Re: File extension when saving

On Sun, 27 Mar 2005, Alan E. Davis wrote:

Date: Sun, 27 Mar 2005 00:26:30 +1000
From: Alan E. Davis <aedavis eccomm com>
To: gnumeric-list gnome org
Subject: Re: File extension when saving

Thank you for your response:

I may actually take the time to file a bug report; however, you state
that this is a well reasoned feature, not a bug.  Other programs do
automatically add the extension (eg, The Gimp), without complaining
about a dot in the file name.  What's the big deal, if it isn't a nod to
the dark side?

I can take a guess what you mean by the dark side but I would choose to
take a different meaning.

The old school omniscient Unix types never much liked the idea of file
extensions (a different kind of dark side but disturbing none-the-less).
In my not so humble opinion the correct solution was to ingore them and
their unusual use case* and to always automatically add a file extension
as most ordinary normal users would expect.  The Gnumeric developers have
gone out of their way to accomodate this unusual request which makes
things more annoying for the average user, however I believe that things
have moved on and that most people see the convenience of file extension
as a quick and easy way to identify different files types (and
disambuiguate all the different XML based file types of which the standard
file tool continues to be blissfully ignorant).

And I hope you will not take it as an unkindness if I suggest that
perhaps a check of the file's internal content would provide a more
reliable indication of the type of file involved?  I may be missing
something here.

So many file formats are now XML as to make this inefficient at best or at
worst entirely worthless.

I apologize if my statement seemed to be over-the-top, or in any way
critical of the excellent work of the volunteers who have been
developing this great (and improving!) package.

It was a little but it is easy to write thing quickly but hard to express
exatly what you want to see through the written word.  I think we can all
understand how the behaviour might be annoying for you though and
understand your reaction but it reads more harsh than you probalby

I prefer to try the nice approach first, that way if it doesn't work I
always have a Plan B ;)

use of any sort of legal filename, whatsoever.  Unless this is
necessary to accede to a M$ designed behavior, most of which that I
have encountered seem to be idiosyncratically flawed.  I may be wrong
about all or any of this.

* the microsoft behaviour is to simply add the extension (".ext" for
example) unless the name already includes that extension (rather than a
more simple check for a '.', this allows filenames like testfile.txt.doc)
and in the rare case you are an old school type that doesn't like using
file extensions Windows allows you to force your chosen filename by
putting it in inverted commas so by typing "filename" including the quotes
in a windows file save dialog you will get exactly what you specify.

Microsoft have done a lot of things wrong and need to sort out their
business practices but this doesn't happen to another example of what they
got wrong.


Alan H.

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