[linux-elitists] Freeing document _formats_

Rick Moen rick@linuxmafia.com
Wed Jul 12 14:32:20 PDT 2000

begin  Aaron Lehmann quotation:

[Snip several good points.]

> The point is CHOICE. I am a hacker, and I don't want to be forced by
> crappy software to name my files in the way it wants me to. This is my
> file system. I believe in this so much that I commited a patch to AbiWord 
> which reversed a previous consensus that file extensions should be tacked 
> on to filenames that the users type. Again, I think you get my point by
> now.
> I've had enough with being negative about this subject. It's time to make
> a solution. And I have mine. My favorite currently-existing solution is
> file(1). Yes, it is slower. Yes, it is not completely accurate. I don't
> care. It works well for me. So well that I wrote a patch for GMC to use
> file(1) info instead of file suffixes to find file types. It actually
> works quite well, using gnome's API call for getting the mime-type
> corresponding to a file using the file(1) database. Feel free to test my
> patch and draw your own conclusions. It is available in the latest version
> of GMC when you check "determine file type by content" in preferences.
> Note that it _does_ fall back to filename extensions, which I think is not
> unresonable for a last resort.

Very well said, sir.

A few years ago, I actually went and mass-removed the ".txt" filename
extensions from everything in http://linuxmafia.com/pub/humour/ ,
because it seemed pathetic to have to cater to broken luser software.
When the (Redmondian) lusers complain they "can't read" files there, I
suggest they have another go at /sbin/fdisk, to fix their problem.

At the same time, I retain many other filename extensions, notably
.html, .jpeg, and .png, because of the likelihood of breakage on my 
own end.  And thus:

> I say it's time for us to move on to file(1)-based file management.

Sounds reasonable to me.

All of this is, of course, a radical change of subject from the prior
discussion about an informational Web site concerning file formats, but
far be it from me to stand in the way of a quality rant.

Cheers,                                      Right to keep and bear
Rick Moen                                  Haiku shall not be abridged
rick (at) linuxmafia.com                      Or denied.  So there.

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