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Why Does Most Software Suck? (Page 4)
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Spheric Harlot
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Aug 11, 2011, 05:36 PM
 
You know that. I know that.

There is no discoverable option to skip registration.
     
hayesk
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Aug 12, 2011, 10:23 AM
 
Originally Posted by voodoo View Post
To each his own, I guess, but I find it useful. It's annoying to work with, and it's much better to just give into the Apple mantra that the file system is dead, because that's the way they design more and more of their apps and the Finder too (e.g. "all my files" in Lion)
Not understanding the file system is the number one reason non-technical people have trouble using computers. Hiding it is a smart decision. THis is win-win. It's hidden from the novices, and completely accessible by the experts.
It's a failure as a professional app, but I'm sure it will do ok in prosumer space. It depends entirely how you define success. FCP in professional space is gone, since FCPX can't replace it.
If you stick to a narrow view of what "professional space" is. What constitutes a "professional space" is always changing. 20 years ago, professionals didn't do digital editing at all. When Premiere and others later came along, they were chastised as being for amateurs. Professionals wouldn't touch it at first. I predict the same for FCPX. People will try it, get used to it, and produce professional video with it.
Everybody uses Lightroom, except a vocal minority. Or not even that vocal.
BS. More people use Lightroom because it's on Windows and MacOS. But nowhere near being close to "everybody." Lots of professionals use Aperture.
     
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Aug 13, 2011, 05:21 PM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post

I got lost here: what are you trying to say?
Sorry, I should be more clear. I like the file system, but the Finder is not that useful a tool for the file system. In other words, I really appreciate and understand the hierarchical file system, and I feel that the Finder could be (and should be) a much much much better tool for navigating, organizing and manipulating said system.

That's all.
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ghporter
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Aug 14, 2011, 08:52 AM
 
Having seen plenty of people thoroughly hose up their Windows boxes by taking advantage of the extremely powerful and poorly constrained Explorer interface system, I would suggest that Finder isn't all that bad. It could indeed be more powerful and easier to use, but at the potential cost of ravaged file systems and broken installations. Perhaps it's a good thing that it takes significant effort to do more intricate file system tasks in OS X, and that it's even difficult to get at parts of the file system at all. Any built in, easy to use tool will allow fumble-fingered users who think they know what they're doing to goober up and otherwise bork any file system, and it would seem that such tools actually invite that sort of tinkering. How would a "better Finder" be both a better tool and still make it difficult for determined idiots to blow up their Macs?

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Aug 15, 2011, 08:51 AM
 
Originally Posted by ghporter View Post
Having seen plenty of people thoroughly hose up their Windows boxes by taking advantage of the extremely powerful and poorly constrained Explorer interface system, I would suggest that Finder isn't all that bad. It could indeed be more powerful and easier to use, but at the potential cost of ravaged file systems and broken installations. Perhaps it's a good thing that it takes significant effort to do more intricate file system tasks in OS X, and that it's even difficult to get at parts of the file system at all. Any built in, easy to use tool will allow fumble-fingered users who think they know what they're doing to goober up and otherwise bork any file system, and it would seem that such tools actually invite that sort of tinkering. How would a "better Finder" be both a better tool and still make it difficult for determined idiots to blow up their Macs?
A rant: (there's a tl;dr one line summary at the bottom)

Ahem. That's all well and good, but I can't compare the Finder to the Windows Explorer - knowing what it was capable of in the 90s, it wouldn't even be a fair comparison.

 


(tl;dr software sucks because the developer has a god complex)
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hart
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Aug 15, 2011, 10:23 AM
 
I've read through most of this in hopes of learning something and I have several questions.

First of all, I'm still wondering what you mean by "suck" exactly. Doesn't do what you want? Isn't the be-all-and-end-all of its intended purpose? Not to be obtuse but is seems you've plunked down an arbitrary premise and then gone on to argue about it without really establishing what you mean.

Second, if it sucks what is the solution? What would a non-sucky software look like? Are you expecting perfection, that no user would feel constricted by the interface? Lack of learning curve? That the intuitive flow would feel as easy as walking down the street? (I also remember some mention of performance but that seems to have dropped by the wayside.)

I'm wondering if the requirements of any more complex piece of software when paired with the limitations of the interface hardware make it impossible to achieve what you all are looking for as non-sucky. My theory is that we are trying to cram what is essentially three dimensional problems into a two dimensional space and the result will always be compromises.

I've been trying to learn Maya which is an enormously complex piece of software. It's ugly, it's hard to learn, it's so difficult to find stuff they have a search function for menu items. They have to employ every trick in the book to give access to all the options. Right clicking, MMB clicking, all the various keys. The icons are opaque and hard to parse as much because they are tiny by necessity and there are SO many of them. And still half the stuff is hidden and you only find it by accident or by searching endlessly through the help files. BUT I feel like the developers are probably doing the best they can with the enormous and complex task they have to accomplish. There's just too much information to cram into a 2D interface (the screen.)

I've been reading all the back and forth on the Finder and I have to say I'm a bit perplexed. What kind of specific things are you seeing as being terminally wrong with it? And what would a non-sucky finder look like? It always seemed like the various Launch Pad-type innovations were aimed at light-weight users, pretty stuff to bring in the crowds. But Finder has to meet the needs of those people as well as serious geeks. How can the non-sucky Finder meet both ranges of needs? What are some specific kinds of things that would move the Finder away from the defectiveness
you see?

Is the solution moving towards this "end of the file system" paradigm? I'm still not getting how that's an improvement. It seems to be placing the hand-holding for less-experienced users as the priority. This is a limitation on functionality. The default hiding of Library folders in Lion being a clear example.

So I'm not a developer or a UI expert. Help me to understand both what is the essential suckiness you're discussing and what a non-sucky software would look like.
     
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Aug 15, 2011, 10:57 AM
 
So I'm not a developer or a UI expert. Help me to understand both what is the essential suckiness you're discussing and what a non-sucky software would look like.
I don't pretend that my opinion is fact, and there are vehement defenders of everything Apple does or touches, I'm not one of them either. This is purely my personal opinion and I can only describe what I experience as bad or sucky. So don't shoot the messenger.

Originally Posted by hart View Post
I've read through most of this in hopes of learning something and I have several questions.

First of all, I'm still wondering what you mean by "suck" exactly. Doesn't do what you want? Isn't the be-all-and-end-all of its intended purpose? Not to be obtuse but is seems you've plunked down an arbitrary premise and then gone on to argue about it without really establishing what you mean.
In the purest form, it means software that people choose to use, prefer to use (and the best kind is software people also enjoy to use, but that's beyond just "non-sucky").

