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file association and MIME type question

Posted on 1998-03-02
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Last Modified: 2013-12-29
WHAT PROGRAM/PROCESS actually populates the registry/MIME-map with MIME/sub-type values  e.g IMAGE/gif to files with gif extension..?  
Does the MIME/subtype play a role on the deskstop beyond the browser?
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Question by:eriklee
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jrlb3ll earned 120 total points
ID: 1707815
Individual program installations (including Windows 95) populates the registry/MIME-map file types.  Explorer is the other program that does this.

The file types are linked to individual programs.  When you choose the file type it launches the program.  Specific programs themselves often need the specific registry links to specific files be able to operate properly.

If you're trying to get at something more specific, please reject and comment more specifically.  I won't be upset <grin>



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Author Comment

by:eriklee
ID: 1707816
Thanks very much JR, hope u don't mind me pushinbg my luck for asking u to further comment on how applications get to be the default 'Opener'. Currently JPegs are opened by Paintshop -what if i install Corel? *Is it on a first-in basis?

*Notice the following entries in EXPLORER for jpegs:-
 EXTENSION         JPE JFIF JPEG
 MIME              Image/jpeg
 OPENS WITH        PSP (paintshop)
*Howcome the extension does not include  .jpg ?? And still if u click on any '.jpg' files ,Explorer opens them in Paintshop

*If i stick a file into an internet server -- is the server (it's MIME-map) responsible for coding the MIME/subtype value (eg. image/gif) or the original application?

Thanks again ;-)

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Expert Comment

by:jrlb3ll
ID: 1707817
You can specify the program you want to use to open a file type.  YOu go to windows explorer, on the menu click VIEW | Options | File Types, scoll to the file you want to edit, pick the file type, click the EDIT button, highlight the open in the text box, click browse and browse to the program you want to open the file with.  This will make that the default program for that file type.

In my experience, most files are associated with programs when the program are installed on a last-in basis because each program developer seems to think that you will want to use his/her program and none other to open certain file types.  Sometimes, however, on good software, the program will ask you if you want to change  the file association to that program during the setup or install.  It's hard to predict which programs use which method.

.jpg is the old DOS extension for the .jpeg file type and thus are treated like .jpeg.  This is similar to .htm and .html files.

Internet browsers deal with file types in a similar but somewhat different manner.  Usually the application that each "MIME" type envokes is part of the preference for the browser.  This is true of Netscape anyway.  Windows Internet Explorer probably uses the Windows Explorer file associations but don't quote me on that because I'm not a IExplorer person although I have installed the program and ran it  few times.

You can readily change the file association using the method I first stated in this comment.  You can also open a file in Windows Explorer, with a non-associated program buy highlighting the file, holding the shift key and right clicking the file.  In the context sensitive (right button menu) you'll see and "Open with" if it is appropriate.  Click that and you will get the list of programs (and you can browse for something not on the list) to choose.  Click the program and the program will open with the highlighted file.  Be aware, of course, that if you open--say--a Word document in a text editor you will likely get gobbly-gook since this is not an appropriate program for a Word document.  And, of course, most programs give you commands for openning appropriate files, after you run the program.

Hope this helps.



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