the Life of Zim

13th October
written by dzimney

If you use an Apple computer and/or the Adobe Suite — specifically the Flash IDE — you’ve probably encountered Apple and Adobe’s completely asinine use of your focus, or should I say hijacking of your focus.

Part 1:

I’ll start with Adobe because I just haven’t been liking them recently. Flash is a part of the Adobe Suite which includes Photoshop, Dreamweaver, InDesign, and Acrobat to name a few. Basically what Adobe has done is make it impossible to “hide” Flash while it loads. Now, one thing I find interesting in all of this, is that to my knowledge, out of all the Adobe Applications I own — Adobe’s Web Creative Suite — only Flash does this. What happens is that when you open the Application and as it is initializing, the loading screen will rest on top of all other programs you have open and running. Resulting in something like this:

Adobe's asinine Flash loader

Adobe's asinine Flash loader

First off, I have to ask Adobe why? Why would it be important to have Flash steal the focus of my computer basically making it impossible to do anything else unless I work blind or carefully move my screens around the flash loader? What kind of user experience are you trying to deliver here? I’m already using the program and don’t need to be reminded of its magnificence as it’s loading. You’re an ass and need to get over yourself.

Part 2:

Apple’s part in the completely asinine use of focus is possibly, although definitely arguably, worse than that of Adobe. While Adobe completely hijacks your computer for a brief period of time is a completely dick move, Apple is just, well, stupid. You’ve probably noticed this before if you do a considerable amount of multitasking on your Apple computer and constantly have multiple Applications open at once. Somewhere at Apple, someone made the amazingly stupid decision to have Applications steal focus when they finish initializing. So lets say I’m looking at my email and open a link which in turn fires up Safari. As Safari is initializing I go back to my email and start a reply. In the middle of my typing Safari finishes initializing and steels my window focus cutting me off in the middle of my email. Thanks Apple, you complete ass.

Now this isn’t that big of a deal. The level of inconvenience is minimal, but there are two reasons this makes me want to choke Steve Jobs. First, to my knowledge, it is impossible to turn this nature off. I’ve scoured the Internets in search of a solution, a configuration setting, or some Apple or Shell script to run to change this. Nothing. If it was optional for Applications to behave in this way, I could deal with the idiotic default. Second, this behavior is totally and completely useless. It is only ever infuriating or otherwise useless. When would I ever want the program I’m loading to steel focus. Most people aren’t running defibrillator apps off their Apple computers that when fulling initialized need the program to take over for them immediately because otherwise someone might die. There has never and will never be a situation in which I will ever want an Application that does not currently have my focus to steel my focus just because it finished initializing. When I want to change my focus to a different application, I will do it. In the mean time do not hijack my focus. If this is an operating system bug that is difficult or impossible to solve, please forgive me and know that there is a great deal of interest in the community to have this problem resolved.

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