Second, if it sucks what is the solution? What would a non-sucky software look like? Are you expecting perfection, that no user would feel constricted by the interface? Lack of learning curve? That the intuitive flow would feel as easy as walking down the street? (I also remember some mention of performance but that seems to have dropped by the wayside.)
Again, in its purest form: To seek perfection, yes. To achieve it, no. To recognize what is good, what works and leave it be. In the Finder it's just confusing to use it, it's messy and clutters the screen far too fast. It's so bad that the "best" solution has been Exposé, i.e. to remove/resize all windows, instead of windows being orderly and logical to begin with.

And it is very un-intuative. In the Mac OS X Finder the simple operation of copying a file is best done with the keyboard. That's just sad.

Column view isn't compatible with any other view, it changes the properties of the Finder window so much and Cover Flow is another confusing abstraction (that according to polls I've seen, hardly anybody uses) ... Will a Finder window open in icon, list, column or coverflow view? Who knows. That's un-intuative.

There are a million little things wrong with the Finder, which is why it's very little used. And I don't see Apple ever addressing this problem, they don't care. In fact I'd say the white flag was raised when Apple made the standard Finder window display "all my files" instead of a home folder in Lion.

The Finder can't even tell how many items and how much space they take when one empties the trash. It demands all sort of weird things, such as some apps must be in the /Applications/ folder, or else they just don't work. The Finder also has problems keeping track of files, which makes apps fail when they don't find the file they expected to be in a specific location (and in fact Spotlight doesn't even find all files)

Anyway, the Finder is something people use if they have to, they don't enjoy it and prefer to use some alternatives (third party, Dock/Spotlight/Launchpad etc) - that's what makes it "suck" in my book. And all these issues have been the same since 2001. That's where lack of vision and no user-input comes in.

Performance discussion of the Finder faded away when it stopped beachballing and could re-size windows without chocking the Mac (and probably also when fewer and fewer people had to use the thing)

I'm wondering if the requirements of any more complex piece of software when paired with the limitations of the interface hardware make it impossible to achieve what you all are looking for as non-sucky.
My solution:

A solid file browser, that doesn't mix any other element into the program, for example and Mac OS 9 Finder was very good, in fact generations ahead the current one. And there exist file browsers also generations ahead of the Finder. Mac OS X is on par with the default Windows browser, but Windows also has Explorer. The Mac just has the "sucky" Finder. I don't see that ever changing, for that Apple would need to have... taste.

I've been trying to learn Maya which is an enormously complex piece of software. It's ugly, it's hard to learn, it's so difficult to find stuff they have a search function for menu items. They have to employ every trick in the book to give access to all the options. Right clicking, MMB clicking, all the various keys. The icons are opaque and hard to parse as much because they are tiny by necessity and there are SO many of them. And still half the stuff is hidden and you only find it by accident or by searching endlessly through the help files. BUT I feel like the developers are probably doing the best they can with the enormous and complex task they have to accomplish. There's just too much information to cram into a 2D interface (the screen.)
I agree with that, though I stress that in the case of the Finder, Apple has not been doing what they can to improve and manage the development of the Finder. Only the bare minimum of updates (i.e. Cocoa rewrite etc.) have been made, while the functionality, features and feel of the Finder have not changed for the better. In fact, using the OS X 10.0.0 Finder is rather similar to the OS X 10.7.0 Finder. No new features to speak of, no improvements other than performance and bigger icons.

I've been reading all the back and forth on the Finder and I have to say I'm a bit perplexed. What kind of specific things are you seeing as being terminally wrong with it? And what would a non-sucky finder look like? It always seemed like the various Launch Pad-type innovations were aimed at light-weight users, pretty stuff to bring in the crowds. But Finder has to meet the needs of those people as well as serious geeks. How can the non-sucky Finder meet both ranges of needs? What are some specific kinds of things that would move the Finder away from the defectiveness
you see?
In a sentence: Split the Finder into a solid, logical object oriented (spatial) interface and a good solid professional browser interface.

Is the solution moving towards this "end of the file system" paradigm? I'm still not getting how that's an improvement. It seems to be placing the hand-holding for less-experienced users as the priority. This is a limitation on functionality. The default hiding of Library folders in Lion being a clear example.
I agree very much with the above. Very much.
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Spheric Harlot
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Aug 15, 2011, 11:24 AM
 
The OS 9 Finder was great for dealing with up to about forty objects.

Beyond that, spatial memory became inapplicable, except for tabbed windows, which thwarted any positive effects by constantly shifting place.

By the time of OS 9.1, my file system was a mess of various alias collections into various folders dropped into the Apple menu and tabbed along the bottom of the screen, with another handful of aliases on the desktop.
     
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Aug 15, 2011, 11:46 AM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
The OS 9 Finder was great for dealing with up to about forty objects.

Beyond that, spatial memory became inapplicable, except for tabbed windows, which thwarted any positive effects by constantly shifting place.

By the time of OS 9.1, my file system was a mess of various alias collections into various folders dropped into the Apple menu and tabbed along the bottom of the screen, with another handful of aliases on the desktop.
Hyperbole and doesn't change address anything I wrote, certainly not that the current Finder does nothing well. Of course it's nothing but a load of bull that the OS 9 Finder couldn't handle anything more than "40 objects", perhaps you're just spatially challenged?

All you present (as usually) is a lot of excuses, hyperbole and Apple apologism. The fact is that the OS 9 Finder did what it did, without sucking. The OS X Finder can't even do the same, and it's browser interface is put to shame by Windows Explorer and in fact any Linux distro.
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Spheric Harlot
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Aug 15, 2011, 12:28 PM
 
Originally Posted by voodoo View Post
Hyperbole and doesn't change address anything I wrote, certainly not that the current Finder does nothing well. Of course it's nothing but a load of bull that the OS 9 Finder couldn't handle anything more than "40 objects", perhaps you're just spatially challenged?

All you present (as usually) is a lot of excuses, hyperbole and Apple apologism. The fact is that the OS 9 Finder did what it did, without sucking. The OS X Finder can't even do the same, and it's browser interface is put to shame by Windows Explorer and in fact any Linux distro.
I used the Macintosh Finder from 1989 until about 2001.

Maybe I'm just "spatially challenged".

Maybe a metaphor that worked okay in 1984 just became increasingly clunky fifteen years later, when computer usage had completely changed.

All your desperate attempts to discredit others' arguments by invoking cute insults don't really affect history, either way.
     
turtle777
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Aug 15, 2011, 01:04 PM
 
Originally Posted by voodoo View Post
The fact is that the OS 9 Finder did what it did, without sucking. The OS X Finder can't even do the same, and it's browser interface is put to shame by Windows Explorer and in fact any Linux distro.
Seriously, did I miss sarcasm tags or something ? You can't be serious about this.

