back to article How Apple's Lion won't let you trash documents

Apple's Mac OS X 10.7 is branded Lion. The Lion may be king of the jungle, but from where we sit, it's the king of bungles. A case in point. Someone emails you a document, and you open it in, say, Apple's Pages app for a look. You read it through then, having done with it, you quit Pages. You no longer require the document so …


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  1. Anonymous Coward

    Apple owners == idiots

    therefore need protecting from themselves... It a shame nobody is protecting them when they walk into an Apple store....

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      So all Apple owners are idiots

      Every single one? I think we all know who the idiot is!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      ^ Troll

      Don't feed it.

    3. Chad H.


      Because windows users never make mistakes.

      1. Andy ORourke

        This feature / bug would have saved my life this weekend

        when I deleted what I thought was an old spreadsheet off the network drive, then emptied the trash box then heard the wife in the living room saying "Andy, where's my spreadsheet?"

        I had to grovel like mad since we placed it on the network drive so she could use it on her netbook or the home PC AND yes, we had a backup, on the network drive of course (which I also deleted since I was trying to free up some space to make a new backup!)

        1. Pete B

          Re: This feature / bug would have saved my life this weekend

          So you must be the ghost of Andy O'Rourke?

    4. Giles Jones Gold badge

      Version Control

      Have you ever used version control such as CVS or SVN or even SourceSafe?

      In those, when you delete something it just gets removed from view. The actual file and its history is not removed permanently.

      How many recovery tools are there on the Internet for recovering deleted files? quite a few I imagine. I wonder why that is? I would image that is because people delete things accidentally.

      1. Vitani

        Re: Version Control

        I've used version control, Source Safe (ugh!) specifically, for years and you can delete files - permanently. It's not obvious, but the UI allows for it.

        While I agree that there are lots of "un-delete" programs out there, in the last 13 years I've only ever needed to use them twice (once successfully, once partially), yet I think in the last 13 *hours* I have deleted more than two files absolutely positively 100% deliberately.

        I don't want the OS holding on to files I don't need indefinitely against my will. If I want version control, I'll install it.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Oh yeah?

      I can't help but feed this troll!

      Yeah, after 24 years in IT and working from ICL System 25, MVS, Dos 2.0 up to Windows 7, from Linux ( Yggdrasil build 0.96 ) through to Solaris 2.3 to Solaris 11, AIX on RS/6K and IBM-70s, Oracle, Sybase, Informix, Ingres, MySQL, C, Perl, C++, Pascal, Shell and finally to owning 7 Macs at home.

      Yeah I'm a fricking idiot who knows absolutely nothing about computers and needs someone to hold my hand so I can start the machine and send an email!

      Troll-boy ( no doubt you are male as no woman I know would be such an ass ) you'd be surprised to learn how many very, very savvy IT techies, way more techie than you, use Macs at home as they want an easy life at home when they knock off work. When you grow up and maybe move out of your bedroom, you'll learn the world works in ways the internet forums can't quite comprehend.

      1. CD001

        There's your problem

        See Mr AC your problem is you WORK in IT - you don't enjoy it... try it the other way around, get a less IT-involved job, something a little fluffier in graphics design or marketing maybe - THEN you'll appreciate wrangling a Windows system for the challenge at the end of the day ;)

      2. John Savard Silver badge


        Obviously, your successful IT career has made you wealthy enough that you can afford to indulge yourself with an easy-to-use Macintosh, instead of suffering like the rest of us with cheap generic Windows machines.

        You must forgive those envious people who assume that everyone who has more money than they do also has more money than sense - unlike yourself, who clearly has plenty of both.

      3. N2 Silver badge

        Use Mac as home

        and everywhere else

        and those domestic support calls have all dried up, thankfully

        Now anyone wanting assistance with their PC/server can pay the going rate or fuck off and leave me alone

  2. johnnymotel


    if you just need to check a document and not to keep it, then Quicklook is built into Mail.

  3. Stephen Usher

    Yes, Lion does seem to be a Vista.

    I've been using Lion now on a bunch of machines since release and, to be honest, it's a bit of a Vista.

