome as possible, which is the reason you'd put a video player, image reader or web browser in full-screen.

> Except that the green button DOES NOT MAXIMIZE.

The purported role of the zoom button is to fit the window to the content, but shift-clicking it should maximize. It does so in all the applications I use except (strangely enough) Cocoa Emacs.

But that is not fine because it leaves all the chrome around, where the point of full-screen modes is to remove that and potentially re-layout the display to make better use of the now chrome-less canvas.

Hold shift then click the green button. And I'd say Expose/Spaces coupled with the built-in hot-corners feature is great on OS X and window management is far from a 'complete joke'. In fact it's one of the big benefits for me over Windows.

My solution to that problem was finding an amazing app called "Moom". Makes window management (specially the old problem of "maximizing" windows) extremely easy. Just thought I'd plug it, hope the dev gets some love :)

I use ShiftIt for the same purpose, and it works very well. Though I probably spent more than $10 of my time trying to make it compile nicely with Xcode 4.3 ;)

Now that I've got it working, though, I have to say that there's something almost liberating about being able to make the window take up the whole screen, without having to dick about any more. Every time I do it, I get a slight frisson, imagining myself sticking 2 fingers up at an oncoming army full of tutting, hissing, ponytailed-and-bearded turtlenecked Apple fanboys, all crying out for my head, "Burn the Windows-loving witch!" Well, dear fanboys, screw the lot of you, and dear OS X, screw you too, and that goes for Safari and iTunes as well. Hey, Safari, I just took your window AND MADE IT TAKE UP THE WHOLE GODDAMN SCREEN... and I don't give a fuck how big you thought I needed to have it.

Considering what the Apple brand is supposed to connote, or at least what I thought it was supposed to connote, I find this kind of ironic.

I'm personally partial to SizeUp. Moom's interface is a lot better (its grid system is brilliant), but I can't stand that you can't use it to send windows to other spaces.

This has always drove me crazy.

Some apps, like Mail or Spotify (for example), do actually go full screen when I click the green button to maximize. Other apps, like you mentioning Chrome, don't. This makes me believe it has to do with how the app is coded, not a OSX problem.

What drives me crazy is that sometimes running youtube videos in full-screen mode under Chrome will sometimes initiate the Lion full-screen behavior, and sometimes it won't. If there is a rhyme or reason behind it, I don't know it.

I believe this has to do with whether you're running a Flash or HTML5 video. I thought HTML5 triggers Lion fullscreen, although I'm not sure.

It's not a Windows-style maximize button. It's a "fit window to content button". It's being a good neighbor in a multitasking environment. Instead of taking up an entire screen for no reason, the window only takes up the space it requires.

If everyone started out on OS X and then went to Windows, people would be whining that the middle button takes up the entire screen when they don't want it to.

I love angry rants from people that think every window manager has to act like Windows.

It's a zoom button, not maximize. If you simply Shift-Click you will get the expected effect. There are half a dozen tools that will change the default behavior if you require it.

But I don't know what "zoom" means in the context of a window. And the inconsistencies of my experiences with various apps didn't make it clear either. (e.g. the infamous mini-player for iTunes)

As for Shift-Click I tried it with Chrome and I thought you had made my day. However it didn't do anything different on Messages, nor Safari: it just stretched the window vertically. In my short survey of currently open apps, half were stretching vertically while the other was doing fullscreen. (be it Shift-click or plain click) Only Chrome acts differently.

Zoom tries to remove the scroll bars. It makes the window big enough so that the scroll bars disappear. If there are no scrollbars and the main content just automatically resizes with the window (e.g. in Aperture) it is equivalent to the maximize button.

The biggest problem with that is that developers make it work inconsistently.

Browse around iTunes until you find a track that doesn't quite fit horizontally. Click the "zoom" button, to make the window big enough. Oh wait, it doesn't.

If by "developers" you mean "Apple" then yes. I never use the "zoom" button because it exhibits apparently random behaviour.

Agreed. It's one of those "we'll figure this out later" things from the late 90's without any real programmatic constraints that led to a mishmash of pointless and unexpected behavior.

I personally can't come up with a good reason not to just remove the green ball entirely.

So the issue is iTunes, not the green button? And admittedly itunes behaviour is very well known, it's hardly surprising.

I completely agree with you. Don’t be so aggressive, be nice!

Apple should remove the zoom button. It’s not necessary, more confusing than anything.

I'm new to Macs so I may be missing something, but I tried your shift-click approach in a half dozen applications (including Apple ones). It didn't maximize any of the programs. I suppose a separate software program may enable this functionality, however.

He meant command-click.

