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unusable mac files from fetch download (3 posts)
- Started 8 years ago by raceler
- Latest reply 8 years ago from raceler
I have a large customer that posts thousands of files to their ftp site annually. They are exclusively mac files from the design center. When I download an uncompressed mac folder from their site, I lose all file formating when the original file does not have an extension. The Quark files can be recovered by simply adding the .qxp extension to the file once it's downloaded but, if I do not know the file type, i.e. jpeg, eps, psd, etc, then I get into a guessing game to try and recover the data and when I do recover an eps file it will have lost any previews embedded. Mac fonts show as text docs and are not recoverable. The simple answer is to have the customer compress the files with Stuffit or the like, but they can't/won't as they say they do not have problems elsewhere. I have set download to both automatic and binary without noticeable difference. If they are truly not experiencing problems with the hundreds of other vendors around the world, then there must be something I am doing wrong. Any suggestions. BTW, when they were smaller, the design teams ALWAYS stuffed the files before uploading to my ftp site. Now they have their own ftp and have hundreds of 'designers'uploading and downloading daily and can't afford the time to compress files when it is not necessary. Any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Scott McGuire Administrator
It's very hard to believe other vendors don't have the same problem, because from your description, I think most people downloading the files would run into the same problems you have.
When a file is uploaded to an FTP server, if it does not have an extension or is not Stuffed or zipped using the Mac OS X's archive/compress command, there is simply no way for Fetch or any other Mac FTP client to know what kind of files they are when downloading them. (And I don't think Windows FTP clients could identify them either without an extension, but I am not a Windows expert.)
When a file on the Macintosh does not have an extension, the Macintosh Finder gives it special information to identify what kind of file it is so that it can still be opened in the right application even without an extension. But FTP servers do not know or understand that special information, and it will not be preserved when it is uploaded to the server - unless the file is uploaded using some sort of encoding or compression.
If a file is not uploaded with compression but at least has an extension, Fetch and the Finder can use the extension to reassign that file to its original application. But without the extension, there is simply no context for Fetch or the Finder to identify the file, and you are left to guess.
Additionally, even if a file has an extension, some Macintosh files have extra information in them (technically, "a resource fork") that needs to be preserved so that the files work properly when they are downloaded again; if that information is not preserved, there is no hope of making those files work properly. Once again, if the files are not compressed or encoded before they are uploaded, that extra information will get lost because FTP servers don't know about or understand resource forks. Fortunately, most kinds of files shared between computers these days - such as jpegs, psds, pdfs, tiffs, Word documents, etc - do not have this problem because they do not have resource forks. However, Mac fonts may be one the cases where a resource fork needs to be preserved.
For more information about formats and FTP issues, you can see our upload formats help topic.
So, unfortunately, if they will not upload the files properly, there is probably not a lot you can do on your end except complain to them or keep guessing.
Sorry, I wish I had a better answer for you.
Please let us know if you have further questions.
[This message has been edited by ScottMcGuire (edited 05-05-2008).]
Thank you for the confirmation of my suspicions. I was beginning to think I had missed some new mac/ftp miracle.
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