The Adventures of Systems Boy!

Confessions of a Mac SysAdmin...

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
(click for larger view)

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!
(click for larger view)

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
(click for larger view)

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.


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12:15 AM

One note about the customer support... It truly IS excellent. I gave them a feature suggestion or two, and they immediately incorporated them. One of my suggestions was the "Duplicate" contextual menu item... I often need to make .baks so the duplicate feature saves me major time. Transmit probably has the feature too, but the Yummysoft people didn't leave me hanging, so big kudos to them. All in all, I just can't think of any feature I need with YummyFTP that it doesn't have. I might have a few nitpicky things... but not many, and quite a few less than with any other FTP app.

Oh, and I'd like to make a shout out too... for SubEthaEdit by the Coding Monkeys. There are a lot of simple text editors out there, but it's one of my favorites. Very simple, works well with YummyFTP, fast and has a few nice bonus features as well (column multi edit, collaboration, custom syntax coloring    

7:04 PM

We at Panic are definitely pro-consumer-choice, so we're very glad that you found an FTP app you like -- even if it isn't ours. :)

On the other hand, we're anti-bugs! So, since we're putting the finishing touches on a new update to Transmit, we'd love to know if the new version fixes your issues with symbolic links, because we largely suspect it will. Please drop me an email [cabel at panic dot com] -- if you're at all interested -- and I'll send you the latest build. I'd love to see if it's an improvement, regardless of if you wind up returning to our ever-welcome, loving arms. :) Thanks in advance!

-Cabel / Panic    

6:20 AM

Thanks for the plug :)

Following up on Cabel's post, I'm also working on a new version, with lots of very nice new things. I can't promise to give you a hug, but I can assure you that the update will be free to registered customers and it will provide the trouble-free FTPing you're accustomed to. You're more than welcome to give the beta a try :)

Yummy Software    

1:58 PM

Awww... You guys... All this fuss over lil ol' me? You shouldn't have! Really!

But seriously, I've contacted Cabel, from Panic, regarding the latest Transmit build, and I've let him know what I think.

I'd love to see the Yummy beta as well. How do I go about getting it?


3:12 PM

support at yummysoftware dot com

Look forward to hearing from you :)

Yummy Software    

8:12 PM

yummy was the ONLY ftp client that helped me out of a dead end with my server limit exeeded... no other sofware could erase files to free space. they all returned strange errors.
maybe ther would have been other ways to get a grip but yummy - just did it - bought it in a snap an no regrets .
this software - just works.
thanks for it , and thanks for the plug, its about time

11:28 AM

I switched from Transmit to Yummy too. It goes an step beyond the Track.    

4:13 AM

I use Yummy FTP to manage files across ten machines, across countries and on different continents; it's such a well written, stable piece of software. I've really learned to trust the program, even when dealing with >6GB of data at a time. Yummy just churns away reliably getting the job done. On the rare occasions when the connection does drop, Yummy has never failed to perfectly resume file transfer -- I've never had any problems with corruption, missing bytes, etc.

It's been at least two years since I have tried any of the other Mac FTP clients, but when I was using Transmit and Fetch, they returned persistent errors. That's nothing compared to the shambles on the Windows side of things, though.    

1:51 PM

Yeah, I still use and love Yummy, for all the aforementioned reasons. Please spread the word any way you can so that this software continues to be developed.

Thanks for your comment.


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