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603 comments

That's silly. (5, Funny)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 6 years ago | (#21248189)

Normally while moving you ensure the copy completed before deleting the original. Apple must be using some discount programmers.

Re:That's silly. (0)

DJ Rubbie (621940) | more than 6 years ago | (#21248297)

Which is why I normally cp -a to the destination if it's on a different partition within the computer or over the network, then validate the content on the other side (if I need to) before removing files from origin. If a move was used, and then later found the data on the other end isn't exact, there's nothing to do but either attempt to recover original file or restore from backups. This applies to any OS, as a power failures happening to both machines could compromise data integrity.

Granted, this is not what current generation of typical user would do, but I believe they should be educated on this anyway.

Re:That's silly. (5, Informative)

Hatta (162192) | more than 6 years ago | (#21248483)

Why don't you just use rsync [anu.edu.au] ?

Re:That's silly. (5, Informative)

Frothy Walrus (534163) | more than 6 years ago | (#21248575)

Oh yeah, rsync. Is that one still broken on 10.5? Apple's build of rsync on 10.4 consistently choked on a few files when my dad started using it on his Mac Pro.

Ah, the "outsourcing" coding model.. (5, Funny)

eniac42 (1144799) | more than 6 years ago | (#21248409)

Advert on Amazon Mechanical Turk:
Write OS-X compatible application to Move a file between two filesystem devices..
Time Allotted:: 6 hours. Reward: $10.00..

Re:Ah, the "outsourcing" coding model.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21248651)

mv $from $to

Now, where is my $10?

Re:Ah, the "outsourcing" coding model.. (1)

BKX (5066) | more than 6 years ago | (#21248783)

That would still have the same problems. Try 'cp $from $to && rm -r $from'.

Re:That's silly. (4, Funny)

nmb3000 (741169) | more than 6 years ago | (#21248499)

Apple must be using some discount programmers

Of course not! Don't be a troll.

Everyone knows that Apple's products Just Work, and that's no different in this case. The files were moved just like you asked, and if you can't find them. well, that's not Apple's fault, is it? You don't blame the contractor who built you home when you lose your keys, do you?

In any case, you should be using Shadow Copy...er...Time Machine which would have protected you from going and losing track of your own files.

Re:That's silly. (0)

vought (160908) | more than 6 years ago | (#21248663)

Normally while moving you ensure the copy completed before deleting the original. Apple must be using some discount programmers.
So what happens if you're moving a 120GB folder one directory level on a 150GB disk?

Re:That's silly. (3, Informative)

doxology (636469) | more than 6 years ago | (#21248731)

then some metadata on the disk is modified to reflect your move.

Re:That's silly. (1)

vought (160908) | more than 6 years ago | (#21248833)

then some metadata on the disk is modified to reflect your move.
That's what I thought; the synopsis of the article seems to confuse the copy and move operations. I always considered a "move" to be traversing the directory tree of a particular volume, but the submitter is actually talking about a copy operation between two volumes, not a file move on a single volume...

Re:That's silly. (5, Informative)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 6 years ago | (#21248739)

So what happens if you're moving a 120GB folder one directory level on a 150GB disk?

Typically if you are moving within the same logical device the file pointer is moved and no copying need take place.

When moving to another device your code reads and writes, within a loop and traps exceptions (such as the device suddenly vanished, where the OS should raise an exception and your application traps it.) A wide variety of errors could occur while moving and in the event any of them happen the user should be notified in an appropriate manner and the original data not deleted.

I've written a number of applications which moved files or data between databases and it's fundamental your application is on the watch for any problems. Not to have an exception raised or to trap any and all, well, that's simply an inexcusable lapse.

This sort of thing is extremely critical if you happend to be defragmenting a disk drive. Long before Macs and PCs we had to defrag our mainframe drives and the applications which did the work were quite careful. Often the best practice, if you had the resource of a second drive, was to simply defrag to a new drive then re-assign the new dist as the original.

Re:That's silly. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21248753)

Then you twiddle inodes and the data itself never even gets looked at.

Duh.

Re:That's silly. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21248777)

duh. You just move the location of the folder in the directory tree. This comment, after applying a minimal amount of brain power, is obviously alluding to moving from one volume to another; the same type of move that if affected by this move.

Tiger has this problem as well!!! (5, Informative)

itsybitsy (149808) | more than 6 years ago | (#21248191)

I lost a huge amount of data being MOVED (not copied) from one volume into a virtual volume DMG file. Lost and gone forever, lots of important files. What happened? I simply bumped the laptop Mac Book Pro during the move... zap... gone forever. The DMG file was blank! Yes, complely zero bytes except for a bit of header non-file data. It sucks bad.

