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ForkLift 3.3.8

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Tyler Hall is a robotics programmer by day and an Apple developer by night and he uses ForkLift for FTP and file management.

Let's take a look.

ForkLift 3.3.8 is not the most recent version, as we were to learn shortly, but that doesn't matter.

The ForkLift 3.3.8 download is an easy 40,623,104 bytes which expands to 1,216 items and 132,720,962 bytes.

WS_FTP (for Windows only) is the workhorse on that platform. Earlier editions took a few dozen kilobytes on disk, no more.

WS_FTP is in use on over 40,000,000 machines worldwide and sets the standard for how an FTP client should work. There's no spaghetti code here. Controls are disabled when they can't be used. You'll never see WS_FTP reporting negative file transfer speeds like Transmit, as if the data could be sent in the wrong direction or something. You'll never see WS_FTP letting you seemingly create as many directories as you want with the same name and at the same location because their programmers forgot to check the error code and went ahead and updated the GUI anyway.

WS_FTP is a professional tool.

So how about ForkLift?

Here's ForkLift when it launches.

Instant confusion. Do we really need Commander panes? Someone's looking for C:\DOS?

And, sorry, but is name, size, and mtime all we want?

This will prove difficult to get deeper into.

And how about sticky bits, set ID bits, stuff like that? Users are just shit outta luck?

And do we really want that Windows copy/paste paradigm?

And why oh why put an empty string on the clipboard?

Using FTP is buried way the heck down a menu.

But how many columns of data are available? He's got Name, Kind whatever that means, Date Added, Date Modified, Date Created, Size, Tags??!?, Owner, Group, and Permissions.

Except Unix of today admits of four (4) timestamps. atime, btime or birthtime, ctime, and mtime. Which is Date Created? A lot of dorks mess up and confuse btime and ctime. One timestamp is, in any case, missing.

Digging deeply enough through the menus shows that those columns of data are indeed displayable. But to what purpose isn't known when full permissions are not elaborated.

Sorts don't work so good either when lower case sort before upper case and the 'Date Added' column is always blank.

ForkLift 3.4.2 is in any case available.

Damage Control (Tracker)

For this run, not trusting anyone, we remove ~/Library/Developer from the list of Skip Paths...

And otherwise scan everything in /Library, /private, and our own home area.

And this is what we come up with.

That's just the items that were modified or changed (1410). The number that were accessed is much higher.

Cleaning up after ForkLift is an easy task, although the 'App-Zapper' tools out there wouldn't stand a chance. Cruft is found in /private/var/folders, Application Support, and of course Preferences.

WS_FTP has long been a standard. Nothing on Apple's platform comes close, even after twenty years.

About Rixstep

Stockholm/London-based Rixstep are a constellation of programmers and support staff from Radsoft Laboratories who tired of Windows vulnerabilities, Linux driver issues, and cursing x86 hardware all day long. Rixstep have many years of experience behind their efforts, with teaching and consulting credentials from the likes of British Aerospace, General Electric, Lockheed Martin, Lloyds TSB, SAAB Defence Systems, British Broadcasting Corporation, Barclays Bank, IBM, Microsoft, and Sony/Ericsson.

Rixstep and Radsoft products are or have been in use by Sweden's Royal Mail, Sony/Ericsson, the US Department of Defense, the offices of the US Supreme Court, the Government of Western Australia, the German Federal Police, Verizon Wireless, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Microsoft Corporation, the New York Times, Apple Inc, Oxford University, and hundreds of research institutes around the globe. See here.

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