I definitely didn't. I just tried Shift+Click'ing on Chrome, Terminal and Sublime Text 2. They all exhibited the Maximize/Restore functionality that I've been using in Windows for years.

No love in Safari. Not a fan of tools I can't rely on.

Ironically Safari is the only app I can't make work. But by God, who uses Safari? :P

Yep, my mistake, did some incorrect testing.

I'm a die-hard mac user, and even I can admit that their window management is atrociously bad. My only hope is that it was based on some stupid edict handed down by SJ, and now that he's out of the picture they'll finally get around to fixing it.

> I love angry rants from people that think every window manager has to act like Windows.

Wrong. They're from people who think every window manager should act consistently. This is decades of UI design and expected behavior being flushed down the toilet by a company for which NIH is religious dogma.

That Windows behaves the correct, expected way is an indictment on OS X, not its growing base of increasingly frustrated power users.

"Wrong. They're from people who think every window manager should act consistently. This is decades of UI design and expected behavior being flushed down the toilet by a company for which NIH is religious dogma. That Windows behaves the correct, expected way is an indictment on OS X, not its growing base of increasingly frustrated power users."

I don't see how that couldn't be turned entirely on its head? Windows is clearly the one ignoring the decades of UI design and expected behaviour from Apple, as from checking from screenshots, has been since at least System 3 — predating Windows 3.1. ;-)

Though, I agree that Apple seem intent in ridding themselves of powerusers and developers, which seems like a somewhat perverse set of incentives.

I did not know that, that's useful thank you.

I still stick to my guns: the default behavior is insane. Focusing on one task (ie: one screen, window, app etc) at a time is the common use case, when I want to show two screens at once it's the exception. Current behavior is based on a philosophical concept of carrying through the "desktop" metaphor, and SJ's obsession with showing off his stacked windows, which mac was first to have, rather than on how humans actually want to use computers.

Not a mac user here but its amusing to know that OS X has had problems supporting such simple things such as dual monitor.

It has no problem with dual monitors. Or four. (On a dual-video-card Hackintosh, no less.)

The problem is with the full-screen behavior introduced in Lion. And it does suck, but I personally it very low on the list of annoyances.

OSX has plenty of annoyances, and that's what this is - an annoyance. Multi-monitor support exists, it works great - just not on the Lion-new "fullscreen mode".

I have used 4x simultaneous monitors on my MBP for years, and it's still more comfortable overall than Windows7 (YMMV - Win7's experience varies greatly on your drivers/hardware).

Apple has always had issues with window-management, it's one of those things like lock-screen that Windows still does better in some ways.

>I have used 4x simultaneous monitors on my MBP

What do you use for that?

Displaylink x2 + 1 MiniDP + laptop screen


I run two older versions of this evga product (as my monitors are older - 1650x1080). http://www.amazon.com/EVGA-100-U2-UV19-TR-Supporting-2048x11...

> it's one of those things like lock-screen that Windows still does better in some ways.

Right? Unless I'm missing something, my friends and I all use a hot corner to activate the Screen Off to be able to lock our screens when we leave our laptops since there is no Win+L or Lock equivalent. :/ I guess they just expect me to close it everytime I leave? I have lots of long running stuff that I normally don't want to stop just because I want to go to the kitchen or bathroom.

Actually, that's now resolved since Snow Leopard - there's a "sleep display" key-combo (IIRC: Ctrl-Shift-Eject) that, combined with screensaver password will do effectively Win+L.

My major issue is that sometimes it showed content before screen is unlocked (likely my displaylink device) or fails to unlock (sleep/unsleep resolves this)

I don't remember if it has to be configured, but I just press Ctrl-Shift-Eject to lock my screen.

There's no eject button on Macbook Airs

Hit the power button. It pops up a modal with restart, sleep, shut down and cancel.

It's like no one read my post. I specifically do not want to sleep.

the sleeping is only for the monitors, the computer is still running.

That's... not true.

cmd + alt + eject is the sleep you're thinking about. ctrl + shift + eject is just for the displays :)

You can go into the Keyboard system preferences and set a keyboard shortcut for "Sleep".

I can confirm it's still busted. After a year of Lion I've learned never to bother with the full screen button (that's a feature for noobs anyways right?)

Though what really pisses me off about Mountain Lion multiple monitor is they removed the "Detect Displays" menubar option. Just gone. So now I'm reduced to unplugging and replugging my thunderbolt 27inch display when I connect it to my laptop. F'ing asinine

This may fix your problem: http://code.google.com/p/detectdisplays/

Awesome, just what I needed. Thanks!