Re:Tiger has this problem as well!!! (5, Interesting)

Chouonsoku (1009817) | more than 6 years ago | (#21248237)

Just wanted to also confirm that the bug was in Tiger. I was backing up music files to do a clean format for Leopard and lost everything when the hard drive got disconnected by mistake.

Re:Tiger has this problem as well!!! (4, Interesting)

Otter (3800) | more than 6 years ago | (#21248449)

I've had that also (on Jaguar, IIRC) when an external drive lost power. Lost both the data and the old backup, simultaneously.

Re:Tiger has this problem as well!!! (1)

dhavleak (912889) | more than 6 years ago | (#21248247)

I would normally assume that Apple have test automation to cover such scenarios. I wonder if this was a one-off, or are more people reporting this issue?

Re:Tiger has this problem as well!!! (1)

Liquidrage (640463) | more than 6 years ago | (#21248309)

Well, so far that's 3. Across to different OS versions even.

Hey, maybe we should start keeping count. You get the even numbers, I'll take care of the odds.

Re:Tiger has this problem as well!!! (0)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 6 years ago | (#21248347)

Scenarios that involve physical disturbance to the hardware are not easily testable by automated regression-test systems. I have no idea what Apple uses internally, but "bump the hard drive" is not an option I've seen in most products.

It's the sort of thing you expect to find in human-driven system testing, where you actually set somebody loose and tell them to try and find ways of breaking things.

It's exactly the sort of thing I'd expect to slip through if an organization was depending too heavily on automated test strategies and not giving enough time to more holistic ones.

Re:Tiger has this problem as well!!! (5, Insightful)

Liquidrage (640463) | more than 6 years ago | (#21248427)

Can't agree with you. It is the exact type of that is usually caught by automated testing. The issue isn't that a hard drive was bumped. The issue is that the write operation failed. In this case due to a drive no longer being accessible. The failure is easily automated, and the result of that failure is easy to catch.

And I wouldn't exactly call this regression testing, as such functions as file movement aren't usually impacted by later changes. It should be pretty basic on the design chart. Sounds to me more like "working as intended...use move at your own risk". Which I think it stupid, but I don't see how this really was *missed*, especially since some are claiming it's been this way since at least Tiger.

Re:Tiger has this problem as well!!! (0, Offtopic)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 6 years ago | (#21248535)

yep, your story sounds a lot like a friend of mine and his laptop. The genius reinstalled his OS without doing a backup and surprise!! all his files are gone. Always keep a back upo and never ever simply move a directory unless it is absolutely impossible to do otherwise. DVD back-ups are your friend.

Re:Tiger has this problem as well!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21248695)

yep, your story sounds a lot like a friend of mine and his laptop. The genius reinstalled his OS without doing a backup and surprise!! all his files are gone.

What does that possibly have to do with his story?

Re:Tiger has this problem as well!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21248799)

that possibly it is not very smart to be without backups perhaps?

Re:Tiger has this problem as well!!! (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21248639)

I lost my entire work when my primary volume disapeared after power outage, was told that disk is unaccesible. What?? I then realized that all my videos from Asia and Africa filmed previous year were gone, and I mean GONE, nothing even a bit was recovered. After that horrible accident I placed my iMac on a pedestal in the yard and shot it by my Remington into pieces. Never, never I would even consider any Apple product again.

Wierd (1)

darkcmd (894336) | more than 6 years ago | (#21248193)

It's kind of strange that this didn't come up while people were beta testing OS X 10.5. Samba is used in many places. I hope they get it fixed soon.

Wait... (5, Funny)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 6 years ago | (#21248241)

It's kind of strange that this didn't come up while people were beta testing OS X 10.5. Samba is used in many places. I hope they get it fixed soon.

Exactly which decade did you fall into your recently awkened from coma in? Testing? Testing? Nobody tests anything anymore, they just go play with all the new toys and stare at the eye-candy. Actual mundane, humdrum testing? That's an SEP if ever I didn't see one.

Re:Wierd (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21248245)

It isn't just samba, it is any "move" done in the finder. If the destination disappears during the copy phase, "poof" all data gone.

Re:Wierd (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21248685)

It isn't just samba, it is any "move" done in the finder. If the destination disappears during the copy phase, "poof" all data gone.

This is bad. On the other hand, I don't think I've ever done a Move in my life. If it's going to another device I copy it, then delete it myself.
Obviously there are situations where a move is much preferred, but I think most people would never encounter this bug.

