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  1. #1

    Spooky's Avatar
    Member Since
    May 11, 2012
    Location
    NW Florida
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    9
    Specs:
    Mac Mini//2.7 GHz dual-core i7//8 GB RAM//Mac OS X Lion
    multiple desktops?
    As I understand it, the default UI for OS X Lion does support multiple desktops (please
    correct me if I'm wrong---and if possible, point me in the right direction). But where do
    I set the number of desktops, switch between them, etc.? This is the only real way that
    I have ever been able to keep different projects, tasks, etc., organized...and once you
    get used to having multiple desktops, it's nearly impossible to exist in only one (IMHO,
    that is).

    Along those lines, I'm considering using my old favorite X11 window manager, ctwm.
    But if I do that, will I be messing something else up? What about other X11 window
    managers that offer multiple desktops?

    Suggestions?

    Thanks,
    --jim

    Running on a Mac Mini (2.7 GHz dual-core i7, 8 GB RAM, with OS X Lion)

  2. #2

    robduckyworth's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 04, 2011
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    Reading, UK
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    2,971
    Specs:
    15" MBP, 2.5GHz i7, 750GB, 6770M 1GB, iPad 3, iPhone 4, custom PC
    If you go into Mission control, towards the top you will see your spaces. If you hover towards the right handside of the top corner, a small thumbnail of your Desktop with a plus sign on it will appear. Click this and you will create a new Space (or Desktop, if you prefer to call it that.)
    If you find a post helpful, don't forget to use the reputation system (top right of post.)
    Join us in the IRC! How? Add me on Steam, Origin or PSN (Vita): robduckyworth

  3. #3

    Spooky's Avatar
    Member Since
    May 11, 2012
    Location
    NW Florida
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    Specs:
    Mac Mini//2.7 GHz dual-core i7//8 GB RAM//Mac OS X Lion
    Quote Originally Posted by robduckyworth View Post
    If you go into Mission control, towards the top you will see your spaces. If you hover towards the right handside of the top corner, a small thumbnail of your Desktop with a plus sign on it will appear. Click this and you will create a new Space (or Desktop, if you prefer to call it that.)
    Well, Mission control calls them Desktops, so..... :-)

    Ok, next question: how do I configure the window manager to not hide a window that's
    on top of another when I activate the other? In my freeware hurricane tracking program,
    JStrack, I have some popup menus, a console, etc., which get hidden if I'm working
    back and forth between them and the main display. I need to fix that.....

    Thanks,
    --jim
    THE SCORE: ME: 2 CANCER: 0
    73 DE N5IAL (/4)
    ICBM/Hurricane: 30.44406N 86.59909W

  4. #4

    Spooky's Avatar
    Member Since
    May 11, 2012
    Location
    NW Florida
    Posts
    9
    Specs:
    Mac Mini//2.7 GHz dual-core i7//8 GB RAM//Mac OS X Lion
    Quote Originally Posted by robduckyworth View Post
    If you go into Mission control, towards the top you will see your spaces. If you hover towards the right hand side of the top corner, a small thumbnail of your Desktop with a plus sign on it will appear. Click this and you will create a new Space (or Desktop, if you prefer to call it that.)
    Ok, I have more than one desktop (or space, if you prefer <grin>), but how do I control
    which desktop different xterm windows open in? They all seem to want to occupy
    either all desktops or only one desktop. The whole idea behind having more than one
    desktop is to split different tasks/projects among different desktops...not have bits and
    pieces in one, and in another, and another, etc.... Or, sometimes, it IS preferable to have
    things split. For example, while working on my current Android app (a camera app), it's
    usually better to have Eclipse in one window, with one xterm for copying the compiled app
    to my tablet, and in another desktop, one or more gvim (X11 version of vim---built and installed
    along with vim) windows for editing source and layout files. Then, using hotkeys, just switch
    between desktops as needed. (did I mention that I always prefer vi (vim) to wysiwyg editors,
    which I absolutely hate to use?)

    Thanks,
    --jim
    THE SCORE: ME: 2 CANCER: 0
    73 DE N5IAL (/4)
    ICBM/Hurricane: 30.44406N 86.59909W

  5. #5


    Member Since
    Jan 22, 2010
    Location
    Victoria, BC
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    20,911
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    Mid-2012 MBP (16GB, 1TB HD), Monoprice 24-inch second monitor, iPhone 5s 32GB, iPad Air 2 64GB
    You can assign applications to specific desktops (or persistent across all desktops), but I don't think you can easily assign app windows to different desktops. I may be wrong about that, but most Mac apps are primarily one-window apps. Those that aren't (let's say Microsoft Word for an example), you can use Mission Control to manage the multiple windows and bring whichever one you want up for "focus" and hide the rest.

  6. #6

    Smalltowntech's Avatar
    Member Since
    May 05, 2012
    Location
    Central CA
    Posts
    73
    Specs:
    MBP 15, 2.2ghz, 4G ram 10.9
    I just recently set up multiple desktops on my mbp. You can use the apps that you open while on that desktop to determine when it is open. So you can open safari on desktop 1 and pages on desktop 2 and by clicking on the app you switch desktops. I am not sure if this is what you are looking for.

    The only real advantage I can see by using multiple desktops is that it is pretty easy to multi-finger swipe between desktops. Finger swipe or command+tab, either way works.

    Hope this helps.

  7. #7

    Spooky's Avatar
    Member Since
    May 11, 2012
    Location
    NW Florida
    Posts
    9
    Specs:
    Mac Mini//2.7 GHz dual-core i7//8 GB RAM//Mac OS X Lion
    Quote Originally Posted by chas_m View Post
    You can assign applications to specific desktops (or persistent across all desktops), but I don't think you can easily assign app windows to different desktops. I may be wrong about that, but most Mac apps are primarily one-window apps. Those that aren't (let's say Microsoft Word for an example), you can use Mission Control to manage the multiple windows and bring whichever one you want up for "focus" and hide the rest.
    Looks like I'm back to testing ctwm on my Mac. ctwm is a variant of the old twm (originally, when I first
    started using it, twm was Tom's Window Manager, and was part of the MIT X11R4 distribution on mag
    tapes...now I think it's Tab Window Manager) that supports multiple desktops (up to 36, I think). We'll see.
    If it'll run without breaking everything else, that's fine. If not, well.....

    The way I always did things in both windoze and FreeBSD was to have multiple virtual desktops, and each
    would have its normal set of applications (or projects) and terminal windows related to [whatever]. It's a
    great way to organize things, but since everything typically has an xterm (or multiple xterms) associated
    with it, each of those virtual desktops had one or more xterms.

    Thanks,
    --jim
    THE SCORE: ME: 2 CANCER: 0
    73 DE N5IAL (/4)
    ICBM/Hurricane: 30.44406N 86.59909W

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