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Tech Tip: Avoiding problems when transferring 4D files from the Mac OS to Windows
Published On: January 25, 2010
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If you develop 4D applications on the Mac and intend to transfer or deploy the application to a Windows OS you are subject to the scourge of "dot files". Dot files (files that start with a dot, such as "._" or ".DS_Store") on the Mac are "invisible" and ignored by 4D. On Windows these files are visible and 4D attempts to read them. They will be created on the Windows OS when files are moved there by way of Drag and Drop or by ZIP files created by archiving applications attempting to preserve the the Mac OS's resource fork, a legacy feature.

When launching a 4D application on Windows that has been recently moved from the Mac OS, if the application exhibits abnormal behavior the problem may very well be "dot files". These problems include crashing during launch and giving error messages that certain plugins, components, or files cannot be loaded or executed.

To avoid the "dot file" problems on Windows you should always archive 4D folders, .4dbase packages, and .bundle packages as zip files before transferring them. You should either use the Mac OS X default compression application Archive Utility or your own compression utility (Stuffitâ„¢, PathFinderâ„¢, etc.). The default utility creates a separate folder for these files and 4D ignores this folder. With other utilities you need to set the preferences to ignore "invisible files" and "resource forks".