In between midnight summer nights and dark winter days

FolderGlance, Leopard and the More... menu Wed, Nov 07 2007 03:54

The new version of FolderGlance was released yesterday, making it compatible with Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard. One comment I have received from a number of users can be summarized as follows:

Why can't you make the FolderGlance items appear in the main context menu? I hate having to dig down into the "More..." submenu!

The answer to this question relates to some of the hurdles I encountered in making FolderGlance run on Leopard, but the main reason is actually the change in how contextual menu plugins are loaded on Leopard.

In 10.4 and earlier, a contextual menu plugin would be loaded just before the main context menu appeared. It would be asked to examine the current context, and add any items to the contextual menu. With the introduction of the More... submenu, this has changed. Leopard (or possibly, the Finder) no longer loads plugins at once -- instead, they only load once the More... menu is shown, or when you start navigating the contextual menu using the keyboard.

Clearly, one way to solve this issue is to use the existing Carbon event handler technique to discover when the main context menu is opened, and then populate it with FolderGlance's items. Unfortunately, this doesn't work. It is .. a challenge to differentiate between opening the context menu, and opening any other menu (for instance from the menu bar), and even if it was possible to discover when the context menu was opened, you still don't know what the current selection in the Finder is. This information isn't given to the plugin before the More... submenu is opened.

This leaves FolderGlance where it is right now - all items appear in the More submenu (which is itself a challenge -- in particular, care must be taken to avoid populating the Open with... menu). Maybe I'll think of a solution to this in the future, but for now the current behaviour will have to suffice.

Previous: FolderGlance and Screen Sieve now also on Leopard! Next: Spaces.. Spaces.. Spaces..

About me
My name is Daniel Stødle. I live in Tromsø, Norway, at 69.66° North. By day, I work as a researcher at the Northern Research Institute in Norway; by night, I run my company SCSC. I do most of my development on and for Mac OS X. My research is geared towards interaction with and visualization of geospatial data. Read more on my personal page.


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Recent posts

Jul 28: Running iTunes in a debugger (gdb)
Jul 25: The /Volumes/MobileBackups directory
Jul 20: FolderGlance 3.0.1 supports Lion
Mar 03: Quick tip: Speeding up Xcode compilations
Mar 02: FolderGlance 3.0
Jan 07: Making Universal Back Button work on 10.6.5 and later

Sep 03: Creating pthreads in C++ using pointers to member functions
May 31: Quickly open URLs in Terminal
May 31: Snow Leopard and automatically submitted Crash Reports
May 27: Universal Back Button released for Mac OS X
May 22: The 22 Megapixel Laptop
Feb 09: FolderGlance on MacUpdate Promo

Sep 28: FolderGlance 2.5.3 is out
Sep 21: FolderGlance 2.5.1 adds features and fixes bugs
Sep 16: FolderGlance 2.5 released!
Sep 10: Intriguing: Snow Leopard ships with the iPhone's multi-touch API built-in
Sep 03: FolderGlance and Snow Leopard
Mar 15: Fixing Keynote '08 and '09 to work with the Scripting Bridge
Feb 26: A website in an image
Feb 09: Display wall multi-touch

Feb 19: Spaces.. Spaces.. Spaces.. retires
Feb 08: How-to: Reverse engineering the Dock to fix Spaces
Jan 25: Interacting with wall-sized displays

Dec 20: Interesting Finder bug
Dec 06: Developing applications for the iPod touch (and the iPhone)
Nov 15: Spaces.. Spaces.. Spaces.. and 10.5.1
Nov 15: Thread creation using pthread_create() on Leopard
Nov 13: Spaces.. Spaces.. Spaces..
Nov 07: FolderGlance, Leopard and the More... menu
Nov 06: FolderGlance and Screen Sieve now also on Leopard!
Sep 16: Mysterious window server hangs


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