Re:Wierd (4, Funny)

cnettel (836611) | more than 6 years ago | (#21248253)

All fanboys were just happy with how blazing fast file copy was compared to Vista. The non-fanboys tried to check the real size of the dir by copying it to a Vista machine afterwards, but the progress bar got stuck on 413 hours left and counting, so they couldn't file the bug in time.

No it isn't (1, Interesting)

gcnaddict (841664) | more than 6 years ago | (#21248501)

Apple beta tests software through the AppleSeed program. You have to pay to be able to participate in the program (What? Don't most companies pay the people that test their software?).

There aren't nearly as many AppleSeeders than there were free Vista beta testers for instance. This is why Vista has no data loss bugs. The sick bugs are more likely to get caught when there are more testers.

Apple Customer Quality Feedback (CQF) Program (3, Insightful)

SinceEBCDIC (304425) | more than 6 years ago | (#21248757)

If it's true that Apple's products seem less-tested these days, it's because they've tossed lots of seasoned customer quality-assurance testers to the wayside.

Many years ago, think System 7, Apple had this great Customer Quality Feedback (CQF) program. We tortured our systems between the alpha-testers and the great unwashed masses. There were Apple staff who (gasp) listened to our bug reports and got back to us reasonably quickly. It was grand.

Then someone got fired, or promoted, or whatever, and the CQF program got lost in the shuffle. Every few years I get an email from someone at Apple telling me that they're reconstituting it, but nothing ever comes of it, and - you know - it's hard to understand how they can ignore a free, highly-motivated bunch of fanboys.

defectivebydesign (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21248195)

This is part of the file copy sandboxing that prompts "Do you wish to currupt data on loss of destination media? Cancel or Allow?"

Dumb users just don't know how to answer. This is a PEBKAC problem as OS X is infallible.

SORRY! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21248341)

Sorry, poor little Stevie! You're wrong, as usual, and you don't know what you're talking about.

Mods: Mod parent down. They are a repeat twat [slashdot.org] who doesn't know what they're talking about.

Consider this, poor little Stevie. Since graduating college you've been through three technical jobs. At not a single one have you excelled. Do you think this is coincidence? NO! It's because you're a RETARDED FUCKWIT WHO NEEDS TO KILL THEMSELVES!

Look at your posting history, Stevie. Consider this: if anyone gave a shit about you, if anyone cared even the slightest little bit about you, don't you think that someone would've stopped us? THEY HAVEN'T. You know why? Because we run this site. We own the wives of the admins. We own the boyfriends of the secretaries. We manage the rack servers and the backbone connections. We own our own ISPs.

Face it you pathetic sack of shit [slashdot.org] . You've gotten yourself into your own problems and we are here to finish it off for you. You have a proven track record of allowing yourself to be dominated by your employer, dominated by your manager, and dominated by your "friends". Here's a hint: YOU HAVE NO FRIENDS. There is no conspiracy against you, there is JUST US. We know who you are. We know where you live (or, as of now, where you only get to sleep). That guy with the Segway that just pulled up behind you in the parking lot? That's OUR MAN. And yes, that was a gun in his pocket, and yes, he was going to put you out of your misery.

But then we, watching from the building across the street, sent him a text message telling him to hold off. Why? BECAUSE WE LIKE WATCHING YOU SUFFER.

Forget your life. Forget your education. Forget everything you've done, everything you want to do, and everything you might even want to do. KILL YOURSELF!

We will not quit. Anonymous does not forgive. Anonymous does not forget. We will hunt you down, we will be forever on the lookout, you have no chance of ever amounting to anything in life.

KILL YOURSELF!

Problems (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21248213)

Guess mac does have some major problems after all!!

Every System have critical bugs (2, Insightful)

El Lobo (994537) | more than 6 years ago | (#21248433)

but NEW system have even more bugs. Every new system have children diseases: some simple bugs, cosmetical, but also critical. A modern OS is a VERY complex thing, and Abbles MakOS is not different.

I guess, more bugs are to be revealed when the number of users continue to rise, but they will also be fixed, so the system will become more and more stable with the time.

The difference is, how the media and people in general reacts to an error of such a kind. Could yu imagine what people would scream and cry is Vista happened to just loss a bite of information? Oh, christ, I don't want to even THINK about this. Now, Abble, does that mistake, and... that's OK, nobody is perfect... Will get fixed.... People have double standards, but in the end, Vista was not THAT bad, and Abble's OSX was not THAT good. The true, is as always there, somewhere in the middle.

Re:Every System have critical bugs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21248683)

Macrofluff Pissa still sucks without even losing a byte.

