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Re: Mac OS X "packages" Best Practices?

From: Aaron Montgomery <eeyore_at_monsterworks.com>
Date: 2006-03-02 20:05:41 CET

On Mar 2, 2006, at 10:09 AM, Mike Conley wrote:

> On 02.03.2006, at 09.56 (UTC-0800), Aaron Montgomery scribbled thusly:
>
>> Correct, but in the Mac OS X file system, a bundle is a directory.
>> If the developer wants the document to be treated as a single opaque
>> object in the file system, he/she needs to create a file, not a
>> directory. If the developer creates a directory, he/she should allow
>> that directory to be treated like a directory.
>
> Sorry, no, that's not the way Mac OS X works. Bundles are integral
> to the way applications are packaged and store data now, and they
> are intended to be opaque to the user. The Finder maintains this
> illusion (although it also allows a means by which the user can see
> inside the bundle if he really wants to).

You cannot get around that they are directories, whether or not the
Finder presents them as files. In fact, the first line of Apple's
"The Bundle Programming Guide" is pretty explicit about them being
directories: "A bundle is a directory in the file system that groups
related resources together in one place." Admittedly, if it is a
package, it is supposed to be presented as an opaque object to users.
Unfortunately, it is clear from how they are treated in the Terminal
and through File Systems calls, that "users" refers to people working
through the Finder.

I didn't say that it wouldn't be nice if SVN allowed directories and
their contents to be treated as opaque binary objects (although this
could get tricky to program, which might be why they haven't done
it). All I said was that allowing svn subfolders was a reasonable
feature request that the developer may or may not be able to
accommodate. The developer may not even be aware that there is a
problem with their bundle structure, it may be an easy fix, and the
change would allow the developer's documents to play nice with CVS,
SVN and any other UNIX program that treats directories like
directories. If the developer is aware of the problem but it is a
difficult to fix, then they might not fix it, but that doesn't make
the request unreasonable, just one that cannot be accommodated. If
your current problem really is just OmniGraffle, I've always found
the Omni Group to be reasonably accommodating. Even if they cannot
fix it, the worst they will do is nicely tell you that it just cannot
be done.

Asking the developer also seems like the most practical avenue at
this point, since it is unlikely SVN programmers are going to rush
out and fix this (it has been years since it was reported); and also
unlikely that Apple is going to fix this (they adjusted their own
code to handle svn folders in nib files).

It was just a suggestion that might have helped you solve your
immediate problem, take it or leave it.

Aaron

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Received on Thu Mar 2 20:09:35 2006

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