Thu, Jan 28, 2016, 2:37pm Displays, Spaces, and Workspaces
Computers » Mac » OS X
have a multi-monitor desktop setup, as many programmers do, 3 in my case (two apple thunders and one dell 4k in portrait). I use spaces extensively as a regular way of working. I usually have several Xcode projects going for various clients and my own stuff, as well as other projects using other editors and a lot of Terminal windows. Each Xcode project probably has anywhere from 3 to 8 windows open, each usually with a few tabs. Naturally I spread them across the displays as is convenient. (I love the portrait 4k monitor to have one luxurious long view of my main coding window.)

I also have a zillion browser windows open at any given time (unless I've recently done a browser window purge, which is about once every couple of weeks). Many other things all around as well; emails, Finder windows, etc.

I currently use the old-school system of not associating each display with its on space. Not because I want to stretch windows across multiple monitors, which I don't really do much of, but because it allows me to group many windows together in a work environment across all the monitors.

I have 10 spaces usually. Each major project gets its own space. When I go to that space, all the programming windows are there, across all displays, that are relevant to that project, including any relevant emails, browser windows just for that project, notes, text, etc. And when I switch to another window with a touch of a function key, a go from one complete work environment to another, seamlessly.

There are times when I want to grab one display's view from another space in my current one, and I can't. That's about the only time I wish I had access to the newer space style. Sometimes I check to see if I'm just being an old fart and I try the new* space stylings, but it fails every time because:

There is no way to group display spaces to jump to them all at once.
It's a complete mess when I want to go from one working environment to the next.

I've tried to hack it with AppleScript or other means without success.

(Also, a failing of both space styles: You can't manually name your spaces. I can't imagine a single reason for not having this. I end up with a sticky note that lists a name for myself of what all the spaces are for in case I space-out on which is for which.)

So… what am I missing about how great the new* way is supposed to be?

One last thing: Apple could give me what I need in the new* space technique and I could have the best of both worlds if I was able to bring up a collection as a group, and then the user is on their own from there. It'd just be a convenience thing, but it would require just one extra bit of spice: Allow each space to be tagged and also to be called up via AppleScript or something more convenient via the Mission Control panel. How great would tagging be? I could imagine writing a script that not only brought up pdfs, etc, by tag, but then displayed them in a space just for that tag, either switch to such a space or creating it on the fly. One could do this all without chaos in an elegant fashion, but I'm guessing it'll never happen.

* — "new" = as of Mac OS X 10.7, released in 2011

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