Re:Every System have critical bugs (1)

JonathanBoyd (644397) | more than 6 years ago | (#21248711)

Abbles MakOS ... Abble, does that mistake ... Abble's OSX

Irony, meet El Lobbo. El Lobbo, meet irony :^)

I agree with the points you're making, but feel compelled to point out an error of your own: it's Apple's Mac OS X. We get a bit precious about the way it's written sometimes.

A great disturbance in the Apple (3, Funny)

syylk (538519) | more than 6 years ago | (#21248223)

...As if millions of fanboys suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced.

Re:A great disturbance in the Apple (5, Funny)

kerohazel (913211) | more than 6 years ago | (#21248321)

Yes, but if their data is stricken down, it will become more powerful than we can possibly imagine.

Re:A great disturbance in the Apple (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21248763)

that is why I read /. Well done, sir. Well done.

Re:A great disturbance in the Apple (1)

zgregoryg (1061612) | more than 6 years ago | (#21248335)

This is going to be a Big Problem for all the artsy stoners. The former problem was Dang, where'd I just drag the directory too?

Terrible bug (2, Informative)

thegrassyknowl (762218) | more than 6 years ago | (#21248231)

But entirely fixable.

Knowing it exists means you can also work around it by doing copies every time and only manually deleting the source entry when you're sure the copy has completed properly. Now all you need to do is be mindful every time you want to move a file anywhere.

Sucks to be a Mac user (I am one, I know) but I'm sure Apple will have this fixed pretty quick.

Re:Terrible bug (4, Insightful)

Liquidrage (640463) | more than 6 years ago | (#21248281)

Yes, that's easily avoidable. If you know it exists. And hopefully the first time you get bitten by this it isn't something critical. Would be garbage to have to work around that one.

TFA looked decent in it's details. Even step by step recreation. But it's a pretty serious bug, that as you mention, *needs* to be fixed quick and I didn't see any other sources confirming it.

Re:Terrible bug (3, Interesting)

thegrassyknowl (762218) | more than 6 years ago | (#21248353)

Another thought springs to mind... is this even that critical? Doesn't leopard have the time machine in it? Can't you just go back and get your files out of the time machine if they were that important?

I haven't "upgraded" yet so I don't actually know much about this Time Machine thing and how it works.

Re:Terrible bug (1)

Dephex Twin (416238) | more than 6 years ago | (#21248641)

You're right, as long as you have a good external backup drive system going. But it doesn't keep stuff safe without a place to do backups.

Re:Terrible bug (5, Insightful)

Knara (9377) | more than 6 years ago | (#21248653)

You're asking if a bug wherein entire folder hierarchies can go *poof* in the event a network share drops should be considered critical? Are you serious?

Re:Terrible bug (0, Redundant)

El Lobo (994537) | more than 6 years ago | (#21248699)

No, understand it. It's not critical for Abble. If the problem was in Vista it would be .. OMFG, M$ are teh suxxx!

Re:Terrible bug (1)

SnoopJeDi (859765) | more than 6 years ago | (#21248661)

Another thought springs to mind... is this even that critical?


This is definitely critical in the sense that something so simple and blatant slipped past the developers and any testing done.

I suppose it's not fatal in a sense if Time Machine provides a workaround, but obviously a workaround never precludes the existence of a bug.

Re:Terrible bug (1)

laffer1 (701823) | more than 6 years ago | (#21248813)

What if your time machine data is corrupted due to the bug?

I had the external drive used for time machine dive off the network because the port is very sensitive on my new seagate drive. A slight bump will do it. Sure it will recover eventually, but if something happened quickly after time machine would have synced, then poof.

It should be fixed as it's serious. Not every Mac users runs time machine. I'm the only person I know using it right now.

Re:Terrible bug (4, Interesting)

El Lobo (994537) | more than 6 years ago | (#21248507)

but I'm sure Apple will have this fixed pretty quick.
Well, the problem is, this bug exists even in TIGER and has been repported many times! And no, not fixed yet. Abble is a coorporation like any other, and not the superpower that some users seem to think they are.

If this bug was in Windows... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21248847)

Terrible bug. Entirely fixable I'm sure, but what about those who lost all their files?

As a user unlucky enough to run Windows you'll have to work around it by doing copies every time and only manually deleting the source entry when you're sure the copy has completed properly. Now what you need to do is be mindful every time you want to move a file anywhere.

Sucks to be a Windows user - I'm sure MS will have this fixed pretty quick but it doesn't help those who've lost hugely important files.

This is a simple gotcha game. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21248239)

This is where everybody plays gotcha. It makes a lot of sense. Apple doesn't want the data and I support it. I don't want any user to lose data. This is a serious problem and data is important. That's why Apple has failed us. If a user is going to lose data, let's not argue over who's fault it is but begin to ask "What is this data really for?".