The only reasonable explanation is that you are merely trolling.

-t
     
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Aug 15, 2011, 01:29 PM
 
Originally Posted by voodoo View Post
In a sentence: Split the Finder into a solid, logical object oriented (spatial) interface and a good solid professional browser interface.
I remember John Siracusa making this recommendation way back. But I don't want it. I use mostly column view, only swapping to icon or list view occasionally, then swapping right back. Your recommendation would pointlessly break my preferred usage. No thanks.
     
voodoo
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Aug 15, 2011, 02:05 PM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
I used the Macintosh Finder from 1989 until about 2001.

Maybe I'm just "spatially challenged".

Maybe a metaphor that worked okay in 1984 just became increasingly clunky fifteen years later, when computer usage had completely changed.

All your desperate attempts to discredit others' arguments by invoking cute insults don't really affect history, either way.
All your desperate attempts to discredit others' arguments by treating your private POV as truth don't really affect history. So banal to use "I used the Macintosh Finder from year x to y", seeing as I've done exactly the same. Yeah I've also used the Mac since x to y (since 1986), I don't bring it up since it is just about the weakest way to make a point.

You bring a lot of maybes and then personal attacks. The fact is that I meant it, perhaps you are spatially challenged, because for instance I can visualize and manage in my mind a heck of a lot more than 40 files. That wasn't even an insult, you're just setting the bar so low that one has to wonder, are you serious?

It's somewhat like the Groundhog Day every time I see a post from you. Ned! Ned Ryarson!

Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
Seriously, did I miss sarcasm tags or something ? You can't be serious about this.

The only reasonable explanation is that you are merely trolling.

-t
OS X Finder can't show me how much is in the Trash before I empty it. Trolling is making sweeping statements in hope that someone takes the bait. Disagreeing and offering explanation to offer the reader some clue as to why one would be disagreeing, that's not trolling.

There are plenty of things the OS 9 Finder can do that the OS X Finder can't, and it's no small wonder seeing how limited the development of the OS X Finder has been. Granted there are things that the OS X Finder has that OS 9 did not, but is more due to hardware advances and the underlying OS, such as larger icons and better multithreading.
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voodoo
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Aug 15, 2011, 02:10 PM
 
Originally Posted by lpkmckenna View Post
I remember John Siracusa making this recommendation way back. But I don't want it. I use mostly column view, only swapping to icon or list view occasionally, then swapping right back. Your recommendation would pointlessly break my preferred usage. No thanks.
It doesn't affect your preferred usage at all to separate the browser window and object oriented interaction. Why would it?
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besson3c
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Aug 15, 2011, 02:15 PM
 
voodoo: how is a spatially oriented Finder supposed to work in column and list views, and how is a spatial oriented view that only works in 1 of 4 views not a usability issue?
     
turtle777
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Aug 15, 2011, 02:18 PM
 
Originally Posted by voodoo View Post
OS X Finder can't show me how much is in the Trash before I empty it.
Ok, I need this about once a year. OS 9 FTW, I guess

Anything else ?

Originally Posted by voodoo View Post
There are plenty of things the OS 9 Finder can do that the OS X Finder can't, and it's no small wonder seeing how limited the development of the OS X Finder has been. Granted there are things that the OS X Finder has that OS 9 did not, but is more due to hardware advances and the underlying OS, such as larger icons and better multithreading.
Care to give some REAL examples of OS 9 Finder's superiority ?

Here some things that I LOVE about OS X Finder:
* sidebar - customizable
* search (Spotlight powered) - customizable
* column view (use it 99.5% of the time)
* Quicklook
* customizablem context menu items

Seriously, I can't possibly see how a few obscure OS 9 Finder features ("Trash size") can beat the overall functionality of the OS X Finder.

-t
     
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Aug 15, 2011, 02:27 PM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
voodoo: how is a spatially oriented Finder supposed to work in column and list views, and how is a spatial oriented view that only works in 1 of 4 views not a usability issue?
You can have all the views you want in the file browser. Just like now - after all, the current Finder is a browser, it's just "spatial" too (sometimes). That feature isn't needed in the browser, now is it?
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Aug 15, 2011, 02:44 PM
 
So the "browser mode" would be the Finder as it is now with spatial-ness ripped out, and the "spatial mode" would be completely new and separate, but without a column view. That would confuse the hell outta people.

One thing that always drove me crazy about the OS 9 Finder was "disappearing windows." I had no idea what was going on until years after I stopped using OS 9.

Say you have a folder opened in icon view; let's call it "pretty pictures," which is inside "pictures," which is inside "documents." Then, from the desktop, you open "Macintosh HD," switch to list view, then navigate to documents, then pictures, then pretty pictures *WHOOSH* suddenly your original window would close by itelf, because you couldn't have 2 different windows showing the same content. That drove me bonkers.
     
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Aug 15, 2011, 02:44 PM
 
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
Ok, I need this about once a year. OS 9 FTW, I guess
More than I ever needed a column view.

Care to give some REAL examples of OS 9 Finder's superiority ?

Here some things that I LOVE about OS X Finder:
* sidebar - customizable
* search (Spotlight powered) - customizable
* column view (use it 99.5% of the time)
* Quicklook
* customizablem context menu items

Seriously, I can't possibly see how a few obscure OS 9 Finder features ("Trash size") can beat the overall functionality of the OS X Finder.

-t
* no suffixes, ever
* always aware of a file's position, no matter where you move it
* a more powerful search feature than Spotlight (oh yes, it never failed to *find* things and fast)
* customizable Apple menu
* very easily customizable system preferences (though finally Lion has something similar)
* apps run and install anywhere
* the aforementioned trash size
* customizable UI
* game sprockets
* windows could be dragged from every side
* nicer labels
* immensely fast icon loading when opening a window with many icons (no not all performance issues have been ironed out of the OS X Finder)
* the Trash can be put anywhere one likes, and isn't tethered to the Dock

to name a few, just things that could have been implemented in OS X, but never were and never will be (probably)

The interface was well thought out, consistent and intuative. One could also install a browser (3rd party) if one desired that and some did.

These are just few advantages over OS X Finder found in OS 9 Finder, and then there are the weird things, bugs features and inconsistencies of OS X Finder that makes me always equally amazed that people manage to get used to - even defend. On a good day.
( Last edited by voodoo; Aug 15, 2011 at 04:10 PM. )
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Aug 15, 2011, 02:46 PM
 
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
Ok, I need this about once a year. OS 9 FTW, I guess

Anything else ?



Care to give some REAL examples of OS 9 Finder's superiority ?

