I have been using Cocoatech's PathFinder for a couple of days now. PathFinder is a viable replacement for Apple's Finder. There are some features that make it really compelling as an addition to Apple's Finder. I used both of them side-by-side. I like the normal Finder for its simplicity especially when I am just browsing around. If I need to do more complicated stuff I will switch over to Path Finder.
Here are some things that I really like about Path Finder:
- Tab sessions. The ability to save a bunch of tabs that I frequently use is very useful. For instance when I am installing a unix program, I like to have /usr/local, /usr/local/src, etc. within easy reach. With the normal Finder, I would need to open multiple windows and I might accidentally close one of them.
- Folder history. The ability to quickly click on a list of most recently viewed folders is really useful. After all, when I view a folder a few hours ago, I am likely to view it again soon.
- Navigation/location bar. This bar shows the path to the current folder so that you can quickly navigate to the parent folder. I have used this countless times.
- No .DS_Store files. I think .DS_Store files are the most notorious things ever created. Every folder just gets littered with them. And worst of it, they show up when you zip your folders as well. Thank goodness Path Finder does not use them.
- Spotlight. I like the Path Finder's interface for searching better than Apple's Finder. It lets me see the parameters clearly before searching and it does not search as I type. Having the search window pop-up separately is also a better design in my opinion.
And here are some things that I vehemently hate about it:
- Ugly desktop. If you try to show Path Finder's desktop, it looks really ugly. I have been trying to tweak it but it still looks really nasty. The words have weird shadows that make them look fuzzy against my desktop. I tried to reproduce the default Finder desktop look but it was not possible.
- Extraneous and redundant frameworks. Path Finder includes its own previewer, text editor , terminal and StuffIt framework. All of them are redundant especially the StuffIt framework that comes in at a hefty 12 MB of pure uselessness. It does not replace StuffIt for me! I still need to use SmithMicro's StuffIt or go to the command line (to use unrar) to open password protected .rar files! I still do most of my terminal work in iTerm and seldom use terminal that comes with Path Finder. Moreover, the terminal with Path Finder does not respect my color settings for iTerm or the terminal. In short, all these frameworks that come bundled are all redundant! Imagine if everyone developer did the same thing and bundled redundant frameworks into their applications!
- Speed. Path Finder is slow for certain operations. For instance, trying to view a folder that contains a whole bunch of image files takes a while since it needs to generate the preview. Apple's Finder is still faster.
Bottom line, Path Finder would be better if they trimmed some fat of it. It should perform its task as a file manager and do it well. All the other frills can be handled by other more well-suited applications.Tweet
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