Anyone else glad there's a new Finder interface?

Posted:
in macOS edited January 2014
I must admit, I've never completely warmed up to Jaguar's Finder. And to this day, it's still not completely refined. (Sometimes open windows would lose the top of their header when I'm moving them around and I can't seem to grab it to reveal the close buttons.)



And as Jobs pointed out, it's not very user driven...especially the open and save dialog boxes which is still confusing.

Although, a lot has to do with the fact that I've used OS9 and earlier for so many years that it's a complete mind shift.



OS9 does look old and tired...but it works. From a user interface prospective, I've always wanted OSX to just work the way OS9 did but with a few tweaks here and cosmetic changes there. I never thought Apple had to re-invent the wheel. Afterall they've spent so many years getting OS9 to where it was.

I just hope the adjustment to Panther won't be too frustrating.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 127
    kickahakickaha Posts: 8,760member
    I'll withhold my praises for the Panther Finder until I actually *try* it, but I *LOVE* the conceptual direction they're taking.



    When John Siracusa wrote his 'Spatial Finder' article a while back, I couldn't help but feel that he and I had a disconnect... yes, the spatial approach is *much* better than just random viewers into the filespace, on that we agree. BUT... that's only really true, IMNSHO, for a filespace that is statically and hierarchically organized, where you have a many to one mapping between file and location. Each file has *exactly* one location. Want to *simulate* more than one location? Use aliases and symbolic links.



    And what's a location? It's an organizational tool used to partition the filespace by *concept*. We have folders named 'Work', 'Music', 'pr0n'.... well, okay, maybe you don't have the last one.



    Metadata breaks this tie to the location, by allowing one file to have many attributes that can be searched for.



    So if we no longer have a location-based filing system, do we really need a spatially-based viewer into it, where one view == one location? The locations are simply live searches, now.



    I say no, we don't. What I *would* agree with is the possible need for *saved* live searches, which would emulate traditional folders, to be spatially-based. We expect 'folder' A to pop up at location X,Y on the screen... that makes sense.



    But the live searching, ala iApps, allows for *so much* more flexibility that it isn't funny, and the spatial Finder suddenly feels really limiting in that case.



    So, instead of splitting it like Mssr. Siracusa wanted, into a Finder and a Browser, I say keep the new Finder as is, and *if* they have saved live searches, then *those* should be spatially oriented. The user initiated that saving of the search after all, so they know what it is.



    Heck, saved searches could be in the left pane (what's that thing called now?), and clicking on them would pop them up in the current window to be browsed, while double-clicking them would force them to open in a new window, without toolbar and panes... ie, spatial.
  • Reply 2 of 127
    dviantdviant Posts: 483member
    im just glad that the save windows are better more than anything...
  • Reply 3 of 127
    Since Finder is such an integral part of Mac OS X, this belongs in the Mac OS X forum. Moving now.
  • Reply 4 of 127
    thuh freakthuh freak Posts: 2,664member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Kickaha

    I'll withhold my praises for the Panther Finder until I actually *try* it, but I *LOVE* the conceptual direction they're taking.



    When John Siracusa wrote his 'Spatial Finder' article a while back, I couldn't help but feel that he and I had a disconnect... yes, the spatial approach is *much* better than just random viewers into the filespace, on that we agree. BUT... that's only really true, IMNSHO, for a filespace that is statically and hierarchically organized, where you have a many to one mapping between file and location. Each file has *exactly* one location. Want to *simulate* more than one location? Use aliases and symbolic links.



    And what's a location? It's an organizational tool used to partition the filespace by *concept*. We have folders named 'Work', 'Music', 'pr0n'.... well, okay, maybe you don't have the last one.



    Metadata breaks this tie to the location, by allowing one file to have many attributes that can be searched for.



    So if we no longer have a location-based filing system, do we really need a spatially-based viewer into it, where one view == one location? The locations are simply live searches, now.