Here some things that I LOVE about OS X Finder:
* sidebar - customizable
* search (Spotlight powered) - customizable
* column view (use it 99.5% of the time)
* Quicklook
* customizablem context menu items

Seriously, I can't possibly see how a few obscure OS 9 Finder features ("Trash size") can beat the overall functionality of the OS X Finder.

-t

My only problems with the Finder have to do with network file systems, responsiveness, and other non-GUI implementation related stuff. I agree with you, but I will also add that the Finder cover flow view is pretty pointless. I don't think I've ever used it, have you?
     
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Aug 15, 2011, 02:47 PM
 
Originally Posted by voodoo View Post
You can have all the views you want in the file browser. Just like now - after all, the current Finder is a browser, it's just "spatial" too (sometimes). That feature isn't needed in the browser, now is it?

I'm not following you here...
     
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Aug 15, 2011, 02:56 PM
 
I used cover flow once; I was looking for a specific picture and it made more sense than thumbnails or QuickLook.
     
besson3c
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Aug 15, 2011, 02:57 PM
 
Originally Posted by voodoo View Post
* no suffixes, ever
And also challenging file exchange with Windows users

* a more powerful search feature than Spotlight (oh yes, it never failed to *find* things and fast)
That search was pretty much the equivalent of the Unix find command. Hard drives are much larger now in file size. How fast is a search for something on a hard drive with 60 gigs of junk on it, for instance?

There was no magic to the search algorithm in the Mac OS 9 find command, AFAIK it like the Unix find command just traversed through each directory in sequence and looked for file matches, perhaps spawning multiple threads to do so (although I kind of doubt that). Spotlight's search is SQLite based, which can index stuff and be optimized for faster searches. The technology here is better, I think you're just comparing apples to oranges.

* apps run and install anywhere
I think we're conflating OS 9 with OS X and not talking specific Finder features, but you can run an app from anywhere now

* game sprockets
Definitely not a Finder specific feature, and I think you'd be pretty hard pressed to claim that any application framework from the 90s is superior to modern ones.

* immensely fast icon loading when opening a window with many icons (no not all performance issues have been ironed out of the OS X Finder)
This I'll agree with...

The rest of the stuff in your list I've omitted I don't necessarily disagree with, I just think they are more personal preference and values sorts of features that can't really be debated, where you prefer an older implementation over a newer one and all of the tradeoffs and new variables to take into account. This is fair.

These are just few advantages over OS X Finder found in OS 9 Finder, and then there are the weird things, bugs features and inconsistencies of OS X Finder that makes me always equally amazed that people manage to get used to - even defend. On a good day.

I haven't really put the Lion Finder through its paces yet, but the OS X Finder has definitely been a weak spot for a number of years. I find myself using the Terminal as a Finder replacement out of habit.
     
turtle777
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Aug 15, 2011, 03:00 PM
 
Ah, whatever, voodoo.
I'm pretty sure you and one or two other people on this planet would like to have the OS 9 Finder still today.

The OS X Finder isn't perfect, but for most people, it works.
Most of the "advantages" you list are not advantages of the OS 9 Finder, but necessary changes in OS X Finder, due to the underlying Unix.
Nobody seriously wants to go back to pre-OS X times when it comes to the overall OS.

-t
     
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Aug 15, 2011, 03:05 PM
 
Hi voodoo. Please don't attack me, I'm looking forward to a friendly exchange (if any)

Originally Posted by voodoo View Post
* no suffixes, ever
Unless you had files with suffixes. I had lots of those, basically any file I got from the internet instead of making it on my Mac (and even those had suffixes if I put them there because I knew they were destined for the internet). This isn't really the Finder's fault, it's just that we now get even more files from (or to) the net. You can still make documents without filename extensions if you want to.
(or am I misunderstanding what you mean by "suffixes?")

* a more powerful search feature than Spotlight (oh yes, it never failed to *find* things and fast)
As I recall, OS 8 had a perfectly good find-file function, then in OS 9 they rolled it into "Sherlock," which was terrible to the point of uselessness. Easily worse and slower than the worst iteration of Spotlight. So this wasn't really caused by the 9/X Finder, but was an independent problem (fixing something that isn't broken). The X finder generally does a good job of finding files on all my 10.5 Macs.

* customizable Apple menu
The Apple menu wasn't really part of the Finder (it was accessible from any app), and likewise the Dock (with or without folders) can do almost the same job, and is still not really part of the Finder.

* apps run and install anywhere
This is really still true of 99% of apps. Exceptions aren't that common.

The interface was well thought out, consistent and intuative. One could also install a browser (3rd party) if one desired that and some did.
You can still
     
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Aug 15, 2011, 03:25 PM
 
Originally Posted by lpkmckenna View Post
So the "browser mode" would be the Finder as it is now, and the "spatial mode" would be completely new and separate, but without a column view. That would confuse the hell outta people.
Meh, people don't get all confused switch between the internet and the Finder. One app for one thing another for another. One would use the file browser much like today if one prefers that and never has to interact with anything else.

One thing that always drove me crazy about the OS 9 Finder was "disappearing windows." I had no idea what was going on until years after I stopped using OS 9.

Say you have a folder opened in icon view; let's call it "pretty pictures," which is inside "pictures," which is inside "documents." Then, from the desktop, you open "Macintosh HD," switch to list view, then navigate to documents, then pictures, then pretty pictures *WHOOSH* suddenly your original window would close by itelf, because you couldn't have 2 different windows showing the same content. That drove me bonkers.
Yeah, I never had that problem. Either way, you'd have your file browser to open as many windows with the same content as your heart desired.
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Aug 15, 2011, 03:32 PM
 
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post

The OS X Finder isn't perfect, but for most people, it works.
It's "good enough", yeah I know the line

Most of the "advantages" you list are not advantages of the OS 9 Finder, but necessary changes in OS X Finder, due to the underlying Unix.
Nobody seriously wants to go back to pre-OS X times when it comes to the overall OS.

-t
Of course nobody wants to go back to the overall OS of pre OS X times, least of all me. I think the Finder could easily be worked on, improved and so on; I'm not advocating that it should be changed to OS 9, far from it. Just that even setting the bar as low as a ten year old Finder, in some cases after ten years of "improvements" on the OS X Finder, it's older sibling still has advantages - something that I think reflects the "good enough" attitude of the 21st century software.

I don't pretend my preferences are "the best" or right or "the truth and the only way", simply that there's plenty of room for improvements.
( Last edited by voodoo; Aug 15, 2011 at 04:00 PM. )
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Aug 15, 2011, 03:51 PM
 
Originally Posted by voodoo View Post
I don't pretend my preferences are "the best" or right or "the truth and the only way", simply that there's plenty of room for improvements.

