Yes it is by design.
One reason for this is that floating panels live above other windows. This is how they always stay above documents. If we did not hide them when you click on Finder, then you would find that your Photoshop toolbar (and other floating UI) would obscure (be in front of) your Finder windows (or your Mail windows).
Another reason is that if you use multiple applications, then it could be confusing to see UI windows that are unrelated to the current, active, application. Consider using Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign at the same time and having a layers panel floating in each application. If we did not hide panels for inactive applications, then you would see three layers panels at any given time. Clicking on the "wrong" panel would activate the application that then panel belongs to (and disrupt your work).
The net effect is less clutter on your desktop when you are not working with Photoshop.
Thanx again for your comments. You said that "If we did not hide them [PS toolbars] when you click on Finder, then you would find that your Photoshop toolbar (and other floating UI) would obscure (be in front of) your Finder windows (or your Mail windows)." I don't think I understand why the toolbars need to disappear the way they do as the fonts panel in textedit does when you click outside it. If finder was on top it would make more sense for the toolbars to take their place underneath finder, not disappear from the screen entirely. This strikes me as strange behaviour for a program. Why can't it just behave like a normal program window, or let me determine if I want it to disappear? Your argument seems to me to rely on a false choice between floating on top (top most) or disappearing from the screen. What about just floating unless you make another window active and then it could, like almost every other program except those you ask to always float on top, take its place underneath the active window!
You are correct in stating that the front argument is a consolidation of two separate issues:
The general idea is that (floating) UI exist to assist you in working with your current focus target. When Photoshop is in the background, you are targeting something else than a Photoshop document, so we hide the floating Photoshop UI.
(if you are interesting in Apple's take on floating UI, then you can read: http://developer.apple.com/library/mac/#documentation/Cocoa/Conceptual /WinPanel/Concepts/UsingPanels.html#//apple_ref/doc/uid/20000224 ).
Therefore, the current behavior is expected.
Besides posting on this forum, you may also use the following link to suggest new behaviors and features in Adobe products:
Does anybody else have issues with their entire system freezing and then logging out when switching Spaces with PS CS5 open? At first I thought it was an issue with Snow Leopard, but looking back I never had it happen when I had CS3. It only happens when I've got PS running, and it's a huge pain. Luckily it hasn't happened yet when I've had unsaved work, but I'm sure it will someday.
I haven't heard about this. If the system freezes & auto-logs out, then it is an Apple bug (because your error description indicates a failure in an OS service).
You may want to take a look in the OSX Console (in the utility folder).
The following assumes OSX 10.6.
See if you see anything that indicate a failure close to the time when your session froze.
Then click on "Show Log List"
- Navigate to FILES>"/private/var/log/windowserver.log" and look for suspicious entries.
- Navigate to FILES>"/private/var/log/system.log" and look for suspicious entries.
- Navigate to FILES>"/private/var/log/kernel.log" and look for suspicious entries.
Be aware that output to the console is hard to read, and most entries are perfectly harmless.
Since we have seen systemwide problems on OSX related to video card drivers, please make sure that your system is up to date.
Looking in the kernel.log I found this right around the time my system crashed:
Oct 15 12:28:24 Andrew-Philpotts-MacBook-Pro kernel: NVDA: Fatal error, failed to make a texture resident. GPU heap size is 666 MB with 6199 textures and 10 surfaces.
Oct 15 12:28:24 Andrew-Philpotts-MacBook-Pro kernel: The graphics driver has detected a corruption in its command stream.
My system is up to date, I update it frequently. I just don't understand why this never happened until I started using CS5 and why it only happens when PS CS5 is running unless it's in some way related.
This looks like a problem in your NVidia driver or in OSX.
CS5 uses OpenGL accelerated documents by default and this may trigger this bug (Expose & Spaces seem to also rely on OpenGL).
Try to go into your Photoshop preferences and Turn off "Enable OpenGL Drawing" in the Performance section.
You should also consider reporting this problem to Apple.