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Case Study 2 - Mac OS X

Part of the file system viewers case study. These images are mostly from Tiger.

My sister’s iMac’s hard drive is called Nemo. The hard drive is mounted to root, or should be, but that depends on how you are looking it. When it comes to auto-completing paths, The Finder has no clue:

The fatalistic message in the following dialog box seems somewhat at odds with the presence of an Authenticate button:

But in fact the message is correct, since if I authenticate using the machine owner’s credentials it still fails:

By the way, what’s with the dialog styling? The first one has no title bar widgets (not even minimise) and the latter looks like it’s harking back to System 7.

Look closely at the following two pictures, paying attention to the pop-up menu controls:

The following pop-up menu does appear in the correct place but the Finder still fails miserably to draw it properly:

I find this astonishing since by now, the operating system control library should work. I can only presume that the Mac requires you physically place the pop-up menu over the control yourself, and figure out where it should go. Which would be absolutely nuts.

Here, the Finder has opened an Info window underneath the Dock:

In fact, off the bottom of the screen entirely such that the resize widget is out of reach. Both Windows and Mac OS continually make these kinds of mistakes, which bothers me since the graphical interface should contain a call to validate and correct window co-ordinates before a window is shown. How we can still be making such rudimentary and pathetic mistakes is beyond me.

The Finder now has the ability to show the length of a movie below its icon, but what are the odds of it reporting the correct length?

The Finder also fails to use info windows consistently. For a single file, you get a standard window which can be closed with cmd-W. For multiple-file info, you get a palette window which, when you press cmd-W, closes the folder window instead leaving the info window behind to laugh in your face:

The next two are from Mr Anonymous. Firstly, a rather interesting way to draw the preview column:

And an inability to put the correct title on a progress window:

Unless anyone really does want to copy files into the Trash?