Mac OS X’s Finder: Still fuzzy after all these years

Posted by Pierre Igot in: Macintosh
October 3rd, 2009 • 8:49 am

Snow Leopard is a “bug fixing” upgrade that is also supposed to have improved all kinds of little, nagging details by making its error messages and dialog boxes clearer. For example, when you try eject a volume that contains files currently in use, the Finder no longer gives you some generic error message that does not give you any idea of which file is used by which application. Now you get something like this, from a background process called “UnmountAssistantAgent”:


It’s not perfect, because it does not tell you which file on the volume is in use, but at least it helps you narrow it down by telling you which application is using a file on the volume. (It also could have a button for quitting the application.)

But here is one Finder dialog box that they still haven’t improved when they really should have:


Fewer characters? No ponctuation marks? It really smacks of generic Windows-like idiocy, especially when you know that the only problem with this file name is the colon. Replace the colon with a dash, and all is well, even with all the characters and all the other punctuation (dash, parentheses, spaces, etc.).

You would think that the Finder could be less fuzzy here and directly point you towards the one offending character. The banned colon is the only significant limitation in file naming in Mac OS X. (There are other more minor ones.) You would think that Apple would be proud of this almost unrestricted support for totally exotic file names with interminable strings of characters mixing all kinds of punctuation marks.

But no, they make it sound like you are in MS-DOS land and have to limit your file names to less than 8 characters, with no punctuation whatsoever.

I guess there’s always the next cat (a.k.a. Mac OS X 10.7).

Comments are closed.