Aymeric on Software

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First Public Release of DiskWave

I have not been blogging a lot lately. The truth is that I have been busy coding.


DiskWave is a freeware for MacOS X 10.6 (hence Intel Macs only for now) that can recursively size the directories on your drive. This allows to quickly identify and reclaim wasted space.

It is freely available here: http://diskwave.barthe.ph/

DiskWave was basically hacked in a weekend, but this is not a new idea. I already worked on a similar project, back in 2004, after discovering OmniDiskSweeper. I was appalled by the terrible performance of OmniDiskSweeper and quickly realized I could do a better job. So I learned Cocoa, ObjectiveC, the Carbon APIs, and came up painfully with a prototype only to discover that another software named WhatSize was free and worked very well. I also had a tricky memory leak due to a bug in Cocoa API. So I quitted.

Fast forward to 2010. OmniDiskSweeper is no longer a shareware, but its performance is still bad. WhatSize is no longer a freeware. The old freeware version of WhatSize I have is a PowerPC version, but since I moved to Snow Leopard, I felt like I did not want to install Rosetta. So here is DiskWave.

So this time, I did my homework, and it does not look like there is a suitable alternative. Here is the list of similar tools (on MacOS X) I came up with:

  • OmniDiskSweeper
    • Freeware (formerly shareware).
    • Slower because it relies on Cocoa APIs. It also consumes a lot of memory.
    • Does not have many more features than DiskWave. I hope to catch up pretty soon…
  • WhatSize
    • Shareware (formerly freeware).
    • Same speed. Consumes a little bit more of memory, because it supports another feature that requires it
    • Does have many more features than DiskWave. Some of them, I never intend to get: fat binaries removal, locale removals, etc…
    • The thing that annoys me is that you can size/browse only one drive at a time.
  • DaisyDisk
    • Shareware.
    • New kid on the block. The visualization is really awesome but… I do not find it that practical.
    • If I ever wish to play with CoreAnimation, I may add an animated sunburst view.
  • GrandPerspective
    • Opensource
    • Seems to work well and is properly maintained. But I do not like this kind of visualization.
  • DiskInventory X
    • Opensource
    • It looks like it is no longer maintained. I do not fancy the GUI. Same as GrandPerspective.
    • DiskWave being in its early infancy is somewhat limited in terms of features. I hope to gradually upgrade it. If you have ideas of features you would like to see added, just let me know.


Update April 12th 2010:

  • Renamed WhichSize into DiskWave after receiving complaints from id design, inc.