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Apple Looking at ZFS For Mac OS X 261

Posted by Hemos
from the only-the-shadow-knows dept.
Udo Schmitz writes "Apples Filesystem Development Manager, Chris Emura, is looking into porting Sun Microsystems' file system ZFS to OS X. At least this is what Sun's Eric Kustarz states on the ZFS mailing list. Is this a glimpse of hope for all those of us who think HFS+ isn't up to par for a 21st century OS? Next thing you know and they'll rewrite the Finder ..."
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Apple Looking at ZFS For Mac OS X

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  • by Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) * <whineymacfanboy@gmail.com> on Monday May 01, 2006 @09:03AM (#15236238) Homepage Journal
    Have a look at wikipedia's Comparison of file systems [wikipedia.org] page to see the difference between ZFS & HFS+.

    The main advantage for HFS+ users (I mean who's really going to need a 16,000,000 Gigabyte file) would be the introduction of journalling beyond metadata (and even this is unlikely to be useful to most people).
    • by lokedhs (672255) on Monday May 01, 2006 @09:22AM (#15236327)
      I think the major advantage is the fast snapshotting and cloning. It uses copy-on-write so that it doesn't take more space than what you actually change.

      Imagine being able to take really fast working copies of whatever you're doing and be able to simple use the old versions by cd'ing to the old clone.

      That's certainly what I would use ZFS for. The rest of the stuff, pooling and mirroring and stuff is less interesting in my laptop. :-)

      • Also -- hard links. One would be hard pressed to find a filesystem with poorer hard link support than HFS+, except those that don't support links at all.
        • how bout NTFS... they bury hard links under such arcane obfuscations and warnings that despite a huge benift they would give me... i simply cannot fathom why i should risk my data, and my entire os setup stability to use them.
      • With the number of hard drive failures that I've seen in our region recently (being that I am part of a group of consultants that works across the region and we've seen well over 100 hard drives fail within the last 3 months with bad sectors and such, seems very odd, but something is up as it ranges in brands and from home consumers to very beefy servers) I would say that ZFS is a huge benefit for anything ranging from laptops to servers. I would love to have continual failure monitoring for bad blocks and
      • As a part time graphics guy, this feature would make life much better.... I periodically have to save very large files after having made the smallest of changes... a typo for example... and yet saving the document takes as long as if I had made a full copy of the file.

        I would love for the FS to do snapshot saves with incrementals and checkpoints and rollback, instead of having each application do it. This provides unlimited undos potential with actual stored versions... a true 'history' of the file, availab
      • I think the major advantage is the fast snapshotting and cloning.

        FreeBSD's UFS supports snapshotting, but Apple didn't port that feature over. I'm not sure why they'd fully support ZFS when they're not fully supporting the other filesystem they already have.

        I've made a few "what about UFS?" comments in this story, but I hope I don't come across as some weird filesystem fanboy. It's just that I can't figure out why this announcement is so exciting. ZFS is cool, sure, but I see it as an incremental imp

        • by lokedhs (672255)
          I think it's a quantum leap. Not because of the snapshotting or error checking, but the thing that really makes ZFS a completely different beast is that it is (to my knowledge) the first file system (or should I say "storage technology"?) that actually joins two traditionally separate concepts: file systems and volume management.

          Thanks to this, a lot of interesting stuff becomes possible, such as the fast file system creation which is demonstrated in this very cool demo [opensolaris.org].

          If you don't consider ZFS a qua

          • by TheRaven64 (641858) on Monday May 01, 2006 @01:36PM (#15238554) Journal
            but the thing that really makes ZFS a completely different beast is that it is (to my knowledge) the first file system (or should I say "storage technology"?) that actually joins two traditionally separate concepts: file systems and volume management.

            I can tell you grew up in the UNIX world. Everything I read about ZFS reminds me very much of VMS. Twenty years ago. If you read the UNIX Hater Handbook (published 12 years ago), then you will find a very nice rant about how the UNIX concept of partitions is a huge step back from what VMS offered. Now, over a decade later, it seems someone has listened.

