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DS_Store Cleaner 1.1.0/1.5.0

Red Room Development
Rating: (four burnt toasts)

Yet another textbook example of how something eminently obvious gets very, very wrong - and very, very bloated. And now it's getting worse. .DS_Store files are indeed a pain - but should one create a search engine that specifically can look for these files and nothing else?

This is software design that breaks all the rules: the code contains search logic that cannot lend itself to reuse (to search for other files) and finding files is irrevocably tied to deleting them - search results can't be used for any other purpose.

So DS_Store Cleaner does but one thing in one way - and yet look! It's a half meg to download. Something eminently obvious got very, very wrong - and very, very bloated.


Task: Search for a single file name on disk.
Footprint: Half a meg.
Conclusion: Surf on. Get Xscan or some other sophisticated search engine or use a 'sudo' shell script if .DS_Store is all you want to destroy.

sudo dsclean

Where dsclean is:

echo -n 'Cleaning .DS_Store files... '
find / -name \.DS_Store -exec rm -f {} \;
echo done.

Postscript: DS_Store Cleaner 1.5.0

The fabulous DS_Store Cleaner has been updated several times and is now at 1.5.0.

Which of course changes absolutely nothing. It's a 175 KB (179100 bytes) download for what you can do in ten seconds or less on a command line.

In fact, looking inside this lugubrious application... We have embedded zipped archives, tonnes of cruft code... Hidden licence agreements... What for?

And if it's a smaller download today, guess how that works? Easy: zip up all the Java cruft code inside. Hey - it at least gives the illusion of a smaller download, doesn't it?

[If you unpack all the 'secrets' in this download (eg use 'unzip' from the command line) you come back up to 300 KB in no time flat. Ed.]

So much for making something leaner and meaner.

This product is truly trying to vie for the coveted title of the most ridiculous program of all time. Anyone succumbing to this deserves to have a sign stapled into their forehead saying 'DANGER - DROOLING MORON' if only for the protection of the rest of us.

And then this one you gotta love:

DS_Store Cleaner is and will always be a free product. We do ask for donations.

Postscript: Rocket Science

The full functional equivalence of DS_Store Cleaner can be expressed in the following shell script. Save this text to disk, name it perhaps 'ds_store-clean', and save it in your home directory. Launch Terminal, type in './ds_store-clean ' (note the space), drag the directory you want to clean to the Terminal window, and hit Enter.

Voila.

#! /bin/sh

echo -n 'Cleaning .DS_Store files from '$1'... '
find $1 -name \.DS_Store -exec rm -f {} \;
echo Done.

Now look close at that download again. Three hundred kilobloats (and $10 please) to only do the above. Can it get more complicated - or confused?

If NASA programmed that way, Neil Armstrong would be an unknown garage mechanic in San Jose. At the very best he would have tripped.

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