Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

Dropbox’s Finder Toolbar

Seth Vargo:

You would think less than a month after a very popular HackerNews article on how Dropbox Hacks Your Mac, the file sharing company would be careful about the activities they are performing in their software distribution. Nope, not Dropbox. Today they released an update that adds a hacky overlay UI element to finder that cannot be disabled!

Ben Newhouse of Dropbox:

This is an experiment that is being tested with a fraction of users primarily on beta releases (which Seth is on, as evidenced by the version number in his screenshots). We haven’t shipped it to everyone so that we can continue to iterate and incorporate feedback. I checked with the team about the “Finder Toolbar” drop down and it looks like it requires a restart of the Dropbox client in order to take affect — let us know if that doesn’t work.

Both of these links via Michael Tsai, who writes:

Vargo said that [the Finder Toolbar preference] didn’t work. (And does “primarily” mean some non-beta users?)

I’m not on the beta stream for Dropbox, yet I recently received an update that enabled the toolbar.

It seems increasingly clear to me that one of the primary reasons Dropbox feels so magical is because it messes with aspects of the system that typical developers wouldn’t dare touch. Dropbox has a history of excelling at this, despite the risks inherent to modifying low-level aspects of an operating system, but what happens when they screw up? A history of haxies and swizzled kernel extensions says that Dropbox’s relatively stable run isn’t likely to last forever.