[OT] PAD files, MacPAD, and you

Richard Gaskin ambassador at fourthworld.com
Mon Sep 20 14:50:07 EDT 2004

The PAD format is a popular XML-based format for describing downloadable 
software packages used at a rapidly-growing number of download sites. 
Using PAD files allows developers to just use the URL to their PAD file 
rather than fill in a complex form for every download site.

But like most things on this planet PAD is an imperfect solution, being 
fairly Windows-centric it does not adequately address the needs of 
developers who deploy to Mac OS.

In response to this, Mr. Ricardo Batista of MacShareware.net (if that 
name sounds familiar yes, he's the creator of Apple's Extensions Manager 
control panel) created the MacPAD format.  While it does a better job of 
addressing Mac developer concerns, it is not compatible with the 
long-standing PAD format and therefore carries a potential to further 
marginalize the Mac platform, making it hard for the many download sites 
that currently use PAD to consider also adding Mac listings.

The PAD format is maintained by the Association of Shareware 
Professionals (see <http://www.asp-shareware.org/pad/>), who maintain a 
public NNTP server to facilitate discussion of using and enhancing the 


Mr. Dennis Reinhardt of the ASP is the manager of PAD format maintenance 
and enhancement, and has encouraged me to let interested parties know of 
the newsgroup so the PAD format can better address the needs of 
developers who deploy to multiple platforms.

Ideally, with your help the PAD format will allow us to have a single 
compact file for describing our software releases whether we deploy to 
Windows, Mac, Linux, or any combination of them.

  Richard Gaskin
  Fourth World Media Corporation
  Rev tools and more: http://www.fourthworld.com/rev

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