A couple of weeks ago I noticed some complaints out on the net about the Mac OS X 10.3 (Panther) Finder not updating its windows. Later on, I myself noticed that it happens sometimes.

The thing is, today the Finder usually waits passively for notification that one of its items has been changed. And not all applications post that notification. Yes, it polls certain folders at strategic times, but apparently not in a way that covers all eventualities.

In Panther, parity with FreeBSD 5 introduced the so-called kqueue mechanism (PDF file), but unfortunately it’s still experimental, and the Finder doesn’t use it. I suppose 10.4 will implement that…

…in the meantime, I wrote a little Contextual Menu called “Nudge” and sent it to some people who complained about that problem. Mosty, there were no replies. Since it worked for me, I let it rest until today, when I noticed a MacFixit article about this very same problem. So, I took a few hours off to recompile “Nudge”, have a half-hearted stab at designing an icon for it, and publish it. So here it is (VersionTracker listing).

Preliminary reports indicate it works in most situations. Icon donations are accepted – I tried to draw an elbow (or fist) whacking a folder, but results were unsatisfactory icon_lol.gif.