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WindowShade X Panther Update; Squash the Developer

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WindowShade X, by Unsanity, falls under the “and why is this not part of the OS?” discussion. But, I am very glad the folks at Unsanity took the time to develop such a nice app.

It costs $10 (it was $7 when I bought it) and is worth every penny. And they have never asked for an upgrade fee. WindowShade X is by far one of the top 5 pieces of shareware on Mac OS X, IMO.

It started as a simple mimic of the OS 9 Window Shade feature. It has blossomed into much then that. I was content with the simple Window Shade behavior (collapse the window into the title bar) but now you can do many more things, such as collapse a window into a thumbnail version (called Minimize-in-Place), which you can drag around the screen, for example.

The best new(ish) feature in WindowShade X is being able to WindowShade a window by twice pressing the Command or Control key.

I have used WindowShade X since it first was released mainly because I do not like the behavior of minimizing windows in the Dock.

And to be honest I am shocked that Apple has not incorporated this feature into OS X yet, I mean they have clearly stepped on so many other shareware developer’s shoes in the past. Can you say Watson? The latest instence of this happening is with LiteSwitch X, which the new Application Switcher looks like, a lot.

Labels X (also by Unsanity) is no longer needed either. On this issue I am sitting on the fence. I would much rather have these types of features built into the OS then have to run 3rd party prefPane’s, hacks, and apps to get the same effect. Sure, Sherlock 3 is not as fast as Watson, and does not have ALL the modules of Watson, but I do not have to pay for it. Paying for Labels X is something you should not have to do. Paying for WindowShade X is something you should not have to do. Paying for LiteSwitch X is something you should not have to do. I could go on and on here, there are other shareware apps that have been incorporated into the 10.1, 10.2, and 10.3 releases of OS X.

WindowShade is still a feature not incorporated into OS X. I think it is only a matter of time.

On the other side (of the fence) you have shareware developers who in many cases have far superior products. That is what makes it worth the cost, as well as the fact that it is “missing” from OS X. Much of the shareware for OS X is there because it is “missing” from the OS.

I am sure that if Apple incorporated the WindowShade feature into an OS X update, it would not be as nice as WindowShade X by Unsanity. Sherlock 3 is not anywhere near as nice as Watson (yes, I am a Watson owner). Another good example, and please excuse the plug, but Path Finder is a much richer Finder experience IMO (I help with the development of Path Finder). So in that vein I do not think Apple should step on the toes of the very loyal developer community. And it looks like that happens all to often.

Originally posted on Breaking Windows.

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About Ken Edwards

  • See: Daring Fireball: Command-Tab

    Most notably: “…when a utility is designed to compensate for a hole in Mac OS X, the developer should not expect the hole to remain unfilled by Apple forever”

    And: NSLog();

    “You don’t see Unsanity asking for “credit” for Labels X, do you?”