Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

Making a Good Example of a Bad Example

John C. Welch (via Michael Tsai):

As most of y’all know, I’ve been kind of up in the OneDrive debacle for a while, going back to when the “new” OneDrive was only available on the Insider builds and breaking everything. But like everything that goes this epically wrong, there’s a lot others (and the OneDrive team) can learn from this epic situation

This is a terrific list. Item number one?

One Major Change At A Time

One of the biggest things that’s hitting OneDrive Mac users is that there’s two fundamental changes hitting them at once. This isn’t new chrome or a slight reordering of things, OneDrive on the Mac has made two fundamental changes that affect everyone using the app. One of those, the moving of the OneDrive root was imposed on them via API changes from Apple. The other is the Files-On-Demand being no longer optional. My guess is the latter was in the works when the former hit, and rather than delay the FoD changes, they went ahead with them anyways, “may as well have all the pain at once.”

Developers, if anyone ever suggests this to you, fight back as hard as possible, because this will cause you pain for years. Years. […]

This is such a good attempt of making the best of a terrible situation. These two big changes have many implications, and it has robbed me of any trust I had in OneDrive. I already disliked its behaviour, but at least I understood it. Now, that rug has been pulled out in a way that is profoundly upsetting. I am still working through problems caused by this update. For example, placeholder files are not automatically created for the entire OneDrive directory, only for files and folders I have opened. This means Spotlight cannot index those files and folders, which means I cannot fully search OneDrive on my Mac. It does not matter to me whether this is Microsoft’s fault or Apple’s. It matters that I am surprised — daily — by new roadblocks in my existing workflow caused by software updates and under-hood changes no user should have to think about.

I know there are smart people building these products, but it oftentimes feels like nobody in charge of shipping them cares about how damaging this kind of stuff is for users. It is insulting.