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Vista advanced file association editing.

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  • User profile image
    Bas

    So, just a random question for you Softies out there: why exactly was it a good idea to remove the advanced file association editing dialog from Vista?

  • User profile image
    blowdart

    Funny, I just had to do that this morning and screamed. Hmmm, anyone got documentation on how the file extensions and other registry entries fit together? Couldn't be that hard to knock something up ...

  • User profile image
    Bas

    blowdart said:
    Funny, I just had to do that this morning and screamed. Hmmm, anyone got documentation on how the file extensions and other registry entries fit together? Couldn't be that hard to knock something up ...
    There are a bunch of tools out there, but I have to wonder what the logic of forcing users to download some dodgy third party tool versus offering a dialog box that may be old-school and confusing, but at least existant.

  • User profile image
    blowdart

    Bas said:
    blowdart said:
    *snip*
    There are a bunch of tools out there, but I have to wonder what the logic of forcing users to download some dodgy third party tool versus offering a dialog box that may be old-school and confusing, but at least existant.
    And all the decent 3rd party tools seem to require payment. It's a bit of a bugger!

  • User profile image
    W3bbo

    blowdart said:
    Funny, I just had to do that this morning and screamed. Hmmm, anyone got documentation on how the file extensions and other registry entries fit together? Couldn't be that hard to knock something up ...
    Wouldn't it be the same as XP's?

    You've got simple ones where the key's name is the file extension and all the name/value pairs are properties, then you've got others where the extension points to a filetype key (usually something resembling a COM CLSID) where the properties are then located.

    ...then you've got some voodoo going on with some shell extensions. I don't know how those work though.

  • User profile image
    blowdart

    W3bbo said:
    blowdart said:
    *snip*
    Wouldn't it be the same as XP's?

    You've got simple ones where the key's name is the file extension and all the name/value pairs are properties, then you've got others where the extension points to a filetype key (usually something resembling a COM CLSID) where the properties are then located.

    ...then you've got some voodoo going on with some shell extensions. I don't know how those work though.
    Ah but there's the file type key which isn't a guid mulkary, it's stuff like VideoFile. It's all a bit confusing, hence the request for documentation

  • User profile image
    W3bbo

    blowdart said:
    W3bbo said:
    *snip*
    Ah but there's the file type key which isn't a guid mulkary, it's stuff like VideoFile. It's all a bit confusing, hence the request for documentation
    I didn't mean a GUID CLSID, but those ones like "Scripting.FileSystemObject" in the dot-syntax.

    But whatever Smiley Isn't there a subset of Win32 for dealing with filetypes anyway?

  • User profile image
    blowdart

    W3bbo said:
    blowdart said:
    *snip*
    I didn't mean a GUID CLSID, but those ones like "Scripting.FileSystemObject" in the dot-syntax.

    But whatever Smiley Isn't there a subset of Win32 for dealing with filetypes anyway?
    Lord knows. Just looking at the WMP registered files is horrible (because I added MOV support today and wanted to try to work out how to stop media player thinking it's music and updating the MSN "Now Playing" plugin. I've given up on that)

  • User profile image
    Bas

    blowdart said:
    W3bbo said:
    *snip*
    Lord knows. Just looking at the WMP registered files is horrible (because I added MOV support today and wanted to try to work out how to stop media player thinking it's music and updating the MSN "Now Playing" plugin. I've given up on that)

    Ah yes, it would be awkward if "twogirlsonecup.mov" started showing up below your display name.

  • User profile image
    blowdart

    Bas said:
    blowdart said:
    *snip*

    Ah yes, it would be awkward if "twogirlsonecup.mov" started showing up below your display name.

    Hahaha. Yes indeedy.

    It was really MinhFrothing.mov - lucky I was appearing offline at the time.

  • User profile image
    BHpaddock

    blowdart said:
    Bas said:
    *snip*
    Hahaha. Yes indeedy.

    It was really MinhFrothing.mov - lucky I was appearing offline at the time.
    It's not a CLSID, it's a ProgID.

    A CLSID is always a GUID.  A ProgID is a canonical string (like "textfile" for .txt, or "Word.Document.12").

  • User profile image
    Sven Groot

    How about this?



    Might not fit your definition of advanced, though.

  • User profile image
    Dexter

    Sven Groot said:
    How about this?



