A great thing about the Mac

Recently there’s been a whole batch of minor upgrades to Mozilla’s internet applications, and a minor upgrade to my favoured browser, Camino, is promised for next week. My main annoyance with Camino is that, unlike with Firefox or Mozilla, it doesn’t ask you to confirm before it shuts an application down. You just press Command-Q, and off it goes. Even if you were right in the middle of writing something.

In my opinion, Firefox goes to the equally annoying opposite extreme, by asking you to confirm when you use the back button if you supposedly have some unfinished business on the current page. It does this even if you haven’t pressed a single key - usually when I use Blogger comments (this is probably because it auto-enters my Blogger log-in and password). But at least it doesn’t just let you destroy all your work at a stroke.

This wouldn’t be such a problem if the Mac used Alt-F4 like every other system out there. But it uses Command-W to close a window, and Command-Tab to switch to another application. So I asked on the Camino forum at MozillaZine if there were any plans to add a feature by which Camino asks for confirmation before shutting down, and although I haven’t so far got an answer to that, the person who replies told me that you can actually change the quit sequence from Command-Q to whatever you like - in this case, Shift-Command-Q.

You do this not through anything Camino provides (I checked), but through Apple’s own Interface Builder program, which comes with any new Mac (in the Developer Tools). You can actually change whatever you like about the appearance, including the program’s menus (basically anything which doesn’t require looking at the program’s code). This only works with “Cocoa” programs, however (there is another type of Mac program called Carbon, in which the user interface is contained within the program code, so you can’t alter it without changing the program). Still, I don’t know of any other system which allows you to alter details about a program so easily after it’s been built.

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