Finder's awesome fragility... since 1995 (at least)

mijail

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Original poster
Oct 31, 2010
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From the times of System 7.5.3, across hardware architecture and OS changes, Finder has kept a great track record of being a suprisingly, disappointingly fragile app. Back then, the source of minutes-long freezes could be copying files into diskettes; now it is synchronizing iOS gadgets over WiFi or USB.

(I remember showing off my PowerMac to PC friends and amaze them with everything... only to come undone by some random problem by the very Finder)

I'm writing this while my Finder is at 100% CPU and over 5 minutes of beachballing because I dared to sync an iPhone.

Now, on one hand it is interesting that the Finder is kept so non-robust, given that it is the base of our day-to-day experience on the Mac.
On the other hand, Apple keeps bringing stuff to the Finder - like iOS syncing in Catalina. It is awesome that they broke down iTunes, but did they really have to add new stuff to the oh-so-delicate Finder?

My question is: why? Does anyone have any insight on why Finder is kept like this?
 
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fisherking

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these posts are so tiresome. Finder (which could certainly use some apple love) works here; it's always worked (for me, starting around 10.2).

all you will get here is opinions... because, for most mac users, Finder is just a thing they use, and because no one here has 'insight' about why Finder is "kept like this"... assuming one believes it's being held back in some way. :rolleyes:
 

mijail

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Original poster
Oct 31, 2010
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Also: there have been other Apple programs which have had its highs and lows, and have changed with or without reason. Sometimes the changes were good, sometimes bad.

But, Finder has always been there, unchanging, fragile and mediocre. It actually lost capabilities in the switch to then-called-Mac OS X around 2001. It got a Cocoa rewrite in 2008 for Snow Leopard, which didn't change much - if anything. In 2013 people were still/already complaining about old and new bugs in Finder [1]. And here we are - now my iPhone sync problems leave the whole Finder unusable, instead of just iTunes.

[1] https://macperformanceguide.com/AppleCoreRot-Finder-destroys-file-system.html
 

TiggrToo

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Aug 24, 2017
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Also: there have been other Apple programs which have had its highs and lows, and have changed with or without reason. Sometimes the changes were good, sometimes bad.

But, Finder has always been there, unchanging, fragile and mediocre. It actually lost capabilities in the switch to then-called-Mac OS X around 2001. It got a Cocoa rewrite in 2008 for Snow Leopard, which didn't change much - if anything. In 2013 people were still/already complaining about old and new bugs in Finder [1]. And here we are - now my iPhone sync problems leave the whole Finder unusable, instead of just iTunes.

[1] https://macperformanceguide.com/AppleCoreRot-Finder-destroys-file-system.html
Finder has problems? May not be the prettiest of apps but I've not noticed any issues myself in any of my Macs.
 
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revmacian

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I have a 2017 MBP (2 TB3 ports) and a 2019 MBA, Finder has not shown any problems here with daily use. However, I don't sync my iPhones to my Macs. But, how often often is that sync performed? And, if you know it will beach ball then perhaps it would be beneficial to wait and sync while you have lunch.
 
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mijail

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Oct 31, 2010
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And, if you know it will beach ball then perhaps it would be beneficial to wait and sync while you have lunch.
Yes, that is what I used to do back in the 90s when I had to copy large-ish numbers of files to a diskette and the OS only had cooperative multithreading....

Amazing memories.

Actually, I wonder now whether the Finder might also beachball when it automatically starts a sync via WiFi. Oh, how fun this can get!

Will Apple manage to make me miss iTunes? :D
 

fisherking

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i have no such issues when i sync my iphone. perhaps, instead of ranting, present your issue, and ask for help? just a thought (of course)...

Finder has always 'just worked' for me (and, apparently, countless others)...
 

sunapple

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Jul 16, 2013
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So some issues Finder had over the past 20 years make it seem like it’s been kept back by Apple to you? I’m sure it’s impossible to make it bug free 100% of the time for 100% of users, you don’t need to be an Apple developer to figure that out... And bugs eventually get resolved, not to mention the 99.99% of other functionality that runs just fine.
 
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maflynn

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May 3, 2009
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all you will get here is opinions..
Yep, including yours ;)

My opinion is that Finder hasn't always worked well and it lacks features I've had in windows for years. I'm not a fan of it, but push comes to shove its adequate.

File management isn't rocket surgery yet Apple seems to have always shied away from providing tools to fully manage your data.
 

fisherking

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Jul 16, 2010
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Yep, including yours ;)

My opinion is that Finder hasn't always worked well and it lacks features I've had in windows for years. I'm not a fan of it, but push comes to shove its adequate.

File management isn't rocket surgery yet Apple seems to have always shied away from providing tools to fully manage your data.
true (all of it) 👍
 

KoolAid-Drink

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Sep 18, 2013
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I agree that Finder has its own set of (longstanding) issues, but I do hope the venerable application won't be replaced in an eventual macOS/appleOS version with the current Files app from iOS. Now, that's an app riddled with bugs, and limited functionality.
 

deviant

macrumors 65816
Oct 27, 2007
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From the times of System 7.5.3, across hardware architecture and OS changes, Finder has kept a great track record of being a suprisingly, disappointingly fragile app. Back then, the source of minutes-long freezes could be copying files into diskettes; now it is synchronizing iOS gadgets over WiFi or USB.

