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Modding the GUI

We're almost there now, but there's one huge feature of OS X that we're missing on our clone: the dock.

The dock is extremely important on OS X and, apart from the eye-candy, offers some useful features. The dock can act as a container (or launchpad) for our favourite applications. It also holds icons representing all running applications, so that we can easily switch between tasks. Furthermore, the dock contains thumbnail images of minimised applications to make restoring them easier. This is functionality that would benefit our system, it's also crucial if we want our clone to be as OS X-like as possible.

Fortunately Stardock, the makers of Object Desktop, come to our rescue one more time. ObjectDock is Stardock's version of the OS X dock and fits our needs perfectly.

With ObjectDock installed, the final piece of the jigsaw is in place...

This image above shows the dock "at rest". The "launcher" is to right of the divider and contains shortcuts to our most used applications. The "task switcher" is to the left. The whole dock expands and contracts automagically as icons enter and leave it.

In the following image you can see how the dock reacts to a "mouseover". The icon directly under the mouse is enlarged to twice its normal size and the icon's title floats above it. The icons either side of the "selected" icon are also enlarged (to about 75% of their maximum size). As a result of their proximity to the selected icon. What the still image can't show you is the gorgeous wave effect that occurs as you run your mouse along the row of icons, each icon expanding and contracting in relation to the proximity of the pointer. When an icon is clicked, it bounces in the container to inform you that something's happening (for example: the corresponding program is starting). Similarly, when an application demands your attention, its icon will bounce to indicate as much.

Last Modified:  Tue 08-Apr-2003
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