Mac OS X 10.4 (Tiger): Folder contents synchronization issues finally solved

Posted by Pierre Igot in: Macintosh
May 5th, 2005 • 3:51 am

I don’t know how many Mac users have noticed, but in Tiger, the folder contents synchronization issues that plagued previous versions of Mac OS X have finally been solved.

In Panther and in previous versions, you would quite often experience the following situation. You are in Microsoft Word and you create a new document and save it in Folder A on your hard drive. Then you go to Mail and compose a new message and click on “Attach” and navigate to Folder A in the dialog sheet.

But then you are looking at the contents of Folder A in that dialog sheet and… the Word document you’ve just saved is not there!

In fact, it is there, but due to synchronization problems in Mac OS X itself prior to Tiger, the document would not always appear right away.

It was rather problematic. There were possible work-arounds, such as this one. But the problem should never have existed in the first place. And it was not a problem that was only experienced by advanced users or users working particularly quickly. When I was visiting my parents in France last month, my father spontaneously mentioned the problem to me without prompting, wondering whether I was aware of it. All I could tell him is that, yes, the problem was well known, but it would only be fixed by upgrading to Tiger.

Because it is indeed fixed in Tiger. When Apple invited me to participate in the Apple Seed program, I made it one of my priorities to get this particular problem finally fixed. It took a while and a fair amount of back-and-forth, with explanatory screen shots, etc. — but the problem did eventually get fixed, and in my experience it can no longer be reproduced in Mac OS X 10.4.

I hope that it’s not just my experience and that it is really fixed for everyone in every situation. It’s unfortunately that upgrading to Tiger is the only solution if you want to eliminate that program, but it probably has to do with flaws in the underlying file management architecture prior to Mac OS X 10.4

If you are still experiencing the problem, I’d be curious to know the circumstances.

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