It's hard to disagree with that! There are people who would say that the best version of Word for the Mac was 5.1 (or whatever that popular version of 5 was). It is a mistake to take for granted that anything new is universally superior to even stuff that is much, much older.
     
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Aug 15, 2011, 03:59 PM
 
Originally Posted by Uncle Skeleton View Post
Hi voodoo. Please don't attack me, I'm looking forward to a friendly exchange (if any)
You're cool in my book.

Unless you had files with suffixes. I had lots of those, basically any file I got from the internet instead of making it on my Mac (and even those had suffixes if I put them there because I knew they were destined for the internet). This isn't really the Finder's fault, it's just that we now get even more files from (or to) the net. You can still make documents without filename extensions if you want to.
(or am I misunderstanding what you mean by "suffixes?")
I don't think you're misunderstanding what I mean with suffixes, those three letter things at the end of filenames, such as "picture.jpg"

However the Finder and Mac OS X, since version 10.5 always use suffixes for every file. Without it, the Mac OS wouldn't know what kind of file it was, what to do with it, what app to use to open it, etc.

The other main OSs all use suffixes, but Mac OS didn't in the past. Mac OS X even supported them until 10.4. They were not used in OS 9, but file types were used instead. They were generally invisible, but there were ways to show and change them anyway if one really wanted.

These were good for three reasons:

1. the name of a file was completely arbitrary and open, no way for a user to accidentally wipe the suffix and confuse the OS and apps.

2. a file would always know which app it was created in, so that would always be the app it opened in, when double-clicked. For example; a jpeg made in Photoshop would thus always be opened (by default) in Photoshop. A jpeg made in app X would by default always open in app X. The icons also reflected this, the Photoshop jpeg icons would be different from the GraphicConverter jpeg icons. This was good, since it meant you didn't have to drag and drop as much and anyway you could choose to open it with another app, this was just default behavior.

3. Because it was really the contents that matter, not the suffix in the name - you could call a jpeg picture file "readme.doc" and that wouldn't matter, the Finder would not be confused and try to open it with Word.

In OS X the default behavior is to *hide* the suffixes. They're still there. Just go to the Finder, choose Preferences from the File menu, choose Advanced and check the "show all filename extensions". Violá.

As I recall, OS 8 had a perfectly good find-file function, then in OS 9 they rolled it into "Sherlock," which was terrible to the point of uselessness. Easily worse and slower than the worst iteration of Spotlight. So this wasn't really caused by the 9/X Finder, but was an independent problem (fixing something that isn't broken). The X finder generally does a good job of finding files on all my 10.5 Macs.
Agreed, the Sherlock thing was an atrocity. Anyway the OS X Spotlight finds things ok in the end, but it is slow and doesn't search any Library folder - so if one is going to do any tinkering, Spotlight refuses to help - even though it's something innocent and easy. I can understand that it won't search the System folder, but /Library/ ? That's hardly rocket science and one must force Spotlight to do this with the Terminal. After which it behaves, but is slow and also slow to find the right icons. It reminds me of Sherlock in the sense that it is bloaty.

It could be improved a lot, but this is another thing Apple has lost interest it, so I'm not expecting much.

The Apple menu wasn't really part of the Finder (it was accessible from any app), and likewise the Dock (with or without folders) can do almost the same job, and is still not really part of the Finder.
Well, it was managed from the Finder, so I guess rightly or wrongly I connect it to the Finder in my mind. You're right that it wasn't a part of the Finder, but well, I miss having a customizable Apple menu - the Dock has it's things, but an Apple menu is never accidentally activated in any way by moving the mouse over and always stays out of the way. It was a simple and perhaps dirty way to launch apps, granted, but very space efficient and never got in the way. Windows didn't have to respect it's presence, like the Dock, etc.
This is really still true of 99% of apps. Exceptions aren't that common.
Probably so, but I'm hesitant to risk it. In the OS 9 Finder, it was risk free to install anywhere. Even if it is 99% safe to install anywhere in OS X now, I'm sure Apple could push it to 100%

You can still
What we could is install a file browser in the spatial environment, alas the reverse is not true.
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Aug 15, 2011, 04:01 PM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
It's hard to disagree with that! There are people who would say that the best version of Word for the Mac was 5.1 (or whatever that popular version of 5 was). It is a mistake to take for granted that anything new is universally superior to even stuff that is much, much older.
Very true Besson3c
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Aug 15, 2011, 04:55 PM
 
Originally Posted by voodoo View Post
I don't think you're misunderstanding what I mean with suffixes, those three letter things at the end of filenames, such as "picture.jpg"

However the Finder and Mac OS X, since version 10.5 always use suffixes for every file. Without it, the Mac OS wouldn't know what kind of file it was, what to do with it, what app to use to open it, etc.
Actually it's not true. I just took a .txt file and removed the extension. It still opens in TextEdit just fine. I even checked in the terminal to make sure it wasn't just hiding the extension on display, and no ".txt" there either. The unix file permissions of these "mac-y" files have a @ at the end, which I assume is where this metadata is somehow stored (my guess is .DS_Store files, the modern analog of type and creator codes). So arbitrary file names live on.

2. a file would always know which app it was created in, so that would always be the app it opened in, when double-clicked. For example; a jpeg made in Photoshop would thus always be opened (by default) in Photoshop.
This also lives on. Preview is my default image app (by preference, not just default ), but files written by Photoshop and GraphicConverter still open in those apps later, even though their filename extension is the same as "naked" files that open in the default app (Preview).

3. Because it was really the contents that matter, not the suffix in the name - you could call a jpeg picture file "readme.doc" and that wouldn't matter, the Finder would not be confused and try to open it with Word.
While this is true, I don't think the new way is worse. I can agree that you shouldn't have to know a magic incantation like ".jpg" in order to name a file, but I disagree that you should be able to apply any "wrong" incantation you want without obstacle. What good reason is there to name something ".doc" when it is really a jpg inside? Even in an accident or if you have no idea what it means (to most people), it is better if the Finder warns you that this is probably not a good idea.

Agreed, the Sherlock thing was an atrocity. Anyway the OS X Spotlight finds things ok in the end, but it is slow and doesn't search any Library folder - so if one is going to do any tinkering, Spotlight refuses to help - even though it's something innocent and easy. I can understand that it won't search the System folder, but /Library/ ? That's hardly rocket science and one must force Spotlight to do this with the Terminal. After which it behaves, but is slow and also slow to find the right icons. It reminds me of Sherlock in the sense that it is bloaty.
More often than not, this is better IMO. Most searches are intended for the user's documents, not preference files or applications frameworks. When I do accidentally run a search that turns up hundreds of frameworks files, it's a real annoyance.


