Removing words isn’t always the best route to UX design. Here’s an example (that just bit me) of Apple’s obsession with “remove words, look pretty” making their systems/applications unusable:
“Copying 3,000 files…”
“STOP! One or more of these files you don’t have permission to read. Stop, Retry, Continue?”
Which one, Apple? (it turns out that there were precisely 2 files affected, out of the 3,000+ – although Apple wouldn’t share this info, I had to calculate it after the fact)
Oh, I see. You won’t tell me. I’m supposed to go and do “cmd-i” on every single file, until I find the one where OS X has incorrectly set the file permissions. (NB: selecting everything and trying to do a mass permission set … doesn’t change anything).
The cheap alternative design, as used by normal developers, would have been to give the names of the files. Apple won’t do that – maybe because it would clutter their “pretty” user-interface?
What caused this?
Severe bugs in OS X’s handling of “downloading files from the internet” and/or “receiving files via email”.
In a move reminiscent of the worst days of Microsoft, Apple assumes that you only have one computer, and that the internet doesn’t exist. If you transfer a file from one computer to another – even just download it from a website – then Apple will try and enforce the file permissions from the original computer.
Just to be clear, there is NO security benefit to this: the moment you sent the file over the internet, all security permissions were effectively faked/deleted/nullified anyway.
In this case, simply because the file was authored on a different OS X computer, Apple took away all permissions, marking the file “Top Secret” (only visible to one user on my computer – can’t even copy it over the network). Stupid.
One reply on “OS X: You don’t have permission to read your own files”
I know this is wrong in this situation, but at least OS X have a powerful shell.