Linked by Eugenia Loli on Sun 15th Jan 2006 08:16 UTC
Mac OS X The ultra powerful alternative file manager for Mac OS X 10.4.x was just released: Path Finder 4 (screenshot). The new version sports over 100 improvements and features bringing Path Finder one step closer to perfection. Read more for our quick write up on the new release.
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Pretty good UI!
by remenic on Sun 15th Jan 2006 04:14 UTC
remenic
Member since:
2005-07-06

Will we ever see gtk+ apps as beautiful as this one? I'm not talking about the theme, but the way the window is designed. Try to mimick that in GTK+, and you'll always get something that looks worse and uses much more screen estate.

I'm not saying that GTK+ apps are ugly, but an application such as this one gives me the impression that the UI for PathFinder was carefully crafted, unlike pretty much every GTK+ app out there.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Pretty good UI!
by Eugenia on Sun 15th Jan 2006 09:31 UTC in reply to "Pretty good UI!"
Eugenia Member since:
2005-06-28

The problem is not the just the theme on GTK. It is GTK itself when it comes to fonts. On OSX you have different font sizes and bold/normal fonts depending on the widget. Notice how the actual filenames have a normal font size while the widgets have a smaller one. Or how the buttons are more bolded on OSX. Or when the toolbar text is smaller than normal text.

The problem that makes Gtk looks "blah" is because of the fonts being always the same, making the interface look very "flat". OSX gives a feeling of "importance" to different elements by changing the boldness and size. It really helps the eye figure out what is what and where and it does NOT hurt consistency.

I have filed a gtk+ feature request about this years ago, but nothing has been done so far about it. You know about that stuff better than any one else Richard, as we have discussed the issue over IM... ;)

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Pretty good UI!
by thebluesgnr on Sun 15th Jan 2006 14:43 UTC in reply to "RE: Pretty good UI!"
thebluesgnr Member since:
2005-11-14

Come on Eugenia, your bug was filed less than one year ago. (If it's this one http://bugzilla.gnome.org/show_bug.cgi?id=320679 you're talking about) ;)

You can do most of what you're asking in GTK+ already. For example, after setting the normal font to "Sans 9", you can set the toolbar and statusbar fonts to "Sans 8" and the menu fonts to "Sans 10" by adding the following to your .gtkrc-2.0 file:

## begin
style "menubar"
{
font_name = "Sans 10"
}

style "toolbar"
{
font_name = "Sans 8"
}

style "statusbar"
{
font_name = "Sans 8"
}

# menus
widget_class "*GtkMenu*" style "menubar"

# panel
widget_class "*Panel*GtkToggleButton" style "menubar"
widget_class "*Panel*GtkButton" style "menubar"
widget_class "*.Panel*Button*GtkLabel" style "menubar"
widget_class "*.Panel*GtkLabel" style "menubar"
widget_class "*Panel*Menu*" style "menubar"

# buttons
widget_class "*GtkButton*" style "menubar"

# toolbar
widget_class "*Toolbar*" style "toolbar"

# statusbar
widget_class "*Statusbar*" style "statusbar"
## end

This will also make the text on buttons bigger. That will work better if you disabled icons for buttons.

Edited 2006-01-15 14:44

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Pretty good UI!
by Thom_Holwerda on Sun 15th Jan 2006 15:04 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Pretty good UI!"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

For example, after setting the normal font to "Sans 9", you can set the toolbar and statusbar fonts to "Sans 8" and the menu fonts to "Sans 10" by adding the following to your .gtkrc-2.0 file:

Yeah right, and by doing a complicated raindance at the 8th August exactly 3.49867484 kilometres west of Dam Square in Amsterdam, I can make it rain in the Atacama desert at 23:12 on the 10th August.

You know perfectly well Eugenia wasn't talking about magic stuff in a config file. What we are talking about here is having sane defaults and an easy way to make something the default you like. Messing with config files isn't the easy.