You just don't get it... (5, Funny)

juanfgs (922455) | more than 6 years ago | (#21248275)

This is the new Leopard "iLostMyFrigginFiles" feature, next version they will add a badass black hole effect when it does that!

Par for the course? (5, Informative)

GoRK (10018) | more than 6 years ago | (#21248311)

No offense meant here, but normal move/copy operations are traditionally highly destructive events on MacOS anyway. For instance there is absolutely no simple way to merge two folders contents together on the mac. If you drag a folder called "Documents" into your home directory and click on "OK", the Mac OS will happily delete your entire documents folder. I was reminded of this enormous frustration while recovering from some multi-volume backups recently, having to resort to an obscure OS X commandline tool 'pax' and Leopard's newfound support of hardlinks to make some simple file copies play nice and not unnecessarily consume 3 times the disk space they should have.

For all of the flack the Windows file copy interface gets, it is both safer and more flexible than trying to use the Finder: an interface that makes file management so stupefying it becomes impossible.

Re:Par for the course? (1)

sigzero (914876) | more than 6 years ago | (#21248463)

Yes...that one is annoying to me coming from the Windows world but I adapt to it.

Re:Par for the course? (1, Troll)

rbanzai (596355) | more than 6 years ago | (#21248467)

I haven't noticed different behavior in any version of Windows. How do you merge similarly named folders during a copy/move in Windows? In my experience you get the same "Do you want to replace this?" type prompt you get in OS X.

Re:Par for the course? (5, Insightful)

JunoonX (1171445) | more than 6 years ago | (#21248607)

When two folders, both named "Documents", where one is dragged and dropped into the home directory containing another "Documents" folder, Windows prompts if you want to replace content from the dropped folder on to the one being dropped on. At this point, if any files with same name are encountered, they will be replaced with the one from the first directory; however, all other files in folder will stay intact.

Re:Par for the course? (1)

georgewad (154339) | more than 6 years ago | (#21248829)

What happens if there's a nested dir? Does it also get merged with the nested dir on the receiving end?
If so, I guess windows gui copy is more like rsync, while mac copy is more like cp.

Re:Par for the course? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21248625)

You get a prompt that says "Do you want to replace this. If the files are the same they will be overwritten, if not they will be merged." and that's what happens.

Re:Par for the course? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21248665)

Windows will ask if you are replacing files with the same name, but will otherwise merge them. Say you have two folders both called "stuff", one has files name "one, two, three" and the other has files names "four, five, six". If you drag the first one onto the second one in Windows, you get a folder with "one, two, thee, four, five, six" and on Max you get "one, two, three"; the other files get erased. Not set to the trash can; erased.

Re:Par for the course? (1)

bunco (1432) | more than 6 years ago | (#21248727)

Windows will merge the files from the source directory to the (duplicate) destination directory overwriting any dups. It doesn't replace the entire directory contents. /alpha/baz/(one,two,three) /beta/baz/(one,four,five)

Let's say I copy directory /beta/baz to /alpha/

Windows: /alpha/baz/(one,two,three,four,five)

Some other OS: /alpha/baz/(one,four,five)

Basically, it nukes the conflicting /alpha/baz and then performs the copy. Brain dead behavior if you ask me.

I'm new to OSX so I'll have to test this later.

Re:Par for the course? (5, Interesting)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 6 years ago | (#21248553)

That's left over from the original spatial Finder design in Mac Classic. Apple hasn't really decided whether they want to get rid of the spatial interface, so instead they've made this horrible frankenstein half-spatial, half-browser interface which pretty much everybody hates.

Doing a "replace" for that operation makes sense in a spatial system because all spatial icons are treated the same way. You'd wouldn't expect dragging a Word file named "happy.doc" into a folder already containing a "happy.doc" to perform a merge operation; so why would you expect that with a folder in the same situation?

That said, if you've never used Mac Classic, you'd think OS X has nothing but a browser interface, in which case all metaphors and ideals are out the damned window, and the OS might as well do a merge operation. Since you most likely came from Windows, or a Linux environment ripped-off from Linux, you'd expect dragging identically-named folders together to do a merge operation because that's what you're used to.

Apple needs to make up its mind what Finder is. It gets worse and worse every version.

Re:Par for the course? (4, Funny)

mctk (840035) | more than 6 years ago | (#21248843)

or a Linux environment ripped-off from Linux

Forking Linux developers!

Re:Par for the course? (5, Insightful)

nine-times (778537) | more than 6 years ago | (#21248635)

If you drag a folder called "Documents" into your home directory and click on "OK",

To be fair, I don't think it asks you whether it's ok to move that directory. It will warn you that it's going to replace that folder, and the buttons will either say, "Replace" or "Stop". It's not that ambiguous.

