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"Move Offscreen" vs. "Minimize to Dock"

Posted: Fri Dec 11, 2015 11:26 pm
by rgbworld
WindowMizer 4.3 added a "Move Off-Screen" method of window-shading that is much faster than previous versions of WindowMizer. This post tries to provide some information on the pros and cons of "Move Offscreen" vs. "Minimize to Dock" methods of window handling.

In WindowMIzer Preferences > Advanced panel, there is a setting for "Destination of original window". The choices are "Move Offscreen" and "Minimize to Dock".

Minimize to Dock
As described elsewhere, WindowMizer uses a placeholder window to provide window-shading. The original window has to be sent somewhere, so WindowMizer has previously always sent it to the dock.

The dock is the correct place for the window to go. Sending the original window to the dock plays well with the OS and the natural ordering of windows. However there were some complaints that WindowMizer was slow.

Countless time and resources were spent trying to speed up the process of sending a window to the dock, but when a window is sent to the dock, it takes about a third of second to get there. There is no way to speed it up. I have used Apple DTS and other resources to make WindowMizer as fast as possible –- while still sending the window to the dock.

Move Off-Screen
The only way to make WindowMizer faster is to move the original window off-screen rather than sending it to the dock. Moving a window off-screen is at least 3X faster than sending the window to the dock but it poses some issues that are nearly impossible to overcome, such as:
  • Because the real window is tucked-away in the corner, it is still in the front-to-back ordering of windows.
  • When an application quits, some of it's windows may be off-screen and WindowMizer cannot move them back on-screen because the app has already been quit. So, when an app is re-opened WindowMizer moves any off-screen windows back onscreen to an arbitrary location. Note: If WindowMizer is Quit first, then it has the opportunity to restore off-screen windows.
  • If your dock is positioned on the right side of the screen, "Move Off-Screen" method currently does not work.
Please let me know which method are you using? "Move Offscreen" or "Minimize to Dock".
Could one method or the other be eliminated?

Thanks for your feedback.

Re: "Move Offscreen" vs. "Minimize to Dock"

Posted: Sun Dec 13, 2015 2:14 pm
by billearl
Although I'm happy using "Move Offscreen" for speed, I think "Minimize to Dock" should remain an option because, as you say, "the dock is the correct place for the window to go".

"Move Offscreen" vs. "Minimize to Dock"

Posted: Mon Jul 04, 2016 8:36 am
by TradePrintingUK
I'd problems with Move Off-screen too (went back to v4.21 in lieu), but now I know to Quit Windowmizer FIRST, then that would solve it, but have used Minimize to Dock mostly. Would like to agree with the guy above, and keep it as well.

I'm looking forward to the 3x Speed of Move Off-Screen, although will wait for further update past v4.4 (I realise I'll still need the current patch though) before converting over (need downtime to install and configure as I'm one of the guys who has a Sleeping Mac that only needs to be restarted every 4-6 weeks, rather than Restarting / Shutting Down every night - I prefer warmer electronics to cold starts for MacPros)

Re: "Move Offscreen" vs. "Minimize to Dock"

Posted: Wed Jul 06, 2016 1:59 pm
by rgbworld

Unfortunately, the "Move Offscreen" window handling is responsible for probably 80% of other bug reports I have had, so unfortunately I am going to remove it in version 4.5.

I have however devised a solution to keep the speed at a tolerable level while still using "Minimize to Dock". Additionally, I have added a preference to hide animations individually on "minimize" and "restore". This allows for the fastest possible combination that I can come up with.

Re: "Move Offscreen" vs. "Minimize to Dock"

Posted: Thu Jul 07, 2016 5:19 am
by RTouris my favorite option was to windowshade with the dock remaining uncluttered and now you're taking this off completely at v.4.5? Is there no way to keep the functionality (i.e. windowshade result w/ uncluttered dock) but change the underlying mechanism to get there?

Re: "Move Offscreen" vs. "Minimize to Dock"

Posted: Tue Aug 02, 2016 2:30 pm
by rgbworld

Whether you are using "Minimize to Dock" or "Move Off-screen", windows do not need to clutter the dock. All you have to do is go to System Preferences > Dock, and check the box for "Minimize windows into application icon".

Also, my idea to completely remove the "Move Off-Screen" option is still being debated between me, myself and I :-)
Removing the "Move Off-Screen" option would make WindowMizer more stable and easier to program. I would not have any of these multiple-display issues and we wouldn't have windows hanging out in the corner of our displays. It would also solve most issues with Spaces (i think).

You can test what I was considering by setting the window handling mode to "Minimize to Dock" and do not hide any animations. In my opinion that combination of settings is fast, it puts windows where they belong, and there would be no way a window could be left offscreen when an app is terminated.

So, what I was proposing with the hypothetical version 4.5 was that we just allow the animations to always show. If I did that, windows could be sent to the Dock (where they belong). In my opinion, allowing animations to show with "Minimize to Dock", it is just as fast as "Move Offscreen". I am interested in what anyone thinks of this idea - which as stated, can be tested by changing the settings as described above.

The only thing we would lose is the "window-shade" effect. WindowMizer would still leave a place-holder window on-screen for double-clicking to restore a window, and windows would not clutter the Dock if windows are set to "minimize into application icon" as suggested above. It is the hiding of animations in order to provide the "rollup" effect that is the cause of almost every issue.

Re: "Move Offscreen" vs. "Minimize to Dock"

Posted: Tue Aug 02, 2016 4:43 pm
by IanRidpath
I'm afraid that I strongly dislike seeing the animations when sending the window offscreen. To my mind this completely negates the effect of Windowmizer. I use WindowMIzer not just to move windows out of the way, but to 'blink' between two versions of a page, such as a processed photograph, so I need the window to vanish, immediately. I am quite happy with the speed of the windowshading in the current version.

So -- please don't remove the Hide Animations option!

May I say that I much appreciate the time and effort you have put in to Windowmizer, which I consider an essential add-on to the Mac OS. (No doubt Apple will show their appreciation by deciding to reintroduce windowshading to the OS and kill your business...)