SIMBL: the Swiss Army tool of OSX

by postbreak

To put it simply SIMBL (like cymbal) is a neat way to add functionality to an already existing application. I swore it off a few years ago when all it seemed to do was make my system unstable. Since then the project has matured and with it comes convenient application mods. Just recently I got excited for one such mod.

First a word of caution. SIMBL isn’t exactly what I would call a stable tweak, there can be quirks so if you don’t like rock solid performance then this isn’t for you.

Tabbed Finder

Basically the holy grail of Finder fans comes from a SIMBL mod called TotalFinder. This tweak basically rips the tab functions from Google Chrome and injects them into Finder. You read that correctly. I’m surprised at how intuitive this is not to mention how badly Finder needs this functionality. 

This is what Finder should have been in 10.6

Right now TotalFinder is in Alpha testing and will be shareware once it hits the Beta stage. This is one application I can get behind.

The next SIMBL mod I use constantly is Afloat. Afloat is a bit difficult to explain but essentially it allows for applications to go transparent and maintain focus. Why you would want to do this can also be difficult to explain. For the most part I use it when bashing away on a terminal all while I have video playing on top. Multitasking at its finest. I also use Afloat to just quickly hide windows by making them transparent. Below you can see my Pandora player is kept afloat.

All in all people seem to complain about SIMBL mods because they either crash or make their Macs unstable. That was the case for me a while ago but I have been using Afloat for what seems like ages now and have yet to experience a crash or bug. Your mileage may vary like always but SIMBL gets praise in my book.