Yesterday’s entry on the Mac OS X Finder has prompted many comments and I wanted to grasp the occasion to thank all of you who have taken the time to post: hearing from you is always a pleasure and an honor.
In the light of all the notes and remarks, I decided to go ahead and give Path Finder a good try. Now, according to Cocoatech’s website, version 4 is due out any day and my comments are therefore going to be outdated by the time I hit the Enter button but this is a risk one has to take in the field.
I will confess that my initial impression upon launching Path Finder wasn’t without similarities to that of Ellen Feiss when she discovered Word had crashed. “Eeuuuhh?” just about summed up my first contact with the application.
Then, suddenly, the little disclosure triangles started to get me going in improved list view, I liked the fast I could get an Applications menu back that didn’t nest Pages or Keynote three articles down, that all my developer tools were right there while I can never find them otherwise… One by one, all these little touches started to make a lot of sense.
Now, Path Finder does, in some areas, provide more functionality than I believe a file browser should provide — image retouching, for example, is not something I’m hot on within my browser, despite its implementation being surprisingly solid. I haven’t tried it all yet but, a mere day after downloading it, I have it already set up to quit Finder at launch — which I already did from time to time, when I wanted to force myself to use Terminal.
All in all, Path Finder is slowly convincing and spoiling me. It’s not my dream file browser but it’s pretty darn close and version 4 seems very promising. It certainly fits the bill as a “pro” file browser (although I’m not into that expression much either) in that it gives a lot of control over files that a graphical interface usually bypasses. Moreover, it highlights some shortcomings of the drag and drop metaphors by providing dedicated tools to overcome them (such as the drop stack) and was therefore at the center of much thinking on the topic, well into the night — hence the even more convoluted phrasing of this blog than is usually considered safe by the FCC.
Here I am, the long time Mac user, quitting my Finder at login (on my test machine at least). Is it wrong, Doctor?