The Finder GUI Tax

Rob Griffiths:

If you work with lots of compressed files, you’re probably familiar with what happens in Finder (see note) when you go to expand any semi-large number of files: The infamous Dancing Dialog™.


Not only is this randomly-resizing dialog box visually annoying, it turns what should be a super-fast process into one that takes a ridiculous amount of time. The end result is that users think they have a slow machine — ”it took over 12 seconds to expand 25 tiny little archives!” — when what they really have is a horrendously slow GUI interface to a super fast task.

I get the need for visual feedback and a more elegant, “gentle” interface — hence the gratuitous animation when using the “New Folder With Selection” command — but many archives will take less than a second to expand using the Terminal. Those files should, ideally, be unarchived in place, without opening an additional window.