    It's far slower than Snow Leopard on the same hardware and the re-implementation of the Finder is clunky. Mission Control takes Spaces and removes the ability to use spacial memory to locate your applications.

    It's a bit of a road crash really.

    The only up-side is the increased intrinsic security against buffer overflow attacks (which is probably why it's hugely slower and more clunky than Snow Leopard).

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Unjustified comparison

      @Stephen Usher: "It's far slower than Snow Leopard on the same hardware and the re-implementation of the Finder is clunky"

      All speed comparison tests published to date setting Snow Leopard and Lion head-to-head show no appreciable speed difference between the two. In some tests, Snow Leopard was slightly faster, and in others Lion was slightly faster. None of the differences were statistically significant. If you are seeing poor performance with Lion, I can only conclude that you have a problem with your installation.

      I'm not reading reports (or experiencing) a "clunky Finder" either. Please elaborate - do you dislike the design, or is this related to the same performance problem you're having?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up


      "it's a bit of a Vista"


    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Vista indeed

      I have to agree- every time Lion asks me a question that I shouldn't have to answer (of course I want to unlock this file- that's why I opened it) it feels a little more Vista like.

      The point has been made before that Lion isn't for the power users it's for the wider audience and Apple aren't afraid to annoy the power users if it opens MacOS up to a wider audience.

      However it seems to me that this is a step too far, if we learned anything from Vista it is that there is a dumb-floor that you just don't want to go below.

      1. ThomH

        Not a Vista for one important reason...

        ... its perceived faults haven't dented its sales figures. I wouldn't consider the comparison to be appropriate if the company doesn't see any response to its decisions.

        1. Anonymous Coward

          Of course not! Apple doesn't give users a choice... I *assume* Lion comes with all new Macs, correct me if I'm wrong. Vista had to compete against XP. Plus, OSX upgrades are $29 so users figure "what the hell, it's worth a try" unless they've been burned before...

          1. ThomH


            You're quite right — no matter how much someone might want to buy a new Mac with 10.6 or earlier on it, nobody is able to supply that. So customers can't react to Lion in the same way as many reacted to Vista. However it's still worth drawing a distinction because most of the Vista story was customer reaction.

  4. Anonymous Coward

    The Perennial Question...

    ...whenever you want to do something on a Mac or with Apple software that Apple wouldn't like you to do: "Why would you want to do that?"

    -How can I activate my iPhone without hooking it up to a computer?

    -How can I add music to my iPhone/iPod without using iTunes?

    -How can I install iTunes without installing Safari?

    -How can I transfer my music back to my computer off my iPod?

    -How can I add useful gadgets, such as an RSS feed or a weather display, to my iPad's home screen?

    -How can I run the previous version of OS X on my new system?

    And now: How can I turn off this latest method of protection from myself?

    Hackers continually find ways around these seemingly arbitrary design restrictions, and sometimes Apple acquiesces (right-clicking, the terminal, etc), but that doesn't make them any less annoying, especially for people interested in switching. "Different" isn't always "wrong".

    By the way, if you're tempted to answer any of the above questions, you've missed the point.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Microsoft: Where do you want to go today?

      Linux: Let's design and build a complex bridge and road network to get from A to B. It'll take a while to get the hang of, but subsequent journeys will be faster and better organised. (catchy slogan....)

      Apple: <schoolmistress voice> Now, kids, where are we all going today?

      They'll all get you from A to B, but the Apple route inevitably leads to a more "luser- friendly" environment with workarounds for actual work as opposed to one that works properly. Microsoft tried that route with Vista and look at the mess they made!

    2. ThomH

      This isn't a way of protecting you from yourself

      It's a versioning system, tacked on in such a way that the writer has found it to have at least one significant flaw. Apple's intention isn't to save you from accidental deletion, it's to retain extra historical information much like a common or garden source control repository. They just seem to have done a less than spectacular job of the implementation.

      1. mrwheet

        yes, botched

        I agree. The data is for version control, not to work as an "unerase" function. Since this essentially breaks the Finder's "Empty Trash" function, I'm sure it isn't intentional. Hope so, anyway. If not, then they really need to fire somebody...