    I say no, we don't. What I *would* agree with is the possible need for *saved* live searches, which would emulate traditional folders, to be spatially-based. We expect 'folder' A to pop up at location X,Y on the screen... that makes sense.



    But the live searching, ala iApps, allows for *so much* more flexibility that it isn't funny, and the spatial Finder suddenly feels really limiting in that case.



    So, instead of splitting it like Mssr. Siracusa wanted, into a Finder and a Browser, I say keep the new Finder as is, and *if* they have saved live searches, then *those* should be spatially oriented. The user initiated that saving of the search after all, so they know what it is.



    Heck, saved searches could be in the left pane (what's that thing called now?), and clicking on them would pop them up in the current window to be browsed, while double-clicking them would force them to open in a new window, without toolbar and panes... ie, spatial.




    you just blew my mind. i've heard this kind of idea before, but something about the timbre you presented it made it all click.



    but is the file system's metadata really ready to be used in such a way. i mean, in code, i dont think I would even know of a way to find all the files on a hard drvie (or even in some directory within a hd) that match metadata(except if you count filename/hierarchy location as part of the metadata). the only way i could think of right now is to iterate through all directories/files through the hierarchy, and secondarily do metadata comparisons (which would therefore not be done by the filesystem, but by the program). thats time consuming; and I doubt with that idea that its fast enough (well maybe on a g5) for regular consumer use.



    i thought, and i guess this was just an assumption based on ignorance of file systems, that hfs(+) physically organized folders and files on the hard drive by location. that at position x would be the "pr0n" folder, and at position x+1 was "hardcore nastiness.mpg" and so on (not just one byte away, as there's some kind of formatting probably, but thats the basic idea i thought). so, in looking for the "pr0n" folder, the hard drive doesn't have to spin much further to find that "hardcore nastiness.mpg" file (hence viewing that folder in the finder is reasonably fast). with all kinds of metadata searches possible (in reasonable time), the filesystem would have to be able to skip around that hard drive like something that moves around something else really quickly and efficiently.
  • Reply 5 of 127
    brussellbrussell Posts: 9,812member
    I've always been annoyed by the HD->users->username->yourdirectories system. My wife, a Mac user forever, still doesn't get it.



    How many people really have multiple users anyway? I bet most people at home just share with everyone anyway, and people in offices don't usually have others using their computers at all.



    If this new Finder can at least hide the multiple users approach, it will be a step forward.
  • Reply 6 of 127
    jlljll Posts: 2,709member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by BRussell

    I've always been annoyed by the HD->users->username->yourdirectories system. My wife, a Mac user forever, still doesn't get it.



    How many people really have multiple users anyway? I bet most people at home just share with everyone anyway, and people in offices don't usually have others using their computers at all.



    If this new Finder can at least hide the multiple users approach, it will be a step forward.




    Panther doesn't hide it more than Jaguar - just set Finder windows to open in Home instead of Computer.
  • Reply 7 of 127
    groveratgroverat Posts: 10,872member
    I must jump in and express my happiness that others are down on the file structure of OSX v. the way the MacOS has been handled since the beginning of MacOS.



    This is not UNIX, Apple.



    The "user" folder should only be created if there are multiple accounts. I have one account on this computer but I still have to go through users with different Library folders (whatever the hell THOSE are).



    What does "home" mean? Isn't the hard drive home?



    --



    I can dig moving away from the old style, but what's the reason? Is this file structure any better?



    And I don't care about UNIX-this/UNIX-that. I don't want UNIX. You can gcc GREP my BSD ass, I don't care about UNIX.



    What if I don't care about privacy I just want a different account for different desktops (my mother's affinity for stretching tiny baby pictures to fit the entire background is quite off-putting), iChat & Mail identities? Shouldn't I be able to set up three accounts (Me, mom, dad) for 3 people where we all have the same Document, Picture and Music folders and all the same favorites in Safari? (Groups could really help that.)



    Why isn't that default? Doesn't it make more sense for the more-confusing and more-private method to be the option you choose on purpose?



