Panther: Finder back to its old tricks

Posted by Pierre Igot in: Macintosh
November 17th, 2003 • 6:21 am

I like many of the improvements made to the Finder in Panther, which is now a more Mac OS X-like application. (You can now command-click on the toolbar widget in the top-right corner to change the display mode of the toolbar, for example.)

But I really don’t like the fact that some issues that affected previous versions of the Finder and had apparently been fixed in the later versions of Finder for Jaguar have resurfaced.

The main one is the delay between the time you save a file in an application and the time it actually appears in the corresponding document window in the Finder. For example, if I save a picture file in Photoshop using “Save for Web…” in a destination folder whose contents are displayed in a Finder window, until I actually click on that Finder window to bring it to the foreground, Mac OS X doesn’t refresh the display of its contents in order to show the new file.

Worse still, other applications are unable to see the new file as well! Until I actually click on that Finder window to bring it to the foreground and force it to refresh its contents, if I go to that same folder in an Open/Save dialog in another application, such as Safari, the file does not appear in the list of files contained in that folder! It’s as if the file didn’t exist!

This is really bad.

2 Responses to “Panther: Finder back to its old tricks”

  1. Rainer Brockerhoff says:

    There’s been much discussion on the developer lists about that sort of thing.
    In my experience, and now that I’ve learned how to do it ;-), an application which saves a new file into a folder must also call a system routine to notify the system that that particular folder has changed; this allows the Finder (and other apps who are watching that particular folder) to update windows without having to poll that folder for changes – or worse, many folders – every second. This was clarified in the Panther docs and I’ve upgraded my applications to do that.
    There are alternative mechanisms in other Unices to do automatic notification, and one of them is even partially implemented in Panther, but it seems to need lots more work before the Finder can use it.
    Anyway, IMHO it’s not a Finder-specific issue. Not every application has as yet caught up to the right way of doing things. Now, when I save a file from my app, and the containing folder is visible in the Finder, it updates instantly even in the background.

  2. Pierre Igot says:

    Thanks for the in-depth information! Still, it seems to me that things were working fine in the later versions of Jaguar… Why have things taken one step back?

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