      2. John Savard Silver badge

        Less than spectacular?

        Consumers are no doubt ungrateful spoiled brats, but they tend to expect from major corporations like IBM, Microsoft, and Apple products that are polished and professional - rather than ones that add new features that come complete with hidden traps.

        Of course, this particular mistake is not unique to Apple. Thus, back when Microsoft Word for Windows version 6 came out, it thoughtfully embedded all previous revisions of every word processor document in that document by default. Which could have amusing consequences if you E-mailed out the computer files themselves, instead of printing them and mailing out the paper copies.

        But of course no one would do that, right?

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Happy with it...

    Having pretty much lived with CVSing all my documents in the past, I actually feel this is a nice system. You just need to get used to it's interface.

    You CAN delete all old versions of the file by going into "Browse All Versions" mode (drop down menu on the right side of the document title) and then Option (alt) click the previous revision's title there. It will then say "Delete all past versions".

    It's all there in the filesystem anyway, and accessible via the underlying Unix system for the shell script power users or utility writers.

    1. DaveyDaveDave


      Not that big of a deal, huh?

  6. m45h3d

    Shadow Copies

    Correct me if I'm wrong but this sounds very similar to shadow copies on Windows, saved me having to dig through backups a few times when a user has rung up to say they have deleted a file by accident, handy feature, no? However at least on Windows you can set a max amount of space to be used and optionally turn it off, can this be done on the mac?

    1. BristolBachelor Gold badge

      Mac versions

      The difference is, shadow copies keeps copies that you SAVE. Versions on Mac just decides to save every now and then, even if you don't want it to (say you open a picture & crop it a little to print one bit; yup, it's just saved the crop; hope you didn't want the rest).

      As for options (what are options?), no you can't turn it off.

    2. Anonymous Coward

      You mean...

      Apple are selling a feature that's been in other OSes (and office suites) for years as a new, revolutionary feature? Nah, that'd never happen!

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Yeah, but

      Yeah, but: Windows shadow copies are elective, you have to set them up, they aren't there by default.

      1. Blitterbug

        @Yeah, But...

        Nope! Sorry. On by default.

  7. Anonymous Coward

    Versions eh?

    VMS had this when I was still in short trousers.

    1. BristolBachelor Gold badge
      Thumb Up

      VMS versions

      I'd happy kill someone to have VMS versions on a modern OS.

      I'd hoped that shaddow copy in Windows would do this, but no. I've been waiting for a way to get it on Linux, and do it in the background on a Linux file-server as a way to get it in windows & Mac.

      1. Dazed and Confused Silver badge

        Yes but VMS did it properly

        With VMS the versioning was there for all to see, nothing hidden and when you choose to delete an older version it was deleted it didn't hang around to catch out the unwary.

        1. Field Marshal Von Krakenfart

          Yes but VMS did it properly

          Much to the annoyance of the dickhead (and everyone else) I was in college with, who had a brain fart and wondered if he could fill up the print queue by writing a script to continuously print a file that contained a single form feed.

          In the best traditions of BOFH, he tried to do this on a Friday night, so when the printer started spewing out blank pages it was switched off, when the admins came in on Monday morning it was nearly two days before the printer was usable again :-)

      2. A J Stiles

        Ah, yes. VAX/VMS versioning

        That was a really nice feature. It didn't get in the way or anything. You simply had FILENAME.EXT;1, FILENAME.EXT;2, FILENAME.EXT;3 and so forth, with the option to limit the maximum number of versions to be kept around (my uni gave you 3 by default, but the version limit was part of the folder's directory metadata and could be changed on a per-file basis). You could even specify a negative version number, which would be interpreted relative to the latest -- so FILENAME.EXT;-1 would be the previous version (that you thought you'd overwritten).

        Might be worth suggesting to the ext5 developers :)

    2. Someone Else Silver badge

      I smell a LAWSUIT!

      Maybe DEC can sue Apple for misappropriation of DEC's intellectual property.

      What? Waddyamean Dec is no more? But...but...but.. they're COMPAQ?!?

