Solipsism Gradient

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Browsing Posts tagged Klicko

Re: Klicko (beta)

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The saga continues with Klicko 1.0b5.

The click-through functionality itself hasn’t changed but now the About window flips over to show a Preferences window. This window is just a list of applications explicitly excluded from the click-through suppression.

I seized the occasion to re-learn some stuff about Cocoa tables. Everything should “just work” as expected; you can select any running application from the “+” button’s popup menu, or drag applications directly into and out of the window.

I’ll probably do one last beta to fix any remaining bugs, and incorporate additional localizations. Stay tuned.

Update: forgot to say, I tested it in Tiger and everything appears to work fine there too.

Re: Klicko (beta)

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Klicko 1.0b4 is just out. It’s a little smaller and, despite that, is localized into Portuguese.

I switched some stuff around so that any new localizations will add only two small text files to the app. Localizers, please tell me if you’re interested.

Re: Klicko (beta)

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Klicko 1.0b3 is out with some fixes. In particular, it now brings applications forward independently of the window type, and the “About” window has better text.

I think this is probably the best functionality I can get out of this application. The only addition I can think of would be a list of applications to exclude. Let’s wait for some feedback on this…

Re: Klicko (beta)

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OK, I found out why Klicko apparently wasn’t running on the PowerPC test machine; accessibility was turned off there, and I forgot to check for it.

So I pushed out a second beta of Klicko. Please reload if you got the older one. Sorry…

And yes, it’s sort of inspired by Wilhelm Busch‘s line:

Wie lieb und luftig perlt die Blase/ Der Witwe Klicko in dem Glase!

(also quoted here.)

Klicko (beta)

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Yesterday I, for the N+1th time, was annoyed at Mac OS X’s click-through behavior. I’m not the only one (see also here, and a follow-up). Basically, I have several apps in the Finder’s toolbar, and I constantly find myself either starting one of them by mistake, or losing the selected folder by accidentally clicking in the sidebar. Yes, easily recoverable, but annoying. I’d also like to have it off in other apps.

So I finally sat down yesterday evening and did something about it. The result is Klicko (click on the link to download the beta). Just run it, and click-through will be disabled for all apps while it’s running. You can set it to start at login; quit to return to the old behavior.

Yes, I know. The icon isn’t too good; suggestions are welcome. This is basically thrown together over a few hours, and I wanted first to get it out and see if others find it useful.

Niceties: while it’s running, shift- or command-clicks will get passed through as usual, if you do want click-through at that moment. It does NOT inject code, hack running applications, or do any magic like that; it just intercepts clicks (or not, depending on the click).

Problems: this is a beta version. It might run on 10.4 (Tiger); the APIs were already there, but I’m not sure if they worked OK. I don’t have a Tiger system anymore, so I can’t test it. It’s a Universal app so it should run on PowerPC Macs, since there’s no machine-dependent code I can see; but in a brief test I ran on my sole remaining PowerPC machine (a venerable PowerBook G4), it didn’t work at all. I’ll be trying to debug it there over the weekend.

Meanwhile, on Intel Macs running Leopard, this should work. Bug reports welcome…

Googling (oops, pardon, searching Google I mean) for iPhone just now yields “about 76,100,000” hits. Wow. Just goes to show how Steve Jobs has perfected the art of letting the press do Apple’s marketing at very little cost.

As a stockholder, I’m all for it. By all accounts, the iPhone, which goes on sale the day after tomorrow, will sell very well, and AAPL stock has already gone up 50% this year. As a cellphone non-user I don’t care; it’ll take a long time to be sold here in Brazil, and even if it were on sale tomorrow, I wouldn’t buy one for my daily use. As I said before, a “OS X”-based tablet would be more interesting.

But speaking of OS X, I wonder what version will be installed on the iPhone. The TV seems to run a special build of version 10.4.7, by all accounts. Originally I’d expected the iPhone to run a stripped-down version of 10.5 (Leopard), but now that Leopard has been delayed, that’s no longer plausible. How Apple will manage the whole Mac OS X – OS X dichotomy still remains a mistery… no doubt we’ll have detailed dissections of the iPhone contents next Saturday.

John Gruber posts a follow-up about clickthrough. He puts the ball into Apple’s court:

Only Apple can fix this. Where by “fixing it”, I mean three things, all essential:

    Mandate correct click-through behavior in the HIG.
    Make Apple’s Cocoa frameworks do the right thing by default. Supply sufficient API hooks so that it’s easy for third-party frameworks to do the right thing.
    All of Apple’s own software needs to follow these guidelines.

Hmm… I need an “applause” smiley here…

Here’s an additional interesting tip from Sven-S. Porst:

One thing I’d like to add on the topic of click-through is that while it had been possible for ages in MacOS to drag background windows without activating them by holding the command-key while doing so, support for this background manipulation has improved in OSX. In Cocoa applications you can command-click most controls and use them without activating the window first. I like that. Click-through for the people who want and it and can handle it. It’s far from perfect, though, as it doesn’t work uniformly through all applications and doesn’t work for toolbar items either as the command-Key is used for moving items there.

John Gruber affirms a conviction I’ve long held, namely that “clickthrough” is usually a bad idea in Mac OS X applications. In the process, he goes into interesting detail about the Mac’s emphasis on the frontmost window, and how this differs from Microsoft’s window-centric approach.

The concept of the frontmost (or active) application is absolutely essential to understanding how to use a Mac. The frontmost application controls the menu bar and handles all keyboard input, including command key shortcuts. The concept of the frontmost window is related and similarly important. You can click on background windows (thus giving rise to the potential for click-through), but that’s it – everything else you can do with your computer is directed at the frontmost window of the active application…

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