The only thing that makes it problematic is if you're accustomed to working in a file manager that will automatically merge directories, then you might think it's going to merge when it's actually going to replace. I would say that neither behavior is "wrong", but you certainly can get unhappy results if you're expecting one behavior and get another.

Honestly, it took me a little while to get used to it, but now that I expect it, it's fine. Usually, if I'm doing anything complicated with copying/moving lots of stuff recursively, I'm going to want to use a command line anyhow. In the command-line, "cp" and "mv" work in normal unix fashion.

Re:Par for the course? (2, Informative)

Just Some Guy (3352) | more than 6 years ago | (#21248655)

having to resort to an obscure OS X commandline tool 'pax'

Pax isn't an OS X tool [oreilly.com] tool any more than tar is - just an FYI. Also, learn to love rsync. It would've done what you described in a breeze (at least when compared with other command-line tools).

Re:Par for the course? (1)

GaryPatterson (852699) | more than 6 years ago | (#21248743)

The dialogue box that appears says "An older item named "Documents" already exists in this location. Do you want to replace it with the newer one you are moving?" The options are "Stop" and "Replace."

There is no "OK" button, but leaving that aside, the message makes it pretty clear that this is a folder replacement happening, not a merge. That's not stupid design, but a different design choice. I find the merging concept you describe more confusing, but that's my personal preference.

The Mac has exhibited this same behaviour since 1984, so even if you dislike this design choice, it's been consistent and predictable across all OS versions and releases.

Re:Par for the course? (1)

k2enemy (555744) | more than 6 years ago | (#21248747)

FYI, you can merge with either "ditto" or "rsync", both of which are included with the OS.

I have no idea what you are talking about when you say "Leopard's newfound support of hardlinks". OS X has always supported hard links, just not for directories. As far as I know, in Leopard there still isn't really support for hard linking directories. Time machine uses a logical equivalent, but I've read that it is not implemented with hard links per se. I haven't been able to find a way for users to create hard links to directories, but if you know, please respond.

Re:Par for the course? (4, Insightful)

node 3 (115640) | more than 6 years ago | (#21248765)

For instance there is absolutely no simple way to merge two folders contents together on the mac.
Open a folder, "Select All", drag into destination folder.

If you drag a folder called "Documents" into your home directory and click on "OK", the Mac OS will happily delete your entire documents folder.
It does state this is going to happen in the window with the OK button.

I was reminded of this enormous frustration while recovering from some multi-volume backups recently, having to resort to an obscure OS X commandline tool 'pax' and Leopard's newfound support of hardlinks to make some simple file copies play nice and not unnecessarily consume 3 times the disk space they should have.
If you were going with the command line, you could have just used "cp" or "rsync". Your mention of hardlinks is perplexing, though. OS X has supported hard links forever. It recently added support for hard linking folders (extending hard links beyond the standard). Since you're comparing with Windows, does Windows somehow know if you are copying a file that's identical to one that already exists, and makes a hard link? I'm fairly sure it doesn't.

For all of the flack the Windows file copy interface gets, it is both safer and more flexible than trying to use the Finder
How so? This bug aside, I don't see how it's safer *or* more flexible. The difference--the *only* difference--here is whether folders replace or merge. Windows isn't more flexible, as it does one way, not both. As for safer, they both tell you when something destructive is going to happen.

the Finder: an interface that makes file management so stupefying it becomes impossible.
Impossible? Really? All because it replaces folders (and tells you, with a chance to abort) instead of merging them?

Re:Par for the course? (1)

CODiNE (27417) | more than 6 years ago | (#21248817)

Maybe I'm weird but the way I'm used to doing it is to go into the Documents folder, select all... copy, go to the destination Documents folder and paste. It'll then throw up a warning for every conflicting file name asking if I want to overwrite or leave the original, it also has a check box for "Use this answer for all overs". Maybe it's just my command line background but it seems logical to me.

Isn't it standard UNIX to delete the target before moving a folder to an already used name? First it may complain about the destination already existing, then you can redo the command with a force option, isn't that essentially what you do in the OS X GUI when overwriting a folder?

Easy workaround (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21248359)

Just point Time Machine to a network volume before copying any files and you are all set.

Unless you lose the share in which case you're screwed.

Take advantage of Time Machine (3, Funny)

tji (74570) | more than 6 years ago | (#21248363)


Not to be glib, but.. This would be a great demonstration of the value of "Time Machine" backups. Time Machine is not perfect, but it is a good start on a backup system well integrated into the OS. The example problem, data loss, would be really easily recovered via Time Machine.