  8. banjomike

    Extra screwed ...

    if you send your Mac for servicing thinking that you have safely removed your confidential docs, finances, porn etc.

    1. dssf

      Un-Extra Screw... Go Multi-Disk Systems

      One way Apple could deal with this perceived or actual problem is to make the user data go to a physically-removable medium, one that is EASY to remove and is USER-findable. When the machine goes to service, ALL the user should need to do is to pull the data disk out. The system disk remains. It, too, could be removable, but at least for privacy, the data disk should be removable so it can be owner-scanned off-line, too.

      This is why I like laptops with dual bays. Ideally, i'd use one disk for data, and one (however much space is lost since the OS won't likely use 50% of the "OS & Programs Disk".

      But, the developers of apps need to be flogged to re-write apps to refuse to run on a system disk and to install ONLy on a data disk. Well, that would require all manufacturers to provide dual-disk as a default, not an option. It'll sell more drives, but the consumer will pay for it. But, when flash drives take over, there'll be no excuse for not permitting the user to take the data out of the chassis, and for not rewriting future programs to behave as progs on the system, data on another medium.

      This admonition applies to Linux and Windows as well.

      But, at least ONE major player will not like this: Law enforcement. That community will likely demand that compressed, encrypted, disavowed shadow copies be kept no matter what the legal ramifications.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "This admonition applies to Linux and Windows as well."

        Linux and UNIX (and therefore Mac OSX, maybe, if they've not disabled it) have been able to do it for years. Simply mount your /home on a different partition.

        If you're terribly paranoid, just plug in a decent sized SD card (on the inbuilt port on laptops, or an external/add an internal mount) and mount your /home to that through drive mounting directly or symlinking. For example, you could make /home/dssf a symlink to the mounted SD card, and then /home/missus on the OS drive or the home partition. So then, if you're paranoid about her gettin your files, just log off, unplug the SD and keep it in your pocket til she's done!

        (not sure if symlinking your entire /home would work, but I would think so. You could just encrypt your /home instead.)

  9. DJ Particle


    Was Time Machine turned on in the test machine? That type of document retention seems characteristic of Time Machine, which is designed to keep that extra copy around for a while.

  10. jai

    open an attachment in Pages?

    if someone emails me a document and i want to take a look and read it before deciding if i want to keep/use it, i use the QuickLook option to read it, instead of firing up a full blown application for the minute or two it takes to read the doc.

    not saying that the way Lion allows apps to keep a Version copy of a deleted file isn't a problem, but i would suggest you're not making the most efficient use of the other features that Lion (an even the previous OS X versions) provide.

  11. CCD
    Thumb Down

    Autosave without versions - a disaster

    On an network where just about all folders are NFS-mounted from a central server to Mac and Linux systems, and shared via Samba to Windows, Apple's implementation of autosave without versioning is a nightmare. If my cat walks over the keyboard while I'm briefly out of the room, Lion has kindly saved gibberish to my documents without my knowledge or permission, and without saving the previous good version. I can't recall ever losing a document because I forgot to explicitly save it, but I make changes to documents that I end up not wanting to save at all on a daily basis, e.g. just to see how changes to a web page might look, or to experiment with a graphical image, only to change my mind.

    I can see the advantages of autosave + versioning in a 1-computer consumer environment, but those of us who work in IT, and have to use a mixture of Mac, Windows and Linux systems, what Apple have done with Lion is more than a minor annoyance, and the fact that we can't disable autosave feels like Apple is insulting our intelligence.

    With Snow Leopard, we were close to making OS X our main desktop platform, but having tried working with Lion, we are retreating back to Linux and Windows. Sad, because we are big Apple fans, and think iOS is brilliant, especially on the iPad. But a desktop PC for serious use is not just a giant smartphone.

    1. BristolBachelor Gold badge


      Yes, and autosave the way that MS does it is fine (shudder!). Autosave the document to an AUTOSAVE file, not by overwriting the bloody original. URGHHHHHH

      I picked a really bad time to change over to Mac :(

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        Undo a few times. Yeah, all that autosave stuff also creates a lovely persistent undo buffer.

