the dock modification project

the problem

the problem is the actual handling of a small but very important apple mac os x application, the so called dock. when coming from os9 as a apple-savvy user, it seems to be quite a good idea to display all open applications directly instead of the pulldown menu in the corner.
but when switching from an other os family to mac os x, such as microsoft windows or linux / unix based os, it can be very frustrating with a dock. as you start off, you do notice the dock as a good looking bar. but as you work, all of a sudden you are confronted with the following situation: in order to access your documents directly, you cluttered them all around your screen. and you notice that the window you just looked for is gone, hidden by the one you just activated. so how will you access it? trying to unveal it by dragging the top window to another place is often the first reaction.
you may say this is a beginners problem, but i did even see it with my professor in computer science, and he works every day with apple mac.
after a while you discover that you can access the hidden window by the window menu in the respective application, or via context menu of the dock. but in either way it does mean additional unnessessary clicks that interrupt your workflow.
the most comfortable access to your documents would be a permanetly available list at a single click as some people are used from windows or linux. and this list you would actually expect the dock to provide you with.

the idea

soon after recognizing the problem with the dock, the idea popped up to have the dock replaced by an other application. but after looking a good moment at the software available, and after crawling the web for a solution, i found, that there exists no such application.
so, i decided after a frustrated nightly search to start something by myself: a dock modification. this new dock should fill exactly that need for a direct access to documents.

the project

now knowing that there simply was no such software, i tried to define the main properties. it should be highly costumizable, as many poeple do not have the exactly same ideas about how a dock should work as i have.
the main features i would request from a modified dock are:
  • ability to show all open documents in the dock below the specific application
  • adjust application icons independent from dock width
  • let documents be displayed only with icons or text or both
  • set font size and style as you like
  • a folder dragged onto the dock will show its contents at left click if wished
  • it is free software for anyone

  • i tried to fake a screenshot to give you an idea what it might look like
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