List Mania and a Plug for Yummy

This seems to be one of those months in which everyone and his brother is hawking some kind of "Best Of... for the Mac" list. We've got MacWorld's picks. There's one from TUAW. Another from Paul Stamatiou, whoever that is. One from madsenblog. The list goes on and on. Frankly, I think these lists are dumb. The fact that there are so many, and that they never agree with one another—and the fact that I hardly use any of the listed apps though I'm constantly on one Mac or another—proves that there are no "must-have" Mac apps for everyone. Everyone is different.

But what's really gotten my goat is that fact that some of my favorite apps have been left off these lists entirely, often in favor of inferior software. For instance, they often mention Quicksilver, when Butler is, in my humble opinion, a superior product in many ways. And Transmit seems to make nearly every list, despite the fact that there is a superior product known as Yummy FTP. I'm not knocking those products. They are very good. But it's about time someone mentioned some alternatives, particularly ones that might be better for some folks. I'd hate to see them die for lack of exposure. I'm not going to start my own list. ('Cause I think they're dumb, remember?) But I do want to give a shout out to the under-represented. Today I'll be comparing Transmit and Yummy FTP. Soon I'll do a face-off between Butler and Quicksilver. If you haven't checked out these apps, do yourself a favor and forego the conventional wisdom. You'll be happy you did.

I've been a Transmit user for years now. And I've been none too shy about singing its praises. But lately it's had its problems. Don't get me wrong; I like Transmit. It's a great product and a very competent file transfer utility. I even paid for the upgrade from version 2 to version 3. Boy was I jazzed when I saw all those new features: column view, in particular, struck my fancy. Finally I could move a file up one directory without doing a "move" operation. I also liked the way Transmit matched the functionality of the FInder. So I bought it.

But after some use, I found some problems with Transmit. My main difficulty is that Transmit has problems with symbolic links. Particularly in column mode. Sometimes it follows links just fine. Other times I get this error:

Transmit Error: Dude, It's Right There
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Or it just doesn't follow the link at all. When this happens, symlinks just stop working, and the only fix is to log out of the server and log back in. Refresh doesn't do it. Also, following symlinks, when it does work, takes me inside the linked folder but obliterates the file path—I can no longer see the folder that contains the symlink once I've navigated into it.

Transmit Behavior: Help! I've Followed a Symlink and I Can't Go Up!
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There were also weird inconsistencies with file downloads, which I honestly can't remember as it's been some time since I've used the program. I have to admit, these problems have gotten better in the latest iterations of the software. Transmit was, and continues to be, a wonderful application, but it really has some serious, long standing problems with symlinks in column mode.

Now there is a contender.

Yummy: Follows Links; Less Filling
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Yummy is the same kind of program, and despite my long-term relationship with Transmit, I've switched to Yummy. For some reason, Yummy hasn't gotten much hype, but if you read the reviews on VersionTracker, people who use this program absolutely love it. Many are former Transmit users. Many switch for the features it offers. I switched simply because I found that Yummy was quite capable of handling symlinks properly and had all the other goodness found in Transmit. I have found Yummy to be extremely stable, and, though I don't use this sort of program a whole lot, I've never had a single problem with it. And one last thing: apparently Yummy's customer support is fantastic. I've only read about it as I've never needed any help with this trouble-free app.

If you're happy with Transmit, that great. Bully for you. But if you're in the market for a new file transfer application—or if you've become dissatisfied with your current one—Yummy is a great choice, and one that folks, unfortunately, don't mention nearly enough.