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4893378: 'Expected Behaviour'

A heady task ahead.


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Apple insist their extremely dangerous file system intrinsics are 'expected behaviour'. In such case they have a heady task ahead cleaning their own house and chastising ISVs including Microsoft.

Following a number of alarming reports at MacInTouch and Mac OS X Hints Rixstep published a study of - and comments on - the issues on 20 December 2006. Rixstep and a number of other ISVs also submitted bug reports to Apple.

Apple responded with the following.

Engineering has determined that this issue behaves as intended based on the following information:

When the Save panel asks if you want to replace a file or folder of the same name, and the Replace button is clicked, expected behavior is received.

[Further information can be found here.]

But if this be the case - if it be totally OK for a user to overwrite an entire directory tree with a single file and if Apple should convince all users that this is 'expected behaviour', 'works as designed', or whatever the hit of the day may be - then they have to check their own backsides and place a few calls.

For unsurprisingly it turns out that the above is not expected behaviour at all - and further that at least Microsoft have been aware of the issue for some time and implemented a 'fix' at application level for their own software for OS X - all the while the Cupertino Choir continue to sing 'expected behaviour works as designed'.

For Apple's old MacOS was certainly smarter than to let a user do something so stupid.

And the business unit in Redmond seem to be smarter too.

This flies in the face of all that is holy and sacred. It violates the Recognition Principle: users must be able to rely on system behaviour being consistent.

There's not much to be done with old MacOS: it's dead and gone and won't be back. But Apple need to pressure the business unit at Microsoft: if 'expected behaviour' means users are able to hose their systems then Microsoft's audacity in attempting to prevent this must be taken to task and the offending lines of code removed.

And until such time as this matter is rectified OS X users everywhere should boycott these rebellious Microsoft products.

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