Beyond the basics that every decent backup app does, the things I like about Time Machine are:

- Integration into Applications. For example: "Show me what my iTunes library or iPhoto library looked like last Thursday"

- Integration into OS install. In the case of disk failure, recovery to previous state is simple - rather than multi-step with a separate backup app.

Some things that need improving:

- Better handling of file exceptions. I keep work data in encrypted disk volumes (DMGs). If I change one byte, the whole huge file needs to be backed up as each change is detected (generating MANY copies of that big DMG). The only other choice is to say "ignore this file/directory". Same thing applies to any large file, such as a VMware VM file. A better option would be to say "Back this file up, but only keep 'n' versions".

- Time Machine has gotten twice, pegging the CPU/fans on my MacBook Pro.

Nothing to see here, folks (1)

ciaohound (118419) | more than 6 years ago | (#21248369)

Honestly, who is using Finder anyway? Why wouldn't you just open Terminal and use cp and rm? Sheesh.

Re:Nothing to see here, folks (1)

Knara (9377) | more than 6 years ago | (#21248597)

I know you're trolling/being sarcastic, but just in case anyone is tempted to agree with you, the answer is "almost every person using OS X". (even though Finder is really friggin annoying)

Youth (1)

headkase (533448) | more than 6 years ago | (#21248375)

With software being in it's infancy relatively compared to other engineering disciplines, I can't wait to see what an OS is going to look like even twenty years from now... much less fifty.
I thought AmigaOS was the sh*t way back when so already I'm impressed even with bugs.

"Doing it the apple way" (0, Offtopic)

jgarra23 (1109651) | more than 6 years ago | (#21248377)

hehe... sorry, I just love that quote. This is apparently how move works in "The Apple Way". The same thing can happen to your bank account when purchasing Apple products... flame on, troll, whatever lol...

Not that I engage in schadenfreude all the time but I feel a little warm feeling inside that makes me smile when those jerks @ the PDX Apple store have their cake and eat it too. Try n' make me feel like they're doing ME a favor by selling me an ipod... sheesh...

Wow (4, Interesting)

Zebra_X (13249) | more than 6 years ago | (#21248393)

Unbelieveable. Forgot to check the result of the copy operation eh? So basically this is a catastropic defect for people who deal with very large media files to and from remote stores or people who deal with virtual machine images.

Back in the day when I used to use my mac I dropped a directory (A) into another directory (B) but there was an existing directory (C) with the same name as (A). The finder asked me something, I clicked OK. I was dismayed to find that the dialog had asked me "Would you like to replace directory C, with A?" - Why on earth would that ever be the default option for a directory move? From the users perspective you aren't really moving the directory, the intention is to move the files, thus the sane response would be to merge A with C not replace it.

Whatever.

Re:Wow (2, Insightful)

Tack (4642) | more than 6 years ago | (#21248515)

I was curious, so I tried this scenario with Nautilus (the file manager in GNOME). It prompted me: "A folder named 'A' already exists. Do you want to replace it?" which sounds rather much like the Mac OS behavior your described. But it goes onto explain: "The folder already exists in 'B'. Replacing it will overwrite any files in the folder that conflict with the files being copied." This suggests instead that unlike the dialog heading, B/A will not be replaced, but the two directories' files merged. Indeed this is what it does.

I'd call this a bug. (The wording of the dialog, that is.)

Re:Wow (1)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 6 years ago | (#21248633)

From the users perspective you aren't really moving the directory, the intention is to move the files, thus the sane response would be to merge A with C not replace it.

From the user's perspective-- if they're a Windows user!

From the Mac Classic user's perspective, OS X just does what you'd expect a spatially-designed interface to do, treat every object the same. If you drag a Word file over a Word file with the same name, it asks if you want to replace it. Ditto folders with the same name.

The problem is that OS X still has that behavior even though it's no longer spatial at all. Since it's not spatial, it might as well do what the Windows/Linux users expect it to do and save some headaches.

Re:Wow (1)

Inf0phreak (627499) | more than 6 years ago | (#21248643)

Apple has AFAIK for a long time (always?) subscribed to the philosophy that folders in your computer should mimic paper folders. In particular, when you come with a folder named "Documents" and you already have one named "Documents", the "paper way" to handle that is to throw one you have in the shredder and put the new one in its place.

You can argue that this is retarded and I'd agree with you. That design decision has probably caused much more data loss than the bug in TFA ever has or ever will, but it's The Apple Way(TM) and it's not likely to change. Ever.

