Glad For Public Folders

/ 30 March 2007

Some of you may not notice that each and every Mac OS X user account has a folder at it’s root level called “Public”. Most of you may not know the advantages of such a folder, so here’s that explanation first. That single folder (“Public”) in your whole user account is universally visible, that is, every user account on your mac can view the contents of that folder. Though only you can change that contents, it is a loophole to transfer files from one user account to another (the folders visibility also tracks across to network mounts and bluetooth devices). The use I have for such a feature of our user accounts has to do with Butler, the all-customizable user assistant tool (which I hope will run under 10.5). I have folders set up to be menus within my Docklet, one of which is a Dock overflow (any less-used apps I use from time-to-time that I don’t want cluttering up my real Dock all the time). Since for security purposes I’m not a admin user on my mac I need to use my admin account’s public folder to transfer across aliases of apps in the “Applications” and “Utilities” folders to my account to use in the menus.