Start Menu design question

Discussion in 'General Questions' started by Andrew @ Parallels, Jul 16, 2007.

?

What do you think about Start Menu feature design?

  1. Current design is fine for me

    9 vote(s)
    34.6%
  2. Start Menu should appears in one click even if Parallels is not in focus

    13 vote(s)
    50.0%
  3. It should be implemented in other way

    4 vote(s)
    15.4%
  1. Andrew @ Parallels

    Andrew @ Parallels Parallels Developers

    Messages:
    1,507
    Hello All,

    We have some concernes about current design of Start Menu feature and we need your help and advice.

    Here short description of how it is implemented now:

    * Start Menu feature is available only in Coherence mode
    * When Parallels Desktop in focus (in foreground) mouse click on its Dock icon brings Windows Start Menu directly above Dock icon
    * When Parallels Desktop not in focus (in background) mouse click on its Dock icon brings it to focus (standard Mac behavior). You need to click one more time to bring Start Menu in this case

    Questions:

    1. Do you want us to change this behavior and bring Start Menu in one click even when Parallels Desktop not in focus?
    2. Do you have other suggestions on how to improve this feature?
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2007
  2. brkirch

    brkirch Kilo Poster

    Messages:
    415
    1. How about having these options:
    "When dock icon is clicked:
    • Do nothing
    • Show start menu if in focus
    • Show start menu"
    It would be preferable that this setting be written to the VM configuration (not global).

    2. The biggest problem I have with how this works currently is that the Apple key is still able to bring up the start menu. This is a problem because it is too easy to accidently activate the start menu IMO. There really needs to be a way to turn off the ability to activate the start menu with the keyboard. I propose this option: a checkbox that says "Allow keyboard to activate start menu". This setting could also be written to the VM configuration instead of being part of global settings.
     
  3. Andrew @ Parallels

    Andrew @ Parallels Parallels Developers

    Messages:
    1,507
    Good idea, thank you! But it is still leave the question which option should be default one?
     
  4. Stevamundo

    Stevamundo

    Messages:
    407
    I just move my dock to the left side of my screen. So confusing which menu is which, that isn't a problem for me.

    I'd say that just one click should be enough to activate the Startup Menu in any case. Again, because you can move both menus to anyplace you want.
     
  5. dailo

    dailo

    Messages:
    79
    Ah please don't disable the start menu button. This what annoys me the most with Fusion, I think the way its implemented is perfectly fine. Now if coherence could operate like Unity where all applications are in separate windows parallels would be perfect for me :)
     
  6. kat

    kat Product Expert

    Messages:
    819
    I like the option "Start Menu should appears in one click even if Parallels is not in focus". This would make it easier and possibly less confusing for a number of users.
     
  7. John Purins

    John Purins

    Messages:
    73
    Are you trying to integrate Windows with OS X or run a virtual machine?

    This whole idea of trying to integrate Windows functions into OS X is a gigantic step in the wrong direction. A virtual machine should be just that... an independent operating system that doesn't even know that it's a virtual machine and has no idea that it's running under a host operating system.

    What's so terribly difficult about clicking on the Parallels's Microsoft Windows VM screen to give it focus and then use the Start button in Windows as Microsoft implemented it?

    How about just junking the entire integration concept and work on getting full functionality of USB and all of the other Windows components that haven't been implemented completely?
     
  8. David5000

    David5000

    Messages:
    312
    Thank you for stating this so clearly. I am in complete agreement with you and hope that others who feel the same way voice their opinions too. It may not be too late to turn this ship around.

    David
     
  9. Andrew @ Parallels

    Andrew @ Parallels Parallels Developers

    Messages:
    1,507
    John, David,

    You are always free to disable all integration staff and run Windows in windowed mode and fully isolated. But there are people who don't care about virtual machine and Windows OS and just want to run few Windows applications on top of Mac OS X - they need this integration. And for those people integration is a way to greatly increase productivity and save money.

    USB and other virtual hardware is a responsibility of separate team in Parallels and they are working hard on improvements.
     
  10. Hugh Watkins

    Hugh Watkins

    Messages:
    943
    dock to LH side

    MAC OS menu bar on top of lower screen
    Windows tool bar at bottom of upper screen

    I always run Win XP sp2 paralles 2.5 in a basic OS window usually on the upper screen

    Two screens are the norm for many mac users
    since 9 inch B/W days

    Hugh W
     
  11. Hugh Watkins

    Hugh Watkins

    Messages:
    943
    my daughter is a newbie macbook user and has her sony digital TV as a second screen
    for viewing dvd videos or a slide show of her photos

    have not installed parallels yet but we will try and get a usable image of her old PC and run that for the sake of her music

    Hugh W
     
  12. jasonw

    jasonw

    Messages:
    85
    Definitely. I falsely trigger the start menu by a command key tap many times a day. It's quite annoying. Often it's when I am going to press a key combo and then back out for whatever reason. Other times is when I press a global hotkey like Cmd-Space for Exposé.

    It's standard Mac behaviour for an application to focus when clicking the dock icon and not do anything else (unless there's no windows open). The current behaviour of Parallels matches this and I prefer it this way. Earlier versions of Skype always opened the main window on dock icon clicks. It was very annoying and I'm glad to see this fixed in later builds.