            • by booch (4157) <slashdot2010 AT craigbuchek DOT com> on Monday May 01, 2006 @02:12PM (#15238906) Homepage
              I agree that there was a lot in VMS that the world has "lost". I think that modern UNIX implementations should look at what VMS had, to reuse some of the good ideas that we still have not replicated. My favorite is the security system -- various small capabilities that each user (or program) could be granted. And the super-user only had one capability by default: the ability to grant privileges. I also appreciated the automated versioning, with the ability to pull up a previous version from the filesystem without having to use any special programs.

              And yes, I know that Windows NT is sort of descended from VMS. But I've not seen many of the concepts make it up to userland cleanly implemented.

              And I'm also aware that VMS is still around. It may not be on life-support yet, but it's clearly in the nursing home already.
        • by vought (160908)
          I've made a few "what about UFS?" comments in this story, but I hope I don't come across as some weird filesystem fanboy. It's just that I can't figure out why this announcement is so exciting. ZFS is cool, sure, but I see it as an incremental improvement to widely used Unix filesystems rather than a quantum leap.

          I think part of what makes this story so interesting is that despite the past few years' developments, most of us still expect Apple to act as it used to with regard to adopting new technology. In
      • The rest of the stuff, pooling and mirroring and stuff is less interesting in my laptop. :-)

        Quite to the contrary! The most unreliable element in your laptop is your drive. It will fail at some point, have no doubts about it. ZFS will detect silent failures through its checksumming.

        ZFS also makes it possible to do super-fast backups to external disk. Combine that with snapshots and you have the kind of data security enterprises pay a whole lot of money for. Here's how it works:

        1. Find an external disk th
    • I mean who's really going to need a 16,000,000 Gigabyte file
      A post from slashdot in the year 2030:
      Sure, it may seem to be overkill but remember when Whiney Mac Fanboy said "16,000,000GB should be enough for anyone"?
    • Journaling beyond metadata? Wouldn't that aid file recovery if the writing software screws up a write?

      If ZFS is included, it may be a sign that Apple is considering a bigger plunge into the enterprise markets because that seems to be where ZFS can shine. They are big in the storage markets with XServe RAID enclosures, both drive capacities and even orders seem to be going up.
    • Well, that and all the other neat things ZFS does, like pooled storage making adding/upgrading disks easier, dynamic striping/redundancy, cheap optionally writable snapshots, bombproof data integrity, write performance similar to log structured filesystems, very clever IO scheduling, etc.

      ZFS would make MacOS X a more attractive server platform, especially with kliky intuitive admin tools; cue SOHO XServe RAID tower system for mass file storage with redundancy, reliability and expandability with wide geek ap
    • The main advantage for HFS+ users (I mean who's really going to need a 16,000,000 Gigabyte file)

      Wasn't 640K meant to be enough? That is to say, just because you can't imagine the need based on today's problems doesn't mean someone isn't going to find a need. I wonder how big a big database can get?
    • I mean who's really going to need a 16,000,000 Gigabyte file

      Actually, I keep an archive of all Slashdot dupes...

    • Apart from those pluses mentioned by lokedhs [slashdot.org] (snapshotting is no trivial feature to have, if you're running databases, for example, or want admin abilities [sun.com] like rollback [sun.com]) - What ZFS offers that no other Linux filesystem offers, let alone HFS+, is end-to-end data integrity [sun.com] and self-healing [opensolaris.org]. That's why I picked Solaris 10 for a high-integrity database app recently. Nobody else could offer the integrity guarantees (apart from some SAN vendors perhaps).
  • But why just ZFS? Why not add JFS or XFS as well? Hell, why not add in ext3 while they're at it? Speaking of which, does anyone have Mac OS X running with a native non-HFS, non-UFS filesystem?
    • I wonder the same thing with windows. There are only 2 file systems. FAT32 and NTFS. I don't think this is a good idea. There is no one filesystem that works best in all cases. That's what's nice about Linux. There's like 10 different file systems to choose from. Maybe most people leave it at whatever the default is. But that doesn't matter. For those who care to research enough, and find out which filesystem is the best for their system, they will be able tos see the advantages. The other nice
      • Maybe most people leave it at whatever the default is. But that doesn't matter.

