The big problem with the original spatial Finder, which John doesn't acknowledge, is that it (consistently
) broke the icon-as-file illusion when you opened a folder. The result was a window that was essentially indistinguishable from a document window, and which could be placed anywhere without affecting the placement of the folder it represented. As long as the user opened a folder, did whatever, and then closed it, the association was close enough, and the zoomrects were reinforcement enough. But I got lost many times in the Great Sea of Finder Windows when I'd open a folder in the lower right-hand corner, and Finder would foreground its window, which I'd stashed in the upper left-hand corner for whatever reason. Since I'm not looking there, I don't see it immediately. Further double-clicking has no visual effect, since the window is already foregrounded at this point, so it takes me a minute to find the damn window.
Now, maybe this could just be me, but I found it one of the most maddening things about the old Finder.
However, I'm in Column View 24/7 now not just because I like it (I do) but because the other two views make no
sense outside of a spatial Finder. They're just like Windows' haphazard approach to file management, except that the toolbar can't seem to figure out whether it should appear or not.
I haven't fully digested the contents of that article, but I think there are some sound ideas therein. I'm still not sure about the idea of their being, in effect, two Finders, but it's just about the only way to restore a spatial Finder while keeping the browser-like column view.