Since December I am a Linux-only user at home, but previously I had a mac. One of my main problems was that it was up to the applications if it would be possible to maximize their windows. There is a zoom button on every window, but the point of that button is not to maximize the window (read more here).
I looked for solutions to this, but even though many other complained about it, I couldn’t find one. The sad thing about many of the threads about this subject is that the people who don’t use maximize tell the ones that do that they don’t need it, because Apple knows better.
Finally I wrote a small application myself. I’ve dug through my archives and I found an XCode project and the maximizer.app. I am not 100% sure that these files are correct, but they probably are. I put the app in the dock and then I only had to start it once to get the maximize functionality.
Currently it is invoked by pressing Command-Option-M (I believe). It is hard coded into the application, and that is not the only ugly thing about it :). I hacked it together, and when I had verified that it worked, I never touched the code again. The application uses only the space available, i.e. it will not cover the dock or the menu bar.