Yes, this is a problem with several file cloud services. All of them now support the concept of offline vs. cloud/on demand files. In fact, the cloud/on demand files concept is a built in feature of Mac OS (as of 10.14 I believe), but because Path Finder does not support it, I may finally have to give up on Path Finder. More and more of my important files are on the cloud, but I need to use on demand features to save disk space since I don't want all those files on my Mac.
Seems odd because disk space is cheap, but SSD's are not cheap enough (on a Macbook) and my cloud storage exceeds what my Mac can hold. But Path Finder, when you click on a folder with Cloud files, it downloads all the files in that folder. I am just working around it for now, but every now and then, I accidentally access a Cloud stored set of files in Path Finder and it downloads GB of files and I have to go reset all that. I just about dumped Path Finder the last time it happened. Not because I want to! I absolutely hate Finder. But Path Finder needs to keep up.
I know, it is difficult for a developer to keep up with Apple on all this. Apple really is not developer friendly - especially for something that replaces a feature that Apple already implements. So I hope this feature (and other newer OS features that Path Finder doesn't support) can be implemented soon.
Many cloud storages offer on-demand files, and on macOS these are predominantly achieved through the Finder Extensions. Unfortunately, Finder Extensions are Finder-Specific and can't be used by Path Finder. API that is used for their communication with Finder is also private, which means we can't even adapt the existing solutions by cloud providers such as Dropbox and OneDrive. This leaves us with the only option, to develop from grounds up a PathFinder plugin/client relying on the public APIs for the cloud in question, as we did for Dropbox. Even then, some of the features remain unimplemented or unavailable in the official API, e.g. SmartSync on Dropbox.
The new "built-in" on-demand files feature of iCloud Drive also relies on Apple's private APIs. Unfortunately, they haven't made neither their implementation of on-demand files nor the API used for iCloud public. As such, there is no standard implementation of on-demand files for every cloud, and not even for the iCloud itself as support for this feature would involve a lot of reverse-engineering.
We love cool new features. In fact, Path Finder was one of the first if not the first app developed on Apple's Cocoa framework. When we see a cool new feature, we are always eager to incorporate it in Path Finder if we have an option. It's just that sometimes Apple doesn't want to share these cool features with anyone.
edbro9, In regards to your specific question regarding OneDrive support, I've forwarded this to our developers as a feature request. I will also check if there is a good way to stop the cloud-only files from downloading but it might just be the case of OneDrive seeing an app (Path Finder) accessing a file and streaming it down.
Please feel free to write us back and we will be happy to assist you.
I have over 650GB in Onedrive, to include all my important docs. I only have a 256GB SSD on my Mac. From what I'm reading, I can either have access to my files in Onedrive OR I can have Pathfinder. Easy decision, bye.
Thanks for the explanation. Yes, Apple isn't making this easy on the developers. So I understand the severity of the issue. Again, I have the same problem for a Windows Explorer replacement I use (xplorer2) where they too are having trouble keeping up with such new features. Though unlike xplorer2, you guys did recently completely rewrite much of Path Finder to keep up with the times. It's a big task. Most File Explorer replacements on Windows have not been rewritten since Windows XP or 7 so they are completely behind regarding Windows 10 features, and the cloud storage problems exist there too.
This cloud issue, though, is one that is hard to ignore - for reasons such as ebro9 said. Cloud storage is now cheap enough that many people I know have 1TB to 2TB cloud drives, but computers that store less than their cloud storage capacity. Support for cloud storage features will become increasingly important. Windows 10, for example, is massively pushing cloud storage as a no brainer built in feature of the OS. Apple has woken up to this as well it seems, especially with much better support on iOS recently. In fact, it is because Apple finally "got it" on this that I brought this up. I have now changed over to biasing cloud storage to store my life across all my devices. That is something I couldn't do until the last year or so.
There maybe some creative ways to make this less of a problem for Path Finder, such as making it easier when accessing cloud storage folders to jump to Finder to deal with the unsupported features. There are several ways to "Open in Finder" now. You can right click (CTRL Click) on the cloud folder and click "Open With... -> Finder". There is the Files Menu "Reveal in Finder" function (Option-Command-F). And I think one more method I am forgetting.
But I would suggest adding a feature where we can specify folders that we always want to open in Finder when we double click on them in Path Finder. This feature should allow us to select a check box to automatically enable this feature for all the default cloud storage folder locations (Dropbox, OneDrive, iCloud, etc.), but also allow us to specify our own folders to do this with for those cases where the cloud folders are stored in non-default locations or for less common cloud services. Or even better, if there is a way to tell if a file is not stored locally, always divert to Finder deal with that file. I mention this because certain files and folders will always be local and I want to use Path Finder to access those files. But the disaster is to accidentally double click on a folder that is not local (because I forget and since Path Finder doesn't tell me what is local or not), and I end up downloading a bunch of files that then max out my disk. This can happen without realizing it even until you get a "out of disk space" error. So it really is a disaster - a problem that needs to be dealt with.
Or add some intuitive interpretation to Path Finder so that when someone opens such a folder, Path Finder asks "How to you want to handle this cloud folder - use Path Finder or always divert to Finder." Some creativity could go a long way toward making this easier on your users and at least mitigating the disaster problems.
Finally, if there is any way to add the Finder Right Click Menu items that are added by cloud storage services (or all the Finder right click menu items period), it would help a lot. There are several right click features (for OneDrive) such as "Share" or "Always keep on this device" to store locally, or "Free up space" to make the file cloud only. Dropbox and others have similar right click commands. If we could at least right click in Path Finder and manage these cloud storage features, it would reduce the number of times we have to go to Finder or the cloud storage web page to do stuff.
I feel for you about the problems solving these issues, but please take the issue very seriously. Failing to keep up with major paradigm changes like this could result in a complete loss of sales, and the last thing I want is to see Path Finder disappear. Thanks.