Tuesday, December 22, 2009

LaunchCodes 1.0

LaunchCodes (via Matt Deatherage) is a clever utility that tries to restore the creator code functionality that Apple removed in Snow Leopard. It sort of does for files what Choosy does for URLs, acting as a trampoline to receive opened files and redirect them to the proper application. The basic functionality seems to work, but I ran into a few problems:

  1. It doesn’t pass along Apple events. For example, if you find a PDF file using Spotlight or EagleFiler and open it, the query should be passed along to the PDF viewer so that it can search within the file. This stops working when you enable LaunchCodes.
  2. Some of my creatorless files now display in the Finder with generic white document icons.
  3. Applications can no longer tell which application would be used to open a file. For example, when you select an HTML file in EagleFiler, one of the menu commands will say “Open With Safari” and show the Safari icon, and if you select a PDF file it will say “Open With Preview.” Once you enable LaunchCodes, you’ll see “Open With LaunchCodes” and the LaunchCodes icon, which is not very informative.
  4. It doesn’t handle extensionless files. For example, if TextEdit is your default text application and you double-click a Makefile with creator code 'R*ch', it will open in TextEdit rather than BBEdit.

(1) seems like a bug that could be fixed. I’m not sure what’s going on with (2); it may be unavoidable since LaunchCodes doesn’t declare any icons for the file types that it handles. Unfortunately, (3) and (4) are probably not fixable given the way LaunchCodes works.

3 Comments

Hi Michael, we're working on #1 and #2. The workaround for #3 and #4 is to drag (to open via creator code) or option-drag (to view info) the file to the LaunchCodes app icon.

You could use Magic Launch instead if you wanted 1, 2, and 4 to work today.

[...] Snow Leopard Creater Code discoveries and his solution, LaunchCodes. It turns out there were a few issues with the initial implementation, such as Apple Events not being passed along. Normally when you [...]

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