        That's one of the differences between being a company and being an open source project. For a company, it does matter; supporting every filesystem under the sun is a detriment, not a benefit, because there are real incremental costs for each additional one you add.
        • I could understand if you were a little niche company, only selling your OS to a specific market (Maybe QNX?) then having an OS that only supported 1 or 2 file systesm wouldn't be a bad idea. However, when you're Microsoft, and you market your OS for Home Desktops, Workstations, File Servers, Database Servers, and just about everything else under the sun, it starts to make more sense to allow people to use different file systems. No one file system is going to make all the users happy.
          • But then the people making software will have to support those file systems too. Can you imagine the anger and confusion that will take place when Joe Smith can't get "Sponge Bob SquarePant's Magical Sea Adventure" to work for his son, because his hard drive is the wrong file system? And how are new companies supposed to get a foothold in the market if they already have to make 5 different versions from the start?
      • Yeah, because the last thing I want to do is use the stable filesystem for my home partition.
    • by Fweeky (41046)

      "But why just ZFS? Why not add JFS or XFS as well? Hell, why not add in ext3 while they're at it?"

      Supporting lots of filesystems is hard. Mistakes are difficult to track down and harshly punished, licenses and API's generally aren't amenable to straight ports, and it's a lot of work for what's typically a fairly small ROI. Also, porting one filesystem doesn't generally make porting another significantly easier. You might as well ask:

      "But why just a skyscraper? Why not add a warehouse or a subterranean bu

    • by moof1138 (215921)
      Unlike Open Source projects Apple has to do a lot of regression testing and QA, and already isn't perfect there. I imagine they take a lot of time already. Imagine having to run all those tests on five or so filesystems not only for all the OS bits, but for all their other software projects.

      Also imagine Disk Utility having a popup to format a Disk that made users choose between:

      EXT3
      FAT
      HFS+
      HFS+ (case sensitive)
      JFS
      UFS
      XFS
      ZFS

      Then try to explain to Grandma which is the correct one for them to choose in a litle
  • by LakeSolon (699033) on Monday May 01, 2006 @09:16AM (#15236297) Homepage
    A story that consists of a link to wikipedia and a mailing list posting about an OS possibly (maybe, potentially) switching filesystems.

    Beats the heck out of story about a blog posting that's just a regurgitation of an MSNBC article that doesn't know what the frack it's talking about.
    • We are bugged because of different reasons. Before I have seen your comment, I was about to flamebait about this:

      "Is this a glimpse of hope for all those of us who think HFS+ isn't up to par for a 21st century OS?"

      Who are them? I really want to meet with them as a guy using disk filesystems since 1984. 21th century OS?!

      Please editors, apple.slashdot.org has started very slow but it is very widely read by Mac users now. You don't need that "thing" you know? I don't think it needs more explanation than that.
  • by squiggleslash (241428) on Monday May 01, 2006 @09:18AM (#15236306) Homepage Journal
    Here's a listing of the file systems currently supported on OS X Panther (it may be more for Tiger, I don't know):
    $ ls -l /System/Library/Filesystems/
    total 0
    drwxr-xr-x 8 root wheel 272 14 Mar 12:46 AppleShare
    drwxr-xr-x 7 root wheel 238 12 Apr 2005 URLMount
    drwxr-xr-x 6 root wheel 204 14 Mar 12:47 cd9660.fs
    drwxr-xr-x 3 root wheel 102 22 Dec 2004 cddafs.fs
    drwxr-xr-x 4 root wheel 136 14 Mar 12:48 ftp.fs
    drwxr-xr-x 5 root wheel 170 14 Mar 12:47 hfs.fs
    drwxr-xr-x 4 root wheel 136 14 Mar 12:47 msdos.fs
    drwxr-xr-x 4 root wheel 136 14 Mar 12:47 ntfs.fs
    drwxr-xr-x 4 root wheel 136 14 Mar 12:47 udf.fs
    drwxr-xr-x 4 root wheel 136 14 Mar 12:46 ufs.fs
    $
    HFS and UFS are the official choices of file system for installing your bootable OS X or Darwin system. The rest are either network based file systems or are specific choices for interoperability with other operating systems.

