Odd system interaction in Sametime 7.5.1

by Volker Weber

The new Sametime client is interacting with the operating system in some strange and unexpected way. Since I think that Notes 8 will suffer from similar surprises, I will try to understand them now.

The first thing you notice after you installed Sametime is that there is no dock item. So the first thing I did was to drag the program icon to the dock to add it there. Now watch the movie below very carefully. It does not matter whether you click the program icon or the dock icon, Sametime will always load a second dock item. Also note the little black arrow under the second icon. This indicates a running program in contrast to an inactive icon. The second icon represents the bigger process of the two mentioned in the last posting. Apparently the program icon only launches the Java Virtual Machine with the necessary parameters. It then remains in memory without interacting with the user interface in order to catch a second launch. Also notice that it does not make any sense to keep the second icon in the dock, because it cannot launch the application. It will simply load an empty JVM. In my case it also kicked off Textmate, because that is my catch-all for unknown files.

In conclusion, Sametime is the only program on the Mac which requires two dock icons, and the user needs to be educated which one of them does what. Since Notes 8 will use the same architecture, it most likely will behave in the same way.

While the two icons issue is a an architectural one, the other odd behaviour could potentially be fixed. The user interface conventions on the Mac say that an application should have its About and Preferences on the application menu. So does Sametime, only that those menu items don't actually do anything. You have to refer to the file menu and the help menu to envoke them, as you can see in movie below. This is a "write once and don't test everywhere" issue.


I am not a Mac guy, but i am trying hard to learn SWT and eclipse technologie. I think your problem with the dock is a swt/eclipse problem. Look at this eclipse 3.3 brings mac dock support

I think this is exactly your problem. Maybe a later version of Sametime will be built on eclipse 3.3 and then the problem should be solved.


Ralf M Petter, 2007-04-26

Thank you Ralf, that was a very good link.

Volker Weber, 2007-04-26

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