Thanks to the great feedback I’ve received here, I released AutoStacks 0.2 on Nov. 21, 2007. The source code below is still that of version 0.1, but all download links in this article have been updated to the new version. The original 0.1 version can still be downloaded here.
Remember how cool you once thought OS X Leopard’s new Stacks feature was going to be? And remember how disappointed you were when you discovered it didn’t actually do what you thought it would: i.e., create a new stack any time you dragged a collection of unrelated files onto the dock?
For some reason, I was heartbroken when I discovered a Stack was nothing more than a spiffed-down image of an existing folder, and I was even more irritated when I discovered you couldn’t just drag a bunch of files to make a new one. I couldn’t do much about the look, but I could at least make something that acted as I wanted it to: A convenient dock icon that sits patiently waiting for a collection of files, and then magically turns them into a new stack.
It’s a simple AppleScript application, and it seems to work. Unzip the application file, place it in your dock, then select a few files in your finder and drag them to the icon. It will ask you for a label (a default label is generated according to the current date and time), and then it will magically add the new Stack and (perhaps annoyingly) reload the Dock.
You can either download the the application file here, or modify the source to your own tastes:
Apparently I’m not the only one trying to make Stacks work like it should. Combine the functionality above with the visual treatment described here, and you’ve got yourself a pretty decent Dock.