Reply Score: 5

RE[4]: Pretty good UI!
by thebluesgnr on Sun 15th Jan 2006 15:17 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Pretty good UI!"
thebluesgnr Member since:
2005-11-14

Hello Thom.

I don't understand half of your post, so excuse me if my reply isn't complete.

In this particular subject, before we can answer the question "should it be the default?" we need to answer the "can it be done?" question. Eugenia, as the person who filed a bug against GTK+, is perfectly aware of this.

What I did with my previous post (hoping to be helpful) was to show Eugenia that some of her requests are already possible in the gtk level, so making it the default is a matter of deciding whether it should be the default.

Messing with config files (as well as changing config files with programs such as 'defaults') is not easy, and it's not the long term solution. Hell, messing with configuration capplets is not the solution! If people agree that gtk+ applications look bad today, then a fix should be done in gtk+ itself. Or GNOME (the settings-daemon in control-center is responsible for setting the font sizes).

Now, I hope Eugenia will try out the settings I posted here (which are the ones I use by te way, with Sans=Bitstream Vera Sans and hinting set to "None") and possibly update the bug with her suggestions. And we're one step closer to a saner default. ;)

Reply Score: 5

RE[4]: Pretty good UI!
by somebody on Sun 15th Jan 2006 17:45 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Pretty good UI!"
somebody Member since:
2005-07-07

Actualy reading bug report would help not to waste your wonderfully formed comment. And it doesn't matter that I agree with your post completely.

She actualy did filed exactly what it was posted as answer, so he didn't deserve inflamatory answer as yours.

Messing with config files isn't the easy.

Installing a theme that provides your sane options is easy. But then again, who can say what is sane default theme, one that provides fonts like that or one that doesn't? I know I don't.

I'm actualy bothered with all those different fonts in PF. Status line fonts are bigger than app fonts. Then providing toolbar, dir menus, tabs and something else below. Window is splitted in so many different ways that it can compete to a complex html design. And actualy completely breaks Apple simple and understandable design.

I say it has bloathed design (fonts being major mistake), but that is my opinion, others might not agree with me (but then again some would), which is completely understandable, people are different.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Pretty good UI!
by remenic on Sun 15th Jan 2006 11:29 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Pretty good UI!"
remenic Member since:
2005-07-06

You're hardcoding font sizes. You can't do that. Maybe your default font size is 9, but that doesn't mean everyone's is.

The only solution is to get the default font size, and calculate a bigger or smaller sizer using that.

Keep in mind, we're talking about application settings, not global settings.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Pretty good UI!
by thebluesgnr on Sun 15th Jan 2006 16:51 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Pretty good UI!"
thebluesgnr Member since:
2005-11-14

My .gtkrc-2.0 is based on my /desktop/gnome/interfaces/font_name setting.

If GNOME is to do this by default this won't be done in .gtkrc-2.0 of course, but with gconf keys that the settings-daemon will apply to all apps (GTK apps, but also Qt, KDE, etc). The gconf keys may be set automatically by the font capplet when the user changes the default "Application Font".

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Pretty good UI!
by fepede on Mon 16th Jan 2006 18:48 UTC in reply to "RE: Pretty good UI!"
fepede Member since:
2005-11-14

BTW, how is it called the standard OSX font ? Is there something similar for Gnome under a free license ?

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Pretty good UI!
by JMcCarthy on Sun 15th Jan 2006 09:55 UTC in reply to "Pretty good UI!"
JMcCarthy Member since:
2005-08-12

GTK+ will only look good on systems that don't have a standard toolkit ;)

Reply Score: 1

RE: Pretty good UI!
by IndigoJo on Sun 15th Jan 2006 10:51 UTC in reply to "Pretty good UI!"
IndigoJo Member since:
2005-07-06

[Will we ever see gtk+ apps as beautiful as this one? I'm not talking about the theme, but the way the window is designed. Try to mimick that in GTK+, and you'll always get something that looks worse and uses much more screen estate.]

