I'm not sure if I'm posting in the right thread. I thought there was a more recent dialog between nontroppo and mouser on this subject, but I'm not finding it now. Anyway, here's a post of mine earlier today on the subject in bugtrak, followed by mouser's response, followed (soon) by my response.
I strongly support nontroppo's suggestion, in the forum, that FARR be able to switch to already running tasks.
One other point: please include tasks which are only in the system tray, as well as those which are in the taskbar. More and more programs are offering minimize to tray as an option for uncluttering the taskbar, which is visually helpful, but AFAIK there's no way at all to open them except with the mouse, which is a pain.
Mouser, I like your idea to switch to a program if it is already running, otherwise start it. You mention it in the context of aliases, which I can't comment on because I haven't used aliases enough yet.
But surely in basic (non-alias) use, this would happen automatically, if there were a new heuristic to give already-running tasks a high score. Then how about yet another new heuristic (presumably with a somewhat lower score), for any application on disk which already has an instance running in the task list?
So if the specified application is already running, the user would quickly see two relevant entries on the selection list. At the top of the list, instantly, would be the already running task, then as the disk search proceeded we would see the same application from disk. Of course they should be appropriately labelled or iconned to easily distinguish them.