I personally use cinch to do window management (or at least arrangement) on osx. Mimics Windows' Aero Snap functionality, and does it pretty well. Never had a need for the zoom button.

This is not a bug. It is a very intentional feature, like the scroll bars, they decide they had to go against the norm to implement it and they went aead with it. The intended use case is to allow the app access to both the screens. Imagine this in say a video editing environment where you could have the video playing on the left and all the myriad number of controls on the right. The problem is, to my knowledge, almost no app has taken to it yet, no one wants to be the first, heck not even apples own apps feel the need to do it.

Conjecture-> The problem is unlike scroll bars you can't have a setting to disable it, because that would mean the app had to retroactively allow itself to run in a single window full screen mode which might be considered unpredictable behavior, something they don't like. So to give them some benefit of doubt I see where they're coming from.

I agree this behavior of full-screen mode is counterproductive on multi-monitor set-ups, and it's a serious issue if Apple is encouraging app developers to rely on this behavior instead of providing more useful window layouts. It's a violation of metaphor: "full screen mode" is actually "dedicated space mode," which isn't what multi-monitor users expect or want.

From personal experience, I suspect this feature is intended to make Spaces more accessible to novice users on laptops without external monitors, a common case. I never got the hang of Spaces originally, but once I started using full-screen mode while portable, my laptop got immensely more useful. For me, this was a gateway into the rest of Spaces, and now I maintain 3 desktop spaces and 1 full-screen app, and switch between them and Mission Control with trackpad gestures. Heck, I might even start using Dashboard, since it's sitting right there. (Ok, probably not.) It's a gradual introduction to an advanced feature.

Apple routinely cuts off its long tail as a streamlining measure, sometimes for UX reasons, sometimes for engineering reasons. They shouldn't always get away with it. At least in this case the intent seems reasonable, even if the side effect isn't.

I solved this problem very easily, by downgrading to Snow Leopard. Also that got rid of kernel panics caused by a bug in Darwin virtual ttys.

The worst part of Lion's featured 'fullscreen mode' is that software, that worked fine in fullscreen before, now uses Lion's fullscreen. This doesn't happen on Snow Leopard.

Don't you need Lion for the latest Xcode these days? If you're not doing anything in Xcode you might as well boot Linux (or Windows :).

Unfortunately for iOS developers, yes, you need Lion for latest XCode.

Compiler toolchain and other stuff is available via older xcode or gcc-osx-installer project, though.

The problem with this approach is that a bunch of apps in the App Store, unaccountably, ask for Lion+. I can't see what particular API feature they are using that requires a full OS upgrade, but the last 5 applications I was ready to pay for weren't compatible with Snow Leopard.

Lion uses versions instead of files (which is its own can of worms). Maintaining support for both sounds like a pain, actually.

The other annoying aspect of this is that there are (hidden?) APIs for making apps functional in fullscreen mode across multiple monitors. Aperture (for sure) and Final Cut Pro X (I believe) both make use of multiple displays.

I've noticed that in Mail.app for example, if you show the connection doctor, or status or even the address list (Window -> Address panel) while in full screen you can happily drag those across to the secondary/empty screen and they will stay there for the duration of the app being full screened.

I don't think a special API is required, just knowledge of the second screen and then placing windows on that second or third screen.

Parallels also works on multiple monitors in fullscreen mode so it can't be a hidden API.

But still, you can't have one app fullscreen on one monitor and another app in the other.

I finally upgraded to Lion a few weeks ago because a client I have (I'm a web dev, mostly rails) had an app that was built on Xcode 4.3 that I needed to be able to compile and test. I really miss snow leopard. my computer runs slower now under lion and I'm dubious as to whether the UI improvements improved anything.

Holy shit, Apple. It is 2012. Figure out how to do a decent window manager that lets you maximize a window properly.

Tim Cook is the Steve Ballmer of Apple. And I mean that in every negative way possible. This kind of shit is a great example, but everything he's done since he took over has been a tremendous disappointment.

Nobody was clamoring for the iOS experience on the desktop. It's horrible. Get rid of it.

You do understand that the decisions made in Lion probably weren't made by Tim Cook? I'm frankly tired of hearing "OH APPLE IS BURNING, IT'S COOK'S FAULT". If everything he's done has been a disappointment why are Apple making more money than ever?

And apparently people were clamouring for it, just you weren't.

Well, I for one, like it. And I have been using OS X since 10.2

OS X is the least usable of the desktops I worked on for a longer period of time (Gnome 2 and Windows XP). Mostly because of clunky and slow way of app switching and poor window managment. Unfortunately, "modern" desktops like Gnome 3, Unity or Metro are even worse.

