Sunday, February 26, 2012

No OS is perfect, and OS X's Finder sucks.

I have used Windows ever since Windows 95 (to be exact, I used Windows 3.1 a little when I was using DOS.), but I never thought Windows Explorer was great. For example, there even hasn't been a shortcut for creating a new directory. When it came to Windows Vista, I couldn't even customize the toolbar, I couldn't easily edit/remove file associations. The essential "Delete" button was gone and an utterly unnecessary "Burn files" button was irremovable. The folder view mode did not work as I expected. I had been looking for alternatives.

Now that I am switched to Lion as my main OS (I am still using Windows though), I am discovering that Finder is actually worse than Windows Explorer. 

OK, here are what I don't like about Finder.
  • No recent directory list, no address auto completion.
  • Keyboard navigation sucks. For example, Command + O to open a folder? Suppose you are browsing many folders with a keyboard, on Windows it will be enter, enter, and enter. On OS X, it will be Command + O, Command + O and Command + O...
  • No right mouse dragging for copy/move/creating shortcuts. Is it patented by Microsoft?
  • No way to copy and paste folder path. A quick Google search gave me this. So I need to write some sort of script to copy folder path? Yes, it is a way, but how is it good for general users?
  • Folder settings are not remembered. I don't like to click "Show All" every time. On Windows, even if files are grouped they are shown by default. On OS X, only one line is visible and you have to click "Show All" each time, even if you open the same folder next time.
  • Gestures are not consistent. I want two-finger swipe right for going back, just as in Safari. But in order to go back, actually I need to Option + three-finger swipe "left".
  • And much more!
I am not a fanboy, I do not like Microsoft or Apple. I just use the OS that is the best among them. Now that we will soon have Windows 8 and Mountain Lion, I will see which one gets better for the most essential program for the OS. I am willing to switch to any OS.

OS makers should focus on improving the OS's file browser, which is not easily replaceable. It seems these days they seem to spend more time on developing features that can be relatively easily obtained by using free third-party softwares. Since I heard that Windows 8 greatly improved Windows Explorer (finally "pause" when copying!) , I am looking for the Windows 8 Beta release on the end of this month.

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