My #1 wish for Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard
The Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC 2006) starts today. In the keynote speech Steve Jobs will show a preview of Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard, the next version of Apple’s operating system. As always there are plenty of rumours going around regarding what will be new in Mac OS X and what else he is going to reveal.
I haven’t paid close attention to the rumours, but I did see a list of updates to the applications included in Mac OS X. There was no mention of my pet peeve with Mac OS X, a little thing that has bothered me for years. Most Mac users will never have had a problem with this, and most will probably call it a feature. To people like me who work in a mixed environment it is a source of frustration.
I’m talking about the hidden files that Mac OS X likes to sprinkle across remote drives mounted using SMB.
._filename files show up wherever you’ve been with your Mac. Open a folder in the Finder, save a file from your favourite text editor or save an image from Photoshop and then take a look at the drive from a Windows computer.
It isn’t pretty. Nor is it necessary. I know these files are supposed to contain “helpful” information about folders or files, but you can delete them with no harm done. In a mixed environment these files give sysadmins and Mac haters a reason to point their finger at us Mac users and tell us to leave their network drives alone. And I know from personal experience and frustration that there is at least one case when a single
._filename file can bring an ASP.Net based website down.
So please, Apple, if you make one single improvement to the way Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard handles networking, make it stop littering remote volumes with these files. At the very least, please give users an easily accessible option to turn this “feature” off.