60: Fixing Finder

I'm as excited for WWDC as anyone else in the world of Apple. (In fact, next week Picomac will be on a Tuesday–Friday schedule, to fit in as much coverage of the Keynote and State of the Union as possible.) Everyone has their own wishlist for what they hope to be announced, from must-have, to would-be-nice, to almost-impossible. Steven Frank tweeted the things that fall in that last category for him:

Every. Single. Day.

Every. Single. Day.

I'm on board with most of that, but I think that improvements to the Finder in the last two versions of OS X haven't quite gotten their due. Sure, there hasn't been a solution for forgotten window position and view settings, annoyances that probably go unnoticed for average users and are fixed quickly with utilities like Moom for power users. And yes, the Finder's handling of network volumes that go offline is still abysmal, causing minute-long hangs and orphaned windows suddenly displaying the very Windows-y "Computer" location. (So yes, Apple, please a fix here: just show a spinner and a "Disconnect and close" button on windows from inaccessible servers, allowing the rest of the Mac to go on its way.)

On the other hand, Finder window toolbars and sidebars are better and less obtrusive than they've ever been. And unheralded features of the Finder save me time routinely. The batch rename command introduced in Yosemite is a power-user Finder feature at its best. Available in the File menu or contextual menu, it saves tons of typing or a trip to Automator to create an ad hoc renaming workflow. Sure, it has its limits, only allowing three types of renaming: replace text, add text, and sequential naming. Beyond that, more powerful tools like Name Mangler exist for those who need them.

Speaking of who needs these features, it's easy to forget that inside Infinite Loop, hundreds of Mac power users use the Finder all day, every day. There are tons of things to hope for or against for WWDC 2016, but all I hope is that Apple's own employees get what they need, and that they're kind enough to share it with the rest of us.