(I remember showing off my PowerMac to PC friends and amaze them with everything... only to come undone by some random problem by the very Finder)

I'm writing this while my Finder is at 100% CPU and over 5 minutes of beachballing because I dared to sync an iPhone.

Now, on one hand it is interesting that the Finder is kept so non-robust, given that it is the base of our day-to-day experience on the Mac.
On the other hand, Apple keeps bringing stuff to the Finder - like iOS syncing in Catalina. It is awesome that they broke down iTunes, but did they really have to add new stuff to the oh-so-delicate Finder?

My question is: why? Does anyone have any insight on why Finder is kept like this?
there was and maybe still is a cool app called pathfinder. now that seemed more like a true file manager...
finder is very limited. I don't have problems with it, but it's... lackluster..
 

tarsins

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Sep 15, 2009
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My only beef with Finder is that it never seems to remember settings, or does remember them when you don't want it to. It's great for quick file manipulation but for heavy-duty file stuff with a consistent interface I use Forklift.
 

spyguy10709

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Apr 5, 2010
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Yes, I see the first non-insightful opinion already arrived, even if only to say that it's tiresome. Thank you for your tireless effort. Why don't you try to conserve your energy?

I'll keep hoping for someone having something to say, if you don't mind.

Things that would be insightful: people who kept any contact with Apple (related bug reports? even, actual developers? those sometimes appear, did you know?), people who can relate with the pain, people who can actually give a counterargument. Maybe things have improved and I didn't realize?
What did you expect with an OP like that? A zombified corpse to crawl out of Steve Jobs' grave with proof that it's a conspiracy by the Evil Tim Apple to make finder inferior to push people to iPad?

I'll give you a counterargument (other than "works fine for me, boss")
- Windows Explorer.

Compared to that everchanging trash heap (complete redesign from 95 to 98, 98 to xp, xp to vista, and then 7 to 8/10), I'll take the consistency and performance of Finder, thanks.
 

Moof1904

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May 20, 2004
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While I can't deny that Finder is still better than Windows Explorer (I use both every day), having just upgraded from an older Mac Pro running El Capitan to a shiny new 2019 Mac Pro running Catalina I can say that Catalina's Finder is a horrid mess. I can't even copy a 50 gig VM file between an external USB 3.0 SSD drive and the internal Mac Pro drive, a process that should take two minutes. The copy action starts, gets about 480 megs into the copy and then stalls. Repeatedly. Even after rebooting, etc. That same drive works perfectly attached to any other Mac I own.

So less than 48 hours after unboxing this $7,000 computer, I have been trying since yesterday evening to copy one file. That's pathetic. My experience with Catalina is so frustrating that I'm actually considering returning the Mac Pro. I probably won't do that because I've waited too long for a new Mac Pro, but it's very disheartening to have such a horrible OS experience with such a capable computer.

I echo the opinion of those people here who say that Catalina is Apple's Vista. Apple really needs to stop releasing a new MacOS every year and instead spend some time making MacOS more robust.
 
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deviant

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Oct 27, 2007
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While I can't deny that Finder is still better than Windows Explorer (I use both every day), having just upgraded from an older Mac Pro running El Capitan to a shiny new 2019 Mac Pro running Catalina I can say that Catalina's Finder is a horrid mess. I can't even copy a 50 gig VM file between an external USB 3.0 SSD drive and the internal Mac Pro drive, a process that should take two minutes. The copy action starts, gets about 480 megs into the copy and then stalls. Repeatedly. Even after rebooting, etc. That same drive works perfectly attached to any other Mac I own.

So less than 48 hours after unboxing this $7,000 computer, I have been trying since yesterday evening to copy one file. That's pathetic. My experience with Catalina is so frustrating that I'm actually considering returning the Mac Pro. I probably won't do that because I've waited too long for a new Mac Pro, but it's very disheartening to have such a horrible OS experience with such a capable computer.

I echo the opinion of those people here who say that Catalina is Apple's Vista. Apple really needs to stop releasing a new MacOS every year and instead spend some time making MacOS more robust.
Wait it only does that with 1 file! What about other stuff? Cause if it’s only the VM file there might be an issue with it
 

firelighter487

macrumors regular
Apr 30, 2014
177
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The Netherlands
I've never had issues with it. granted I haven't tried to sync my phone with it, but why would I? I have no reason to lol, If I need a file from it AirDrop exists.
 

me55

macrumors member
Jul 26, 2019
42
11
iPhone sync never caused my Finder to hang, but since macOS 10.14 using a network share (Samba or AFP) once in a while totally locks up Finder and parts of the system. It usually starts with not being able to eject the share, then you can't start apps anymore (continuous bouncing in Dock) and the system just hangs. Happens even after a clean install.
 
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ScreenSavers

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Feb 26, 2016
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I haven’t had any major reproducible finder problems. Sometimes AirDrop is finicky, but it’s been that way since Lion.

I like macOS Catalina a lot, but I do think it’s time for another “cleanup year” with some bug fixes and performance improvements, like Snow Leopard and El Capitan brought.
 

Ungibbed

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Dec 13, 2010
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I have yet to pick a fight with the Finder in Catalina since I have yet to try and sync any iOS device using it so far.