[OS X TeX] Alpha taking over some file extensions

Jon Guyer jguyer at his.com
Tue May 3 19:44:07 CEST 2005

On May 3, 2005, at 3:55 AM, Bruno Voisin wrote:

> The Alpha forums would probably be a more appropriate medium for 
> reporting this, but since I'm no member of these forums I'm posting 
> this here in case Alpha people are listening.
> After every fresh install Alpha has a tendency to "take over" some 
> file extensions, such as .txt and .tex IIRC, at least for files that 
> have no Type or Creator set. Until Tiger this wasn't too much of a 
> problem (you could use View Info for any file with a given extension, 
> and specify there the default application for all files with this 
> extension). I remember Alpha developers telling here this wasn't a 
> planned behaviour, and they had no idea what's causing it.
> However with Tiger this is becoming a problem: it seems all files, 
> including application bundles (thus actually directories), with names 
> ending with a dot and a number, like the Fetch application "Fetch 
> 4.0.3", are considered as Alpha files. As a consequence, Fetch can't 
> be opened, and the only solutions are either to remove " 4.0.3" from 
> the name, or add a .app extension.

I didn't set up any of our .plist file and I've never touched its 
contents, but I will post your question to the rest of the Cabal.

I don't know why, but Alpha does claim the extensions .1 and .3 for 
some reason. Presumably, files with these extensions are generated or 
used by something that somebody wanted to edit. Ah... probably for man 

An application bundle is not strictly required to have a .app 
extension, but unless several other criteria are met, it is /not/ an 
application without it, at which point it's fair game for any app that 
claims whatever extension it does have. Nonetheless, I see that Fetch 
4.0.3 is not an application bundle; it is an old style resource-based 
CFM application with type/creator of APPL/FTCh. The documentation for 
the Finder and LS certainly seems to indicate that this is unambiguous 
and should launch as an application. It has the proper plst resource, 
so I don't see any problems with it.

Alpha does define certain wildcard extensions and creator codes, but 
according to the LaunchServices documentation: "To allow an application 
to accept files of unrestricted file type or extension during 
drag-and-drop operations, you can use the special wild-card values 
'****' or '*' for CFBundleOSTypes or CFBundleTypeExtensions, 
respectively. (These are honored only in drag-and-drop operations and 
not when the user opens a document by double-clicking.)", so if the 
Finder is opening these in Alpha when you double-click on them, then 
that's a bug in the Finder or in LS (I'm shocked, *shocked* I say. A 
bug in a .0 OS release from Apple?!).

This is all just speculation. I'm not running Tiger and will not be so 
delusional as to install it until at least 10.4.1.

Possible issues:

    1) Alpha is indeed claiming things more aggressively than it should. 
We will investigate and correct this, if true.
    2) Your Launch Services database is corrupt. Depending on who you 
talk to, this is either much more common or much less common than 
old-style Desktop database corruption.
    3) Tiger is buggy. The probability that this is /not/ true lies in 
the complex plane.

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