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Issue 1.4


Dock Menu Pro

Issue: 1.4 (February/March 2003)
Author: Mark Davis
Article Description: No description available.
Article Length (in bytes): 3,837
Starting Page Number: 9
Article Number: 1404
Related Link(s): None

Excerpt of article text...

By now, every Mac OS X user has become acquainted with the basic functionality of the Dock. It holds our favorite applications and shows what applications are open. Once you have opened your application, you are done with your Dock, right? Wrong. Take a look at Apple's iTunes application and notice how well it works with the Dock. Users can play, stop, and change tracks without ever bringing iTunes into focus. As users become familiar with the new interface elements Mac OS X has to offer, they are beginning to demand a great Mac OS X experience from every application. They want a nice Aqua interface and integration with the Finder and Dock. I know, REALbasic is supposed to be easy to use, so why go through all this trouble just to get a silly menu? The truth is, it isn't a lot of work; actually, it is about as easy as tying your shoes. With a simple control-click you can bring up a menu of your choice giving the user quick access to your application without actually bringing it to the front.

Let's pretend you've finally come up with your great money making idea; you are going to make a floating movie player. It would be a pain to have to switch to your application every time just to play the movie. Dock Menu Pro can do the trick. With some simple commands, the user will be able to do everything he needs directly from the Dock.

Dock Menu Pro doesn't just handle the basic dock items. It lets you have sub-menu items and disabled items, add icons to items (only if it is bundled with the icons included), and even remove items after you are done with them. This is a truly amazing plugin that will bring a great OS X experience to the end user. You can also indent menu items and count the number of menu items that have been added. Another nice touch is that projects using Dock Menu Pro will compile to other target platforms, although clearly there will not be Dock functionality on these platforms; so, using the plugin in your cross-platform projects will not add any headaches.

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