September 13th, 2006 • 2:04 pm
Ever since Apple embraced file extensions in Mac OS X as a way to indicate file type (as opposed to the hidden creator and type codes used by Mac OS 9), the Finder has had these very irritating dialogs that pop up each and every time you try to manually make a change to a file’s name that involves its extension.
For example, if you want to change a file’s extension from “.tif” to “.tiff,” each and every time you do it, you have to go through the following alert box:
You also get a (different) warning when you try to remove an extension or add one.
And that is bad enough. But consider the following scenario:
- Select a file in the Finder with the file extension “.doc” in its name.
- Make the file name editable.
- Start typing a new name, without an extension.
- Change your mind and hit the Escape key to stop changing the name and exit the name-editing mode in the Finder.
In effect, with these four steps, you haven’t done anything. Your file is still selected, and it still has the same file name, since you pressed Escape while in the process of editing the name, which is the equivalent of cancelling the editing.
And yet, even in that case, even when the name is not changed and the file extension is preserved, you still get the following alert box:
This time, it’s not merely annoying. It is plain wrong! I do not need to be asked if I want to remove the extension, because I have not removed it!
It is, I am afraid, a rather obvious indication of the lack of care in the work of Apple’s engineers on Mac OS X’s Finder that such an alert box pops up even when the name has not been changed.
And if you are wondering, this is not some kind of far-fetched scenario that I have imagined here. It’s the kind of situation that can very easily occur when you select a file in the Finder and its name becomes editable even though you didn’t mean to make it editable. You don’t realize that the name is editable and you start typing something, and all of a sudden you realize that the file name is editable and that the Finder is in the process of changing the file name to what you are typing. So you press the Escape key to get out of this situation without changing the file name (which you never meant to change)—and then you get this alert box!
It’s just the kind of small detail that really does not reflect well on Apple as a company that is supposed to be paying special attention to such small details.