Re: Netscape 4.0 press release at their server

Stuart Young (nakor@glasswings.com.au)
Thu, 24 Oct 1996 21:04:45 +1100 (EST)


Date: Thu, 24 Oct 1996 21:04:45 +1100 (EST)
From: Stuart Young <nakor@glasswings.com.au>
To: David Perrell <davidp@earthlink.net>
cc: "Scott E. Preece" <preece@predator.urbana.mcd.mot.com>, www-html@w3.org
Subject: Re: Netscape 4.0 press release at their server
In-Reply-To: <199610222134.OAA06799@spain.it.earthlink.net>
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.3.91.961024205248.22237A-100000@fizzgig.glasswings.com.au>

On Tue, 22 Oct 1996, David Perrell wrote:

> > Actually, I've had much better luck with Macs than with UNIX, where I
> > periodically download a file and have no way to guess what kind of a
> > file it is.
> 
> One of my points. Better to standardize extensions for intersystem
> transfers, just as with HTML, GIF, JPG, TXT, etc.

File extensions are useful, even in the Mac world, and they do get 
carried around, in some cases at the start of the file.

Unfortunately, the problem is choosing a decent seperator. Dos uses a ., 
and many programs on the mac either use a ., _, or a -.

> I don't think embedded file type codes registered with a central
> database are a good idea and you do. It doesn't seem likely this dialog
> will change any opinions.

There is another way. Using such a central registry on the programmers 
end, and sticking slightly on some conventions. This means that you have 
to binary search the start or end of the file for a particular tag, but 
it can work, and isn't that hard to implement.

The central registry is only useful to programmers to get a list of file 
tags so they can embed them in their programs (and since a new file type 
would change the tag, you can't use new file types, not that the program 
would understand the new file type anyway, because it can't decode the file!)

This sort of procedure was used in many fidonet systems to figure out 
what compression program was used to originally pack the mail so that the 
mail could be unpacked properly.

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| Stuart Young (aka Cefiar)  - You may be human, but you're still animals! |
| nakor@glasswings.com.au - Man is territorial. Violence is our response.  |
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