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Commentator™ F.A.Q.


Does Commentator work in Mac OS X?

Yes and no. It will run under Classic, but can only save and restore Get Info comments that were assigned by the Mac OS 9 Finder. For practical purposes you should consider it to be a Mac OS 7-9 application only.

Does Commentator understand Mac OS X comments?

No. The application was released before Mac OS X was so much as a glimmer on the horizon, and it turns out that the way OS X stores comments is different from the way it is done in earlier versions of the OS.

Why aren’t my Finder comments the same under OS X as under OS 9?

Mac OS versions prior to OS X store the Finder’s Get Info comments in an invisible Desktop DB file (or Desktop resource file) at the root of each volume, whereas Mac OS X stores them elsewhere. Neither version of the OS understands the technique used by the other. Comments you assign under either OS will not be seen when you boot the other.

Is there some way to get my comments into OS X?

Yes. A companion AppleScript called CommentsToX is supplied as part of the download. You can run it under OS X to read comments from a Comment Text file and synchronize them to OS X.

I restored my comments from a Comment Text file, but the Finder doesn’t show them. What’s up?

Recent versions of the Finder may cache comments internally and fail to ‘notice’ that Commentator has updated them. They will reappear after a reboot, or if you restart the Finder by some other means.

Can Commentator export my comments in some other format?

A companion AppleScript called CommentsToCSV is supplied as part of the download. It will convert a Comment Text file to a comma-separated-values format that is understood by many spreadsheet and database programs. The script is supplied in editable source form, so if it doesn’t do exactly what you want, you can customize it easily.

Mac OS 9 doesn’t lose comments when I rebuild the desktop, so why do I need this application?

There are backup techniques that are in very wide use but do not back up a volume’s Get Info comments. If you are using such a technique, you will find that after restoring from backup your comments are all gone. This is easily avoided by running Commentator prior to your normal backup; the resulting Comment Text file will be backed up along with everything else and can be used to restore your comments later.

In addition, there are occasional good reasons to want to gather comments into a text file for some other purpose.

Why haven’t you ever updated this thing?

Commentator was tested and deployed in-house for years before its first shareware release, and has proven very robust in the field. While we did a considerable amount of work on a technology refresh version, the utter lack of bug reports or enhancement requests deterred us from releasing it. However, we have recently added some companion AppleScripts to the download package in gratitude to our registered users.