Does Path Finder use standard widgets or do they design some of their own? As I understand it most GTK+ apps simply use the standard GTK and GNOME widgets or composites of them; the same is true of Qt and KDE apps. The result is that you get a uniform look across the desktop, which you don't get on OS X nowadays because everyone seems to want some different variation on metal. But they do need to make it easier in GTK and Qt to choose smaller font sizes without going straight to points.

Edited 2006-01-15 10:52

Reply Score: 1

RE: Pretty good UI!
by Tom K on Sun 15th Jan 2006 19:19 UTC in reply to "Pretty good UI!"
Tom K Member since:
2005-07-06

You won't, because of the core differences between open-source and closed-source software. I'm not saying this is the case 100% of the time, but it's an accurate representation of things:

The motivation of closed-source developers is almost always money. CocoaTech devs have made PF4 looks absolutely beautiful because they want to sell as many copies of it as possible.

The motivation of open-source can be anything -- doing it just for the hell of it, doing it to see if they can do it, doing it because there is no alternative, doing it because they want to release something, ANYTHING, under the OSS license du jour. Most of those paths don't lead to making a product that looks the best that it can, but only a product that "works, more or less".

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Pretty good UI!
by thebluesgnr on Sun 15th Jan 2006 22:01 UTC in reply to "RE: Pretty good UI!"
thebluesgnr Member since:
2005-11-14

You are, yet again, wrong.

"The motivation of closed-source developers is almost always money. "

That's simply not true. Most proprietary software available is non-commercial.
The reason people write non-commercial software, free or proprietary, can be anything. "doing it just for the hell of it, doing it to see if they can do it, doing it because there is no alternative, doing it because they want to release something"

You're trying to imply that commercial software cares more about design than non-commercial software. True or not, that's irrelevant in this discussion. GTK+ and GNOME are part of several commercial offerings, for example from Sun, Red Hat and Novell.

http://www.fsf.org/licensing/essays/words-to-avoid.html#Commercial

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Pretty good UI!
by Tom K on Sun 15th Jan 2006 22:32 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Pretty good UI!"
Tom K Member since:
2005-07-06

So why do open-source offerings never look and feel as polished as closed-source offerings?

I may be more right than you care to admit.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Pretty good UI!
by thebluesgnr on Sun 15th Jan 2006 22:39 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Pretty good UI!"
thebluesgnr Member since:
2005-11-14

"So why do open-source offerings never look and feel as polished as closed-source offerings? "

Well, they often look and feel more polished than proprietary software.

The example pointed out by Eugenia that raised your reply to this thread is only an issue because GTK+, by default, behaves just like Windows: same font size for everything.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Pretty good UI!
by Tom K on Mon 16th Jan 2006 02:44 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Pretty good UI!"
Tom K Member since:
2005-07-06

Excellent defense -- "they often look and feel more polished."

Whatever. I've used software from both camps in excess.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Pretty good UI!
by Thom_Holwerda on Sun 15th Jan 2006 22:43 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Pretty good UI!"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

So why do open-source offerings never look and feel as polished as closed-source offerings?

Might be just me, but, I don't think Windows constitutes as a "polished user interface". As far as I'm concerned, there are only two user interfaces that are truly polished, and those are Tracker/Deskbar (BeOS), and CDE (as you can see, UI's are about a lot more than just "looking good").

OSX is a mess (we have what, 7 different themes now?), and Windows XP is an even bigger mess. GNOME looks, well, not too bad (at least GTK+ is consistent icon/image/color/font-wise), but it has major flaws when it comes to UI behaviour. KDE isn't all that bad either, it's just that there are too many options. Really.

The next poster probably has a completely different opinion than me. GUIs aren't something you can call "universally polished for each and every human being on the planet".

Edited 2006-01-15 22:44

Reply Score: 5

RE[5]: Pretty good UI!
by tyrione on Mon 16th Jan 2006 01:46 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Pretty good UI!"
tyrione Member since:
2005-11-21

NeXTSTEP is the standard of polished UIs.

