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Prevent apps from stealing focus

20260 Views 67 Replies Latest reply: Apr 11, 2013 2:06 PM by MadMacs0 RSS
  • TheKingArthur Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 13, 2012 1:37 PM (in response to Lucas_D)

    Thanks for the link Lucas. Unfortunately those are the same methods that I mentioned already, which have too many issues for most people to even bother trying them, and many people claim they do not work anyway.

     

    Using the Property List or Script/Automator modification to force an app to launch and stay in the background causes these problems (and maybe others as well):

     

    - Prevents access to the app's menu bar, which appears next to the Apple logo at the top of your screen whenever an app is brought to the foreground.

    - You will not be able to Command+Tab to an app that has been forced to remain in the background

    - Some apps will not show the white dot on the dock when launched this way, indicating that it is running.

    - Some apps can only be Force Closed when launched this way.

    - Some apps require an intact code signature (modified plist will ruin this) and so the firewall will request your permission to run them each and every time. This behavior inherently brings the app to the foreground, which defeats the purpose of trying to force it into the background.

    - Some apps cannot be brought to the foreground with any method after launching this way. (You won't be able to see that app's window on top of any others, even after clicking on the window.)

     

    I've seen this advice posted in several places as a possible solution, but each place has a long list of comments from various people about the problems of trying it. Even the few success stories list more negative side effects than positive results. This isn't a viable solution for most people, given the additional problems it causes.

  • Lucas_D Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 13, 2012 1:44 PM (in response to TheKingArthur)

    Thanks, TheKingArthur. I didn't realize the method had already been mentioned, but anyway, your summary of the problems with it is helpful.

     

    Just this morning, I started up Parallels, and then, while waiting for it to fully open, switched to a text editor and started writing down a dream I had last night, closing my eyes for better recall. When I finished writing down the dream, I opened my eyes, only to discover that I had typed nothing at all, because Parallels had stolen focus away from the text editor. Arghh!

  • TheKingArthur Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Nov 13, 2012 2:47 PM (in response to Lucas_D)

    No worries, the author from your link called the method something different than what I had posted above.

     

    That describes exactly the frustration of this! Launch an app and while it's loading you decide to switch to something else and be productive rather than twiddle your thumbs, but the app you launch refuses to be ignored and so will jump back up front to remind you that its loading. Very frustrating, especially when it's an app that takes a while to load, which can grab focus from what you're doing 3 or 4 times before they finish. Argh.

     

    You literally have to watch and wait for an app to finish launching in OSX before you can proceed to work. Multitasking is essentially disabled during this process.

  • Don Fuego Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 19, 2012 10:24 PM (in response to TheKingArthur)

    A bit off topic but just to join in with your criticism of the typical Apple Fan Boy Syndrome(tm) ...

     

    As my 15 month old, $3000 laptop broke down yesterday, I've come to the conclusion that Apple is nothing but fancy design and high specs. It's just like a muscle car; cool looking, expensive and fast! Handling, comfort, security? Forget it.

  • Matt W (TechnicalMac) Level 1 Level 1 (25 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 11, 2013 8:20 AM (in response to codingisallicareabout)

    Another current example: (I do NOT use Spaces) ClamXav has an option to open the (Console) log after it's done something such as scanning a predetermined folder, or updating itself with new definitions. Guess what? It pops open (a.k.a., steals focus to) the Console at least twice, every morning, or after connecting to a new network for the first time each day, regardless of whether Console is already open or not.

     

    If Console isn't open, at least I can see it bounce in the Dock when it opens and I have been trained to wait for the 3-5 seconds it takes to open and produce the window. Twice. Every day, no matter what I'm doing. Now, I could turn off this notification, but when it needs an engine update, or senses an infected file, which has happened, I wouldn't know otherwise. I'm stuck between knowledge and interruption.

     

    This is simply a software problem that could be fixed. 3rd party apps should utilize the system notifications that are now present, but even after 3 revs of 10.8, Apple apps have not done so.

  • MadMacs0 Level 4 Level 4 (3,320 points)
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    Apr 11, 2013 11:32 AM (in response to Matt W (TechnicalMac))

    Matt W (TechnicalMac) wrote:


    This is simply a software problem that could be fixed. 3rd party apps should utilize the system notifications that are now present, but even after 3 revs of 10.8, Apple apps have not done so.

    Feel free to make that suggestion to Mark at Suggested new features for ClamXav.

  • Matt W (TechnicalMac) Level 1 Level 1 (25 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 11, 2013 12:57 PM (in response to MadMacs0)

    I'm not certain how one would pull out an entire log file to place into a notification panel. I think that brings up a new set of challenges that actually takes us off into another direction.

     

    I may still send suggestions for ClamXav, but my point is that the OS should intercept and either redirect these kinds of calls, or offer us an option of how we wish to be alerted. Having no option is not acceptable in today's current software environment. The scripting/rendering issues pointed out earlier in this thread that make a Mac unusable are egregious and sad examples of this problem that should be remedied by Apple, not 3rd party vendors.

  • MadMacs0 Level 4 Level 4 (3,320 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 11, 2013 2:06 PM (in response to Matt W (TechnicalMac))

    ClamXav Sentry has a Growl capability which gives me a bit more flexability on what notifications I get, but I am still in the process of moving everything from a PPC running Leopard to an iMac i7/Mountain Lion, so haven't had a chance to play with having Growl forward eveything to Notifications yet, but that might help with part of the problem.

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