a toy from David Adamson
version one point three-ish
(Download DragonDrop)
(DragonDrop source)
Read Me Lisez Moi Hajimeni o Yomi Kudasai Lies mich
What's New Was ist neu?

DragonDrop is intended to reintroduce some of the functionality lost with the death of tabbed windows. We all remember tabbed windows, who trod the classic paths. We could drag an open window to the bottom of the screen, and a title-tab peeked up, readily displaying its contents at a click or a drag, and collapsing to insignificance at the slightest thought of dismissal.

Some used the tabs for quick-launching their favoritest of applications and documents, others for drop boxes or to get things out of the way.

They're back, sort of.

25 July 2009

  • I've had this update kicking around for a year or so, but I hadn't offered it to the world - I don't quite recall why (so let me know if some forgotten corner is unfinished!). This version offers Leopard compatibility, label coloring, and a few other updated bits and bobs.

12 July 2006 (Version One Point Three-ish)
Welcome back!

  • By popular request, DragonDrop windows now have optional "close" buttons.
  • Windows remember being closed. Some users had reported that windows they closed would return when the program was relaunched. That won't happen anymore.
  • Re-loads, re-freshes, and re-animations after file operations are smoother, more automatic.
  • The application is a Universal Binary, for full-throttle tabbiness on Intel Macs.
  • Michael Krekin has updated the Russian localization. (you should pick your favorite language, and localize DragonDrop too!)

Earlier Release Notes


DragonDrop is HappyWare

If you use DragonDrop, you must be nice.
To put a concrete mandate behind such a general statement,
do something unexpected and good for someone you don't know.

If you're looking for an easy but perhaps less interesting way to express that kindness, you can give me money:

(I'm PayPal Verified)

What DragonDrop Does

Drag any file or folder over DragonDrop's icon in the Finder or in the Dock, and drop it there. A window will appear, showing the contents of the folder you dropped, or of the folder containing the file that you dropped. This file-viewer is a poor cousin to the Finder's list-view, offering basic file operations by way of menu commands and (of course) drag and drop.

The file-icon in the title bar of a window in any application (including DragonDrop), can be dragged into DragonDrop just like any other file icon.

By default, DragonDrop's tab-windows minimize by collapsing to the bottom of the screen. By way of the Preferences window (command + semicolon), this behaviour can be changed to echo the WindowShades of yore (and of yonder shareware), or to suck to the dock in the mandated Mac OS X manner.

Only one DragonDrop window will be revealed at a time, the others collapsing upon losing focus. Bringing a window to the front, or clicking its title bar, makes it big and the others small.

Dragging anything over a collapsed DragonDrop window causes its revelation, and will re-collapse once the dragged thing has passed by.

And there's more, hopefully self-evident behaviour. Glance through the menus, poke at your preferences, experiment and play.

DragonDrop supports internationalization. The kindness of strangers has produced Japanese and French and Dutch and German localizations.

I don't know any other languages except Anglo-Saxon and enough Spanish to get myself embarrassed (or "embarazada", as they say). But DragonDrop can be localized by anyone who can use a text editor - no experience with programming is required, nor are any developer tools.

Volunteers are most heartily welcome.

What DragonDrop Doesn't

This is very much a work in progress, with many features missing that I desire. Patience, and possibly volunteer work, should see the things we wish come to pass.

The bullet-list:

  • It appears that Unsanity's WindowShade X and DragonDrop do not play well with one another. It is recommended that you add DragonDrop to the "Exclude List" in WindowShade's preference pane.
  • There isn't a whole lot to sort by, only name and date. This may change, but DragonDrop is supposed to be a lean little launcher/drop box, and not the whole of the Finder.
  • Icon View is not yet an option. I've got some ideas, and a few half-made prototypes, but nothing deliverable. Thoughts, or class donations, or indication of desire would be appreciated.

And probably a few other things. Let me know what keeps you from enjoying my toy, and I'll try to fix it.


I am David Adamson, recently a student of Oberlin College Computer Science.
Now I live in Baltimore.

Drop a note to dadamson AT cs.oberlin.edu and say howdy.


the localizers

Thomas Didrel provided the French localization,
Leendert gave us Dutch.
Japanese was made manifest by Shin-H.
The German words were wrought by Joska Moeller.
Michael Krekin made DragonDrop Russian.

the feedbackers, the givers of good will

Stephen S.
Julien V.
Vern A.
Dave H.
Bruce C.
Hector C.
Carl S.
Philip S.
Wesley J.A.
Aaron P.
Colin T.A.
Kirk McE.
Michael L.
Richard L.
Panagiotis A.
Forest F.
Alexander H.
Gerard T.
John F.G.
Tom N.
Michael E.
Peter S.
Ching P.L.
Jonathan W.
Hirohide Y.
Jessi L.H.
Nat P.
And Many More...


Earlier Version Updates

29 July 2005
While this update is superficially a Tiger-compatibility fix, many major under-hood reworkings have been implemented, paving the way for the much-awaited Icon View! Depending on the timing of my new teaching job, we'll either see a beta of Icon View functionality in the next two weeks or in late January.

an aside: The reason I had to release a Tiger bug-fix was that in Tiger, THINGS WORK CORRECTLY! In particular, I had been unwittingly exploiting a user-interface loophole to delegate the close-window message, which was cheating. The system also now correctly maps modifier keys while dragging files, so I don't have to hack and patch around incorrect default behavior (which you, dear user, should never have noticed. Nevertheless, I feel better that it works as expected). I have yet to dare to check to see if NSWorkspace can effectively trash files for me, for I do not wish my joy to be crushed.

14 March 2005
DragonDrop is now more forgiving of little mouse movements while clicking, and tabs-on-the bottom no longer break against a Dock that fully spans your screen (with a non-integer height).

Should you find "another Dock icon for another Desktop utility" distressing, DragonDrop now offers the option to not display a Dock icon (nor a menu bar). The menu bar's contents are duplicated in the control-click menus. You may still add folders to DragonDrop by dropping them onto its Finder icon, or by using the Drop Window. "Hot edges" for dropping are a feature under contemplation.

Relatedly, I've arranged for a system-wide contextual menu item to open DragonDrop windows, using the estimable On My Command contextual menu plugin. After installing OMC, you can import DragonDrop's menu item: DragonDropCM.plist.

I intend to offer a standalone contextual menu plugin, eventually. Volunteers are encouraged to beat me to the punch.

18 July 2004
Michael Krekin has added a Russian localization.

6 July 2004
DragonDrop has been updated, again!
These changes have been in the works since 2003's WorldWide Developers' Conference.

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