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: Pretty good UI!
by Tom K on Mon 16th Jan 2006 02:46 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Pretty good UI!"
Tom K Member since:
2005-07-06

I was talking more about the software, rather than the environments themselves.

GIMP vs. Photoshop
AmaroK vs. iTunes
GAIM vs. Trillian
gFTP vs. FlashFXP
xmms vs. Winamp

... And it goes on.

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Pretty good UI!
by rayiner on Mon 16th Jan 2006 04:32 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Pretty good UI!"
rayiner Member since:
2005-07-06

You're examples aren't that great. I'll give you GIMP versus Photoshop, but AmaroK versus iTunes? What about Muine versus iTunes? I use iTunes on my Mac, and Muine (and Totem) gives it a run for its money. They're not as flashy, but they look good and are easy to use. iTunes is full of weirdness, for example its handling of videos downloaded from iTMS. They play, by default, in a tiny 100x100 window, and its not obvious that clicking on the video will bring up a bigger window. Moving on: Trillian is an ugly POS. It doesn't look anything close to being a native program. GAIM looks much better. Of course, Adium is still the sexiest IM client in existance, and its an open-source app. In the realm of FTP clients, FlashFXP doesn't look like anything special. I'd presume there isn't a lot of focus on FTP clients on Linux, because unlike Explorer's broken FTP support, Nautilus's and Konqueror's actually works. Cyberduck is a pretty sexy FTP client for OS X, and it too is an open source application.

Your examples don't really prove anything. All you've shown is that there are ugly open source apps, and good looking ones, just as there are ugly closed source apps and good looking ones. Most of the best apps I've used, from a UI point of view, are the open-source ones on OS X (Camino, TexShop, Adium), while some of the worst I've used are closed-source apps on Windows (Matlab, Word, Visual Studio).

Reply Score: 1

RE[7]: Pretty good UI!
by Tom K on Mon 16th Jan 2006 05:00 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Pretty good UI!"
Tom K Member since:
2005-07-06

Denial is a powerful tool, but in any case ... Trillian might be not the best looking program, but it has a nice feel to it. Konqueror/Nautlilus FTP vs. FlashFXP? Come on now. Konq/Naut are file managers, and as such, their FTP uses are limited and focus on file-manager like operation. FlashFXP is like, the de-facto FTP client for Windows.

GAIM is *the* ugliest piece of crap I have ever laid my eyes upon.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Pretty good UI!
by rayiner on Sun 15th Jan 2006 23:06 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Pretty good UI!"
rayiner Member since:
2005-07-06

Examples?

In my experience:

Nautilus looks nicer and more polished than Finder.
Camino looks much nicer than Safari.
Firefox looks better than Internet Explorer.
Adium X looks much nicer than iChat.
Abiword/Gnumeric/Dia are much better than the disastrous Keramic rip-offs that are Word 2003/Excel 2003/Visio 2003.

In general, GNOME is miles ahead of Windows in look and feel. Windows is simply too cluttered and nasty (and Vista doesn't seem to do anything to remedy that). OS X is a bit ahead of GNOME, but that's not hard to believe, given that Apple is in their third decade of user interface design, while GNOME is still in its first.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Pretty good UI!
by Tom K on Mon 16th Jan 2006 02:48 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Pretty good UI!"
Tom K Member since:
2005-07-06

Haha, it's not just about look. I mentioned feel too, didn't I? Safari vs. Camino feel -- no brainer. Gnumeric vs. Excel feel -- hmm, no competition.

As a matter of fact, ask any hardcore Excel user what they think of Gnumeric, its limits, and missing features.

Reply Score: 1

RE[6]: Pretty good UI!
by rayiner on Mon 16th Jan 2006 04:37 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Pretty good UI!"
rayiner Member since:
2005-07-06

Are we talking UI, or features? Camino's UI looks and feels better than Safari's. And it's rendering is better. And its more stable. And it doesn't leak like a sieve. As for Excel, my skills probably don't qualify as "hardcore" yet (because I have the sense to not use Excel where Matlab would work better), but being an engineer, I know my way around it. Gnumeric might not be as powerful as Excel, but its interface is nicer and more straightforward.

