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AuthorTopic: .info ... was it so much a good idea?  (Read 4584 times)

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Offline sim085

.info ... was it so much a good idea?
« on: July 24, 2010, 11:40:36 AM »
Something that personally annoys me in Workbench is that it requires .info file to display an icon and determine which program to use to open a target file. I always found the Windows way of doing more natural; that is that file extensions are used to determine the type of file.

However I am really intrested to know what others thing about it and if anyone favours the use of .info files over the use of file extentions.
 

Offline Karlos

Re: .info ... was it so much a good idea?
« Reply #1 on: July 24, 2010, 11:47:59 AM »
Quote from: sim085;571859
Something that personally annoys me in Workbench is that it requires .info file to display an icon and determine which program to use to open a target file. I always found the Windows way of doing more natural; that is that file extensions are used to determine the type of file.

However I am really intrested to know what others thing about it and if anyone favours the use of .info files over the use of file extentions.

That's not strictly true. Workbench only shows files that have .info files by default. Choosing "show all files" will cause all the files that don't have dot info files to become visible.

Secondly, .info files only specify which action to take when the icon is opened. They aren't used to determine what the type the file is. That's the responsibility of tools like deficons. The latter use various rules, which can be as simple as matching the extension to checking for magic values within a file.

Showing file types based solely on their extension is not a good idea. It's fast, but it's also ambiguous, especially for the glut of three letter extensions that exist.
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Offline kolla

Re: .info ... was it so much a good idea?
« Reply #2 on: July 24, 2010, 12:09:58 PM »
I think .info is brilliant, since it allows me to set different tooltypes and default tool for every single file, and not just for group of files, and it is done in an easy to understand and editable way. I'm quite confident that you cannot even do this on Windows.

Seriously, all the people who think Windows does everything so much better should just stick to Windows, and not whine about doing AmigaOS more like Windows - or you could just use Linux - KDE and Gnome are both busy doing everything as similar as Windows as they can :p
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Offline sim085

Re: .info ... was it so much a good idea?
« Reply #3 on: July 24, 2010, 12:26:21 PM »
Quote from: kolla;571863
Seriously, all the people who think Windows does everything so much better should just stick to Windows, and not whine about doing AmigaOS more like Windows - or you could just use Linux - KDE and Gnome are both busy doing everything as similar as Windows as they can :p


I do not wish AmigaOS to be more like Windows and by this thread I am not suggesting or implying that .info files should be removed. I just know too little on these files and since I come from a different streem (i.e. - was very young when I last used Amiga and only did so for gaming and after that only used Windows) I thought of asking this question to see what others think about the subject ... and ofcourse to learn why these files may be important.

Your reply helped me to understand that more then one .info file can be sued with the same file to open it in different ways.
 

Offline Merc

Re: .info ... was it so much a good idea?
« Reply #4 on: July 24, 2010, 12:31:55 PM »
A little off topic maybe but XFCE is a nice desktop if you're using Linux, it has a certain Amiga-like lightweight feel that I find refreshing after Gnome and KDE..  it's quite nice :)
 

Offline sim085

Re: .info ... was it so much a good idea?
« Reply #5 on: July 24, 2010, 01:05:00 PM »
For example one of the problems I have is that I found several files from the old hard disk (i.e. - more then 15years have passed since the last time I used these files or my brother did). These files do not have any .info file and therefore I have no idea whit what program I can open these files. I do not know if these files are images or some save files from some game!
 

Offline Ral-Clan

Re: .info ... was it so much a good idea?
« Reply #6 on: July 24, 2010, 01:13:22 PM »
Quote from: sim085;571859
Something that personally annoys me in Workbench is that it requires .info file to display an icon and determine which program to use to open a target file. I always found the Windows way of doing more natural; that is that file extensions are used to determine the type of file.

However I am really intrested to know what others thing about it and if anyone favours the use of .info files over the use of file extentions.


