There's a bit more to this than extensions (tho I tend to agree - get used
In addition to file extensions, there is the Preferred Application Binding
process, present in OSX since 10.0 and the pivot turn away from Resource
Forks. The usual manner to do this is to select the file, Get Info, and
select the preferred application. This has been quite reliable - and it
is entirely possible that some users have changed something that upsets
what they think is a predefined PAB (OpenOffice, for example, can do this
and thereby open .docx without notification to the user!). As shipped,
the prebindings supplied with a new installation take care of the vast
majority of application/document types.
There is also a uniform type identifier, or UTI, which appeared about 5
years ago, and that plays a role in this OS decision as well.
In 10.6, something that did change was the interoperability of the
Type/Creator codes, but I don't think that there are many other
applications that would upend the MS TC codes.
I'd suspect that the issue here is a mix of both PAB remapping and
possibly the stripping of TC code or extension in the mail service.
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On Wed, 22 Sep 2010, Andrew Hendrickson intoned:
AH:Actually as of MacOS 9, Macs used to work that way. Thankfully Apple has moved away from the resource fork file format they used to use and has adopted using Windows style extensions. Support for the old file and creator type files is rapidly disappearing. If you turn the feature on in the Mac Finder, you can see that every file object in the whole OS has an extension.
AH:That said, some Mac people are in the habit of removing file extensions from their files or disabling the default behavior of Office 2008
AH:I sent a Word 2008 created Docx file, entitled "test.docx" in Webmail from within Safari to our departmental account. Opened the message using Thunderbird under Windows 7, Apple Mail under 10.6.4. In both cases the file was fine.
AH:I removed the extension from the file, repeated the process, and indeed the file arrives as a zip file. So, I'd say this isn't a webmail problem, but user error. Webmail would have similar problems with any file sent without an extension, regardless of platform.
AH:Mac users just need to get used to using extensions.
AH:On Sep 22, 2010, at 3:13 PM, Keith Kennedy wrote:
AH:> I've seen this with docx generated on a mac.
AH:> mac of course don't rely on the name to figure out what kind of file it is.
AH:> So folks using macs don't necessarily add an extension.
AH:> I wonder if that's what's happening.
AH:> On 9/22/2010 3:00 PM, Wesley Alan Wright wrote:
AH:>> I don't use Webmail, and I don't use MS-Word. That said, in the last couple of days I received a word.docx file as an attachment sent by a WebMail user, and fielded a walk-in faculty member question, "I'm getting word documents sent to me (from webmail? while using webmail?) that I can't open."
AH:>> In my case, the file appeared in Apple Mail as an attachment with a .zip extension. Simply renaming the file with a docx extension fixed the problem for me, but that might not be an ideal solution for everyone.
AH:>> Maybe webmail.uvm.edu needs some mimetype definitions for docx files?
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