        Really, folks -- seems like this is a whining and whinging session, not commentary from experienced folks.

        I love the feature. I am very much an advanced Win/Linux/Mac user. My hard drive is encrypted to a fare-thee-well. I LOVE having document versioning to go back to, without having to do a "svn ci -m 'Required Comment'" every time I want a version. It smooths my workflow. Not to mention simplifying life for the nontechnical users in my home. Not all of us have time to be neckbeards.

        Seriously. Deal with the fact that the implementation of this feature (while not brand new) is superior to any other I have seen in practice. Get used to the new pattern of operation:

        * If you didn't close the document, it's not closed.

        Simple, right? Took me about 10 minutes.

        You can only get access to the cache if:

        1. The document is still open

        2. You have root privileges

        Not quite so insecure, right? All the caches are stored and referenced via GUID.

        Not perfect security, but certainly not unreasonable for document storage. And... to get rid of it:

        1. Go to System Preferences > General

        2. Untick "Restore windows when quitting and re-opening apps".

        3. Then reboot.

        Oh, noes! Too hard!


        1. RegKees
          Thumb Down

          well, maybe you are perfect and never make mistakes. Having to dig through versions in the silly starry version thing to retrieve something that would've required a simple "Revert to Saved..." before gets old pretty fast. I often compare old versions of documents, documents I do not want changed in any way, with the new one I'm currently working on. Browsing a document without saving is now impossible, that's just ridiculous.

          I'm sure there are people who might benefit from this, but power users working together in a network environment should have the option to disable this downright dangerous feature.

          OS X has always had a sort of undefinable quality where the OS is working with you. Anyone who's never used OS X for at least few weeks straight has no clue what I'm talking about. Sadly Lion has adopted the absolute worst aspect of Windows; it's in your face. It's constantly actively interfering with the way I think it's best to something.

          Needless to say, I reinstalled Snow Leopard from my Time Machine disk.

  12. Steve Todd

    Pointing out the bleedin obvious

    Firstly anyone sending confidential info via email is an idiot to start with. ANYONE allong the delivery route can read it.

    Secondly under Snow Leopard you have exactly the same problem if TimeMachine has picked the file up. Windows users need not look smug either, it's quite hard to irretrievably delete from that also.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Hard in Windows?

      Right click on recycle bin, choose 'empty recycle bin'

      Alternatively, shift-delete will force a delete rather than a shove-into-recycle-bin.

      If you mean the files can be recovered later, that's a problem that any non-encrypted filesystem would have.

    2. Anonymous Coward

      @Steve Todd

      Surely you've heard of S/MIME, PGP/GPG, etc?

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Never head of

      S/MIME then eh?

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      email security

      I'd like to see them read my 256-bit Twofish encrypted TrueCrypt container's contents

    Black Helicopters

    Different from VMS/VAX


    I delete the most recent version, OpenVMS wont delete the entire revision history. I have to do that myself. Granted you get to see all the revisions in the same location on the filesystem with a nice little increment tagged on to every previous revision with the current revision the actual file-name instead of a hidden folder. I will also wager my entire yearly salary that no OpenVMS Admin does a full delete of the revision history on every file that gets updated, I know quite a few that say with pride "I can roll back my entire OS to the first day I installed it, then roll it forward"

    Nanny state to from DEC/HP? Does DEC/HP really think they knew better then the Sys-Admin Administrating it?

    Nanny easily removed from AAPL if the delete function asked to delete the revisions too. I guess this marks the 2nd "bug" in AAPL's delete() function. Be happy you iMac and MacBook/Pro/AIR doesn't have a GPS Chip....yet.

  14. Antoinette Lacroix

    What about

    editing the launchd startup script ?

    Mousepushers . . .

  15. captain veg

    You made your bed

    Now there's a lion in it.


  16. Mick Stranahan
    Thumb Up

    Well said that man

    "The fundamental issue here is Lion's assumption that you don't know what you're doing, and it's going to ensure you're protected from cock-ups"

    Change the word Lion for Apple and that line sums up my issue with most things fruity in a nutshell.