I think it is exactly the opposite.  The .info files are actually a very useful addition to AmigaOS I would miss.  They are like Windows .ico files (which maybe you haven't seen because they are hidden), but instead of just containing graphics info for the icon, they also contain information about which tool should start the application, tooltypes information, etc.  

I really like .info files!

And...like others have said, files without icons can be started by their extension (.jpeg, .tiff, .aiff, etc.) if you set up DefIcons in AmigaOS properly.  It will even give those files a general icon related to that filetype.
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Offline ElPolloDiabl

Re: .info ... was it so much a good idea?
« Reply #7 on: July 24, 2010, 01:40:04 PM »
The Amiga GUI is a work of art, made in a time when people were passionate about their work. Windows looks like a serving of prison slop in comparison.:(
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Offline itix

Re: .info ... was it so much a good idea?
« Reply #8 on: July 24, 2010, 02:31:41 PM »
Quote from: sim085;571868
For example one of the problems I have is that I found several files from the old hard disk (i.e. - more then 15years have passed since the last time I used these files or my brother did). These files do not have any .info file and therefore I have no idea whit what program I can open these files. I do not know if these files are images or some save files from some game!


You should install deficons which automatically gives an icon (if not one already) for known filetypes.
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Offline sim085

Re: .info ... was it so much a good idea?
« Reply #9 on: July 24, 2010, 04:10:50 PM »
Quote from: itix;571878
You should install deficons which automatically gives an icon (if not one already) for known filetypes.


Thanks for the info :) I will definitly do that.
 

Offline Trev

Re: .info ... was it so much a good idea?
« Reply #10 on: July 24, 2010, 06:49:39 PM »
I've never liked how .info files are only loosely coupled to the object they represent. It might have made sense in the 80's given the simplicity (and limitations) of the period object formats and file systems, but they could just as easily have defined a new hunk type and embedded the data directly in the object. On AmigaOS 4.x, I'm surprised the data hasn't been moved into an ELF section. It would still be possible for tools like Workbench to override embedded data using an .info file if one exists.
 

Offline Einstein

Re: .info ... was it so much a good idea?
« Reply #11 on: July 24, 2010, 06:59:58 PM »
I find both AmigaOS .info and Windows executables (potentially containing icons) strange design choices. No further comment.
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Offline lsmart

Re: .info ... was it so much a good idea?
« Reply #12 on: July 24, 2010, 07:24:27 PM »
Quote from: Trev;571901
I've never liked how .info files are only loosely coupled to the object they represent.


It makes it easy to maintain your tooltypes when you are upgrading to a new version of e.g. OWB. If you are used to .info it certainly has some advantages.
 

Offline Matt_H

Re: .info ... was it so much a good idea?
« Reply #13 on: July 24, 2010, 07:55:28 PM »
I think .info files are absolutely brilliant. Tooltypes are great for storing and adjusting settings. You can position Amiga icons exactly where you want them and they'll never move unless you tell them to. Separate icons allow you to hide unnecessary files, reducing visual clutter throughout your drive. And if you rename a file, it will open with the program you told it to. Filename-based program association is one of the things I hate most about Windows - i.e., renaming file.jpg to file.jpg.old and then being unable to open file.jpg.old by double-clicking.

But, if you do like filename-based program association, you can configure Deficons to work that way. Can't go wrong with the Amiga's configurability. :)
 

Offline mongo

Re: .info ... was it so much a good idea?
« Reply #14 on: July 24, 2010, 08:33:49 PM »
Quote from: Trev;571901
I've never liked how .info files are only loosely coupled to the object they represent. It might have made sense in the 80's given the simplicity (and limitations) of the period object formats and file systems, but they could just as easily have defined a new hunk type and embedded the data directly in the object. On AmigaOS 4.x, I'm surprised the data hasn't been moved into an ELF section. It would still be possible for tools like Workbench to override embedded data using an .info file if one exists.


And what do you do with non-executable files?