Panther Sidebar 

I've been using Apple's Mac OS X 10.3 (Panther) for a few days. Some of the interface changes are clearly great (Exposé, though I'm not using it all that often), others require an adjustment. The sidebar in Finder windows is one of those. I don't like the amount of space that the metal windows waste on borders (or the fact that they break the original metaphor for metal windows). It occurs to me that the sidebar, which takes extra horizontal space, is designed to work with the wide-screen monitors that Apple is favoring (in the current iMac and 2 of the PowerBooks).

The sidebar works a bit better in Open and Save dialogs, where the window is transient so its size doesn't matter much, and where the sidebar entries offer quick navigation. Finder windows usually stay open and you deal with the files in them, rather than navigating around, which is why the idea doesn't work quite as well there. On the other hand, Finder is a pretty good way to customize the global Open and Save dialogs, and having them work more similarly is generally a good thing.

(As long as they don't work like Windows, where as near as I can tell, if you drag a file into an Open dialog, it's the same as dragging it to an Explorer window -- the file is moved. The Mac behavior, of re-pointing the dialog to the file, is far more convenient.) 

Posted: Tue - October 28, 2003 at 10:22 PM