File type issues (was Re: Netscape 4.0 press release...)

Walter Ian Kaye (walter@natural-innovations.com)
Mon, 21 Oct 1996 19:04:26 -0700


Message-Id: <v0300780dae91d52f35ba@[205.149.180.135]>
In-Reply-To: <199610211933.MAA16076@switzerland.it.earthlink.net>
Date: Mon, 21 Oct 1996 19:04:26 -0700
To: www-html@w3.org
From: Walter Ian Kaye <walter@natural-innovations.com>
Subject: File type issues (was Re: Netscape 4.0 press release...)

At 12:23p -0700 10/21/96, David Perrell wrote:
>I manage or fail to manage these system-level and easily-customized
>registries and 'translations' as needs dictate. Associating .gif with
>Paint Shop Pro and .tif with PhotoShop is trivial, but I can still open
>either file type in the other app. I like things open, accessible, and
>flexible.

It is exactly as trivial, open, accessible, and flexible on the Mac.

>The extension<->filetype associations are just as subject to
>standardization as anything else, and don't require a change in file
>structure to accommodate registration codes.

Who's suggesting a change in file structure? Obviously if someone needs
to register a magic number, it is for a *new* file, not an existing one.

>I simply don't agree that it's a good idea to have a ever-growing
>database of registered file types that I must download regularly from

Dunno what necessity you're referring to...

>my opsys manufacturer or some other central database. The best file
>types for use with multiple opsystems evolve either with the
>applications that can edit or display them or in response to some
>standarization process, and that has been the case with the web as
>well. The application will tell me when it doesn't understand the file
>-- why should an opsys be concerned with the 'creator?'

Two different things here. The Mac uses creator codes for 2 purposes:
1)double-click launching of daughter files, and 2)icons for daughter files.
The creator code has little to do with file type. The file type code
identifies the *content* of the file -- it is pure meta-information. It is
mostly used for filtering directory listings, as applications (as you say)
will tell when they don't understand the contents of a file.

>The systems I
>have had problems transferring files to and from on the web have been
>Macs -- the 'notable exception'.

I have NEVER had any difficulty transferring files back and forth
between Mac, PC, and Unix. This includes uncompressed, stuffed, and
binhexed files. Never a single problem of any kind whatsoever.
If you've had problems, then you're probably doing something wrong!
Feel free to email me anytime you have a problem of this nature, and
I'll help ya identify and solve it. :)

__________________________________________________________________________
    Walter Ian Kaye <boo@best.com>     Programmer - Excel, AppleScript,
          Mountain View, CA                         ProTERM, FoxPro, HTML
 http://www.natural-innovations.com/     Musician - Guitarist, Songwriter