Well, it was managed from the Finder, so I guess rightly or wrongly I connect it to the Finder in my mind. You're right that it wasn't a part of the Finder, but well, I miss having a customizable Apple menu - the Dock has it's things, but an Apple menu is never accidentally activated in any way by moving the mouse over and always stays out of the way. It was a simple and perhaps dirty way to launch apps, granted, but very space efficient and never got in the way. Windows didn't have to respect it's presence, like the Dock, etc.
But it does do those things. As part of the menu bar, it does take up 22 pixels, never gets out of the way, and windows can't cover it. The dock is way more adjustable and unobtrusive than the menu bar (was/is).

I agree that they shouldn't remove things just for the sake of change (because it makes users change their habit for no reason). But you have to admit the Dock makes more sense than knowing the inside secret of what special folder in the System Folder you could put things in so they'd magically show up in the Apple menu. That was a pretty kooky implementation.

Probably so, but I'm hesitant to risk it. In the OS 9 Finder, it was risk free to install anywhere. Even if it is 99% safe to install anywhere in OS X now, I'm sure Apple could push it to 100%
Any app can always decide to break if it (or its files) isn't in the location it thinks it is (or named what it thinks it is, for that matter; I've run into that problem more than once). The only way for Apple to prevent that would be to audit the source code of any app "allowed" to run on Macs.

What we could is install a file browser in the spatial environment, alas the reverse is not true.
Oh I see, there was a 3rd party option of a browser, but there is no 3rd party option of the old way. Well..... doesn't that mean the market has spoken?
     
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Aug 15, 2011, 05:06 PM
 
Originally Posted by Uncle Skeleton View Post
Oh I see, there was a 3rd party option of a browser, but there is no 3rd party option of the old way. Well..... doesn't that mean the market has spoken?
How does that matter if the market speaks things voddoo doesn't like ?

-t
     
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Aug 15, 2011, 05:27 PM
 
     
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Aug 15, 2011, 05:31 PM
 
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
How does that matter if the market speaks things voddoo doesn't like ?

-t

That presupposes that the market always makes the best/wisest/most advantageous decisions...
     
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Aug 15, 2011, 05:36 PM
 
When the market talks, E. F. Hutton listens.

-t
     
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Aug 15, 2011, 05:46 PM
 
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
When the market talks, E. F. Hutton listens.

-t

Who is E.F. Hutton? Does he work at Lotus, or is perhaps a hamstor?
     
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Aug 15, 2011, 05:56 PM
 
Yes, he's the chief hampstor in the Lotus Notes server

-t
     
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Aug 15, 2011, 06:14 PM
 
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
Yes, he's the chief hampstor in the Lotus Notes server

-t

I hate that guy then! Have I ever told you how much I hate Lotus 123?
     
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Aug 15, 2011, 06:32 PM
 
Yeah, that guys a wreck. Recently, they tried to fix things with a patch.

Pfff, this guy needs new legs, not a band-aid.

-t
     
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Aug 15, 2011, 06:34 PM
 
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
Yeah, that guys a wreck. Recently, they tried to fix things with a patch.

Pfff, this guy needs new legs, not a band-aid.

-t

Well then maybe you shouldn't have taken that crowbar to his legs.

I used to really enjoy Lotus 123 before you came along!


P.S. what does Lotus 123 do?
     
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Aug 15, 2011, 08:19 PM
 
Originally Posted by Uncle Skeleton View Post
Originally Posted by voodoo
Probably so, but I'm hesitant to risk it. In the OS 9 Finder, it was risk free to install anywhere. Even if it is 99% safe to install anywhere in OS X now, I'm sure Apple could push it to 100%
Any app can always decide to break if it (or its files) isn't in the location it thinks it is (or named what it thinks it is, for that matter; I've run into that problem more than once). The only way for Apple to prevent that would be to audit the source code of any app "allowed" to run on Macs.
Now that I think about it, the problem I remember wasn't about the apps not running, it was about Software Update not finding them. And actually I remember the same issue with Software Update in OS 9. But back then we just didn't consider Software Update to be all that important

Or is my memory fooling me?
     
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Aug 16, 2011, 12:03 PM
 
Originally Posted by Uncle Skeleton View Post
Actually it's not true. I just took a .txt file and removed the extension. It still opens in TextEdit just fine.
OK, try that with a PDF, and I think you'll see that TextEdit is the default app for opening "blank" files.

I tried to remove the suffix of a PDF, it becomes a blank file and opens by default in TextEdit,
I tried it with a PNG, it becomes blank and opens by default in TextEdit,
I tried it with a TXT, and yes - it opens by default in TextEdit.. you just chose the only file extension that doesn't matter.

So, I'm afraid it is as I say. And most regrettably so. Go ahead and try!

This also lives on. Preview is my default image app (by preference, not just default ), but files written by Photoshop and GraphicConverter still open in those apps later, even though their filename extension is the same as "naked" files that open in the default app (Preview).
That's very curious since every JPEG that I make, be it imported, exported from Illustrator, or whathaveyou - just open in Preview, which is the systemwide 'default' app for opening JPEGs. The system has no way of knowing what app created what file. At least my system doesn't. Odd, no?

I just made a completely new JPEG in GraphicConverter, saved it and opened by double-clicking in the Finder, and Preview opens it. I do the same thing with Illustrator, same thing happens.

While this is true, I don't think the new way is worse. I can agree that you shouldn't have to know a magic incantation like ".jpg" in order to name a file, but I disagree that you should be able to apply any "wrong" incantation you want without obstacle. What good reason is there to name something ".doc" when it is really a jpg inside? Even in an accident or if you have no idea what it means (to most people), it is better if the Finder warns you that this is probably not a good idea.
Well, it's perhaps not evident now, but suffixes didn't matter so much in OS X 10.4 and earlier. In fact in earlier Mac OSs, like 9 and earlier, no user ever needed to concern himself/herself if the suffix was .doc or whatever. It had no meaning to the user. It was just a name. No meaning what so ever.

Mac users were (of course) ridiculed by Windows and UNIX users in general because of this, because they just couldn't imagine how the world would turn if a file had a suffix that wasn't "true" - when the reality was that nobody cared about the suffix (if it was there) and promptly ignored it. And amazingly, that works just fine.

Note that it doesn't matter at all what the system is based on (e.g. Windows, UNIX, OS 9), suffixes are just an arbitrary and crude (visible, only 3 letters, not case-sensitive) way of defining the contents of a file. Mac OS X supported file-types until and including 10.4.11

More often than not, this is better IMO. Most searches are intended for the user's documents, not preference files or applications frameworks. When I do accidentally run a search that turns up hundreds of frameworks files, it's a real annoyance.
Agreed, but it could be user customizable. There's all sorts of users that have a Mac and it is user customizable through the Terminal, but that's so clunky and un-Mac like. I was merely pointing out that in some ways Mac OS X Finder can still be improved, i.e. made more functional for more people.