    However, if one is treating the dock icon as a start button, this may not be overly obvious to many people and it may seem to be broken. I think having a default of showing the start menu always would be a good thing but please make sure it's an option just in case. With dock icons showing up for every open application, these can be used to focus applications which largely negates the major drawback of making this change.
     
  13. Andrew @ Parallels

    Andrew @ Parallels Parallels Developers

    Messages:
    1,507
    brkirch, jasonw,

    You can disable it by Swap CMD/CTRL keys option in menu Preferences->Keyboard->Remapping keys. But you will trigger Start Menu by pressing Ctrl then. Will it work for you?

    Or you need an option for complete disabling Windows key (which is mapped to Cmd)? In this case you will loose many opportunities provided by Windows developers...
     
  14. David5000

    David5000

    Messages:
    312
    When you say, "they need this integration," don't you mean, "they want this integration?" And isn't the reason really because it's "cool?"

    As for productivity, it is a trivial matter to command Tab between a Mac application and Parallels. Productivity does not seem to be particularly increased by Coherence.

    Saving money? Please explain.

    David
     
  15. Pleiades

    Pleiades

    Messages:
    79
    I prefer if one click only brings up the Start Menu regardless of focus. When in Coherence mode, I don't necessarily know which app is in focus at a given time and clicking and getting nothing is disconcerting. Clicking once should move PD into focus AND should pop up the Start Menu.

    Of course I still can't figure out why the Start Menu NEVER appears for my XP VM's but always works for my Vista VM's when in Coherence with Task Bar hidden. With a secondary monitor to the left, I don't really have the option of moving the Mac dock to the left to make room for XP's Task Bar on the bottom. On the left, the dock is wayyyy to far to travel to with my monitor configuration. I can't put it on the right because all the drive icons get in the way. It's really strange to see the Windows Task Bar sitting on top of the dock.

    I should say I strongly favor supporting the Coherence mode since I only run a handful of Windows apps and don't want the whole Windows desktop hogging my screen. It's rather nice to see Windows apps running side-by-side with Mac apps, even occupying spaces in the dock and allowing me to command-tab to them. It's one of PD's best features. Unity wouldn't exist without it. Without Parallels, VMWare would cost $200 and would be just another client app with no features.
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2007
  16. brkirch

    brkirch Kilo Poster

    Messages:
    415
    I have tried switching the keys but it really doesn't seem like the best solution. For example, if I turn on "Enable access for assistive devices", the cmd + tab keyboard shortcut still won't work. I have considered what the best solution would be and I think there needs to be an option that is something like: "Disable keys reserved by OS X". This would result in the following behavior; the keys used by Exposé and Dashboard would not be mapped to Windows, the cmd key would not be mapped to Windows, and while the cmd key is being held down the keyboard mapping to Windows would be turned off. This would allow for the expected behavior when using keyboard shortcuts while "Enable access for assistive devices" is turned on.
     
  17. Doobla

    Doobla

    Messages:
    42
    Frankly this integration is crucial to my productivity. Although I find Unity's flexibility with expose and such a better approach, Coherence is invaluable to productivity. When you save time and time is money, you save money.

    To answer the original question posted, I would like to see a menu on the menu bar that offers everything available on the start menu regardless of the focus of the VM. If you could also provide some way of displaying the tray when you click a menu item that may be useful also and would allow me to eliminate my need for the taskbar being visible at all by allowing me to request what I need on demand and have it gone when not needed.

    It also seems more integrated this way....

    Jon
     
  18. David5000

    David5000

    Messages:
    312
    Please explain why.

    David
     
  19. wingdo

    wingdo Kilo Poster

    Messages:
    314
    David,

    Is there a particular reason you are so against the idea of coherence and integration of Parallels and OS X especially since it is an option and you are not forced to use it? You don't have to use it, but for those of us who want it why do you want us to not have this feature? I know it's a foreign concept for some, but to me it's nice o be able to pop in my flash drive from work, double click on a visio diagram and just have it load and open in a window on my OS X desktop.

    Yes, of course I could fire up a VM without coherence mode (think virtual PC) open up visio, then open up the file. But why should I have to go through that hassle? Of course it would be even better if I fired up my compaq laptop and used that, but it's really not the way I want to work. I just want to use my programs on one desktop and have them work as seamlessly as possible.

    Parallels with coherence 2.0 offers me the opportunity to work in OS X the way I would like. Fusion with Unity comes in second place. I never want to have to go back to the way I used to have to work in VMs (i.e. VPC). I have seen the light and with god as my witness I'll never go back to working in a locked VM environment again. (apologies to gone with the wind)
     
  20. David5000

    David5000

    Messages:
    312
    Although I myself don't find Coherence particularly useful, I certainly don't have anything against anyone else using it if they want to.

    My objection is this: Which would you prefer, Parallels working perfectly but without Coherence or continuing to work very imperfectly with it? The fact is that valuable resources have been and are being devoted to Coherence that could be used instead to fix the many serious bugs and shortcomings that persist even in version 3.

    I'm not saying don't have features like Coherence--only that they should be implemented after everything else is running smoothly first. It's a matter of priorities.

    David
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2007

Share This Page