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Doug McIlroy understood.

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Doug McIlroy understood. So did the NeXTies. The Apple fanboys? Not so much.

This has been an uneasy alliance. It was not initially perceived as an alliance. Otherwise no one here would have got involved.

Perish the thought.

'The day a file on a Mac can't be opened because the designated editor can't be found is the day Apple's OS ceases to be Unix', said Doug McIlroy. Or something to that effect.

openFile:withApplication: is morphing. For OS version 10.15. If you wanted to inspect the damage, go here.


There are 28 (twenty-eight) instances of 'Deprecated' on that page alone. Real OS vendors don't do stupid things like that. Real OS vendors know better. Apple's engineers are amateurs.

Right until the very end, Microsoft's MS-DOS had CP/M-compatibility built into their interrupt vector table. IBM's venerated MVS respects backward compatibility. Apple? They haven't a clue.

The openFile:withApplication: API will remain - in another form. For now. But you can almost see the fanboys salivating at the thought that it might, just might, disappear one beautiful day. And peace will be restored.

Rixstep's Xfile and ACP apps make it easy to access openFile:withApplication: (or its successor over time). Things start with the standalone Runner.

The logic is simple (and enhanced by Rixstep). You can browse to any file you want. You don't have to type in full paths to your applications. And so forth.

You won't find this functionality on any fanboy apps. They literally don't get it.

The equivalent of Runner is found all over Rixstep's Xfile and ACP, on at least the following applications.

GDE, macTag, Tracker, Xfile, Xfind, Xscan, and Xshelf.

ACL and RxDefaults have similar functionality customised for purpose.

Apple's hopeless file manager Finder has 'Open With...' buried on a context menu somewhere, but it's not the same thing.

About Rixstep

Stockholm/London-based Rixstep are a constellation of programmers and support staff from Radsoft Laboratories who tired of Windows vulnerabilities, Linux driver issues, and cursing x86 hardware all day long. Rixstep have many years of experience behind their efforts, with teaching and consulting credentials from the likes of British Aerospace, General Electric, Lockheed Martin, Lloyds TSB, SAAB Defence Systems, British Broadcasting Corporation, Barclays Bank, IBM, Microsoft, and Sony/Ericsson.

Rixstep and Radsoft products are or have been in use by Sweden's Royal Mail, Sony/Ericsson, the US Department of Defense, the offices of the US Supreme Court, the Government of Western Australia, the German Federal Police, Verizon Wireless, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Microsoft Corporation, the New York Times, Apple Inc, Oxford University, and hundreds of research institutes around the globe. See here.

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John Cattelin
Media Contact
ACP/Xfile licences
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