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Author Topic: Slightly annoying mac file naming that I want to fix, but not if it will take ages
littlefish
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Icon 1 posted May 29, 2008 06:58      Profile for littlefish   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I vaguely remember someone (Gruber?) bitching about this sort of idiocy a while back, but I'm not sure if it ever got fixed. I blame the Next boys for nuking the resource fork.

I was working on a keynote presentation the other day, which I saved with the filename "foo" (at least that is what I thought). I later wanted to export it as a pdf so I could share it with windows users, and exported it with the filename "foo.pdf" (again, as I thought - this is what was written in the save dialogue).
However, on the desktop I had two files labelled "foo", amd couldn't immediately tell which was which (both icons showed a preview).

Get info told me that one was foo.key, and the other foo.pdf. Both had a checkbox (ticked by default) to hide the file extension.

I'm not happy about the creation of hidden extensions, but I'll let it happen as long as when I tell my machine to call something *.pdf, I want to see the damn extension, even if the *real* filename is foo.pdf.pdf (and as an aside, this is a security flaw that has been exploited on windows using names such as Bar.jpg.exe). I might even consider a system wide switch to show all extensions if I have to, fugly as that is. Does anyone have any hints regarding working with the currently idiotic windows-like kludge of having extensions hidden? can I force them to not be appended, or always shown, or have any sort of control other than using get info to set extensions visibility on a case by case basis?

Making the mac more like windows is fine in some areas, but in others it just makes it worse.

Posts: 2421 | From: That London | Registered: Nov 2001  |  IP: Logged
Richard Wolf VI
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Icon 10 posted May 29, 2008 07:11      Profile for Richard Wolf VI   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
This might be useful. It seems not so hard to configure.

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Stereo

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Icon 1 posted May 29, 2008 07:12      Profile for Stereo     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Edited out: IWTUAM gave a much better answer while I was typing.

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littlefish
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Icon 1 posted May 29, 2008 08:45      Profile for littlefish   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Thanks. What I really want is no file extensions at all, unless I specifically add them. Is it really so hard to have decent metadata? If file systems can remember modification dates, surely it wouldn't be too hard to remember which program to open a file with. It wasn't like this with OS9 and the resource fork so why are we going backwards?
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GrumpySteen

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Icon 1 posted May 29, 2008 09:07      Profile for GrumpySteen     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Did you ever think that there might be a valid reason for a simple, easy to recognize method of determining file type at a glance? And maybe operating systems support that because, while it's not your preference, it's the preference of the majority of users?

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macmcseboy

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Icon 1 posted May 29, 2008 09:53      Profile for macmcseboy     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
As a longtime Mac user, I like filename extensions. It allows me to identify exactly what a file is. In OS9, if you did not rebuild your desktop or maintain your file system, you'd end up with generic icons, thus, if your memory failed, you wouldn't know what the document was.

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littlefish
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Icon 1 posted May 29, 2008 15:17      Profile for littlefish   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Did you ever think that there might be a valid reason for a simple, easy to recognize method of determining file type at a glance? And maybe operating systems support that because, while it's not your preference, it's the preference of the majority of users?
Being able to identify a file at a glance is great. I wish it was that easy. My preference is for icons that uniquely illustrate file type. I also like being able to name my files myself. The most frustrating thing about computer OSs is where they think they know better than you. Normally they don't. In the example I gave, the way to tell the difference between the two files was that one would be called foo, and the other would be called foo.pdf. I thought that what I typed (surely not a completely daft thing to think) would be what the file was called. I don't have a problem with OS support for what people want, but I want something different (and I'm not alone). Why is that not supported?

quote:
As a longtime Mac user, I like filename extensions. It allows me to identify exactly what a file is. In OS9, if you did not rebuild your desktop or maintain your file system, you'd end up with generic icons, thus, if your memory failed, you wouldn't know what the document was.
As far as I'm aware, the HFS+ file system supports file type data, so even in OS9, if you double clicked a document it would open in the application that created it, or fail gracefully to other apps that could handle it. Whatever the mechanism, a file with no extension was handled well. Windows would fail with anything that didn't have a three letter extension, and often (if you are using even slightly esoteric files) when it did too. (I can't be the only person opening .dat files to be told that I shouldn't because the registry owns it).

Having a 3 letter extension is definitely not enough to uniquely identify file types, and as a solution in general it is completely brainless. All I want is to be able to name files transparently and consistently. I don't want my filenames changed.

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GrumpySteen

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Icon 1 posted May 30, 2008 08:59      Profile for GrumpySteen     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
littlefish wrote:
Being able to identify a file at a glance is great. I wish it was that easy. My preference is for icons that uniquely illustrate file type.

Okay, but how are people with visual disabilities supposed to recognize icons?

When a file is sent to someone with an OS that doesn't support the same metadata, how are they to identify the file?

How is the file identified when the user is at a command line interface?

The hidden file extension is a compromise. It's not perfect for everyone... probably not perfect for anyone, for that matter, but it does manage to work for most people in most instances.

If you can come up with a better compromise that suits the majority of people, let everyone know. Good ideas tend to get implemented in software once enough people want them to be there (unfortuantely the same is often true of bad ideas).

I don't have a problem with OS support for what people want, but I want something different (and I'm not alone). Why is that not supported?

Honestly? Because you have a Macintosh. "Think Differently"... as long as it's the same different thought that Apple has. Apple tends to want One True Way to do things and doesn't give a lot of alternatives. Third party extensions often help

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tweety
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Icon 1 posted May 30, 2008 16:16      Profile for tweety   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Steen:

Honestly? Because you have a Macintosh. "Think Differently"... as long as it's the same different thought that Apple has. Apple tends to want One True Way to do things and doesn't give a lot of alternatives. Third party extensions often help

I have to agree with Steen here. I love my Mac, but I also love my cats. And, well, both seem to like things done in one particular way, regardless of how I want to do it. For most things it doesn't matter, but there are times when you sit staring at your screen and think "WTF? You know, if only I could do X, then it would be so much easier." But, you can't, and as it's a Mac, you're SOL.

So, littlefish, the best I think any of use can offer up on this one is the standard F/OSS GNU/Linux response to any user complaint: If you don't like the way X is done, write an app/change a config/etc. to do Y.

Damn, I really hate that answer.

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GrumpySteen

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Icon 1 posted May 30, 2008 19:59      Profile for GrumpySteen     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Most cats have two ways that they want most things done.... but the way they want more is the way you're not doing it.

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Posts: 6364 | From: Tennessee | Registered: Jan 2000  |  IP: Logged


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