Those of you in Mac-land should go have a look at “Path Finder” from Cocoatech, OS X specialists from LA. It's advertised as a file browser, a better replacement for Finder. And indeed, it is better; absolutely, comprehensively, massively better. But I can't use it.

Because, on my 500MHz G4, it's way too slow. In a file browser, it's just not OK to click an icon that takes you to a folder and have the screen just sit there for over a second while it thinks about what you clicked on. Particularly when you're an old Unix hack and always struggling with the temptation to drop into the terminal, where with the excellent shell autocompletion you can usually do basic file manipulation way quicker than with any GUI.

I won't waste words describing all the smoothly-executed bells-and-whistles, there are lots of excellent screenshots on Cocoatech's website.

This raises a big question in my mind: since Path Finder is a pure Cocoa application and done by people who are demonstrably very smart, does this mean that Cocoa apps are inherently slow?

I suppose that when I upgrade my Mac to a GHz or more the performance problems will vanish in the static. In the interim, I'm seriously considering paying the $34 for this even though I can't really use it, just to encourage these guys in their very-worthwhile work.

A really good outcome, I guess, would be for Apple to snap up Cocoatech and give these guys a few bucks to put in their jeans and get some people on board that are obviously smarter about user interfaces than the ones they currently employ.

author · Dad · software · colophon · rights
picture of the day
April 13, 2003
· Technology (90 fragments)
· · Mac OS X (118 more)

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