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It just works.

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Both Finder and Path Finder can display file data in column format (at least a few columns) yet neither have close to the speed and the efficiency of Xfile. Why?

Finder and Path Finder use an 'outline view' to display data. The leftmost column is the directory hierarchy and the columns to the right are the contents of each directory opened - opened by clicking the disclosure (flippy) triangle beside each.

The Cocoa outline view runs on a strict data source model, meaning the application, acting as the source, must hold onto data for each exposed directory. This data includes at least what you see in their views, possibly more.

As you the user continue to open more and more folders, the listing gets longer and longer, and the memory allocations needed to keep this growing data source grow proportionately. Ultimately the application gets too big to be able to handle all the data in an efficient manner.

Xfile lets you view one directory at a time. As soon as you leave a directory to go to a new one, the memory allocation for the old directory is freed. The memory requirements for Xfile are thereby kept to a minimum. There is less swapping, more responsiveness, and that unmistakable feel that 'this application just works'.

But it actually goes deeper than that - Xfile, the 'Unix file browser for OS X', is not only the only Unix file browser for OS X but also the only file browser for OS X written in Unix.

Tweaked over a period of more than thirty years, the Unix file management API is light years more fast and efficient than Carbon or Cocoa wrappers.

By going down into the 'guts' of OS X where Unix lies, you get the file management you're supposed to have, the speed your CPU is capable of, and with the 'lean and mean' Unix is famous for.

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