Welch and Tsai on the Finder

John C. Welch disagrees with me about the Mac OS X Finder in a three-part series at workingmac.com: “Jaguar’s Finder’s Fine”, “Finder 9 -v- X”, and “Moving On”.

Welch’s counter-arguments do not persuade me, but they’re reasonable and well-considered, and they’re definitely worth reading if you’re enthralled in this Finder saga. But much of his counter-argument hinges on the idea that long-time Mac users are complaining about the Finder simply because they’re cranks who complain every time something changes in the Mac OS.

On that point he is wrong. Sure, there is a contingent of Mac users who do complain about user interface changes of any sort. But these people are a minority, albeit a vocal one. The Mac OS X Finder is unpopular with almost all long-time Mac users.

Michael Tsai disagrees with Welch. His conclusion sums it all up perfectly:

Although there are differing opinions about the value of various old and new Finder features, there is little actual conflict. I think it’s possible for the Finder engineers to satisfy both groups.

Exactly. Apple’s goal should be to make a Finder that pleases both recent switchers and long-time Mac users. But their response after more than two years of widespread criticism indicates a dogged determination to stick with an unpopular design, as though they believe someday soon millions of Mac users will suddenly snap out of it and recognize the brilliance of the OS X Finder.

Which sounds suspicously similar to the plan NeXT clung to with their operating system.

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