Those who don't want everything searched could then choose to. In fact, through the Terminal one can also choose to *not* search certain folders, this could have been added also to the OS X Finder (search preferences are, after all in the Finder>Preferences)

Room for improvement, is all - and has been for a decade.

But it does do those things. As part of the menu bar, it does take up 22 pixels, never gets out of the way, and windows can't cover it. The dock is way more adjustable and unobtrusive than the menu bar (was/is).

I agree that they shouldn't remove things just for the sake of change (because it makes users change their habit for no reason). But you have to admit the Dock makes more sense than knowing the inside secret of what special folder in the System Folder you could put things in so they'd magically show up in the Apple menu. That was a pretty kooky implementation.
I agree that the implementation of the Apple menu customization was terrible, but that implementation and Apple menu customizability are very much mutually exclusive. The Apple menu could be customizable, with a good, logical and easy implementation.

We both agree that the menubar is always there, so these 22 pixels are a permanent sacrifice. And in that menubar there is always the Apple menu.

I'm just saying that it was useful to have it customizable, no matter that the Dock is also useful and Launchpad too. Again, I see ways to improve the Finder, simple and effective ways, that Apple doesn't even give a second thought to.

A customizable menu in a permanent menu bar, I do believe, can be quite useful. It certainly was.


Any app can always decide to break if it (or its files) isn't in the location it thinks it is (or named what it thinks it is, for that matter; I've run into that problem more than once). The only way for Apple to prevent that would be to audit the source code of any app "allowed" to run on Macs.
I'd appreciate the effort by Apple, to make apps 100% reliable wherever they are installed. Already Apple has moved to make "save" a thing of the past, documents are just always saved, no need to think about it - and in the same way, I don't want to think about where I install things. Both are arbitrary relics of things gone by - - - although, so are suffixes and Apple really adores those, so who knows.

Oh I see, there was a 3rd party option of a browser, but there is no 3rd party option of the old way. Well..... doesn't that mean the market has spoken?
Yes, it has

It's also much much more difficult to make a spatial Finder, it can only be done by large companies - while the current implementation of the Finder seems to be able to be more or less duplicated by one person, which does make me wonder how many actually work with the Finder at Apple. But I digress, making a spatial Finder is very difficult and yes there is no market for such a thing, seemingly.

It was something Apple forced upon the world in 1984 and claimed it was "insanely great".
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Aug 16, 2011, 12:07 PM
 
Originally Posted by Uncle Skeleton View Post
Now that I think about it, the problem I remember wasn't about the apps not running, it was about Software Update not finding them. And actually I remember the same issue with Software Update in OS 9. But back then we just didn't consider Software Update to be all that important

Or is my memory fooling me?
It's been a long time, and Software Update for Mac OS 9 was certainly not used that much.. and I'm pretty sure it was only for the system software.

Either way, yeah I remember Mac OS X software update getting all upitty when it didn't find the app it wanted in the place it wanted. I think it has become much better now.
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Aug 16, 2011, 12:11 PM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
That presupposes that the market always makes the best/wisest/most advantageous decisions...
What are you saying McDonald's isn't the best food in the world??!! Windows isn't the best desktop OS??!! American Idol isn't the highest quality television entertainment??!!



Anyway, Uncle Skeleton's remark was tongue in cheek, clearly - with a wink-smiley and all.
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Aug 16, 2011, 03:13 PM
 
Originally Posted by voodoo View Post
OK, try that with a PDF, and I think you'll see that TextEdit is the default app for opening "blank" files.

I tried to remove the suffix of a PDF, it becomes a blank file and opens by default in TextEdit,
I tried it with a PNG, it becomes blank and opens by default in TextEdit,
I tried it with a TXT, and yes - it opens by default in TextEdit.. you just chose the only file extension that doesn't matter.

So, I'm afraid it is as I say. And most regrettably so. Go ahead and try!
All my pdfs open in Adobe Reader if they don't have a filename extension.

Movie files open in QT (of course, then QT itself relies entirely on the filename to decide what file format it is, and chokes if there is none, but that's not the Finder's fault).

PNGs break, but only if the app creating them failed to use type/creator codes (and the same was true in OS 9). All files from photoshop open in photoshop regardless of filename extension.

It seems that the Finder offers this functionality just fine, the only difference now is the (some) apps are just neglecting to use it. At least now that we use filename extensions (redundantly), you can fix it. An unmarked file in OS 9 gave you no recourse


That's very curious since every JPEG that I make, be it imported, exported from Illustrator, or whathaveyou - just open in Preview, which is the systemwide 'default' app for opening JPEGs. The system has no way of knowing what app created what file. At least my system doesn't. Odd, no?

I just made a completely new JPEG in GraphicConverter, saved it and opened by double-clicking in the Finder, and Preview opens it. I do the same thing with Illustrator, same thing happens.
That is strange. I tested this and it works fine for me. In GC extended prefs under "Save" -> "Settings," it lets you set the "File creator" and a four-character code (the exact same terms and parameters of OS 9, it seems). By default it is set to GKON. When I turn this setting off, it does what you say (the resulting file opens in Preview). Is that how yours is set? Might I suggest, user error (or the app providing too much flexibility)?

Mac users were (of course) ridiculed by Windows and UNIX users in general because of this, because they just couldn't imagine how the world would turn if a file had a suffix that wasn't "true" - when the reality was that nobody cared about the suffix (if it was there) and promptly ignored it. And amazingly, that works just fine.
What possible non-mischievous reason would you want to use a "wrong" filename extension? You can hardly blame Apple for not contributing to mischief...

Note that it doesn't matter at all what the system is based on (e.g. Windows, UNIX, OS 9), suffixes are just an arbitrary and crude (visible, only 3 letters, not case-sensitive) way of defining the contents of a file. Mac OS X supported file-types until and including 10.4.11
Clearly it's somehow doing it still on my 10.5 machines

Agreed, but it could be user customizable. There's all sorts of users that have a Mac and it is user customizable through the Terminal, but that's so clunky and un-Mac like. I was merely pointing out that in some ways Mac OS X Finder can still be improved, i.e. made more functional for more people.
...
Room for improvement, is all - and has been for a decade.
This isn't really a fair criticism. They DID improve it, in the sense that excluding system files is the desired behavior, most of the time. Complaining that there could be even further improvement is saying you will literally never be happy.

