Adman Engst of TidBITS reports on a subtle design change in OS X 10.6.7 that we hadn’t noticed before. In the latest OS X update from this past April, Apple changed the way users can drag items out of the Finder sidebar. Whereas users could previously just drag an item out, users now must “command-drag them out” or control-select an item and subsequently choose “Remove from Sidebar.”
This change was presumably in response to reports of users accidentally removing items from the Finder sidebar.
All we can think is that people were complaining about accidentally removing items from the sidebar because it was too easy to drag them out; by requiring either a Command-drag or choosing a contextual menu item, Apple has ensured that it’s nearly impossible to remove an item by mistake. In fact, quick comments on Twitter indicate that it’s common for inexperienced users (the stereotypical parents) to remove items from both the sidebar and the Dock and then be confused. Perhaps we can expect to see a similar change for the Dock at some point in the future.
This change isn’t a huge deal, but it would have been helpful of Apple to mention this change in the release notes for 10.6.7. That’s what they’re for, after all.