Friday, December 27, 2019

macos finder - actions | sort by vs group and what is a popsicle anyway?

So I learned two small things yesterday.

I posted this rant in the Lost In Mobile WhatsApp group:
Man, one thing I HATE about MacOS - and almost gives creed to the "I should try linux, it's configurable" but I'm sure that would be its own death by 1,000 paper cuts-- if I group by "Date Created", then PLEASE SORT BY TIME CREATED. Don't put half the dang files in an ALPHABETICALLY sorted sublist called "Previous 7 Days", for pete's sakes
Eventually comments from BobD in the group got me poking around more, and I realized that while I tend to always use "Group" for changing the file arrangement in the "as Columns" view I prefer (the one where ancestor directories are columns on the left), there are different options for sorting under "Action".

I guess I never noticed that because "Group" has its options one level higher than sorting under actions, this:
versus this:

And also for arranging by "Name", Group and Sort By are identical - but the Date and Size stuff gets that behavior of sorting by name under each Group heading. (Which seems like a very odd design decision to me, usually the groups headings aren't that fine grained or useful distinctions per se, and the user has clearly expressed an interest in a date or file size characteristic....)

Another thing I learned yesterday - for USA English, at least in the Northeast, most people say a "popsicle" can only be something icy on a stick, probably frozen juice - that if it's cream-based, that's an "ice cream bar" or "frozen yogurt bar" or whatever, but not a "popsicle". (Of course we're talking about the genericization of a trademark term, ala Kleenex or Xerox anyway.)

It's weird to be in my middle age and not having picked up on this common distinction. In thinking on why I'm more likely to find the distinction so arbitrary and confusing (to me, a sweet frozen treat on a stick can be called a "popsicle", and some of the dictionary definitions and many google images support my looser use of the term) I think back to an idea I've written about here before:
I don't care so much about the interior lives of things; people and computer objects alike should be judged on what they do, not what you think they "are". 
So in this case, the interface (the interaction, the verbs) for a "popsicle" and an "ice cream bar" are identical: go to the freezer, unwrap it, enjoy a sweet treat while holding a stick, discard the stick - and so it seems daft to have to do a composition analysis of the noun to know what word I need to use (one friend with a dairy sensitivity mentioned some cream-y things might be "popsicles" if the creaminess was gelatin rather than dairy based, and so the distinction has a particularly utilitarian aspect for her.)

It does seem odd to me then for common usage in my area, we have no term covering all "frozen things you eat from a stick". There's "frozen novelties" (which sounds like some kind of coy euphemism) and "frozen treats" but both of those include things like ice cream sandwiches.

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