Re: [Usability] Faded File Extensions

Alan Horkan <horkana maths tcd ie> wrote:

> On Sat, 24 Dec 2005, Nigel Tao wrote:
>> Date: Sat, 24 Dec 2005 12:46:34 +1100
>> From: Nigel Tao <nigel tao myrealbox com>
>> To: usability gnome org, nautilus-list gnome org
>> Subject: [Usability] Faded File Extensions
>> When showing files, one theory is that you show the ".txt" and ".png"
>> extensions, since they are the true filename, and another theory says
>> that you should hide them, since they are 'scary technical details' that
>> Joe User shouldn't have to deal with.
> Take a step back, what is the real problem we are trying to solve?
> Why does Microsoft hide the extensions?
> I believe it is not because it is a "scary technical detail" (at least not
> primarily) but rather that the extension is awkward when trying to rename
> files.  Nautilus has already made efforts to address the awkward renaming
> issue but perhaps more could be done.

Perhaps the biggest issue here, certainly on Windows, is that as long as the file extension is used to determine which application to open the file in, if the user accidentally renames the file such that it loses the extension or the extension is changed then the file will no longer open in the correct application.

Is this an issue for GNOME?  Do we use the file extension to determine the file type or do we use file signatures (like the 'file' command does) or a mixture of the two?


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