I’ve been a virtual desktop user for a long time. I have Rails development on one, 37signals apps on another, communication on a third, feed reading and browsing on a third, and a few spares for clean-slate thinking.
These desktops all fall under the notion of task partitioning, not app partitioning. They all have Safari windows, many have TextMate windows and terminals too. Gruber has described the trouble with trying to fit this pattern on Spaces in the past.
But it seems that all you need to have bliss is two things: The latest version of TextMate (1455), which forces the Find windows to appear on the current desktop instead of the last on they were used on.
And then this neat hack from Mac OS X Hints that let’s you turn off the default Spaces behavior of switching desktops when you select an application that doesn’t have a window on the current. Which is mighty annoying when you want a Safari window on your communication desktop, but are forced to either right-click the dock for one or go to the programming desktop, click new, and then drag the window down to communications.
Between these two fixes, I’m now a content Spaces users and no longer wish for a Leopard port of the good old DesktopManager.