    I grant you Ubuntu and Windows 7 (or Android for that matter) are not as graceful as their Apple equivalents, but they generally let me do the things I want to do in the way I want to do them and as the person who has paid for the bloody thing (well, the hardware in the case of Ubuntu) that's what I look for.

  17. Scott Mckenzie

    QuickTime too

    I opened a video the other day and the last viewed video appeared in exactly the same way... could be a tad embarrassing if you've been having a wafty crank without the misses knowing and the next time she views a video of a fluffy kitten your depravity is revealed.

    Thankfully I was just watching videos of fluffy kittens so all was ok.

    1. AdamWill

      Fluffy kittens?

      You disgust me, sir.

    2. Happy Trees

      Fluffy kittens

      Is that what you kids are calling it today?

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I think some people are getting confused...

      with the resume feature which launches the app with the previous state restored (including documents).

  18. bazza Silver badge

    VAX VMS?

    I doubt I'll be the first to point this out but here goes anyway. Did I miss Mac OSX being transitioned from FreeBSD to VAX VMS? Are Mac users going to have to get used to typing PURGE?

    I reckon that there's a high chance that the less technically experienced users out there are going to get veeeeeeery confused by this. The thought of trying to explain a complicated version control system and when it does what it does and why it does it to my Aunt is not an appealing prospect!

    I shall snigger from afar....

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Explaining complexities in MacOS is easy.

      You just parrot back 'But Macs are EEEESSSSEEEEEH." And leave it at that.

      1. Dana W

        Yes they are "EEEESSSSEEEEEH"

        As someone who switched to Mac after 15+ years of Microsoft, yes, they are that easy.

        Seriously, a retarded box turtle could use a Mac. I personally use OSX and Linux.

        I make the idiots I know Buy a Mac, because I can leave a stupid person alone with one and not have to worry about it. In six months it generally still works. The smarter and/or cheaper ones I teach Linux.

        Its cut WAY back on the "free tech support" I have to do for well meaning acquaintances.

  19. Dazed and Confused Silver badge

    I'm sorry, Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

    I just had to be the first to say it.

    1. Anonymous Coward


      I'm sorry, Dave, I'm afraid Steve won't let me do that

    2. Dave Walker 1


      you don't even know what I asked yet

  20. spr97ajm


    I can't reproduce this behaviour. Can you post the exact steps that you are taking?

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    ...and it doesn't even work that great.

    I have had some issues with the versioning system not even keeping the most recent copies of Pages documents. Most of the issues come from using an encrypted disk image, it will not always update the thing. I found that Locking the file and then Unlocking it will force a save and has been mostly successful in keeping the thing saved. I had it once not work properly after activating FileVault on the hard drive, but I am getting into the habit of Locking my files before exiting to make absolutely sure that the version I see is the one I'm going to get next time around. I am not a fan and would like to get rid of it or at least have it work. I dread the day I have to delete the file now.

  22. Frederic Bloggs

    Have they patented it?

    Because there is just a little bit of prior art here. ICL George 3 (circa 1965) had similar system where, by default, files were effectively immutable. Editing files would create new versions. This actually had many advantages (once one got used to it). But it was very easy to control how many and/or which of the previous versions one kept.

    And it all fitted in very nicely with carefully ordered writing of data and metadata that the filesystem used, automatic file dumping etc. Copy on write? New? Don't think so.

    I believe that VMS had a very similar system of file versioning.

  23. Chad H.

    The fundamental issue here is Lion's assumption that you don't know what you're doing,

    I though that was our mantra in IT - The user DOESNT know what he's doing.

    1. Your Retarded

      In general, yes

      But the system at least needs to allow for the fact that sometimes the user is a developer or an admin. And in any kind of structured environment eg. business, campus there needs to be a central way of controlling user stupidity protection.

      Again Apple have completely neglected people who use their products to actually do stuff.

      1. CD001

        Because Apple make devices for consumers NOT businesses (well, that's who they're targeted at anyway)... why should they care about anyone who wants to actually do something as mundane as work on their shiny toys?

  24. Steve Knox

    So... given the way people generally attribute blame...

    SJ got out just in time, then?