    There are many reasons why Apple might be looking at ZFS. Only one is that Apple intends to actually make Mac OS X use it as a home filesystem.

    Now, here's a reason the write-up author didn't think of: Apple is rumoured to be working on a virtualization layer for OS X, with the intent being that OS X will run in parallel with multiple operating systems. Even if that rumour is false, it's clear that with BootCamp, Apple is taking the idea of Macs running multiple operating systems (albeit not at the same time...) seriously. Solaris and GNU/Linux are the two most popular Intel platforms save for Mac OS X and Windows.

    Isn't it more likely that Apple wants Mac OS X its multi-OS Macs to "just work" with the other operating systems, able to achieve a high degree of interoperability without forcing the other platforms to support HFS+?

    I'm not saying a move to ZFS would be a bad thing, though it doesn't, so far as I can see, support arbitrary metadata so it'd be as practical as UFS in its current form, which is barely used by Mac users. I just think a port of the main Solaris file systems is, in practice, something Apple would be doing anyway, as part of the Intel OS-agnostic direction they're going in.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 01, 2006 @09:23AM (#15236340)
      ZFS actually is a ver good file system.

      Here is the ars technica low-down on what ZFS does differently and why that's such a good thing.

      arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20051117-5595.html [arstechnica.com]

      • It's probably very good in the performance arena, but for some reason, it still appears to live in the 1970s in terms of what it stores - ie named flat files.

        At the very least, I'd expect any file system Apple would consider suitable for switching to to support arbitrary metadata. A server based system like Solaris may not need it so much, but a desktop system that associates icons, file types, and miscellaneous information useful in searching, really should use a file system that supports arbitrary metad

        • ZFS -- like solaris's UFS -- has support for something roughly equivalent to Mac file "forks" under the covers.
          It also has a flexible & extensible on-disk format so that additional attributes/metadata can be added to files in newer versions of the filesystem without forcing existing pools to be reformatted.

          • I'm not so bothered by forks, which are largely needed for backward compatibility with classic Mac OS, and which bundles do a good job of replicating anyway (in many senses, forks were a stand-in for one use of directories in the early days of the Mac, when the Mac file system didn't support directories.)

            Arbitrary meta data though is relatively important, and I'm surprised it's taken this long for there even to be a standard BSD interface to the system. I would hope if Apple adopts ZFS (and I don't think

        • From what I've seen, apple is actually moving away from "metadata in the file" to "metadata in the OS." I mean, spotlight keeps the index of everything, and apple is switching to a flat filesystem anyway. No more resource forks in their own apps (a .app is actually a folder of flat files called a package). OS X uses file extensions to determine icons first, if there is no metadata present, there are executable flags as in unix, etc.

          I see spotlight as apple's attempt to get away from any one filesystem, it d
    • Solaris and GNU/Linux are the two most popular Intel platforms save for Mac OS X and Windows.

      What about the various BSDs?
      • What about the various BSDs?

        Indeed. I would be absolutely amazed to find that there are more Solaris installations (which I've never actually seen in the wild) than FreeBSD (which I've seen at almost every Unix-based shop I've dealt with).

        I don't have any hard numbers to back that up, but experience makes me pretty skeptical of that claim.

    • I only have these lines different on (stock) Tiger 10.4.6

      "drwxr-xr-x 4 root wheel 136 Aug 23 2005 webdav.fs"
      "drwxr-xr-x 3 root wheel 102 Aug 23 2005 smbfs.fs"
    • With the help of the Mac OS X Ext2 Filesystem [sourceforge.net] project ext2 is an option.
      • Unfortunately it's buggy (i.e. will most likely hose your ext2 partition after a while), and doesn't work properly on Tiger, the current version of OS X ("Read only support (for now) and be prepared for kernel panics and/or system hangs").

        Why can't Apple include ext2 support standard?! It boggles my mind. There doesn't exist, today, a Unixy filesystem that both OS X and Linux can read and write to reliably.

        Dlugar
  • by rpk (9273) on Monday May 01, 2006 @09:22AM (#15236328)
    There are probably two things that Apple would be looking for in ZFS: a shiny feature they can point to for their enterprise and video production markets, and for the consumer market, the promise of a simple, reliable way to back up and grow the storage of a Mac without have to worry about mounting/copying/moving volumes, managing backups, etc.
  • Dont most of us now use UFS?

