Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
OS X Technology (Apple) Apple

Snow Leopard Snubs Document Creator Codes 214

Posted by timothy
from the mind-the-new-mantrap-in-the-living-room dept.
adamengst writes "In this TidBITS article, Matt Neuburg explores how Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard changes how the operating system handles preferred application bindings, dropping support for the creator codes that have been part of the Mac OS from the early days. He also explains how to work around the problem, if you want, for instance, text documents created with BBEdit to open in BBEdit even when TextEdit is the default handler for text files."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Snow Leopard Snubs Document Creator Codes

Comments Filter:
  • RIP (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 08, 2009 @11:51AM (#29352241)
    While the good ol' File Type and Creator Codes served their purpose, it is finally time to put them to rest for good. I'm glad to see that it's finally happening.
  • Re:We Know Best (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nine-times (778537) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Tuesday September 08, 2009 @11:56AM (#29352329) Homepage

    On the other hand, you could argue that Apple is protecting users from developers who say, "We know what's best for you. We're making it just work. Now just sit back and drink your kool aid."

    If I want my text documents to open in BBEdit, I'll set them to open in BBEdit thankyouverymuch. I set my default for them to open in something else, and that's the way I want it.

  • Re:We Know Best (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Knara (9377) on Tuesday September 08, 2009 @11:59AM (#29352373)

    On the other hand, you could argue that Apple is protecting users from developers who say, "We know what's best for you. We're making it just work. Now just sit back and drink your kool aid."

    If I want my text documents to open in BBEdit, I'll set them to open in BBEdit thankyouverymuch. I set my default for them to open in something else, and that's the way I want it.

    QFT. Overriding my choice as the end user for default application open selection is a no-no.

  • Problem? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by clone53421 (1310749) on Tuesday September 08, 2009 @12:03PM (#29352415) Journal

    He also explains how to work around the problem

    It's not a problem, it's a fix. This is the way it should work.

    Suppose I put a Word document on a computer where OO.o is installed instead of Office. The document says "open me in MS Word". The OS says, "Word isn't installed". What happens? What originally should have happened: The OS looks at the document, says "Word document, open this with OO.o", and everything works great. The extra information was a stupid extra step. "Word document" is all the OS needs in order to figure out how to open it.

  • Re:We Know Best (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nine-times (778537) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Tuesday September 08, 2009 @12:03PM (#29352417) Homepage

    Just to explain this, for me where I really think this is an issue is not text as much as graphics. I work with graphics and often enough, the application that created the graphics is Photoshop. However, I never want to actually open the file in Photoshop unless I actually want to edit it. Why open a JPEG in photoshop when it's going to take a full minute to load?

    So I've set Preview to be the default application for viewing graphics, but still, any graphics I make in photoshop are set to open in Photoshop. If Snow Leopard is going to ignore that it was made in Photoshop and open it in Preview instead, as I've set the OS to do, that seems like a "bug fix" to me.

  • Not the UNIX way (Score:5, Insightful)

    by McDutchie (151611) on Tuesday September 08, 2009 @12:07PM (#29352485) Homepage

    File name extensions are definitely not the UNIX way. They are the CP/M way, copied later by DOS, then by Windows, then by UNIX graphical environments such as KDE, GNOME, and Mac OS X -- but still not by the under-the-hood UN*X running any of them; to UN*X, it's just an indiscriminate part of the filename.

    It's very, very unfortunate that Mac OS X is now reverting to the primitive CP/M way. It causes a loss of essential functionality that Mac power users have always depended on: to know that a document will always be opened in the application with which you've created it.

    For me, there is less and less reason to use a Mac as Apple keeps progressively emulating Microsoft. This is yet another nail in the coffin.

  • Re:Problem? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nine-times (778537) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Tuesday September 08, 2009 @12:14PM (#29352601) Homepage

    The extra information was a stupid extra step. "Word document" is all the OS needs in order to figure out how to open it.

    Well actually OSX still lets you set the proper application to open on a per-document basis, and it's kind of handy. AFAIK, what happens if you put a Word document on a computer that doesn't have word, but has OO.o, OSX will read the part that says, "open me in Word" and say, "Well I don't have Word but I have OO.o, so I'll open you in that instead." So there's no problem.

