Scott's Weblog The weblog of an IT pro specializing in cloud computing, virtualization, and networking, all with an open source view


I have long had a “love/hate” relationship with virtual desktops on Mac OS X. In late 2005, I discovered Desktop Manager, a then-great application to provide virtual desktops. In early 2006, I switched to Virtue (later to become VirtueDesktops) and continued to use that up until I purchased my MacBook Pro in late 2006. At that time, VirtueDesktops was having a bit of a challenge making the transition to a Universal binary, so I settled for using Exposé instead of virtual desktops.

VirtueDesktops ceased development due to the introduction of Spaces in Leopard, but the developer—Tony Arnold—later unveiled that he would create an application to enhance Leopard’s Spaces. That application, Hyperspaces, is now available as a public preview.

I had high hopes for Hyperspaces, having worked extensively with VirtueDesktops. I was disappointed. I suppose I shouldn’t have expected so much, given that this is a preview of the 1.0 release. I had been hoping for a bezel pop-up similar to Quicksilver and VirtueDesktops, but instead we have a menu item and an attached pager. There’s no moving windows between desktops without reverting to the standard Spaces interface, and none of the very cool special effects that graced VirtueDesktops—like the cube effect—are present.

I strongly imagine that Tony will greatly enhance and expand the functionality of Hyperspaces over time. Until then, I’ll stick to Exposé.

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