    Might not fit your definition of advanced, though.
    "Advanced" was a button in older versions of Windows that allowed one to define new actions for a file like edit (instead of open) and it also allowed DDE.

    Why it was taken out? I guess that's because the chance a "normal user" can understand all that is small. As for "power user", they can always use the registry editor to edit that stuff Smiley.

  • User profile image
    blowdart

    Sven Groot said:
    How about this?



    Might not fit your definition of advanced, though.
    No; you can't add new file types, or change icons, or change the description, add a mime type or any of the other useful stuff you could do in XP

  • User profile image
    Bas

    Dexter said:
    Sven Groot said:
    *snip*
    "Advanced" was a button in older versions of Windows that allowed one to define new actions for a file like edit (instead of open) and it also allowed DDE.

    Why it was taken out? I guess that's because the chance a "normal user" can understand all that is small. As for "power user", they can always use the registry editor to edit that stuff Smiley.
    So adding the (in my opinion, better) simple dialog that's in Vista for average users, and leaving in the more hidden and old-school advanced menu for advanced users would have been a crazy idea?

    And yeah, advanced users can 'just use the registry'. Look at how easy a time the advanced users in this thread are having with it. Smiley

  • User profile image
    Dexter

    Bas said:
    Dexter said:
    *snip*
    So adding the (in my opinion, better) simple dialog that's in Vista for average users, and leaving in the more hidden and old-school advanced menu for advanced users would have been a crazy idea?

    And yeah, advanced users can 'just use the registry'. Look at how easy a time the advanced users in this thread are having with it. Smiley
    Crazy? No. It's probably one of those features that "didn't make it" or maybe there are admin/user problems related to editing that information.

    As for editing registry: I'm not sure that blowdart's problem has anything to do with file associations, it could be that the plugin is dumb enough that it has some hardcoded extensions in it, who knows...

    Otherwise it's quite simple:

     - there's a registry key named after the file extension (.mp3 for example)
     - this key's value is the name of a file type (WMP11.AssocFile.MP3 for example)
     - there's a registry key named after the file type that contains a subkey named shell which has a list of commands that can be performed on that file type: open, edit etc.
     - the file type key also has a DefaultIcon subkey that contains the associated icon, tipically a resource from a dll/exe like: C:\Windows\system32\wmploc.dll,-732.

    Of course, there's more to file extensions/types etc. than the above but that's pretty much all the Advanced dialog did. AFAIK it did not handle shell extensions, various flags, content types etc.

  • User profile image
    Bas

    Dexter said:
    Bas said:
    *snip*
    Crazy? No. It's probably one of those features that "didn't make it" or maybe there are admin/user problems related to editing that information.

    As for editing registry: I'm not sure that blowdart's problem has anything to do with file associations, it could be that the plugin is dumb enough that it has some hardcoded extensions in it, who knows...

    Otherwise it's quite simple:

     - there's a registry key named after the file extension (.mp3 for example)
     - this key's value is the name of a file type (WMP11.AssocFile.MP3 for example)
     - there's a registry key named after the file type that contains a subkey named shell which has a list of commands that can be performed on that file type: open, edit etc.
     - the file type key also has a DefaultIcon subkey that contains the associated icon, tipically a resource from a dll/exe like: C:\Windows\system32\wmploc.dll,-732.

    Of course, there's more to file extensions/types etc. than the above but that's pretty much all the Advanced dialog did. AFAIK it did not handle shell extensions, various flags, content types etc.

    Crazy? No. It's probably one of those features that "didn't make it" or maybe there are admin/user problems related to editing that information.


    But it's right there, and working, in XP. Why didn't it get left in like all those other dialogs that are still exactly the same in Vista as they are in XP?

     - there's a registry key named after the file extension (.mp3 for example)
     - this key's value is the name of a file type (WMP11.AssocFile.MP3 for example)
     - there's a registry key named after the file type that contains a subkey named shell which has a list of commands that can be performed on that file type: open, edit etc.
     - the file type key also has a DefaultIcon subkey that contains the associated icon, tipically a resource from a dll/exe like: C:\Windows\system32\wmploc.dll,-732.


    You're a much smarter man than I. But I still can't believe someone on the Windows team actually thought this was a better, safer way of editing file associations than that dialog we've been using or six years already.

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