FileFormat.Info Website FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

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About: Me | site contents | code behind the site

About me

What is your background?

I have worked with a lot of different technologies over the years:

  • In college, I wrote games in Turbo Pascal (instead of working on my senior project).
  • In the pre-Windows era, I wrote applications in C for MS-DOS.
  • In the Win32 era, I wrote applications in Visual Basic.
  • As the internet started to go mainstream, I started writing using Active Server Pages.
  • During a brief interlude, I wrote wireless applications in C.
  • As the internet took off, I switched to Java servlets and JSP.
  • I have dabbled in dotNet, but not deeply enough to notice any serious differences with Java.

My database experience has also evolved over time: Btrieve to FoxPro to SQLServer to Oracle to MySQL.

Why are you doing this?

  • For my own needs: I wrote most of the utilities because I wanted to use them myself.
  • As a public service: I thought that other people might find it valuable as well.
  • To prove that I can: many of the things that I've worked on are hidden behind firewalls. I wanted a site that I can show people.
  • For the experience: I've learned quite a lot running the site.

Missing from these reason is money. I wouldn't mind striking it rich, but I doubt that file formats is the way. After 18 months, it looks like the ads might someday cover the ISP costs.

Are you biased?

Of course I am. Everyone is biased, only some people are afraid to admit it. Just for the record, here's where I'm coming from:

Like Hate
Choices Lock-in
The internet Fat clients
Access from anywhere Installation required
24x7 Daily reboots
Solid Slapdash
Fast Un-maintainable
Modular Dependencies
Open Undocumented

Are you a Microsoft-hater?

As someone who has worked in the software industry for a long time, I've had a lot of experience with Microsoft. I use their software every day, and most of it is really first class. All of the Microsoft people I've dealt with personally have been honest and a pleasure to work with.

That said, Microsoft has done some pretty awful things, and gotten away without suffering any real consequences. The senior management is extremely deceitful. I would be extremely careful before relying on any information that cannot be independently verified. To plan anything on something that isn't actually shipping is just plain foolish.

Looking at what I just wrote, this is actually good advice for dealing with any company. Still, it is hard to think of anyone less trustworthy than Microsoft managment.

What do you do?

I am gainfully employed developing software, though in an area completely unrelated to file formats. I am not looking for additional work (unless it is in France or Australia/New Zealand).

About the contents

Where does this stuff come from?

The internet. Doesn't everything?

Seriously, everything here is publicly available on the internet. I always try to put the source for anything thats here. If you don't see it on a specific page, try looking at the pages in the crumbtrail. If you still don't see, let me know.

My gosh, nothing is original! Are you just a copy-cat?

Well, while all the information is available, it isn't always in the most usable form. I've tried to make it easy to find and use.

Can I copy the site?

No. You should use the original data/libraries/etc.

There are actually a lot of pages, so it is pretty obvious if you try to download the entire site. And since it is available here for free, there really isn't much point...

About the code

How come the site is so slow?

Ummm, it's slow? Seems fine to me.

Seriously, it isn't running on some mega-box or anything. There is just one server and the total hardware cost is less than $600, so anything that requires processing is just not going to be that fast.

The upstream link also limited to 384Kbps (current as of Feb 2005). Any large downloads will definitely run into this limit.

Can I have the source code?

If you have a specific need, I can share specific snippets with you.

The site as a whole depends on a ton of libraries and databases and such like. I am not interested in supporting anyone else trying to use it.

In any case, almost all of the tools and conversions are just wrappers around other people's code, so my code isn't all that big or impressive.