pList compression

David Bovill david at
Sun Oct 7 05:43:43 EDT 2007

Can anyone who has OSX installed without the Apple Developer Tools (ie the
default installation) confirm whether the "defaults" command line tool is
installed. Typing the following into the terminal:

  defaults help

or the following in the message box in Revolution

  put shell("defaults help")

should do the trick.

Or the plutil command line:

  plutil -help / put shell("plutil -help")

I have them installed on Tiger - but Ive the Developer Tools installed and
they add a bunch of command line tools to the system.

N.B - is there a way to determine which command lines tools are available in
your shell?

On 06/10/2007, Thorsten Hohage <thohage at> wrote:
> They want the common user kept away from fiddling around in a file
> that he should not access?

Possibly. I am not sure where apps tend to store there registration details,
or if there are security issues. Still then why start off with a nice open
XML format and then bundle command line tools that let anyone read and write
the compressed pLists? Most users that can figure out where the preference
files are can most likely use the shell. My money is on speed of access -
parsing XML is not the fastest way to load preferences.

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