    With Fast User Switching this kind of stupid file system is even more exposed.



    Sircusa's article was fantastic. Column view is one of the most horrible things Apple has ever done.
  • Reply 8 of 127
    kickahakickaha Posts: 8,760member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by groverat

    I must jump in and express my happiness that others are down on the file structure of OSX v. the way the MacOS has been handled since the beginning of MacOS.



    Actually, the only one who said anything about the filesystem layout was BRussell... the rest of us are discussing metadata issues. :/



    Quote:

    This is not UNIX, Apple.



    The "user" folder should only be created if there are multiple accounts. I have one account on this computer but I still have to go through users with different Library folders (whatever the hell THOSE are).



    What does "home" mean? Isn't the hard drive home?




    I hate to wade into this, but...



    'Home' is where your files live. Files you create, files you organize, files you care about.



    99.9% of the users out there really don't (or shouldn't have to) care about the System folder, or machine level Library... they just want it to work. So 'Home' = *YOUR SPACE*. Period. Make sense? ("But I own the hard drive! Whiiiiiiine!" Bullocks. You shouldn't have to care about the rest of the drive. By saying you want complete control over every little file, you're saying you want the computer to *NOT* help you with things you should never have to muck with anyway. Silly, in my opinion.)



    It's the fact that the rest of it is exposed, that makes it troublesome for some people.



    Quote:



    --



    I can dig moving away from the old style, but what's the reason? Is this file structure any better?




    Yes, much. The old structure limited what Apple could do, tremendously. It was static, and hardcoded. The new approach is highly abstracted, and the Panther Finder shows this. This is *good*.





    Quote:

    And I don't care about UNIX-this/UNIX-that. I don't want UNIX. You can gcc GREP my BSD ass, I don't care about UNIX.



    Then delete Terminal. Done.



    Quote:

    What if I don't care about privacy I just want a different account for different desktops (my mother's affinity for stretching tiny baby pictures to fit the entire background is quite off-putting), iChat & Mail identities? Shouldn't I be able to set up three accounts (Me, mom, dad) for 3 people where we all have the same Document, Picture and Music folders and all the same favorites in Safari? (Groups could really help that.)







    The first (not caring about privacy) *can* be handled with Groups. Just set your filespace to be writable by everyone in a certain group. Done.



    The second, sharing files, could be done by making aliases in two of the accounts to the folders in the third, after performing the above step. Done.



    Quote:

    Why isn't that default? Doesn't it make more sense for the more-confusing and more-private method to be the option you choose on purpose?



    No. Because having 'your' files suddenly be changed behind your back (when Mom logged in, for instance) is even more confusing to most folks. And most people want security these days, so having a private and locked down filespace by default makes sense. Leaving things open footloose and fancy free because 'that's what the customer wants... really... we swear...' is M$'s idiocy at work. You *really* want that kind of virus/worm/script problem on your machine?



    Quote:

    With Fast User Switching this kind of stupid file system is even more exposed.



    Er, explain how so?



    Quote:

    Sircusa's article was fantastic. Column view is one of the most horrible things Apple has ever done.



    Alright, now you just need thorazine. Column view is a *godsend*.



    Yeah, Siracusa's article was very good... but he just didn't seem to grok that his Finder/Browser dichotomy was artificial, and much more complex for the user than it needs to be.
  • Reply 9 of 127
    kickahakickaha Posts: 8,760member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by thuh Freak

    you just blew my mind. i've heard this kind of idea before, but something about the timbre you presented it made it all click.



    Thenk yew.



    Quote:

    but is the file system's metadata really ready to be used in such a way.



    Nope, that's why some of us have been screaming for metadata support in the filesystem for quite a while.



    Quote:

    i mean, in code, i dont think I would even know of a way to find all the files on a hard drvie (or even in some directory within a hd) that match metadata(except if you count filename/hierarchy location as part of the metadata). ... i thought, and i guess this was just an assumption based on ignorance of file systems, that hfs(+) physically organized folders and files on the hard drive by location. ...



