Fantasktik 1.5

Taskbar for Mac OS X

"Fantasktik" provides a taskbar that takes care of all your window switching needs.

It has a minimalist yet customizable look. It was built initially for Mac OS X Leopard and takes advantage of Core Animation. At a later date Snow Leopard compatibility was added. Lion support was not added officially, but after briefly testing it, all features seem to work.

Features

Why a Mac taskbar?

Get rid of the Dock

One of the most loved and at the same time hated feature of Mac OS X is the Dock. Contrary to what the majority of users think when they switch to Mac, the Dock is not a window management tool, but a mere launcher. For window management Apple expects you to use Expose (now Mission Control). While this might work for some people, for others it may seem over complicated and not terribly intuitive. If all applications were to reside in a single window the Dock could be an adequate Window management tool. But unfortunately not all of them do and keeping track of all open windows can quickly become a chore. This is where Fantasktik comes in - you can view all your open windows at a glance and switch to them with ease.

Get one of Windows' greatest features

I realize that Windows is not very popular among Mac users, but you have to give credit where credit is due. The Taskbar solves the issue of switching between windows with elegance and simplicity and for a long time it was the de facto standard for almost all operating systems. Then came Apple ... the Dock was their chance to differentiate themselves from the rest of the crowd by offering a flashy and in your face feature that would set them apart (remember the Magnification feature - a usability disaster that looks nice). While the Dock sets Mac OS X apart, I'd argue that it's not as useful as it could have been. What is worse is that recently there is a "me too" attitude about copying the Dock (Gnome 3, Unity, the default behavior of Windows' Superbar). The Dock's success is not the result of its technical superiority, but of Apple's ability to extract a "wow factor" out of everything.

The future of Fantasktik

At the moment there is none. What you see is what you get. This is the latest version (December 2009) put out by its creator Docklandsoft. They have kindly provided me with a copy of it and a license generation app to distribute.

I'm hoping that this page will inspire other developers to give the idea of a "Taskbar for Mac" a shot and help make a great operating system a little bit more usable.

What's missing from Fantasktik

My feeling was that Fantasktik offered only half of what was needed for it to be a success - a great taskbar implementation. The launcher part was non-existent. This is my personal opinion on what could have been improved:

As a taskbar

As a complete window management solution

Copyright © 2014 Serban Boanca