I’ve been running Tiger for a few hours and so far things seem good. Mail is much faster (but the UI is uglier in my opinion), my phone finally works with iSync, and the spotlight searching is terrific. What I don’t quite get is Dashboard.
I mean, I get that it’s a flexible way to build little single-purpose applets and that’s cool (I run konfabulator on my PC for weather, to-do list, and a calendar), but what I don’t like is how it runs on a second quasi-virtual desktop type layer. Why not let me display the weather in a floating window all the time? I reference the small calendar on my PC desktop all the time while using apps like travel websites. It seems kind of lame if I have to toggle F12 whenever I want to use them.
Or am I missing some obvious way to keep them visible at all times?
Showing a Widget on the Desktop
It is possible to show a single Widget on the Desktop after dismissing the Dashboard itself. Simply activate Dashboard (F12), click on the (+) in the lower left corner. Select the widget you would like to use and drag it. While dragging it, dismiss the Dashboard (F12). You will now be able to see the widget while you work. You can only do this with one Widget at a time. The Widget will be moved off the desktop the next time you activate Dashboard. You cannot move Widgets from the Dashboard itself.
Since Dashboard widgets can be run in Safari with no real problem, I think it’s only a matter of time before someone writes a simple webkit container that lives on the desktop.
I’m kind of wondering what they thought the use case was for making Dashboard a separate desktop layer. I could see the utility if they’re just occasionally used, but it seems weird that they kind of forced every widget except one to be used that way.
I haven’t really spent much time reading about all these Tiger features – I keep hearing about them (widgets, spotlight, etc.) and just assumed that what Matt is talking about is the way Dashboard would work. I figured it’d be the death of Panic’s Stattoo: http://panic.com/stattoo/
It seems like people are getting on the Widget train, so it’d be nice if Apple made this work a bit more logically.
Of course, you could always just layer a web browser on your desktop:
That’s exactly why I like Dashboard and why I hated Konfabulator. I want the widgets to get out of my way when I’m not using them rather than stay around all the time taking up space on my desktop. When I want to use a widget, I hit a key to get to it and then get rid of it when I want to go back to work.
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