    Right. Right now, it's a royal pain in the keister, which is why the iApps use internal databases to handle the metadata. A metadata-rich file sysetm would move that database approach to the file layer, so all files and apps could benefit.
  • Reply 10 of 127
    thuh freakthuh freak Posts: 2,664member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Kickaha

    Nope, that's why some of us have been screaming for metadata support in the filesystem for quite a while.



    now that i've finally woken up to the horror that is a filesystem lacking metadata, how can i convince apple about this missing necessity?
  • Reply 11 of 127
    brussellbrussell Posts: 9,812member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by JLL

    Panther doesn't hide it more than Jaguar - just set Finder windows to open in Home instead of Computer.



    Yes it does. In column view, the top levels aren't there anymore when you click on Home. In current and previous OS Xs, it's right there.
  • Reply 12 of 127
    aquaticaquatic Posts: 5,602member
    The file system lacks metadata? But there are Labels? Uhhhh that is dumb. I assume a 10.3.x update will clear this up. Remember, we got journaling in a point update, and that was no small feat. The Virtualness of the file sytem might enable this more easily.



    New Finder: good. Metal: BAD
  • Reply 13 of 127
    kickahakickaha Posts: 8,760member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Aquatic

    The file system lacks metadata? But there are Labels? Uhhhh that is dumb. I assume a 10.3.x update will clear this up. Remember, we got journaling in a point update, and that was no small feat. The Virtualness of the file sytem might enable this more easily.



    HFS+ *does* have *some* metadata support... the resource fork, Finder type/creator info, etc... but it's pretty minimal, and difficult to work with in a way that's meaningful for the user. I suspect that they're just re-using the label bits that Classic uses, in the new label scheme. I'd *love* to be wrong though.



    And yes, the VFS might indeed help in this... except that, IIRC, the plugin stack is getting booted for various reasons. *sigh*
  • Reply 14 of 127
    jlljll Posts: 2,709member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by BRussell

    Yes it does. In column view, the top levels aren't there anymore when you click on Home. In current and previous OS Xs, it's right there.



    ?? Move the scroll bar to the left.
  • Reply 15 of 127
    dfilerdfiler Posts: 3,420member
    John's article on the spatial finder was great in that it re-opened my eyes to the merits of something I took for granted. However, his reasoning seemed lacking. Your post Kickaha triggered some neurons and I now have at least partial justification for my disagreement. It is my contention that while the spatial finder was well suited for the original Mac OS it isn't optimal for our current computing work-flows.



    Spatial organization is still best for many people. However, I think the majority of users would now be best served by something else. That 'something else' perhaps isn't as discrete and definable as a 'spatial finder'. However, this doesn't mean that the indefinable replacement is any less elegant.



    Consider:

    It used to be very unusual for two folders or two files to have the exact same name. It was even less common for multi-level directory and file structures to exist in duplicate. With the multi-user nature of OS X and the ubiquity of internet access and shared disk storage on LANs, this is no longer the case. I have many instances of .../Pictures, .../Documents, etc. A spatial finder can help address the corresponding ambiguities by providing spatial cues about which version of the folder is being viewed. However, there are countless other incidents where the finder can no longer be perfectly spatial and still retain modern functionality.



    Multiple users, remote logins, simultaneous logins, remotely mounted disks, non-modal save dialogs... the list could go on and on.



    So, I guess my point is this:



    Spatial organization isn't as useful when you have multiple people organizing nearly identical objects simultaneously from multiple locations. None of these things happened on the original MacOS and so it?s only logical for Apple to rethink the metaphors people use to interact with their data.
  • Reply 16 of 127
    alex_kacalex_kac Posts: 58member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by BRussell

    I've always been annoyed by the HD->users->username->yourdirectories system. My wife, a Mac user forever, still doesn't get it.



    How many people really have multiple users anyway? I bet most people at home just share with everyone anyway, and people in offices don't usually have others using their computers at all.