    And from the view point of a average user, he wont see a difference regardless of what FS hes using..
    • I don't think very many people at all use UFS on OS X. UFS is case sensitive. HFS+ can be case-insensitive but case preserving or case sensitive depending on the options specified to create the volume. UFS doesn't have journaling support, HFS+ does. UFS stores POSIX metadata. HFS+ stores arbitrary metadata. UFS files have single fork. HFS+ files have a data fork and an arbitrary number of other forks. UFS stores the meta-data in the associated file's root inode. HFS+ stores it in a central database
    • I hope you are joking. If you aren't joking, better donate to Fink project and OpenDarwin ports. Those will be only programs running happily under UFS.

      If you are in Stanford and your particular program setup runs happily under UFS (or it needs it) it is not "we" or "us", "we" should be 90%+ of userbase if you want to generalize anything.

      Oh /. , nevermind :)
  • by saha (615847) on Monday May 01, 2006 @10:10AM (#15236645)
    I very much wish for an updated filesystem for Mac OSX. I know that HFS plus (with journaling and meta-data searching where added later), I feel HFS + is showing signs of age. I was hoping when Apple first developed Mac OSX it had used the UFS system and then made a separate HFS+ partition for people who wanted to use a Mac OS9 on the PowerPC based Macs, but that didn't happen. Perhaps for the best at the time. Wilfredo Sánchez Vega wrote a whitepaper [wsanchez.net]on the reasoning for HFS + at the time

    So now with the Intel Macs and no need for Mac OS 9 support, Apple can tell all their developers that all Universal apps must be able to run on UFS. That way should Apple decide to adopt ZFS it should be a painless transition. Holding on to HFS + with the Intel Macs for this long will hamper any transition into a future filesystem. This will prepare Adobe and Microsoft to write their new Universal versions to be able to accept any type of filesystem and not rely on the resource fork of HFS

    That's my 2 cents.

  • Why stop at ZFS? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by dnessl (469763)
    I read that Darwin has trouble scaling thread concurrency. Maybe Apple should just switch to Solaris, either licensed or OpenSolaris, and get ZFS with it. (Of course they would still run the MacOS personality and GUI environment on top of it.)
    • You mean switch to the Solaris Kernel?

      I have heard all kinds of speculation about that since Ave Tevanian announced his departure. The Mach microkernel was his project.
    • I heard that Solaris has problems with Mach IPC and peripheral plug-and-play. Why don't they license Mac OS X, or switch to Darwin, and get Mach IPC/P&P with it. Then they could run a shitty-ass Solaris/CDE personality layer on top of it.
    • The real problem is Mach. Lots of unneeded overhead. I have a feeling that it will not go away anytime soon since it was Jobs stamp of approval from the NeXT days.
      This isn't saying the microkernals are a bad choice. QNX and L5 both have good microkernals. Mach just has a lot of unneeded baggage.
      • No release version of Mac OS X ever used a microkernel. The kernel uses mach code, but all of it (including the BSD personality) runs in one address space. It's just the logical compartmentalization that's still there. E.g. mach messages inside the kernel are plain function calls in OS X.
  • by dschuetz (10924) <slash&david,dasnet,org> on Monday May 01, 2006 @10:15AM (#15236680) Homepage
    I just wish we could come up with a network file system that's worth the trouble. Right now, I'm using a Linux server with three Macs (two Tiger, one Panther), and everything is over NFS. Most of the time, it works fine, but if there's a weird hiccup, then the Mac will freeze solid and has to be hard power-cycled. Also, some apps simply won't run from a network share (or they'll run, but one thing or another won't be right). Install that app to a local drive, and it works fine. And this isn't even to mention security issues.

    I've looked at AFP, but that essentially mounts the remote system as if it were an external drive, and assigns everything to the logged in user, so ownership, permissions, etc., are all really screwy. Plus that gets even worse if you use fast user switching -- now two people are independently trying to mount the same network drive, each claiming to own it outright. And it doesn't look as seamless as, say, simply going to /Server/Shared or /Server/Apps.