    However, let's say you have both OpenOffice and Word installed on the same machine, and 9 times out of 10 you want to open your Word documents in OpenOffice, but you have that 1 document out of 10 that doesn't display properly in OpenOffice and you want to preserve the current layout. What's actually kind of nice IMO is that you can say, "I want my default to be to open all Word documents in OpenOffice, but I can set this one individual file to open in Word." And then the OS will open each document in the correct viewer when you double-click on it, automatically. It works great.

    So what's being talked about here is that it has typically been set in the past so that, regardless of your default application, documents were set to open in whatever application you saved/created them in. So it's like lets say OpenOffice is my default application but I create a new document in Word. The old behavior is that document would automatically be set to open in Word when you double-click on it instead of OpenOffice, even though OpenOffice is your default application. It makes a certain amount of sense to do it that way, since you may have done layout work in Word that won't render properly in OpenOffice.

    However, I personally want to set a default application for each file-type, and then only have them use a different application if I manually set them to do so.

  • by AndrewNeo (979708) on Tuesday September 08, 2009 @12:16PM (#29352627) Homepage

    While you are right that file extensions are not the UNIX way, from TFA and the other comments, it seems OSX uses Uniform Type Identifiers (a variant on MIME types) to identify files, rather than by their extension or creator code. I would assume extensions are still used When All Else Fails (for example, when reading files from FAT32 with no metadata attached)

  • by 99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) on Tuesday September 08, 2009 @12:21PM (#29352713)

    What's the point of making a default application if half the files will ignore it?

    The idea was application developers had the power to make files they made open in that application by default and if you didn't like it you could file a bug with the application provider. Now, application providers don't seem to have a way to do this, which many people are unhappy about as they relied on that ability of applications.

    The "right" solution is for Apple to have provided a way for applications to claim files and given the user the option to honor or not honor that choice (regardless of the default). This change has lost functionality for some while not giving users or application developers a choice.

    Note, I don't really care much on this one as it doesn't really impact my workflow, but I'm generally against changes that remove user choice altogether. Flexibility is good.

  • Re:RIP (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Jeremy Erwin (2054) on Tuesday September 08, 2009 @12:26PM (#29352771) Journal

    Time to put them to rest for good? Why? What on earth for? I am puzzled by your joy.

  • Re:Problem? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by MMC Monster (602931) on Tuesday September 08, 2009 @12:34PM (#29352859)

    The problem is for those of us that didn't know that creator codes exist.

    We would set .avi files to all open in VLC, and be confused when some opened in quicktime.

    This is a bugfix.

  • by dbet (1607261) on Tuesday September 08, 2009 @12:34PM (#29352861)
    You can flag a document to open with any application, regardless of the default. You can also change the default for any document type, including newly-created ones. Finally, you can right click and choose the app you want to open your doc with right there.

    I think the complaint is that apps in 10.6 are not flagging their own documents to open with themselves. It should be easy to patch this in for any app that is currently being supported, but I suspect most won't care, because it's just not a huge deal.
  • Re:We Know Best (Score:4, Insightful)

    by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Tuesday September 08, 2009 @12:40PM (#29352965) Journal
    The trouble, and what seems to be irking the faithful, is that treating documents simply by type leaves no way to treat some documents of a given type in one way, and others of the same type in a different way.

    If, for instance, you prefer one graphics program for editing .jpgs and a different one for viewing them you are now screwed. You can either set .jpgs to open in one, or the other; but you can no longer have ones created in photoshop open in photoshop while ones from outside are just opened in a lightweight viewer(or whatever the use case happens to be).

    Sort of a niche thing; but sounds like the people who relied on that class of configurations are out of luck.
  • by IntlHarvester (11985) * on Tuesday September 08, 2009 @12:41PM (#29352983) Journal

    but still not by the under-the-hood UN*X running any of them; to UN*X, it's just an indiscriminate part of the filename

    Let's be clear - under-the-hood, *nix does not have any standardized way of tracking file types. Unlike MacOS/OSX, there's no type metadata stored with the file.

    However, there are many *nix applications which use file extensions. Apache, for example, uses extensions to map to MIME types. Is this because the authors of Apache were enamored with CP/M? Or because there's no other practical way to handle it in standard unix?