Reply Score: 1

RE[7]: Pretty good UI!
by Tom K on Mon 16th Jan 2006 04:56 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Pretty good UI!"
Tom K Member since:
2005-07-06

More stable? How could something be more stable than something that doesn't crash at all? I've never had a Safari crash.

And rendering is better? Haha. Not only is Gecko dog-slow, but it does not support awesome features like CSS3 text shadows, while Safari does.

Reply Score: 1

What is the best feature?
by hraq on Sun 15th Jan 2006 11:01 UTC
hraq
Member since:
2005-07-06

I love the tabbed browsing feature in it, which brings a whole new meaning to managing your docs. I always needed this feature in windows but they refused to add it even to IE.

Excellent Job !!!

Reply Score: 1

Path Finder
by OSGuy on Sun 15th Jan 2006 11:39 UTC
OSGuy
Member since:
2006-01-01

Path Finder is written in GTK? Wow! I have never seen GTK look so good. What's the secret? I am talking about the widgets themselves. (According to the screen shot) they don't look gigantic like a typical GTK app. Excellent job. Too bad I can't test it, I don't have a Mac.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Path Finder
by Rapsey on Sun 15th Jan 2006 12:07 UTC in reply to "Path Finder"
Rapsey Member since:
2005-08-08

it's not gtk.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Path Finder
by KugelKurt on Sun 15th Jan 2006 12:08 UTC in reply to "Path Finder"
KugelKurt Member since:
2005-07-06

> Path Finder is written in GTK?

No. PF is writtn in Cocoa.

Reply Score: 1

THAT's all?
by KugelKurt on Sun 15th Jan 2006 12:07 UTC
KugelKurt
Member since:
2005-07-06

Honestly, after 18 months of development and telling the people PF4 will be ready "soon", I was expecting more than PF3+Spotlight+Tabs, half-done localizations, two crashes within the first hour of usage, and some options moved around that PF3 users have a hard time finding them.
Unlike stated above, I don't think the GUI is well designed. View Options (Cmd-J) is organized very badly, Drop Stack can't be removed, Trah icons can't be moved into the Sidebar on the left, way to much functionality relies on drawers, etc.

I'll try PF4 for the rest of the trial period, but after trying, my bets for a better Finder replacements are on FileRun http://www.filerun.info/ .

Edited 2006-01-15 12:09

Reply Score: 1

Shelf?
by tyrione on Sun 15th Jan 2006 12:13 UTC
tyrione
Member since:
2005-11-21

Well for sure these folks won't be thrilled if Apple does incorporate a new version of the Openstep Shelf. Nothing in these screenshots is new to stuff we had running at NeXT and never released, btw. The arrangement is a bit different but for sure nothing "revolutionary."

Too bad the Shelf in Openstep MECCA (Openstep 4PR1) is still not being revisited with fresh ideas. Perhaps it will one day see its place. For those that hate the Dock.app they'd welcome the Shelf from MECCA.

Reply Score: 1

Memory
by Gryzor on Sun 15th Jan 2006 16:16 UTC
Gryzor
Member since:
2005-07-03

Too bad PF3 used to consume too much memory... dunno about this one?

Reply Score: 1

hmm...
by hobgoblin on Sun 15th Jan 2006 17:20 UTC
hobgoblin
Member since:
2005-07-06

i dont know. it may look usefull if you work with the filesystem a lot but i must say i find it kinda noisy to look at, and i use hydrairc ;)

or maybe its the way its themed? those colored scrollbars seems to work as attentiongrabbers on me.

still, it may look better in use as then your actualy focusing on what your doing, not how it looks.

Reply Score: 1

Uninstallable
by ActiveMan on Sun 15th Jan 2006 17:39 UTC
ActiveMan
Member since:
2006-01-15

If this software replace Finder: Is this software clearly uninstalable?

