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File attribute and context dependent association of files with operations to be performed upon those files

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000114545D
Original Publication Date: 2005-Mar-29
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-29
Document File: 2 page(s) / 55K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

Disclosed in this publication is a method for associating a file with an operation to be performed upon that file based on one or more attributes of the file, the operating environment, or both.

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File attribute and context dependent association of files with operations to be performed upon those files

Disclosed is a method for associating a file with an operation to be performed upon that file based on one or more attributes of the file, the operating environment, or both. The term 'operating environment' is taken to include, but not necessarily be limited by, factors such as the available memory on the machine, or whether or not the machine is connected to a LAN for example.

    Many operating systems make it possible to associate files ending in a certain extension with a particular application. On Microsoft* Windows*, for example, it is easy to arrange it so that when a user double-clicks on a file ending in the extension 'txt' the file will be automatically opened in the simple text editor called Notepad from Microsoft. Using MIME types and regular expressions it is even possible to open all files called 'journal.txt', for example, in one text editor such as Visual SlickEdit from SlickEdit Inc; files beginning with 'a' and ending in '.txt' to be opened in, say, Notepad; but all other files ending in '.txt' to be opened in yet another editor, such as WordPad from Microsoft.

    But what if the user wanted to apply more sophisticated rules for opening files? For example, he might wish to open files below a certain size (e.g., 100 KB) with WordPad, but files larger than that to be opened automatically in Notepad instead. This would be useful when the user generally prefers the rich features offered by one text editor but is prepared to sacrifice those for an editor with a smaller footprint when a much larger text file needs to be viewed or edited. This idea can be extended to a whole range of file types and applications. It can also be extended to a whole range of file attributes or combinations of those attributes. Below are some examples of file attributes which could be used alone or in combination to determine which applications will be used to open a file:

Files with Unix** line endings.

Files located in particular directories.

File age (based on creation date or date last modified). This would be useful if, for example, the format (but not the extension) of a file type changed after a certain date, requiring a different application or service version to open it. Read-only files versus files that may be modified

    This description has so far referred to opening a file but the same principle could be applied to any other process or operation applied to a file, such as printing or archiving.

    Which applications are used to process a file could also depend on...