A number of high profile scientific institutions joined together last week to announce the Encyclopedia of Life, a global project to document on a Web site every one of the 1.8 million named species of animals, plants, and other organisms. In essence, the Encyclopedia of Life will run along some of the same lines as the Wikipedia, although contributions may be limited to scientists with expertise in the subject, a restriction that may both slow the growth of the project and avoid some of the errors and argumentativeness that exist in Wikipedia. But from the standpoint of those who need information about living organisms, the Encyclopedia of Life's demonstration pages look extremely promising, bringing together written information, photos, video, audio, maps, and more, and presenting it all in an interface that can be scaled to the reader's level of experience. There isn't any live information yet, but it's worth viewing the demo pages, reading the FAQs, and watching the video on the main page.
Springy Dock Tricks
If you drag a file and hover over Dock icons, various useful things happen which are similar to Finder springing. If it's a window, the window un-minimizes from the Dock. If it's a stack, the corresponding folder in the Finder opens. If it's the Finder, it brings the Finder to the foreground and opens a window if one doesn't exist already. But the coolest (and most hidden) springing trick is if you hover over an application and press the Space bar, the application comes to the foreground. This is great for things like grabbing a file from somewhere to drop into a Mail composition window that's otherwise hidden. Grab the file you want, hover over the Mail icon, press the Space bar, and Mail comes to the front for you to drop the file into the compose window. Be sure that Spring-Loaded Folders and Windows is enabled in the Finder Preferences window.
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Published in TidBITS 879.
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