  • Re:Problem? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by ThrowAwaySociety (1351793) on Tuesday September 08, 2009 @01:13PM (#29353435)

    The problem is for those of us that didn't know that creator codes exist.

    We would set .avi files to all open in VLC, and be confused when some opened in quicktime.

    This is a bugfix.

    So let me get this straight.
    1.You set the default AVI app to VLC.
    2. You deliberately chose some AVI files, went into File Properties ("Get Info"), and individually set those to open with QuickTime instead.
    3. You were confused when those specific AVI files actually opened with QuickTime?

    Fine, whatever. Some people aren't going to get it. But the system should not be designed around such people.

  • by Jeremy Erwin (2054) on Tuesday September 08, 2009 @01:14PM (#29353463) Journal

    Matlab and octave use .m files for scripting. Objective C class files also use .m. It's annoying when xcode opens up matlab files, but an editor suitable for working with matlab files is suboptimal for Objective C files. Yes, I know emacs supports objective C, but xcode is easier to work with.

  • by ThrowAwaySociety (1351793) on Tuesday September 08, 2009 @01:16PM (#29353493)

    It prevented the common Windows practice of "hijacking" another application's file extensions.

    That's a feature, not a bug. If I install a new app, I want it to open such-and-such file types. The only problem is apps that silently re-associate themselves with all their file types when they open, and anyone who writes such an application should be flogged and rubbed with salt IMHO.

    Having your file types stolen by another application should be responded to with a warning popup specifying the file type(s), the apps with which they're now associated, and giving the following options: (1) Reassociate the types. (2) Don't reassociate, and stop checking these file types. Yes, popups are annoying as hell, but if two apps are fighting over the file type you'll only see the warning twice: once from each app. Consider it part of the installation process.

    God, what a mess. You're seriously advocating this behavior? Do you work for RealNetworks?

    When I install an app, if and when I want it to open such-and-such file types, I will make that change myself.

  • Re:Problem? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Mneme (56118) on Tuesday September 08, 2009 @01:24PM (#29353595)

    No, they were opening in QuickTime just because they were originally saved by QuickTime.

    No one ever did Get Info.

    It sounds like this previous behavior seems odd to you (since you misunderstood what happened), which supports the perspective that for most users, the behavior was odd and the change amounts to a bug fix.

  • Re:Problem? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ari_j (90255) on Tuesday September 08, 2009 @01:30PM (#29353723)
    No, it's a work-around for a PEBKAC. That doesn't make it more or less worthy, it just isn't a bugfix.
  • Re:Problem? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by proxy318 (944196) on Tuesday September 08, 2009 @01:35PM (#29353835)
    Bah, if I want to open a file with something other than the default app, I'll just right-click -> open with, done. Or start the program and go to file->open. Or drag the file to the program's icon. The creator codes just cause me problems. If I want to open a PDF file in a shared folder, what do I care that someone else prefers to open it with Adobe Reader? Most of the time I'd rather open it in Preview since it's far less of a steaming pile. The creator codes just seemed to be the OS not doing what I told it - I'd say, open all PDFs with Preview, and it would most of the time, but then sometimes it would go "surprise bitch! adobe reader!". So if they're gone, good riddance.
  • Re:Problem? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Jeremy Erwin (2054) on Tuesday September 08, 2009 @01:37PM (#29353867) Journal

    Apparently, that's also why Word, Wordstar, WordPerfect, DisplayWrite and Framemaker all have used the .doc extension for their proprietary file formats.
     

  • Re:Problem? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by hattig (47930) on Tuesday September 08, 2009 @02:51PM (#29354947) Journal

    You mean you set the "Open with..." in the Get Info window? That still works, the article says so.

    The real problem is that everyone needs five media players on their computers just for handling bad videos, but they all have the same extension. Quicktime, VLC, mplayer, niceplayer, etc, etc, etc. It's a shame that the "vague short extension" mechanism of identifying files has won, especially now we have container files with variant contents.

  • Re:quicktime (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Toonol (1057698) on Tuesday September 08, 2009 @03:00PM (#29355075)
    In fairness, Apple's software ported to Windows nearly uniformly sucks, so it may still be a selling point for Macs.

"A mind is a terrible thing to have leaking out your ears." -- The League of Sadistic Telepaths

Working...