    If this new Finder can at least hide the multiple users approach, it will be a step forward.




    THis is actualy a WONDERFUL feature of Mac OS X. Why? Simple. Want to upgrade to a new computer- just move the home directory. Want to do a clean install? Just backup the home directory (or use Archive and Clean install). Backup? Just the home directory.



    What I think Apple should do is provide an option to HIDE all root directories except for Applications. Then create a VIRTUAL shortcut on the root to the currently logged in home directory. That way a user only sees two directories - Me and Applications.
  • Reply 17 of 127
    alex_kacalex_kac Posts: 58member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by groverat

    I must jump in and express my happiness that others are down on the file structure of OSX v. the way the MacOS has been handled since the beginning of MacOS.



    This is not UNIX, Apple.



    The "user" folder should only be created if there are multiple accounts. I have one account on this computer but I still have to go through users with different Library folders (whatever the hell THOSE are).



    What does "home" mean? Isn't the hard drive home?



    --



    I can dig moving away from the old style, but what's the reason? Is this file structure any better?



    And I don't care about UNIX-this/UNIX-that. I don't want UNIX. You can gcc GREP my BSD ass, I don't care about UNIX.



    What if I don't care about privacy I just want a different account for different desktops (my mother's affinity for stretching tiny baby pictures to fit the entire background is quite off-putting), iChat & Mail identities? Shouldn't I be able to set up three accounts (Me, mom, dad) for 3 people where we all have the same Document, Picture and Music folders and all the same favorites in Safari? (Groups could really help that.)



    Why isn't that default? Doesn't it make more sense for the more-confusing and more-private method to be the option you choose on purpose?



    With Fast User Switching this kind of stupid file system is even more exposed.



    Sircusa's article was fantastic. Column view is one of the most horrible things Apple has ever done.




    No, you don't get it. The file structure in OS X is SUBLIME. Its much more Apple like. Home directories separate the system's files from the user's files. This is great. Instead of having all that stuff intermixed, its now separate. You think it was actually a good idea that prefs went into the SYSTEM folder?



    As to the column view - I also think its wonderful, but then I have to navigate a lot of directories due to my work. I think for most people the list view is the best.
  • Reply 18 of 127
    Quote:

    Originally posted by JLL
    Quote:

    Originally posted by BRussell

    Yes it does. In column view, the top levels aren't there anymore when you click on Home. In current and previous OS Xs, it's right there.



    ?? Move the scroll bar to the left.



    What left?



    http://forums.appleinsider.com/image...r/finder16.png



    Click it and explain please.
  • Reply 19 of 127
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Kickaha

    I suspect that they're just re-using the label bits that Classic uses, in the new label scheme. I'd *love* to be wrong though.



    Unfortunately, it would seen that you are exactly right.



    I inserted an old Zip disk last night with some old OS9 files to find that the labels from OS9 carried over into Panther's label scheme perfectly. It looks like Panther is just using the old label bits after all.
  • Reply 20 of 127
    big macbig mac Posts: 480member
    Groverat, I don't think many will agree with you concerning multiuser issues. The system makes sense even if you share one account, because it abstracts the user from the OS components. If you don't want to use multiple accounts, then just use one. That's pretty simple. If all you want is each user to have a different desktop picture, write a script or an applet that automates the switching process. If you want anything more than that, you're going to have to create true multiple accounts. If you want to share documents between accounts, manipulate the permissions accordingly. It's not that difficult. Multi-user will be far better in Panther since it won't require a log-out to switch users.



    Multiple Library folders exist because certain files are installed system wide (System Library), for every user (Root Library) and on an individual basis (User Library). Apple could help out the user by simplifying the Library folder structure and by naming each a specific name rather than simply "Library." (The standard folders contained in the Libraries should receive custom icons, and they should be better organized in subfolders.) But the concept itself makes sense. I know you're probably playing devil's advocate here a bit, groverat, but you make things sound worse than they really are.
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