Quarter Life Crisis

The world according to Sven-S. Porst

« MemoryMainXeroxraum »

Finder Duplicates

303 words on

When seeing file name ‘extensions’, the word ‘stupid’ usually pops up in my mind. But in these shiny days of Mac OS X their atrocity is widely visible on Mac desktops. You’ll be insulted by the Finder with a stupid dialogue box whenever renaming ‘AUGHNX8837.jpg’ to ‘CD Cover.jpeg’. And you’ll be surprised in an equally negative way that changing a file’s name from ‘Moronic.html’ to ‘Moronic’ in the standard Finder interface just changes the display of that name in the Finder but not the name itself.

One other thing that you may have observed already is that duplicating a file in the Finder will append ’ Copy’ to the file’s name. Except if the file name contains an ‘extension’, in which case the ’ Copy’ will not be appended but inserted in front of the last dot in the name. I guess that makes a lot of technical sense as the whole file name extension thing is too braindead to actually work if ’ Copy’ were appended at the very end.

Duplicating a file whose name extension has been claimed by an application

Well, recently I learned that what happens during file duplication is even more tricky, or ‘subtle’ if you wish. The Finder will only insert ’ Copy’ in the middle of the file name if that ‘extension’ has been claimed by one of the applications on your computer. If the file name extension isn’t owned by an application, ’ Copy’ will be appended at the end of the name as it should be.

Duplicating a file whose name extension has not been claimed by an application

So while we can’t blame the Finder programmers for not making an effort, we are confronted with an additional layer of potential confusion and unpredictability.

Uh, not that we’re really surprised by that, but the Finder really sucks at updating icons of files it has already displayed before, even if the application to open those files becomes available or changes.

June 2, 2006, 0:02

Tagged as Mac OS X.

Add your comment

« MemoryMainXeroxraum »

Comments on




This page

Out & About

pinboard Links


Received data seems to be invalid. The wanted file does probably not exist or the guys at last.fm changed something.