I just had to reboot my Mac because a remote filesystem mount failed. I mounted a disk on my iMac via AFP from another Mac last night, over my WiFi network. Then my iMac went to sleep. This morning the remote disk was still mounted, so I went to open it and then Finder locked up, the lovely spinning wheel of death. (Do they still say “beachball”?) But at least all my other apps were working. Then I tried to force quit Finder (er, relaunch), and the entire fucking Mac locked up.
The big fail here is that Finder still has its talons in the graphical shell of the Mac, and file system browsing can lock up the whole machine. The small fail is it’s nearly 2013 and we still don’t have remote filesystems that are robust to failure. I miss the async option on NFS; it caused some problems, but at least it didn’t lock up your whole computer.
Update: after rebooting I remounted the file system and then copied a single 800 megabyte file over by dragging it in finder. I then tried to drag a second file over and had to wait, mouse button held down, for 45 seconds while Finder’s little wheel spun. Because apparently the entire UI locks up while waiting for some buffer to drain in a bulk, low priority file copy. Apple’s handling of remote mounts, even AFP mounts from other Macs, is absolutely terrible.