Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard): Finder toolbar button still moving by one pixel

Posted by Pierre Igot in: Macintosh
November 8th, 2007 • 10:17 am

This one is truly extraordinary. I have actually lost count of the number of times that I have reported this to Apple as a bug. It is very easy to reproduce.

Open a window in the Finder. By default, it should be in the mode where the toolbar and sidebar are visible. (I say by default, because, with Mac OS X’s Finder, you never really know for sure.) The oval button in the top-right corner is used to switch from that mode to the mode where both the toolbar and the sidebar are hidden and the Finder window behaves more like a window from the Finder in the pre-Mac OS X day (sort of).

Before you click on that button, though, drag the window by its title bar to move it right against the menu bar at the very top of your screen:

Toolbar visibility button before

Now click on that button once, to switch the window mode:

Toolbar visibility button after

The window mode has changed already, but do you notice anything else? The entire window has moved by one pixel down, as is demonstrated in the second picture above by the gap between the window’s title bar and the menu bar.

This problem has been with us for ages. It used to be much worse, i.e. the window would move by several pixels. At some point (I have lost track of the exact dates here), Apple fixed the problem, and then they reintroduced it again in the early seeds for Mac OS X 10.5. I reported it, and Apple got back to me asking for screen shots, etc.—as if it was not easy to reproduce with the few steps described above.

I sent them the screen shots.

Several months later, the bug is still there in the officially released version of 10.5.

It really is mind-boggling. Why can’t they get this right once and for all? And why, once the bug has been reported in easy, 100% reproducible steps, can they fix it in time for the release of the final product?

It’s not just a cosmetic issue. Depending on where exactly the “hot spot” of your mouse pointer is, if you click and the entire window, including the button, moves down by one pixel, when you try to click again without moving the mouse pointer, the clicking will fail, because your hot spot is no longer within the clickable boundaries of the button in question.

This is really embarrassing. Sure, it’s a small detail, and the likelihood that your mouse pointer will be in the “wrong” location and will be affected by this bug on more than a purely cosmetic level is small. But it’s just one of these pretty obvious details, and Apple, for years now, has been unable to get this detail right.

Come on, Apple. We know you can do it!

One Response to “Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard): Finder toolbar button still moving by one pixel”

  1. richmc says:

    Just as an added oddity. Even in Tiger that modal button will cause any previously selected and visible finder window to briefly come to focus before returning to the window that the modal button was pressed.

    ie: open two finder windows, and click that same button you describe and watch the non focused finder window briefly become focused.

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