Fwd: Re: MIME changes
amantia at freemail.hu
Tue May 13 23:51:51 EEST 2003
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On Tuesday 2003 May 13 16:39, David Faure wrote:
> > > Wouldn't it be better to just check the start of the file for control
> > > characters? Or even just show it anyway? In ROX-Filer, clicking on any
> > > file with Shift held down loads it as if it was a text/plain file, for
> > > example.
> > Nice for binaries :)
> > I don't think it makes sense to always offer to view something as plain
> > text though.
> Non-novice users will often want to do just that though. Loading an MS
> Word document into a text editor is a reasonable way to try and read it if
> you don't have a converter, and loading an executable is a good way to
> find paths for 'File missing' errors, or to look for credits or other
> error messages.
But loading of a binary file into a text editor may do very bad things.
Currently I know that it can crash Kate, and even with another editor part,
I'm not sure that Quanta would survive opening a binary file as text. Some
applications are simply not designed to view/edit binary files. There are
special applications for the above tasks, like the KHexEdit in KDE.
> > > We already have 'text/*' to indicate that text is a reasonable want to
> > > view the file (as a default option). Having another layer ("This file
> > > shouldn't normally be viewed as text, but advanced users could still
> > > get some sense out of it") doesn't seem necessary, given that an
> > > advanced user should be able to view *anything* as text, if they want
> > > (eg, an MS-Word document).
> > But viewing binary data as text is much less useful than viewing e.g.
> > python/ruby/perl scripts or postscript files, as text.
> I'm having a hard time imagining someone who can usefully view a perl
> script as text, but wouldn't understand why loading an MP3 produced random
I think the problem is not that the user will see some garbage that he/she
doesn't understand. The problem is that non-text files may harm the
> In any case, the text editor should just display a box ("This
> file doesn't appear to be a text file. Really try to view it?").
Sure, but in order to do this, first you must know that the file is not a text
> > I think the point of X-KDE-text is to offer a sensible "advanced users
> > can view AND edit this as text" option in some apps (which is the case
> > for perl/ruby/python, but editing as text is definitely not a good idea
> > with binary formats). Andras, can you confirm?
> But do advanced users (programmers?) need this kind of hand-holding? You
> still have to offer a load-as-text option anyway (even for binary files),
> and you still have to check that something typed as text really is, so I
> don't see this buys you anything:
> "View as text."
> "This isn't a text/* file. Really view it?"
> "It isn't marked as X-KDE-text. REALLY view it?"
> "It seems to contain binary data. Really REALLY view it?"
As I said above:
- - advanced users can use advanced tools which doesn't really care about the
- - some applications expect the file to be a text one
- - in order to offer the possibility of choice, you must know the type of the
I think X-KDE-Text or a similar entry (like the one suggested by Stephan)
should be present inside the mimetype info.
> Thomas Leonard http://rox.sourceforge.net
> tal00r at ecs.soton.ac.uk tal197 at users.sourceforge.net
> GPG: 9242 9807 C985 3C07 44A6 8B9A AE07 8280 59A5 3CC1
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