Default Folder X 1.9.5

Posted by Pierre Igot in: Macintosh
September 15th, 2004 • 10:29 pm

The latest update for Default Folder X is out and, as usual, it’s an indispensable update. It includes several significant improvements, including the ability in Open/Save dialogs to switch between folders currently open in the Finder with the keyboard. (I am glad to report that this was one of my feature requests, which was immediately adopted by Default Folder X’s developer. Try to find the same level of responsiveness to feature requests in other Macintosh software developers!)

Another very useful improvement, in my opinion, is the addition of a “Recent Folders” folder inside your home library folder, which mirrors the contents of Default Folder X’s “Recent” menu by including aliases to all the folders referred to in that menu. Significantly, this move takes Default Folder X one step closer to becoming an integral part of Mac OS X. After all, this “Recent Folders” folder is something that should have been there in Mac OS X’s Library folder from the get-go!

If you already own Default Folder X, you must get this update. And if you haven’t yet purchased this terrific system enhancement, you are missing out on a great productivity enhancer.

10 Responses to “Default Folder X 1.9.5”

  1. ssp says:

    “Try to find the same level of responsiveness to feature requests in other Macintosh software developers!”

    I think you’ll find that level of responsiveness in many Mac developers. As long as they’re small enough.

  2. Pierre Igot says:

    True to a certain extent — although I have feature requests to other “small” developers that have been languishing for months, if not years. Not every one among small Mac developers is as responsive as St. Clair Software, far from it.

  3. ssp says:

    I don’t doubt that there are less responsive developers. And even those will fall into two categories: those who are truely unresponsive and those who didn’t like your suggestion or don’t think it fits in ? as long as developers are clear about that I think the latter is a perfectly good way of handling feature requests if you’re giving away your software for little or no money.

    However, your initial comment sounds like most Mac developers are unresponsive and my experience is quite to the contrary. Very rarely have I not received at least a reply to my request or suggestion, and quite a few suggestions made it into the application sooner or later. In most cases people were very forthcoming and replied within a day.

    The service you see for DefaultFolder is probably even less remarkable when taking into account that they charge quite a lot of money for a small tool. So they can devote more resources to this than someone who charges very little or nothing for their work.

  4. Pierre Igot says:

    Well, we all have our own individual experiences… There aren’t many Mac developers who’ve been as responsive as St. Clair Software to my requests. Rainmaker (maker of Spell Catcher X) is the only one that comes to mind as equally responsive. For other developers, I tend to get feedback indicating that it’s an interesting suggestion and might get included in the future — and then nothing happens.

    As for the pricing issue, you cannot just take the cost of the software into account. You also need to take into account how many times the software maker charges you for upgrades that actually add new features. St. Clair keeps adding new features without asking for any money from me. I’ve been using DF for many years now, and have only had to pay once for the initial purchase and a second time for upgrade price (not full price) for the OS X version. That’s pretty cheap, considering that DF, “small tool” as it is, is something that I use many times per hour all through the day, and that the developer has been adding new features and improvements at no cost.

    As far as I am concerned, St. Clair Software and Rainmaker are the top two “small” Mac developers. The rest are at least one step behind. (And I do have a number of products from small developers, such as ObDev’s LaunchBar, Panic’s Transmit, Yazsoft’s Speed Download, Koingo’s Password Retriever, softobe’s iPassepartout, etc.)

    But of course, when I am criticizing “Mac software developers” with slow response times in my initial post, I am mostly referring to the big ones: Apple, Adobe, Microsoft, etc.

  5. ssp says:

    I’m not a DefaultFolder person, but I find the responsiveness of GraphicConverter’s Thorsten Lemke most impressive. This guy is working a lot and frequently he offers a new beta version mere hours after asking for things / reporting a problem. (And GraphicConverter is a large and very versatile application, so this is even more surprising).

    As for the pricing, I’d place DefaultFolder more in the range of PithHelmet or, at most, LaunchBar (home license) as far as its usefulness is concerned.

    You shouldn’t be too disappointed not to see your suggested features. Adding in features which don’t fit it snugly with the program’s design and its anticipated direction can be very tricky and take a lot of time. So even if developers like the idea they may simply not get around to implementing it. Particularly when keeping in mind that there are other people making suggestions as well and bugs to be fixed and the author’s own ideas. (Even for my little pet program ‘Rechnungs Checker’ which has a tiny audience ? basically people in Germany who do online billing for their phone, need a detailed analysis and have a Mac ? feature suggestions came in quicker than I was interested to implement them ? I got the main ones, though ;)

    And then of course there’s the world of open source where you can get your hands dirty and simply add the feature you want to see yourself.

  6. Pierre Igot says:

    I must admit I find it hard to believe that one can be a serious Mac user and not find Default Folder extremely useful. Navigating through files and folders in the Finder just to locate a file that you’ve just saved from within Application X is an utter waste of time. Default Folder solves this problem. Navigating through files and folders in an Open/Save dialog box just to locate a folder that is already currently open in the Finder is an utter waste of time. DFX solves this problem. Etc.

    To me, an application that saves me many minutes of wasted time every single day is well worth $40 every 5 years.

    As for GraphicConverter, I must admit I have never been able to like the software. Its interface is simply not Mac-like enough for my taste. It’s probably incredibly useful to some people, but its level of usefulness cannot be compared to DFX, which is useful in any context, for any kind of work accomplished using a Mac.

    As for getting a response to my feature requests, I am, of course, fully aware that a developer has to deal with the feedback of many people, and has to prioritize things, etc. I am just speaking from personal experience. In my experience, St. Clair and Rainmaker are the most responsive. Other people’s experience will differ. But since you are not using Default Folder, you can’t really judge how responsive they are :).

  7. ssp says:

    Personally I think open dialogues should be banned. That’s what the Finder is for. And even if you don’t use the Finder, LaunchBar will obsolete them.

    GraphicConverter looks a bit dated these days but it is catching up step by step. Most importantly it still does its job very well.

    You’ll remember that I didn’t want to talk badly about St. Clair software. I rather thought your initial comment made every other Mac developer look less responsive than they are.

  8. Pierre Igot says:

    Sure, I’d love to ban Open/Save dialogs. Tricky thing to do when the OS you are using forces you to use them, though :). (A case can be made that Open dialogs can be avoided with LB, but there’s no avoiding Save dialogs.)

    And to clarify my initial post once and for all: in my experience, every other Mac developer that develops software that I use is less responsive than St. Clair Software (and Rainmaker Inc.).

  9. ssp says:

    All right. Bad luck for you then. You seem to attract the less fortunate sides of using software.

    Your original “Try to find the same level of responsiveness to feature requests in other Macintosh software developers!” sounded differently ;)

  10. Josh says:

    I’m with ssp. I use lots and lots of shareware apps and one of my favorite pastimes is corresponding directly with the programmer(s) to suggest new features. (I especially enjoy when it’s an obscure little app with a tiny niche target) Nearly every time I get a kind and appreciative response, and 3/4 of these times my feature request makes its way into one of the subsequent updates. And the times that it doesn’t happen — well, it’s not my app nor my choices, and I trust the developer knows what s/he’s doing. (Perhaps my wishes don’t jive with the direction s/he had in mind for their product; c’est la vie!)

    That said, GraphicConverter rocks. It’s the fastest launcher for hundreds of graphic types and quite frankly the swiss-army knife of graphics tools for those that don’t need/can’t afford PhotoShop.

    DefaultFolder X is great too, I couldn’t live without it.

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