    SMB isn't much better.

    There's always AFS, but that's so bloody complicated that I'd take a lot of convincing before I seriously considered it.

    This isn't even to mention the problems that most apps have in working in a networked environment -- applications simply aren't designed for, say, networked home directories, and *especially* aren't designed to be running simultaneously on multiple systems. So if I've got Mail.app running in the den and I log in upstairs to check mail just before I go to bed, things could get messed up.

    I'm not sure there's even been a new network file system since the mid 90's, has there? Certainly, nothing with broad support that fixes some of these issues? All I want is UNIX filesystem features -- simple locking (I guess), owners, regular permissions. Doesn't even need to do ACLs. Transparently mounted so it looks like it's part of the local filesystem. And at least reasonably tolerant of network glitches, so a momentary drop at the server (or whatever else happens to screw NFS connections to the wall) doesn't put all apps which have even heard of the mount point into an uninterruptible kernel-level deep-freeze (what's the point of kill -9, dammit?). Is that so difficult?
    • Have you filed a bug report with Apple? If you have reproducable cases then be sure to share them with Apple, so we can all benefit.

      If you are a dev, you could see on the Darwin-Dev mailing list ( http://lists.apple.com/ [apple.com] ), or if not send feedback to Apple: http://www.apple.com/macosx/feedback/ [apple.com]
    • I'm just a home powerbook user, so I have very little need for ZFS or whatever, but I do need occassional SMB networking, and OS X really comes up short. Lots of hangs, freezes, kernel panics, wierd errors, and so on. CIFS==Crash-A-Mac. (Things are getting slowly better, with the keyword being slow.)

      AFAICT, the "best" networking solution on MacOS X is to stick to ye olde AppleShare (eg Win2K Server running SFM). However that's too cumbersome for most home networks.
    • So if I've got Mail.app running in the den and I log in upstairs to check mail just before I go to bed, things could get messed up.

      Things like this can be fixed by setting applications up properly. In this situation, I would be using IMAP, not NFS.
      • So if I've got Mail.app running in the den and I log in upstairs to check mail just before I go to bed, things could get messed up.

        Things like this can be fixed by setting applications up properly. In this situation, I would be using IMAP, not NFS.


        I do use IMAP, and Mail.app talks to it just fine. The problem arises when I'm using Mail.app to read email from two boxes at once, both operating out of a network-based home folder. The app has some cache/index files that don't play well in a sharing environme
    • Right now, I'm using a Linux server with three Macs (two Tiger, one Panther), and everything is over NFS. Most of the time, it works fine, but if there's a weird hiccup, then the Mac will freeze solid and has to be hard power-cycled.

      This issue has to do with how you're mounting the NFS share. In particular, it sounds like you're using the hard mount option when what you want is soft. If hard is specified and there's an issue the client will stop and wait for the nfs server to be available again befor

      • Soft on the other hand will time out and display an error if the NFS server an issue occurs.

        Well that's what I get for posting before my morning coffee. That bad attempt at Yoda-speak should read: "Soft on the other hand will time out and display an error if an issue with the NFS server occurs."

  • For what Apple is doing (desktop, multimedia) Reiser4 would be a much better choice. It offers most of the features ZFS does, is infinitely more feature-extensible and can be optimized for a specific task. ZFS on the other hand is more file-server oriented.
  • Most excellent! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by csoto (220540) on Monday May 01, 2006 @10:25AM (#15236755)
    ZFS is one of the more interesting filesystem developments of late. While the address space is nice, it's the data replication features included that make this a potential candidate to threaten the proprietary (and expensive) DR features of modern SAN and NAS storage systems. Need a synchronous or asynchronous mirror? No problem. Just issue a ZFS command on your OSX/Solaris/Linux server...
  • HFS is big endian (Score:4, Insightful)

    by KonoWatakushi (910213) on Monday May 01, 2006 @10:35AM (#15236822)
    One of the reasons proposed over at Arstechnica has to do with byte ordering. Currently on intel macs, all disk IO has to be byte swapped, degrading performance. ZFS on the other hand will store data in the machines native format.

    Even so, all of the other features of ZFS are worth much more than this. If Apple is anything more than a consumer widget company now, ZFS should definitely be under consideration.