Frankly, I don't find the full-screen issue that much of a problem. I use BetterSnapTool to emulate the Windows 7 style drag window to edge functionality. So going full-screen on a window now works exactly like Windows 7.

The bigger problem is how it is not possible to drag a window from a "space" on one display, to a "space" in another display when viewing Mission Control. There is no conceivable reason they don't allow this. It worked just fine in Spaces. It has nothing to do with full screen mode. I just don't get it.

I dont think you are understanding the problem here. Its not with maximizing windows on your monitor, its with having apps go fullscreen while still having access to your second monitor. Currently OSX makes the 2nd monitor linnen.

I understand the problem perfectly well. I've used Lion for a long while now. Prior to 10.7 there WAS no fullscreen feature (no universal feature, that is. Individual apps had their own implementations), and I hate how Apple implemented it.

Regardless, my point is that a lot of people have been using the full-screen feature as a substitute for full-maximize. I'll gladly sacrifice a quarter inch of screen real-estate to be able to use my external display simultaneously. I actually NEED that menu bar most of the time, anyway.

I (mostly [1]) get around this by using SizeUp and its "full screen" keyboard shortcut to maximize my windows. I'm sure Divvy and other tiling window manager software have an equivalent.


[1] I say "mostly" because it just maximizes the window and doesn't put the app into Apple's Fullscreen API mode.

You know how I know every operating system is turning into sh_t? The install sizes keep increasing...I could write an operating system with much of today's functionality in probably under 100 mb. With the right system architecture/standardization, I could probably write an operating system under 10 mb.

Time for a new operating system.


I've never found built in apple features to typically handle dual monitors too great.

Sure, multi monitors is fine, but the Spaces and Mission Control UX never scaled well when you added another monitor (IMO). Full screen behaviour just adds to it. It seems to me that >1 monitors are not how Apple envisions their computer configs.

The way I think they justify this (and I do), is that if you have multiple monitors, then you generally have lots of screen real-estate, and thus won't be using fullscreen mode anyway. I don't, because apps are too big on 24" - fullscreen is best on a small notebook display.

I still think Apple should change it though.

There are some apps it makes sense with, like video, or music, or drawing/painting, or 3D modeling. Or even two-page spreads in Preview.

Or, most importantly, Emacs! I don't know where I'd be without a full-screen Emacs.

I don't use Fullscreen. I have 2 27" monitors hooked up through a Dual Head 2 Go. I use Divvy, which is set up so I can put an app on either 27" screen, or on the left of right of either 27" screen. I find Mission Control to be an adequate Exposé substitute.

I don't use spaces.

Disclaimer:I have 0 Apple products,

Does using a usb powered/driven screen have the same problem? (as they tend to use their own driver IME). I know they are slower to update, but for monitoring use should be fine.

I have no reason to upgrade to ML. I don't really use my Air all that much, but if they fixed this I would upgrade in a second. Too bad.

ML is noticeably faster and smoother across the board. That's a great reason.

Then ML should be free; "faster and smoother" sounds like bug fixes to me.

I'm pretty sure that "faster and smoother" isn't all you get.

that is why i don't use fullscreen

Fullscreen is meant to focus you on one app.

Spaces, aka. Mission Control, aka. "whateverthehellthey'recallingitthisweek", is meant to multimonitor set-ups with a bunch of apps in preset places. Use spaces/missioncontrol.

Personally, I don't get full-screen apps at all and wish this feature would die a painful and horrible death. I'd love to see stats on its use, as I've never seen anyone who actually knows what its cryptic icon represents.

I use it almost exclusively on my 11" air. With limited screen space it is very helpful. And swiping directionally between fullscreen apps is more intuitive than cmd-tab.

But it is total garbage on a large screen, so I don't use it when docked.

This is very helpful. I guess it is for smaller screen sizes. It makes sense now. Thank you!

> Fullscreen is meant to focus you on one app.

My common use case is opening text editor in fullscreen on main display and terminal with tests and tail -f log on the secondary one. Using Lion's fullscreen mode could help me get some extra screen estate for the editor, were it done right.

Also, why force turning off the displays? After all, one can press the power button or dim it using brightness settings, if the need arises.

I use it on my 15" MacBook pro all the time, and really enjoy it. I don't have external displays, so it's a great thing for me. But as others have said, with an external display attached to yor Mac, it's absolute garbage.

I agree, I don't get the appeal either.

I never use it on my 13" MBP, whether it's just the laptop or if I have it set up with an external 24" as a second monitor.

On my 27" iMac the only time I have a window maximized is when I have iPhoto open. However, the window is maximized, I'm not in fullscreen mode.

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