I agree that the implementation of the Apple menu customization was terrible, but that implementation and Apple menu customizability are very much mutually exclusive. The Apple menu could be customizable, with a good, logical and easy implementation.
So... the only part of the apple menu that actually relates to the Finder is the one part that we both agree was terrible. From the Finder's perspective, it's actually better now

We both agree that the menubar is always there, so these 22 pixels are a permanent sacrifice. And in that menubar there is always the Apple menu.
Yeah well, the best solution would be to find a way for the menu bar to get out of the way. Anything short of that is just a work-around. But as long-time Mac users, we forget that we lost this battle

I'd appreciate the effort by Apple, to make apps 100% reliable wherever they are installed. Already Apple has moved to make "save" a thing of the past, documents are just always saved, no need to think about it - and in the same way, I don't want to think about where I install things. Both are arbitrary relics of things gone by - - - although, so are suffixes and Apple really adores those, so who knows.
I dare say your fear about it is also a relic What apps are location specific today?

Filename extensions: you can dump them right now, the problem is you lose compatibility with the net. It's like complaining that the US is in love with passports; you actually don't need a passport in the US, just as long as you don't plan to leave you'll be just fine.


It's also much much more difficult to make a spatial Finder, it can only be done by large companies - while the current implementation of the Finder seems to be able to be more or less duplicated by one person, which does make me wonder how many actually work with the Finder at Apple. But I digress, making a spatial Finder is very difficult and yes there is no market for such a thing, seemingly.
I don't see what's so difficult about it. You could even take a huge shortcut by licensing a gaming engine. Video games are full of spatial finders

It was something Apple forced upon the world in 1984 and claimed it was "insanely great".
Back then you couldn't even have two apps open at the same time. The advantages of list and browser views were wasted.
     
besson3c
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Aug 16, 2011, 03:28 PM
 
voodoo and Skeleton, what do you get when you run a:

file <filename>

on a file without a file extension in the Terminal? I always figured that OS X used the system wide default for handling that extensionless file type based on its assessment as to the file type, this assessment which you can see after running this command.

I think file extensions just force files to be treated a certain way, but they are not required for operation.
     
Uncle Skeleton
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Aug 16, 2011, 03:52 PM
 
$ file 7xt3dk8
7xt3dk8: JPEG image data, JFIF standard 1.01
$ file 7xt3dk8.jpg
7xt3dk8.jpg: JPEG image data, JFIF standard 1.01

The first opens in GraphicConverter, the second in Preview (the second one was after I changed GC's setting to stop writing creator codes)
     
Uncle Skeleton
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Aug 16, 2011, 04:01 PM
 
besson3c: which team are you on? (do your GC-saved files open in GC without file extensions?)
     
voodoo
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Aug 16, 2011, 06:21 PM
 
Originally Posted by Uncle Skeleton View Post
$ file 7xt3dk8
7xt3dk8: JPEG image data, JFIF standard 1.01
$ file 7xt3dk8.jpg
7xt3dk8.jpg: JPEG image data, JFIF standard 1.01

The first opens in GraphicConverter, the second in Preview (the second one was after I changed GC's setting to stop writing creator codes)
I get the same on my system, except it always opens in Preview, even if I ask GC to write creator code (as per the preference)

You say you're running 10.5, perhaps I remembered wrong and it wasn't until 10.6 that these things were abolished.

The Terminal always seems to recognize a test file made in GC as a JFIF, no matter what it is called, but the suffix will control what app tries to open it. Without a suffix it defaults to preview it seems.

So at least Lion manages to know (sometimes) what kind of file it is, while (apparently) sometimes not. Suffix will always control what app will open the file. I can't get creator codes to work in Lion.
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voodoo
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Aug 16, 2011, 06:35 PM
 
Originally Posted by Uncle Skeleton View Post
All my pdfs open in Adobe Reader if they don't have a filename extension.
Not all of mine do (OS X 10.7.0), though some do.

It seems that the Finder offers this functionality just fine, the only difference now is the (some) apps are just neglecting to use it. At least now that we use filename extensions (redundantly), you can fix it. An unmarked file in OS 9 gave you no recourse
There were never any unmarked files in OS 9, except those that came from PC/UNIX and they had a suffix.

That is strange. I tested this and it works fine for me. In GC extended prefs under "Save" -> "Settings," it lets you set the "File creator" and a four-character code (the exact same terms and parameters of OS 9, it seems). By default it is set to GKON. When I turn this setting off, it does what you say (the resulting file opens in Preview). Is that how yours is set? Might I suggest, user error (or the app providing too much flexibility)?
No, it's not user error, I checked and rechecked all the GC prefs, and the OS does not recognize the creator code. A JPEG is always, always, always opened by default in Preview, since that's the system default. (OS X 10.7)

What possible non-mischievous reason would you want to use a "wrong" filename extension? You can hardly blame Apple for not contributing to mischief...
I don't want any file name extension, thus there being no right or wrong.

No more than I want to push "save" to save a file. The system can take care of such trivialities just fine without user input or concern.

Clearly it's somehow doing it still on my 10.5 machines
Well perhaps I recalled wrong and the support was dropped in 10.6 - at last it's gone in 10.7

This isn't really a fair criticism. They DID improve it, in the sense that excluding system files is the desired behavior, most of the time. Complaining that there could be even further improvement is saying you will literally never be happy.
No it's not unfair criticism, it would be very useful for some people not to have Spotlight waste time on searching ~/Notimportantstuff/ thus a fine feature to add as would it be great for many to be able to tell Spotlight to index /Library/ or ~/Library/

In fact it's very modest suggestion.

So... the only part of the apple menu that actually relates to the Finder is the one part that we both agree was terrible. From the Finder's perspective, it's actually better now
No the feature was removed completely, something that's gone isn't better than something that worked (albeit could have been designed better)

Yeah well, the best solution would be to find a way for the menu bar to get out of the way. Anything short of that is just a work-around. But as long-time Mac users, we forget that we lost this battle
Sure, but while the menubar is there, I'm sure it could be more useful

I dare say your fear about it is also a relic What apps are location specific today?
I don't know, I install everything, always in /Applications - I've been conditioned by Apple to do that since OS X 10.0.0 and just don't feel like being adventurous.

Filename extensions: you can dump them right now, the problem is you lose compatibility with the net. It's like complaining that the US is in love with passports; you actually don't need a passport in the US, just as long as you don't plan to leave you'll be just fine.
Well the icon becomes blank and sometimes the system doesn't know what to do with the file (OS X 10.7.0)

So no, the suffixes are here to stay. In fact they're policy.

I don't see what's so difficult about it. You could even take a huge shortcut by licensing a gaming engine. Video games are full of spatial finders
I'm sure, I don't really know anything about programming.

Back then you couldn't even have two apps open at the same time. The advantages of list and browser views were wasted.
[/quote]

It was still valid and working just as fine in 2001.
I could take Sean Connery in a fight... I could definitely take him.
     
 
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