6 ways how Mac OS Finder could be improved

Posted on December 14, 2008. Filed under: Mac OS | Tags: , , |

While I only have limited experience with Mac OS, I have some suggestions to improve one of the core applications of Mac OS: Finder. I have a Windows XP and Linux (Ubuntu, Redhat, Suse) background, and there are a couple of things where (for example) Windows XP Explorer works much nicer than Finder. So, I’d thought to compose a list of some improvements, which would hopefully be implemented in a new version of Mac OS.

  1. Cut and Paste in Finder
  2. Merging of directories while copying files
  3. Opening of directories with Enter
  4. Consider casing when opening directories
  5. Make Cmd-Z a bit less destructive
  6. Add an address bar

Cut and Paste in Finder

I’ve already written about this, and the lack of Cut and Paste, like in any OS I’ve encountered so far is not something to get use to: it’s just a lack of functionality. I cannot imagine this functionality would be  to hard to implement, and it would make some things, like moving large amounts of files over a network much easier.

Merging of directories while copying files

Until now, Mac OS Finder can not merge directories. Instead, the contents of the directories are removed and replaced by the new directory. To me, this sound very unlogical, and doesn’t sound like copying it all: it has serious side effects, and can result in the loss of important data. Merging directories from two loctions without this functionality is very difficult, and can, AFAIK, only be solved by using the command line.

Opening files and folders with Enter

Maybe Enter is called ‘return’ in Mac OS, I’m not sure, but if it was called Enter, it would be most logical to ‘enter’ directories and files with the Enter button. At least, it would to me. Remapping the key would also be nice, but renaming with Enter just sounds strange to me. I’m not saying F2 would make more sense (maybe Cmd+R would, or something), but Space should be used for previewing (which is really nice), and enter for opening. It would also save  button and make opening files much more accessible.

Consider casing when opening directories

It’s strange (I consider it a bug) that an OS based on Unix doesn’t handle casing well. When having directories on a case sensitive network drive, with the same name, but different casing (for example ‘mp3’ vs ‘Mp3’), opening the ‘Mp3’ directory is not possible at all (not even with Cmd-G): the captital Mp3 directory is ignored, and the ‘mp3’ directory is opened instead! Like I said, I find this strange for an OS based on Unix, but even an OS which doesn’t embrace Unix as much as Mac OS, for example, Windows XP, doesn’t have any trouble opening either directory. So, it would be nice if this would be fixed in  next release of Mac OS.

Make Cmd-Z a bit less destructive

After copying a big Linux ISO over wireless network with Finder, I was looking for my original Finder window, so I could remove the ISO from the source. So I pressed Cmd+`, I thought. I didn’t: I pressed Cmd+Z, which undid my copy, and removed the file, without any confirmation or whatever. It’s not really a problem, but I did hurt. So, Cmd+Z removing files is fine by me, but a Confirmation dialog would be nice. Or just enable the Cut and Pasting of files, so I wouldn’t have to search for the original file to remove it.

Add an Address Bar

It’s just feature I miss from Ubuntu and Windows XP: the address bar. I use it often, because it allows fast navigation through your HD without the need for a mouse. I’m mostly using the Terminal for this now, because, in my experience, typing with directory and file completion is usually much faster in navigating the HD, and I don’t have to move my hands from keyboard to mouse, or visa versa.

In conclusion: I miss some functionality in Mac OS. Some more than others, but if the above could be fixed, I know my overall Mac experience would be even more pleasant!

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Cut and Copy in Mac OS X Finder

Posted on December 12, 2008. Filed under: Mac OS | Tags: , , , , , , |

I know things have been said about this before, but today I experienced it again:

The total lack of a decent Cut and Copy functionality in Mac OS.

The Cut was not implemented because it could be destructive, or something. Or it might just be a forgotten bug, which makes more sense. It’s quite easy to mark the files to be cut (it works the same a copying files), copy it, and for each copied file, delete it. I feel stupid for explaining this. I cannot imagine this is left out because it would be destructive, cause Copying(!) files is a lot more destructive in Mac OS.

Copying files from one location to another location can lead to a loss of files. This happens in the not so special case when the name of a source directory is the same as the target directory. In an “toy OS”, like Windows XP, this works like you would expect: Explorer gives a remark about it when overwriting files, lets you choose if you really want to overwrite, and merges the source and target directory. So in fact, it c-o-p-i-e-s (I spell it out here) files. Really it does, while Mac OS ‘thinks’: “Hmm, this guy wants to copy stuff. Lets just delete everything here, to make some room. That will give him a happy user experience!”. Right.

Now that I think of it: it’s actually as destructive as double clicking (beware!) on a ZIP file. If for some strange reason (Note: users should never do this! It’s not Maccy) “change” (woooooooo!!) something in a unzipped directory, clicking on a ZIP will…hmm….’restore’… the ZIP directory. So, all your scary changes have been instantly removed.

I’m lucky Steve thinks for me, so I don’t have to anymore!

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