OS X Myths and Facts.


macrumors 68020
Original poster
Dec 3, 2001
I've not bought jaguar yet, I plan on staying with OS9 and not pouring any more money into my ageing beige G3 so I can get a G4 next year with OS X preloaded.

Saying that, OS X is something I'm seriously interested in but there's a few things that really concern me about OS X and I'm hoping they're either fixed in jaguar or going to be fixed in some future update :

No Sort by Date created/modified in list view

This is something that I rely on for so many things if it still can't do it I'm sticking with OS9 till it does.

No Labels

Again, another organisation thing I'm going to miss but it's less important.

No metadata and 1980's DOS like file extensions

This is the big one, the thing that seperates the mac's file system from windoze. I've seen so many screen shots of OS X with 3 and 4 character extensions that I'm scared apple have gone back to the totally lame (in every way - No zeleot BS on this one please) way of file association that PCs and the Atari ST uses. If there's no type and creator code and I have to hide the extensions, how will I know what's a jpg and what's a gif if 2 files have the same name ?

What about protools where audio tracks are labelled .L and .R ?

at present this is an easy way of telling them apart, If I've either got file extensions on EVERYTHING or no file extensions it's going to piss me off no end. I like the way you don't need file extensions in the Mac OS, creating several files of the same kind in different applications and having them all tied to the application that created them is way better than the way windows works with files. Although I still like having no extensions on files, .mov, .jpg, .html etc... are still extensions I put on those kinds of files to tell them apart and the way I've heard OS X works with files I can't have the best of both worlds like OS 9, just the worst of one like windows.

No patchname support in Coremidi

I'll be glad to see that back of OMS but acording to the documentation with the Unity Session demo I tried a few months ago, OS X doesn't support patchnames and everything goes back to those horrible bank and patch code numbers.

Slow browsing

I've read a lot about the sluggishness of OS X for web browsing. Surely there's a browser under OS X that uses quartz extreme for the rendering and scrolls pages superfast while never showing me the spinner while it's connecting to a site ?

I wouldn't care if I had to use a different browser but all flavours of netscape annoy me, Opera is a great big pile of crap I don't want to use and even though under OS 9 at least, Mozilla is overall the best, it's still got similar responsiveness issues as IE, it's so slow to execute javascript and DHTML code that my G3 feels like an 8200 or something while viewing that kind of content.

Has anyone experienced any of these issues with jaguar or are they all solved and no one has mentioned it ?


macrumors god
Staff member
Apr 9, 2001
Re: OS X Myths and Facts.

Originally posted by barkmonster

No Sort by Date created/modified in list view

It does do this.

No Labels
Still doesn't have labels

No metadata and 1980's DOS like file extensions
I think people are reacting too much to this. There may be notable differences... but for the most part things don't function much different than OS 9. I just took off the .sit extension from a stuff it file, and it still has the stuffit icon, and opens if you double click it.

No patchname support in Coremidi
? don't know about this.

Slow browsing
slower than 9, but far more stable. (os-wise. IE might still crash... but it doesn't bring down anything else)



macrumors 6502a
Apr 14, 2002
bat country
file extentions really did stick in my craw. the whole unix thing pissed me off for a good while, but i've slowly come to accept it (i suppose i'm becoming complacent). i know for a fact that files still have creator and type demarkations, but i believe that the whole extention buisness is due to the fact that apple is striving for complete web integration, so they've carried this into the whole composition of the os. i think there was actually some osx program (dragthing maybe?) that showed you an item's label, so i think that the capability is still there, apple just is'nt using it. it sounds like your web experiences in osx are with IE and i hate to sound like a broken record, but ie is a piece of crap on any os, you should use chimera (it uses mozilla's gecko engine with a native cocoa/quartz interface and is much faster).

i'd love to have metadata and not have to bother with extentions (or unix for that matter) but what's done is done, and there's not much that can be done about it now. let me assure you that i was a very reluctant osx switcher, but after using it, i dont know how we put up with classic for so long.

p.s. arn's experience with the .sit file happened because if you delete the extention from a file name, it just hides the extention in the finder (it's still there, just invisible)


Moderator emeritus
Jun 25, 2002
Gone but not forgotten.
In list view, you can't use the menu to do the sorting. You click on the heading such as "Date Modified" until it's sorted in ascending or descending order.

File extensions are wonderful just because you can organise in the UNIX way so much easier. Apple still needs to find a way to do metadata and make it all nice and neat. Just as the first UNIX, CP/M, and MS-DOS users said when they saw file copying on the Mac, it's hard to quickly group certain files by a piece of the name. Using the terminal application and a shell, it's much easier.

I miss my labels, but this is going to be difficult for Apple to do. It's a matter of what looks right and, you may have noticed, they haven't added any colour choices, so they're not likely to add labels any time soon. Blue and Graphite shouldn't be the only colours available.


macrumors 68020
Feb 5, 2002
All up in your bidness
Originally posted by FattyMembrane
p.s. arn's experience with the .sit file happened because if you delete the extention from a file name, it just hides the extention in the finder (it's still there, just invisible)
I just tried that and when I delete the .sit extension, the extension is definitely gone, not hidden by the Finder, as verified by trusty ol' Mr. Terminal. Maybe this only works when you've got "Always show file extensions" unchecked in the Finder prefs (I don't).

I believe OS X uses a combination of file extensions and type/creator codes. If the file extension isn't there, it will try to fall back on the type/creator code to determine which app to use to open a file. This system sucks, no doubt about it. Hurrah for BeOS etc. etc. Whether it's any worse than the OS 9 or Windows way, though, is a matter of debate...

As for web browsing, there are different categories of "speed" here:

- Page scrolling. On my 550MHz G4 w/ Mobility Radeon), page scrolling (dragging the scrollbar elevator) is choppy in every single browser. OmniWeb is really bad; iCab is the best, though still not great. IE is almost as good as iCab. Chimera is almost as good as IE; Mozilla is almost as good as Chimera. Strangely, Mozilla, IE, and Netscape 4 in Classic are the smoothest of them all.

- Page rendering. Chimera is the best. Mozilla is a close second. iCab is a close third. IE and OmniWeb trail. Page rendering speed in OS X isn't really a problem on recent Macs unless you regularly load extremely massive web pages or unless you have a very slow Mac paired up with a very fast connection.

- Interface speed. Mozilla is a dog. The rest are decent.

No OS X browser is specifically Quartz Extreme optimized that I know of. I don't know whether that's possible, either. QE will supposedly give performance boosts to browsers due to its nature, but I haven't used it so I don't know about that. You say you're planning on buying a G4 next year; if this will be a relatively new G4, I don't think you have anything to worry about in the web browsing category. IE 6 for Windows is still better than anything on the Mac, but that's not to say OS X browsers are unusable. They're just not as silky smooth. At least they're more stable than what's on 9.

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