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Author Topic: mac spaces, WTBFD?  (Read 2799 times)
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« on: May 22, 2008, 03:02:46 PM »

Seriously, whats the big deal with virtual desktops?

I have never been able to wrap my head around virtual desktops and why they are any better than alt tab?

If I have 10 things open, I dont want to have to find which desktop its actually on. I would rather alt tab, or use expose.

can someone give me a scenario where virtual desks are actually useful?
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perkiset
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« Reply #1 on: May 22, 2008, 03:35:26 PM »

I used to have 8 virtual desktops with CodeTek and 10.4, but am now down to 4 Spaces in Leopard because I have 4 huge monitors so I don't need as many and the way Spaces works is not quite as smooth to me as Linux virtual desktops.

Space 1: Safari running with tabs for all the forums I talk to, my email, calendar and address book on it.
Space 2: BBEdit, another Safari window with all development tabs on it, Terminal with my development environments logged in
Space 3: Often runs Parallels in a huge monitor for testing IE and FF for Windows. Another Terminal window for talking to client hosts
Space 4: Most often Photoshop and Word et al... pretty much the client software area.

I have things like iChat, a calculator, a mini timer, the Finder, my FTP client and iTunes set to span all spaces and they show up predominantly on the monitor to my right.

So with a simple CTRL-1 I'm in a perfectly laid out "communications" space, then either CTRL-Right or CTRL-2 I'm in my development space (again, all windows laid out all over and really nice) etc. The point of virtual desktops for me is to compartmentalize logical thinking groups and be able to leave them laid out most beneficially.

The Linux virtual desktops are superior IMO, spaces pissed me off because of the way certain apps work with it. It took a while for me to convert my screen workflow to the Spaces way and I still miss a little "grid" on the bottom left side of my monitors to just click and I'm there... but I have become accustomed to it and it is satisfactory now.

Once you go multi-monitors and virtual desktops and the RAM to make it all work (I'm at 10G on my 8 core) you'll be surprised how much faster you can go - and how much thinking / finding things you will not longer do. Alt-Tab and Expose take too much work if you use multiple apps in a "thinking cluster" notion.
« Last Edit: May 22, 2008, 03:44:11 PM by perkiset » Logged

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« Reply #2 on: May 22, 2008, 03:59:21 PM »

ok, so your using spaces to compartmentalize your monitors. sure, that makes sense, but for argument sake, what about just 1 monitor? great you have a dev space and a graphics space and a chat space, but it just seems like that will cause annoyance. for example, my graphics space and dev space would constantly have to become 1 space. My communication and dev spaces would also, because of the rediculous edit emails I get from clients.
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« Reply #3 on: May 22, 2008, 04:59:57 PM »

when i first started using linux i didn't touch them. now i can't imagine not having them.
i'd have everything open for work and my wife might sit down and use the pc, sometimes disrupting my perfect order or close a browser window by reflex.
so i got her to use a separate workspace when she used the pc.
then i started re-organizing my workflow, leaving my email open in one workspace, programming in another, etc.
you can always move your window into another workspace if you find you are switching too much.
it's very, very convenient when you get used to it.
ctrl+alt+arrow keys for quick switching, add a shift to that and you throw your window into the next workspace. map keys to specific workspaces.
imo it's one of the best things about linux desktops.
compiz has a great plugin called 'expo' for dragging windows across workspaces in zoomed out view.

...
Alt-Tab and Expose take too much work if you use multiple apps in a "thinking cluster" notion.
...
i never got the alt-tab thing. more than 2 or 3 windows open and its slower than clicking.
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« Reply #4 on: May 22, 2008, 05:03:45 PM »

Even with one I use it (my notebook). Same situation - on my notebook I put email and iChat on a space, address book, notebook, iCal on a space, browser window on another, dev tools on another etc... I REALLY don't like overlapping windows, and I like to "max out" my work area for an app, so I'd have 10 apps setting on top of each other and then going from my editor to email would be a huge pain and sometimes it'd be to Photoshop and sometimes to iChat and and and and ... just pisses me off. So with ctrl-# sequences to get to the app(s) I want or CTRL left and right (because I spend most of by day with my editor/terminal then mail/forum stuff) it is handy, clean and easily replicable/startupable. It puts everything where I expect it all the time - believe it or not, that little bit that I don't have to worry about REALLY helps me out.

But now thinking about how we are similarly afflicted (although you to a greater degree than me), methinks it would be good for you as well.
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« Reply #5 on: May 22, 2008, 05:05:51 PM »

imo it's one of the best things about linux desktops.
100% agree... I went from a 'doz environment to RH7 with KDE and virtual desktops - it was a little weird for the first day, but as soon as I started using them it was like organizational heaven. I think that's way I disliked spaces so much at first... the GNOME and KDE switchers transformed the way that I work and it was really hard letting that go.
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« Reply #6 on: May 22, 2008, 05:45:49 PM »

I get it, i just dont feel it. I have tried many times in the past.
1 issue is that a lot of time gets spent dicking with the organization of stuff. Piles work better Wink
alt-tab is no longer just Alt-tab-tab-tab-tab. Its now AltTab-click to get what window you want.
Expose is similar in that respect (and i think better sometimes).
of course there is the stupid vista 3d scroll thingy, which actually is usefull, but only when you got way too much shit open.
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« Reply #7 on: May 22, 2008, 08:39:57 PM »

Someday when you and J get over in this neck of the woods we'll crack some suds and I'll show you how it looks from my angle... but I agree that the most important thing is that the mechanism maps cleanly to the way (you) think - and also, if you've got it humming then why break it Wink
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