PDP-11/40 videos

John Foust jfoust at threedee.com
Thu Mar 15 21:11:51 CDT 2007


I've written C code to make an educated guess at something on the 
order of 100 file formats, ranging from the dirt-simple tagged 
formats where the header is guaranteed, to the more free-form 
script language.  This was for the "recognizer" code in a program 
that translated between file formats.

Although the UNIX purist might argue that all is bytes, in reality 
for many folks, they routinely deal with known file types created
by a relatively few applications.  Knowing what's inside a file 
and how the user likes to deal with it is a handy function of
a computer, no?  You might as well argue that you don't like 
standard filename extensions becaues filenames are just bytes.

If you don't have file(1) and you don't have filename extensions,
what do you have?  A lot of files that you don't know what they are
unless you can look inside.

- John




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