Reply Score: 1

RE: Uninstallable
by godawful on Sun 15th Jan 2006 19:17 UTC in reply to "Uninstallable"
godawful Member since:
2005-06-29

yep, if you dont want it any more, just move the application to the trash

Reply Score: 1

RE: Uninstallable
by henrikmk on Sun 15th Jan 2006 19:20 UTC in reply to "Uninstallable"
henrikmk Member since:
2005-07-10

No, it isn't like Explorer in Windows :-)

Finder is a program that you can stop from running, and yes, Pathfinder can freely be uninstalled.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Uninstallable
by n4cer on Mon 16th Jan 2006 00:21 UTC in reply to "RE: Uninstallable"
n4cer Member since:
2005-07-06

No, it isn't like Explorer in Windows :-)

Finder is a program that you can stop from running, and yes, Pathfinder can freely be uninstalled.


Explorer is a program that you can stop from running as well. It's also replaceable, and there are several alternatives available.

Reply Score: 1

for GNUstep?
by JrezIN on Sun 15th Jan 2006 19:46 UTC
JrezIN
Member since:
2005-06-29

Hmmm... Sounds like something that GNUstep users would like to be ported to their OS... =]

Reply Score: 1

GTK? Who cares
by tertiary_adjunct on Sun 15th Jan 2006 19:48 UTC
tertiary_adjunct
Member since:
2006-01-15

I thought this was supposed to be about Pathfinder. Why then is there so much discussion about GTK?

Can we please return to just dicussing the positive and negative qualities of Pathfinder?

Reply Score: 1

Thank God
by rayiner on Sun 15th Jan 2006 20:15 UTC
rayiner
Member since:
2005-07-06

I'm just glad its Platinum and not Brushed Metal. I'm in the process of de-brushing my system (Safari -> Camino, iChat -> Adium), finding the brushed look to wear harder on the eyes than any other. If Apple has any sense, 10.5 will get rid of Brushed Metal forever...

Reply Score: 1

RE: Thank God
by sdemom on Sun 15th Jan 2006 20:55 UTC in reply to "Thank God"
sdemom Member since:
2006-01-15

Personally, I like brushed metal. But, if you like Platinum, and like having all windows look the same, check out Uno: http://gui.interacto.net

Reply Score: 1

CPU Time
by henrikmk on Sun 15th Jan 2006 20:29 UTC
henrikmk
Member since:
2005-07-10

After running with it for a while I discovered that it eats 5-15% CPU all the time on my Mac Mini. Does this happen to anyone else?

Reply Score: 1

Columns based file manager for Windows/Linux
by Dave_K on Sun 15th Jan 2006 23:18 UTC
Dave_K
Member since:
2005-11-16

Has anyone created a really decent copy of the Mac/NeXTSTEP style file manager for either of the other major OSes? I remember one for Windows around 5 years ago, but it was too basic and buggy to really replace Explorer. I've certainly not seen anything as comprehensive or usable as Path Finder. Maybe existing "power user" file managers like Directory Opus will add a Mac OS X style file management option sooner or later.

Reply Score: 1

thebluesgnr Member since:
2005-11-14

Have you looked at GWorkspace? See http://www.linuxfocus.org/English/May2003/article291.shtml

Reply Score: 1

My only problem with PathFinder...
by ApproachingZero on Sun 15th Jan 2006 23:37 UTC
ApproachingZero
Member since:
2005-11-10

is that I can never find it on any of the torrent sites or gnutella.

Reply Score: 0

What's so good about this UI?
by RenatoRam on Mon 16th Jan 2006 07:53 UTC
RenatoRam
Member since:
2005-11-14

I ask it honestly: I find it confusing (much) and cluttered (extremely).

I've seen many praises to the "wonderful ui" in the previous posts: how is that?

...but then again, I find spatial Nautilus and Clearlooks look much better than OSX, it must definetly be me.

Reply Score: 1