Genii Weblog

What file types do you attach?

Mon 16 Oct 2006, 02:11 PM

by Ben Langhinrichs
I have been busily coding some enhancements, for Midas and CoexEdit and possibly a product to be named later, which allow attaching documents with a specific icon and the text embedded, the way the Notes client does.  In CoexEdit, for example, if you attach a file called Vendor Add.doc to a document, you currently get something that looks like Paperclip plus text file hotspot where the paper clip and text together form a file hotspot in Notes or on the web, but there is nothing to stop somebody from inserting content between the two, or otherwise messing with the hotspot.  It also is not terribly clear that the two make up one unit.  I wanted something more like the attachment icon Notes would use, so I added the ability to create it as Sample of MS Word icon, but just like in Notes, it has a tendency to interrupt the text due to all the vertical space.  Nonetheless, that is what people in Notes have come to expect from a file attachment icon.  For those who don't want the vertical interruption, I also added the ability to use horizontal file attachment icons, such as Sample of horizontal MS Word icon, which fit much better in-line in the text.

But, what file attachments do you use?  So far, I have added the following regular icons (mouse over them if you are not sure what type they are), and the smaller horizontal icons below.  If I don't have a specific icon, you will get something that looks like either Sample of default icon or the horizontal Sample of default horizontal icon depending on which you choose.

Regular (text under image) icons
Inline GIF image Inline GIF image Inline GIF image Inline GIF image Inline GIF image Inline GIF image Inline GIF image Inline GIF image Inline GIF image Inline GIF image Inline GIF image Inline GIF image Inline GIF image Larger zip icon

Smaller (text to the right of image) icons
Smaller default icon  Smaller MS Word icon  Small zip format

It would help to know what people currently use as file attachments.  If there is a file type you use regularly, or would like to see.  For example, I notice while writing this that there are not some of the web formats such as .htm, .html, .js or .css.  There are also not the .java, .cab or other Java related attachments.  Do those matter to you?  Is it OK to use the default paperclip for those?  What do you think, and what do you use?

Copyright 2006 Genii Software Ltd.

What has been said:

504.1. Declan Lynch
(10/16/2006 01:13 PM)

Great minds and all that. I'm in the middle of coding the exact same feature into the 'Downloads' feature in BlogSphere V3

504.2. Richard Schwartz
(10/16/2006 04:50 PM)

In the spirit of CoEx, I think you should probably include .msg, .eml, and .pst.

And since you have .bmp, .gif and .jpg, how about .tif and .png?

Also, vcard (.vcf) and iCal (.ics) would probably be useful.

And don't forget .xml.

504.3. mark
(10/17/2006 08:40 AM)

i suggest you cast the net as wide as possible (you've got most of 'em) and add the ability to configure large small icons into a db for those not "built-in".