Build settings for Mac OSX

Richard Gaskin ambassador at
Tue Jul 6 11:14:16 EDT 2010

J. Landman Gay wrote:

> Richard Gaskin wrote:
>> stephen barncard wrote:
>>> In the early 90s I registered a creator code "BARN" and a document code
>>> "rtfd"
>>> I know the document codes are not registered anymore (and Apple uses
>>> *rtfd*now). But my question is : Do I own my creator code forever?
>> As forever as your memory allows:  creator codes were hotly contested
>> within Apple when the NeXT team took over, marked for deprecation a few
>> years later, and no longer supported as of Snow Leopard.
> They're sort of supported. If there is no other way to determine the
> owner of the file, the creator code will be used if there is one. It's
> the last choice though.

True, worth noting for files that have no extension.

But a drag for a few end-users.  Here's my favorite example:

Fireworks uses PNG files as their native format, storing the vector info 
in an unused portion of the file while keeping a rasterized copy in the 
normal image data portion of the file.

In the olden days (read "before Snow Leopard") my Fireworks-created PNGs 
would open Fireworks when double-clicked, but PNGs created by other 
programs would launch those other programs.  This let me have my FW PNGs 
work seamlessly with FW, while leaving everything else set to work 
seamlessly with the apps that created them.

But under Snow Leopard, the seams are showing:  by default all PNGs open 
with Preview, and in Get Info I was able to change that so that all PNGs 
open with FW.  An improvement, but ideally I'd prefer to have only files 
made with FW launch FW and leave others alone.   I can do that 
file-by-file, but that's not much of an improvement.  :(

Four bytes is such a small amount of metadata that I'm not sure what the 
problem was in maintaining creator codes, beyond the ego value of the 
NeXT team being able to push the older Mac team around (oh what a 
controversy this was on the Apple HI Dev list; they pulled the list 
offline for more than a year as the only way to stop the bickering).

I suspect we're due for another sweeping OS revision, on the order of 
the Classic->OS X transition or the move from PPC->Intel, but this time 
involving file systems. ("Backward compatibility?  What's that?"- Apple).

I wouldn't mind so much if the move were to adopt the Linux file system 
(rumors that it would be the Sun file system died about a year before 
that platform did), removing one more arbitrary distinction between Mac 
and other platforms.  But I guess we'll see what the removal of creator 
codes is for somewhere down the road....

  Richard Gaskin
  Fourth World
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