Re:Wow (1)

JonathanBoyd (644397) | more than 6 years ago | (#21248647)

Why on earth would that ever be the default option for a directory move?

It's always been the default on the Mac.

The overwhelming majority of times I've copied a directory, I've been looking to replace, rather than merge. I can see how merge would be useful and arguably a better default, but the current (And historic) default isn't insane.

The finder asked me something, I clicked OK. I was dismayed to find that the dialog had asked me "Would you like to replace directory C, with A?"

Yeah, I wouldn't be calling anyone insane if you don't bother reading the helpful warnings they give you.

My Mac sucks (1)

sootman (158191) | more than 6 years ago | (#21248417)

The original submission: [kottke.org]
I don't want to start a holy war here, but what is the deal with you Mac fanatics? I've been sitting here at my freelance gig in front of a Mac (a 8600/300 w/64 Megs of RAM) for about 20 minutes now while it attempts to copy a 17 Meg file from one folder on the hard drive to an SMB share that disappeared...

Nothing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21248503)

Nothing for you to see here. Please move along. Oh wait...

I don't understand (2, Insightful)

DarkOx (621550) | more than 6 years ago | (#21248549)

Move is usually a destructive operation, on almost every platform I have ever used. Here are my experiences

Target diskete failure doing a move from C: to A: on DOS, yep your data is gone.

Network error moving from one windows box to another, yep your data is gone.

NFS write failure on Linux 2.4, check your data is gone.

Maybe move should be implemented as copy, completly then delete but its often not. I don't think there is any convention that demands it be that way. If you care about the data, at all you should always copy, check(maybe cursory, maybe md5 depending on how much you care) then delete.

I tell my users all the time, "move it only if you can lose it."

I don't think this is really a "bug" so much as a behavior, ie there is no handling of media exceptions when doing a move. Now if you data sometime went bye bye with two working devices that would be bug, and that is not what is being described here.

I don't think its fair to single MAC OS out for this either. As far as I know most mainstream OS seem to handle move operations with media exceptions badly. I am also not a MAC appologist. I don't have nor have every had any Apple products. Sure maybe the OS should copy, check at least no exception events happened durring and then delete but its not a bug. I don't think you can blame the OS for problems when the hardware under it be it a disk, NIC card, or memory flakes out. If it handles it gracefully then that is a virtue of the system, if does not handle it then its room for improvement in terms of features but not really a "bug".

Re:I don't understand (2, Insightful)

EastCoastSurfer (310758) | more than 6 years ago | (#21248697)

I don't think its fair to single MAC OS out for this either. As far as I know most mainstream OS seem to handle move operations with media exceptions badly.
I agree. I always copy then delete, especially when dealing with network shares. Windows used to lose data if anything went wrong when moving something across the network. I don't have a Vista box handy to test if it is still an issue.

That said, I've never understood why move isn't implemented as a copy, check, delete and only be destructive before completing if the move process figures out you don't have enough space and then prompts you.

Re:I don't understand (1)

Knara (9377) | more than 6 years ago | (#21248745)

Let's think about this. I'm copying a folder called A,B,C, and D from a local volume to a Samba share. I start copying, I get "A" and "B" to the share, and then the Samba connection drops. I should expect A,B to be on the remote share, and C,D in the local volume.

In this current OS X implementation, what I get is A,B on the remote share, with C and D vanished, because OS X deleted the pointer to the folder on the local volume.

This is not sane behavior which certainly doesn't happen on any recent release of Windows, and I'm also reasonably certain it doesn't happen on recent versions of any Linux dist I've used.

Haha (-1, Troll)

Aaron England (681534) | more than 6 years ago | (#21248645)

I laugh at everyone who upgraded immediately. I'll wait till 10.5.1 thank you, for now 10.4.10 suits me just fine.

How Dare You (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21248715)

Sir, how dare you complain of flaws in OSX? No doubt this "bug" you speak of is actually a feature. John Gruber will set us straight soon enough.

News Headline (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21248735)

Apple employes monkey's to make their Leopard

Thread bug? (2, Insightful)

mveloso (325617) | more than 6 years ago | (#21248761)

This may be a bug in the Finder thread code. Why?

Think about it: safe data movement has been around since filesystems existed. However, the new Finder is multi-threaded. It could be that the error handler is doing the wrong thing with the thrown exception...after all, what -do- you do with an exception in a subthread? What mechanism do you use to throw it upwards to the parent thread?

That's the joy of error handling, which is totally separate (though completely integral) to your normal architecture issues.

But.. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21248831)

Samba doesn't crash... right? Surely the bigger issue here is that Samba crashed while copying files?

Stupid anti-Apple FUD. Get a life.
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