MacBinary

MacBinary

Infobox file format
name = MacBinary
icon =
extension = .bin
mime = application/macbinary
application/x-macbinary
type code =
uniform type = com.apple.macbinary-​archive
owner =
genre =
container for =
contained by =
extended from =
extended to =
standard =
Due to the metadata-rich nature of the Macintosh filesystem, transferring Mac OS files to platforms that do not support HFS can be problematic. MacBinary was developed as a means of preserving this structure without sacrificing portability. It combines the data and resource forks and the Finder information of a file into a single document. This document is then suitable for transport via FTP, the World Wide Web, and electronic mail. The documents can also be stored on computers that run operating systems with no HFS support, such as Unix or Windows.

MacBinary is similar to BinHex, but MacBinary produces binary files as opposed to ASCII text. Thus, MacBinary files take up less disk space than BinHex files, but older applications and servers are more likely to corrupt them.

The first incarnation of MacBinary was released in 1985. The standard was originally specified by Dennis Brothers (author of the terminal program MacTEP and later an Apple employee), BinHex author Yves Lempereur, PackIt author Harry Chesley, et al. Lempereur then added support for MacBinary into BinHex 5.0, using MacBinary to combine the forks instead of his own methods. Most terminal programs and internet utilities added built-in MacBinary support during this period as well.

Two years later it was updated to MacBinary II, to accommodate changes in Mac OS. MacBinary II remained compatible with subsequent updates of the operating system for some time. This changed with the release of Mac OS 8, which necessitated the release of MacBinary III in 1996.

Files encoded with MacBinary, regardless of the version, usually have a .bin file extension appended to the ends of their filenames. E-mail programs such as Eudora can extract and decode MacBinary mail messages. Most dedicated FTP programs for the Mac, such as Fetch and Transmit, decode MacBinary files they download.

For Mac OS X, the MacBinary format has been largely superseded by the .dmg disk image format which is mounted as a volume after it has been double-clicked.

External links

* [http://www.lazerware.com/macbinary/macbinary_iii.html Home of the MacBinary Format]
* [http://sourceforge.net/projects/macbinconv Mac Binary Converter] , an open source tool for converting between different Macintosh file encodings.
* [http://ibiblio.org/pub/linux/utils/compress/macutils.tar.gz macutils] , converts between different Macintosh file encodings


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