  25. rvt

    Never head issues so far

    May be I am doing something wrong though, but so far it hasn't been in my way.

    But I need to say, I am not 'to' happy with this function, it's also not in my way. What I don't like is that it opens my last document, even when I didn't ask for it. May be I am getting old..

  26. Mage Silver badge

    Not a new idea, but badly done

    IBM had that idea in mind for OS/2

    I described it in 1988 for a Pen & Pad Operating system.

    But Apple has made a mess of implementing it.. Because they are not good at actual real development, only taking industry standard stuff and adding their own candy.

    I can think of nothing Apple has done that's original. Except maybe the unique and poor 5.25" floppy format of the original Apple II drives. Lowest capacity at the time?

  27. Anonymous Coward

    Good thing there's still

    rm -f…

    Not hard to cook up a shell script that nukes the offending directory for us power users that do know what we're doing.

    That said, I'm still running 10.6.8… can't be arsed spending $60 on a USB stick (which I sincerely hope isn't one-time-use only), and I'll be damned if I'm going to leave the MacBook sat at home tethered to Ethernet for two days burning up half my monthly Internet quota downloading it.

    If I buy a newer Apple machine, then, it may be a case of getting 10.7 (or newer)… but only then. My current Apple machine runs Linux more often than it runs OS X.

  28. Havin_it

    Just wondering

    Why is this on Reg Hardware? Strikes me as quite definitively a software article, no?

  29. Chad H.

    If you're concerned about the last document you opened.

    Just tested this with pages: Close the document, then close pages. Pages then loads the "template chooser" just like before.

    1. Tony Smith, Editor, Reg Hardware (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: If you're concerned about the last document you opened.

      You are correct, but - speaking personally - I've grown accustomed through 20-odd years of GUI use to just quitting apps and clicking 'Cancel' or 'No' when asked if I want to save a file.

      I shouldn't have to perform extra steps to do this now. Improving OSes should be about reducing such steps not making more of 'em.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I almost never do this

        I just do not trust applications enough to rely on them doing the right thing. I suspect a lot of people do not find saving, closing and then exiting that difficult. I abhor these pop-ups double checking if I want to save a file, even when I have just saved it.

      2. Chad H.

        But you're performing the same or less

        As if you close a file, and then quit, thats two steps.

        If you quit, and then deal with a save prompt, thats also two steps.

        Alternatively, you could just close the document, and not close pages - Lion will close pages automatically if its not in use, no windows are visible and the system resources are required elsewhere.

  30. PJI

    Solaris too

    Solaris has a complete shadow of your directory, in your directory, with lots of versions (hourly, nightly ...). It is hidden ( a dot directory); but apart from space taken, find(1) can waste an awful lot of time perusing it. It is called .snapshot. Been there for years.

    So actually, one could see, comparing George 3, VMS, Solaris and no doubt others OS X is late to the party.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    This could be very (useful/incriminating)*

    when the filth come knocking.

    *Delete as applicable

  32. Mark 65


    Unless this becomes with an off switch I'm going to have to go back to Windows - I like Linux but Ubuntu's gone weird and I have software that only runs on the major 2 OSes and not through WINE.

  33. RMS


    I can't recreate this at all. Can anyone?

  34. Anonymous Coward

    "Apps" not programs?

    Who's stupid idea was it to do away with separating programs from data? Oh yes. That'd be Steve Jobs. OK (ish) for little mobile devices. But for real computers? No thanks!

    1. Tony Smith, Editor, Reg Hardware (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: "Apps" not programs?

      Actually, iOS very specifically keeps programs and data together in their own storage structure, inaccessible from other apps.

  35. Dave 142


    rm DocumentRevisions-V100 anyone?

  36. adfh

    This reminds me...

    ... of the April Fool's Joke a few years back where someone talked about Apple renaming the Trash to Landfill and you wouldn't be able to delete things. :)

    1. TeeCee Gold badge

      Re: This reminds me...

      Gosh! Does that mean El Reg get to sue Apple for IP theft?

      What fun....

