June 7th, 2006 • 2:36 pm
This is a bug that I noticed several months ago, when iLife ’06 first came out (including iPhoto 6), but it’s taken me a while to figure out how to reproduce the problem reliably. Now I can.
It’s a bug that only occurs if you have a dual-monitor setup with an extended desktop. If you do have such a setup, open iPhoto 6’s main window on the main display.
Then, with iPhoto 6’s main window in the foreground, click on a window belonging to another application (any application will do) that is actually located on the secondary display, and not on the main display.
Clicking on that other window (which belongs to another application) causes Mac OS X to switch iPhoto 6 to the background and bring the other window’s parent application to the foreground. This is as expected.
What is not expected is that the iPhoto 6 main window loses its drop shadow altogether! Normally, when a window is relegated to the background, its drop shadow simply changes depth. The foreground window always has a drop shadow with greater depth, and all other background windows have a drop shadow with less depth.
But in this particular scenario, iPhoto’s main window actually loses its drop shadow altogether—which is rather problematic, because, in Mac OS X, windows have no edge. The drop shadow is the edge. With no drop shadow, it looks like iPhoto’s window has lost its edges, and is completely flat.
This only occurs, as far as I can tell, if you have a dual-monitor setup and you switch screens at the same time you switch applications. If you switch applications on the same screen, the problem does not occur.
I reported this bug to Apple a while ago, but without a reliable way to reproduce it. Now I can reproduce it every time. But it requires a dual-monitor setup. And of course Apple obviously does not test all its software on dual-monitor setups, to make sure they work well with such setups.
So it’s time for another bug report… Hopefully this time they’ll be able to reproduce the bug, and fix it.