Summary: I love your app. I can’t figure out how to Finder import and preserve comments. Workaround tip? If not: consider adding “preserve” checkbox to future Finder import dialog?
First, a rave: I’m very much enjoying my EagleFiler demo - heading towards “passionate” about it, particularly the Finder-based (iApp-style) archive. I use a lot of software, I have a lot of data, and migration/integration issues are a constant headache - letting me use my file system directly is a huge, huge win over (insert list of a dozen other document organization apps).
My use context: I currently use Finder/Spotlight comments for a variety of file-system level tagging purposes, including status tags meant to be picked up by smart folders, storing the source URLs of downloaded files, and adding useful search term tags via Quicksilver. Yes, I know Spotlight comments are brittle, and I understand why developers hate leaving their data lying out in DS files, and I’d much rather be tagging using some kind of pumped up SpotMeta+Pathfinder combination, and I know that OS 10.5 (or 10.6) may usher in a metadata nirvana. Right now, however, Spotlight comments are easily writeable and readable by a wide variety of applications, so data put there can do work. Anyway.
My problem: I want to import a few thousand documents in Finder - but EagleFiler deletes the Spotlight comments when doing Finder imports. It offers three choices - “Ignore” “Import as Tags” “Import as Notes” - all of which strip the comments (I at first assumed “Ignore” would leave them). The only solution I’ve hit on is to copy out the Spotlight comments, import the file into Eagle Filer, then restore the comments in Finder - a workflow that makes the prospect of mass import pretty daunting. If I thought I could power through 1000 documents and then never deal with it again, I wouldn’t mind, but it seems like this would be an ongoing workflow problem. Again, the reason losing them is a concern is that it breaks the Finder integration that EagleFiler largely offers - if I import items, they disappear from other smart folders apps and contexts etc. because their comments got stripped.
I’m hoping for some way around this - perhaps just a checkbox on the dialog “Preserve Spotlight comments” - so that the files will continue to function with the variety of other apps that use them. I’m assuming (perhaps incorrectly) that they aren’t stripped to aid any particular functionality of EagleFiler, but rather as a good practice to avoid duplication of information and potential syncing problem, as EagleFiler tags/notes and Spotlight comments could be out of sync. If this is the case, a few brief arguments from my point of view on why data duplication might be permissible here: a) this problem exists anyway (you can already comment your imported EagleFiler documents files in Finder), b) this can be solved by expectation management (the EagleFiler tags are official, if advanced users choose to leave spotlight comments then the legacy info isn’t EagleFiler’s problem), c) sync can be partly solved in the future by poor-man’s-sync scripts such as use-selected-item-tags-to-overwrite-spotlight-comments or “delete-spotlight-comments-from-library”, and d) a general strategy for exporting tags in some form attached to the item (either on touch, on export, or on demand) might not be such a bad thing - tags are currently the only un-exportable part of EagleFiler I know of.