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On File Management (4)

Part four. A collection of bibliographies. Tap tap tap.

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There have been a lot of articles written at this site over the years on file management and related subjects; there are even more articles found offsite. Following are a few.


OS X Bibliography

A collection of articles on Bell Labs, Unix, Unix, NeXTSTEP, and 'end user' tutorials.

The NeXTonian

A collection of articles about the NeXT projects, the people involved, and the technologies they created.

The NeXTonian: Fleet

A hundred or so of the best NeXTSTEP application icons.

Sir Tim's WWW Screenshot

The most famous World Wide Web (and NeXTSTEP) screenshot ever. Tim said it would have taken him at least five times as long to create the web on any other computer system (including Macintosh).

Cookie Tin Tips I

Cookie Tin Tips II

Cookie Tin Tips III

Cookie Tin Tips IV

Cookie Tin Tips V

A multipart tutorial on navigating OS X systems written when the Mac mini first appeared.

CLIX False Beginners (1)

CLIX False Beginners (2)

CLIX False Beginners (3)

Another multipart tutorial on navigating OS X systems.


An article on the December 2009 release of CLIX with extensive information on OS X.

File Systems

Files, Ownership, Permissions, Stuff Like That

The 'simplicity' of Unix. Deals with file permissions.

Files, Ownership, Permissions, Stuff Like That (2)

Continuation of the above. Gets into the 'execute' bit, directories and file permissions, further ways to protect files.

More File Stuff

Continuation of the above. Permissions, modes, types, 'the third digit', sticky bits, set ID bits, how sudo really works.

More File Stuff (2)

Continuation of the above. System and user flags.

iPod Therefore iPay

Apple's rotten luck: they just happened to have a file system capable pleasing the 'big four' by hiding iPod song tracks so people couldn't 'share' - it works as long as users stick with Finder. But would iTunes exist today otherwise? It's doubtful.

The Legend of Oompa Loompa

A series of 'beige' design decisions came back to spook an Apple design team that still didn't seem to be able to buy a clue - and they came all bundled together in a single destructive exploit that had Happy Mac fanboys ready to commit suicide. A peek at the psychology of what was going on. The author contacted Rixstep to explain what he was after - precisely the reaction he got. One of the biggest and most embarrassing Apple facepalms of all time. Tap tap tap.

Massive Data Loss

Tom Karpik: Massive Data Loss Bug in Leopard
The original article about the original discovery.

The Technological: Apple's File System APIs

Report on the Karpik discovery. Karpik's diagnostic cites an 'unexpected error', giving great hope.

The Technological: Dog of Bride of Son of Massive Data Loss

More of the same type of nonsense with Apple file system confusion.

Slashdot: Data Loss Bug In OS X 10.5 Leopard

Note that the verdict is still not in if this is properly fixed.

Apple: NSWorkspace Reference

The actual documentation on the OS X file management interfaces.

Apple: NSFileManager Reference

The actual documentation on the OS X file management interfaces.

MacInTouch: Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard: Finder Data-Loss Bug

A MacInTouch report on the Karpik discovery. Regroup and bring salt.

Core Data app saving zero length files

Another data destruction bug found in what was supposed to be rigourous code.


The POC for the above report in Xcode project form.

Sanity Checks at Apple

Replacing thousands of folders and files (or more) with a single file is a brilliant idea only Apple would think of. A ginger walk down memory lane to the first-ever Safari that hosed the computers of early adopters.

Be aware of possible data loss with TextEdit's Save dialog

The Mac OS X Hints report on how Apple file system chaos further threatened user systems.

A Sanity Check for Apple

What to do about Apple's lack of robust coding.

4893378: 'Expected Behaviour'

The bug report to Apple, informing them there's a destructive design flaw in OS X (a flaw that did not exist in the earlier 'MacOS' BTW). This bug had of course been reported dozens of times by software developers over the years, and was always summarily ignored.

4893378 FAQ

Bug report 4893378 highlighted data loss issues; Apple's response was 'everything is working as intended'.

Hosing OS X with Apple's Idea of 'Expected Behaviour'

How other OS vendors treat the '4893378' issue. Shows you how to test the flaw yourself without damaging your computer.

Rebel Scum: More Attacks on 'Expected Behaviour'

A new take on Apple's treatment of bug reports. Also how third party software corporations have been working around Apple's arrogance over the years. Be sure to turn on your plugins and turn your speaker volume way up.

Just An Ordinary Innocent Little Old Text File

If only directories could talk. Starting with 10.5 Leopard, Apple began undermining and abandoning good file system practices and generally making a mess of things again.


'You. Gotta. Be. Kidding.' More on the document controller design flaw Apple introduced in 10.5 Leopard.

Adam Leventhal: Mac OS X and the missing probes

Adam Leventhal, one of the original authors of DTrace, was to say the least aghast at what Apple engineers did to it.

Without a DTrace

DTrace comes from Sun; Apple licensed the code - and ruined it, getting the DTrace creators to moan in pain. The words used to describe Apple were not merciful.

Contact the Vendor for an Updated Version

But when the vendor's none other than Apple? Who are people then supposed to contact? The programmers Scott Forstall left behind are really messing things up.

Clearly Legal

A POC in Xcode project form that shows how the 10.5 team screwed up the services code.


