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joshier

I've just put my finger on a minor annoyance

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Right, so OSX is fantastic, it's quick and fast. I've managed to install my microsoft drivers for my mouse so it's a bit more like the windows acceleration, I've used DoubleCommand so that my CTRL really is CTRL and a number of other keys. It's all perfect, apart from one thing.

 

When a window isn't in focus, say 'firefox'. Upon clicking a tab within firefox, the window is then highlighted and then you have to click the tab again to actually select it. I've noticed it does this in all applications and I'm curious as to why it does this, and also how I can change it so it's like windows in the way that the window doesn't need exclusive focus to give the user the ability to select a function or button for it to work first time.

 

Nevermind, this forum member pointed out:

 

This is one of those inconsistencies in OS X. It is a legacy of Mac OS 9.

 

There are two types of program in OS X: Cocoa and Carbon. To the end user, it doesn't matter which program is of which type as they generally function the same. Some examples of Cocoa apps are Safari, Mail, iChat, iPhoto, Pages, QuickTime Player 7. Some examples of Carbon apps are the Finder, iTunes, and any complex third party application basically (e.g. Microsoft Word and Photoshop). To find out if an app is Cocoa or Carbon, drag its window to the bottom of the screen as far as it goes, under the dock (if it is in the horizontal position). If it is a Cocoa program, it will pop back up to above the dock, while Carbon programs aren't automatically aware of the dock.

 

The other main difference is the one mentioned in this thread. Cocoa programs perform functions immediately when clicked off-focues, while Carbon programs have to be brought into focus first. You'll find that certain other features of OS X only work with Cocoa apps too. This accounts for the inconsistency.

 

The reason for the discrepancy is simple. Carbon programs are old programs that have been designed for OS 9 and OS X (i.e. Microsoft Word and Photoshop were ported and upgraded without too much headache from OS 9) while Cocoa programs use the new OS X object-orientated system and fully make use of OS X's features. In an ideal world, all apps would be Cocoa but it's a question of hassle. MS Word is a huge program - Microsoft can't be bothered to rewrite it from scratch. Don't scoff too much though - Apple can't either. I've been waiting for a Cocoa Finder from day one. Please make it a priority for Lion Apple, please!

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