About | Buy | Forum | Industry Watch | Learning Curve | Products | Search | Twitter | Xnews
Home » Learning Curve » Developers Workshop

'This Resource Fork'

82 of them. All identical. Why?


Buy It

Try It

Most people have seen the legendary IBM manual pages marked 'THIS PAGE INTENTIONALLY LEFT BLANK'. But OS X resource forks?

Apple have 82 of them buried inside the massive iTunes.app bundle.

That bundle, for version 11.0.1, contains a walloping 14,900 files for a total drive drain of 328,395,892 bytes, 351678464 bytes (351.68 MB) effective storage. At least 23,452 additional bytes are needed to store 82 identical resource forks in the /Applications/iTunes.app/Contents/Resources/iTunes.help sub-hive.

And those 82 resource forks are all identical.

00000000  00 00 01 00 00 00 01 00  00 00 00 00 00 00 00 1e  |................|
00000010  54 68 69 73 20 72 65 73  6f 75 72 63 65 20 66 6f  |This resource fo|
00000020  72 6b 20 69 6e 74 65 6e  74 69 6f 6e 61 6c 6c 79  |rk intentionally|
00000030  20 6c 65 66 74 20 62 6c  61 6e 6b 20 20 20 00 00  | left blank   ..|
00000040  00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00  00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00  |................|
00000050  00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00  00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00  |................|
00000060  00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00  00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00  |................|
00000070  00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00  00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00  |................|
00000080  00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00  00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00  |................|
00000090  00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00  00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00  |................|
000000a0  00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00  00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00  |................|
000000b0  00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00  00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00  |................|
000000c0  00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00  00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00  |................|
000000d0  00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00  00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00  |................|
000000e0  00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00  00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00  |................|
000000f0  00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00  00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00  |................|
00000100  00 00 01 00 00 00 01 00  00 00 00 00 00 00 00 1e  |................|
00000110  00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00  00 1c 00 1e ff ff        |..............|

The 'intentionally left blank' resource forks, 286/512 bytes each, are on the Info.plist files.

They're on the itsy bitsy 8-byte PkgInfo files.

They're on the image files too. And the HTML files. And all of them. All 82 of them.

They're all made out of ticky tacky. They all look just the same.

Why?

Resource Forks Then & Now

OS X resource forks today are one possible entry into a file's extended attributes. These extended attributes still do not reside with the file proper, making transport to other systems all the more difficult. But the relatively new extended attribute API can in fact be very useful.

How useful are they when the reserved name 'com.apple.ResourceFork' is used? That's another matter entirely. Especially when great pains are taken to put them there and they're intentionally left blank.

See Also
Wikipedia: Intentionally blank page
The 'This Page Intentionally Left Blank' Project

Xattr: No More Oompas
XaBatch: com.apple.quarantine
Developers Workshop: Document Specific Extended Attributes
Developers Workshop: Oh Where Oh Where Did My Resource Fork Go?

About | Buy | Forum | Industry Watch | Learning Curve | Products | Search | Twitter | Xnews
Copyright © Rixstep. All rights reserved.