The POC code in Xcode project form accompanying the above article. 2.4 KB.

Contact the Vendor for an Updated Version II

Scott Forstall took the better programmers to the iPhone project and things started getting really comical on 10.5 Leopard.

(A Document Being Saved By Rixedit)/CocoaDocument-Based.rtx

A deeper look at how 10.5's document controller is screwing things up.

Leopard -Tmp-

The Scott Forstall discards are coming up with dumber and dumber ideas. This article deals in how there are more and more 'temporary' directories strewn around the system and deliberately given names to thwart command line access.

Apple Redact, Close Down Intuit Thread

This is how Apple fix bugs and design flaws - they shut up customers who get hurt.

The QuickBooks Disaster

What really happened with that 'Intuit thing'. Contains the original post from Apple discussions.


Apple purportedly tried to get 'Mac-friendly' sites to remove their links to this article. But guess what? It didn't work too well. The article deals with why intelligent software companies tire sooner or later of submitting bug reports to Apple - nothing ever gets done and the answers, when there are any, are inane beyond professional accountability.

A Brody's Brady School

More on the Intuit scandal.


The roots of some of Apple's recent disasters.

Leopard is the New Vista and It's Pissing Me Off

Those foul-mouthed PC users. Oliver Rist accuses Apple of turning a stable OS into a 'crash-happy glitz fest'.

People to Meet (1)

They said 10.5 Leopard was Apple's 'Vista'. It wasn't - it was worse.

Leopard: OS Xhumation

A table of reported bugs and their current status. Almost none have been even looked into; most developers still working on OS X at Apple have NFC what they're doing.



What those files are and what needs to be done about them.


How .DS_Store files once leaked confidential information. A conversation with Apple.

Apple Macintosh OS X .DS_Store Directory Listing Disclosure Vulnerability

Bug was fixed in 10.1 but points to wanton ideas about configuration and metadata with NFC about protecting users.

Zeroes Are Nice

A graphic look at the wastefulness of .DS_Store.

.DS_Store Redux

The person responsible for .DS_Store (now at another company) comes out of the woodwork, admitting he and his team knew there was a bug but somehow never got round to fixing it in ten years.

Arno Lives!!1!

More on the individual responsible for the .DS_Store mess.

Desktop Services Store

'These files should only be created if the user actually makes adjustments to the view settings or sets a manual location for icons in a folder. That's unfortunately not what happens, and visiting a folder pretty much guarantees a .DS_Store file will get created.' Precisely what we've been saying all along. Bug surfaces in 1999 and follows OS X through all released versions; still not fixed satisfactorily to this day. Important article.

Apple! Put Back 'Put Back'

Apple's mind-bogglingly pathetic implementation of 'restore from Trash' uses .DS_Store.


Macworld: Supercharged Mac file manager ships

Rixstep's powerful Mac OS X file management utility bundle for academic pros.

Macworld Sweden: Xfile Challenges Finder

Those needing high performance should look closer at Xfile from Rixstep.

Download 64-Bit Xfile Test Drive

The latest version of Xfile. Note that this package today contains both the 32-bit (prior to 10.6) and the ultra-lean 64-bit (10.6) versions with at least ten sample applications including Xfile. The Xfile Test Drive is free to use 'as is' as long as you want, but certain features aren't enabled. Instantaneous download - only 1.6 MB. Nothing further needed. Double-click the DMG you want and run everything from /Volumes/ACP or your 'FF' desktop.

Xfile: System and Structure

The origins and design of Xfile for OS X.

Xfile: man3

A quick QuickTime movie showing how big OS X directories are supposed to be treated. Xfile renders the system's biggest directory with ~9,000 files in ten columns of data in less than 1/5 of a second - 'speed'.

Xscan - /Library

Another blazingly fast utility from Rixstep. Digs into directory hives and performs file system security audits as well.

Tracker Test Run: Safari

Tracker is the grownup replacement for the assortment of 'app zapper' and 'app deleter' applications flooding the market. Tracker doesn't guess - it literally finds everything. Here is a test run looking at the spillage from a typical Safari browsing session. The clip shows how Tracker first warns you of what is really going to launch (no matter the icon) and then continues to monitor all disk activity until you say 'stop'. 200 files were involved in a single web page access.

Xfile - The Standard Setter

The world's fastest, most robust, and most complete file manager for OS X. Some would claim it's also the 'only' file manager for OS X. You decide.

Xfile System

A look at the two dozen and more professional file management utilities related to Xfile.

Xfile Test Drive

All the information you need to get behind the wheel and put the pedal to the metal.

Take a Stroll with Xfile Part One

Root, hidden files, /bin, /dev.

Take a Stroll with Xfile Part Two

/private, /private/etc, /private/tmp, authorization, LaunchDaemons, /private/var.

Take a Stroll with Xfile Part Three

/usr, mounting volumes, /usr/bin, /usr/include, /usr/lib, /usr/share/man.

Xfile: 'Every Other Day'

About an early release of the standalone Xfile System.

'When I'm 64'

Xfile's move to 64-bit in October 2009. A list and description of all Xfile System applications.

See Also
Learning Curve: On File Management (1)
Learning Curve: On File Management (2)
Learning Curve: On File Management (3)

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