When we think of a Finder replacement, Path Finder comes to mind as something that extends what we know and love. Other’s might think of ‘tabbed browsing’ as a useful extension, but what about replacing the Finder completely? Raskin does just that, giving you a scrollable platform of which you can easily preview files on your computer.
Raskin is like a great big canvas. You pan around until you find a category you like or a file you want to work with, then you zoom in or double click the data you want see. It’s completely outside the thinking of OS X, or even traditional file systems. And while data is presented in an interesting way, is it actually useful? For day to day use, I’d still the say the Finder and the Object Dock are better ways to aggregate and manage your data. Raskin allows you to easily visualize data, but there’s not really a good way to manage anything - though I don’t think that’s the intent.
I felt it was a little clumsy (in the video review below I say ‘shoddy’ inappropriately) in how certain actions were performed, and Raskin takes up considerable CPU and Ram juice to get it’s mojo flowin’. I think it’s an okay idea, but when you have Spotlight and the Finder at your fingertips, having a gigantic preview of everything doesn’t always feel instant. I have to admit the idea was executed well enough, and though the initial caching took a while, it certainly was neat flying around your computer and picking out files.
Does it adhere to the Mac look and feel? I’m not sure. But it’s certainly an inspiring idea as far as Finder alternatives go, and you can do lots more with Raskin than I showed you in the video. You can have custom layouts if you wish, you can minimize items, and you can open folders to dive back into the finder if needed. Currently it retails for $49 from Raskin’s site, but they’re currently holding a WWDC promo for $20. It’s not for everyone, but those adventurous, download the demo and take a look for yourself.