  37. Anonymous Coward



    1. TeeCee Gold badge


      What car does Jesus own and why would he want to put a Lion in it?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        .... obviously.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        It's a meme.

        Google it.

        1. Field Marshal Von Krakenfart

          Nope, he had a Honda Accord

          According (deliberate pun) to St. John's gospel Christ tells the crowd, "For I did not speak of my own Accord..."

          The Apostles also had one between them..."The Apostles were in one Accord."

          Meanwhile, Moses drove an old British motor bike with a hole in the exhaust, "the roar of Moses' Triumph is heard in the hills"

  38. Eddie Edwards
    Thumb Down

    Not Apple's fault

    Maybe they're assuming you're NOT an idiot, and both know what a versioning file system is, and why you would want one.

    You'll be singing its praises in 6 months when it's saved your ass. Unless you disable it, of course, since it does seem to be a little "not quite ready for prime time" in implementation.

  39. Anonymous Coward

    So is the author going to correct his article?

    This is the authors failure to understand the resume feature and nothing to do with versioning?

    Quite why everyone is going off on one about versioning is a bit puzzling?

  40. TJ 2


    File versioning is great, if you want it, but if you don't you should have the power to turn it off.

    Making this a feature that almost forces you to have it enabled is a tad big-brother-like.

    I support apple users, in a legal environment, the LAST thing I would ever want is to have versions of files sitting about on machines that the user thought were deleted but were actually just removed from view, with all versioning history there for the taking should you go looking.

    From the confidentiality aspect, this is not a good idea. I would not recommend this OS version to anyone until this is fixed.

    When I delete a file, it is meant to be deleted, but correct me if I'm wrong, isn't that the purpose of the recycle bin/trash? Mark for deletion, send to trash, empty trash when you're sure you no longer want the files.

    This is like a trash bin's trash bin..... what next... another level of trash, say a tertiary recycle bin that you cant even see that stores all the pr0n you have been viewing recently?

    1. CD001

      Actually - trash bin works more like...

      Move file to trash -> file is easily recoverable

      Empty trash -> file is flagged to be overwritten as and when something needs to use that disk space

      Unless you're using a program that specifically writes over the blocks on the disk, the file is still there, and still potentially recoverable, even when you empty the trash.

      Just sayin'

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How to prevent apps in Lion from opening previous window states when quitting


    This should save some grievances.

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How to prevent apps in Lion from opening previous window states when quitting


    Should save some grievances.

  43. Nick Pettefar


    The two most used programs on my Mac were Text Edit and Preview. Now both are broken and I really don't like using my Mac. I am trying to fins good substitutes for these programs but it's hard.

    I used to love my Mac but now I'm a bit depressed about it.

    Why is the Hardware Editor writing about software?

  44. Bard

    User error

    I'm not sure of the details of what you did, but I've been creating, using and deleting documents for a couple of months on Lion now, with none of the problems you've described.

    Perhaps you've gone out of your way to find a hole to pick at?

    The only thing I can think of is that you closed Pages, without closing the document first. Which meant, when Pages started again, it knew it had had that file open and therefore retrieved it.

    Lion doesn't let you delete blah blah - the real case here is 'tech journo incapable of opening mind to new (and arguably, better) file system paradigm'.

  45. TheOtherHobbbes

    Interesting that Microsoft

    tried file versioning in Longhorn (as was) and completely failed, in a 'We give up' kind of a way.

    Also interesting that Lion Server is similarly broken - er - I mean the result of an advanced and thoughtful redesign.

    Someone in Cupertino clearly said 'Let's make our next OS updates suitable for utter idiots.'

    Problem is, while many users are a bit dim, there are now literally billions of users who understand how file saves work.

    With the new shiny JesusFS that Apple has foisted on everyone, most of them are going to be confused - *very* confused.

    So - what's the point of the change, exactly? I suppose there's some rationalisation that this system brings a real user benefit, but it seems so clumsy and user-hostile that it's hard not to see it as a Microsoft-style passive-aggressive fuck you to the users.

    Which is all well and good, but it's odd behaviour from one of the world's biggest IT companies - and it makes you wonder what else the Big Fruit has planned.

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