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Another Mac OS X inconsistency: list views

Posted by dom on Sun Sep 04 13:24:19 +0200 2005

When I read wil shipley’s rant about his treo I discovered that you can put groups in groups in address book. Seriously. Just drag a group into another group in the left most column. What happens? Now you have an entry for the group in the “Name” column. Super. And what happens if you select it? nothing. literally nothing. To view the content of this group you have to double-click it, and then the group is shown in the Group column.

Ok, thats obviously no great interface, as there is no indication anywhere that you can groups in groups, moreover there is no good way to edit such aggregations of groups. What does Safari in the same situation? If you look at the bookmark management, its somewhat better and somewhat worse. First, in safari, the left column has no multiple selection. Second you can’t drag a bookmark group into another one by drag and drop inside the left column, since the list is ordered, and hence only gives you the possibility to rearrange. If you want to add a folder to a subfolder, you have to do this with two windows and drag and drop from the left column to the right column of the other window. But then you do what you do always in safari, you move the folder, you don’t link it, like you do in address book. And, because you can’t multiple select the left column, you have to do this one by one, if you want to move many folder in one subfolder. If you want to do the opposite, you can use the multiple selection in the right column to move them all at once. And now for the better in Safari: in the right column you get a nice outline view, that shows folders and bookmarks nicely.

If you’re interested in more inconsitencies in list views look at this great article . As far as I am concerned we all should file bug against most of this behaviour. At least to allow for gradual unifying changes, like safari having multiple selection in the left column of bookmark management.

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