[linux-elitists] Freeing document _formats_

Heather star@betelgeuse.starshine.org
Tue Jul 11 12:15:59 PDT 2000


> There are several problems with file extensions, some mentioned -- the
> namespace is far too small, and collisions are far too common, not to
> mention that the suffixes are becoming far too nonintuitive.  It's also
> possible to shitcan a file by modifying its extension (and a number of
> apps/interfaces do this regularly).
> 
> Until applications reliably treat file extensions as ironclad rules for
> interpreting files, the system is broken.  Extensions are advisory at
> best.

Case in point: enlightenment themes.  Get 'em in droves at e.themes.org,
right?  They all download with a .etheme extension, and they're really
tgz inside.  So far so good. The human knows what it is by the name, and
an app should just, well, LOOK at it, right?  (maybe wrong, that's what
gets MS word launching "rtf" as macro infested .doc files)  Well, I can 
tell you for certain that midnight commander doesn't.  If I want to look
at the darn theme files before dropping 'em in - I have to tack a .tgz on
the end, or I get raw bits.  

Sigh.

* Heather * Everyone can be taught to sculpt: Michelangelo would have had 
            to be taught how -not- to.  So it is with the great programmers.



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