Quarter Life Crisis

The world according to Sven-S. Porst

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Networks

329 words

Various 'Network' icons Just look at these screenshotsThey give you different impressions of the 'Network' section in the (German) Finder. A highly consistent interface.

Also, please explain to me the necessity of having at least three distinct password dialogues (AFP, SMB and 'Network') with varying degrees of support for the keychain. Or the complete obscurity of the whole 'Network' section. Why don't volumes I mount there appear in the Finder normally? How am I going to quickly find the one server out of 500 in 30 subfolders that I had mounted before? Why can I connect to servers twice, once normally once via the 'Network' section? Why will it annoy me not with one but two dialogue boxes for every server I used via the 'Network' section just because I disconnected my computer? Even for servers which I didn't use in ages? Why can't I simply unmount them when I want to? What are the 'Servers' and 'Local' folders in the 'Network' section all about? Why does the list of folders in the 'Network' section keep updating hectically just because there are so many broken computers on the network? Why does the 'Network' section keep telling me that it can't find the original item for an alias just because X.3's use of Samba is still to broken to work reasonably in our network? [No I am not looking for technical apologies here but rather for working networking features and adequate error messages.] Why did the 'Network' section simply mount volumes incorrectly the other day: What was supposed to be my personal folder was in fact the whole hard drive?

Buggy network, buggy Finder. I don't think it's worth filing bug reports on these. That would take a lot of time and as Apple's engineers don't seem to see those problems themselves, they probably don't care anyway. Before I start wasting my time, Apple will have to prove they're capable of seeing problems there and that they're willing to fix them.

November 11, 2003, 23:12

Comments

Comment by paul mison: User icon

I’m not using Panther, but from what I’ve seen over the shoulders of people (and during brief forays onto their machines) Apple’s SMB implementation now has a Windows-style ‘browse’ as well as the old Mac-style ‘mount’ method of working with shares.

This probably accounts for the confusion between shares not showing up on the Desktop and other related issues.

For what it’s worth, I wish they’d stuck with forcing mounts, rather than breaking a nice model of how networks work with the more fluid model that Windows seems to use. I’m sure that there’ll be plenty of switchers who advocate the Windows network model, though, just as there are plenty who don’t see any problems with the Mac OS X Finder.

November 12, 2003, 13:28

Comment by ssp: User icon

I do see the technical explanation excuse for why this happens. I just don’t buy it as it causes so many problems: (a) unlike whatever Windows computers seem to do X.3. still seems to mount the network shares in question, meaning that you’ll have to push that extra button before being able to see and use them and also meaning that you’ll get that silly ‘disconnect’ message should you disconnect from the network or the server go down. (b) It makes it hard to find the network volumes you are using again if you’re dealing with a large network.

This means Apple just threw both ways of connecting to servers in a bag without making an effort and caused a lot of confusion that way. In fact, I think using the Finder’s preference to not show mounted network volumes on the desktop and in the side bar, people who want the pure Windows model could already have it even if all network volumes were displayed in those places.

Just seeing how this works makes my wonder once more whether people at Apple actually use their software before shipping it.

November 13, 2003, 0:46

Comment by paul mison: User icon

Oh, I agree that it’s a complete mess, and of course you understand the two techunical models. I just thought I’d add a bit about it, because I don’t think it’s been terribly well covered so far.

(Actually, there’s somewhere else where two modes are chucked together without lots of effort and causing confusion: the Mac OS X Finder’s mix of spatial and browser views. Sigh.)

On reflection, I might have missed network drives mounting because of Tom’s blank desktop policy.

At a tangent, thanks for emailling me so that I knew you’d replied to my comment. If only MT did that for you. (Now there’s a plugin waiting to happen, if only I cared more.)

November 13, 2003, 10:33

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