Mac OS X 10.7 (Lion): Downloaded files are all “applications”

Posted by Pierre Igot in: Macintosh
November 18th, 2011 • 4:51 pm

Here’s something about Mac OS X 10.7 (Lion) that I don’t get:


Yes, this InDesign file was downloaded from the Internet. But how does that make it an “application”?

And I don’t get this just for InDesign files. I get it for all kinds of other media files, when they are downloaded as part of a Zip archive that I then expand in Mac OS X’s Finder.

These files are not “applications.” They are just documents. Yes, I know that things downloaded from the Internet can contain viruses and other sources of problems. And yes, I know that Zip archives in particular can contain hidden stuff. But that does not make an InDesign file an “application.” It’s already hard enough to get the average user to understanding the basic concepts of files, folders, windows, and so on. If you start calling documents “applications,” how do you expect such users to understand what a real application is and what the dangers actually are?

To me, it seems that this dialog is just some generic blanket statement that Apple’s engineers couldn’t bothered to customize based on the actual nature of the files that have been downloaded. It’s on part with iCal displaying something like “1 days before.”

It took Apple years to finally fix iCal so that it uses the singular rather than the plural when the number of days or hours is 1. Is it going to take that long again before Mac OS X speaks some language that ordinary folks can understand when it comes to security features and issues?

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