    ZFS is far from "just another filesystem," and comparing it to existing filesystems indicates a lack of understanding. Take a look at this presentation [opensolaris.org] for more information.

  • rewriting the Finder (Score:4, Informative)

    by Aram Fingal (576822) on Monday May 01, 2006 @10:35AM (#15236825)
    I know this is just a little comment at the end of the story and not the main topic but the Finder really does need to be rewritten. It has a surprising lack of multithreading, even compared to Mac OS 9. This is most apparent (and most annoying) when you are navigating a slow network volume in the Finder. Quite often, you just can't do anything with but wait for the network to time out.
    • No, Finder needs to be renamed .

      What the heck does it find? At least on Windows "Windows Explorer" gives you some hint as to what it does. Call it "Network Surfer", "Network Browser", whatever.

      Yes, the Finder does have a "Find" menu choice, but so does most every app.
      • Call it "Network Surfer", "Network Browser", whatever.

        Erm, network browsing is just a side feature of Finder. Its real job is file browsing. As much as it needs to be rewritten (I was actually complaining about this [mspong.com] just last night), the name is fine. It's used, among other things, for "finding" files.
    • Thank you. I'm glad SOMEBODY else brought this up. The poor design of the Mac OS X Finder is one of several reasons that I honestly miss Mac OS 9. It just isn't as friendly to advanced users as the old Mac OS Finder was. While I don't hate it as much as the Dock, I still dislike it enough to pretty much do all file handling and application opening through the terminal.

      The days of the desktop metaphor were brought to an end with Mac OS X. People deserve better from the company that was famous for and go
  • by adam1101 (805240) on Monday May 01, 2006 @11:18AM (#15237193)
    The more I think about it, the more it makes sense for Apple to buy SUN. Their products nicely complement each other. Apple is strong in the consumer market and in the creative sector, SUN has good presence in the enterprise, tech and finance sectors. Apple has great brand value and knows marketing like no other computer vendor, SUN has technical excellence, but it's been struggling in the last years to actually sell their stuff. Their products portfolios have little overlap, and together they offer a very complete spectrum of computer products.

    Mac OS X is a great consumer OS, but performance at the high end is sub-par. For servers, Solaris is fast and scalable, has nifty features like ZFS and DTrace, but the UI is pretty crude. Imagine a merger of these. Looking at their market [yahoo.com] caps [yahoo.com], Apple can afford it.
    • by mhollis (727905) on Monday May 01, 2006 @12:27PM (#15237798) Journal

      I like your comment. And the reason why I like it so much has to do with my (past) experience on a University system. Universities developed servers and file sharing with Macs using Sun's servers because Apple really didn't have a server. I mean you could put a Mac (usually an older one) on a network and tell it to share files with everyone but it lacked lots of stuff you would expect to have in a server and it tended to be pretty slow.

      I would argue that it was the University exposure that lead Apple to offer Ethernet on Macs. Appletalk was great and people hooked themselves up very quickly with Appletalk (you could buy cabling at your local Radio Shack or use almost any twisted-pair cabling, including electrical cables) but Ethernet was a lot faster and more reliable. I'll bet the folks who developed 10 Base-T Ethernet were thinking Appletalk when they came up with the design for the connector and the twisted pair.

      But I digress...

      I did a fair amount of work with a hard Science department and they all had Suns as servers. They were strictly Sun Unix for the geeks and they developed systems and applications on that model. But for those who actually had to function in an office environment, the Macs were standard. They used Microsoft's Office for memos, reports and spreadsheets and TeX for document publishing. Everything you did worked.

      Frankly, I think this legacy is part of the reason why Apple got fascinated with Unix again (that, and Jobs' NeXt company). It would be a good marriage. Apple's X-Serve RAIDs with Sun. Sweet!

  • by dottedlinedesign (754366) on Monday May 01, 2006 @11:38AM (#15237352)
    But Dvorak said Apple was switching to Windows! How could this possibly be true?

"And do you think (fop that I am) that I could be the Scarlet Pumpernickel?" -- Looney Tunes, The Scarlet Pumpernickel (1950, Chuck Jones)

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