Is This The End of TotalSpaces?

Hi all. I’ve been a paying customer of TotalSpaces for many years now, and my primary desktop is still running Big Sur on an Intel Mac because TotalSpaces3 isn’t even remotely ready to match it’s functionality. I’ve been ready to upgrade both hardware and o/s for a while now but feel that I can’t because of TotalSpaces.

Apple’s M1 transition was started in 2020 and there hasn’t been much activity from the TotalSpaces developers since 2018. The situation that I understand is the project is no longer a priority and nobody has been found to take the reigns, either commercially or open source.

I’ve been coming back to these forums every week for the last three years hoping for some exciting news, but there’s been nothing. There is an alpha version for both Intel and Apple Silicon that somewhat functions today but will it function after the next macOS update? Total unknown.

Is this the end? Should I finally bite the bullet and give up the idea that a TotalSpaces revival might one day happen?

Thanks everyone.


It sucks. I am using the alpha on M2 and it’s not great. It’s sluggish and weird. But it is what it is.
In my opinion, if the code was released and made public, at some point someone would take interest in the project and make updates. But the developer disagrees with that assessment. He wants someone to take ownership over it first. Which in my opinion is bollocks, because no one knows how this thing works and anyone who can probably understand it doesn’t want to become responsible for something they have never touched before.

So, unless you can change his mind about publishing the codebase, we are stuck with the old alphas and this project will die a slow death.

I understand this project is a source of income to the developer, albeit small these days, but I don’t understand the overzealous protection over it, since he is not willing to keep it alive. There’s a saying in Portuguese, I think, which translates more or less to “he doesn’t poop and doesn’t vacate the bushes.” It’s kind of vulgar, but it describes the situation perfectly, I think.

It’s funny because lots of people here pledged paying crazy amounts of money and that is not enough to convince the man to support it nor to give it up.

So, yeah, I guess we are doomed to accept Apple’s Mission Control. Or worse: Stage Manager! (ugh)

The alternative is a brave soul deciding to make an alternative app. I think that requires writing of Kernel extensions. I understand the concept, but I would have no clue where to start. I also assume the app would have to ‘talk’ to other MacOS processes. I’m not sure where documentation for that would be available. My assumption is that a person with those skills would need to make a lot of testing or even reverse-engineer some pieces of code. So we need a very good, low-level coding expert to start on that road. And they are all apparently uninterested in Spaces.

Looks like an alternative was released last week:

I’ve been trying it out for the past couple of days and there are a lot of things I miss from TS, but it’s nice to have Spaces in a grid and no crashes.

Interesting. Can you customise which keyboard shortcuts you want? Also how many rows/columns you want? The site doesn’t show any of that.

You can configure a keyboard shortcut to show the grid or configure modifiers+arrow keys to show the grid and select the space in that direction. The spaces can be dragged and dropped around to different grid sizes.

Hmm, have installed and willing to give it a shot. The changes between spaces when using keyboard modifiers + arrow keys is a fair bit slower than TS. But maybe the reliability will win me over. Having said that, I am already getting frustrated by the wrong space being selected if I move around at any sort of speed. I have to wait for the space selection to completely finish before changing to another.

It hasn’t felt slow to me, but maybe that’s something worth contacting the developer about.

This is the first time I’ve seen an alternative to totalspaces of any sort, even if it’s not fully featured. Fantastic news.

I have tried this for the last week. To be honest, I’ve gone back to TS. Space Capsule has limitations due to its implementation not using the same apis that have effectively broken TS. Which is a good thing in some ways but means it doesn’t offer anything new beyond using broken TS i.e. neither are able to move apps between desktops. I have found SC to be slower when jumping back and forth between a few desktops. It has also crashed quite a few times when waking from sleep. Then you have to teach SC your desktops again by cycling through them. TS may be broken, as in not offering the same capabilities it used to, but I’ll be sticking with it until something better comes along or SC improves on stability and performance.

Thanks for this, I’ve downloaded and am using SC on Sonoma. At least it helps give the Spaces a grid layout, which is all I really use of TS anyway. I never dragged apps around; I just managed the apps’ Space numbers through the Dock app menus. I like the fact it doesn’t require any system permissions, and he seems to be updating it.

I’m using Space Capsule on a system that I don’t use as much, my main machine is still on Big Sur so I can use TotalSpaces2 :rofl:

As long as it continues to be updated the application shows some promise.